Effie Street, 1996


The doldrums of death: flies, fat, full and bored from the abundance of rotting flesh. He looks like a ninety-year-old famine victim, yet he dances around his pink “hotel suite,” feeling nothing; morphine butterflies, reggae days. The moon is a cloudy eye, a reflection of our collective impaired vision; we’re incapable of helping ourselves because we build build build while everything burns. Tonight, we drink, and may the night never end. Our friends are fellow zombies. Intravenous concoctions: saline infused with pureed succotash or pulverized pickled watermelon rind trickle through the veins, “We have a pulse, maybe.” Ambulance sirens blare, ripple through the husky night air, bend in the ear, and, to us, sound like the haunting wails of a theremin. We hum to hear ourselves humming, and lull to sleep on waterbeds of a third eye. Intangible, or so we wish, are crashing stars, but our hands and faces are on fire; we’ll have to leave the playpen before long, but for now, let’s pretend.

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