Maraschino cherries, toothpicks, iPhone, "Nature Boy" sung from memory by my parents & I
In this piece: the viewer places a cherry in their mouth and listens to a recording of my parents and I singing a song from memory.
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Most edible simulacra.
A fruit, into a nectar, into a throat. Dual burn and sweetness. Syrupy, with an impossible red, and long lifeless flesh.
A toss up between sight and taste. So sweet, but so very artificially sweet. The sight of which is pure original red. More than red. A red that implies sex, violence, lust, and pain, but without requiring any. A red that is the idea of red rather than it’s messy, iron tasting cousin.
Topped with a brown-scarlet stem, the last visual vestigial-ity of birth from nature.
Maraschino cherries are born in the sun. They ripen and are plucked by hands for mouths. They are steeped in sulfur dioxide, and bleached in calcium chloride. This process either preserves their initial natural chastity and removes any and all sins, or makes them into sin only. Lastly they are colored and sweetened with artificials that don’t carry the audacity of originality.
As I bite into them I feel their dead flesh part between my white molars. Their sweet juices press and drain between my teeth. This nectar coats my tongue, and trickles down my throat. A hyper sweetness of of sun, bitter, pulp and ripe. What is left of the shadow of natural sweet. The last lingering comfort of sweet. Sweet as an impotent imitation of such, but noble in its familiar pathos.
I like to eat maraschino cherries, but not more than the tart cherries I picked from trees as a child. I pine for the maraschino as a conduit to a type of nature. A nature soaked in preservative sweetness, or a spreadable memory, familiar, but without origin.