under various conditions (none of them strenuous, all of them pleasant)
by Jenny Smith, Laura Rosenthal, Theodore Schwinke, Andrei Codrescu.
Transcribed and annotated with some unexplained ambiguities by T.
here to never
eat zestless fruits
peonies or their dependent stigmata
to cover all wobble
smile at all that toss things at us. Forthwith
henceforths, we the high & under-
of dogfood sound and the eastern Krajina, betwixt
rocks and incredibly moist terrapin bellies
And start. And quit. And always eat our
not then it.
it then what.
when then or.
is or if.
Smith and Theodore Schwinke
are charting the progression of our fevers on the wall of the living
room. I'm the dark horse, trailing streams of dust, leaving beheaded
bunnies in the wake of my hooves. I never stop for water.
only time I stops is when the coffee runs out. The caffeine acts
like nitrous oxide; the fever burns cleaner. Particles vibrate at
higher intensity. We should be able to pass through the walls before
dawn. Horsey, horsey, you are the only reason I go on. You are my
cell-wall, my semi-permeable membrane. We three kings of occident
are. At 3:30, Drew's fever hits 102 degrees like the county line.
You have to respect that. Searching for his coffee cup, Matt says,
"Any man who can't walk across the desert without a drop of water,
slaughter sixteen head of cattle, build an outhouse and then come
into the kitchen and make a decent cup of coffee ain't worth his
salt." Irvid agrees. Mildred comes in, carrying a roast chicken
on a stick. She stops in the doorway abruptly at the sight of us.
Resting the chicken across her shoulder like a rifle, she ratchets
a cigarette into her pierced lips. She lights the cigarette with
one of the dozen or so oil lamps blazing around the room.
she says, "When I was a girl, and I was a little thing when I was
a girl, about as big as a cattail, I ate a side of beef a day. The
taste of meat was like raw strawberries to me." "I ate so much meat
that my colon went on strike," said Drew. "I can't touch the stuff
anymore." He took the fresh cup of coffee I offered him and started
spooning in sugar. Matt is reading a magazine that he's got behind
a menu. When the menu slips, everyone at the table see the cover,
which has at least three girls on one car along with something that
might be a pony.
the strange magazine cover, his companions aspired to sainthood.
We are riveted with strange arrows. There is a knock at the door,
and we laugh.
you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you," said Ruth-Ann, as she backed
out of the door holding her uncle's head on a plate. The silver
platter holding her uncle's head slipped from her hands just short
of the table. Her uncle's head bounced like a ripe melon, its juices,
warm from the oven sprinkled her stockings like the sparkling icing
on the cookies. The head itself bounced off her new shoes like light
from a church window. It rolled across the floor collecting dust
bunnies in its orifices.
alarmed, shouted "Mary and Joseph! Get that in the sink with some
salt and cold water! Cold water!" Ruth-Ann was always the
village idiot until there was an emergency, which was pretty often,
come to think of it.
the house, life was like a pail of milk that somebody had spat in.
A gun was heard from the backyard, and its sound bounced from wall
to wall so quickly that the paint chipped
stairs, unhappy to be trod on, give us the silent treatment. "Roust
out, you little rutabaga!" comes the inevitable morning shout from
the older sister. Not even today. Not even on Christmas morning
did the family touch a drop of butter, cream or milk. The kitchen
was clean of any evidence of dairy products.
could be found except a darker stain at the high-water mark that
covered the trunks of the trees and the unfinished concrete walls
of the outbuildings' foundations. The flood lasted throughout January.
"Longer and higher than I'd seen in a coon's age," said some who
had the right. When the flood receded, half the town discovered
that their fingers were missing. Some kind of bacteria in the water,
the missing appendages would probably be eaten up by catfish. Just
as well, I thought; I can't stand catfish anyway. Oh, the stories
we would hear from the boys. Sometimes, late at night when the floorboards
squeal, Barry, everybody's lonely uncle, can hear fingers. Thousands
of them, gleaming white, swimming through the air.
Czech Poem 1
in Czech is zamilovat se
however, is forever while cosmos 2
under the weight of the multiple
of malleable materials that
of polyester and dead 3
lines the carriages of the poetic
of limbs at rest in the
not human, scientific by definition
not 5 book
in which 7 is insribing 6
weeping men clutching their
This corpse appears to be divided into three quatrains. While atypical
of the corpses produced by the authors in Prague at this, it is
possible that they were experimenting with traditional poetic techniques
and other substances. The reader will also note the frequent occurrence
of visual end rhyme.
The word here is somewhat illegible. While it appears to be cosmos,
it lacks the definite article which would conventionally precede,
i.e. "the cosmos wobbles." It is possible that the author (who I
believe to have been Codrescu) was alluding to the 10th
century chronicler of Bohemian history, Cosmas of Prague (c. 1045-1125).
Again, the original text is somewhat illegible. The author appears
to have begun one word and then changed his or her mind in the course
of writing it. While the final result bears more resemblence to
dead than any other word, the vocable hear looks something
akin to ahead, stead or deaf.
sic. Probably mellifluous.
sic. Probably note.
The original text is somewhat illegible. Inscribing appears
to be the most logical choice, yet the word here could also be inscriby
red ork 1
dork fish-like and
mean what it says mean 2
smells like cat
find holes to suck them
off shirt off nipples
jutting from faces
Jan Hus, the antisemite
geese-- he is a goose
feathers plucked his head
flying just now past
Possibly ark. If so, then the next word
beginning the second line is likely dark.
game as played here is intended as a series of questions and answers.
Invariably, however, the rules are too complicated, resulting in
frustration and fabulous disasters; but for the sake of art, it
is quite compelling. These were created at the gumbo party.
was the queen's bootlicker?
on earth makes them wrinkle that way?
is very blue, kinda round-shaped, but--I just don't know
did I die and make god me?
the moment of the shoemaker's epiphany.
much you clean
are my reference books
the Inn of the Boar where they keep the dogs
Tailor. The one with all the bandages.
last fish. Did you know that you can hold a carp by its lower
made the dress of the fisherman's wife?
fucking bartender with the muffler
dropped from the bath with the baby?
collapse of Norwegian theatre.
wonders what one must do, but when?
did those soldiers pull up your pants finally?
de Vaca Day
do they pickle sardines in vats?
a blue crate.
Why me? Because I'm the fucker with a necktie?
my cuticles have been chewed
Nicholas in the height of indecision
put the mushroom in my bed?
the seriology and urine samples?
do Inuits call snow?
wonders whether the snow is white or in the mind?
did that blood get on your shoe?
will I stop being a dour self-absorbed cantankerous
with dark eyebrows and one pair of sneakers?
I say so, fool.
the Ganges, upstream, by the water stand.
did you trade the ice for gumbow 1?
(not) Oh, shit. I don't know why, just hand me the fish.
is that man without the earlobes?
Andrei "Skimble-Shanks" Codrescu, that's who!
What was in the farmhouse when Farmer Struthers heard the shot?
the deed 1
did the deer horns in my bed come from?
heart of darkness.
do you stand on your head?
did those keys get up there?
being so cross-eyed you can stand in the middle of
week and see both Sundays.
have we faltered?
sweety-- I don't know why. The silk is "nice and dry"
a fish question.
was the dolt whose hair caught in the drain?
man in red, of course.
is the difference between Barcelona and Madrid?
seventh seal of the apocalypse.
we are what we wear
I first saw your tits and sensed the taste of you
much goop dripped from Andalusia's eye?
where would you find george's head again?
Robert Frost's anus.
hounds devoured who?
oozes. Today--fresh, moist--salty. Tomorrow = festering,
I don't understand)
with jinglebells on.
happened to the cap on your pen?
exactly, did the shit go down?
much did I have to suffer before having
what orifice did the sacred object lay?
is the meaning of life?
whom might one find a copy of A.S. Matheson's "Post-
Perspectives on the Plight of Underpriveledged
packed this Caruel 1
was the telephone number of Castro?
Green Manalishy 2
with the Two Pronged Crown
did the leave the womb?
Blue Moon -- The Second Moon -- Thursday
is the Sojourner space probe?
the game show host.
did she ever keep that thing on her
from falling off?
did they do this?
we're all just pleasure-seeking druids
The original ms. is somewhat illegible.
2. The original ms. is somewhat illegible.
the hell asked you, you arch-monolithic, troglodytic simp? Who?
The woman with all the fishooks 1.
the fuck do the fire-ants eat at dawn?
did you sleep with that weird guy?
yars later, when Colonel Aureliano Buendia
to face the firing squad, he would remember
distant afternoon when his grandfather
him to discover ice.
did Trevor go?
is the mother of that bug?
the brown valley of hair between her breasts.
did her knees bend like violin bows?
whom does the worm worm worm?
my girlfriend for a while but then
were other possibilities
you know how many dancers assembled?
course, isn't the number of lighters constant?
(A Pygmy with a Hardon) 1
with a hardon sucks my
are the free-floating eyeblinks of
said Drusilla 2,
flashing her legs at the
pleasing whippersnappers who can't sit still when she tips her
of mary -- he's 3
with tri-cornered prepuces 4
breach, baked in an iron oven, 24 blackbirds
tripping over an amoeba and furnishing the grape
contraceptives that the Czechs followed the
ignorance is a legitimate
department is the worst excuse for protection in the
underworld big world bold world of worldly world
not peepers, poppers not choppers he
the morning sun above the heads of
a singing six geese a laying, five horny toading
right I never get it fucking right what if the
anywhere else would
slow and malicious and belligerent and sweet.
original ms. is unsigned and untitled. It appears to be created
at the gumbo party.
original ms. is somewhat illegible. This proper noun is possibly
Priscilla or Drúsilla.
original ms. is largely illegible. The word that is most likely,
but by no means positively, mary is followed by hypen and
then the word I have presented here as he's, although the
original lacks an apostrophe. Further interpretations are welcomed,
encouraged and well-nigh pleaded for.
original ms. is somewhat illegible, but I feel that this is the
correct word, prepuce being foreskin.
(Left-Handed Corpse) 1
nor Prague where
th 2 moments
the way--she ate your
Shut up, you dripping
morons! Shut up, you post-modern
They had wings
said. Fortunately, the dog
the cigar and not the
to beat that dog again
the people, by the people, of another kind of
no, I haven't got humanity.
This corpse is unsigned. While the original manuscript was plainly
penned left-handed (by those authors who were right-handed; right-handed
for southpaws), it is not possible for the archivist to distinguish
the handwriting, and therefore the identity of the authors. If memory
serves, however, this corpse and several others included in this
collection were created at the apartment of A.Codrescu and L.Rosenthal
after a dinner of gumbo and ample portions of vodka. In addition
to Codrescu and Rosenthal, those present, and possibly contributing
to these works, included Jenny Smith, Theodore Schwinke, Robert
Eversz, William Hollister. With less certainty, I might further
suggest the presence of Clark Blaise, Julie Chibbaro, Julie Ashley
and Anthony Tognazzini.
sic. Doubtlessly intended as the definite article the,
but whether the omission of the final vowel is intentional or not
can not be ascertained.
Mercifully, the word man is crossed out in the original by
a jagged up-and-down scribble. I doubt the author intended it to
be thus included in the final work and should therefore probably
be omitted from further editions.
(The cherubs of insecurity) 1
cherubs of insecurity sink their
teeth made from the keys on an electric
piano. I've always wanted to play but my teacher had
turquoise grit under her nails and as she demonstrated scales
I stared always, fixated, scared, at her fingers and never
learned a single
tune. A guitarist would do much better. All he'd do is change the
chord. Put it here, with spades and jokers. There can be
no other novelists in the fold, no other mice in the cheese. We
the only reservation he had about the incident was an
immense baby in a baptism of blood with
Cossacks full of Pepsi riding their nags 2
sunset, where a shoehorn becomes a newt becomes an
axolotl teotipruec teotihuocon mextal conxelmuh 3
the parrot, nabbed a necktie in his beak and
with the tint of an old Polaroid. I stood
a glass slipped from her hand. Red wine spilled on her dress; the
shards splinter my concious thoughts of fear.
as deep as Paris 4
as wide as techno-parsimony and
that never gets eat 5
from all the plates.
thru the annals of histrionic de-evolution.
The original ms. is untitled and unsigned. Probably created at the
The original ms. is somewhat illegible.
The original ms. is somewhat illegible. Plainly, a mimicking of
Aztec names is intended.
The original ms. is somewhat illegible. Possibly Pain.
(The kitchen boiled over my thighs) 1
kitchen boiled over my
thighs the alternative to murder by
scissors shreading 2
stripes of parched flesh, like
leather silk wood metal glass plastic cotton wool blend
of my best friend: Sasha Solanovanovitch the II,
"Esquire, Joe," he said, shaking hands.
"I'm sorry. Really. I Realize I should stand up for myself but just--
--sorry." This, of course, was wholly unsatisfactory,
as riddled with holes as a careless gunman's distillery,
as coldly as he could he said "When the Revolution
comes for the ice cream, pistachio, that they had
bought a cannibal in the passage and ate her out in
spades dig you deeper than aces, but
diamonds with chocolate, strange as dice. Someone has taken
a scissors--motion, sliding. slithering. closing sharbly 4
motion sickness. After the game, we took turns changing
will roll when the fallacy of royalty falls to bastians 5
hedonists at the gates of heaven and the goats from the
The original ms. is unsigned and untitled. Probably
created at the gumbo party.
The words riddled as are crossed out, probably because the
author thought they better fit in the next line.
sic. Probably sharply.
(The Legs of Deer are Hairy)1
legs of deer are hairy but my heart
through the coarse cotton
straw hat and wire glasses fought
mirrored. Plants and bees shoe themselves in
green as fireflies, as new peanuts. "Put this
context." Algorhythms, however better determine the size of the
Wallah? Never been there," said Phil. "Heard they
apples there." He picked his
and looking down her porcine nose, snuffling and
what she could. She always said what she could, however
did it. She said a lot of things but who could tell
one ought to believe?
twice, but never again. There were three competing things that got
Article noun preposition verb adverb, this the latest dispatch
points unbeehooved. 3
74 women drove from St. Louis to grand woods, AK
a precious wisdom he told her,
passing me these fucking papers before
is another but you are she & we're somewhat
with the pen
touched by a fleshy tentacle and
The original ms. is untitled and unsigned. Probably created at the
At this point, the corpse is discontinued on the front side of the
page and resumes on the back. While this was probably accidental,
there is a marked difference in the tone and style of work.
sic. Possibly intended as unbehooved, but the original misspelling
is plainly preferable.
(You can tell by the contents of her glass cabinet) 1
can tell by the contents of her glass cabinet, everything
about her and garlic. With garlic she approaches music, like
a butcher, a tailor, a silly girl's mother and fourteen
angry dog leashed to it's 2
the dog to the lamppost beside where
touched herself in a very private place that was
her clitoris, but clorets he was chewing.
we spelled words, inexplicably we opened up the
or so they say, walled in with glass trinkets
disillusioned housecoats--you know--those that were used to
and rhodendron 3
bulbs. Profuse was not the word for
Jungle, tropics, palms like overgrown, long hands
with his two front teeth which, coincidentally, were
his thoughts in an urn and pissed in it
euphorically, eclesiastically 4,
of the insect world bright blue metallic
vrooms it's red it's chrome I twist the handlebars
skim, all the sidewalk down, bump cracks, and rattle
for. that. if. not. past. with. sport. mescaline.
in walnut oil
moil circumsises you with his teeth and you
sing it sister.
The original ms. is untitled and unsigned. Probably created at the
sic. Doubtlessly its was intended.
(Generative left field polychromas)1
arrythmia and dusting of
you flowery philanderers whose
infests the rain gutters - they sprout
totally aroused so that their caps
the spores that get into my hair
brush my hair with
like Molotov but hard like Stalin
the portophallogenic 2
slipped halfway down the steps of the botanical gardens.
The first line on the original manuscript is not underscored as
on the other corpses, leaving me to believe that this piece was
intentionally left untitled. The use of white space above mimics
that of the original manuscript, although the staggered lines and
stanzas may have been accidental.
Portophallogenic is simply my best guess, although the word
here could also be porno- or portophollogenic.
The original manuscript is largely illegible. Possibly disparately,
definitely or dispensibly