Michael Brandonisio

The Meaning of Life

Face the Strange

He, in still motion #2

He always feels bound to be pleasant and courteous. Always. At the slightest stirring of emotion, good or bad, he touches a part of his body, holds his breath, remains motionless, stares ahead and his eyes seem to glaze and turn inward. He says silently to himself, “I make myself dead. I don’t have to feel anything. It’s better this way.” Another one of his tendencies is to keep his lips pressed together. Tight. Even when he speaks, his lips barely move, other than an occasional twitch. But beneath his façade lies a suppressed impulse, hostile as a warmonger. He does his best to keep it under control. When he looks at himself in a mirror, he silently says, “It’s not you that I’m looking at. I’m looking at someone else. Someone who is not here…yet.” Sometimes, when he is alone, he releases his pent-up anger. His face contorts into a mask of hatred. He makes a fist and punches wildly at the air, an invisible foe. When these fits of his occur, always when he is alone, he unleashes terrible words in quick order. Words that would be inappropriate to write down on paper, much less speak for no discernible reason other than what lies buried in him, deep inside, where it’s cold and moist at the same time, where that someone who has not yet appeared is always hiding, secluded, kneeling in a fetal position, wondering how he got to be here, where he is now, in a region of black clouds that seem to be closing in on him, ever so closer, without fully enveloping him in a warm embrace, like an old friend would.

Michael Brandonisio's one-act play, Millennium Madness, appeared in Otoliths #53. One of his collages appeared in Angry Old Man Magazine #7, and a long cut-up/collage poem is forthcoming in AOMM #8.
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