Cleaning Up Al's Apartment and other works by Vincent A. Cellucci
Vincent A. Cellucci has worked for New Delta Review and Exquisite Corpse. He is coordinator of a Communication Across the Curriculum Studio for the College of Art + Design at Louisiana State University. He received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University, New Orleans, and considers the area home. Cellucci's most recent publications are alliterative: the Pedestal (June) and Presa (8).
Cleaning Up Al's Apartment
the hurricane: mental illness
perpends the soul's spinnaker
we walking graveyards. inside, we all hold the dead. clean them alive.
"going to be bad"
"worse than you think"
sitting on cracks in the concrete watching the jersey ants stipple
my legs before squishing them. my uncle and father eating plastic wrapped
wa wa fruit & hard boiled eggs. I fast.
recliners with urine and shit stains which we sat on
towels used once, dampened, too dirty to use again
thus piled with the trash on the floor or in the tub
in which he couldn't possibly shower
a bed never slept in
a tv it took 2 months to plug in
scribbles, notes, attempt-to-do-lists still satiate independence
condoms in the dresser, just incase, next to clothes, new
debris: sprayed bars of scrubbed soap
black path across the pattern walked floor
after peeling two month's paper towels, opened soup cans, plastic cups, and liters of root beer off the floor with an impromptu shovel, a small one handled pot-the smell
replaced what I thought would be the strongest smell in my memory.
I had a mask when I picked Hiram's possessions out of moldy Marengo.
we haul 2 dozen bags of filth to the dumpster
like nawlins: too much trash to filter-it all goes
the coroners (the national guard) even picked up some
just enough for us to return and clean ourselves
the bathroom we refuse to go into until last; dad scrubs sink, toilet, tile-
purification regrets: I moved.
pass on some matter to Camden-passed Whitman's grave to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn and look at where I cast them
maybe because dad scrubs and cleaned what I left
maybe because there's just one filthy floor
instead of a city
maybe because soap's the mold, sickness the sludge
smiles sting our why faces why our jokes alive
treading in each others' sweat in summer's cities amongst swards of
in a day
our all mess
prepared me for this
taking, the process of reclamation. humans in waste lasting.
assembling the semblances of survival.
cassock of caskets
no casus belli
smiles the fire
one at a time