Manifesto II

chuck palahniuk was

            buddha the late show host sang


and we knew nothing

            we knew


of what would come

            afterwards because we neither read

                        the terms

and conditions of use of the world´s

            pace of the human


we children of our time confused

            -of course-


binary opposition

            to talk or to remain


verbal action or abstention

            with binary code

                        we atrophied

our tongues overloaded our

            thumbs and sealed the hormonal


in text messages

            by the mid 2000´s


                        in some corner of silicon


                        our verbs will endure

                        once we´re dead


with us beati will be multiplied

            —antimicrobial preservatives prevent


by bacteria—

            our nails will be


but the calendar won´t be elastic

            there won´t be altars mausoleums


and the incorrupt

            bodies won´t be


because we

            offspring of the tower of babel´s


first witnesses of the end

            of language

                        will scratch

with these surving nails

            the hollow of each


and in a language

            post language

                        —the digit´s

emporium reduced us—         

            in a tongue that won´t be

                        a tongue

we´ll reclaim

            our right

                        to oblivion


  1. my mother decides that sundays are the day for broken things. the week dies into cracks and i need to learn to suture it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. metaphor is a secure place. in the deaths of men there is pain. you don’t have to see it.
  7. only men have real bones.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. taxidermy is thanatopraxy for animals. men are no longer animals.
  12. there is no dignity in the deaths of men.

Alice Sometimes

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.
Down &
                down &
                               down—chemical mouth 
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 trappedmaze-like office buildings, fluorescent litalmost 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.