birds sing songs, outside my window pane, droning of workers’ tools on the scaffolding, scraping down the last remaining brick masonry, a draft of air bleeds through seams waiting for a caulking, while the wooden floors inside creaks and slants, nothing is level nor even, after weathering and seasoning of 100+ years, asbestos abatement is due, in New York, 2010, May pretends to be November, and my mind drifts to the electronic crackling that birds do not sing of
I have no strong attachment to the Garden State, despite memories spent from my grade school days. Specifically north-central Jersey: Dover train station, Jefferson Township, Weldon Road… dandelions aligning bright and yellow patches one by one, by two, and three, and on… amongst the weeds.
Thunder and a storm, that’s why I’m here. It’s 2010, May 1st; elsewhere there’s an urban riot, or a bomb in Disney times Square, or reports of schoolchildren slaughtered in a distant Chinese town. My editor, Heather Musto, her basement flooded, her ripped and floating Raygun magazines discarded, the stuffed animals bathing in earth’s moist tub, more containers of books, and videotapes, and vinyl, molded and dismembered.
A TV monument transmits our electric physiques to imaginary frontiers of former lives. In a Hong Kong cubicle, two summers ago, a broadcast of the NBA playoff game ticks a remembrance of watching the same Celtics-Lakers franchise rivalry in some year during the latter half of the 1980s. That, and wrestling, during off hours from teaching computer science in Newark at the Institute of Technology: the screen memories I preserve of my father’s room.
Two dumpsters filled with Heather’s past, I’m here to help, or rather to flip the exotic channels that one may call life, a damaged life perhaps, but nevertheless, wrestling is on: the names have changed, after a lawsuit from the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF is now WWE- World Wrestling Entertainment- one more alteration nominally of the past that reconfigures my sense of things as I mold forward.
The moist remains- its fragrance sent to landfills faraway, left behinds are what survived the instance of destruction, while the molded coloring book and the molding scum remains, minus the dandelion garden, amongst and within the weeds.
Silently NJ Transit prices raised 25% since Christie in office, the landlord won’t scrap a cent for damage control, and people are still watching the family guy dramas of WWE.