Unit #86, from the Clavilux Junior (First Home Clavilux Model) series, by Thomas Wilfred (United States) 1930
Kick off your shoes. Mix an old-fashioned, light on the ice. Burrow into the divan’s crushed velvet. Unwind from the workday. Play your box full of souls like an instrument of light, the colour of sunsets, of sea turning brackish, of watercolour droplets. Waltz away your assumptions of visible rays from the comfort of home. Press a button: Earth tones, pastels, technicolour. Close the cabinet doors. Exorcise the window back to its Art Deco container, lacquered wood and metal hinges, blocky pinnacles and symmetry cutting like obsidian. Fall asleep knowing the divine resides in the other room.
Unit #50, Elliptical Prelude and Chalice, from the First Table Model Clavilux (Luminar) series, by Thomas Wilfred (United States) 1928
Unit #50, Elliptical Prelude and Chalice
Look up! Any ceiling can blossom with sunflowers and irises. Pour the honey out, rebuild the beehive from its molten core. Penny floating high, penny drifting down. Melt floorward and sink shoulders into carpet. A stone coaster protects my gin and tonic protects my maple table projecting hallucinations. Let the lamp hum, let its motor breeze bangs from the brow. Do spectres dance like lumia, rearranging and twirling in the memory loop of the living? End thought. Grab another sip. Don’t deeply ponder. Simply look up and swim.
Lumia Suite, Op. 158, by Thomas Wilfred (United States) 1963-1964
Lumia Suite, Op. 158
Glue my boots to the tile, peel my eyelids back, sustain me through carrier pigeons and raindrops. Tell the docents to tour around me, the security guards to wink as they pass. I won’t blink. I will count the jellyfish glowing up from base to apex. Number the periwinkle angel wings hugging the screen’s horizon. Inhale every shade of burnt orange, exhale every colour of lapis lazuli. When nine years, 127 days, and eighteen hours pass, I will greet the phoenix haint behind the screen with new cells, time replacing all things.
Lauren Kardos (she/her) writes from Washington, DC, but she’s still breaking up with her hometown in Western Pennsylvania. You can find her on Twitter @lkardos.
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