August 8, 2012

(Hello, angels. My reading in Brooklyn on the 4th went very well. It was held in the backyard of Unnameable books. There were trees everywhere and a lovely breeze. I was accompanied by my soon-to-be husband, my mom, and my little sister. I marched up to that podium, being careful not to trip on some pebbles, and I read my heart out. And it was fun. I enjoyed myself. Traffic going through Manhattan to Brooklyn was a bitch but that’s expected. We survived. We conquered. There’s a picture from the reading at the end of this post. Against my better judgment, I came up with a new novel idea. I’ve been trying not to come up with new ideas until after my wedding but evidently, the inspiration gods don’t care. They look at one another and think, no new ideas for 60 days? Ha!  So now I have another pending project. There will be more. There are always more. I had another idea a few nights ago but in the bright light of morning, it didn’t seem so great. Sadly, my new project was conceived during the bright light of morning so it was pretty good. Also, I was interviewed by Quiet Mountain Essays at http://www.quietmountainessays.org/2012_Summer_Interview.html. And here’s a fantastic review of Organ Meat, Killing Me in the same issue http://www.quietmountainessays.org/2012_Summer_Review.html)

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     (((the BLEACHED STORE CLERK:1))) i spin in circles. i run in squares. i reach in rectangles. i sit in triangles. i vomit in rhomboids. i shriek in octagons. i whine in right angles. i wait for the sewerage god to wrap his tongue around my neck and pull hard. then i open my stomach and scatter the meat on the dining room table. cans, cans, cans. frozen bags, frozen bags, frozen bags. and steaks! i can’t forget about steaks, those important pieces of meaty produce while the carrots sag at their root ends and the blistered potatoes reach into the sky with their prayer eyes and the ugly onion pieces shoot their centers beyond the atmosphere to reach the gutted beast beyond. i stay in my store and i am happy here, walking behind glass counters, placing my thighs on a deli scale, ringing up the price of my hair. i shiver and the vegetables moan into the floor tiles. [give us a little bleach, why don’t ya, the vegetables shout.] i spray their leaves with lysol but the greenery sags sadly. [really? antibacterial nonsense? what are you trying to clean off our stems? vitamins? are you dense? have you really gone that stupid, they hiss.] in the far corner of the store, where the fluorescent lights swing back and forth casting deranged shadows against the men’s room door, the vegetable god sags slightly, allowing his rooted spine out of his vegetable shell casing. [so ashamed, the vegetable god moans.] he slinks into the toilets and disappears. i smile nervously at the vegetables. [can’t we all be friends, i ask.] the vegetables spit on the floor. [can’t we all suck your ass, the vegetables hiss. all this loving given to a slaughtered lamb. what about us, plucked from the dirt and tossed into the road to get creamed by a processional of passing cars? you don’t give a shit about us, even though we give you mashed potatoes and creamed corn and garlic spinach. we give you the best parts of our bodies and the steak still gets more respect?] i stare at them, wordless. the front door swings open as the bell tinkles, gliding from side to side. the sewerage god steps into the toiletries aisle. [are we having a private conversation in here, the sewerage god asks.] he uncaps a blue bottle of cleaning solvent and drops the bottle on the floor. fluid pours out of the open neck and wets the tiles. the sewerage god steps over the puddle. i cover my nose as an ammonia smell fills my lungs. [that isn’t nice, i say.] the sewerage god turns around, his hands curled around several large cereal boxes. [that isn’t nice, he mocks.] he digs his nails into the cardboard tops, tearing the plastic bag inside. cereal spills out of the box and drops on the floor. [who wants some cereal and bleach for breakfast, the sewerage god asks.] the vegetables giggle. [give us some, give us some, they shout.] they spread their leaves and reach for any bleach container they can touch. the sewerage god leans towards the corn ears. they gasp as his breath moves over their bodies. kernels pop. [the corn is committing suicide, the vegetables scream. what is the corn doing?] the popped kernels fill the store. the sewerage god bats the little white pieces away. [i’m bored, he says. does this store have anything good? a goddamn thing? how about some cocaine? how about a few spare needles? something for the diabetic in need? how about the fertile woman, the man with a dick that stays hard all the time?] the vegetables push against my elbows. [no, i say.] the steak lurches around in its glass case, refrigerated air condensing on the sides. [moo, it screams.] the sewerage god turns his head, interested. [who said moo, he asks.] the vegetables point at the meat case. [it wasn’t a cow, i say.] the sewerage god frowns. [okay. and who squealed on the mooing anomaly, the sewerage god asks.] the vegetables pause before pointing at themselves. i stare at the meat case and catch a glimpse of my reflected smile in the corner. i grin frantically at the metal edges, my smile so wide, my eyes tear. the sewerage god passes a hand over his mouth. [what am i going to do with these lovely little vegetable pieces, the sewerage god asks. am i going to shove the fresh produce up my ass so all my shits smell like garlic cloves? am i going to wait until the carrots turn my tongue orange? or am i going to chop you into bits, spread out on the floor, and jump up and down until my ankles crack with broken bones? guess.] the vegetables stare at one another. [the shit, they ask.] [the jumping, the sewerage god screams.] he tosses carrots onto the floor. he throws turnips, beets, and celery stalks. he throws green beans and fresh peas and sweet potatoes. his tongue slashes at my feet, shooting out of his mouth to smack me, then zipping back into his throat. [you jump, too, the sewerage god shouts.] [but my produce, i moan.] the sewerage god whips me again. [do i care, he screams. do i care about your meat and your vegetables? let that steak moo again and you’ll see how much i care.] and of course, because it is just a slab of dead meat edged with thick fat, the steak moos, [moooooo.] the sewerage god slams his fist into the display case. [this makes me angry, the sewerage god screams. this makes me very angry. if you don’t obey a god body, then you must be punished.] the sewerage god lifts the steak by its fat. yellow-white fat tears off the meat, exposing the thick red protein. [moo, the steak shrieks. moo, moo, moo.] moo infinity. moo all the time. [jump, the sewerage god shouts.] and i jump on the vegetables. i jump on the compost heap. i jump and somewhere between the third rutabaga and the seventeenth avocado, i think, [these vegetables could have been my children.]

(Photo taken by Turtleneck Press)

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