Mint House

This was written after a wild, decadent party in the quasi-slum beach town of Isla Vista. I probably hadn’t even gone to bed yet, still riding the natural high of the evening. This piece was originally published in  The Catalyst Literary Arts Magazine.  Photo from Woodstockings.

This was written after a wild, decadent party in the quasi-slum beach town of Isla Vista. I probably hadn’t even gone to bed yet, still riding the natural high of the evening. This piece was originally published in The Catalyst Literary Arts Magazine. Photo from Woodstockings.

Moonlit moonshine haze

Flickering ruby ends of lit cigarettes

Shimmering and wavering against the black of 2 AM.

On the rickety balcony.

In a veil of smoke.

No one seems to recognize that the wood is decaying.

I fade through the sliding glass door,

Opening on a drunken labyrinth of rooms and hallways

Where a girl in silver riffs on the topic of witchcraft.

In the first room, it’s a New York City club scene,

With white vinyl’s spinning on the turn table—

Bodies rocking and jiving

To endless loops.

Art stretches up the wide walls,

All the way to the ceiling.

“It’s a cheerleader effect,”—

They look beautiful all together,

In spurts of glorious color;

But, when the eye settles on any one piece,

The illusion is disturbed.

Still, an orange and turquoise pastel of a naked woman stands out

From among the canvas graveyard.

I am observing from below now,

Swallowed by the depths of the great tweed couch,

My dilated pupils cast upwards

At the immense bodies and taffy limbs

Of the giants standing around me

Who take no notice of my form.

And, so, like a fly on the wall, I watch.

Rubbing my fingers together,

Back and forth over a crumbling roach.

Eventually, I notice another fly observing near me on the couch

And we exchange half-smiles

And wonder if we truly exist in this moment,

Or if we might float up through the ceiling boards like puffs of pot smoke

If we shut our eyes for too long.

I join the masses again.

An ROTC man disappears into the tiled confines of the bathroom.

Two bodies meld together in the soft light of the bottleneck hall lamp.

The fly buzzes in my space again to offer me a drink,

And we traverse the great expanse of carpet.

In search of elixir, we bow into the archway

Of the green-dollhouse-kitchen

Where it’s a coke party,

And dry plants are shriveling on the sill.

Melancholy birthday girl in pink angora slumps against the humming refrigerator.

Meanwhile, the devil himself has his turn at a line,

Scraping fiendishly with a credit card,

Ramping up to satanic jitters

He scowls to

“Shut the fuck up,”

At mournful party queen—

Slow-rolling tears dripping off the crook of her nose and chin.

Things are becoming strange.

Naturally, I find an excuse to dissolve into the paisley living room

Where I find my nearly-forgotten phone

Nestled in the foliage of a plastic palm,

And maybe some friendly face

Reflecting on that glittering palace, Platform Holly—

The Crystal Ship,

Lit up like a man-made omen,

or some eternal Christmas Tree