Lift from Those Who Radiate by Ray Ogar
>>> COPYRIGHT 2004
i had a dream about a man made of straw and a large screened fence where animals watched us make love from the other side.
at the bookstore a young girl wears butterfly wings cut out of paper. she flicks through reality like the jump cuts of a prime time tv show. it is at this moment that i feel like the Coked-Up Werewolf on Late Night with Conan O’Brian. my hand touches several books on a shelf, titles like a Readers Guide to Homicide and Life of the Hip Hop Pimp. there are sounds of crickets commiting suicide in the corner. chirp! klick. a song about Patsy Cline sung in a patriotic pastiche of female crooning lisps over the department store speakers.
i try to walk away but the girl with the wings chatters on about different things; eventually she asks me if i have ever seen the movies Harvey or Donnie Darko. ignoring her, i walk off and navigate the store hoping to be seen by someone else. finally i walk up to the checkout line--butterfly wings is in front of me. i overhear her ask the sales clerk if her purchase will be reocorded by the store computer—she fears she might be singled out as a terrorist under President Bush’s new Patriot Act. i giggle to myself knowing this is why i always buy banned books or books of questionable value so my name will show up on government checklists.
i want the spot light.
i am popular.
even negative publicity is good publicity.
evil is going on all around me.
i am very tired and like any big band rap ultra hip hop song, i feel nothing.
when i get home from the football game i take off my shirt and there is a red “S” on my chest. perhaps a mark from someone’s face?
i don’t know.
as i look away from the mirror my daughter tugs at my skirt. she says that i live so much on the internet that the real me is merely a hologram of my online personality. but then again i am the most honest when i email myself. so much so, that at one point i discovered how to disappear completely. in 1999 i experimented with never leaving the house; i only ever ordered anything i wanted. groceries were delivered to my door and i rented movies online from Netflix. my arm was the only part of my body that ever ventured outside the house. to get that video i had to reach my hand into the mailbox nailed over the doorbell. eventually i cut my own hole in the front door for the mailman to push packages through. the rough edges of the hastily cut wood are still there.
i am more of an orpheus with my body. but i will never turn back—don’t try to tempt me. besides, i will only turn around for an electronic cyclops. of course each thing i do could be a blooper if there really were someone with a camera filming me.
someday i may be discontinued.
but i am still popular.
i imagine butterfly wings on my face,
maybe on the back of my daughter.
it could be that i am supergirl when my clothes are off, but i am merely jane doe with pompoms every other saturday night—after the game i wait in the locker room for a silent trist with men more grass than skin.
i will always be desperate for attention.
i make a few phones calls
and the thrill of loving someone anonymously is gone.
i stole some silverware from the local Red Lobster restaurant because i need something to go with my dishes at home.
now everything matches.
and everything fits—even me with the right guy, but then again i still haven’t discovered the biological value of men’s facial hair.
my daughter wants to make a tribute album for me.
she will include not songs i like but songs she thinks will describe me. a few modern pop songs, maybe some cheesey new age crap.
i have been found out.
i keep picking up the ant traps i find in all the corners of the 24 hour gym i belong to. you will find hundreds of them under my bed at home.
perhaps i am delicate.
no deeper meaning here,
very straight forward
and scummy enough to let dirt remain under my fingernails until i wash my hair.
i feel that certain animals are watching me, even during my most private moments.
but because they do not speak english, or at least they don’t speak out loud when i am near—i know i am always safest around them.
i am sure that they gossip in their own way though.
i am not a puzzle.
i have been solved several times.
i have a tattoo of an equals sign on my left thigh.
when i am making out with a boy in the back of his car, the animals watch.
their fellowship of silence sustains me,
keeps me feeling special.
i never make a sound.
it is as if thrashing rips of paper ply my ears.
i wish someone would press pause,
instead everything is playX2 >>
i am a woman.
my middle is still cut out.
i was once in a harem, perhaps it was in a past
life or sometime last night after the football
game in the locker room.
i found out today that my daughter is a chimera. she is a hybrid of two different genotypes, but she is one person. she is my chimera. a new creature combined from two different animals.
and she extends my mythology.
i cannot donate blood to her, nor kidneys—not even a lung.
but we do share similar heart tissue.
at least at the core we are the same.
that she is a chimera means that originally there were two eggs inside me, twins perhaps. and for some reason within the first few weeks after conception the fertilized eggs merged into one.
that is, two sets of dna = one form.
sometimes it is her eyes that watch me through the animals.
she protects me?
i’m afraid that someday she will be an american werewolf in london.
maybe she’ll be a party monster.
i hope she never uses cocaine.
i wish i was a blank slate, tabula rasa.
i think i heard that in one of my history classes in college.
i want to turn it all back,
start over and rewrite my life by speaking more honestly about the things i do and want.
i could live subject-verb-adjective instead of always dramatic tension, build-up, action-verb-noun.
i need some revalation,
some thought revolution,
that does not always equate to me.
so responsive able.
i wish i could upgrade my genotype to better fit in this world where cosmo sex quizes tell the truth about everyone but me.