MEMO: RE. TITUS ANDRONICUS, 5.2. 186-191
Our discussions regarding the proper disposal of body parts being now concluded
I would like to confirm the following:
Your Hair I will implant next to mine two colours two lengths to be washed & conditioned once a week Eyes I will bite clean through your left eye just to see the right I will mount & encase on a necklace in plain view of everyone Collar bones Lain on a delicate stand will make fine frames for drums add skin from your lower back for life-long music Liver Be my cold-water luffa for every morning shower & night-time dab Toe & finger nails A necklace Veins Of your veins a scarf I’ll stitch for winter that wraps around my neck a full thirty times Breasts Ear phones bound tight with ligament piping down through my brain stem the archived sound of your sexual ecstasy Kidneys Glue them to a pair of bouncing springy eyes from the joke shop kids love that kind of thing Spine Pot-planted in rich earth will bear golden leaves in the dark places along your thoracic curve Heart When I wipe your heart down having ripped it from deep inside you it will be the colour of tin foil & perfectly spherical but beginning to bloat so I must make a brief incision for your eternal love a crescent which I then peel open as if stroking a day-old kitten & from which will emerge a thousand exultant butterflies that make the sky shiver & weep uncontrollably as they disappear from view somewhere over the endless ocean or is it the rainbow
EVERYTHING YOU FEAR WE’LL CALL YOU
Inevitable that I should turn to you
for whom the clitoris is a satellite of hell
mutilators is a good word
you can mutilate art or
a good dinner or a doe
if you don’t stab her right
maybe we should call you perfumed ladies
soft-skinned and flushing in your trill desires
everything you fear we’ll call you
every clitoris has a soul
and when you die
your virgins in paradise
will not have clitorises
but scissors for when
you sleep exhausted from
dreaming of your mothers
PRETEND BODY MODIFICATION FOR SELF-AMUSEMENT
I pretend to have holes in my palms that I can pass the opposing thumb clean through like pushing madeleine biscuits into nothing. This fantasy of the frontal lobe opens a new portal to strange finger placements and other ways of greeting people. I am liberated. Why did no-one think of this before?
— The man they nailed to a tree 2000 years ago, my priest says to me, more slowly than he usually speaks over the phone, which is hard for me to hold.
— I’m not the type to see crosses everywhere, I reply, this is pretend body modification for self-amusement, a heavy piercing straight through each palm.
— No sacrifice? he asks.
— No sacrifice, no yearning, no prophecy, no allegory, no ever-lasting symbolism, these holes are exclusive to the present tense.
— No re-birth?
— No, father, because the frontal lobe says the point is to be sinless and sinning, no agency, no regency, no word but words, nothing in stone, just two thumbs pushing through holes in my palms.
DANIEL ROY CONNELLY is a theatre director and English and theatre professor at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome. His recent poetry has been widely published by, among others, Magma, Acumen, Ariadne’s Thread, The Alarmist and Nutshell. His essay on directing western theatre in China appears in the current edition of The Istanbul Review. In February 2014 his production of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler premiered at The English Theatre of Rome, where his one-man show, Caffe Macchiato, will open in September 2014. He has recently been named first-prize winner in the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival.