In the attic where we sleep we are wistful. In the attic trapped rats rot in crawl spaces behind walls. In the attic we shred tired wallpaper into jagged angles, all knives and mountains. In the attic we find pennies from the twenties. In the attic we know a lady died—broke a hip and wasn’t found until frozen. In the attic we hear her broken footsteps, thump slump thump slump. In the attic we put records on the turntable to drown out the noise. In the attic we listen to John Cougar Mellencamp, Janice Joplin, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson. In the attic we know some of these singers are also ghosts like the dead lady. In the attic we know the dead lady as Hazel. In the attic we ask Hazel to snack with us—she likes to peel and eat grapes like raw eyeballs. In the attic we beg Hazel to eat fruits and not our pink pinky toes. In the attic we know Hazel is hungry hungry hungry from dragging her broken leg behind her. In the attic we call the black cat named Midnight and he does not come. In the attic we worry that Midnight has met his demise. In the attic we are told that Midnight was hit by a car but then crawled to the cold creek to die. In the attic we are freezing in winter despite the smoking chimney. In the attic we play UNO and wait for our ghosts to appear, and when they do, we keep them there. In the attic we hold souls: rats, pennies, old ladies, folk singers, eyeballs, black cats. In the attic—we are not quite alive.
Brett J Barr is an artist/ tattooist, born in Easton Pennsylvania. He grew up in Daytona Beach, moved to Orlando FL in 1997 and now resides in Orlando, FL. Aside from tattooing at Built 4 Speed Tattoo in Orlando, Brett enjoys many different art forms such as graphite, charcoal, paint, pen and ink, mixed media/ graphic design, woodworking miniatures and studies classical guitar.
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