June 14, 2012

(I’m going to the doctor tomorrow to find out what’s wrong with my wrist. Such is the burden of being a writer. Ah, the threat of carpal tunnel. But the novel is coming along, piece by piece.)

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 we all went red. in our bathtubs. behind our heads. red with a splattering of some nauseous yellow that culled the fat from our back and salivated over our lost fingernails. because we couldn’t make it to church that day. the ground disappeared. the dirt went under. and the church doors stayed closed for five thousand hours, each one soldered shut until we could lift our tongues up and down and all around yet never open anything. that gift of our time. the swollen nature of our crime. let us salivate. in union, then separately. let us salivate and see if our time might be brutally murdered by a masked man sitting in the bathtubs with his swollen wrists turned inside out. DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE, the man asks and of course we feel guilty for missing church but we won’t admit it. DON’T YOU THINK YOU SHOULD STICK YOUR TONGUES OUT, the masked man asks and he is more of a skeleton than a masked man. he is more of a monster than a burgeoning aftermath and a dark shade hangs over every room, obscuring the light source until the shadows are afraid. WHAT DID YOU MAKE BY OPENING YOUR EYES, the masked man asks. AND HOW DID YOU LET IT SURVIVE? before the red and during the red, i dreamed about a man and sometimes, he looked like a hyena and other times, he resembled a bear, and all times, he had huge teeth that shuddered between his jaws before falling apart and i gagged in fear while running up and down a three story parking garage filled with woodlands. spiderwebs ran up cracked tree trunks and i stopped at every break to rest my head against the elastic filaments until i was sick with hunger and the spiders looked like walking steaks. EAT THEM THEN, the man said. EAT THEM UP. I WANT TO SEE THIS. IT AMUSES ME. I THINK YOU MIGHT DISAPPEAR IF YOU BITE. GO ON. HURRY ON. LOVELY LITTLE FAT ROLL. WHY DON’T YOU WEAR YOUR UTERUS AS A BRACELET? i sobbed inside a tree root. i stabbed the root and red ran out. YOU STARTED THE DISEASE, the man said. YOU STARTED EVERYTHING. WHERE DID THE RED COME FROM? YOUR FIST. OF COURSE IT CAME FROM YOUR FIST. the masked man grunted into his wrists and turned in circles while his spine rotated independently of his ribs. around and around and around. until my stomach aches. until my chest muscles buckle beneath the weight of some inappropriate stomach body. i ate the spiders but none of them tasted like steak. they were too crunchy, more like mussels yanked from the shells and i bit down too hard and hurt my teeth. sometimes, i don’t think straight. sometimes, i bite my tongue and the blood pours from the tip. then i quiver. then i whimper. then i sob and the bear man comes after me, slaughtering concrete with his fists while his thighs clench with snaking fur. DID YOU REMEMBER TO PRAY, he asks. DID YOU REMEMBER TO TAKE THE SUNDAY VOWS WITHOUT WHINING? I SEE WINE ON YOUR TONGUE. AND YOUR STOMACH FLOODS WITH DISINGENUOUS WHISPERING ABOUT SOME TAR FLOORS STUDDED WITH RUSTED NAILS. WHAT’S ANY OF THAT FOR? AND HOW BROKEN ARE YOU WHEN YOU KEEP YOUR SKIN WRAPPED AROUND YOUR SHOULDERS LIKE A SCARF? ALL YOUR FLESH IS TOO LOOSE. I JUST DON’T LIKE IT. the man plays with his gums. he plays with his teeth. he opens his cheeks and blood falls out. blood spills out. blood flows out and the blood wets everything. the blood makes a mess of my silken hair and i tear the strands out of my head to make a bird’s nest laced with diamonds. now i feel sick. i always feel sick. the red flows out of the oven and i feel so sick, i bang my head against the ground. i bang my head and i bang my head and i bang my head and the bricks go tick tick tick against my brain while the clock bongs and gongs and tongs my kidneys into silence. [what did i say, i ask.] a red knife drops out of the air.

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