Venus De Milo

January 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm (Bodies, For Larks, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The feet had to go first. Or perhaps the anus, so she could exit this world by the way she entered it: embryonic, gut first. Didn’t matter which, she told him – she was a breech birth. He had forgotten their penknife, ‘ just a zippo and some keys’, he told her fumbling through coat pocket. Giggling now ‘Oh-don’t-you-fuss’ – he would make a fine job of it, she was sure that he would make a fine job of it. ‘Eyeballs can boil, you know’  suggestive. Her nodding, ‘lovely’. She laid out the plastic sheets while he dug around his satchel for the marigolds, blowing each into a bulbous little salute before donning. How he loved her.

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Denying the Correlative

March 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm (Art, Bodies, Costume, Halves, Rooms) (, , )

He is standing poised perfect on the brink of the stage. I want to scream, feel the dust at the back of my throat. It billows towards the stalls, balconies and boxes like a smoke. We know that it will take him into the footlights, the glare. Lead powder cakes his face in poisons, the narrow dress stretched across his shoulders. I realise it is the emerald velvet he always begged me to wear. Of course, that man is just a mass of flesh and splintered bone, but he asked for that and relished it. How degrading, abandoning us for the whole world. How could he leave us for a great hunk of wood and stone? I can’t compete with that, with all the water. And in the world this tiny room, reeking of sweat and plush. The golden bangles at his wrists clink and clamour as he raises his arms and lets his chest bask in a ghost applause. “All the world is a stage”, you once reminded me. And you are so close to the edge.

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Mouth’s Cradle

May 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm (Bodies, House, Out, Rooms, Sea) (, , , )

I once bought a pair of statues at an antique market. Just under a foot high, rough clay, light and hollow. The man behind the counter was called Peter. He knew me, and he knew what had happen to my boy, so he sold me them cheap. The Lovers, he called them. They were meant to be placed standing close, as if they were about to link arms or embrace; and embrace they did in that narrow old box Peter packed them in, all cushioned with curls of polystyrene. When I got home I put them either side of the fireplace. The grate was tiny as it was, and those two dwarfed it. They were so shapeless and crude, I think they were meant to be naked but I couldn’t tell which one was the lady, if there even was a lady. I called them Pepper and Illinois just in case.

*

He wasn’t a homo or anything, he just really loved Owl. Cracking bloke, all belly laughs and corduroy, round tum resting on skinny frame. Owl was kind enough not to mention his children, so in return he would never bring up the small matter of the fleshy fly food pipe filler found one afternoon festering in the heat of the wall cavity.
He had sat there in the plaster and dust, his thumbs kneading the moist tissue with a vacant repulsion. They were lungs; they were very, very small. Almost pink in places, patches of yellow dirt and rot mottling the left side where they had lain slouched within the pipes. This man knows that his body is soft. If he could only get past those solid bones, perhaps he could rip past the sinew too with all his strength, and then grope gently at the malleable mess of organs in his cage. Soft, soft, liable to give under his own bones. He holds the lungs cold and firm.
There was the slighted squelch as the tissue gave way under his nervous thumbs, he looked at the dented lungs in disgust and sank further to the floor. He had no idea how they came to be pipe filler, but then there they were, all fleshy and fly food in the heat of the walls. Staring blankly into the iron-grey of the fireplace, he gets to thinking about Owl. Perhaps it is Owl who put them there, an Owl from more innocent, vigorous time. Both the lungs and the blue baby boy were fleshy little objects of a more innocent time.

*

I don’t know whether it was sleep or madness or Owl putting pills in my drink again, but something made me look down at my chest with this kind of thud-wet urgency and I see it split.
I tap his shoulder, “There is a big gash in my chest and it is making my shirt soggy.”
“Coy.”
“To be all sliced is not funny. Some things are funny, but this isn’t, even though it doesn’t hurt at all or anything. It just isn’t.” I pause, “Is it perverse to respect someone who is hardly respectable?” I keep my voice flat so that he will never know. He doesn’t answer, so I spit at him, “You’re perverse.”
“You’re naive.”
“Do you ever miss that stupid mermaid fuck by the sea, where is she? Waiting on a girl with neither a brain between her gills nor a cunt between her thighs. The brevity of your hope will murder you, little Pussycat.” He spits onto the sand. Owl crouches, taking a creepy crawly from under a smooth grey pebble and handing the squirmer to me. This one was a little like a worm. A small, wet theory that squirmed within the ear. I knew that really it could never wiggle inside my head, or tell me things I did not like, but I always felt like it might. It could. Stupid wee beastie. The worm never even entered my ear, not really.
Owl turns his back to me. He is facing a strange building, part pier part electricity pylon. It sprawls up and out into the ocean, all limbs of metal bars and green-grey planks of wood splashing out into the salt water, each bough conjured with astonishing momentum from the mollusced underbelly.
“What have you done, Owl? What?” I stare in horror, one hand pressed against my ears where I can feel the unbearable volume of something soft and supple wriggle behind my eardrum.
Iron limbs tangle and twist further and further out in to sea. It comes from his grey eyes, it comes from the land to eat the water, its boats, coasts, fish and oil rigs. Pepper and Illinois sit together upon the stones; man-sized but still statue shaped. They gaze this metal monster with their blank clay faces filled with sorrow, limbs thin, entwined. I look up into their crude shapes and I know that without the moisture of the sea, the rivers, their hope for clay children will turn to dust. With one last slow, sorry turn of the head, Pepper gazes at me, Pepper runs into the foam between the iron legs of Owl’s creation. Pepper turns to mud. The vague socket-shapes of Illinois skull twist painfully, a rough pallet hand clasped to the block of the chest as if somewhere within the solid earth, something has fractured.

*

He washed his hands until the skin cracked, scrubbed at his nails until the cuticles peeled back red raw. He drenched his fingers in soaps and oils and saline solutions long after the sicksweet smell of rot had left them. Pussycat knows that there is something soft between nail, bone, tooth and gristle. And he stares into the mirror. He sees the same old Pussycat he saw yesterday.
Taps flow soft chalk water into porcelain Pussycat leans in mirror-close forehead to glass eyes shut lashes grate against cool freckled cheeks lips part pale blue breath mist onto faintly steamed glass and mould the word – “Peter” arm raised over head inner forearm pale and cold against mirror rests upon fevered forehead Pussycat hides under arm and brows elbow level with ear with and with worm and he sighs he calls again “Peter” and fuck knows why.

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The Clouds Are Full Of Wine

January 30, 2010 at 12:46 am (Bodies, Observations) (, , )

Today I noticed the colours provoked by tactile sensations. It is important to make clear now that these colours bear no symbolic or psychological relation to movement or texture, the experience appears to be coloured either according to some unexplainable neurological code, or is even triggered at random. During sexual activity these colours are at their brightest and most noticeable, shifting rapidly. At their most vivid, my surrounding seem to be tinted, while usually it is only an idea of a hue that enters my mind, imagined clearly but involuntarily. For instance, the skin joining my right earlobe (detached) is cut.The colour of the aggravation caused by inserting a pin gently into the opening is a deep blueish emerald.

This is not synaesthesia. The hue of touch is rarely literal, like the consistent pattern of colours I see in numbers and letters, and these does not conform to any intelligible pattern of system. Currently the sensation of my nails hitting the keyboard seems to me a strong, dark indigo. You may disagree. No one seems to discuss these odd, prickly hues. Are they subtle or trivial? Perhaps they are so natural that this experience most often goes unconnected.

Take a well sharpened pencil and lightly draw its lead across the back of your hand.
Sky blue.

What about you?

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D.I.Y Meat

January 12, 2010 at 12:44 am (Bodies, Intoxication, Rooms) (, , )

His head is warm; I grip it between my knees. It faces the wall. His eyes are blank and yolky now, but I shudder at the thought of their gaze between my legs. His lips are still pressed together, almost pursed or pouting. It scares me when people do this.

I stand up, holding the head against my belly. The line of his jaw is neat and clean, surprisingly little blood, almost dry save for one messy pipe of an artery. My blue dress bloodies to a black, blooming from the naval downwards like a punch in the gut. The carpet here is worn, dark and coppery, yet still I try my hardest not to bloody it as I buckle my shoes with his face resting gently in my lap. A single drop of crimson splashes upon their supple white leather, it looks awful.

Everything looks cold and chipped in the stairwell, but I dive into the stale air leaving my door to slam behind me and run as fast as I can to the fifth floor clutching my skirts. Door 67 opens at the sound of my balled fist. Em has no breasts and no hair at all, the Flesh are rarely so ambiguous. I think he is a boy today. He tiptoes to kiss my forehead, though he is already the perfect height for it, and embraces me tightly shouting “Red!”
My name is not Red. I don’t even have red eyes. Sometimes I can barely find Em’s eyes, they are such a pale blue and his pupils are tiny. His head almost looks empty; white skin, white eyes, and two dark pinpricks to viddy this poor world. There is no comment upon the rounded bulk between us, he simply ushers me to a plump arm chair. Its shades of pink and mint green somehow manage to make even paisley vulgar, yet still I clutch the sapphire cotton tightly around my belly. Not a drop, not on this poor chair, not on anything.

Em strokes my shoulder as he passes me, “I’m just going to check my cabinet, I won’t be long.” But as soon as he leaves the room I start to sob, believing him to be gone forever without the comfort of his face. The second he returns I stand up holding my dress out to present the head, “It just broke, it just came off in my hands”, I sob.
“You are always so rough, little sister, and you often overstep.” He pushes me gently back into my seat and turns the head in my lap to face his own, “How were you to know the creature he was? His flesh is convincing, see the delicate creases of his eyelids? Those are imperfections. The Embodied would never choose to possess such obscene blemishes. This creature craved Flesh. And you, little sister,” he pauses and tweaks my nose, “broke the bastard.” Em shows me his opened palm: three green pills. “Let’s slow this beast down, and see exactly what he is beneath that pretty skin.” Em smiles, rattling the tablets gently, “Those air canisters are dangerous. If you’re not careful you can over-inhale, and your pink little mouth will go all swollen and plummy, and the insidey bits of your bones will go all dry and crumbly, and your bloody, sloshy bits all jellied. And then what shall we do? Each of these pills fortifies twelve seconds, no more.”
My throat too narrow to nod or speak, I take the pill from his hand without a word.

We swallow one pill each with cold coffee dregs. The air thickens faster than I imagined, grey and speckled. Soon my legs feel leaden and useless, they hang from the seat of the chair like dead red meat. The head almost roles from my knees, but Em catches the forehead in his palm. He takes the face of the broken stranger in his hands and presses his thumbs into the top of the skull. It cracks and gives with a sickening ease like a shell of cocoa butter. He prises the opening apart to reveal a thick, yolky liquid. My palm rests on the closed eyelid of the Embodied creature, the lens trembles beneath the skin like the fly. The seconds hum nauseatingly now. Gently, Em opens the mouth which is no longer set-pursed. “Or, if you prefer, we could toast his tongue and dip it in his headspace like wee marmite soldiers!”

I laugh. Em’s voice sounds deep. Not low, but fuller, filled with a strange depth. I push a thumb and two fingers between the lolling lips to the back of the throat and grip the tongue.

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Candy Says

December 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm (Bodies) (, )

I had no idea where to begin, so I told her truthfully that I didn’t like my tummy. It was shaped wrong. Not exactly flabby, or too large, just wrong. And the tiny scar veering to the right of my belly button just screams “caesarean” in my more paranoid moments.

And what else?

My vagina dentata are compacted. In almost exactly the same way as the teeth in my head, actually. But where set upon my face these teeth are on display with every smile and snarl, the V. D lay hidden, waiting to be discovered in all their insectual imperfection.
I don’t really want to talk about the suckers, but perhaps you’d say they are worth mentioning. I never liked them, I never asked for them, but none the less God or The Jackal or Mother or Captain Darwin deemed it necessary for me to have these bastards running up the backs of my thighs. Thanks to them I have never had any use for a garter belt. A blessing, some might say, but I’ve always been fond of adorning the body with rather more decedent details than my current century and decade permits. It has been called a bad habit.
She asks me again, and smiles sweetly to confirm her confidence. I think about my gingerbread hair, and how I could never make it dark and glossy, and how my fringe stubbornly refused to do that little Bettie Page flick.  I keep my mouths shut tight. She said I could tell her anything, but there are Limits. She touches the back of my hand; her scaled fingertips are so warm.
The Disembodied frighten me. She laughs. She almost giggles as I tell her. It can be difficult for us two, us fleshy little things. Both the Embodied and the Disembodied can send the Flesh into a catatonic sickness, us inferior. I know, I know, I know (that is, I’ve been told) not to view this body as a disability. All those crinkled posters on the cathedral, defaced or forgotten, all celluloid Flesh. All bodies and faces smiling. They reach out of the paper, grinning obscenely, to remind us Flesh that it is fine to have hands and lips and gills and livers. It’s fine to have genitals, even if it makes you a woman. It embarrasses me. The Embodied can’t stand us. It seems strange that the Disembodied in all their beauty can tolerate the Flesh, yet our stasis sickens the Embodied. This cannot be voiced, not here. She’ll just shake her head in that condescending way, with a slow anticlockwise pivotal twist. Tut. She’d tut. “Us poor Flesh can’t just raise our malformed limbs to the skies and beg for pity, or for forgiveness.”

“It is fine to have lungs and tusks and fins and thumbs and brains and femurs and haemoglobin and fur and psychosis and feet! Do not apologise for that foreskin. Those nails. The fat that sustains you is no humiliation. Your antenna are not shameful.”

The Embodied would laugh, but our mechanics make them ill. They have so much love, while we are all different, and we are terrified of each other. The seamless Disembodied may think them unimportant, but the molecular unity the Embodied can attain is remarkable. Sometimes I laugh, because they can still feel our skin, and we make them ill.
She makes a strange clucking noise.

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