Sick Black Jellies
Undone by my own stubborn oddness, I will not follow the track that leads me to stand in the center of a town square, high above the townspeople (all of whom are writers) upon a lofty, golden pedestal outside the enormous old crumbly-looking academy.
My brains are no good at following tracks. And anyway, pedestals are for pissing on or burning.
I stay indoors where inside, deep inside my brains, like a part of me, are Clarice Lispector’s sick black jellies. She told me secrets through her jellies, secrets that are existentially important but useless in terms of “finding a voice,” career hoarding, arriving in the purgatory of tenure, or having your poem’s ass appear on endless journal covers.
Thinking about her, it begins to bother me that this may not say anything to you that you will take away, the way I took her jellies from the park into the basement and all day got slaughtered by her and for several days afterward felt so peaceful in the way that giving up makes you peaceful. I don’t remember what the jellies meant, only that they were so important to me in that moment on the grass, the very green grass in the park, while I got sunburned.
I suppose knowing the jellies once had meaning and still are a part of me, somewhere, shaping me, should make me feel better. But I want to know, townspeople: do you carry the jellies’ secrets about with you? Can you feel them singing and vibrating inside you? Or do you feel, as I did from up there on the pedestal, that you are missing out on something irreplaceable and life-altering that will destroy you?
A Cowgirl is Something That Matters
In the blender everything becomes thrill-hued. “The blender is sexy-wild like intercourse!” the neighbors, poolside, yell across the fence.
The whole identical party is wearing leis. Fluorescent drinks perch like jewels on their fingers. The sky above them is the color of burning animals. They lick barbeque sauce off their plates.
I am not sure how I became a person who lives here. For the last twenty years, I have been looking through my binoculars for birds that do not seem to exist in our subdivision. I make a lasso of the pigtail down my ass in order to capture the uncapturable afar—a thing never before seen in photographs.
“Look yonder: my pigtail’s blending that mountain! It’s blending right through Proust!” I yell across the fence.
“Participating in the world of literature just makes you economically unstable, homeless- looking, and mentally ill—and in no way special,” says neighbor Ted.
“And besides, that’s a ponytail. Pigtails come in twos,” wife Cindi adds.
I binoculate away. Three states over I spy an atom of blue sky and a raven I envy for not having to lipstick.
Neighbor Ted does not know how to wield a lasso. He has never even tried. I am not sure of the last time he read something on paper. He cannonballs into the pool and Cindi’s face expresses terror at whatever he’s doing to her body underwater.
I lasso a thousand ravens. I pluck and debone and drain. I smash sticky feathers all over my breasts, plaster my vagina into a bloodfeathered tomb.
I lay blackening on my hot, wet lawn.
“It’s okay, neighbors. Come,” I say, composing a vagina poem as I speak. “Smell me. I am ripening. I am galloping off into the redhot prairie sun.”
They loom huge above me in their tropical swimwear, tikitorching me, screaming, kicking my mouth full of dirt.
Megan Martin is the author of Nevers, forthcoming from Caketrain in spring 2014, and Sparrow & Other Eulogies (Gold Wake 2011). She lives in Cincinnati for now, with her boyfriend and a bunch of cats.