- my mother decides that sundays are the day for broken things. the week dies into cracks and i need to learn to suture it.
- to learn a surgeon’s profession you must first observe wounds. learn about dressmakers. my mother’s mother’s mother was a seamstress. the madrid of the postwar years only knew about fragments. my mother nursed on the torn apart.
- think of the world far from the world. consider the wound inside the glass case. does the glass lock up the pain? there is a piece of a leg, an elbow, half an ankle. achilles is one-eyed. the vessels give up in the face of time. time amputates myths. archeological museums summarize the mutilation of the ages. mutilated time.
- in the archeological museum there is a deer scapula. someone decorated it before time was called time. in spain three million chickens are killed every day. two saturdays a month i gnaw the wings down to the bones. twelve volts, slit throats and bleeding out. that’s not death.
- in the archeological museum there are also two sepulchers. i’ve never been in those rooms. you have to think of the wound far from the bones. my mother amputates me from the world.
- metaphor is a secure place. in the deaths of men there is pain. you don’t have to see it.
- only men have real bones.
- when the surgeon fails, the thanatopractor camouflages the disaster. if the adequate colors are applied, death is no more than the inevitable evolution of sleep. the dead also give up in the face of time. thanatopraxy is another form of pottery. an ephemeral art.
- i’m weaned from my mother. in spain five hundred and sixty million chickens continue to be killed per year. time still cuts vessels. i renounce sundays of broken things.
- in the natural history museum there are no glass cases containing the wound. death is an instrument for knowledge. animals don’t sleep. they fly, run, take their heads out of the holes of their burrows. death is undressed. and celebrated.
- taxidermy is thanatopraxy for animals. men are no longer animals.
- there is no dignity in the deaths of men.
Sleep-wasted, I shake out dusk. Evening is for solo-exploration, for lying
naked on the fresh made bed. My body is tinsel coat, my body is a blue dress
punched from sky. Pills make the archetype come easy: cherry Melatonin mixed
with Xanax, bitter blue. Swallow to turn inward. Swallow to skin-shrink like sealed flesh.
Sometimes I fall between the folds: my cerebellum
labyrinth. Sometimes I disappear entirely.
fruit fragrant. Cheek to pillow. Pillow to forest floor.
A peeling occurs. Who I am is the whittling—the collapse into cocoon-stasis.
Elsewhere, passed out
on the lumpy mattress, the cat swats at my visible tuft. My body buried in sheets, my brain
buried under layers of hypnogogia. Life continues:
coffee pot bubbling, televised re-runs, a radio show
piped through distant speakers. Something seeps
in the interstitial: an NPR voice filtering into the dream stream, intoning
…feeling trapped…maze-like office buildings, fluorescent lit…almost a warren…
There is water here. In it, my reflection is a hundred things collected under one name.
Words for warren: bedding, burrow, rabbit hole.
Kia Alice Groom is founding editor of Quaint Magazine. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets award, the runner-up for the 2014 Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and a pushcart nominee, Kia’s work has been published in Cordite, Going Down Swinging, The Australian Book Review, Westerly, Permafrost and others. Her work has been anthologized in the Hunter Anthology of Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry and is forthcoming in various other collections. She divides her time between New Orleans, Louisiana and wherever she goes when she falls asleep.
My pencil is fixed. Let’s avoid the metaphor where the page is the universe, and I am God, and the graphite to the white page is some explosion. Nothing “new” is going to happen here. At best it hasn’t been heard for a long time. At best everyone’s subconscious will render many different things based on the same model. But here is a pencil ready to flesh a mountain. I draw the pleats of it like vulva, I said pleats because you should see a skirt, those things because all mountains are on the female spectrum — if people are still married to that idea. The virtuosity in the depths and heights are just my idea of where the sun is and isn’t. And since I am a bad artist — light is all over the place like spilled olive oil. The mountain because — insurmountable; the olive oil because — the vulva: I should start testing my metaphors by analyzing how well they operate in reverse. The vulva is a mountain, olive oil is light, skirts are mountains: suddenly some things are not very true. I just want to delineate a space I can walk into and be done. There isn’t really a point in all this drawing, just to fashion an escape hatch into a useful solitude.
Jessica Lanay is a poet and short story writer originally from the Florida Keys. She is interested in writing towards the incalculable nature of human emotions, psychology, and metaphysical dilemmas. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh and works at the Center for African American Poetry And Poetics. Her work can be found in Salt Hill Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, Sugar House Review, and others. She is excited to have her work featured in The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review, as she has been a fan for quite some time. @jessy_llayne
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The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review is a print and digital literary journal. We offer original fiction — short stories, short short stories, hybrid—poetry and nonfiction. We also curate The Eckleburg Gallery — visual artwork and intermedia — as well The Groove including first released, original music by The Size Queens. Our archives include emerging and established writers, poets, artists, musicians and performers such as Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Eurydice, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, Moira Egan, David Wagoner, Zach Galifianakis and many more. We run annual print issues, The Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore, Chicago, New York….), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction with a first prize of $1000 and print publication.
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The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review was founded in 2010 as an online and print literary and arts journal. We take our title from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and include the full archives of our predecessor Moon Milk Review. Our aesthetic is eclectic, literary mainstream to experimental. We appreciate fusion forms including magical realist, surrealist, meta- realist and realist works with an offbeat spin. We value character-focused storytelling and language and welcome both edge and mainstream with punch aesthetics. We like humor that explores the gritty realities of world and human experiences. Our issues include original content from both emerging and established writers, poets, artists and comedians such as authors, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis.