I like to lie to myself. The lies take a range of forms, lining up on my shelf, dusty old bottles from which Djinns flew away, the spirit flushed away in a haze of burning vomit that choked out, kicking and screaming, my tired mind heaving, my throat delivering a child the wrong way, the child of shadows and fermented brewery.
I am waiting, a small bag of bones crumpled beside the putrid smell of dried cat faeces, chewed gum stuck on walls that flake off paint, dripping sewage lines, boiled cabbage, my mind sighs, the brain is such a dismal place.
Inside my own head I swell, bursting like a misshapen balloon, having swallowed, screams, hopes, people I chewed and spat out, before sniffing at their broken, whimpering pieces. I walk along the skyscrapers of self-indulgence, my Ego is my architect, building me stone edifices under whose weight my pure brain heaves, the creases of membrane squelching together in complaint. The air is hazy with the droplets of blood and rain, the veins in my head throb, throb, grey and white alternating, and another child grows in my chest.
My body is a scrawny street cat, the one stretching on the third storey parapet, glaring balefully at the world, hissing and spitting, hiding its wastes under rocks and sands. I wash myself, watching the water swirl down the unclogged drain, round and round, a whirlpool of madness that has no beginning or ending.
A word knocks on my door, demanding- insisting whispers through the keyhole, I’ll give you a good price today. My hands are swollen though, the bloating is must during pregnancies, and I place my lips against the keyhole, a distant kiss transferred through the wood. ‘Not today’ I murmur, I am already bulging with words, till they come out in a ball of spit and slime, till I cut the sinuous tongue that ties that wretched bundle of thoughts, I am on maternity leave.
Stretch marks crisscross my throat from coughing out broken, hideous, misshapen words at the dead of the night, my lips are shrivelled up, stretched and tired, chapped. My mouth is dry as the words inside me swell.
As I lay in my lonely crib, I think of the humans who had left their seeds on me, all of them growing out of my skin, plants cracking into my skin like bone china, or just bone- sucking my marrow because I am not a uterus, there is more to me than the two ovaries on the sides of my head, but noone listens, and my thoughts are fertilised endlessly, and every now and then I spew out a baby made out of words, it stares at me with its father’s eyes- the countless men, women, children, lifelessly pouring into me, impregnating my braincells till they swell up and float in aminiotic sacs that rupture and then I am surrounded by more words.
I wonder if these pages would ever know their fathers, bastards all, a whore’s children crawling on the floor listlessly, drooling spools of madness into my dreams till I wake up, shaken. I touch my rotund belly, but its in my throat, waiting, bidding its time. Another illegitimate child, another piece of work without a beginning or an end, but I am a mother, I must love my children. Even if they are broken, battered, hideous with three tails of absurdism and one head swollen with eggs that pop out of its eyes.
I live in a madhouse of my own creation, inside my brain, rocking, rocking as screams tear through walls and symphonies trickle down from the floor above, my neighbour at her daily lessons at painting herself with the piano keys, black white, white white black again. My words, gray, never fitting into the knitting my mother weaves for my so-called children, these ugly offsprings which burst out and rips the beautiful margins of leather covers and expensive ink pens.
I create tar that sticks to my skin, suffocating me in an upturned fishbowl, black water swimming like smoke through my nose and I swallow and choke on my own breath and secrets. I count the shadows on the walls, the ghosts of what I havent written, drafts, mute still-born children.
Sometimes I go and sit in the park, stare in wonder at mothers leading their obedient perfectly formed children for the world to see. Five syllables, accent and unaccented in perfect lines of symmetry, what grace, the beauty of their metaphored imagery. My disfigured darlings whimper in moonlight and cower in the dead fireplace.
I have to feed them, or they will devour me, so I went, hesitantly to enlist for child support. The man looked at my qualifications, the chicken feet around my eyes, the stale spirit wafting through my clothes and laughed. “These children- worthless, you belong in a science lab, dissected to see where you went wrong. God you’re half human and half cyborg what am I even to do with this junk?”
I look at the appication forms before me, two neat piles, calculative cumulative science and the straightly formed lines of artistic expertise. I watch the masaccre in my grubbily written application, there is no middle ground, no third pile. My papers are thrown into the dustbin in crunched up balls, and my children are lined up and paraded naked upto a strange long room.All their possessions, their individual attentions are stripped bare and left in piles- shoes, likes, praises, watches. They whimper and ask me, where are we going ma? While a man in a brown suit stamps brands into their left arm.
Dont worry I say to them. YOure only going for a shower, they think you’re too dirty to be in public print.