when mama was moth


(continued from 11/24/19)

31 pieces of the auto-sedition quilt

(xxii — xxv)

Cool handbills posted in Maria’s neighborhood say: 

Every first Thursday Jesus Drinks Free: free Soul, R n B, Country, and Gospel starting at 8pm at the Jeannie Johnson Pub and Grill, 144 South Street, Jamaica Plain.

Another says:

“Baby Born with Sun Ra Tattoo…”

Bubbling brain cells at the bar, the corner pub without right angles or corners, and she’s back in flesh, back in flesh and you can’t tell her what to do.  No, you can’t tell her what to do.  Well, fuck you!  

I’m not waxing nostalgic for punk, post-punk, new wave, or no wave; I’m seething with abstemiousness, rankled by random name generators and somewhere beyond broadcasting at 7am with breaks every hour on the hour and half.  

There is nothing I desire but a desire that eats the heart down to its left ventricle, and then hatches out a clutch of stink bugs in synchronicity in a swale near a swag at the foot of a spur.  I’m not writing this for nothing.  I’m serious here.  I’m the writer here.


Maria says posthaste when she means post-punk.  It has something to do with the wiring in her head.  

I have a box full of letters, and she has a box full of coca leaves from her trip to Peru.  She bought them from a Quechua woman wearing a bowler hat in Cuzco.  Her alpaca stood a few feet away saddled with a dozen large plastic garbage bags filled with coca leaves.  I should know, I  saw the vacation photos.  Maria chews the leaves with a propulsion that seems superhuman, as if her mandible might detach and break out of its hinges and tear through her face.  

She can’t stop chewing the leaves.  I make tea out of them.  She adds them to dishes which she invariably doesn’t eat because her appetite is suppressed from all the coca leaves she chews.  

I’m a just a writer that had a pocket full of wrens this morning.  They were spry then.  Now they’re a clump of feathers — limp bodies — a dead pocket o’ blues, with the divine exception of the aggregate lump of parasites that abandoned the birds when they went cold.  Now, I tell Maria, “with this pocketful of cavorting beasties, I thee wed, and honor and cherish and vow to infest thee with said beasties (of a cavorting nature) and then nurse in sickness after you contract a rare blood borne illness from said beasties.”  

She says this thing between us will never work.  “Let’s forget this all altogether and just fuck,” she says.


“Put on that Dead Kennedy’s record and let’s get to it,” she says.

“Which one,” I say, “Plastic Surgery Disasters or Fresh Fruit for Rotting — ”

“The one that starts with ‘Kill the Poor!”


Near the end of the month Maria tells me:

I’m not your cheap factotum.  I’m a sex engineer, and I service you in a highly skilled manner.  Don’t speak to me of trashy whores and floozies.  And furthermore this is not a flophouse.  It’s a proper Limehouse, and only the most discriminating junkies crash and score here.  So readjust.  And reacquaint yourself with me and where you are.  This is not a place that panders to dilettantes.  This is a fine house of the illest repute.  Check yourself.  Leave your privilege at the door, swoon, and adore me, and bask in my agency.  The music will start shortly.  The young boys will be here to wash you at six.  The heroin will arrive in fifteen minutes.  Enjoy your cisgendered stay.  It won’t be long.

She meant I wasn’t long for the place.  She played The Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray” on repeat for the better part of the day.


On the penultimate day of the month:

Love.  It can’t help but bloom.


(continued tomorrow)


About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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