The Sea is a Good Place to Think About the Future- Los Campesions

 I grabbed hold of her wrist and my hand closed from tip to tip
I said �you�ve taken the diet too far, you have got to let it slip�
But she�s not eating again, she�s not eating again, she�s not eating again, she�s not eating again.
I ask her to speak French and then I need her to translate, I get the feeling she makes the meaning more significant.
She was always far too pretty for me to believe in a single word she said, believe a word she said.
At fourteen her mother died in a routine operation, from allergic reaction to a general anesthetic. She spent the rest of her teens experimenting with prescriptions, in a futile attempt to know more than the doctors.
She said one day to leave her, sand up to her shoulders waiting for the tide
to drag her to the ocean, to another sea�s shore.
This thing hurts like hell,
but what did you expect?

And all you can hear is the sound of your own heart
And all you can feel is your lungs flood and the blood course
But oh I can see five hundred years dead set ahead of me
Five hundred behind,
A thousand years in perfect symmetry
lacto dasical

paint it black by janet fitch

She held herself around her thin waist, her stomach brutally empty, she couldn't stand to eat now, couldn't stand the heaviness in her own body. She has no body, she's too poor. . . She wished that was true. She was tired of hauling her body around. The clocks had all stopped, except the clock in the body. She had killed the thing she loved, and she was still here, needing to eat and sleep and pay the rent. She didn't know what she was now, if she was real or just someone Michael had dreamed up.

"Van Gogh in Moscow" by Katherine Young

Summer bleeds through our fingers.

On our twig boat we ride downstream

dabbling hands in the water,

slippery green reeds brushing

our fingertips.  We catch fish

in the evening; moist and crackling,

they turn black for our fire.


In Sardinia, a Russian ballerina

carves patterns in her veins,

pirouettes across her room,

wakes to white coats. “I am oh!-so-tired!”

she cries before she flits away.


There are paintings that crawl from cracks

in the wall, faces dwelling

in the mind, eyes seeping into

one’s own eyes, glittering evilly. . . .


When I have draped my veins on Sardinia,

danced vibrant among shrieking canvasses

and brought my boat in from the reeds,

I shall become a fish,

bones like these.

Rachel McKibbens

I found some 3 a.m. turbulence in pitch black sleeping
beside the railroad tracks off Wilson Road.  Is it yours?
I followed it through the alleyway down Dead House Row,
then it stopped and stood still. I tapped it on the shoulder
and it turned. Its face: a drawing of someone standing in a window.
It made a grand sound. A low moan. No skin and all gloom.

It became a hungry woman with hissing hair and scales for scalp.
Does it need medication? Do you miss it entirely,
like a cut-down breast misses her blood engine?
It wants to remember you. I talk to it. Offer names
that might bring comfort. When I say William,
it licks its lips. When I sing Mary, Mary it sways and sways.
When I ask where it came from, it mouths that empty girl.

TXF: rainbow!

"Skeleton," short story by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury has written a number of stories concerning body dysmorphia of one sort or another. "A Medicine for Melancholy"—a girl discovers that she and her gripping depression may be one and the same. A couple comes to terms with the implications of their baby's unusual dimensions in "Tomorrow's Child." The thirteen-year-old protagonist in "Fever Dream" is consumed by the body that used to be his. Because Bradbury is a writer of science fiction (among other genres, he is quick to point out), the reader is inclined to believe the unlikely and impossible: a body can eat the mind inside; the characters in these stories are right about what is happening to them. These are stories that appeal to me because I am only beginning to recognize the face in the mirror as mine; have felt the terror of an alien fleshiness with its hooks in my psychic being; despite being recovered, still grip my body, measure it with my hands, gauge everything on a literal gut feeling.

"Skeleton" (1943) is a tale of body-consciousness, duality, and second opinions.

you could cut ties with all the lies

Bulimia // Denise Duhamel

A kiss has nothing to do with sex,
she thinks. Not really. That engulfing, that trying to take
all of another in for nourishment, to become one with her, to become
part of her cells. The way she must
have had everything she wanted
in the womb, without asking. Without
kisses have barely the slurp-sound of
a man entering a woman
or sliding back out – neither
movement with even the warning of
a bark.
The Greek word "buli," animal hunger.
Petting, those kisses are called, or
sometimes necking.
She read this advice in a sex manual once: "Take the man’s penis,
slowly at first, like you are licking a melting ice cream
from the rim of a cone." But the gagging, the choke –
a hot gulp of tea, a small chicken bone, a wad of gum grown to big.
That wasn’t mentioned. It’s about what happens in her mouth
past her teeth, where there is no more control, like a waterfall –
or its being too late when the whole wedding cake is gone:

She orders one from a different bakery this time, so no one
will remember her past visits and catch on. She’s eating
slowly at first, tonguing icing from the plastic groom’s feet, the hem
of the bride’s gown, and those toothpick-points that kept them
rooted in pastry. She cuts the top tier into squares,
reception-like. (The thrill she knew of a wedding this past June,
stealing the white dessert into her purse, sucking
the sugary blue gel from a napkin one piece was wrapped in.
She was swallowing paper on her lone car ride home,
through a red light, on her way to another nap
from which she hoped a prince’s kiss would wake her.)

The second tier in her hands, by fistfuls, desperate
as the Third World child she saw on tv last week, taking in gruel.
Her head, light like her stomach is pumped up with air.
She can’t stop. She puckers up to the sticky crumbs under her nails.
Then there are the engraved Valentine candies:
CRAZY, DREAM GIRL, ACT NOW, YOU’RE HOT. She rips open the bag,
devouring as many messages as she can at once.
They all taste like chalk. She rocks back and forth.

She has to loosen the string on her sweat pants, part of her trousseau.
The bag of candy is emptied. The paper doily
under the cake’s third layer, smooth as a vacuumed ice-skating rink.
What has she done? In the bathroom, like what happened
to the mistakenly flushed-away bracelet, a gift
from her first boyfriend – the gold clasp silently unhooking
as she wiped herself, then, moments too late, noticing
her naked wrist under the running water of the rest room
sink’s faucet…She’s learned it’s best to wait ten minutes
to make herself throw up. Digestion begins at this point,
but the food hasn’t gotten very far. As ingenious as the first
few times she would consciously masturbate, making note of where
her fingers felt best, she devises a way to vomit
that only hurts for a second.

She takes off her sweatshirt and drapes it over a towel rack.
Then she pokes a Q-Tip on her soft palate. Keeping in mind
the diagram in her voice class, the cross section
of the mouth showing each part’s different function,
the palate – hidden and secret as a clitoris.
The teacher’s mentioning of its vulnerability, split-second
and nonchalant like a doctor and his tongue depressor.
It’s a fast prayer – she kneels in front of the toilet.
Her back jerks and arches the way it might
if she were moving her body to meet a man’s during intercourse.
She wipes what has sprayed back to her chest,
her throat as raw as a rape that’s happened to someone else.
She cleans the seat of the bowl with a rag, and cleans
her teeth with a second toothbrush she keeps for this purpose.
Her sweatshirt back on, she gets to the kitchen
to crush the cake box into a plastic garbage bag.
And leaves to dispose of it, not in the trashcan downstairs,
but in a dumpster way on the other side of town.
you could cut ties with all the lies

Anorexic: A Renga // Tim Myers

Only another
life would not have this waking
and remembering.

But here are her two feet and
she sets them on the hard floor.

Sometimes the body
waits for us to understand,
dying autumn field.

Always things to do—there's
temporary refuge here.

Mice have gotten at
the graham crackers, nibbled through
an unopened box.

All day at work, phones ringing.
At lunchtime she eats alone.

That man keeps looking
at her; she thinks of the ease
of wind in branches.

Endlessly the whish whish of
paper in the copier.

Try as she will, she
can't make her heart bend to
the ease of a Yes.

She buys the traps and sets them.
This is how you make a home.

You can't let the mice
go on; that patient little hunger
must be stopped.

In bed, a woman, alone,
the full moon at her window.

What are you, the moon asks,
but a hunger gazing on
my satisfaction?

Does she imagine
a crumb of cheese poised in
the waiting mousetrap?

from The Pedestal Magazine
you could cut ties with all the lies

(fear of) being watched // arlene ang

the grocery list has X marks all over like eyes.

someone’s been looking for you under an assumed name.

it’s hard not to read the dear fashionable repairman note on your fridge.

when you’re out of milk, you experiment on animals.

the gorilla suit comes in several cotton-candy colors.

like a multiple personality, you lowlight the worse parts of your hair.

the effect is cinematic and rembrandt-familiar at the same time.

the bus driver keeps tapping his watch as if he’s really looking at you.

much of your childhood was spent touching your face to check for nosebleed.

menarche means to paint a woman’s face in the mirror.

reflection makes peanut butter stick to the roof of your mouth.

you’re so thin, they say, it’s hard to imagine you’re actually still there.

Earthquake by Amber Tamblyn

My entire life has been a huge earthquake
I slept through. All I know are the aftershocks.

The sound of glass being swept up
in my lover's bedroom.

A story I don't remember telling is the headline
of every newspaper the morning after.

My blackout in big lights.
All I see is the damage I've done.

My mother is the news anchor,
never allowing me to escape her natural disaster.

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