which way is *here

“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”–James Baldwin

The reason this all feels like sick exiting body is how it feels when it comes out. Feeling is such pain. Feeling is realness. I forgot I was alive until I carved out all the salt preserving my letters. These words became my lunch and its leftovers, supper. These stories are meals. These stories keep me awake, alive and remaining.

replace leftovers with newovers

a collaged cut-up:

A name inside the book: I had forgotten I could hang onto the hook curled into its beginning. Just dangle. (Her) love just dangles. When upside down, blood spells out solutions.

*

It is only upon closer inspection that one notices there are no teeth in her smile. So her face collapses like that building. So her cheeks have nowhere else to go but inward. So her chin hides beneath her nose, which collects wrinkles like childhood secrets

*

If one lifts one’s skirt, it is to show one’s memory. I keep my calendars between my legs. There is a holiday behind my knee and you may find a semi-molded mammal beneath all that hair. Don’t you want to ask what that lump is? Don’t you want to know why I must call it something else to survive its history?

*

Embodying both the earth and the violence of its everyday breathing pattern. It’s arms are floatation devices. When the earth coughs out catastrophe, be closest to its palms; they will save.

*

There are no women who carry my blood. Each one has left due to diagnosis, border patrol, madness, sexual deviance, long-distance, diet, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of sexual drive, disgust, disappointment, distrust…(or are these just the symptoms?)

————–
*well, aren’t these all just symptoms?

stretchmarks may be used as rulers when stranded in hardware store

How aware are we of what happens below our mouths? Below our chins? Beyond neck….past collarbones….the sloped hill of our bodies….how closely are we paying attention to the quiet language of our skin…are you in need of an appointment…when was the last time you had a pap smear, colonoscopy, have you recently had a stroke you were unaware of…is your eyesight blurry…how many taste buds can you decipher…are there strange sores around your mouth…how scratchy is your throat or belly…are you eating enough…check your scalp…check the calluses on your feet…are your heels cracked…smell your wrists/ do you detect an infection…how frightened are your roots…do your ankles swell…check your std/ has it flared again…how heavy are your bones in the morning…are your knees cracking…have your shoulders curled inward…what color is your urine…how often do you pee…what color was your skin last month and how does it compare to today…are you tracking your menstruation…how many pairs of underwear did you ruin from your blood…how often do you bleed…is it thin…what is your diet…how often do you walk away…how many sexual partners have you consumed/ are there stains…what is beneath your fingernails…what are your habits…how often do you consume coffee cocaine prescription pills alcohol…are you addicted to consumption…how many stitches have you received…have you removed all your cavities…what do you mean you don’t have health insurance…is your liver shaking…what swells inside you…have you filled out the paperwork…how crooked is your spine…what is your income do you have income…are your knuckles exposed…state your family history of diseases…what are you previous diagnoses…are you taking any medication…do you have frequent nose bleeds…what is the minimum you can pay out of pocket…how often are you out of breath…list three emergency contacts…have you signed a waiver…does anyone know you are here…who will drive you home…how often do you feel this way…who is your primary care doctor…sit still…stop crying…is there someone you can call…you are going to need to fill out some more paperwork…what is your mother’s maiden name…why are you crying…do you understand what this means…do I need to call in an interpreter…how long have you been feeling this way…