Saturday, July 01, 2006

On Islands

Islands are not round, but circular in the way my mind comprehends them. On my island there are not mythologies or faeries, but drug dealers and cocaine. Mothmen. There are burial grounds that house the bones of my ancestors and there are moats and lakes and strange peeling trees. Arbutus. Birch. On my island are the old ways of judging churchgoers and stipulations, like you cannot be too happy. Aging beauty queens with litres of white wine and the chipmunks to feed. Peanuts. Deer. Apples. Trapped into caftans and Frank Lloyd Wright houses with gossamer webs strung through the mind only, but powerful and binding. Nectars. Humming birds and oranges sliced and filled with grape preserves to lure the Orioles closer. Taught to me by pinched ladies who tipped and huffed. I called them Boston Orioles accidentally. My islands are full of my father in moments of his freedom. The freedoms from the shoulders low strung and Bahama papa hats and his responsibility elsewhere. I was too little to tell him that we did not have to continue on the ferry to the amusement park in Sandusky. I did not need machines to whirl me about and cheap sugar and stuffed things. Just leave me here in this simple place with strange things. This place that you love for its something. Its something. There are bird walks. Poets live on my island. Old clapboard homes painted white and pink. Cruising bikes and drunken drivers. There is everything in this roundness. Babies and old tractors. Witches and those who consider words like heresy while canning preserves. Tilling the soil. Both the old way and the way of pesticides and masses of steel and progress. Flies on screens and birds that are both worshipped and slaughtered. Americans. Canadians. Everything. Barns and bowling alleys from old times full of bumblebees and swallows. Gatsby and Huck Finn. Tattoos of eagles, worn. Old ink. Ballcaps. Bingos. I could go on. Take you around the edges of here. Run my finger around the line of a tea saucer. Let you see. But this is my island now. I could only try and show you the outline of it. Like a coloring book with only the imagination left to fill it in.

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