When my body had forgotten its purpose, when it just hung off my brainstem like a whipped mule. When my hands only wrote. When my teeth only ate. When my ass sat, my eyes read, when my reflexes were answers to questions we all already knew. Remember how it was then that you slid your hand into me, a fork in the electric toaster of my body. Jesus, where did all these sparks come from? Where was all this heat? Remember what this mouth did last night? And still, this morning I answer the phone like normal, still I drink an hour’s worth of strong coffee. And now I file. And now I send an email. And remember how my lungs filled with all that everything? Remember how my heart was an animal you released from its cage? Remember how we unhinged? Remember all the names our bodies called each other? Remember how afterwards, the steam rose from us like a pair of ghosts?
“we may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality….the future is queerness’ domain. queerness is a structuring and educated mode of desiring that allows us to see the future beyond the quagmire of the present….we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds….queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.”—josé esteban muñoz, ultimate dreamer, 1967-2013, in cruising utopia (via karaj)
“There is a voice in my head that I’d like to banish: an iteration of patriarchy that has told me to aim for emotional consistency & a controlled persona. Once my mother told me that I would never be loved as long as I couldn’t figure out how to have one single, knowable identity… Who I was shifted from moment to moment. My credibility was questioned because I acted differently with different people. But people are different, I always think. Shouldn’t you consider that? I don’t see what’s wrong with shattering into fifty pieces at once every time you try to commit to an idea. Much important thinking, writing, & activism seeks to unify those parts, but first you have to get to know the splits & fault lines. We know this! Yet ambivalence, fragmentation & contradiction are still often seen to undermine one’s authority in art, especially if the artist is a woman. How can you look so sweet & talk so ugly?”—Monica McClure, here. (via alinapleskova)
"Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven devils had been cast out" —Luke 8:2.
The first was that I was very busy. The second — I was different from you: whatever happened to you could not happen to me, not like that.
The third — I worried. The fourth — envy, disguised as compassion. The fifth was that I refused to consider the quality of life of the aphid, The aphid disgusted me. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The mosquito too — its face. And the ant — its bifurcated body.
Ok the first was that I was so busy. The second that I might make the wrong choice, because I had decided to take that plane that day, that flight, before noon, so as to arrive early and, I shouldn’t have wanted that. The third was that if I walked past the certain place on the street the house would blow up. The fourth was that I was made of guts and blood with a thin layer of skin lightly thrown over the whole thing.
The fifth was that the dead seemed more alive to me than the living
The sixth — if I touched my right arm I had to touch my left arm, and if I touched the left arm a little harder than I’d first touched the right then I had to retouch the left and then touch the right again so it would be even.
The seventh — I knew I was breathing the expelled breath of everything that was alive and I couldn’t stand it,
I wanted a sieve, a mask, a, I hate this word — cheesecloth — to breath through that would trap it — whatever was inside everyone else that entered me when I breathed in
No. That was the first one.
The second was that I was so busy. I had no time. How had this happened? How had our lives gotten like this?
The third was that I couldn’t eat food if I really saw it — distinct, separate from me in a bowl or on a plate.
Ok. The first was that I could never get to the end of the list.
The second was that the laundry was never finally done.
The third was that no one knew me, although they thought they did. And that if people thought of me as little as I thought of them then what was love?
The fourth was I didn’t belong to anyone. I wouldn’t allow myself to belong to anyone.
The fifth was that I knew none of us could ever know what we didn’t know.
The sixth was that I projected onto others what I myself was feeling.
The seventh was the way my mother looked when she was dying—her mouth wrenched into an O so as to take in as much air… The sound she made — the gurgling sound — so loud we had to speak louder to hear each other over it.
And that I couldn’t stop hearing it—years later— grocery shopping, crossing the street —
No, not the sound — it was her body’s hunger finally evident. —what our mother had hidden all her life.
For months I dreamt of knucklebones and roots, the slabs of sidewalk pushed up like crooked teeth by what grew underneath.
The underneath —that was the first devil. It was always with me. And that I didn’t think you — if I told you — would understand any of this —
I want you to see through my intentions I want you to know the price of desire the scale of things, I want you to understand why they overestimate the kindness
I want to hear you say: "everything just serves to win everything is tactic; we all play”
I want them to keep our secret how we chase each other silently like hunters I want us to be willing to put our souls at stake like we insert a coin in a slot machine
I want to go back in time to when I still learned from my dreams I want to have the marks I left on your skin back I want to able to feel you with my eyes in the dark trace with my nails were you have been
I want your hands to wrap me in cool sheets I want to see if your side differs from mine I want you to be stronger towards the end I want to give you the idea that you are winning
I want you to feel a foundling without me an eccentric in the void, I want to see you tremble in the cold, I want you sweating, rubbed warm I want you rabid, praying for repentance
I want you to be able to read my mind I want you to be able to touch my heart or the fatal spot, I do not care who causes the wounds, I do not care
how many there are, I just want to take an interest in what dominates me. I want to be in a beautiful place when I die. I want to be able to drown in the Red Sea injure myself on a poisonous coral, wash up
on a snow white beach, with your taste still on my lips. I don’t want to destroy you I wouldn’t know how. If only I could say: I will forget you, if only I could say:
I’ll leave you alone but I can not lie I always think of you, truly I will forever think of you
Could I even tell how it was, his hip on mine against the wall, my hands shaking, had I ever touched him that way in some other life, was his skin always so hot to the touch, the shirt I shoved my hands under;
Could I even touch him how he was, shaking, my hand against the hot wall of his hip, had I been his shirt in some other life, was I always so hot to the touch like something he would shove against;
Could I tell him to make it even, my hip shoved against the wall of his hands, shaking, had I always been so hot in another life to tell how it was, to be the skin under his touch;
Could I even tell his hip from my hand, shaking, had he ever touched me in some other life, was his shirt always a wall against my hand, could he shove my under
”Slaves were branded according to the mark of the purchaser at the Tree of Forgetting. The name of the place, however, stems from the ritual of turning slaves around the tree to reinforce forgetfulness of their homes. Men were walked around the tree nine times, and women seven times.” — “Visiting Ouidah,” The Ouidah Museum of History
Meet me on the plantation steps. It’s okay. Baggy jeans. A hoodie. Wear whatever you want. I’ll open the door. I will let you in.
Welcome to Smithfield.
You can request the slave tour. This is not the slave tour. This is not the regular tour. I don’t know what this is.
The foyer, just a fancy word for entry hall—you know how people do. These floors and walls, tenant farmers let the chickens in.
She is the great, great, gran-something of someone who matters, a niece, I think. She willed us this house. She’s very important. She saved us from chickens.
And him. This wood-framed mirror from Ireland or Scotland, or somewhere else, is a surviving piece. See the carved heart and arrow at top. The mirror is part of a pair, the other lost, maybe to tenant farmers, maybe to chickens. But him, his name, the one who brought the mirror from Ireland, or Scotland, or somewhere else, he is very important, like the heart and arrow whose story I also can’t remember. I’m sorry.
You should know from the jump: I’m not a very good tour guide. I mean, Interpreter. That’s what they call us.
This is the sitting room. Important people sat here, drank tea, read books. These are surviving books. None of these chairs are surviving. In the next room, the bedroom, we’ll see a surviving chair, a rocking chair made by a slave, a surviving bed, a surviving fireplace, and upstairs a surviving doll bed made by a slave of this man for this man’s child. The doll in the doll bed might be surviving, but probably not. These glass windows—all surviving. The doll baby is White. The fruit is fake.
Each time/the bowl of strawberries/red and wet/to put one on my tongue.
I admire the strawberries. I appreciate their role on this tour. Let’s be honest, I’m someone who lusts after fake fruit, as long as it looks real.
This painting. We believe he resembles the father, or maybe it’s the one in the dining room. It doesn’t matter. They’re all hanging miscreants, just another word for asshole. Let’s switch the paintings. Let’s get at them with black Sharpies. Let’s make maps of their faces, faces of their maps. The maps are downstairs in the museum store.
Here is the wife. Her slob of a husband died first. She never remarried. At least thirty years without sex. This may explain the look of disappointment, but we can’t forget the twelve or thirteen children, the two or three children dead, the dead husband, a plantation to run, all those slaves, living inside the gnawing of knowing none of this is hers. It’s not in the diaries, or any papers, but we can make guesses. We can interpret.
The rocking chair made by the slave I already mentioned—we’ll take it with us. I’m sure it will fit through the surviving front doors. Notice the surviving bed and the surviving fireplace. The paint is a special blue, maybe Prussian, maybe something else. I can’t remember. The truth: I don’t care about paint. The architecture makes me nauseous, the balustrade gives me panic attacks, and the window casings give me hives. I threw up in the kitchen room downstairs, in the surviving fireplace, in the cast iron pot, which is not surviving.
Let me tell you a story:
Othello and Thomas Fraction are two whole men, brothers and slaves. They join the Union army, the 40th U.S. Colored Troops.
You can leave, but don’t you ever return, says their owner.
Their mother remains in Virginia. Their mother remains three fifths of a person. The Fractions are good whole sons. The war is over. They return to their mother, in uniform. They laugh and tell jokes. They hug and kiss their sister, Virginia.
Someone runs and tells the owner who is praying in church: your ex-slaves, come quick. The owner stops praying. A gunfight ensues. I’m sorry. I should’ve warned you: in this story, no one is shot.
A Fraction breaks his ankle, Othello or Thomas. Someone calls for police. You know this story. They throw the Fractions in jail. Wait, there’s more.
A White man who is also a Quaker helps the Fractions sue. They win what they can—lost wages, defamation of character. No, I don’t know how long they were in jail. One of them leaves Virginia, the state. They both leave their mother and sister. Trust me, this is a happy story.
I don’t know what happened to Virginia, their sister, not the state. One is a body of a land, the other a body. The distinction matters.
This is the dining room. I don’t care about the china either, although it is pretty. It might be surviving. It might not. The china cabinet was probably made by a slave. It’s more than likely. It will be more difficult to carry, but we’ll do what we can to get it through the surviving front doors. Remind me not to forget the surviving doll bed, the one upstairs, the one made by a slave.
And this is a painting of William, one of the hanging miscreants. I don’t want to tell you this story, but here it is:
The slave trade has been outlawed since 1811. This rule doesn’t apply to William, a man who breaks arms and legs if you don’t vote for his uncle.
It’s after the war. William, who prefers strong drink, is done with soldiering. He buys a ship, imports slaves, makes lots of money.
William has been dirtying his hands in the islands. He sails home to Virginia. On his ship, 300 seasoned slaves. William is feeling lucky, but there’s a blockade—nowhere to dock his illegal ship. The ship sits for a month off the coast of Norfolk. No harbor. No rest. Nowhere to go.
Some jumped overboard. Some ate their tongues. Some hung onto lovers, their desire, broken. We don’t know this for sure. We can imagine. We can interpret. In the end, only thirty. Out of 300, only thirty.
If we subtract thirty from 300, divide that by three fifths, and/or divide 300 by three fifths, and/or divide 30 by three fifths what remains?
Sometime before, or after, or during, or between the ship with the 300 now thirty slaves, William decides no more. William, the miscreant, the reluctant soldier, the boozer, the breaker of arms and legs, the slaver has seen enough swallowed tongues. He moves to Louisville. He sells thoroughbreds instead. One is a horse, the other is not. Still, you can bridle both.
This is the kitchen: baskets, dried herbs, cast iron pots, pans, and Sucky. Sucky is a mannequin, her stocking-ed face, faceless. This is the metal rod used to beat bread. It was not used to beat Sucky. We get this question a lot, mostly from boys, but also from girls. We have no idea where Sucky came from. We imagine someone picked her up at Sears, or perhaps she was donated. See her name on the slave registry. The registry lives in the office upstairs. We’re not allowed to hang it next to the miscreants. It’ll be easy to carry through the surviving front doors.
Wait. Here it is:
Because New Smyrna Beach is 91 percent White.
Because I’m only forty minutes from where he shot you.
Because on your day I ate fried scallops, drank wine, tucked your name under my greasy napkin, explained to my job how productive I was this year. This year, every day you were dead.
Because I didn’t want to know how close you were until after February 26th.
Because New Orleans, New York, Blacksburg, L.A., Detroit, Oakland.
Because Sanford is just another city, and Florida, just another state sitting on a giant sinkhole.
Because I’ll drive two hours to Fort Pierce just to kneel on Zora’s grave.
Because old death is easier than new death.
Because your year old death hangs fresh with other deaths I know, old and new: my father, Oscar Grant, Troy Davis. Two died violent, one didn’t. All died Black. I could go on, and on.
Because I want to walk into the Atlantic in a white dress, my face painted funereal white, drag your body back to sea.
Because your death won’t let me sleep.
So I’ve brought you here, to this plantation. Crazy, right?
What kind of person walks over the bones of slaves? What kind of person is a slave to bones?
I know a poet, who calls it weird, this slaving of bones. This woman opens the legs of the dead, eats bread with severed ears, sometimes lives in the kitchen rooms at Monticello. We’ll visit her later.
If you could follow me out the front door, down the steps, to the tree-framed path. The trees, I don’t know, maybe willow. Their beauty sickens me. Past the sign to Smithfield Cemetery. I’m sorry. We have to do this.
This is the barren field. We believe slave cabins once stood here. As you can see, nothing now. Notice the alternate view of the plantation house on the rise above us. We can imagine. We can interpret.
The oak tree, over 500 years old. We know this almost for sure. We screwed in the borer, pulled out the core, sanded it down, and counted the rings. The tree is a window, a broken aria of fire. The tree is a ship of smoke, a river, a wedding. Its winter branches twist inside the sky.
This snow is not part of the tour.
If I open my arms and wrap them around the trunk, let’s pretend I can reach your cold hands. Let’s pretend this sudden snow doesn’t feel like sudden death. Let’s make snow slaves and call them angels. Look: if you stand here, behind the oak, the house disappears. I haven’t told this to anyone. We’re hidden, safe. Let’s stay here, hold hands, say thank you to the barren field. Let’s say nothing. I’m sorry.
Where do you want to go? I’ll take you anywhere. To your mother? Your father? Their bent faces at your memorial in New York. To the sweet, new candy you bought on your way home. To the girl on the phone right before he shot you. Let’s go there, to a moment of your breath. Let’s stay here. If we could, just tell me, please. Let’s never move again.
Co-sign for me with God. I was the one who called for the flood to come, I’ve insured nothing. Two by two, lurching aboard my floating dream. Kiss me with salt water in your mouth, lust multiplied by loathing and fishes. Look back at the shoreline going under, you were the wave that ate the memory of dirt under my feet. In a tiny cabin lit by a whale oil lamp, anchor in me. In my pupils is a reflection of the garden and you sigh us back there to green. Been there, ruined that.
It is almost insulting to get stuck with something inside you that resides there purposeless. Our small walking oceans strive to make room for a pile of tissue that simply wants raw meat until it bursts and kills you unless you live next door to a surgeon with bouts of downtime. At least there is a cure for rabies now, but no way to not be born with organs we don’t need. Dr. Phil says to avoid toxic relationships as they achieve the psyche similar to the appendix. No good til you cut it out. Rip it, loose string, a tough orange peel, the wrong end of a cigarette in your mouth when the match touches. To sputter and sputter and sputter, wait for the backfire to spark out and roar. It’s almost insulting but it isn’t like our genes are aware of the invention of microwaves. Our DNA sequences have no clue of our habitual barbeques. That half this country would sniff a line of bacon if the flavor could be absorbed better via insufflation. Us, the fat fucks, useless as raw meat, useless as the sack behind our small intestine. An insult til appendectomy. This is not a metaphor for a girl I wish I could get rid of, but it could be. Not rid in the bag of kittens in the river kind of way, but rid as in the shards of glass entering the tiny gap between my big toe and the next, stepped on where the wet sand turns soft at a beach where the tourists don’t bother going because the truant kids and their spliffs seem problematic for their children’s upbringing. The good thing about this life: you can always decide where you are going. Where you’ve come from, what you come into this world with is unalterable. But there can be a fork in your path whenever you decide to slam its prongs into the dirt. A knife up in the tablecloth. Bring a horse to water and all that. A roadflare to announce something is happening. Wish it were fireworks. Maybe someone’s appendix burst and the clock is now counting. It is always good to be aware of the symptoms of stroke. It is really hard to say to myself that death is unavoidable. What if I just want to swerve into it, like I’m hydroplaning. Bud nipping. This isn’t a metaphor, really. I don’t even miss her tonight. I am out of scotch. This is a lie: my glass was never even full of scotch. Blueberry pomegranate gatorade. You cannot help what you have to start, but can make damn sure you know what you are finishing with. Either you die with an extra organ or you die with a lovely scar. Black market organ prices are dropping as our government looms closer to defaulting. The last Jenga piece. I am googling "prices of tonsils", could do with an ice cream diet, I figure I have been sitting with this jiggle long enough and I might as well compound my interest. I do not even miss her but I know she would eat most the ice cream at my beckoning. If it was that easy to cut out your own organs. To stitch yourself with thread, a bobbin, a mirror. A swivel chair just because its so fun to spin and not know what direction you’ll end up facing. Can always know where you are starting, but to end up North or West is simply a matter of air pressure and geography. Did you know that an earthquake last week caused two new islands to spring up out of the ocean? We are due some wings by now, then. X-ray vision or the ability to will your dick to grow just a little longer. Isn’t it awful that I chalk up my loneliness to a matter of inches and how loud I can make a girl howl for me? I suppose a lack thereof is due somewhere in the last sentence. Dr. Phil says something about validation but I just want to punch him in the mandible. An insult to empathy. Would rather get my appendix out wide awake than…..(pick any activity with Dr. Phil) This is not a poem so much as a metaphor for how little this poem is a metaphor. I do not even miss her today. They say you do not miss anything until it is gone. I remember now how many days I missed her when I still had her, still could go up on a rooftop at the corner of Waverly and bullhorn on about love or such and such, and still miss her. If they are right, that must mean I never had her at all. A horse unbreakable. A finch whose wings you just can’t clip because it would ruin their nature. I wonder, if you get that useless meat processor out of your gullet before it pops, do you miss it? I want to believe that somehow there are phantom pains. The way paraplegics ball their ghost fists when angry, curl their toes when they orgasm. The way a eunoch can feel the blood rush south when a girl with an eggplant waist brushes up beside him. I wonder, if something you never needed in the first place decides it is time to leave you; will it hurt as bad in the wake of it’s departure as when something you thought you needed does the same thing? Is a loss of function equitable or am I just drawing patterns to things because that is what the human brain is wired to do when grieving. I can answer my own questions. There has been a pain in my side for three months now. I just wanted to say, I can feel it. I still have my appendix so the phantom pain must be from another vacancy. Mostly, I have just been keeping my legs above my heart, drawing comparisons after hastening conclusions. I’m looking through dictionaries to find out if there is a word for this. Wish it were fireworks. Wish it were survivability
I’ll give you a roll of barbwire A vine for this modern epoch Climbing all over our souls That’s our love, take it, don’t ask
I’ll give you a car bomb A car bomb exploding on a crowded street On a crowded street exploding flesh and bones That’s our festival, don’t you understand
I’ll give you a savage war In the land of so many mothers Where our people eat bullets and bombs instead of rice Where there aren’t enough banana leaves to string together To replace mourning cloths for the heads of children
I’ll give you twenty endless years Twenty years seven thousand nights of artillery Seven thousand nights of artillery lulling you to sleep Are you sleeping yet or are you still awake
On a hammock swinging between two smashed poles White hair and whiskers covering up fifteen years A river stinking of blood drowning the full moon Where no sun could ever hope to rise
I’m still here, sweetie, so many love tokens Metal handcuffs to wear, sacks of sand for pillows Punji sticks to scratch your back, fire hoses to wash your face How do we know which gift to send each other And for how long until we get sated
Lastly, I’ll give you a tear gas grenade A tear gland for this modern epoch A type of tear neither sad nor happy Drenching my face as I wait.
These letters I print across the page, the scratches and scrawls you now focus upon, trailing off across the white surface, are hardly different from the footprints of prey left in the snow. We read these traces with organs honed over millennia by our tribal ancestors, moving instinctively from one track to the next, picking up the trail afresh whenever it leaves off, hunting the meaning…
The screen door firecrackers closed. I find her at the sundry drawer prowling for twine. I’m nothing she sees. There’s a tornado in her hair, her face is streaked with dirt like markings applied before the rituals of drums. I’ve watched her shadow break free and tend the next row of corn. I understand this eagerness as fully as I can speak for the ocean. I say water is behind everything, a blue dictator, say waves are obsessed with their one word but have no idea what that word is. Her hands enter soil like needles making the promise of a dress from cloth. In December she begins smelling lilacs, by February she sees the holes peppers burn through snow. I see her, she’s the last green thing I need. When finally she’s pushed inside by the rude hands of dusk, I set down my life for her skin, taught all day how to smell like the sun, and the hundred directions of her hair, and eyes that look through me to flowers that only open their mouths to speak with the moon.
“How many faces, how many bodies can you recognize, with your eyes closed, only by touching them ? Have you ever closed your eyes and acted unconsciously ? Or loved someone so blindly, you could almost feel their energy in a dark room and be moved by the powerful touch of their ideas ?”—Jean Baudrillard, Journal, 1981 (via sirilaf)
Sometimes, when they disappear, men take a jelly jar of whiskey with them, and in late summer, when the river shrinks back from its skin like a child ashamed of undressing, the jars surface, full of sand and crumpled snail shell, in its seams. The daughters collect them, and we fill each one—with milk, silver buttons, crimson leaves losing color— though never with whiskey. We’re not trying to bring the fathers back.
They ask us to understand our grief by simply leaping out, trusting the air which is far more complex than sorrow, to follow all we’ve ever done with a pure heart and change us completely, but never for long. Someday, you say, you’ll be glass in a window that looks across a landscape of wilderness and snow which will melt when you go out there and walk, because you love a good man or woman. But whom do you love, after all? For now, you open that window and lean out. For now you just watch things: vivid rugs on hardwood floors, closets full of clothes that would never fit you, where another person’s smell lingers for years. And then it vanishes.
What consequence is a body. And if the eye were a lamp. In the beginning there was a certain darkness, an uncertain darkness after. I’m trying to piece together something resembling the sea, in the frail moments before squall. For passengers to safely reach the stable osmotic. In the sudden wake, how to see the difference between “or” & “and”—on which matters of matter & spirit hang. If the eye. If a body a body none/theless loved by anons & disappeared. If a body separate & how. MOHAMED v. JEPPESEN DATAPLAN, incorporated. For passengers to safely reach. Jeppesen: Transforming the Way the World Moves. If I the see, sea again. What consequence is a body/a body nonetheless. If the light in me is gone. Thus I the Doctor with Disfigured. Thus I the Scribe of Black Hives. If my body full of darkness.
He paid for his wife in salt, he’d coerce the sun on to his crops like a reluctant lover, he was always finding blood in places where there wasn’t blood before, when her bread wouldn’t rise he said it was a falter in her breathing, he was swimming through the field towards her with his belt in his hands, he was training his grape vines on threads of her hair. He had a Midas blush.
“A child is born into a world of phenomena all equal in their power to enslave. It sniffs—it sucks—it strokes its eyes over the whole uncountable range. Suddenly one strikes. Why? Moments snap together like magnets, forging a chain of shackles. Why? I can trace them. I can even, with time, pull time apart again. But why at the start they were ever magnetized at all—just those particular moments of experience and no others—I don’t know. And nor does anyone else.”—Peter Shaffer, Equus
“W. wasn’t capable of seeing himself as a unique and autonomous being, as people can and must if they don’t want to despair; no matter what kind of person, one is always a unique and autonomous being, I say to myself over and over, and am rescued.”—Thomas Bernhard, The Loser (via invisiblestories)
“What if, however, humans exceed animals in their capacity for violence precisely because they speak? As Hegel was already well aware, there is something violent in the very symbolisation of a thing, which equals its mortification. This violence operates at multiple levels. Language simplifies the designated thing, reducing it to a single feature. It dismembers the thing, destroying its organic unity, treating its parts and properties as autonomous. It inserts the thing into a field of meaning which is ultimately external to it. When we name gold “gold,” we violently extract a metal from its natural texture, investing into it our dreams of wealth, power, spiritual purity, and so on, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the immediate reality of gold.”—
I’d shoot the man who pulled up slowly in his hot car this morning I’d shoot the man who whistled from his balcony I’d shoot the man with things dangling over his creepy chest in the dark when I was contemplating the universe I’d shoot the man who can’t look me in the eye who stares at my boobs when we’re talking who rips me off in the milk-bar and smiles his wet purple smile who comments on my clothes. I’m not a fucking painting that needs to be told what it looks like. who tells me where to put my hands, who wrenches me into position like a meccano-set, who drags you round like a war I’d shoot the man who couldn’t live without me I’d shoot the man who thinks it’s his turn to be pretty flashing his skin passively like something I’ve got to step into, the man who says John’s a chemistry Phd and an ace cricketer, Jane’s got rotten legs who thinks I’m wearing perfume for him who says Baby you can really drive like it’s so complicated, male, his fucking highway, who says ah but you’re like that and pats you on the head, who kisses you at the party because everybody does it, who shoves it up like a nail I’d shoot the man who can’t look after himself who comes to me for wisdom who’s witty with his mates about heavy things that wouldn’t interest you, who keeps a little time to be human and tells me, female, his ridiculous private thoughts. Who sits up in his moderate bed and says Was that good like a menu who hangs onto you sloppy and thick as carpet I’d shoot the man last night who said Smile honey don’t look so glum with money swearing from his jacket and a 3-course meal he prods lazily who tells me his problems: his girlfriend, his mother, his wife, his daughter, his sister, his lover because women will listen to that sort of rubbish Women are full of compassion and have soft soggy hearts you can throw up in and no-one’ll notice and they won’t complain. I’d shoot the man who thinks he can look like an excavation-site but you can’t, who thinks what you look like’s for him to appraise, to sit back, to talk his intelligent way. I’ve got eyes in my fucking head. who thinks if he’s smart he’ll get it in. I’d shoot the man who said Andrew’s dedicated and works hard, Julia’s ruthlessly ambitious who says I’ll introduce you to the ones who know with their inert alcoholic eyes that’ll get by, sad, savage, and civilised who says you can like there’s a law against it I’d shoot the man who goes stupid in his puny abstract how-could-I-refuse-she-needed-me taking her tatty head in his neutral arms like a pope I’d shoot the man who pulled up at the lights who rolled his face articulate as an asylum and revved the engine, who says you’re paranoid with his educated born-to-it calm who’s standing there wasted as a rifle and explains the world to me. I’d shoot the man who says Relax honey come and kiss my valium-mouth blue.Gig RyanG
Bella fica! (beautiful fig, fine sex) the whore said in the back streets of Livorno, proudly slapping her groin when the man tried to get the price down. Braddock, the heavyweight champion of the world, when Joe Louis was destroying him, blood spraying and his manager between rounds wanting to stop the fight, said, I won the title in the ring, I’m going to lose it in the ring. And, after more damage, did. Therefore does the wind keep blowing that holds this great Earth in the air. For this the birds sing sometimes without purpose. We value the soiled old theatres because of what sometimes happens there. Berlin in the thirties. There were flowers all around Jesus in his agony at Gethsemane. The Lord sees everything, and sees that it is good despite everything. The manger was filthy. The women at Dachau knew they were about to be gassed when they pushed back the Nazi guard who wanted to die with them, saying he must live. And sang for a little while after the doors closed.