on mouths (or: how to show me you love me)

Where is the difference? When we truly love
It’s easy to do one when we mean the other.

— Kleist’s Penthesilea

When you say, “I love you,” the words tumble out of your mouth like chewing gum. “I love you.” What does that even mean? Like the mechanical regurgitation of an automaton. Shut up! Don’t tell me. I want you to SHOW me! ShowmeshowmeSHOW me, don’t tell me, because if you can sum up the way you feel about me in eight letters and three words—hell, if you can sum up the way you feel about me at ALL, then maybe it isn’t enough. Because I want you to feel so strongly about me that it steals the words out of you. Sucks them right out of your consciousness. I want it to make you speechless, so you couldn’t even dare to dare to put it into words, or even contort your mouth into the shapes of vowels. I want it to make you want to burst. And I really, really want you to show me.

Smile so sincerely that I can see the creases around your mouth and predict where time will carve wrinkles into your face, even if we’ll be strangers to each other then. Smile even if you think you look goofy, and damn it, stop feeling so self-conscious. Smile so that there are crow’s feet at your temples and your eyes become half-moons. Let me memorize the gaps between your teeth, the colour of your enamel, the subtleness of your overbite, and let me run my thumb along your bottom lip, it looks so soft, so smooth, like a pink marshmallow. Smile so that the only thing that feels right is for me to smile too, like I can’t help it. Smile so that I can feel your warm breath on my cheek, so that it sets my cheek on fire. Smile so that all I want to do is kiss you and I can’t help it.

So kiss me, please. Please, kiss me! I mean, kissing sometimes feels really weird when you think about it. I mean, what drives people to put their lips together in the first place? The mouth is actually really weird! I mean, think about it: it’s the same mouth as the mouth you suckled at your mom’s boob with, the mouth you drool out of in your sleep sometimes, the mouth you shovel cereal into every morning, the mouth you puked out of when you had too many shots that night, the mouth you suck on your cigarette with, the mouth you spit onto the pavement with like a trucker. I mean, yuck! Who knows what’s been in your mouth, or out of it, or what your mouth has been in contact with, in all of your history? But you know what? I DON’T CARE! Kiss me anyway. I’ll take all of you—the milk, drool, crumbs, vomit, tar and nicotine, even the phlegm! And you’ll have all of me, and my spit. A fair exchange! Show me how much you feel for me. Close the space between our faces, pour yourself into me and I’ll pour myself into you. Just don’t inhale too hard. Because once I had this boyfriend who really liked the Foo Fighters. He liked them so much that he decided he’d test out one of their lines on me. “Breathe out so I can breathe you in,” he instructed. Then he took my face in his hands, closed his mouth over mine, and sucked the life force out of me. It was repulsive. I felt like he was vacuuming my soul out of my ribcage, so I dumped him after two weeks. Anyway, I want you to kiss me! Kiss me like you mean it, not to rip off some stupid song lyric! Kiss me as if it’s the last time we’ll ever see each other, like tomorrow the earth will fracture into two, and where we’re standing is where the fissure will begin, so you’ll be on one half of the earth and I’ll be on the other, and we’ll be hurtling towards opposite ends of the universe. Kiss me like you believe this is going to happen, even if it never will, because gravity’s holding the world together. And gravity’s keeping you from bursting.

But let’s be honest. There is only so much that kissing can convey. Because there is that point when kissing just isn’t enough anymore, when we need to go BEYOND. That’s why we stopped smiling and joined mouths, right? We wanted more! We still want more! Because smiling leads to kissing leads to heavy breathing leads to heavy petting leads to shedding clothing leads to, leads to… leads to… sex? It’s a slippery slope! Saying “I love you” doesn’t cut it. Smiling doesn’t suffice, either, so kissing takes its place… but if kissing isn’t enough, is sex the ultimate way of showing how you feel for me? No! It can’t be! It would imprison us in this horrible mortal way of being, mechanical like “I love you,” only more physically demanding. I don’t want that, because what I really want is for you to burst, because you can’t contain how you feel for me, because your body can’t encase the infinite!

So I invite you to take a bite of the flesh above my collarbone. Go ahead. Please. This is the only way. There is no other way for you to truly express how you feel for me. And if you like my flavour—which I KNOW you do, I mean, you can’t not, because the way you’ve kissed me in the past, it was like you were completely ravenous—then work your way down the rest of my body, and don’t let ANY part of me go to waste. I need to be inside you! ALL of me! Not just the flesh parts! Put my bones in a blender, and my skull, oh, and my organs too, because I realize my heart and brain and the rest of my insides might make you a little queasy, so it might be easier to just drink it all in a stew. I mean, we don’t really eat the hearts and brains of other creatures, of cows and chickens… well, maybe they do in China, but we’re not IN China. We’re HERE! So put the rest of me in a blender, plug your nose if you must, and drink me up. Resist your gag reflex! I know it might be hard for you, but we have to do this! We have to!

Eat me whole! Finish me! Hurry! I want to be under your skin! I want to course through your veins, to conquer every cubic inch of your heart! I want to experience everything with you, and I mean EVERYTHING. I want to feel it when you get your finger caught in the door. I want to know everything you know, to know the ridges of your brain, to know exactly how you’re reading that story for class, what you think of the queen who cannibalized her lover. I want to taste everything you are eating, even if it means tasting cheese, which I absolutely hate, but I won’t now that tasting it confirms that I am a part of you. I want to know your dreams, to see just how similar they are to mine. And if our dreams aren’t similar, well, then I’ll manipulate them so that they are! I want to understand every facet of your identity, to remember every detail of every memory you have, like the time your uncle taught you how to ride a bike, and how proud you felt pedalling down the street. I want to know so much! But most of all, I want to know how strongly feel for me. I want to know what it feels like to almost burst.

So eat me. It’s the only way I’ll be able to gauge anything. It is the closest two people can get to each other. Eat me, and leave “I love you” for amateurs.

miss nippon’s revenge

This story first appeared in Incite Magazine, volume 11, issue 6, April 2009. It was inspired by “The Magic Chalk” by Kobe Abe.

I sliced the knife into the pale yellow flesh. Coming away with a sizeable glob, I smeared it all over the toasted rye, a painter coating his canvas with gouache. I was not hungry—I was never hungry—but this is the last supper. I took a little nibble from the crust. My salivary glands moistened slowly as I let the buttery morsel roll around the inside of my mouth. Suddenly I became ravenous and I chomped and chomped until the toast was gone.

In one hour I will be hanged for killing Miss Nippon. I shot her with her own pistol. She was supposed to be my lovely accomplice, the Eve to my Adam, my wonderful-to-look-at partner in crime, my Miss Nippon… but she was too greedy. She tried to kill me! She had to go. The police were there before I had time to run from the flat. Even still, I did not resist when they handcuffed me. I could have slunk my skeleton hands out of the handcuffs, but life as a prisoner is better than life as a starving artist.

For my last supper, I have requested a light meal of bread and butter, a red apple, a cup of coffee, and some cubes of sugar. “Looks more like breakfast to me,” the guard said as he set down the tray. “Usually the condemned ask for more lavish meals. A five-course meal, some lobster or steak, with flan for dessert.” The bolt clicked as he left me to eat, alone in my cell at a dining table. I gobbled down the second piece of toast, dry. Then I dropped all of the sugar cubes into the coffee and gave it a brief stir. The sugar crystals came apart like a piece of chalk disintegrating in the darkness, smashed to smithereens by an invisible hammer. I gulped it down, the whole cup, and let the undissolved granules tickle the back of my throat. Then I picked up the apple. I gnawed at the skin until my teeth penetrated the cherry red covering and pierced into the tart flesh. I munched through it until only the core was left. Because I was still hungry, I ate it too. Seeds, stem and all.

Fifty-three minutes until I hang like a roasted duck in a restaurant window. Shit. I was still hungry. The guard would not return until fifty-three minutes from now. Besides, once the menu for the last supper is set, it is final. No alterations. I had signed the agreement. But I was so hungry. The last time I was this hungry I had to forage around in the sewer for thrown-out takeout containers. My stomach was about to eat itself, so I scraped desperately at the bottom of the coffee cup, hoping to find some grains of sugar to mollify my gut. I shoved the spoon into my mouth. I felt a tingling on my tongue and my saliva melted the steel. I swallowed down the ladle and threaded the rest of the spoon through my lips, swallowing it too. I was still hungry, so I ate the knife, the plates, the mug, the jar for the sugar, and the tray. I ate the decorative flower, washed it down with the flower water, and ate the glass, as well. Everything tasted like chalk. It was heavenly! Still, my gut yearned for more. I slurped up the tablecloth, and chomped my way through the table. Then I removed my prisoner’s garb and devoured it. I removed my briefs and ate them, too. Then I was naked.

Forty-seven minutes now until I hang like a strip of tenderloin at the butcher’s market stall. I had to get rid of the clock. Forty-seven times sixty seconds times one thousand milliseconds—I couldn’t bear to look at the clock anymore, or to hear its measured ticking. I dragged the chair over to the wall and pulled myself up so that I was face-to-face with the ticking monster. I licked its face to soften it and then ate the entire machine, swallowing its mechanical heart with a relish. Then I got down on my hands and knees to work on the chair. Soon I found myself standing alone and unclothed in an empty room. Thank the Lord I was not hungry anymore.

Suddenly I felt a churning in my bowel. The churning moved up my entire digestive tract and my stomach felt like it was on fire. The fire coursed through my esophagus, and soon it was in the back of my mouth. Before I could scream for the guard, I threw up. It was a white and chalky powder. My esophagus quaked and shuddered as more and more throw-up came up. I kept throwing up even after I had drained my digestive organs. Then my insides were summoned forward, from the bottom up. First my bowels, then my intestines, guts, esophagus, then all of my alimentary organs were threaded out of my mouth by an invisible force. I watched as the organs writhed on the floor, like fish flopping about on a dock. One by one, they disintegrated into a fine chalk dust. Then I felt my toes being sucked up into my feet, and my feet being sucked upward into my legs and turned inside out. I threw up my toes, and my legs. The rest of my body followed; soon, my torso, balls, penis and limbs were sticking out of my mouth. My lips stretched over my head and I threw that up, too. I was now completely inside out. I felt a tingling sensation creep up my body and I crumbled into a fine white powder.

A whirlwind rose from beneath the pile of chalk dust, swirling the white powder around in the air. Bit by bit the white whorl grew, until it formed a cylindrical vessel in the middle of the room. Slowly, an invisible chisel carved into the spinning chalk dust cylinder the figure of a curvy woman wearing a sequined blue evening gown, a sash and a tiara. She pirouetted in place until the carving was complete. Then she collapsed to the spotless ground.

The guard returned to usher Argon to his execution. Instead, he found Miss Nippon, a crumpled cobalt heap on the ground. Her figure was beautiful to behold, her legs long and shapely, neck white as a swan. She stirred. “Oh, excuse me. I must have lost track of time,” she said as she rose. Her breath reeked of chalk, as did her perfume and hairspray. She pushed past the guard and walked out of the prison cell, adjusting a bobby pin in her hair. In her left hand, under her baby and ring fingers, she clasped the last fragment of the magic chalk. “I have had enough!” she huffed. She popped the magic chalk into her mouth and walked off to her next photoshoot.

Chicken Poop for the Mole: “Millie”

A couple of months ago I wrote a series of short stories for my anthology: Chicken Poop for the Mole.

chicken poop for the mole

And now, for the first time ever in the history of all time, they are available for anybody to read. Here is the first story.


Millie had it all.

She had the most interesting notebook and the most dazzling earrings.

composition book
But Millie also had an enormous mole on her face.

Every night Millie would pray for the mole to fade away, but not before plucking the stray hairs that sprouted from it.

She would tape these hairs into her notebook.

Then every morning Millie would put on her earrings.

Her earrings were so dazzling that they drew everybody’s attention away from her enormous mole.

Or so she believed.

The truth was that when Millie talked to people, they didn’t pay attention to anything she said. They were too busy searching for answers in the shape of her mole.

Even still, Millie believed in the power of her earrings.

girl with mole looking in mirror

Of course she was devastated when she lost one of them.

She searched everywhere for it, but it was nowhere to be found.

So Millie sought the help of a fortune teller.

fortune teller palm reader

After hearing Millie’s story, the fortune teller gave Millie a little jar.

“For 12 nights,” the fortune teller said, “rub some of this elixir on your mole. After the 12th night, your mole will disappear.”

magical elixir

So for 12 nights, Millie rubbed the elixir on her mole. After the 12th night, the mole did indeed disappear.

Now Millie doesn’t need her notebook to keep her mole hairs.

And she doesn’t need her earrings to draw everybody’s attention away from the enormous mole in her face.

girl with hole in her face

Because now Millie has an enormous hole in her face.

~ * ~ * ~

Did you enjoy Millie’s story? Did you hate it? Either way, stay tuned for the rest of the Chicken Poop for the Mole series…

Chicken Poop for the Mole: “Mr. and Mrs. Mole”

And now I present… the second chapter of Chicken Poop for the Mole!

chicken poop for the mole

Mr. and Mrs. Mole

Mrs. Mole was a horrible person with a nasty temper.

She would thwack at birds with her morning paper, cast the meanest dagger eyes she could at the children across the street, and hurl spoonfuls of bland porridge at the odd dog who peed on her garden.

But the birds dodged her thwacks with cheery hops, the children never looked up from their games to notice her dagger eyes, and the odd dog was thrilled to gobble up the chunks of flying porridge.

So even though Mrs. Mole was a horrible person with a nasty temper, nobody hated her. Because nobody cared.

Except for her husband.


mr. molemrs. mole

One day Mr. Mole decided he had had enough of his wife. So he decided to bake her a Farewell Pie, which he’d just read about on the Internet.

Now a Farewell Pie is a very straightforward thing. Feed someone a farewell pie and they will disappear from your life. Forever.

And a Farewell Pie is very simple to make. Just fill it with the victim’s favourite pie fillings mixed with the final, fatal ingredient: a can of chicken poop.

farewell pie, made with chicken poop

So Mr. Mole embarked on a search for a can of chicken poop.

But he didn’t want just ANY can of chicken poop.

He wanted the BEST can of chicken poop on the market to make sure that Mrs. Mole would be dead as a doornail.

He would CERTAINLY not settle for any watered-down imitation chicken poop!

So Mr. Mole once more consulted the Internet. He refused to consider any product with a rating lower than *****/*****.

This left him with only one product: Molly Majestic’s Magical Chicken Poop in a Can. Mr. Mole read the reviews.

molly majestic's magical chicken poop in a can

“Deliciously sensational chicken poop! You won’t find a better can in this lifetime or the next!” *****/*****

“MMM Chicken Poop is consistently fresh with a truly irresistible pungent odour!” *****/*****

“Highly effective. Strangely addictive.” *****/*****

So Mr. Mole hurried to the general store to buy Molly Majestic’s Magical Chicken Poop in a Can. Then he went home and made a pie filled with Mrs. Mole’s favourite pie fillings — earthworms and cherries — and, of course, MMM Chicken Poop in a Can.

He threw the pie in the oven and could barely contain his glee while the tantalizing aromas of the pie wafted through their little cottage.

When the pie was ready, Mrs. Mole came thundering into the kitchen. In no time she had gobbled up the pie.

Then Mr. Mole waited and waited…

but Mrs. Mole did not die.

Instead, an incredibly hunky mole appeared out of thin air. He swept Mrs. Mole off her feet and whisked her away in his muscly arms.


mrs. mole in loveincredibly hunky mole

And that is how Mrs. Mole disappeared from Mr. Mole’s life. Forever.

~ * ~ * ~

So, what did you think of this instalment of Chicken Poop for the Mole? Can you relate to Mr. Mole? Have you too scoured the Internet for a way to disappear somebody from your life? Tell the truth!

Chicken Poop for the Mole: “Trom and Breeky”

Dearest readers,

Here is the third and final chapter of my Chicken Poop for the Mole anthology. I hope you are not too put off by how much it differs from the previous instalments.



chicken poop for the mole

Trom and Breeky

 Tuesday, March 24, 2046

0910 Breeky meets Trom in the supply closet and they exchange a series of awkward pleasantries.

0913 Trom moves in to kiss Breeky on the cheek.

0914 Trom and Breeky begin to make out vigorously.

0924 Breeky asks Trom to tell her what his meeting this morning with their boss was about. Are they any closer to identifying the mole in their midst?

0925 Trom won’t tell Breeky. He nibbles on her ear.

0927 Trom tries to go to second base but Breeky is not feelin’ it.

0929 Trom tells Breeky the meeting was about the password to unleash a scourge of deadly alien diseases on the planet Mukkerog, home of the suspected mole. Breeky finds this very interesting.

0930 Breeky tells Trom he can go to second base IF he tells her the password. Trom tells Breeky: POOP NEKCIHC.

0940 Breeky knows that if she says the password backwards three times then the plan will backfire. So she whispers it three times — CHICKEN POOP CHICKEN POOP CHICKEN POOP — while Trom nibbles on Breeky’s other ear.

0941 Trom dies in Breeky’s arms.

0942 Breeky leaves the supply closet to find that everybody on Earth is dead. Her work on Earth complete, Breeky teleports back to her home planet of Mukkerog, where she wins the Mole of the Year award.

trom and breeky, chicken poop for the mole