|The Golden Bough by J.M.W. Turner|
|Lake Nemi by J.M.W. Turner|
Reclined on plush couches in a generic condo lobby, my friend and I watch a political debate. Angered by a statement by the Prime Minister, he becomes extremely deviant in his manner. “No one should be living in Canada.” The argument goes on to delineate the environmental truths of socio-historical degradation in the wake of our 21st century fate. Mindless, he unzips the entire leather covering and filches it for a sell. I follow in cheeky amazement.
Blasted knocks deliver crushing blows to the weak door, the hinges creak and splinter. A mass of Jewish men greedily express their intense fury. I unlock the door ever so slightly, leaving the chain lock in place. “Your friend’s killed our boy. A little man is dead.” Their mouths sputter with chainsaw smoke as they charge ultimatums and death threats in the name of my absent friend. “He’s skipped town,” I excuse. Unwilling to confront their standing guard, whose immovable post at the front of my residence is an unwelcoming barrier to my normal life, I flee with no plan to return.
|Petworth House, Interior by J.M.W. Turner|
After a filthy cheap bus ride, I clamber out upon the beach sand, and peering into the bright daze of lake horizon, I see my friend in a drunken rage at the water’s edge, swinging a heavy sack. As I approach, I see madness in his eyes. He is another person altogether, I sense a body in the leather couch covering. “Why didn’t you sell it?” I yell over crashing waves and turbulent wind. He simply eyes me with confounding disinterest and without a moment’s passing, he flings me headlong into the water, where we are all to drown with the corpse-filled leather covering. I swim, and as he plummets to the lake floor, suicidal and lost to the world, I grab through the heavy seaweed and rocky outcroppings with salt and stone eviscerating my every bit of skin of its human moisture. A whale’s fume stings my side and I feel I am being helped along, a fellow mammal and helper in my midst. And the undertow sucks me ever deeper beyond the shore’s shallow depths out to the plain sea.
|Fishermen at Sea by J.M.W. Turner|
Marooned on an island, miraculously alive, I am cast over a rocky shoal, where the sea moss hangs in a color scheme of subdued purples and deep greens. A man, of unknown origin, aids me in crossing a hillock, emptied of its cavernous rock, a mere sparsely covered hollow of mossy, volcanic emergence. As we reach out over the pockmarked swill, the entire island’s mass becomes visible, a wonderwork of natural phenomena, indescribable in its wonder: a truly new land.
_________in the shamanic din of civilized inclinations
to become the oldest persona of grace, emergent
of land intoxicated by the avian lords
who roam tearfully in landless bush
above the streaming Pacific's current
fanning to seed
atop island exotics
and breach the blind exploration
to an essence of discovery
in the learned,
- excerpt from "Drugged Love, Seated Life"