October 10, 2012

(I didn’t want to start a new novel immediately after getting married. It isn’t that I was hesitant to start writing again. It was that I have a long weekend coming up with my new husband and worrying about narrative flow might be a distraction. But I definitely wanted to write. So I started a new project of prose poem/short story things. I don’t know what to call them. Transgenre, like my MFA thesis. Those pieces which have no true name. That’s what I’m working on. Then I can pull inspiration out of blinking. Or looking at a strange building. It makes things easier. Once this project is done, I’ll be right back with the novels.)




…..(((curls))) monsters from another world want my hair. there is something about the curls they cannot dig out of their own dirt. so they find men with curled mops and girls with long locks and braid the scalps together while whispering, [should we find a tangerine now or later? what kind of child have we created? if there is a bone in the earth, we must pull it out. out bone. up bone. here bone. stay bone. thrust.] then they lick their barbed palms until the meat comes up. what meat? my meat? your meat? their meat? some meat. some meat i have exposed by blinking. some meat i have let out by thinking about the integrity of space, the mass of nothingness, the destructive properties of gravity. yank me into your vacuum and i will spread my tongue across the sky while weeping, look at my skin roll back and forth. i have never seen so many green armed angels before. that’s what they must be. angels. and they aren’t trying to mutilate the curls. they need them for halo production, to weave the bent strands around a large circle, around and around and around, until the halo fits exactly over the head. but an angry man comes running past the green armed angels, a hammer hanging from the top of his wrists. [don’t look at me,] he screams. [i am just a sad man. i am just the only man. you can’t be me. that’s not allowed.] and the man spins around the room before grabbing one of the green armed angels in a rusted vise. [i will drag you into hell,] the angry man screams. a green armed angel rotates its head, curls spilling from its scalp mouth. [do you mean the hell located just around the corner from the andromeda galaxy,] the green armed angel asks and slurps the angry man’s elbow out of his arm with a soft sucking sound. suuuuuuuupp. goodbye, elbow. then the green armed angel grasps a knee but it is more of a plastic knee than a real knee. i have a knee. i keep it against my chin and when i whimper, the knee kicks like a bongo drum. dum dum dum dum duuuuum. then i go partially deaf. then my cheeks thump and i bump against the walls while weeping, [do not look at me.] i tell everything not to look at me. i tell everything to walk away. i tell everything to keep to the side and not cry but those everything beasts never listen. so i lock my gut around a wall and the intestines curl. the green armed angels turn around. [a curl,] they whisper. yes. a curl. but not their curl. my intestinal curl. the green armed angels come closer. [is that a curl we can touch,] they ask. [is that a curl we can burn while chewing our arm parts and weeping with the tidal wave? the monster lives and breaks. but we are not monsters. that hair is to blame.] i jab a finger against the side of my head. my finger goes through. my finger comes out. my finger is coated with red guts. my finger is studded with bones. [will she say do not look,] the green armed angels ask. [or will she cry, my gut is to blame! my gut should be maimed. we will maim the curling guts. we will name them. OUR SOLEMN GUT STEAK.] the green armed angels slap their clawed hands against their guts. [but i thought you were some sort of alien,] i say. the green armed angels twist their heads to the side. they smack their lips together. they dig their fingers into their cheeks, yank down, and weep. [she thinks we’re aliens,] the green armed angels yell. [she thinks we are otherworldly. but we are not. we are just green armed angels catering to an obsession with curls. we can’t help our appetite. but you seem like you can. come here. let us touch your curls and reach beneath your hair.] the green armed angels twist their fingers back and grunt softly. their eyes focus on the knee cap near my throat. [an extra bone,] they whisper. [that is nice. an extra bone to play with. an extra bone to roast. come close. let us touch that bone. let us drop it into the cooking water. we must have a taste. we must get a bit of the fat on our tongues. yum, yum. taste, taste. give us some.] the green armed angels slap their lips together. they move their mouths up and down. their tongues slip over my curls and yank the strands. my hair bongs. it lengthens and it snaps. it cuts their tongues in half. the green armed angels press their hands against their bleeding mouths. blood burbles out of the flesh, red lines dripping past deep peach lines, then dribbling onto the floor, where it mixes with old bodily fluids and ferments. [you are a terrible beast,] the green armed angels shout. [what have you done? you think it’s alright to cut a tongue? then, when we lose our sense of speech, you will be justified? we are not pleased. we are very alarmed. you have done something terrible. you have made our curl desiring stomachs feel very full with acetone.] the green armed angels rise off the ground. [she is a terrible girl,] they hiss. [she is the worst girl in the world. look at her. and she smiles. she smiles as if she has done everything right. but she hasn’t. she hasn’t done anything right at all. no. she has coughed. she has bled. she has taken the curls from our hands and stitched them into her head.] the green armed angels drop to their knees and their knees crush my feet and my feet feel as if they are being stapled to the floor. [give us your curls,] the green armed angels command, eyes bleeding with yellow and blue blood. i twist my head away from their clawed wrists. i say, [no.]

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