A Society of Artists
I walked in on him last night. In the bathtub and he pulled his organsfrom his body and ate them raw and skin was wrapped around his ankles and Iheard the drip of a blood faucet and his skeleton looked at me and said:Be still, my heart, so I may eat you.Mental anorexia killed them. The sparks in their heads, like the skeletalthin man, suffocated and when the lungs drew too thin, they all swallowed paintthinner. The writers were better storytellers than us. Nothing visual here. Aworld of vomit.Another piece.Speak in tongues.Spit on the bushes, extinguish me.I am God on my deathbed and I have caught a cat by its tail.The bullet eats my chin and jaw and nasal cavity and my brain and I lieshuddering on the cold ground and there are smelling salts inside my skull andRubberneck shakes his rubber neck and takes my little black bible and runs.Excerpts from the old life. That’s funny. This certainly isn’t the newlife. That German through porous thought said God is dead.When did he die and why didn’t his body crash into us earlier?Another piece.Dark weed, not very good. Todd probably keeps the good shit to himself,sells the cheap Mexican to the children of the gutter. He could print money atthis rate.Smoke’s not the mild draw of cigarette butts. Refreshing. Cola on fire. Iblew him for this. May as well enjoy it. I should thank the smugglers, too.Thank you, smugglers.The bare rasp, I hear that, my own gratitude to the poison peddlers, andI hear footsteps, closer closer, not the background of the city but the dustand gravel and rubber-stop of a sentient witness. I’ve nothing to fear. Whocould care about a bum killing himself a little more. No one cares if I stabmyself in the neck, piss down my leg.This could be an autobiography for all I know.Nothing to fear from a nonexistent body of witnesses. Here I stand, awitness to the whimper, wisher of the bang, and the old life had people in myposition. Not living, not dead but closer to it. Mothers taught their childrenhow to steal, Fathers taught their children how to drink.Compared to this glory, the old life was a constant rumbling ofhypersensation and creativity. I see dust everywhere I turn, smell it. I’m evenbeginning to paint what I see. With an occasion comes Lesous’ tracks into the
sunset, or a ladder extending a foot from the sun. My moons are boils on theblack cover of this cooking pot. Steaming thinner, thinner, into the atrophiedskeleton of devastation.Corn people, us kids.Another piece, written in ink on lined paper, yellowed by everything thatyellows everything.The milk was rancid. He had wondered how long it would take. He figuredthe blood curdled it faster because all the thickening black porridgesurrounding the gland insulated it. He couldn’t stand to smell or taste theblood again. The milk was better. Warm, if nothing else. He used the sharpenededge of the grey stone to cut deeper. No more milk. The blood didn’t evenbother pooling. He was glad. He wouldn’t be able to rinse his skin until hefound more water.One could rest for half an hour and wake up with ants crawling out ofone’s skin, which would be crusted into hard valleys of pinched brown fleshand deadened nerves.Mother’s green teat sprouting from the sand. Drying mammaries, cut outand coagulating. Surviving off the tissue glued to the bone and the marrowinside the bone. Mouth’s Cradle, the vulture.There’s a lobo in the distance. Lobos never live long if we can see them,the trees are hundreds of miles away and the soil is polluted and the trees arescarred with colors they shouldn’t have, and the lobo is wandering to itsdeath. It’s silver. A treasure of an image.I set up my easel and draw an outline of what I see. The hard sky and thewolf. I won’t draw the sand. I remember what seas look like. Swallowing poisontorrents. Water under its tired feet.The Animal Jesus come to kill us in our sleep.Cuntmouth touches my back and in her gravelly rupture says:Darkie killed himself.What? When?Last night.I sigh my first of the day and mention the lowly plains we’re forced todrift over.We don’t drift. We meditate on what will happen.Mud lotuses. How did he do it?Swallowed paint thinner.Fuck.Cuntmouth tells me the body will be buried before the smell circulates.