sprinkled on), remixed herein to their sparkliest maxims, with fresh cruelties of direction on the wobbly scaffolding below, must do to excuse itself as a successor to these earlier trials in the vacuum I mean to leave behind for no one. Reduced by any culture, any biology, in fact, to an anachronistic hobbyist, I just want the specific arrangement stated correctly before dipping out, for no reason outside pure fatalism. As an imbecilic nightmare munchkin careering (failingly, it turns out) through her arrogance once sprouted up and commented across my internet (always unprovoked, of course) like another cancerous pendant who enjoys being picked (commenters, the Chucky dolls my generation failed to abort (not to be above it, but no longer eighteen, I started net shit one time, unprovoked, with an affluent, artless moron and won’t again): “shut up.” I plan to, the scariest way possible.
Imagine venturing off your smart phone’s reach to a stage enthroned by litter in some Detroit alley. The players, making their lofty addresses mostly to a collection of needles scattered underfoot (sets from burnt houses), out-pronounce errant bass blasts. They outnumber the audience, who arrive confused and frustrated by the journey, remaining in that state throughout, uninformed of when the action begins or finishes, indifferent to the lineage of any art, save perhaps one deviant, astray in his purchase (for next to nothing) of one hour’s elation from the surrounding scold.
Small, destroyed studio apartment. Edmund on a couch (the stuffing taped in), head pushed back rapturously. Gil, shoved forward by a vaudeville hook, drops composure and sighs.
GIL: I ration my tendons when people draw near. Gatherings wilt me. They make me lie down too hard and push my breath between the floorboards so the earth might halt its orbit.
EDMUND: Stop picking apart your wet dreams. I’m scrunching some flab down the crowns of my latest significant other. Everyone keeps galloping over us with a shopping cart.
GIL: Smells like a desperately mismanaged barbeque in here.
Blast of canned laughter, looped and demented.
EDMUND: Hear the scissors turning in her voice? She can’t even spit. Because the fucking bowel we’re trapped inside sags when she looks up.
A gigantic answering machine beeps on.
STAR’S VOICE: Ask Edmund to swipe a sample of little swimmers off that bitch’s gums before we get engaged. No girl alive craves spew. Unless it’s been outfitted with a detachable scope that doubles as me in my makeup mirror. Can you tell I went to Catholic school? Our chalk outlines grew bigger every year. The pay pigs were acting up. They pinkie swore with smegma. I etched a lot into my thong. Hey, guys, I put my lingerie on one late term abortion at a time. This is propaganda in favor of divorce.
Edmund tosses a doctor off the couch, into view, standing to zip up, and itches his head with a pistol. The horrible laugh track garbles into screaming.
EDMUND: You’re as useless as a list of chores written by a roommate. Any doctors in the house with a stopwatch and a full bladder? This one bruises easily as another goddamn volunteer. Should I cremate you wearing stilts so the procedure lasts all day?
GIL: Boy. When you straddle a cannon, the whole ghetto perks up.
EDMUND: You’re all senators to me, senator.
DOCTOR: Upon further investigation, the cartoonish plasticity of your pelvic floor may warrant a rubber implant. Upon further investigation, you and everyone you know warrants a fucking rubber implant. Now drop that weapon or I’ll blow your blood up like a balloon!
EDMUND: This digit embarked within your beloved until she went bawk bawk and became so knock-kneed every bit of stratosphere fell choking on the dampness. Want her juice sown to your forehead?
Edmund presents the gun barrel. Doctor puts his stethoscope on it.
DOCTOR: She was the best wife a man could maim. I’d sigh if I could afford the lung capacity. They’ll never wrought a stethoscope lank enough to really listen. Stand still while I perform the diagnosis. When her rashes spread, I pay attention to the world. Everyone to their symptom…in time.
EDMUND: He’s come to lick the airport out of our hair, to play spades in our eyelids, teach us how prisoners dance. Will you sprinkle our tears with sawdust once they’re all out?
The gun goes off into the floor. Doctor reacts.
DOCTOR: I should hurl you back in your mother’s pulse. Both parents decided to let you slip right off the operating table. Guess I’m the alligator tasked with weaning you in their stead. I pioneered Darwin’s holiest weave when you were busy slumping in your egg.
EDMUND: You know who’s the prime fucking maniac of the species. I’m king until this magazine goes empty. I will use you to cut my cooties in half.
DOCTOR: Excuse me. Where was I? Where wasn’t I? Imagine empathy is possible beyond a self-conjectured cognitive placation grander than a sneeze. We’re not yet at the adolescent phase on a scale of how to suffer. Once we can finally communicate well enough to show out for anyone other, then we may understand loss. They say what abandons us begets our apogee. But look at you. Some statues wear their shit well. Abusus non tollit usum.
Doctor takes several green scans of the gun with a smart phone and holds up X-rays.
DOCTOR: These are my lover’s eyes tan beneath their death coin. Economy was her thing back then. You can trench a moat around those hives and write them off as income. This is the car crash that doubled the length of her umbilical cord. Stereotypes are essential because they classify suffering. They put a cork in whatever arrogance has assumed a title. Being born doesn’t poke your status into the air. People are only good for organizing produce. Blasphemy is the gift your god will leave you with when it goes.
EDMUND: Doc…I only compromise in jail.
DOCTOR: Trust me, you’ll sell out the first time a bout of coughing lasts longer than what you regularly expect. Hang on, I have a test run Adam’s apple in here somewhere.
EDMUND: Is that what I’ll use to color polka dots on my starvation?
DOCTOR: I don’t process information, I stomach it. I’m the deputy of digestion because I’ve yet to raise my head from any burger. Eat like you want the ink to run off your autopsy report. Go ahead, no one takes their vitamins alone.
Doctor hands Edmund a glass bottle of pills. Edmund is hesitant, then swallows handfuls, spilling pills all over.
DOCTOR: Nummies, whore.
The answering machine beeps.
STAR’S VOICE: We had that car muffler love doves obstructed! Our neutrality went far. Didn’t know a joke could reign forever. You’re in my clit’s way. You’re so beyond DNA. Sprent me in your toilet stall. I’m here for crimes. I’ve done them all. Now you flinch. I do not own the veins for this. Heartbeat regular as XXX. I will meet you in the cubicle where they invented sex.
All clap vigorously. Edmund shatters the pill bottle in his hand and keeps clapping through the blood.
DOCTOR: Who would so befoul their own forensic anthropology?
STAR’S VOICE: I think you don’t like women. I think you date your socks.
DOCTOR: I admire anything that invalidates its abuser.
STAR’S VOICE: If you can’t bleed on the spot, you were never abused.
DOCTOR: I get no furlough from the blubber. The tears are fat in my backyard. My plans for rigor mortis include you. What can I say? I like to encourage the grayer areas of consent. I’m that regretfully decked out in my straightness. Please save me from the moral outrage of the mostly online. I’m only appropriate by myself. Why’s my somatic goulash all rampant downstairs? They suggest therapy, but you can’t deep fry your puppet strings. You always faked holding my hand. How I miss you involves extinction and so much less.
STAR’S VOICE: Must I toss my dildo over the moon to establish a nursery?
DOCTOR: Star. Your name is stupid. I say it all day.
STAR’S VOICE: I never met a guy who wasn’t the reason why the phonebook’s heavy.
DOCTOR: Am I blindfolded upon request? Don’t you devote yourself to your blindfold?
STAR’S VOICE: I’m not the kind of polecat you wed or shrug off. You come like you’re somebody’s agent. No hypothesizing about who we should have been together. I had to enforce the tarot to keep us apart. Sorry you never said on guard to the dictionary.
DOCTOR: I cuddled you when you least expected! That’s how you catapult yourself down those who love squeamishly. You are owed a deficit of pain I can’t refill until you need me back.
STAR’S VOICE: That shit’s choice. The four door family type smite. No way to lend an android toilet paper. Have you gone spoiled in the zipper? Some become better examples of the playpen. Whose booster seat won’t glow? Whose hospice VIP? No lover is better than his best felony.
DOCTOR: I import goods till my silos lurk.
STAR’S VOICE: You’ve gone and made a life. How loud of you!
DOCTOR: Be an accident with me.
STAR’S VOICE: Aw, if I knew what colors were I’d turn one. But let’s call race another coughing up of skin. Whatever the tan, I assure you you aren’t mint. Every slur is a found echo of my name.
DOCTOR: We slept inside a phonograph that sang our dreams. Needle scratch of cute death rattling when you conceived. We fished the river for neckties. Our ponies were made of cardboard. The river was just some girl’s spit. The ponies went into traction. We mailed them razor blades at the hospital. You couldn’t flick that much thrombosis through a telescope, but it felt like the zeitgeist fit in a thimble when you would let me wiretap your chamber pot. Don’t love somebody by the digit, you blue ribbon sadist!
Doctor caresses the answering machine, unzips and makes love to it as they talk.
DOCTOR: Stand back! I am trained in the gibberish everyone’s inherently reduced to.
STAR’S VOICE: Some dudes got cat tongue and some are flat incendiary. Mmm, this necklace is a stunt that went south into my smile. The much platonic coke you sneeze.
DOCTOR: I’m out here partaking in them underwear stains. I love my heart attack. Everybody loves my heart attack. I have fleas. That’s how I wake up. Who else played tag by spitting? Count your rosacea for me. They gave you your own army when you developed breasts. Pardon if I wank raw fowl in the bottom rank of beak. I’ll whisper in your trepanation, sweetie. Help me outlive goals. I want to eject from my mucus the minute I ascertain your time of death.
STAR’S VOICE: My clothes are a bracket between me and other men. That’s why I need so many. I soil myself on purpose for your legacy. Where are all the self-improvement books I keep molesting you with? Why don’t their clippings bookmark your unhygienic foreskin? Your unfulfilled needs afford me my every strength. Fuck the ruler. I am inches crowned. Everyone is a ladle for mistakes and I am them. My sonnets victimize the phone book. I’m the kind of friend that comes with technical support. I speak a thousand languages per sentence.
Edmund has been scooping shards of the bottle’s glass into a pair of Star’s panties and now shoves them around the doctor’s face and pulls them tight. Doctor thrashes, blood sieving through the fabric, and collapses. Gil has had difficulty standing.
GIL: I only want to be genuine at my flatline.
EDMUND: Always resented having been wooed into a goddamn household. Now we can live where we belong. The alley. The alley is a holy place, Gil. Hallowed ground, nostalgically imbued. It’s where you go to memorize garbage and turn it into art. I mean a fibromuscular top hat. I mean swastikas on demand. Every time I reflect on something the census taker nosedives.
GIL: It’s okay. The financial aid I’ll be in enormous debt for until suicide works out was the only thing paying rent.
Blackout. The set is stripped. Gil, Edmund and Star are seated on torn lawn chairs before a dumpster in a trashed and mostly empty alley. Star is reaching into her shorts with a plastic spoon, feeding Gil period blood.
STAR: Do you think we’re separate objects from our waste? Or are we just talking forts for the same continuous bowel movement? Living in this alley has brought me peace. I hardly even itch. I know my crickets used to applaud every time I was raped. Now bustling politicians squawk their law inside me. At night, I can almost pet the atmosphere, chew it from the sky like bark, like a piece of gum my father left on the toilet seat. We cut the tails off stray dogs to wipe ourselves.
EDMUND: I don’t know from poetry, miss human gouge, you seat cushion with ears, sentient rotisserie, but do unprong the batteries from your throat.
STAR: Ugh. Whoever doesn’t love you back, burn their teeth, burn them by the tooth, even the teeth burn.
GIL: Shucks about everything.
EDMUND: Nothing should be held after come went in it. Who out-fucks their betters fills no grave.
Enter crackhead, shuffling by, almost leaving, noticing and addressing them. Edmund menaces her with a broken florescent bulb.
CRACKHEAD: You having a devil of a time up her boo hole stench and using the nasty evidence for ChapStick.
EDMUND: Back for sloppy seconds and a capsized badonk? Wanna go roving through my prowess, see if you can’t be charmed inside a coma? You return using medicines I won’t like to like?
CRACKHEAD: Why whites always dip a quill when the boots start knocking? You in my home with film on your ovary the color of values? Go ahead and attach an alarm to them itty bitty skins. Me? I carry all manner of breads in my bitch-ass pocket.
EDMUND: Which fucking commerce trained us so chatty?
CRACKHEAD: Huh? Whoa. You just took me to Harvard inside a sec. You in a cub scouts? Who made you clit number one with a bullet?
EDMUND: I notice your pregnancy’s winding down.
Crackhead lies down in pain, holding her belly and breathing.
CRACKHEAD: Pastor’s wrong. Nothing’s blessed. Bombast and fiddlesticks. Damn, organisms are such carolers for their own decay. Scrutinize your fucking blackface, boy. This nativity won’t dock minstrel. I put my Lamaze on rerun whenever we hook up. It’s coming out crooked! Put a lasso on it, Steve! Do a hug. I can handle this. I’m the bone yard bitch! I fire the nut back six foot tall. But they too much blood in my fucking milk!
Edmund pulls out a crack pipe, lights and hits it, assuming the position of a doctor in delivery, back to audience, and blows smoke between her legs.
EDMUND: Ooo, her leotard’s damp at the snaps. Wow, this thing’s huddling in its woe, modem to morgue. I’m the kind of voice navigation you employ for manslaughter. Steer your ward to me, hun. Turn left in one mile so I can fuck some volume into its wool. We will nurse it exclusively on silicone.
Edmund turns to the audience, face covered in blood, speaking with a soggy hand puppet.
EDMUND PUPPET VOICE: I am the rewound afterbirth iffy for cuddles. Being named is the meanest act! Make this bitch bloat in cursive and wring that into a will. Comb me over her delicate furs, blonde before defecation. I’m in the spotlight now. A patron of it. I’m not even convinced of my own shadow. My prayers ricochet off the ceiling. Be my waitress and my food!
Edmund bends over Crackhead and turns back wearing her severed face.
EDMUND CRACKHEADED: I am wound around my tick and its feeding is the centrality of motion this world struggles to parody. It tickles me into an early grave but I tickle back! We’re about to climb the lord’s scabbiest height!
GIL: Are you supposed to be patient zero for gentrification?
Star runs to, and coos over, the puppet.
STARR: You’re a little scalded chance taker. You yammer to your scald. Are all your scars as flush as I am? Yikes. You fell out with limited prestige. Are you a riled coochie? My bitty bubba for a single night? Hey, are you a baby or somebody’s regretful loss of choice? Just kidding. Sorry, I can only emphasize what I mean by throwing my tampon at the ceiling and seeing if it sticks. That’s how you harken the phooey of what’s to come. Aren’t we the lump in Christ’s robe? Yes you are. Yes you aren’t. Ew, the diapers are pricey already.
Edmund shoves the puppet into Star’s face, kissing blood all over.
EDMUND PUPPET VOICE: It’s auntie piss her pants on purpose. Even your stuffed animals think you’re a whore. Precum’s your one ration. That only others brace you is the fluid by which you’ll hang.
Star punches Edmond. The face drops off. Edmund studies her, impressed.
EDMUND: What came first, mankind’s base gluttony for cunt or the fee womankind imposes to retain it?
STAR: I only notice what mounts or tramples me and, honestly, nothing’s noticed. I just eradicate who’s here till cash comes out their tip. The gunk hereafter’s merely us at our best.
Doctor stumbles in blind, blood covered panties still stuck to his head.
DOCTOR: Humanity is the fluke that blows shit up! Sorry somebody squinted through your C-section. Dreams you clamor for deflate. You shouldn’t reveal a catcher’s mitt from your downstairs for any passerby. That Siamese claymore better question its manure lest it’s the puzzle that saves us. Who’s the first lucky tickler to chin my ghouls?
EDMUND: Every moment I’m not in the backseat of a cop car is truly pretend.
Edmund turns to the audience, shrugging. Blast of a deflated version of a comedy trumpet. The curtain begins closing. Crackhead sits up, face all blood. The curtain moves back in place with her yelling.
CRACKHEAD: Hold up! What’s taking infant crib death forever? Clearly you never finished popping off on your momma’s titty milk. Scoot onward through denial, but your balls ain’t a championship. They don’t flap like grey scud missile Dumbo ears using a G-string to accomplish deafness. Got that pterodactyl lining. My wide diameter is owed a prize! The kids I relinquish will claw me into sport.
Crackhead and Doctor both crawl to Star, who sits back, a foot on each of their shoulders.
DOCTOR: I hush giddy up to the squaw that laid me. Bitch got cold feelers in her say.
STAR: Aw. The sadder the whore, the longer he lives.
GIL: Food is such a goddamn chore. When I was a baby, I told the tit to take a hike, so they stuffed it down my throat a couple extra decades. That’s how I learned to giggle.
Blackout. A pristine office. Sign that reads BurgerSlosh Inc. Receptionist behind a desk, wearing a headset. Enter Gil, dropping to the floor face first.
GIL: I bet your mascots all have mange!
RECEPTIONIST: Hold. Only those whose metabolisms are captioned. Proceed.
GIL: If I remember how to masturbate, the planet could go blind. Not bragging, but I’m more infection than dog right now. No markers on my grave, please! Can’t reach up and tap the gutter from any position worth taking.
RECEPTIONIST: Hold. Should I part my luminance till the neighborhood schlong acclimates his fixings or are you really going to stretch this baptism out? Proceed.
GIL: This is all the shit cliff notes eschewed. We demand to conference with the vice president of sandwiches.
Edmund rushes in wearing a business suit, hair slicked back, holding a baseball bat with nails sticking out and slams it into the receptionist’s head with a terrible PRONG. Receptionist drags herself toward the exit in agony, bat fastened to her scalp, bleeding all over, screaming for help. Edmund auditions to her in her panic.
EDMUND: Greetings! I’m the hibernating piranha that counts itself to sleep. A flesh-eating virus stapled to the kiss you blew. I tuck in the plague. I soothe exits from what came. Pluck cavities into speech. I can tell you’re handsome from your shoes to your very chemical use. Don’t know about you, but I mainly visit the nonchalant through a scope. Hey, I fuck the bought. Ever network the veneer of your pillow in order to bluff yourself closer to plight?
Star enters, tries to pull the bat free, managing to twist it deeper until the receptionist faints.
EDMUND: You doing campy impressions of a sprinkler system on the company dime while the rest of us don our Sunday best? Just because I seal my spliff with your brain matter doesn’t mean I never read a book. The autobiography of caves is worth a gander, if you ever get around to it. I sense you have a history of being treasured.
Edmund spits on the receptionist’s twitching corpse. Star is trying on the woman’s shoes, which she crawled out of awhile back.
EDMUND: Let’s stuff some popcorn in these holes, dear. World’s full of small town neighbors having their say. I think we covered my strengths and weaknesses. Point me toward the VP of grilled cheese.
Star halts Edmund as he approaches a door. Edmund kisses her. Gil issues a tired audience ooo sound.
STAR: I can only love a misplaced mind. Now we bend you over to know who’s mine. Everything that’s not about me is just verse. Never mind my bushido flavor guaranteed yours.
Edmund is entranced. Star enters the office. The Vice President of Sandwiches, seated behind a large desk, stirs a box of live rabbits. He switches his intercom, blaring static.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: Cancel all my charities. You! It would take a Panzer tank to shrink your lingerie, but you work that dry wash under treads. What time was it when the last person you loved decided against returning love? Well? Don’t swat the pretty mane of your every verb. How many enemas you down to a day, hun? Speak up or I’ll stomp that haircut till you potty on the curb. I’ll soil myself for your benefit.
STAR: On second thought, I won’t love someone until they spare themselves some exercise. The one difference between you and Mussolini is Mussolini gave a fuck. Sheep don’t like being shaved unless you put a shopping bag under us. I promise to never become anyone’s fucking neighbor. Should I do a jumping jack?
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: Stand up straight or I’ll weld your shit corns together till all you can do is sing.
Intercom blares, lights drop out for a second. A rabbit screeches. Lights up, blood all over. Star trembles.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: Scared I’ll mistake your mouth for your cunt if you go ahead and smile? Whenever I wear a wristwatch it shouts mockeries at my birth. What’s your favorite movie? More importantly, what’s your favorite deleted scene?
STAR: I want a framed portrait of your self-esteem.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: So brave! So brave! You know, technology placates the concept that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.
Vice President of Sandwiches whips the intercom at Star. She jumps.
STAR: I’m drowning in dick. There’s no build up. I require room enough for a running start to leap to magic. I need a slight bossing to jizz. Then I’m capable of absolutely nothing but moving on.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: There’s the pox below dedication I’ll swipe my kind on! Got a whole population fiddling upwind? Let’s be citizens of the blue waffle. Unzip me and tout the bonanza. Here’s a million paychecks in one gleam.
STAR: I was bungeed into the stirrups I’ve yet to upstage. Too much silverware in your plans to open them now. This. This is the guy.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: When I thrust into you, I don’t partake. I simply recoil from everything behind. Your whole ancestry is on trial for letting us meet. I’ll rape my way through them to the monkey that sprang you. You reek of belly shirts and gym.
Vice President of Sandwiches stands and removes his suit coat.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: Once I’m a seller, I’m a seller gravity mistakes. Once I’m empty of mistakes, I’m a hole in the ground. Once I’m the air, you leave choking or just leave.
Vice President of Sandwiches picks up a bunny by its ears and unzips himself.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: The fucking ozone won’t be able to endure what I’m about to do to you. My limousine sways wan dusks. It perfumes the rialto. Are we huffy and in rooms? Then sayonara my poochies. Don’t worry. They’ll sprinkle NutraSweet on your stretcher after I’m done. Now we wag like it is.
Blackout. Multiple rabbits screeching. Moments passing in the black. Spotlight downstage. Vice President of Sandwiches has Star bent and is stapling torn off bunny ears to her head.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: When I drag you by the skirt, I miss your bra. When I drag you by the pigtail, I miss your bobbysocks. We’ll untwist your ringworm into the most becoming lipstick and writhe until our doll utterances boomerang. The person you pretend to love smiles on your badge. I pried your druthers from a hat. Look around. This place has a filthy map. If I go walking, no distance covered. The field shrinks. Killed everyone alive yet? Then you never won a fight. If I had my way, everyone would fall for their superior and live forever in service to the half-commendable scion that resulted, a continual state of near attainment. Fuck you if you said okay. How society structures a life, any goal is bait. Cast your eyes upward once and you lost your chance at heaven. Unfortunately, your stupid hairdo is impenetrable and without honor. Let’s get your pubis next. You’re all fired and beautiful.
STAR: Wear this scream like a corsage, super ecstatic about your only authentic marriage vow.
Blackout. Many clacks of the stapler and screaming. Typical sitcom living room, clean, domestic, over-lit. Crackhead sits on the floor, playing with toys, her face poorly stitched. Doctor stands facing the corner wall, bloody panties still on his head, looming, wearing soiled underwear. Star and Vice President of Sandwiches lying under a blanket on the couch. Gil loudly drags a foldout chair to them and covers the blanket with spray paint.
GIL: I call this: abstract cuckold wigging out.
Pristine audience laugh track and functioning applause sign throughout.
GIL: It’s a portrait of my lycanthropic blue balls cheating on you with your own cremains. Your kids could paint that, if they weren’t reciprocal pads of butter laminated into a dependency. You barely puttered while they tore your strip. I’d produce more art, but why suck a trophy to guess the climate?
Vice President of Sandwiches sits up, yawns, and throws Star off the couch as he stands. Star is huddled and traumatized, has a different demeanor, bunny ears stapled to her head, dried blood down her chin. Vice President of Sandwiches dresses for work.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: No one snores like you. You’re a singer in your sleep too. We used to be so prone.
STAR: I’m invariably hoodwinked by pugs. Tuck the shirts in, guys. The bewildering panoply of your skid marks is too much a reminder. Just in case our proclivities maintain us.
Star addresses Gil.
STAR: Who are you? In relation to anything.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: Enough pitter-pat. My ex tucked the barrel of a rifle up between her ribcage and heart, to penetrate indirectly, because she figured I’d eat the fucking thing right out her pussy if I found a path intact. Afterwards, I stuck her step, some would call, child, on a Judas cradle, which is a stool with a pyramid for a seat wherein the person or animal’s taint gets lowered onto the apex as their weight delivers them, torn, in fucked-apart halves. Not to be roundabout, but I’ve never apologized before. Sorry I missed your abortion. My show was on. I’m ticked you never let me reach in and squeeze the come-heads invalid before a singular settlement. Remember we kept stubbing out cigars on your baby bump? You’re a heave ho pittance, whining: closed casket for the sky. I’m a most vascular chimney, filing my own eulogy by the syllable. Every time I mow the grass my circumcision bloopers get reinstated. I fear for your normalcy.
STAR: When I was a girl, I made everybody take turns carrying me, so my legs wouldn’t grow muscles. Years of this, then they put the Burger King crown on my head and told me to ride a hobbyhorse until it corroded. I delved in my saddle at a bride’s pace. I kissed the dandruff from its mane and dreamed of joining the Taliban. I am stock full of floors, big daddy. No one’s gourmet lap ever rooted me through crippledom. But my miscarriages all came out wearing the same kissy face and their welfare went into overtime. I don’t subpoena the damn things just because I care to watch their tiny breaths expire. I am a bitch fully thieved by being secure. My offspring are the scepters that phlebotomize me. Could I not remain soggy with the radical mishmash? Nine months of slander later, his slab is nipple-chafing you during tax time. I’ll produce anything for a backlash.
Edmund, who has been casually drilling screws from the hinges of the outside door to the living room, sets the door aside, enters, and sticks the power drill into Vice President of Sandwiches’s pants. They exchange blank stares and Edmund finally pulls off Vice President of Sandwiches’s clip-on tie, clips it to himself, and revs the drill once. Vice President of Sandwiches collapses, holding his blood-patched crotch. Star pats him.
STAR: Aw. It’s Alzheimer’s every time we touch. Twitch like a husband. Be my seeing-eye dog in bed. Been exiting the bathroom your whole career? You’ll never earn maggot one. Your heart disease was far too mild.
EDMUND: Check these lush outdoors. I want all leveled. Surveyed into Kleenex. Strumming the smoke of its young. Not one trike left to asphyxiate on. I will never cease killing everything on the goddamn other side of this glass, chief. Let’s take pains. I shatter carpets when I’m close. My crib was its own ghetto. I’m roving in oils, the forthright ruin of every birth. I can be your upstanding poodle. The pancake makeup on your Haiti. Whole families poof in my yap. Air is the more dependent fuck in the relationship. Ready for round two? Sex is pointless because cunts stretch bigger than their eventual baby.
STAR: You could condense my feedback for any relationship as: impress me. I am not impressed. I hang glide like an outpatient through the chalazion I’m lanced to. Are you another carbon copy commander of disappointments? Identify with me at your own risk. I follow orders to spite orders. I’m the hair-trigger satire of anyone in my pants. My disapproval frequently knights itself. You hung from my pussy like the worst fruit. I’m supple in your dang pores. Survival means waiting out the next ear infection. Your first coherent thought was the death of you. I traded ponies in your filth. We withstand the herd. Honey, I’ll do anything to slit you truant from your clown school nuts. Are we the suave villains of our own throat? Whatever harmony my stretchmarks pledge.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SANDWICHES: I know you and the help shout gobble gobble when my back is turned. Takes nuclear clearance to vend my soy. I was the fucking chromosomal mutant renegade to parasite his cells and chime in lax with the primordial teste. What doesn’t kill us fucking should have by now.
Gil dons a mask, a crushed McDonald’s bag, and addresses the audience. Star and Edmund act out scenes of domesticity, dementedly. Edmund working, Star taking care of Crackhead, Doctor and Gil, changing their diapers. They address the audience in turn. Vice President of Sandwiches’s corpse remains.
GIL: We were granted the democracy of our own cosmic leakage, poisoned through the condom to exist, squatting latex constitutions over the torture of a water based eye. Any cause is of its own destruction. A husband covets the quotidian a wife demands he incessantly transcend. Sustain their inkling a just amount. A smidge of happy prevents collapse. Stock them with amenities until their fugues aren’t rare. Maroon them in their vestmental shrubbery. And collect, motherfucker. Collect. The owned divide themselves on purpose.
EDMUND: We placed a beeper in the orgy of our assistants and shot whoever tried cancelling the sponge bath marathon. Nothing more to vomit except all I’m told. Care to buttfuck the logo of my supposed endurance? But none can quite hoist the napkin for this inoperable life. Life’s that thing that asks: when will you return the lactate? We hardly equal the capacity of our bladders. We do a chintzy jig between bathrooms. We’re a toilet-prone malignancy. I say spoil the bowel of your peers with the kind of luck they build asylums around. Hang the citizenry under a sheet to confuse their ghosts.
STAR: This is who you are today: someone subjected to the malpractice of standing up. A true caretaker maims herself in solidarity. I mean relationships form. I was a different aproned bastard for him each sundown. I missed being distinct outside. All the microwaves ridden in one building. The world takes you with it when it rotates. Your thoughts revolve at that pace. Today you are the gold I gnash myself against and these plural accents delight you. We are twin stucco. They fish us out of dwellings. There we must wane.
GIL: She used her diabetes like a coloring book. Carloads of men erupted our space. She fashioned platonic natures, telephoned the lottery to brag about adulthood, conspired to sizzle, cleaned the toilet with duct tape and voodoo dolls. This bitch drowned the block in hairless awe. I wore the inoculated scowl of cities, called myself into rooms where no one lived and rioted piecemeal through the steadiest posture. I hate being unarmed and withstood.
Star unscrews a baby bottle and begins spitting into it. Seeing Gil watch her, touching himself to her, she drops the bottle and produces a bow and arrow, firing at him. Gil drops. Star walks over and holds his head up with the arrow stuck through, ear to ear.
STAR: Who you are couldn’t fill a flashcard. You’ll never recapture the person you mistook me for, the person who noticed you on occasion, snug in your arrhythmia. Anyone who needs to find support deserves their fucking self. The first tragedy is my toes are painted black.
Star moves Gil’s jaw through the bag.
STAR MIMICKING GIL: You bleed in public through a tourniquet of wardrobes. Molecules in your vision are the tiny pinpoint where birth failed. I molest your birth certificate so you may age. Continue acting out your happy meal. I am the furnace of every disorder saying Christ inside a toy. I broke out my teeth to have teeth.
Star and Edmund resume. Gil’s corpse remains. Edmund enters with a suitcase. Star, in an apron, brings him a pipe. They sit on the couch, holding hands. Doorbell rings sporadically, bombs and gunshots growing in the distance.
EDMUND: Wash your hands of every mindset, I told him. Wiffle bat your logos. Most business is foreign to my poor sense of play. Hearty competition’s for the socialized. Yet, let it be that I am given an inch of power, not that my type are given squat, but if, big if, I am, bet your ass I’ll abuse my position any way possible to cause you the maximum amount of admissible agony as revenge for how you treated me whilst the petty fashions of our industry were tilted in your favor. I mean, I’m just that bold a Christian. If you can only recognize so poorly an acclimated ingrate once you’ve backed him into a corner with your arrogant disposition, the knife’s already twisting through your Adam’s apple, boss. In the much more likely case of my being drummed out of the field and winding up twice homeless, we know to whom I’ll pay a visit well past sleeping hours and it won’t be the kind of crime where one shows a speck of goddamn concern for anonymity. Now, if you had the imagination or foresight to play out five minutes of the awesome, let me pause to emphasize the word awe, talent with which I would go about disassembling whoever and where ever and whatever has allowed you to settle like a corpulent steer in the cunt of its comfort these past few decades, then please keep pulling the rug out from under my context at the next meeting.
STAR: I want to fuck you until my heart stinks. They’ll have to operate us away from each other. No one’s damage is important. I decided age is the adornment we retreat from until every wretched result seems momentarily okay. Moments never mattered. Time’s a fashion you can’t wear. I love my lover’s worst: disillusionment can last. We jerk inside one grave. Serve your kind and sleep in hell beside me.
EDMUND: As my wife, you’re legally required to staple your eyes shut so they can twinkle again. I wanna make you feel my camouflage. Let’s slander each other like babies staring into a flashlight. Playing victim comes with coupons.
STAR: I didn’t know life came with the perks that would always end it. Nature’s worse than in us. No one could reverse engineer a purpose from the orgasm they were never worth.
EDMUND: Sometimes I pluck my castration stitches like a banjo. You get annoyed because I’m kind of silly and your disappointed expectations have turned you constantly quite serious. A man does not love outside whatever maximizes relaxation. I believe in free assisted suicide for everyone who shakes my hand. May my enemies bloat and be awesome. Who I ram strangers my skin. Every reek I skim. My surviving exes ignite in a dire shit of chemicals whenever I internet search them. We break as the earth turns.
STAR: You return affection to the proportionate reduction of your own worth. We could have been decrepit animals together. How else will we bond with our fungus? The heat coming off us is pasturage for the observable universe of fungi working overtime on our laps. We are that fungi, unpausing itself to pipe up. I got one of everything in my pants, motherfucker.
EDMUND: Hey, I stick around till it’s nearly rape. I work the amount of hours deigning spousal abuse okay. The trick about me is I worship the sun not so as to aggrandize my crops, but as an aggressive act against the thing itself. Never dated someone who acknowledged our being in the same room. Who fell shrimped by marvel, hurting at the glans, malleable and lacquered through coitus, trounced petty, offering their tiniest all. I may not be recognizable because the part of my brain continuing your image has forged me gradually into a leper, but nothing’s gradual. This stumpy planet we’re pursed in. I notice its corpses. They bruise and dent. They warp and mold. They stink you into sniffing twice. They’re good people.
STAR: All I am without you is Godzilla. We empty our condoms for reuse by tying them to the car antenna. My every kind thought could fit under a shopping cart. Scatter me in my Vagisil until everyone’s mouth turns numb. Blow bubbles in the scrunch. I cajole success from the grave. Hope I’m trampled by my quickly exiting newborns. I don’t police the stars revolving because I’m anxious of their height. I merely aim upward in order to stumble. My leaving makes your memory bald. You chitterling of rust, been scratching yourself since before dinosaurs. I’m running short on flesh. What mode of departure suits a suitor? Suicide is the only option, whether you commit it or not.
EDMUND: My parents dressed like tag team wrestlers when they beat me. They dressed like Laurel and Hardy when they molested me. Doesn’t that thing between your legs feel like an incomplete masterpiece, my father was fond of saying. Nevertheless, scatological as it may sound, he was like a father to me, my father. We used a podium for our stains, oinked into garbage bags. When I say fuck you in the ass I mean you specifically and by that I mean whoever. My mother was apologetic for failing to abort me. You can tell by the way I climb stairs. A dog bites its tail until gangrene sets in. Which means you love me, so our bodies no longer require food. I don’t go around having sex with a lot of people or mannequins. I drink the hydrocephalic runoff of my loved ones. The color of my hand is really just a radio. My radio is radio-colored. I put it on a trampoline instead of voting. Because I have a background in pornography. Did you get your hysterectomy at Toys R Us? Another whiff of sainthood might kill this flavor. The first contraceptive was old age. The second was your face. Let me explain. Your face is a trampoline for syphilis. Why do you make a habit of corners and excuse your tardiness with lewd photography? Your underwear runs like a diseased egg through the humidity of my palm. You love me with too much of your history intact. How many war zones occur when you shut those peepers? They pretend to be insects, but are legit veins in your eye. They fine you with pink ribbons. They rub medicine on your house. They know how to stage a good sex crime. They travel up your daughter until she accidentally expels an older version of herself. Reflective surfaces have always been a problem for you. Traffic, by the way, is how you were circumcised.
STAR: Once you feel you have reasonably contributed to something beyond who you are is exactly the moment you become a hindrance to that endeavor.
EDMUND: You’re as phony as a doctor who says he has feelings. Time to fess up that, as a species, McDonalds is the full extent of our imagination.
Doctor punches the wall and begins urinating until the stage is overrun.
CRACKHEAD: Panic schedules an audition, doles itself out on a rolling basis like a stone skipped across each lung, but the final moment comes, despite endurance, all your vain preparations lined up on a shelf. We all belong to the second hand and time giggles while you shit yourself.
Crackhead hugs Doctor’s legs. Doctors hits his head into the wall until bloodstains form. Crackhead plays with her crack lighter like a teddy bear.
CRACKHEAD: I’m scared of people with pasts. How you hug, every heartbeat bruises. You sold me into the slavery of caring. Aboriginal sputum toiled caprice within the coupling, blasphemies promulgating to the very ground you clamber for. I’m done with shelter. I cried because the fire was beautiful, not because I loved my house. So many other buildings the flames would never reach.
Crackhead sets fire to the couch. Star and Edmund sit staring. Curtains begin to close. Doorbell ringing urgently, bombs closing in. Edmond tries to push the curtains back. A soldier with a picture of Star’s breasts on his uniform kicks in the door and shoots Edmund several times. Edmund clings to the curtain as it pulled. Blackout. Star in burnt clothes, hugging a cactus, pinned to it, bleeding everywhere.
STAR: First boy I approached made my sinuses extinct. I’m just a student of the heads collecting between my knees. Any good parent would have taught you all to duck by now. Depict yourselves upon my civicminded D-cup. Brave these genes, I should beg, but I’ll be the curtain call of my bloodline, thanks. Men stick an objective on the end of their love. People wear hats. Proof we’re inconsequential. You’re inconsequential to what I’m about to do to you. Tonight was one hell of a crunchy enterprise. I only tally pride at the bottom of a fire. Lame to the mockery of your source? Behold. We’re cozier than dust. No labor’s worth its plume. Catch me explaining once and it’ll be the mortar needed to keep your homicide at bay. What dudes riot up the sake of me staunches me a perfect defector, steadfast blunderbuss, chugging rouge, stabbed so well I finally belong. Be my sushi under marriage, filibustering pollen to shield your ancestors. Never been addressed on a beach and don’t plan on it. Instruct me to your paltriest douse, sir. Aren’t my nylons peachy when you cough them up? Now our say-so detoxifies equity. Lulled into proving yourself yet? I’m a mantis on shore leave. I huff the skein off sex and molt devotion out my stud. Don’t frown when you suck me. This night, fucking spotless, rambles mink, chuckling miasma I pin my mittens to. I never pounce, unless I do. Such a trooper for the mayonnaise of your former self. On rare occasions, we pause our drowning to see. What persists from that nanosecond’s vacation is the spectacle of us…drowning further. Well, no one can empathize like your molester. Was it emphasize? Come closer, front row dudes. The wards pop out my cunt like snakes in a can, shouting Avon calling, shouting: let’s share our embalming fluid through the same straw. That’s right, bitch. Double suicide or it wasn’t love.
Star slams her face stuck to the cactus needles. Blackout. The end.
Sean Kilpatrick lives in Detroit, has studied forensic photography, literature, cinema, is finalizing his collected works, and is published in: New York Tyrant, Boston Review, Vice, Nerve, evergreen review, fluland, Hobart, Dog Hates Film, Columbia Poetry Review, The Quietus, Juked, elimae, Caketrain and Exquisite Corpse. Visit his website or find him on Twitter.