Sunshine in the Middle Ages

The apartment smells like Hotel 6, cigarettes, and tiny yellow soap.

It can’t change its character, its old linoleum, stained carpet, fresh paint.

Sunshine and compromise in my beloved city,

flooding, mildew, silver window frames.

The sink looks dirty unless you cover it with a sheet.

I keep forgetting I’m happy now.

I have fresh scrubbed spine rammed in my back.

I Fret about money, about Mary’s panties, about the market, my work.

What now? What next?

Then I remember,

I am happy.

I have just enough trouble to fill my octet. I am Neon, the brightest of the noble gases.

Still I awake every morning with a slight feeling of horror.

As if the transparent visage of Glenn Beck is trapped in a shitty crystal orb that serves as my alarm clock.

It wakes me by yelling, “You’re no good. You don’t work hard enough. You’re not strong, not bright, not funny, not clever.

I chide myself for being so precious and dreamy. Others break rock while I find a napping stone perfect for non diligence.

I counted on punk rock and the apocalypse to preserve my waif torn Collette corpse.

Now the indignities of secular service and fluffy midsections ride me, like 100 million matriarchs before me.

They laugh as I order friends from Home and Garden magazine. We will look witty and drink white wine.

I hate wine.

My catalogue friends frown when I hoist my glass and declare, “White wine pairs nicely with oven cleaner and pale misery.” No one laughs.

They are not charmed by my psilocybin fantasies. They know I am lying about being a hooker on Aurora Avenue. I was really at the periodontist. Imagine my shame when they see my track marks are stickers from a vending machine at the Laundromat. I bought nothing at Macys.

Happiness? How can it exist when I fail both as a predictable Diva and an aging gutter punk?

I don’t know happy or married or professional. I don’t have TV friends and good sweaters.

I don’t know if I can do this without demons to finish my homework.

I thought it would be violence and Ritalin and exile.

At least I still have my Glenn Beck crystal ball alarm clock.

“You are a fraud!” It screams when the dawn rises.

“Don’t I know it,” I reply. I pick up his smoky quartz prison and carry it to a communal garden.

In the city I never thought I would see again. I place it on top of a bird feeder. The sun hits it.

Sparkles of light and a hummingbird coronation grace the orb.

Glenn cries out “Damn hippies!” before the solar rays of fading summer obliterate the face of my father.

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