A rainy Saturday and our home is too many stairs up to worry about leaving, so I make pizza from scratch for breakfast and spend the afternoon in the company of Barbara Gowdy necrophilia fables, Mary Gaitskill interviews in the New Yorker, Wikipedia articles about cannibalism, and my own made up worlds.
I want to tell you stories of circuses and beautiful women who smell of sawdust, magician’s assistants with scars like barbed wire on their stomachs. I want to dig up the past with a garden fork, turn my sordid memoirs over, heave the worms and wriggle amongst them. I want to talk about locksmiths and Janus and the Hierophant Tarot card; I can’t stop thinking about snibs and latches.
So, did you know that human flesh tastes like nothing so much as well-developed veal? Have you heard of the mellified men in ancient Arabia who sacrificed themselves by eating nothing but honey, until even their sweat and their faeces turned to honey, and after their corpse lay in honey for a hundred years it was sold as a sweet, sweet cure for broken bones? Let me tell you about the Leopard Men of West Africa who leapt on wayward travellers in their leopard skins and tore them apart with their leopard claws and ate their flesh, hoping for the strength to carry on. Carry on with their leopardy lives.
Come and gather round, it is early and I have a record player and a red stick candle and a warm blanket to tuck over our knees. I want to whisper horrible and beautiful and monstrous things in your ears until you shudder. I want to lock you in this room and I promise to show up every morning and chant nonsense until the words begin to catch and form.