Angelo Maneage

Angelo Maneage is a poet and book designer in Cleveland. He has work on or in or coming to, Wax Nine, HAD, The Hunger, others. His plays have been produced by convergence-continuum. Visit him at


Now we are walking down the riverbank and we still hear a dryer. I am confused by this. My mom says you should never get wet clothes but there is a garage sale by the riverbank where they are cheap. My mom says do not buy the clothes because they will be wet. I hadn’t even bought anything yet before she told me that they will be better if they are already dry. There were barely any things to buy. My mom kept saying go on buy them then she ran the dryer and looked at me. 


Standing idle near my mom she said can you do this three times. It was funny because she needs an assistant and I had told her this and it was funny now because now I was her assistant after I had told her.


There was a dryer by the riverbank. I heard it talking to my mother. I looked over my right shoulder and saw her looking at me when I was buying clothes. I heard the dryer. She put her hand on her forehead and began to laugh. I looked over my left shoulder and saw a wall.


It was hard to get the dryer home without it electrocuting us on account of it was raining acid too. And that hurt you could tell from our cries. My clothes were dry though. I kept looking over my shoulder seeing my mom in front of me. I was walking backwards because I thought it would be safer but I kept hearing the dryer and got afraid so I turned around while we walked forward. 


Through the riverbank there is a swamp right after it. It was a riverbank but they had no money or river. I was helping I thought when I bought anything. But it was wet and full of poison. Whenever I asked my mom what it was she would say something that was not a joke but sounded like a joke and we did not laugh.


I was afraid that after the amount of times we’d been electrocuted and burnt by the rain on our way home that we would not have bandages then be afraid to plug the dryer in to use. We didn’t really need a dryer but we were sick of our clothes crystalizing. Besides none of us were able to touch our head to our heel anyway.


My father I have dreams about. My mother tells me not to but you can. I had a dream about watching a father. I had dry clothes and my mother had bandages like me. We were rolling around asking for fathers and we were helped by one who had a pager on his hip. It started to rain but we’d already washed our clothes. 


My mom with the dryer over her shoulder starts to yell at me for being tired. We all sit down a few trees from our house to rest. It is not too warm. It is raining but it doesn’t burn anymore. The dryer has a person in it that we did not see before.


I check all the coat pockets like the man of the house though I do not deal with bills or finances. I will put all of the found money into a black jar next to the stove. We will turn the stove on and forget about the jar. An open can of beans is there which is funny because it is next to money and it smells. We will forget the stove is on or off and check it several times.


We have to make a fire to stay warm because it is colder than my mom thought when she made me get us two more jackets with harmonicas in the pockets. My mom me and the dryer all sat by the fire with harmonicas. 


There are only a few more trees left to burn down but we are in the northeast so it is more difficult to stay on fire. We want dry clothes. My mom looked at me over my shoulder and shook her head when I held up a rain jacket. It was wet. I did not know what was okay because I once saw an umbrella with holes in it and showed her and she laughed but now she was not laughing. 


I heard a dryer when I listened for one. I wondered how far into the river we had to have gone. I wondered how many dryers were at the bank. My mom was looking at me when I told her I will just drink a little bit of the creek water when she told me that it was swamp water then said do what you want. I drank just a little bit of the creek water from the bank and had diarrhea. She told me that she did not feel good either and laughed and that we were getting pneumonias and we were. I’d gotten excited because the pneumonias were always so beautiful by this river though I was never interested in flowers.


There is a dryer we are using to burn things now because it gets too hot. I keep hearing my mom laugh at it and then it slams.


My mom told me to hang up the clothes. I bought the rug she bought once. We did not need the rug but I knew she liked it and she was so happy. We hung it during a holiday. It covered the whole part of the outside it was near. We would beat it and dust would come out of it. One day after we had it for a while I threw it on the ground. It was way bigger than I thought. 


I am dreaming of my grandfather in the basement. I am thinking of a river.


There is a dryer in the background. I can hear it. Something like a claw and metal. I am in an onyx river. I do not know what onyx is. I am thinking of a river. I am thinking of my mother.


I look over my right shoulder. My mom is holding a lead dryer over her shoulder and she is laughing with it. It is spitting fire. I am picking up all the fire that is on the ground while the dryer is making noise. I have burns on my index finger and thumb because I am not really doing anything with the fire. She is seeing me and trying to help move the fire and now we both have burns on our index fingers and thumbs.


We are a few trees from our house when I can see the patterns. It is cold though it is warm right here. We are all together. This garden patch is where we slept.

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WAKE, ZIPLINE by Angelo Maneage

The waters are synchronized. There is a decanter of coffee fuming. Grandma is sad.

Eating pizza, strangely. Songs are playing, strangely, and I catch one directly above the table we are at in this separate room (but all the doors were open, so it was more like a section of a bigger room, like a house is a room with sections of itself). My grandma, aunt, grandpa, my Uncle Bobby are all sitting here, with a few other people and pastries that are covered that I’m told to eat but confused to because they are not eaten.

Pizza boxes were stacked sort of like one row was pepperoni and one wasn’t. They were both cheese. There are eight ounce waters next to them, in a square, being taken in a diagonal. This feels like it means something. Uncle Bobby asks if he could have a pop, but we told him no.

She tells me this exactly that way: “Grandma is sad.” She shows me houses on her phone, ones that she looked at because my grandpa wants to move, Aunt Chrissy shows me a house too. 20 pizza boxes are behind us; Uncle Bobby looks as if he might take the empty ones. The pastor’s wife, I forget her name (I’m not sure if that is rude or not because she remembers mine), talks with my grandma while I’m looking at her phone.

This house is a ranch, it’s red and long. There is a lake by it; grandma loves the lake, she always gets a pass to the one at the city every year. I went with her once and there was a dead bird in the water.

The house is sold.

A voice plays over all of our thoughts. The pastor’s wife is behind me so I give grandma her phone back; I don’t want the wife to touch my head, but she might.

Her voice is sloshy. Sincere about markets, or catering, death, something about money in a donation. Something in or on her eyes that I’m not sure I like; exhaustion in her voice and she always has a limp, but her lids seem to character act. I really might be angry because my mom’s fiancé is tall so his legs have nowhere to go but down while he’s driving; I spilled coffee on my pants I’d just picked up from the tailor.

There is a setting up of a camera. Two voices but mostly one. It’s a bit sloshy. That one starts to talk. It’s definitely Gary. I want to see this. I want to hear it. Everybody is talking; nobody is even eating pizza. Aunt Chrissy tells me this is Gary, but I already knew that. I listen, staring; I get up and push the way to the section where its watched.

A large room; the Gospel House. You can see the pipes or vents, whatever they are, from the ceiling from the floor. Carpeted. Very beige. This is a church that is for ex-mafia men in the local area, and their wives and families; it is very warming.

Pictures of Gary are in stations every 14 steps, I counted. In a collage, not making a larger Gary, but something of that. Like if he were a square, which he wasn’t; he’d smoked in a funeral several times before, jumped in the pool, drank in the car immediately after without putting a towel down.

He always looked old, I’d noticed. Youthful wrinkles, strangely. In a way he never looked healthy, but there was something confusing that with his beam. He would pick you up and put you on his shoulders if you were a certain height and weight, and carry you around, and you would be in the pool, somehow, he would be on your shoulders then, fighting a stranger you’d never seen, laughing, the stranger too, with another stranger you’d might have seen before holding the other up. Splashing in every picture, there’s something hinting at a Hawaiian shirt.

It isn’t really a traditional church or clergy, so I thought maybe that they would have left his body out of our site. And it didn’t feel too good to see him immediately; it felt like I was invading or like I wasn’t prepared, as prepared as he was. I’d never been that close to death, I don’t think. Or influence.

His daughters, crying, congratulated me for graduating college; I’d met them before in younger cases. Congratulations, you.

Wearing my cap, I hugged them, individually. I met a cousin I’d met before, also waiting in line. She’s older, crying. She uses Facebook to look at me, she mentions; she congratulates me.

My mom’s fiancé says he heard about 30 properties the family is keeping and how expensive that is, money, money, people, pool boy, and admiring that reality.  

Gary is surrounded by flowers.

The video projected above a piano on four screens. A still silence, near movement, near the end. One man clapped once, but after that first contact understood that nobody will and began to warm his hands up.

Picture dark, grainy curtains. This is heaven, he says.

I realized my pants were unzipped in the hallway with all the people I’d just met with; at the last funeral I was at, my pants ripped as my grandpa and I lowered his mother’s urn into the ground. I zip them up.

My mom wants to go home. She had been crying for a few years, today especially; I had been weird all day too. She talked about how she’d gotten him an autographed football and how it was displayed on the shrine, I saw, and how good it made her feel. This made me feel good; this made me feel like we’d all missed a point.

I hadn’t been told that they were going to do this, but everybody brought bags of sand and began to fill the room with them. Each section, water is shot in from Pat and firemen outside with hoses. The whole fire department is here. Everybody is here. Even people my aunt works with, and her customers. Dons, city workers; everybody is cheering, dancing in the middle while the filler is poured. An inflated ball is in the crowd. Another. A volley ball net.

We are at the beach. Gary is dead.

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