Drew Pisarra

Fluorescent Lights at 11 Penn Plaza There are seldom-seen creatureswho glow without cease,swimming deep before skimmingthe bottom of the sea,translucent freaks, senselessof light except as somethinggenerated by their own being. Elsewhere self-evolved execs in sharkskinsuits emerge from officles and elevatorsthen stride down sterilized hallwayslike catalogue models on over-lit runways.Everything flickers and glares.Sports coats shimmer.Wingtip shoes shine like black glassmirrors reflecting a worldunfathomably dark and unlaced. I long to reincarnate as an eel.I long to shed my limbsand send out shocks of 600 volts.I’m sick of the surface of things.I am drowning.Above me fluorescent tubes speakpulsating messages in mercury gas.Everything’s green. Or gray.I am not some primordial lizard,half man half fish, scrambling awayfrom bioluminescent squid.I’m the Darwinian byproductof the secretarial pool and I’m hired.I’m high getting higher. Like a Bird on a Wire
God, that eternally avant gardeindie filmmaker, says he’s goingto shoot the story of my life.For my infancy, he’s using aFisher-Price Pixelvision Camerathat turns everything into blackand white dots that dance aboutlike animated newsprint. It’s like “Baby” by Roy Leichtenstein. For my teen years, God opts forthe camera on his phone. He callsthis: “Cinéma vérité for millennials.”He assures me the clips will beclearer and sharper than expected.Side note: I hate to mention thisbut I’ve noticed that God oft timesshoots with a shaky hand. He’s alsooverly fond of the zoom feature. In my 20s, God follows me aroundwith a 16mm relic that sounds,more than anything else, likea machine eating experience.That’s what I tell God who shrugsthen persists. He insists on usinga discontinued stock made by Fuji.I’ve no idea where he gets it from.I guess, God has his connections. Come my mid-30s, God breaks outthe 35mm camera. I’ve graduatedat last. But while I’m relievedto see God taking me seriously,I believe it less so after he setsup his tripod then disappears.I grow forgetful and perform sexacts with men I hardly know, unsureif I’m being recorded. Maybe not? For my 43rd birthday, God gives mea camera obscura, a cardboard boxpunctured by a single hole. If thisa joke, I don’t get it. I’d preferGod captured me in a hologram or,on second thought, made me a cartoon.What a relief it would be to befree of my past, free from gravity,free from life on this earthly plain. Overtime Today was supposed to be Saturday,laundry day, a day for overflow dishwashing,online grocery shopping and corner store errands,plus something like a movie or a play.Today was supposed to be Saturday. But that means yesterday was Friday,yet if yesterday was Fridaythen last night was Friday nightand not a night assessing to seewhether Column A matched Column Bafter factoring in the complications of X,an X that’s a far cry from sex.Was that really Friday night? If so,how come I awoke the next morningthen headed off to work again?That doesn't sound like a weekend. Tomorrow, everyone insists, is Sunday,a day of rest in the purest sense,rest from workaday worries,rest from the household drudgeof Saturday too,a day of rest, some say, for God himself,though no one believes in Godand the few who dono longer believe he’s a he,not anymore. Anyway, God knowsthat no one believes in rest.Not God. Not you. Not me. Well, there’s always the day after,and the days after that too,with their time cards and time sheetsand timetables. I wish there were a wayto take the time and a half I’ve been given,and squeeze it in before Monday,a kind of Me-day or My-day or Un-dayso I could live it or give it a try. Drew Pisarra is a man with obsessions. He blogs on Korean movies at koreangrindhouse.blogspot.com, weekly tweets on Shakespeare sonnets at @mistermysterio, and has written a poem for every movie that Fassbinder ever directed (and a few that he didn't but might have had he lived longer). "Like a Bird on a Wire" is inspired by a weird television special Fassbinder made.