What I don’t have to worry about
As I lie in bed, it occurs to me
that I am half-way to becoming
a Dickensian protagonist,
orphaned. It is something I think of often now,
staring blankly ahead to
a parentless future while my father
sleeps in the next room his left side
empty, save for the dog curled
where her head used to be.
Dad had asked me what I would do
if he were gone by morning.
He reminded me that the house is paid off,
that I could live there after he—
and that he has money invested
as well as Mom’s 401k, which will be
tax free, apparently, but the lawyer
is still working to get the death benefits
paid out. Walmart has denied our claim
twice already. Fuck Walmart, man.
But maybe they were right to do it.
He said I could sell the house if I needed to,
move somewhere that doesn’t hurt,
but to take the dogs with me
as I try to keep up with what Mom’s hopes
were for me and his still are for me and he told me
never to worry about money.
15 Things to do in Iowa instead of meth:
- travel dirt roads and watch dust flit through rows of corn and beans
- race graffitied trains
- drive an hour to the next small town, look left – corn – right – more corn – farther right – soybean – maybe corn
- kayak the Big and Little Turkey Rivers
- round Dyersville East Rd. and play ball in America’s Field of Dreams
- attend a concert – no one you want to see comes to Iowa
- visit one of 6,000 hog farms
- http://www.brewtrail.com/iowa-breweries/ plan a bender
- pick blackblueraspberries at Berry Patch Farm south of Nevada (Ne-vay-duh)
- try Iowa State Fair’s fried anything on a stick, including:
corn on the cob,
and much more!*
- fuck a hog
note: a single hog may be fucked a maximum of three times before state law mandates its immediate slaughter for meat processing
- hike Backbone State Park
get kidnapped at a gas station by a handlebar-mustached trucker with no teeth
- learn and appreciate the art of differentiating the earthy smell of cow and the succulent smell of hog shit
- fuck another hog (see note)
- The Iowa State Fair is not liable for any heart attacks that occur on fair grounds
OCDLA Skin Picking Disorder Test
Questions one through four ask whether I pick the skin on my face, shoulders and/or neck, legs and/or arms, or the skin in my pubic area. I tick “I pick skin elsewhere on my body.” Where?: occasionally my heels, regularly the skin around my nails. Answer yes to more than seven questions and there is a greater probability that you have Skin Picking Disorder, or Dermatillomania. I said yes to fourteen. Yes, it stems from boredom, or maybe it’s depression finding an outlet. Yes, I often pick before bed, while watching tv or writing poetry, “powerless to resist the urge” sometimes unaware and sometimes I wait for my skin to heal just enough that the spot becomes hard and smooth, mmmmm. The click of my nail as it catches the skin’s edge makes me shiver in delighted anticipation. Click, click, click, and peel. Fuuuuuck, yes. The right amount of hurt. I use my teeth then, slowly, slowly, feeling skin pull on skin and separate POP worry between teeth and swallow – swipe tongue and blood pools in cuticles seeps between taste buds. I can’t stop. My fingers are inflamed to the first knuckle. Scar tissue buildup is prime hunting ground. It hurts to wash my hands, it hurts to bend, it hurts when Grandma asks me to consider my future wedding photos, how will the ring look next to those poor fingers? Wrap them up in Band-Aids but I love the glue left behind – gives me more to pick. pick. pick.
The Poetic Genius is Caffeinated
As I sit in Impact Coffee I wonder
at the scent of freshly ground Kenya beans
if William Blake drank coffee
as the devil cranked his press
or if he was partial to tea.
Megan Rachuy is a graduate student of Gothic Literature currently based in Scotland where the weather keeps her feeling, well, Gothic. As an emerging writer and devout student, her publications include “Tell Me Again” found on ENTROPY while her academic essay ““The City Of Dreadful Night” And Gothic Modernity” is upcoming in the Gothic Studies blog. Her current academic interests are the feminine culinary Gothic, a new direction in Gothic studies. Despite her love for everything Gothic, Megan is particularly fond of the color pink and enjoys dried mango.