James Gendron

from Weirde Sister



With her three brothers Ann set out


On pilgrimage to C—


To learn what makes a life pleasing to God


And retroactively align Grandfather’s life


Within that matrix of ideals


They passed deserts where sentient blood clots roam


They passed transparent cities of caffiene


One of the brothers fell into a trap


In the sense that he fell into a giant spiderweb


Tragically he had a belly full of lunch


And was therefore extra appetizing


Like a human burrito


He shook the web & wakened up the spider


The spider was so big it had nine legs


Between the spider’s huge hairy fangs his skull cracked like a butt


The fangholes spurted sour yellow drugs into his brain


He hallucinated backwards fireworks, then died


Word reached the pilgrims’ camp


Ann mourned all night in bitter recognition of


Humankind as a farm league for ghosts


Why did her brother get called up so soon?


Perhaps a few words should be said about the departed


An important human being in many respects


As a youth he had constructed a twenty-octave piano


His brothers laughed as he sprinted along the keyboard


Playing his hideous concerto


He chronically had the opposite of a fever


He was born into his sister’s luminous shadow and lived there


Its light tanned him by draining his weak life away


His sister loved him but she couldn’t stop the tanning


He loved her too


They loved each other but


It’s not wise to have inhuman relatives


Even if they are nice


I highly recommend against it


The pilgrims reached C— later that day


Lit a ten-foot candle chandled with the tallow of a minotaur


They humbly asked their favors of the Lord


The candle rang and rang but God had it on vibrate


All prayers are full of magic words


But not all magic words are powerful



See this world is what is evil


Here where they push the kid with the lice down the stairs


Where torture is not confined to the realm of genre fiction but undergirds the apparatus of state power


Where people hate each other and hurt each other in addition to many other crimes


And this world is not Satan’s fault


Not Satan’s fault but ours


For we are those who ushered the grave into the house and gave it the best room in the house


Brought it coffee and snacks every morning and asked how it was doing


We thought the word-mist emanating from the grave was adorable


We noticed how the morning light crumbled upon its muddy surface and among the tufts of moss and pebbles on its surface


and the mushrooms growing out of it


And we gave all our painkillers to the grave for its own recreational use


Pushing each capsule into the mud with just the middle finger of the left hand


Until our rings stank


We took new family photos with the grave in the center of the family


And put those pictures on the mantle


And turned down the previous family photos to face the earth


And even you, when you came to our table


Felt a pang you later recognized as jealousy


And you fixed up your daughter with the grave


But she fell in


And when you remember her now


You feel a pang you recognize as jealousy


All this for a grave!


That’s wrong


We walk around, using two graves as shoes


That’s wrong!


We drive a tap into the grave


Collect its thin putrescent sap in buckets


Boil it down to drown our pancakes in


That’s wrong


We used to be able to be saved by books but now prefer to own them


We keep a list of names of people who we don’t care if they live or die and the list has seven-billion names on it


We must be insane


We must be wild-born to live this way


This culture channels my sororal feelings away from people


And toward the adulation of exotic figments


I wanna peel my heart like a old potato


I wanna feel it thrumming in its tangle of veins


The way a spider in the middle of its web


Senses a touch in any direction


I want to press my liver


To the psychic wounds and press it


Radically over the mouths


Of those I hate, nourishing them


Like vegetables marinated in a grandmother’s kiss


So when Satan appeared to me


I used my negative capability


And when he came in the form


Of the small dog with knife eyes


I said yes with my voice


So when he appeared


And vomited his smoldering document


I signed it


With blood from a baby’s dick


Extracted with a large mosquito’s dick


I made intense eye contact with Satan


I felt my traumas searing closed


Like wounds fused on the flat of a burning knife




JAMES GENDRON is the author of Sexual Boats (Sex Boats) and Weirde Sister, forthcoming from Octopus Books.