Excerpts
The Gorelets Omnibus
Michael A. Arnzen
Armadillo Fists
Carlton Mellick III
Anatomy Courses
Blake Butler
Sean Kilpatrick
Doom Magnetic!
William Pauley III
Fill the Grand Canyon
Andersen Prunty

Fiction
Disambiguation
Donna Fleck
Pink Nausea
Gary J. Shipley

Nonfiction
Possibility Spaces
Lance Olsen

 

Pink Nausea
Gary J. Shipley


With all its forms of greyed torment suppressed inside her for a week the coiled flesh finally suffocated her mummer brain and a brutal delirium made an empty spread of her, a Bosch pretext of presence, limbs bent into reverse symbolizing days and testifying space, her toes having broken free of the antispasmodics jerked like dying bugs, and her tongue a corkscrew of Artaudian madness formed extraordinary symbols that smelt of the street we locked out, of old men uniting with young bodies, of annihilation delivered into beauty plump and hysterical, entering through the TV screen—an indescribable Hamburg catacomb—its images refusing to submit to confinement, its whistling transgressions putting the ruin on her skin like years destroying the certitude of feet, but the cure seemed somehow worse, the doctor feeling the lack of relevant medicines called it a hideous remedy, his explanations pronounced in echoed bursts, each word drowning in saliva, and an age-old silence interviewed us hungrily and yet we refused to surrender suspense to agitation as we heard how bits would fall off her and take it as they went like a benign leprosy, and her vomit would colour pink with the dilution of her organ’s infected regions, and yet she’d still live and think again, depleted and hollowing, but we could not decide, not as intimates of this asylum, this hell of gasps of nerves exiting around eyeballs like vermicular lashes of stray insides multiplying in disused white goods their new bodies interpenetrating of faces poured out into glass jugs, until out of nothing another flyglass stillness a thickly visible panic forced the potential of our hearts, our chests heaving like pregnant stomachs our faces blurred like those on bloated bodies pulled from rivers, and some say it’s imaginary, that it exists if at all only in our symptoms, and that we content ourselves with artifice with the sweat of ghosts but too many have seen or sensed a locus of transmission for it to be a mere functional extravagance, and only last week in the house opposite men were found chanting its mercy and stroking dead cats, tongues swollen with vows, but still we refuse the optimism of those retired to lead-lined coffins waiting it out, the dead light pressing in on them like a vice, and we know it rummages baby heads turns skins out makes hinged windows in skulls, that there are witnesses that say they see its likeness in the traces we make of her narrative of tubercles, and what disease exactly can hurl its sufferers into and through ceilings, grasp arms so tight it destroys bone, so it’s no perfection of causes no luxurious precipice, and that man from Stockholm passing through eyes and walls and bathed in islands of alien light of evaporated flamingos was not conceived in night terrors of horses inflated and shuddered into me, was not the spore of my inquisitorial seclusion my multitudes of un-seized domains my grubby impostures of having seen my daughter’s bare feet eaten by carpet my carrying her out into the street her head giddy screaming her ankles dripping onto the pavement like raw hocks, and I’ll pretend my apparel is not fashioned from unburied faces and that solidity is not intolerable, that every thought of you is not a scheme, that vacant houses do not propagate modifications born from its many voices, that this new country of dialogues is not hacked from grinning cliffs where purposes were written before we stopped looking up, before we adapted our pregnancies, gave them teeth, so that here at the exhibition we can meditate on the supposed differences between wombs and tombs our hopes made from scripts for cures that are also sicknesses.


Gary J. Shipley is the author of Theoretical Animals. He has work that has appeared recently or is forthcoming in New Dead Families, Gargoyle, nthposition, Ygdrasil, Le Zaporogue, and others. He is on the editorial board of the arts journal SCRIPT.