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March 10, 2010 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-10

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6B Wednesday, March 102010/

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010 // The Statement 3B

judith butler folds her paws under
her chin and takes a nap

David's Dead Animal Poem

how do we undo each other?
i do up my hair,
by the end of the day
undone undone undone
i do a charade of pleasure
when complimented
that i can haul my bike
onto the rack of the bus
that happened five minutes
ago, i'm serious.
what are the politics of masturbation?
i envy the red fox that has
an entire file on its sexual
activity and where is my
goddamn file? i decide to
keep my own scientific
research of myself,
it's important.
lesbian bluebirds rob the
eggs of breeders
and make a nest twice as big
twice the parents around
to teach the kids how to
pick pink squirmies out of
the dirt, homo pink
flaming-os raise
babies under their
twiggy legs, dolphins
slip fins into each
other's slits
just for kicks
homosexuality is napping in the
shade is chewing the tics
off yr hide is slaughter in
high grasses is making tools
for masturbation out of
sticks and leaves and
dried turd trust me,
eyes
FUNERALS or d
From Page 5B ing
The
always knew what they were doing, fort
even with her back turned. When they pati
questioned her apparent omniscience, Rub
she casually replied that she had eyes sur
in the back of her head. Ruby and Ollie she
took this literally for the better part of h
of their childhood, and much of their autt
creative expression at her kitchen table M
involved writing stories of how their she
grandmother removed her hidden in a

i read it in a science book.
am i animal?
yes
tho
i exile myself
from animal kingdom
thru my language
but there is hair
on my arms and i've
seen people stalk
their prey thru tupperware
do bodies long to be communal?
two girls matching
plaid skirts matching
knee socks matching
divided in bathroom stalls
surprised at the
dropping of blood
because they are
late & early
one body waits for
the other the other
rushes to catch up
do we know
the scope of
our animal capacity?
our great animal
potential?
surely we too
could mate in
middair
if we tried
hard enough
or raise kids under
our twiggy homosexual
leggies
... do we know the human yet?

I like lots of animals.
I like skinny monkeys with short
hair who jump up and run up
and down with one
another like pink plastic party
cups in electric
storms. And I like wallabies
because they're just
little kangaroos and they carry littler
kangaroos in their littler-than-a-kangaroo's
pouch.
I even like dead animals I like
animals so much. Dead elephants
because it looks like you could
hold an office meeting or
show a movie in 'em. And I
like dead boars cause fun-
loving polka-dotted hyenas like 'em.
greasy streetside gyros and
Aunt Bessie's fried chicken drumstick,
those are dead too. And
I like raccoons on
their backs with those
adorable
thief paws
in the air like forks with
the handles down.
I don't ever get to see 'em any other way
so they're my favorite.
They're all my favorites.
What's yours?

A Hypochondriac's Dilemma

had planned to be home three
hours and twenty-seven min-
utes ago. I had not planned to
wait on the tarmac for an hour
and eight minutes and counting.
I am regretting eating break-
fast now. The hotel the interviewer
put me up in was shitty, and the din-
ing room was filthy. I'm sure a rotten
egg was what was causing me dis-
tress, but I can't go to the bathroom
on the airplane. I think of E. coli and
SARS and swine flu. I'm sorry, H1N1.
I think of the obese man, two rows
back in the aisle seat, and imagine
his sweat dripping over the toilet
rim and onto the rest of the metal
box surrounding the hole. I think of
the crying kid, a couple rows ahead
of me, who I saw run to vomit a few
minutes ago because he was nervous.
I can't go to the bathroom on an air-
plane. But I can't just sit here. The
situation is getting desperate. My
bowels are aching and the muscles in
my legs and ass are squeezed as hard
as they can be. I can't wait another
couple hours until I am home to my
bleached clean bathroom.
I unbuckle my seatbelt because
the sign says that's okay. I get up. I
walk to the back of the plane. One,
two, three, four, five, six rows. Then
the obese man. Seven, eight, nine,
ten, eleven aisles and I'm there. The
door says vacant so I pull the edges of
my sleeve over my hand and use it to
unlatch the handle and push. When
I lock it behind me, the automatic
light flickers on and hums, making
my brain feel fuzzy. The grayness of
the room and the dull, dead skin col-
ored quality of fluorescent light bulbs
makes me look much older than I
am. Or maybe that's the stress. I pull
at the wrinkles around my eyes and
pretend my skin is much younger,
and more taught. It seems like a new
line shows up every day that I am
unemployed. I need to find a job soon
or I will shrivel into a raisin.
I stop looking and start tearing
pieces of toilet paper to cover the
seat. I can't touch it. I cover the seat
and seven inches of the surrounding
metal. I'm not that big, but what ifI
lose my balance and end up slightly
left? I put an extra layer on. Yes, it's
a waste of paper, but that's not real-
ly what's important right now. I sit
down carefully, so as not to disturb
the sheets of tissue and relax as I let
myself empty. I sigh with my head
leaned back and my eyes closed gen-
tly and let my muscles loosen. After

a minute, I bring my head back down
and open my eyes. There, in the cor-
ner behind the door, pinched into
the hinge is a twenty-dollar bill. Its
frayed edges and overall crumpled
demeanor speak of a fall from an
overstuffed back pocket as its owner
pulled up their jeans.
I contemplate the twenty. That's
a lot of money to me, now. A couple
years ago I could have ignored it, but
now that infected bill is almost as
vital to my life as the soap I carry in
my bag, or the rubber gloves I wear
in the subway. I need that twenty for
dinner. You wouldn't expect find-
ing a job to be so expensive. This
round-trip ticket cost $287.63 with
tax. I don't even think they are going
to hire me. That's $287.63 of the
$2,782.68 I have left. That seems like
it could last you a while, but it won't.
I think of the twenty-seven pounds
of rice I could buy. That's sixty-seven
cups of uncooked rice. So at the rateI
am going, that could be almost thirty-
three days of food. I need that twen-
ty. I look at the floor of the bathroom.
I look and see grime in the fake grout
of the linoleum tiles. I look and see
the sticky film that covers the floor
and think of how that is all over the
twenty now. I imagine E. coli, SARS,
and HINT tickling Andrew Jackson's
nose as they squirm on his face.
I think of the swirlies of elemen-
tary school. The taste of toilet water
on my tongue. The smell of stagnant
sulfuric water it left permanently in
my nose. I think of when I got sick in
second grade. The stomach flu is not
kind to a young kid. It's not kind to
anyone really. IfI pick up the twenty,
maybe I won't be eating for thirty-
three days anyways. Bacteria and
viruses could take away my need for
that money.
I think of ways to pick it up with-
out being exposed. I could use my
sleeve to shield my fingers, but what
would I do with it? I couldn't put it
in my wallet; everything would be
exposed. Normally, I would just zap
it with my germicidal UV light, but
they made me check it. I'm not sure
if you could actually blind the pilot
with it, but that is what they claim.
I couldn't put it in my pocket; I could
never use the pocket again. I suppose
I could wash it, but I once read an
article that washing your hands in an
airplane bathroom makes them more
dirty than they were before because
the water is germ ridden and the
soap is not very strong. I could put

s, like her teeth, before she slept,
drawing pictures of the eyes pok-
out from behind her unruly hair.
y decided that one had tobe at least
y years old to grow more eyes, and
ently awaited some of their own.
y chuckled at the thought of how
prised the coroner would be if he or
had found extra eyes on the back
er grandmother's skull during the
opsy.
Vhen the time came for the burial,
stood shivering next to her siblings
jacket too light for November. She

thought of all the dead below her and
felt sad that they would be stationary
forever. She felt sad for the trees whose
leaves are granted the privilege of
flight while they themselves are forced
to remain rooted. She felt sad for those
who are emotionally bound to others
when they'd like nothing more than
to be free. All of this sadness seemed
entirely inappropriate for her grand-
mother's funeral.
That day, Ruby had worn formal
shoes that uncomfortably exposed
her toes and, when she tried to walk

closer to the grave, she found that the
spiky heels had gotten stuck in the
partially frozen ground of the cem-
etery. Hard as she tried, she couldn't
move from where she stood. Panicked
by the notion of being trapped in one
place, she slipped out of the shoes
and wrenched them out of the earth
with her hands. She stood barefoot
and squeezed the cold, frosty grass
between her toes, grateful for her
mobility. Tiny flecks of snow began to
swirl down to the earth, and before
she reminded herself that she didn't

believe in Heaven, she briefly imagined
that her grandmother was sitting up
there mischievously shaking dandruff
out of her hair and onto the funeral
party as a last laugh. Deciding that
that was actually repulsive and com-
pletely unlike her grandmother, Ruby
envisioned another scene: she imag-
ined that the snow was the energy her
grandmother had used in the eighty
years she had lived, falling back to the
ground to be soaked up and eventually
to sprout new beings. After all, life was
never lost, just redistributed.

hand sanitizer all over it, I guess. But
they took my over three-ounce bottle
when I went through security and
the other bottle Ihave is in my bag in
my seat. I think the attendants might
get suspicious.
A knock on the door: "Sir? Are you
okay? You need to finish up soon. We
have clearance for take off and we
have to get off the ground within the
next couple minutes or we'll miss our
chance. I need you to return to your
seat and fasten your safety restraint."
I guess I've been sitting here for a
while. "Um ... yeah, I'll be right out,

let me finish real quick."
"Okay, please hurry." It was deci-
sion time. Pick it up and be sure to
have some food. An extra thirty-
three day cushion to find a new job.
Leave it and I can guarantee my
safety, at least from sickness. I think
of the economy. I think of the unem-
ployment rate. I think of the three
hundred and two people dead in the
U.S. alone from H1N1. I reach out and
pause, fingers millimeters from the
bill. Another knock.
A stern man's voice: "Sir, please.
We need to take off now. Come out or

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JAKE FROMM
we will open the door." I am startled
and my fingers close. I've touched
it. There's no going back. I've given
myself a new meaning for the phrase
filthy rich. I gag and a shudder runs
down my shoulders. Muscles tense
and I can feel my sweat glands prick-
le on my forearms and my legs. I'm
nervous, but I cram the bill into my
jeans pocket. I feel a bulge growing
in my throat, but I open the door. I
walk back to my seat and buckle up.
The plane pushes me into my seat
cushions and I hold my hand away
from my body.

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