A Brief History of My People, part ii

You’ve all seen the photographs—my grandfather being swallowed by a whale as he swam off the coast of Nearly Certain, only to emerge three days later with a baby, a bird’s nest and several copies of Whitman’s, Leaves of Grass.

My grandfather was a self-made man who hatched from the egg of that rare species of bird, Delusions of Grandeur. These birds are never seen in this part of the universe anymore. [Note: Da Vinci has some beautiful sketches of these illustrious creatures in his little known book, I See What I Draw Doesn’t Amuse You Anymore]

[Question] Why must all of our life-lessons come from near-death experiences?

He grew-up among princes, danced before Napoleon (about 100 years before Napoleon) and studied the art of silence with Marcel Marceau. In feat of cunning and daring he rescued my grandmother from the circus strongman. To escape they had to cross over the high wire and eventually were shot out of the cannon and landed in the next town. They never spent another day apart from one another.

[For their honeymoon they walked to Hell and back]

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Cold Failed Stars

Did she really exist or are the photographs
reflections of my imagination? My eye for
detail is amazing. I can see things that
never happened.

Like that barrage of comets that fell from her
eyes like cold failed stars, littering her pupils.
It’s all space and distance, light years that
only the rarest of love can cover.

Those electrified kites that we flew in
the charging sky, among the slightly
inebriated clouds. The tails lit the night’s
darkness like confetti from falling angels.

Yes, angels fall too, like minor suns that
rust among the ruins of the galaxy. Their
aching wings flicker and flutter before they
spiral down the axis of our little souls.

We got lost on the porch while crows
filled their beaks with fireflies, like tiny
lanterns. I wrote you a note on a torn
piece of your paper dress before I sailed.

When I awoke among the waves, I found your
memory in a stolen book of photographs and
constellations. Painted stars lined the dusty
pages while your image faded into a black hole
that no heart can ever fill.

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Once Upon Waking

She sleeps with her weary ghosts
too tired to make them believe that
there is a better place for haunting,
a place beyond the immeasurable
sleepy self where dark dreams conspire
to pull them all beneath the surface
where life lingers alone…

…and what of these sad skulls that
lay like ruins among the dust of this
grand illusion named love—she calls
it one of sorrows great mysteries.

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A Brief History of My People

In the world of spoon bending it is the thought that counts.

These hand crafted illusions have been passed down from generation to generation and we are still doing them wrong after all these years. Wearing blinders helps us see our folly more clearly.

[One would hope that we would have found new ways to fail—insert photograph here]

Just like ghosts, failure is in the lineage, in the blood and bone. Our people were always showing up late for the battles and eventually we stopped being invited to the wars.

We walk on water but we can’t swim. We turn water into wine but we don’t drink.

I’ve spurned offers for the rights to our life history—who can write about something that never happened? Who can speak of things that have not yet occurred? My memory is incredible; I can recall things that never happened.

We will be remembered by no one.

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The Museum of Suffering

They’re burying the dead again; as if they won’t simply
rise from their graves at the next opportunity given them.

What the grave diggers of the world fail to realize is that
we are all unfolding, primordial particles to the development
of life and refuse to be buried by such small hands.

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Murmur

She kept returning from the dead as if it were still a surprise. She expected to be fed immediately as if we had nothing better to do as if after her funeral we just remained seated in uncomfortable chairs and waited. We all had lives to live or at least fragments of a life, shards that however small still could be fit together to resemble a life of some sort. Even though my own life is so small and built upon a foundation of convenience yet, even that was too much for her to bear.

Why do you, sweet sister, of all people, neglect me, she would ask while smoking a rare brand of invisible cigarettes.

There was a time when I felt joy upon her return and would keep martinis in the crisper for the occasion; chilled to some private perfection. Now it was a struggle to buy the balloons.

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Trapeze

She was first and foremost a trapeze artist
a high wire woman made of stone who
blindfolded everyone around her.

You don’t have to fall in love with everyone
you see she said, as she lit a cigarette and
smirked through the smoke.

She dangled the bone crushing kind of desire
from the sky, the kind that strikes you like
grief and leaves scars in the shape of teeth.

I’ve always been splenetic, she said as the orange
fuse glow blew out, crushed and lovely. It’s the
photographs really, that blurred me into misery.

+ I want to be let alone. +

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