Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
I’m the one smoking
five cigarettes at once
praying my stomach
can handle it’s own acids
speaking in tongues
in the east oregon desert
giving flames to the heavens
a signal fire to my G-d
loving a woman with
a crooked nose, in
my own half-step
and I want it to hurt
I want it to hurt
I want it to kill
like a candle-lit disease
I feel like me and Grimes could have a wonderful friendship
this is for the friends
who stopped calling
when they found out
I was a woman
for the addicts who can
never stay clean and all
their loved ones don’t even
understand what addiction means
and by the way, just because
I found G-d doesn’t mean
that you have to
and I’m sorry again that
this scroll I’ll write will be
just another list of bullshit
things that I can’t handle right now
and I’ll vomit onto the carpet fibers
from the stresses I have earned
hearing sex noise and hoping
it’s just the stressing of boards
All the freaks are lined up outside of the flared stripe-wearing tents, flanked by vendors pushing expired mystery meats and sugar melted brown and crystalline on top of more sugar. Standing among these legends of folk-tales there was the Cyclops, head shaved and squeezed inside of a teal sequined leotard. He growled as if he truly believed he was a one-eyed myth. Having seen hundreds of other Cyclops’ in their time, these seasoned small town spectators couldn’t even manage to muster up fake shrieks for the poor monster.
Looking down the line there were all the usual players: a black bear wearing a tutu and tiara doing laps on a unicycle, the bearded lady, fire-breathers, lion-tamers, that mustache wearing a top hat and red jacket with coat-tails and cane screaming his lines without a microphone.
One freak among them stood out in particular. Not due to some incredible deformity, rather a lack of any discernible mutation. Her outlandish, other-worldly quality was being strong. A woman possessing any sort of physical strength was something of a marvel.
To be honest, she wasn’t even a large woman. She stood at five feet four inches, toned, but not some hulking golem necessitating a circus. The woman’s arms and hands were crowded with “sailor” tattoos. There were sailing ships, anchors, sharks, and tumultuous riptides all malingering together in her rosy flesh. On her arachnid-like fingers was etched one zodiacal symbol for each digit. In her mouth you could see at least three gold teeth.
Her full name was Vera Dreyfus. As advertised before their arrival, Vera would willingly fight any challenger. Whether it was a woman, man, or anything else.
Charles was a lawyer of a similar stature. An anal-retentive feathering to his blond whiskers, a round face with the mildest bristle of stubble. Much like every other man there, he was sporting a gray hounds-tooth sport coat, paisley waistcoat, and pleated slacks.
His wife never accompanied him to the circus performances due to what she considered to be “lewd behavior.” So Charles would bring any colleagues from his firm who wished to attend the “freak show.” The moment Vera was introduced by the pomade-lipped Ring Master his two fellow lawyers who had tagged along started jabbing him in the ribs.
“Come on Charles,” they whispered in unison. “Show this housewife what true strength is.”
Not to be made a fool of in front of them-because Charles cared all too much about how he appeared to his “friends”-he stepped into the circle drawn in the dirt outside the main tent’s entrance. Vera was already rocking sideways on her feet in the center of the circle next to the Ring Master.
Vera accepted Charles’ challenge and was even so kind as to offer that she use boxing gloves to help protect him some. Taking this as an affront, Charles spat his refusal at her feet. Bare knuckles grinning white, they paced around one another. The rabble on the perimeter begged for blood. Ms. Dreyfus felt it was her duty to deliver. Within thirty seconds she peppered Charles with jabs and crosses. Every blow was to the face, splitting his skin across the forehead and cheek bones. A duo of purple rose blossoms unfurling across his eyelids. Ejecting ruby red with every hock of phlegm.
After the fight was called, Vera strolled calmly from the ring, wiping him from her scarlet fists onto the hem of her cream wool dress. She could already feel the arthritis coming home to roost in the hinges of her knotted phalanges. “Just another punching bag with a face,” she told herself quietly in liquid Yiddish.
When the sun had been gone for some time and the spectators were asked politely to adjourn to their homes, Charles staggered through his front door to find dinner waiting on the painfully ornate table the length of a circus giraffe but only ever needing two chairs. He sat down with an audible thud. His wife nearly jumped out of her skin at the sight of him in such a state. A handkerchief twisted up into each nostril, eyes slits in sacks of bruise, blood dried black down his forehead and cheeks.
She asked hundreds of questions that night. His only reply was, “I was mugged.”
"Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats." - Diane Arbus
The Elephants Speaking of Poverty
They laughed, “let the people
eat each other if they’re so hungry”
Their black blood was smeared
up the doors of evicted houses
where vagrants fucked or fed their arms
and the beasts ate more than the men
the dead ones had no names to carry
sidewalks and dumpsters for graves
A holy man
a seven fingered man
sputters spinal fluid
holier than halothane
huffing hybrid hormones
while his weathered
willow wife wonders
why her skin must
wriggle, wry and
Sleeping in snow-drifts
snort the white noise
from the screens
milk yourself with
keep the hair long under arm
use your fluids to spike your mane
breathe basement show sweat
kiss the deathless girl dreading debt
the dream-glow snow moves in
we freeze together, siamese twins