If I Can Hear You Chew, I Have Fantasized About Your Death
Oh, Facebook, rollercoaster of my anger and self-righteousness,
hermetic mental sandbox overstuffed with cat turds,
it is a friend, a real life friend, who posts this; and it's in character,
and that comes as a surprise because he is my friend, and
because when I chew, there are noises.
I have a hairy back, hairy armpits, jungle crotch.
I exude smells with unbelievable proficiency.
I broadcast an embodied asymphony of digestive gurglings,
bone creaks, woodwind respirations, evocative passages of flatulence,
and when I put food into the only place on my body where I can make use of it,
the xylophone of my teeth is the only silent part.
My tongue unravels the gland-squirted slurry;
my lips percuss to keep most of the churning swamp in,
and my echo chamber of throat rings and resonates in peristalsis.
Yes, my mouth shuts, and I concentrate, but still the noises never still.
You fantasize about death while I choose to chew, to nourish
this noisemaker, this cooperative agglomeration of stench-making entities,
ravenous automatons symbiotically truced, whose borders
ooze pus and rank biles, whose avant garde flakes into flurries
that blow into other nostrils, whose whole noisome collective is alive
in a slurping, sucking, knocking, pinging, Wurlitzer hellracket,
complex concerto of cosmic clashing, the grinding and slicing,
juicing liquefaction and ungainly assimilation of this
warmed over slice of spinach-and-onion deep-dish pizza—
and you can clear your throat tube of throat cells, roll your spheres of eye cells,
run those electric fragments of cerebral cortex over the terrains of disgust
and reprimand and even the wish for another being's demise;
but what I call I does not wish you any ill,
and still I am eating, am going to eat
this leftover angle of pie without swallowing it whole.
(Fantasize what that sounds like!)
But remember if you will that online is antithetical to alive,
which is why you can control the sound levels
more easily, sometimes, than you can control
the crumbs you drop into the conversation, friend.
Hear the author read “If I Can Hear You Chew” set to the music of “Jojo Sows His Oats” by Bass Line Dada (copyright 1998).