Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 6
Winter, 2011

Featured painting, ©2004 by Chris Mars : Parasites of Necessity.

by Alana I Capria, guest editor for Gone Lawn 6

Featured Excerpt

New Works

Ioannis Passalis

Our Lady of the Transfiguration

"Not everyone was meant to be a solid, you know. I myself would have made a far better liquid. What tragedy that I am captive like this! My passions all jammed up in this stifling state....I feel like a candle lit bright and sealed into a Kevlar-coated glass-jar.... "

Where did I meet you? I can't be sure.. Memory gives me the quiet-treatment whenever you are mentioned. He claims that my own selective amnesia is to blame...who knows...quite possibly He is telling the truth.

I have snippets of things you may have said, and I store them in my bone-marrow. Also, tucked away inside my liver are a few reels of archival footage which I keep locked in a rusty-safe...
[Can you believe that I can feel it corroding? I sure can.]

I gather up these puzzle-pieces of the past and form them into an reasonable facsimile of you...for brief intervals, I pull you near, only to feel you dissipate as I prepare to embrace. Leftover atomic particles mock me as they drift away.........don't worry, I don't blame you.

Not for this.

Maybe we met on the subway.

Let's pretend it was Sunday, 5am.

Across from nobody, sitting next to nothing, my mind grooved into the click-clack of train on track.. Doors woosh open and you slid in, a bespectacled wisp of a girl, your kaleidoscopic presence flooding the space as all forms of light as colors shot out from your pores. Your nature-metaphysical ... a spacial-anomaly compressed beneath asphyxiating skin, your possibility excluded by form...You were carrying that black-duffel... it was at least twice your size...by pure sleight of hand, you lowered it and with it built a nest. The way you sat poised, head cupped in hand, tilted to one side,soft black hair falling into electric air, so outward bound was my mental-state that I hardly noticed the lack of oxygen in the cabin. My lungs were tossing out carbon-dioxide, replacing it synaesthetically.

"Best trick I've seen all day...self-taught?"

"All the best tricks usually are."

Offspring of Bohemia lost and not wanting to be found, fashioning a reality of our own... guarding ourselves from the world and its many efforts to buy us out wholesale, we had our mantra to pacify us.

{Most people, "normal" people, they give away their hope for free. As for their dreams, they are sold a dime a dozen. Then one day, too late,, the "normal" people realize that there is nothing left to sell. Freedom, a first-rate product sold to the lowest-bidder. "Normality", "sanity", these are glorified prisons.}

No prison sentence for us, though. We had other plans, didn’t we?

.....you worked part-time at trying to figure people out, trying to find a way to co-exist with the Joy-Kill Choir and its insidious depression. When you'd tire of the "human-like" , you'd visit me at work...you remember? the bookshop? yeah, that’s right, baby...you know...

" Pathetic! These customers come in and buy all this transgressive fiction and yet lead such boring lives..It's all just porn to them, my dear. That's what I think. They read about junkies and killers and all as if they were mythical characters..."

"Why does everybody need to write a book chronicling their "personal" struggle? Who cares about their incestuous relationship with daddy? or mommy for that matter...You think I could sell my pain for a tidy profit? I imagine it would sell like mad... Then I could buy a 100 acres of rainforest and cut it all down. You think then I would have catharsis?"

....it is night. tongues mapping bodies/saliva tracing shape/desire propelled by thought ...I lose myself in her neon-green eyes... if I fall into them long enough, I will see an entire universe being created and destroyed ad infinitum.....her Mayan face in my hands... a lull in the air alluding to an expiring eternity.

The stars align in your favor for a short while, just long enough for you to let your guard down, long enough for you to smile a fools smile and than, just as you arrive at that "Oh So Special!" place where civilization, God and routine don't seem like awful ideas ........BAM..that decrepit, bitter crone Fate let's a piano fall on your head...

Afterward, people will pass by your crushed body and laugh, stare, point....

"I had a vision of empty stomachs being locked in cages...Endless rows of slave-labor stocked in warehouses and milk-colored men laughing at them, wishing them to tears. Why do I see these things? The world is such a sad place...Where do you think soul's come from, babe? Because I say they come from China. Souls made in China. It looks just like the real thing, but with no emotional-attachment required! I bet you they are made by the slave-labor I dream about. Yes, yes, souls are made in china, but the blueprint comes from the USA, of course."...

Not everyone experiences life the same way. You taught me this, there are those who absorb their environment in Hi-Def Surround Sound. Pain, sadness, joy... all available wave-lengths of human emotion amplified, good and bad. And we all know it is mostly bad. This was the burden that you were born with, a stalking curse I could not understand. You would try to explain what it was like to feel everything so deeply and I would nod and hold you tight, but I had no idea. Not really.
You must have felt so alone. ..."I have no yesterday and my tomorrow could be called into doubt at any time, so, really, today is the only sure thing."

...."I don't know how much longer I can hold on... What more is there to feel that is worth feeling? What can we build that They will not tear down? I feel like an apple that is rotting on a tree, begging to be let go..."

.....me, a version of me, is wasting away on some beach, taking in the whip-lash of the yellow above as it sun-dries me. Her form is floating in with the tide, saline-caressed and washing to land. She opens her eyes and slowly rises to. The sea slides off of her smooth skin in tiny droplets, mainline dives into the sharp granules of sand below. The ones that make it through the sand will be lead through a trap-door sinkhole, then slowly drip into a pill-box that she keeps in her dresser-drawer, adjacent to the painting supplies.. My eyes chart each moist trajectory. I can almost hear them crying out. She lies next to me and we seek our third-eye forth into a cumulus cloud shaped into an Ankh symbol. The crackling sun gives an encore performance, it's refracted light bouncing off the earth, dressing our skin mango ....

....her body is here, but she is gone. She slipped from under the covers about 20 minutes ago, a phantasmagoric figure hovering away...inevitability will repel my body through a dead-air towards the terror I will have to face. There will be motions, I will make my effort, exchanging her breath with mine. I will call the paramedics. They will also arrive late, disinterested. Uncaring. Judging. A few days will pass and I will leave the apartment behind, late at night with only a duffel-bag in tow. On the pulpy-wooden door of our tomb, there is pinned a scrawled-letter note to the landlord. I try my best to hide in the shadows, but the moon floods me with an accusing light, clarifying my conscience.

...a bleak-light bar. Anywhere (but here). A familiar face approaches. My hiding place in the corner has just been discovered. I close my eyes, but I can feel his grin imposing on me and my thirst, threatening conversation on the premise of vague acquaintance...

"I am so glad to hear that all those rumors are bullshit, man. I knew that there was just no way you would let her go like that. Overdose my ass! People say some crazy shit...Sad to hear you all are on the rocks, though...Hey, man, you know, we all have our story about the one that got away. Hhahaa! What can you do, eh? Ain't a net been made that can catch all the fish, man."

Yes, she is the one that got away. And I am the one who stayed behind.

When Fortune smiles, she smiles hard...

"The fatigue of being solid is more than I can bear...Will you let me be a liquid? Or maybe I could be re-born as a pill-effervescent? A destiny to dissolve in liquid..I may catch onto a precipice of faith if I became a liquid, love. The body is 2/3 liquid, right? Well that is 1/3 too little for me...I desire to be freed! Don't be sad, I will visit you as rain! Promise!"

.....It has been a while now, since the transfiguration of you. As I coil up my body tight on this park-bench, in a location undisclosed to me, I realize its been 4 am for about 6 hours now. A crumbling feeling abounds all around me. Suspicion says the sky...

...There is a nibbling on my toes as a chewing descends on my body... You always said the Vicarious Ones would tear us apart given half a chance....

"We are like malnourished street-tramps, our kind. Occasionally, They will tempt us with feast and we will attend, because we long for sustenance. Only upon arrival do we discover that the main course has already been devoured and we, lover, are the desert."

Ioannis Passalis is a native of upstate NY who currently resides in Athens, Greece