Michael Brandonisio

Some Adolescents

                Some adolescents are attracted to bizarre entertainments     devour junk food like there’s no tomorrow     worship the sun instead of the moon     draw pictures of strange stuff visualized in their heads     do not have a future that they can count on     venture across borders dreamt about since childhood     do not return home at night and their parents suspect the worst     divulge secrets as they sleep to bystanders on lovelorn streets     have yet to discover that truth is not    always as good as wisdom

                Some adolescents enter states of transcendental meditation without knowing it and become trailblazers before their time and live to regret it and develop insomnia which induces them to skip breakfast and are bullied into committing suicide while some other adolescents hanker for the next big thing and meet-up in hideaways much like adults do in dens of iniquities

                Some adolescents have an air of mystery about them while suffering from anxiety attacks that no one knows about

                Some adolescents dredge up barnacles from coastlines all across the world

                Some adolescents will not encounter the word vicissitudes until they reach the age of 60, or 61, 62, 63…

                Some adolescents strive to do their best if given half the chance

                Some adolescents are overheard asking other adolescents, “Do you get physical?”

                Some adolescents are natural born anarchists defacing automobiles and slashing tires
in the great Vandal tradition

                Some adolescents sell their plasma to elite elders seeking rejuvenation

                Some adolescents are all jazzed for some transhuman fun with posthuman hybrids

                Some adolescents celebrated as wunderkinds work hard at formulating an anti-death miracle pill before they reach the age of 20

One Sees

A ghostly blue churchyard. It flashes up from the underworld.

One sees the words of a favorite poem on the lush lawn of a sanitarium. Seeing is believing. And believing is sometimes as blind as a bat spreading another global coronavirus.

Instead of seeing white crosses one sees all the barren trees stark and skeletal reading one’s memory like never before.

And one sees a hand drawn puppet shoot a constellation without a sound. Gone in a blink.

And one sees a flock of gray and white pigeons with their wings extended, gathered in a circle amidst exploding fireworks. One sees the pigeons’ wings catch fire, burning the eyes of Helios for an instant.

One sees everything conceivable, misconstruing it all once a transparent veil polarizes vision.

Bark Piece / Natural Forms / Mediated: 1 - 3

The Intruders

In the middle of the day, Matt lounges in black boxer briefs and bare feet on a couch, leafing through The Americans, a book of photographs by Robert Frank. When he happens to look up from the book, his eyes locate three extra-large greenish-yellow insects crawling along a lavender colored wall in his studio apartment. Rain begins pouring down from the ceiling and abruptly six women in colorful native folk costumes (possibly from Bulgaria or Serbia - countries of Matt’s lineage) enter Matt’s studio through the front door. He must have left the door unlocked. Matt jumps up from the couch. This unsolicited rainfall and human intrusion into his private space has induced anxiety.

Getting drenched from the rain pouring down from the ceiling, Matt gets a further jolt when he sees six little girls trickle into his studio in similar colorful folk costumes as the preceding women. Are they daughters of the six women in folk costumes? Who knows? Matt certainly doesn’t. Once they have entered, the six little girls begin shrieking full throttle as each one takes a turn at climbing an eight-foot high bookshelf. Every time Matt takes one of the little darlings off the bookshelf and places her feet back on the floor, another one has a go at it. The rain from the ceiling pours down harder and the women in folk costumes stand by, watching with vague smiles on their faces. They then form a circle, join hands, and go around and around in a circle, singing repeatedly in Eastern European accents:

Ring o’round the rosie, Rosies,
Fie-fi-fo, giddy up, giddy up, Rosies

The three extra-large greenish-yellow insects, the rain pouring down from the ceiling, the women in folk costumes singing and the little girls shrieking have given Matt a severe headache. This weirdness may never end. He needs to make it stop - immediately.

But before that can happen, a big strapping man with a crewcut and dressed in a non-American military uniform (an Arnold Schwarzenegger-type) storms into Matt’s studio through the open front door, shouting at Matt in a foreign tongue - it sounds like Russian or some other Slavic language. Matt shouts back at him, “What the hell are you talking about?” The big strapping Arnold Schwarzenegger-type in a military uniform replies in rough, heavily-accented English, “Me KGB. Schӓtze, you come now with me.” The KGB Man moves forward towards Matt, who gingerly backs away, yelling at the KGB Man, “I’m a U.S. citizen. Get the hell out of my apartment.” The KGB Man laughs cold-bloodedly. He lunges and grabs Matt by the shoulders and Matt, in turn, acting on a combo of muscle and visual memories that date from a similar clash with a Greek bouncer on the island of Mykonos, wraps both arms around Mr. KGB Man and holds on for dear life. They tussle and twirl each other across the studio in what looks like a very peculiar way of dancing a waltz. The six women and six little girls have stopped singing and shrieking and with mouths agape watch Matt and the KGB Man battle it out.

As Matt and the KGB Man stagger around in their combative belly-to-belly entanglement, they get close to the couch Matt had been lounging on. Using his smarts, Matt sticks his right foot behind the KGB Man’s feet and presses hard against him. The bottom half of KGB Man’s legs bump up against the bottom of the couch, making him lose his balance and release his hold on Matt, who, using every ounce of his dwindling strength, shoves the KGB Man and he goes toppling backwards over the couch, landing behind it and staying there. Matt, unclear of what to do next, remains stationary. Fortunately for him, his sixth sense sends him a message.

Matt looks at the three extra-large greenish-yellow insects crawling along the lavender wall of his studio. He walks up to the wall, makes a fist and punches each insect dead. Squish! Squish! Squish! Matt stares at the three insects’s squished remains. As he does so, three wonders in succession occur. The squished insects vanish. The rain pouring down from the ceiling ceases. The KGB Man rises from behind the couch and, like a robot, walks rigidly to a window. He opens it and, without further ado, jumps out of Matt’s sixth floor studio apartment.

To cap it off, a fourth wonder occurs. The six women and the six little girls in folk costumes with happy-go-lucky smiles on their faces all file out of Matt’s studio. Matt rushes to the front door, closes and locks it. He looks around the studio and there is no hint whatsoever of rain or water residue anywhere. He becomes aware that his body, hair, and boxer briefs that a second ago had all been soaked from the rain pouring down from the ceiling are now fully dry. Befuddled, he thinks: Was it all just a mirage, an omen foretelling disaster? Matt lightly slaps his face - once on the right side and once on the left, uttering, “Wake up, Matt, wake up.” He stretches his arms out horizontally, takes a very deep breath, slowly exhales and says, “I’m fine. I’m fine.” And, yes, he does seem to have regained his equanimity.

Matt walks over to the stove in his studio apartment and prepares a pot of coffee. However, another unforeseen intruder has just arrived.

A blue iguana has just tunneled its way up through Matt’s studio floor. It has the kindest face. It curls around one of Matt’s legs and slithers upward, crossing over his crotch and then onto his chest and stops at Matt’s neck and lingers there. The blue iguana, with its lizard’s eyes fixated on Matt, appears smitten. It juts its long, thick reddish tongue at him. Thinking the blue iguana wants to tongue kiss, Matt edges his face closer, unsure whether this attractive blue iguana is male or female. Matt has never differentiated about gender, so why should he start now? Like that well-known song goes, a kiss is just a kiss. Matt has previously kissed human body parts, dogs, parrots, cockatiels, cats, mirrors, statues, photographs, flowers, rocks and trees. During those kissing sessions, he had always hoped something magical would happen. It never did. This time Matt has a crazy feeling about this attractive blue iguana. Throwing caution to the wind, Matt puts his feeling into action.

Michael Brandonisio is a creative writer, visual artist and photographer. His artwork and photography has been exhibited in group shows along with the likes of Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Ross Bleckner and Pablo Picasso. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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