Sobbing flesh bags, swinging strips of scar tissue suspended by hooks- studded straps- ceiling to floor and in the corner.   Crimson drapes flow heavy, snuffing light.  The room hangs dense with human musk.  Delicate stainless steel instruments, household tools and undergarments are strewn across the heavy planking: noises, street sounds and crashing cars… trash blowing in from some dawn soaked suburban ghetto. 

This is where they are.  Moaning for deliverance, desperate measures and all.

The one with the burnished, pulled skin and lidless obsidian eyes steps forward.  You feel the piddle building inside.  But, you’ve got questions, your desires trump your judgments.  The concentrated scent of  tax sheltered humanity makes you sway.  He steps toward us, the neophytes, smelling of pond scum, his pendulum swinging.  A blue spotlight hits him as he drones in a southern drawl enough to hypnotize us:


‘You came here to be
Dashed on the paling of Our flesh

Remember this: Everything’s possible for those who refuse to listen
A world where nonsense is a multibillion-dollar industry and you’re paying as you go
So, why not let your pudenda scream your vacant need all over this dangerous space?

You don’t have anything better to do, because, after you graduated from being a puddle of uncooked meat you could never stop the songs of masturbation issuing from your talk hole
Collecting your poisoned blood, your tender excitements
Until the terminal void of your imagination crumpled your youthful brow
And you brought your fists down


Why are you here?  Because WE are
And we’re here to give you what’s coming to you
Here, in this dismal landscape, where the dull ache of ruin’s never quashed
In this redundant cosmology, where the body’s machinery is literally geared toward ruin
 In this place, where work speeds deterioration
Where airborne beings alight overhead to watch
Your labors gnaw
your joints and sinews
until inevitable collapse

You got the Catholic mange
You got the Baptist piles
You got the Protestant polyps

So self-consumed, you’ll scarcely notice the maleficent spirits as they crowd: pale, haggard
summoning the obvious scar tissue
from childhood’s February faces

As they have forever
Whirled without end

Your drooling pseudopomps may bark their pillories
from their busy-boxes in the mountains
but, you’ll never see
their shock wave
until it’s on top of you

Nixon: the original Fool on the Hill
His brand is bullet proof and everlasting’
What did you learn from his minstrel show?

Bored with his slobbering soliloquy, you pull the leaden curtain aside and peer out the filth-caked window.  The park across the street is full of sunny, fuzztone hearts parading the bloated collective megacolon of another spiritual bunkum- one quite different from yours.  You realize that all anyone’s ever doing is just slogging their stuff around, anyway.  But, those humanimals across the street, they’re dressed in the sagging costumes and heavy costume jewelry befitting creatures of their status.  Some of them have brilliant painted talons.  They got their love crimes and cannibal banquets and the like.  There’s even a skinny fruit-leather in a speedo, golden-fried, fit to be tied.  He’s running through them and they’re fainting and swinging.

Every year at this time, you often encounter these types as you troll the park and you say to yourself, ‘Look at all those funny people.  Glad I’m not them.’

World without end.

Muffin tops piled on bagel bags in layer cake stacked better than any bakery.  That woman’s syrup-logged pound cakes make you hungry.  You have to look away. 

Everywhere you turn is something worth turning your back on.

When you fully return to the room, the obsidian eyes had been replaced by rubbery looking shits with lumpen pointillist faces gathered round this Yurtle in troweled-on make-up they just yanked from the hooks: they’re choking it lifeless because they don’t want to suffer its yearning presence any longer.

On the other side of the room, an American Girl Doll posed so lifeless.  And another buffed and scruffed strip of scar tissue, another upper-crusted bottomed-feeder sidles up and puts a quarter in her mouth.  Her snapper yawns wide.  You sigh, cupping your hands over your crotch.

This is only the beginning of a very long process.  You have to gain their trust. You have to jump right in. You’ve tried other avenues.  Unsuccessfully.  Disastrously.  This was, really, your last option.  What else did you have to lose?  And it’s this realization that gives you the confidence you need to brace yourself and strut- like you’ve never strutted before- into the fray. 


The Miscarriage, oil on panel, copyright 1999 GPD

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