[ATHINAM NAGARAM KATAM]
by Gabriel Gudding
|Athinam nagaram katam,
Yattha jara ca maccu ca,
mano makkho ca ohito.
|Here is a citadel built of bones,
plastered with flesh and blood,
wherein are concealed decay,
death, vanity and deceit
-- Dhammapada, 150
So this the ripping the combing. This is the calm the water the verve. This is the itch the sand the pillowing wind. This dissatisfaction. This that we are bathwater in a bag. That our knuckles are rotatable pebbles. Our chest muscle a slab of bloodstuffed foam. And a child is again rushing up the scene of joy.
Because your mother’s buttocks have been sunlit, because if these are so, and they are so, pain is among us. It will not go.
Because yes we want to believe frogs and bees are noble, but if Barbie and Mrs. Hermby are not noble than of course a frog is neither, and because a frog is a malformed meat flower, delicate as genital meat and because a frog is a kind of pus blossom, a ditch jewel, and because it is a globule of the slatch and a cross between a grasshopper and a blister, also because a frog is a snake’s kitten, because if these are so, and they are so, pain is here among us and it will not go.
Because now look, I have maimed my hands on the microscope and now the little world is awash. Because my body is a bag that gives me this feeling, that feeling.
Because the spanking of children is still practiced in this realm of hearses.
Because I talk to my girlfriend; it doesn’t go well. Because I talk to my daughter; it doesn’t go well. Because I talk to my colleague; it doesn’t go well. But then it does. And then it does. It goes well.
Because without the example of insects, Ovid could not have written the Metamorphoses.
Because the peacock’s fan is to adorn its sphincter. Or to camouflage it.
Because what has passed through our bodies but artery rope, dried semen shortcake, semen treacle, white rills, cold booby sherbet, some mulches of mucus mayonnaised on skin flake, nipple pizza, sphincter calzone, her pus tea, the colon candy of her feces, her warm poop manna, the baby’s cartilage mutton, the turkeyish clitoris chowder, an eyelid mincemeat, a man’s highball of crudens, her grandpa’s nectar of catarrh, an hospital’s bulbs of hymen sausage, we hiked forever through sputum sherry downed with earlobe stew, the eyebrow hair-bread before cupcakes of foreskin, some tepid swig of sweat with a little blood tea and jello of menses, her jujube of jejunum was delish after the scrotum goulash, esophagus salami, testicle custard, adenoids caviar, smegma fondues, and we kept hiking through the perineum brisket, the golden urine sherbets, biscuits of eyelash, those labia on the bagels, your mother’s breast milk milkshake, her poop corn – her hams indeed of poop, her booby half-n-half, and, too, the smell of the pyres in your sister’s beaten anus: flashes, conflagrations; the sheet-fire in her pants, the tornado of her yammy calories, the blazes, the flames, the hard banging of flames through the hot funk of roasting
in the hut
of her butt. A caloric, pyrectic collection of brown and fiery candlebombs that came from your sister. And too the brown loaf forming in each of us like an umber stalactite or some bronze tawny trout over-cresting our inner buttocks waterfall. The post-meat trout introrse—acroatic and acroamatic: the brown-visored banker of our feces banker.
And because we are here in this realm of bladders: with our dental problems, under this stupid hair, our toes jammed in little turbans of fungus. Because if these are so, and they are so, pain is here among us and it will not go.
Because my nose is a kind of dual vagina. I might root around there on occasion and bring out an olden baby of mucus, or a young pipe of mucus. This latter mucus could spill around in a baggy manner, like a teat of liquor—the color and shape of a small bag of pear liqueur. And even in nose picking there might be pain that is somehow related to the wider continuum of pain associated with grief, loss, and it will not go.
Because we are here in this, with our daughters, with our joys, the fears.
Because I have a salt cake made from the pee of your brother. Because you found your laugh in a dime store.
Because that clammy bolt had held up the empire, you puss. Because we pulled it from your brother’s hmmhmm.
Because the snorkel is a prosthetic throat.
And because yes we removed the Bausch microscope from your aunt’s bathroom and it had fecal stains on the eyepiece.
Because a pig is essentially a pachydermic dog.
Because a bee is a kind of duck among insects. And worry is a brick carried by the wind of anxiety. Because still there are babies in the prairies, delicate as boiled objects, whom mothers have lost, all of it patrolled by flies dressed in raisin bodies.
And still the dense satellites go on clanging in the firmament, those peregrine clams. The weight of bones in our feet does not stop us from walking. All the teeth from our town’s jaws. Will be scattered to the corn.
And we are here still, each day, in this parliament of Natashas, our boobies packed into beds, until we rise to go into the sitting, into the end, the strand, the cul de sac, of this unavoidable sorrowing.
This ape-stream of nutriment, crafted into boobies and drama, may yet be crossed, may yet be clogged, bunged, choked, blocked, may yet be jammed, arrested, braked, stopped, stopped up and stemmed. And we may yet walk, in fact we do skip, we walk, we run, we jog, we sail as in a boat, or as in a courac, we sail as in a skiff, indeed as in a yawl, to sit into the end of this sorrowing.
Also by Gabriel Gudding in ActionYes #6:
[And What, Friends, Is Called a Road?]
after family court