By Mark David Blum, Esq.
In honor of the first significant snowfall of the winter of 2008/2009, our Editors regurgitated from its 2005 archives, the gripping tale of a lawyer’s slow slippery slide into an icicle induced insanity.
A Prison of Icicles
Mon Jan 24, 2005
Of Icicles and Freedom
On this cold
Cold winter’s day
Look at them!
Coming down slowly
Drop by slow slow drop
Slithering down the spine
Of the growing spear of ice
So very delicate.
But you can put your eye out with one
Ask your Mom.
Standing here in the cold, outside on my balcony, I was awestruck with a scene unfolding before me. Down from the overhanging roof, came a jagged row of ever-growing icicles.
For those of you who don’t know, icicles are the natural result of snowfall on a warm roof. Slowly the snow melts from the bottom up, and small trickles of water run down the slope of the roof and drip off. But, with the cold air slowing water’s escape, it freezes and creates an every elongating frozen stream of what should be the water’s path off the roof.
It starts with a drop
After drop after drop
Widening at the base
Needle thin at the stop.
Just one drop
On top of a drop
That will stop
Before the plop
I stood there in the very cold temperatures sucking a butt and became aware of not only the operation of science, but of the metaphor of Liberty and Freedom. From the patio outside my living room, you are immediately aware of the railing bars coming up from the porch preventing a fall to the ground.
Moving at the speed of a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter, straight tentacles of the icicles start their creep downward from overhead. In a few more inches, the twain shall meet, and I shall be encased. I shall be imprisoned in the most delicate of cages; one easily shattered. Yet, if shattered, its beauty is forever lost. Entombed forever in the dilemma of beauty versus freedom.
The only solution would be to wait til Spring
The call of freedom and liberty’s ring
The Spring that comes way before Fall
Before Bush One and dropping Democracy’s ball.
Yes, I could wait until the melt to resolve the problem. But is that feasible? Should I shatter the teeth now while I can? Doing such damage to something so tender and beautiful would forever cost me the joy of seeing the amazement of an icicle cage.
Is not our Freedom and Liberty subject to the same rules? Are we not protected by a simple set of rules that keeps our nation above water and keeps us from falling onto the ground? While we are careful of the railing, down from above us, slowly comes, one step at a time, innocuous and at times invisible, frozen fingers of such delicate construct, that we protect and stare fascinated in their growth. We smile and purr as they grow and extend. One day, we realize ourselves in a cage.
But are we really in a cage? Clearly, we know the way out of our prison. Break it. That singular act of violence would forever destroy what we worked so hard and patiently to grow and nurture. Sooner or later, we all have to choose. Will we break the ice? Will we wait for Spring?
I suggest, as you stare in wonder and in awe … that you flick off and break down every icicle that reaches down for you. Tis a far better thing to shatter this thing of deceptive beauty than it is to find yourself suddenly trapped between the frozen horns of a dilemma.
One drop at a time
Time after time
One small transgression
So what; its an obsession
We give up so little
Not worth our own spittle
For every little right
That we let slip out of sight
In a cold moonlight
Knock down that sharp spike
Long before it grows old
Break off that creeping evil
Before you are sealed in the cold
That Icicle so coy
For my throat it is reaching
So, in an act of total vengence and rage and so as to break symbolically free from that which binds me, I whipped out my brat’s new bat, and bashed every icicle to the ground.
Yessiree, I feel better now.
Don’t you; now that you have wasted your time on this?
Tue Jan 25, 2005
Reaching out for me.
At the speed of sludge
The teething edge of my drooping roof
sending its jagged broken dentalwork downward
as if a monster
is about to swallow me
down its frozen gullet
can you tell I am bored?
Lest I continue to terrorize you
and expose the demons
that creep and crawl
around in my head
while standing outside in the cold, smoking a butt
Fri Jan 28, 2005
The War started today.
It was not I that fired the first shot. Nope. The heavy bombing started at about 5:00 am. By 10:30 a.m., I was bandaging wounds and wondering if I would ever play the piano again.
Those damn icicles.
I had been growing them nicely these past two weeks. Nurturing them standing guard over them, protecting them from those who would shatter them and knock them to the ground forty feet below.
The ice cage was nearly complete.
Five o'clock this morning, I hear a massive BOOM and the whole structure shook violently. I look outside and see that the largest of my icicles, the one I named 'The Pitchfork' because of its multi pronged end, has broken off and crashed hard on the metal air conditioning unit below. An hour later, a second major iced fang let go and battered the quiet of the morning.
It was over. My art ruined. All that hard work and patience -- gone.
So, it was time to start the feeding frenzy. Before I invited the wife and child to finish the job, I wanted the first shot.
I found the spike I wanted to take out, and then with a hard open-handed palm first slam, the last remaining monster icicle went flying off and crashed deep into the snow below. The remainder I saved for the family to engage in an orgy of violence against the icicles.
A few minutes later, I saw the blood.
All over the palm of my hand.
The fucking icicle bit me.
Ripped off a skittles size piece of flesh on the fleshy part of my palm.
I may be bloodied, but they are dead.
That nasty evil pointed spike of vicious ice may have won the battle. But twas I that won the war.
Mon Jan 31, 2005
I should tell you folks that the icicles did not appreciate being whacked. They are coming back with a vengence. This time, it appears personal!
Instead of the one row hanging from the lip of the roof, this time there are 3 rows of jagged icey teeth.
The ice monster wants its prey.
Once it tasted human blood, there is obviously no satiating the beast.
Sun Feb 06, 2005
A death is visited upon us.
those damn icicles.
it wasn't enough for them to slowly entrap me in their guilded sparkling cage.
it wasn't enough for them to slowly gnash their spiked sharp teeth
they weren't even satisfied when they drew first blood.
as our morning combat skirmishes continued today, one after another, i dispatched them to their long slow death as they fell into the frozen tundra below ...
then i saw the row of heavy weapons the new recruits had been hiding and for what they had been sacrificing their existence ...
a row of thick round killercicles; the remnants of the predecessors of generations of shattered teeth, were themselves doing a slow creep over the ridge of the roof.
not wanting to bleed again and being wise to their tricks, I brought out my own heavy weapon.
my favorite broom ... very soft bristles ... that I use to clean snow off my truck (and the neighbor's cars when i am in a good mood) ...
well, I prepared my weapon ... unscrewing the handle from the head .. so as to save the head from possible damage.
one longing look in admiration at the hollow aluminum tube in my hand
WHACK WHACK POKE WHACK POKE JAB JAB
one by one, each of the enemy caused a dent, a bend, and a twist in my weapon. by the time it was over, the mangled mess in my hand that was once a trusted and loved broom handle ... was nothing but a bowtie for the corpse that I am soon to be.
and note ... the killercicles suffered no damage.
they are still coming for me
I will not die
except from boredom ... which is why this story will just not end
Sat Feb. 12, 2005
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR THINK YOU MIGHT BE, OR IF YOU HAVE EPILEPSY, CHRONIC HEART PROBLEMS, OR SUFFER FROM THE VAPORS, THINK TWICE BEFORE READING ON.
I am not kidding
It was about 4:30 this morning, and I was standing out on my porch clasping my first cup of coffee against my chest sucking down my first butt of the day. Watching the snowfall gently, another cold Upstate morning was doing its thing.
Even the new rows of icicles were sparkling in the reflecting light. Their teeth gleamed with an icy twinkle that bespoke the evil in their hearts. In time, I knew our fates would draw us into conflict and blood might be shed. This morning, however, the calm before the battle melded us into a kinship of the morning.
Everything was beautiful. A slight breeze rustled and crackled the trees below. Only the scraping of some distant snowplow shattered the early morning quiet.
But then came the moment. Every smoker lives this moment every morning. Mine had arrived.
The cough that clears out the previous day’s collection of soot and grime and tar and a thousand other chemicals from the depths of your lungs. Up it came in a ball of well-formed solid refuse.
Careful aim was taken and the object was expectorated at full force over the balcony. Aimed for the woods and snow below, I fool-heartedly assumed my targeting had been accurate.
I was so wrong.
Instead, the flying phlegm hit one of the hanging icicles. And there it stayed. Though the solid mass kept moving and landed in regions unknown, the liquid portion remained attached; caught like a dragonfly on a frog’s sticky tongue. I stared in awe as this three-inch long drooping line of what once was my body hung there; twitching in the breeze. On so many levels, what I was witnessing was disgusting beyond words. Yet, at another deeper more ethereal level, I was watching nature’s art in the making.
Slowly, the spittle and icicle bonded. Within 15 minutes; the assimilation was complete. The spittle froze in place. A new Borg-cicle was now part of the army slowly creeping up on me. I was now my own worst enemy. Again.
It had to go.
Being as grossed out as I was, the only option was to launch a pre-emptive strike and slaughter them all while they were young.
I feel better now.