Journal

black goldfish wings May 12, 2018

by Daemond Arrindell

JACK & by Kaneza Schaal and Cornell Alston

A response to Kaneza Schaal & Cornell Alston: JACK & (May 10-13 at On the Boards) (Photo: Christopher Myers)

 

enter the fishbowl
you are brown, bald, you are beautiful
objects may be more threatening than they appear
swim at your own pace

what is a dream
are they light and fluffy 
what are the necessary ingredients
must they be white, like flour, like chalk
will they blow away with a stiff breeze

do goldfish dream
if so do they stick around     can they be saved for rainy days or
do they get swept away in the current

fish food floats up on the surface, by the time it trickles down only flecks are left
remnants of what they used to be
if your dreams have been stolen can you get them back?
objects may be more threatening than they appear
swim at your own pace

tell the story
nail the punchline                                     light, white, fluffy
                                                                 objects may be more threatening 
                                                                 than they appear
wait for folks to catch up
notice the ones that never do
then forget them

swim at your own pace
in a slow strut like Barack down the red carpet
don’t pet me I’m working
do that dance do that dance

notice them banging on the glass              light, white, fluffy
                                                                 objects may be more threatening 
                                                                 than they appear
“Why is he just sitting there?” 
“Make him do something”

can you smell the radar
look at the screen
i mean the bowl
i mean the water
do you know time travel
can you go back to before 
when dreams were just dreams
and not blackboards that keep getting wiped clean
 
you bored yet?                                           light, white, fluffy
                                                                 objects may be more threatening 
                                                                 than they appear
“Why is he just sitting there?” 
“make him do something”

notice the goldfish gasping on the sidewalk
notice the cracks

wait for the little 6 inch man 
telling you to go or not to go
fight with the drawer full of knives
                                                                 blame it on public housing
                                                                 it wasn’t the right recipe
recipes matter to parole officers 
with something to prove
                                                                 objects may be more white and threatening 
                                                                 than they appear

you look whiter than a board of directors
whiter than the department of corrections
you so white _________

your cake recipe tastes like the vulnerable lightness of spring
cake is tradition
cake is commitment
cake is coming home
cake is a goldfish with wings
see it gasping on the floor                          it wasn’t the right recipe

when do goldfish get to rest
then sleep
then dream

 

Daemond Arrindell is a poet, playwright,  performer, and teaching artist who is moved most by art that challenges the status quo.

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On the Boards Ambassadors are cultural and civic leaders who bring new voices and perspectives and share our programs with new communities. 

The Ambassador Writers Corps is a team of experienced writers and artists who develop responsive and critical content around On the Boards performances or write about specific issues in our creative and civic community.

 

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