Slant

THE BOOK OF LIFE

Cavan Sheela. From Sheela na gig: The Dark Goddess of Sacred Power (Inner Traditions, 2016). Photo: Ariana Reines.

No actually the first word emerged

Deep in the bowels of the human throat

& forged in loathing & envy, has now attained majority

& like a Christ is rising, gagging, pointing to its second wound

The better to distract me

All my life you’ve taught me to mourn the son

Nevermind that this isn’t even my religion

Then after stealing my children you hacked

Away my reproductive organs

You never believed me capable of grief

On behalf of my own immensity

And caused to orbit all about my head the mouths

Of those white women rich enough to fatten

Their lips with silicone.  And bade them shape

Woken syllables on the accumulating apps of your fortune 

Natural beauty dies the deaths you innovated for it

It was catastrophe you wanted

For only catastrophe could arouse you now

Me & my sisters, slick in the semen of your eye

*

And even at this late date I was astonished

To find that for all that you’d left my throat intact

Having recourse now only to gagging

We realized in horror in the midst of our protest

That we were STILL causing you pleasure

*

The gigantic endlessly-whipped mysticism of women

Is the single most misunderstood phenomenon in the universe

Preceding the original man

We fasted but could not starve it

Corseted it, shat out babies & gave them suck

Lost our will to live, stayed in bed with the soaps

Or burned ourselves on the pyre of your psychedelic awakening

And your sexual revolution, after which, pregnant

& needing to make a living, we decanted our pussy

Into strenuous yogas & increased purchasing power

Mindfully causing gentle kales and gem lettuces

To revolve in your guts

And, our every feeling now the fodder

For a robot that would better understand how to bring you joy

A joy you would perfect just a few days after our death

In the polyps & viscera of a pain you will never understand

It took you all of fifteen seconds to come inside us

And still we believed there was hope for you

Meister Bluebeard, Lord Google, Father Time

The balding egg of your skull, brined in celestial juice

What, it’s just a cup of honey

What, it’s only money

*

What a stupid situation

In which to be becoming more & more beautiful

Look I didn’t make the law

Plumped & slick with spit

I’m stuck in the same prism you are

Seeing my way around you

Like a solitary citizen squinting around the girth of the Bastille

So high you can’t get over it

Like the taut belly of a Pierpont

So low you can’t get under it

Polished Q-ball drumskin she gonna blow

When the planet rises to the level of its mothers

Pleasure will have a new name

It will no longer be this bastard you

It will no longer recognize my lord you

Sea boiling with drowning men

Estrella del Mar

When the tip of my tail split in two

I bled

You told me I had the right to remain silent

*

I have just received unsolicited pics

Of myself as a girl

They were sent by a woman who once babysat me

On one I find the unmistakable look

Of lechery on my fat Jewish little face

The second I see it this look becomes a book

And flies up before I can stop it into my scar

To nest there, with all the self-importance

Of a plump little rook, settling its feathers

Under itself in the attitude of “It’s a fact, bitch.”

Copulation brought me into this world

Sex is apparently the selfsame power my culture

Still cannot comprehend, blaming the parody of inner

Knowing that is the weeping eye of your dick

On us.  What a bore.  TITUBA

TITUBA TITUBA TITUBA TITUBA

TITUBA TITUBA TITUBA TITUBA

The puritan gallstone has not passed!

The scarlet letter is unredeemed!

*

No sir

No sire

I was attracted to what you’re calling the sacred

Because it was trash

And you’re the man who trashed it

And because it could be accessed online free of charge

And without initiation

And because I too was the refuse of this world

Monopolizing only profit you collectivized

Your true wage

The shame consternation and self-disgust

Proper to you has washed up at my door

YOUR WAGE YOUR WAGE YOUR WAGE

Asshole, I have come here to return to you YOUR WAGE

 

 

Ariana Reines is the author of A SAND BOOK, winner of the 2020 Kingsley Tufts Prize, and the Obie-winning play TELEPHONE.


Today, September 17, is the Feast Day of Hildegard von Bingen.

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