from THE WOUND IS (NOT) REAL
I await a God in the back of the bus. I await a blue hand to come through the curtain. I await the rain once I roll from the truck and dream the letters all burned in trees. I dig my feet at the base of the lake. I summon the leeches between my toes. I walk this highway with a pillowcase of clothes and await wild horses from the back of my skull. I close my eyes. I finger the red. The ferns they caught me. The police they caught me. I conjure the crawfish at the base of the brook. I conjure the frog in the houses we made. I await the snow and a muskeg of voices and the radio crackling for cancellations. The transmission it comes like yellow fluid. The transmission it comes like a ribbon from my chest and circles around my parents’ bodies… You’re staying home today spake the Lord and slid his blue hand through the half-open door, he wrapped his hands around my neck, he slid a finger in the hole of my chest and fingerbanged the thicket of my humming heart, the thrushes flew, the dappled light, in my dreams I play all day in the snow and jerk off silently in the dark. The cabins they dim; the holes they shut; the yellow eye of the snowplow coming up the drive, for electrified birch for an inch of ice for an earthbroke heavy and about to come I CLOSE MY EYES I FINGER THE RED. For oil glands rupture my febrile skin. I sit on a milkcrate drinking gin. I await a lancet to break me apart. I await the snowsuit and the immoveable arms, for I looked like Christ when I slid on my belly. For I have the knight and the princess both inside me. For I was a king of infinite space. I came in a jar. I buried it in snow. For I bought an eighth of weed and paid in quarters. Forgive me my mothers and trembling brothers. Forgive me for drinking your mother’s liquor. Forgive the bully who hung me by my ankles. Forgive my snowy sepulcher. Forgive my dead goldfish in funereal snow, for the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh my fluids. Forgive the waters of Youth and Death. Forgive me my host for trying to breathe. Forgive the bears lonely in yonder woods. For boys showing their cocks at the bottom of the road. For the sled comes hard when it comes in this way. For my land is my land you indolent fuck. For my town had nine-hundred living individuals. For my town had one-thousand undead dogs. For my Arcadia exists in my hallowed head. *brain matter splatters the bathroom wall* For my Arcadia exists in my internal lake. For my Arcadia is snot in the back of the bus. For my Arcadia exists in the eyesocket of a doll we found lying in a snowbank by the post office wall. I close my eyes. I finger the red.
Waterfall. Backseat. Synthetic cotton. Deep-breath. Pine. Fieldmouse. Deerbed. Bird-nest, people-nest, mess-hall, mead-hall. Orchard. Orchids. Barn-owl, oaktree. Cleft-palette, laughter. Pinetree. Shoe Tree. Christmas Tree. Global economy. Bob Frost. Christmas Tree. Bob Frost. Birch Tree. Bob Frost. Regional values. Bob Frost. State terror. Bob Frost. Pet store. Corpse-rot. Copse-rot. Dryrot. Barefoot. Beowulf. Littlefoot. Lakewater, red squirrel, drainwater, pisswater, rosewater, Town Commons, deer-daughter. Heart-belly. Dear-honey. Dow Jones. Woodstove. Christ-rose. Rosewater. Bose Speaker. Taxform. Eclogue. Taxform. Soggyboot. Deadroot. Diversity Education. Dead-log. Lycidas. Handwarmer. Bus route. Root Glen. Kirkland Glen. Marlboro. Brattleboro. Glenn Beck. Wardsboro. Skate ramp. Radio. Mini-ramp. Radio. Handjob. Human Resources. Handjob. Dark-Ward. Rimjob. Deep-shit. Blue-Lily. Treefort. White-lily, wound-lily, light-fort, Cabin Living. Heifer-march. Deep Woods. Classic Hits. Foreign oil. Snowfort, lily-fort. Warthog, BluRay, red squirrel, Renaissance, pregnant-thought, opioid. Train-tracks. Walmart. White-lily, Aragorn. Mini-Mart. Opioid. Bad-Art. Pregnant-lady. Truth-matter. Train-tracks. Shoewire. Vodka jug. Opioid. Lumbar support. Large dick. Volvo. Backyard. Tie-off. Lumberyard. Black-eye. Rainwater. Drug mule. Pinewater. Dirtfather. White-lily. White-lily. Waterfall. Bob Frost. Mayfly. Autopsy. Bob Frost. Waterfall.
And where did dad go when he left the house, where do birds land when they land in the snow, how did I feel when I fell through the ice and my skin turned blue which is the only way I can match the sky, the dogs followed suit, they jumped thru the hole, we swirled in a circle till we reached the bottom and in the eyes of trout I saw the unified field, how when I stared at the thermometer I felt suddenly dead, how when headlights crossed I felt suddenly dead, when we drank whiskey in the woods on a rotting log and you said I will love you now and we both felt dead and linked our fingers and the blood shot from our toes to our skulls and capillaries in our eyes exploded, how your eyes are hung from wires in my dreams and they shake like a mobile above a baby’s crib, I love your laugh, I love the sunspots that swim in this town, we saw a pack of hounds get hit by a truck and the driver stopped and cracked a smile, he said God is watching, he backed up fast to kill the last dog and I still dream about the brains coming out thru the mouth, I would pull out the sword, I would sob in hope, I am chained to the bed when I think of my father, I remove my tongue when I think of my father, how the holes in my fingers are filled with teeth and my retinal heart it hangs from a string, how we drove until we saw a frozen cow, how I stuck an icepick in its hardened gut and broke the crust till the meat was tender, I fingered the hole and I looked in its eye, I procured a coin and the cow fell over, how black fluid leaked from the colander skin and the silos were beacons on the heralded lawn, I miss my dad, I miss every retriever I’ve ever owned, I miss the projector dust dream that never was and the invented prom queen who lives in my skull, the past like a dollar I left in my jacket, the dick like a memory I found in my throat, I miss the lawnchair yawn on my bedroom roof, I miss the horsehair static as I switched the station and the foil I used for better reception O MOUNTAINOUS FATHER CAN YOU GIVE ME A SIGNAL I miss my dreams of endless snow and the roads blocked off until further notice, Have you been drinking sonf the policeman said, you started laughing, the lights were flashing, I miss my calf-muscle spasm our first time in bed, I started screaming, my god is a plow, my god is a birch, Was it good she said, the dark came free, the bats came free, the moths left my mouth for the mouths of my lovers, when I came to my heart it was filled with suitors, the tables were full, my heart is a cavern but I mean it is tender, I cut my tendon with my mother’s cleaver and something snapped in the blue sky above, you used every scrap the body yielded, you smiled as you stuffed your fist in the bird, and I finger the sore and my god are you living.
RURAL THRASH, VOL. 16
WHAT THE WOUND SUCKS IN
DOES NOT RETAIN
THE ACT OF TRANSFER AS
RADICAL REFUSAL, NOT EMBRACE
FOR PRESERVATION OR OPEN ARMS
OF AN EARTHLY MOTHER
A BODY WITH A HEART IN EACH APPENDAGE
OF A JUNKYARD LUNG
OF A HIGHWAY STRUNG
THE GLINT OF BOTTLES
& OPEN OVENS
MY FEET THEY SKITTER IN HORNY DREAMS
I DON’T MOVE OR WANT TO MOVE
THE GROUND SPLITS OPEN
YOU WHISPER MY NAME FROM THE OTHER SIDE
I RAZOR THE FLESH BETWEEN MY FINGERS
I RAZOR THE FLESH & THE WOUND BEGINS SINGING
Goodbye Arcadia, holy paroxysm, blue-breasted bird adrift in the rafters where it made a nest and rose a home, my bluebird SHRIEK, my morning SHRIEEEEEK my fragrant days raised like a calf in the sun forall night we dreamed in the front of the bus, our future husbands, our future land, the future bodies we could call our own and moneyless lovers with kneecap stars and gars in the ice, we scrubbed each other’s backs in a tub of brown water and the plaster fell from the ceiling and sank…
One time I was young. One time I drank gin. My body rejected fashion and the violence of skin and I saw a horse with a hard-on look my way, goodbye my semen, goodbye warm feeling which riseth from my rib and drifts like a fox to the frosted window I WILL TAKE YOU AWAY I WILL MAKE YOU MY OWN. We slept all night in the pickup bed. We made a fire inside a tent. God paced with a flashlight thru a stranger’s kitchen, and when he opened the fridge the woundlight came and the lettuce wilted and children died. Everything I saw when I woke was white. Everything I loved when I woke was white. Everything that sprouted hairs in its regulated crotch was the color of the belly of the dried-out toad. I mew like a kitten who prowls in the womb; the Lego house killed us, our driveway killed us and the marks of the peepers were flat on concrete. I sleep in warm water. I sleep before money. I sleep in a pixilated pasture that smells like joy and when I hit the switch it flashes gray… O don’t tell me you don’t know the finger of god, don’t say you were asleep when we walked in the room, you float like a gator, you play like a possum. You smell like a wound. You fingered the red. I sank into your soul from the ceiling supports. I was scared of sleepovers. The roads were poor. Life was mostly boring but in a beautiful way. I dreamed of a conveyor belt with my supine body in a upstate junkyard and it was nearly dawn, it stretched for miles, it rang phallus production, it rang I was crying, I rang the policemen’s doors and hid in the bushes and those sons of bitches they licked the soil. The mouth broke me down into smaller cells. The mouth broke me down into off-white letters. The mouth broke me down for it knew what to do and when I rise from the grass I am nearly laughing, goodbye fake nostalgia, goodbye gay body, they paint lines of flour along the trails, I swear I despise death and what it does and the shoe growing moss I will not forget you.
MARTY CAIN is the author of the forthcoming book Kids of the Black Hole (Trembling Pillow Press, 2017). He holds degrees from Hamilton College and the University of Mississippi, and is currently a PhD student in English Literature at Cornell University. His writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Fence, Jacket2, Tarpaulin Sky, Gigantic Sequins, Action Yes, The Pinch, and elsewhere.