If your head is a stovetop, does that fill your belly with fire to keep the steam blowing off? Or does it fill you with hot air? So easy to be overblown. Or blown over, maybe. But when we do take up space, we run the risk of being called too strident, too grotesque. So we are plastered over with niceness, planned to harden into undangerous passivity.
I touch my stomach in the dark. It feels weird to remain so soft, surface after hard surface for sleep wherever we go. We might be some new material: neither hard nor soft, but always both at the same time. Will we retain our shape in fifty years, like them? Or will we disassemble into some different purpose?
I wish I could stop asking questions, but maybe this is the point.
It feels difficult to determine hardness when we are always changing shape for the landscape we are in, and for our own plurality. You’re the cute one. Now I am. Now you tell the story. I am too tired from living it. Is this what puppets do, too? Change shape to fit the times, even as their exterior hardens? Maybe we’ll climb into one of those nostrils, each, and curl up to find a resting place. Tie up something else with plastic patterns to burst out, too full, too much inhale and no ex–
[Everything is stuffed and disorganized like my suitcase, somehow still full and growing even after leaving things behind. The barn and the cathedral are full of memories that are dusty and mostly forgotten, the fire of their political clout fading in the face of our skepticism.]
Bleh bleh fliggifrickrendrip bleh bleh bleh look at my face stare into my eyes and be hypnotized by the pattern of my bow ties. Bleh bleh fliggifrickfrendrip bleh bleh up yours up mine ya bleh bleh feelin fine sluggin on the floor sluggin in the sky bleh bleh bleh oh me oh my.
You cannot catch me or stick me down. I bite my thumb or tongue or nail at you. I will not move. I sit still. Oozing into the floor, spreading, taking up room, the spit from my tongue slipping down my body, puddling in my lap and eeking into your life. When you check the news when you open your mouth, out I come to take over your vocal chords.
Where have I been? Bleh bleh bleh. I’m on the side of the street in Boston looking side eyed at all those who pass. My turf my sidewalk my billboard it’s mine. My place maybe his too, his hands flapping over his body to rest. At rest at rest I stay in one place at rest – all of this is mine. And why is it mine? I claimed it and I am best suited to it.
No one else can do it like I do it. No one can wag their tongue can hold a room can shoot a gun can make a mark can wear a hat like I wear a hat can pull off this bow tie like I can pull off this bow tie. No one. NO ONE ONLY ME BLEH BLEH BLEH I’d like to see you try, you are made of measles, you are made of maggots, you would slip through a grate you would I say you would.
You may approach no – you over there with the watch. Yes that watch. Maybe you. Maybe you could learn. To ooze at the seams to hold a room to own this place.