In Cartoon Heaven, The Two Sides Are Encouraged to Talk About Their Feelings
After their violent bout in the ring,
everything goes white and textured,
everything's been given the textured
treatment, is made of cheneille, is
colorwashed. Two low white couches
in a white room, and the topic is
Can This Marriage Be Saved? Calamity’s
incredulous: her red hat’s been bleached,
and the Narrator’s shadowy form has
taken on the solid heft of a whale --
or a pegleg. On the opposite sofa,
an angel with perfectly coiffed hair,
her enormous wings tucked modestly
behind her. The angel steps out to
the studio audience to take comments
and questions. A fat woman with
enormous white breasts stands up to
tell the two sofagirls that they should
just get along and to say that it is
goddam self-centered kids like this that
are driving this great country of ours
down the craphole. Pure and simple.
A camera cranes in for a reaction shot
and the pair look at each other,
astonished. The Narrator takes out
a notebook from her back pocket, writes
"How's tricks?" and holds it up by the
low corner. Calamity swivels a gun
out from under her hip and shoots fast--
1, 2, 3 holes right through the notebook,
whose falling shreds resemble feathers.
The whole studio begins to sink like
pouring milk through the holes, the
audience woozes together, folds in, the
sofas sway and flow and everything
is white, white, white, white, white.
Waking up in the abandoned ring, the
two rub their bruised heads and
do a spitshake, silently stealing away.
You've moved the spotlight, which until recently was properly trained on me. Please do not deceive yourself that the nattering thoughts which inhabit your skull are somehow more intriguing than my own amazing exploits. I have a backlog of adventures that will take you months to record. And while embroidery is an element of narration, I have noticed a few rumors, innuendoes, even tall tales that you appear to have made up, whole hog. For instance, I have never battled my own fifty-foot-tall, cloned, robotic warrior. I would if I could, but I'm devoted to truth, and must conclude you invented this tale simply to cast some reflected glory on your own piss-poor self.
A few other things: I would like you to stop repeating the following lies. I have never appeared in a tortilla. I will not appear in a mirror in a darkened bathroom if you call out my name three times. There is no such thing as an Official Nonbeliever's Entrance Exam, and if there were, I would not fail it. I have not challenged Alexandr Solzhenitsyn to a duel, and certainly did not cackle over his bleeding corpse.
I will confirm, however, I am the subject of a number of scientifically unsustainable creation myths. Also, my birth certificate is lost.
Reduced to my most basic
schizophrenic tendencies, I
took to leaving cryptic notes.
So cryptic, in fact, that I
hoped she wouldn't notice
they were there. Once,
I even opened her letterbox,
thrust my arm into its throat,
let it devour my elbow, and
with a key, scratched out
into its belly the words,
"your true love is waiting,
with fists of silk," in
She never even saw it, but
though she did come across
a few other examples
of my mental debris,
she could not decipher
the meaning of a stray brick
in the backyard, labeled
in purposeful green chalk,
"Weird limp, sly mustache,"
or the have-you-seen-
this-dog sign tacked
to the lightpost before her
house that stated, in fine
print, "it lies under time,
where not a single blade
Of grass is to be found."
Petty, I know, the ropes
of words I secret in her
world, my thoughts, my
dreams coating the surface
of her consciousness, slowly,
but still, it makes me happy
to see her surrounded.
Calamity is Denied the Right to Practice Palmistry
After too many dismal outcomes:
Her life lines are always so short
And she often strays from the palm
To the face, pointing out the customers'
Crows feet. The ceremony of expulsion
Involves a thousand kerchiefed women
With hook noses, severe black hair
Scraped back and gold hoops in their ears,
All with names like Madame Fatima,
Whose business cards bear the mark
Of an all-seeing eye, a question mark,
A mark of mystery. Calamity's got
No mystery, just brutal, precise
Predictions of your heartache,
Your loss, your pain, your sorrow,
And there have been many complaints
That she doesn’t understand that
No one comes to her for truth. The
Gypsies surround her, robes askew,
Arms racked with bangles, ululating,
Circling her as though she were a fire,
A flame in the desert, a strange card
In the tarot, bearing only the image
Of a solid circle, punctuation, correction,
The massacre of all surviving doubt.