01 Dec Katrina Schaag
I can’t recall the first time I saw his brain, but it had something to do with the way I was feeling that day. It was flat all around us, and he kept scratching at his nose, like it was cheese. All that scratching, and the nose not melting away, I couldn’t help but stare.
We stayed like that for a while, him scratching at his nose, me staring, until he offered to show me his brain. It was like a candlestick, or a machine – waxy, and sharp. I heard a clanking noise, sort of like a dripping mouth, and it got duller and duller as the brain clanked away. Neither of us said anything – we didn’t have to, and anyway we wouldn’t have been able to understand each other over the screeching clank-clanking of that brain.
The way it dripped, I could certainly see why he’d been scratching at his nose, probably to try to keep it all inside, stop it from flowing into the street. It was raining, I think, and the sound of the rain began to mimic his dripping and clanking, and suddenly it all seemed so strange. I mean – his mouth, and his sharp teeth. He was always so good at shredding cheese, no wonder! He looked so odd as he scratched his nose. I couldn’t eat for days.
back in the synthetic grime pool, naked bodies thrashed out chord distortion, screeching noise rippling through the sweaty static air, a rampage a cough. she ripped her underclothes and sprung into the pit, a manic stab at heaven, blissful carnage modified.
in those days a barred door was a tunnel to thrills, earning cuts and bruises, tying delicate pain-ribbons around shuddering frenetic limbs. saying “i like you” translated to “let’s get smashed & do it in a cave, explode in wavelengths” and even the ebbs and flows had some steam to let off.
there was something pure about the starving energy – a brutality seething in beauty, a rawness that cut lovingly. the idea was to loosen restraints and throw everything into the whirling magic-machine, a collective brainchild engineered to get out of our heads and into our bodies.
Katrina Schaag is a writer and artist working on her PhD in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work investigates performativity, artifice, power dynamics, and queering genders, and she has been published by Ugly Ducking Presse, Requited Journal, and Rabbit Catastrophe Press.