Saturday, September 29, 2012

PCAS Presentation: The Plural of Apocalypse: The (Post?)Apocalyptic Genres of Supernatural

Presented 9/29/2012 SPN started as creator Eric Kripke's adaptation of American urban legends. The first season featured those stories many of us remember from sleepovers and campfires. The hook man, the woman in white, Bloody Mary--the classics. The show took a particularly male-oriented, blue collar, Midwestern approach, focusing on survival and skill, not the mysticism or the metaphysics behind these stories, which were all loosely linked by the two main characters', brothers Sam and the elder Dean Winchester, search for their missing father and the creature that killed their mother 22 years previous. As a narrative arc, the search story held through the end of the first season, at which point the show began focusing on the hows and whys of demonic influence specifically. With Kripke at the helm, fans were assured of a planned five season arc. In Kenneth Burke's words, the show runner and producers were aware that form is the arousal and fulfillment of desire, and that fulfillment of the form creates satisfied audiences. When Kripke stepped down after season 5 but the show was renewed, fans were understandably concerned. After all, season five was the story of the apocalypse--what else could a show called Supernatural do once they'd stopped the end of the world and put the devil back in his cage? While the show remains one of the flagships of the CW, since the Winchesters put an end to the end, fans have expressed increasing dissatisfaction with the character development, plot, and general cohesiveness of the show. What I want to do here today is provide a framework through which to view the show and the audience response to seasons 4-5 versus seasons 6-7, keeping in mind that with the season 8 premiere on Wednesday, this could all be blown out of the water. Using traditional definitions of the apocalyptic literary genre, I will first show how Supernatural can, in fact, be considered a kind of “sacred” text. Then to explain the show’s perceived failures in the last two seasons, I will examine it as an example of the blurry line between the two genres Martin Buber names "the apocalyptic" and "the prophetic." Using this as a basis, I will close with a brief discussion of the inherent problematics of placing apocalypse into serial narrative--or, as Buffy's Riley put it, how we’re finding ourselves needing to know the plural of apocalypse. First: SPN as apocalyptic. The apocalyptic genre comes from Judeo-Christian sacred texts, the most familiar of which is the Revelation of John, although the old testament book of Daniel and a large number of apocryphal texts also fit into that category. Noting that “Apocalypse” is Greek for “unveiling”, Joseph Collins’ (1979) Apocalypse: The Morphology of a Genre names several elements as necessary to the apocalyptic genre including: 1) urgent expectation of the end of earthly conditions in the immediate future; 2) the end as a cosmic catastrophe; 3) periodization and determinism; 4) activity of angels and demons; and 6) manifestation of the kingdom of God; Supernatural features most of the elements in seasons 4-5. In addition to the demons already present in the show’s mythology, angels (with one serving as a major character) appear. The question of free will and determinism plays throughout season 5, particularly in the episode set five years in the future titled “The End”. God himself appears in the form of the character Chuck, who writes Sam and Dean’s lives in the form of a book series titled “Supernatural” which will come to be known as the Winchester Gospel, aligning Chuck with the creator and writer of the show, implying that the show itself is a kind of gospel. Supernatural is not exactly a sacred text, but the show uses apocalyptic texts as its source material. In fact, so much of seasons 4 and 5 are based on readings of those Biblical texts that we might almost call them fan fiction--or, in the rabbinic tradition, midrash, the act of expanding on and explaining stories in sacred texts. While I'd hardly call Kripke and company rabbis, their textual goals for spn--the key arguments the text is making about the world, good and evil, and free will--does place it, if somewhat hazardously, in the apocalyptic genre. As a serial narrative, SPN stretches the unveiling across two seasons, at the end of which, we assume all has been explained (until Sam’s mysterious reappearance. More on that in a minute). What seasons 4 and 5 do well is to balance the various kinds of apocalyptic texts. Philosopher Martin Buber divides and categorizes the genre into two separate subgenres: What he calls the prophetic sees God as a potter who “works on the historical shapes and destinies of human nations” but is flexible enough to allow humans to make choices and shape their own destiny. The prophetic text uses an announcer—nabi/navi--to tell of the disasters and end that will come if humans do not make the right choices, giving them a chance to save themselves. The apocalyptic, on the other hand, is a simple warning: It assumes the divine plan is set, and the communicator is only there to reassert this fact and let the masses prepare their souls. This is where we can see SPN as a show that shifts generic borders with skill in seasons 4 and 5; at times in those episodes, the show seems firmly set in the apocalyptic, with a sense of determinism overriding the characters’ choices. Gabriel claims that Sam and Dean’s destiny has already been written, and until the season five finale, this seems to be true. That finale, aptly titled “Swan Song,” though, shows Sam and Dean’s choices as effective deterrents against the end of the world; Sam’s martyrdom saves the planet, and the devil is caged in Hell, a clear vote for “Team Free Will”. In the final scene, we see our “divine potter,” Chuck--here, representing the departing Eric Kripke--end his book, snap his fingers, and disappear from existence. The prophetic message has been delivered, and humanity is back on track. This play of the two genres in Supernatural allowed Seasons 4 and 5 to have a satisfying narrative arc. The characters’ fatedness allows an audience to anticipate (or try to anticipate) and be satisfied by the next plot point. Likewise, the struggle against that determinism is a familiar one to American audiences embedded in our ideologies of individualism. Further, Sam’s fall into hell to save the planet nicely mirrors Dean’s fall to save his brother (or, to use Chuck’s own words, there was “narrative symmetry.”). Our expectations for both the prime time televisual narrative and the apocalyptic endings are met. This neat ending is problematic, though, when your show is renewed and your stars have six year contracts—hence the final, added on scene of Sam reappearing on earth to watch Dean live out his “apple pie life” outside of hunting. While some blame the weak narrative arcs of seasons six and seven on its new showrunner, Sera Gamble--and here we could digress to discuss the authority of women authors of seemingly sacred texts as impacting audience expectations, but we will not-- and while we might blame Gamble here for poor narrative arc planning as the simple answer, it would be more fair to consider the narrative and generic problem she inherited. If the apocalyptic genre's--both the apocalyptic and prophetic--’s key argument depends on how it ends the narrative--whether or not humans have free will and what, then, we are supposed to do--and if viewers consider episode 5.22 to truly be the swan song, with the creator-author-god disappearing, then any new revelation that comes after is barely even supplement. Apocalypse cannot have a plural; it relies on its terminus to make meaning. Once you've had an apocalypse--once you've revealed your author-god, what is there left for the audience to desire? The only choice, as Kripke noted in an interview prior to his departure, is to “go small” and “intimate” instead of epic and apocalyptic. An entirely new approach is needed—a new world (a paradise) appropriate for the saviors of the planet. In other words, you must move from a serialized unveiling of God’s plan to a serialized explanation of the planet after the end, a post-apocalyptic narrative with an entirely different purpose. Battlestar Galactica , upon unveiling its final shocking revelation simply ended, and its spinoff Caprica was dystopian, not apocalyptic—two genres with very different purposes. (It was also “intimate” in that it focused on two to three families instead of the entire planet). At first it seemed that season six would follow this path. It opens with a musical montage showing us a "new" Dean, dressed differently, without his beloved car, in scenes using highly different cinematography: brighter, more saturated color palette, more long shots, higher key lighting to soften the angles on Dean’s face. The diegesis has clearly changed, but instead of the intimacy Kripke suggested, Gamble and company attempted to use the narrative arc of the apocalypse, again, restarting, to frame the new story. The tagged on scene of Sam’s reappearance in "Swan Song" could have hinted at a return to the intimate (sometimes very) brotherly relationship storyline, but instead, as we learn very, very, very late in the season, it was all secretly a part of Season six’s REAL “A” storyline, an epic, mostly invisible to viewers civil war in heaven that once again threatened the destruction of earth. Season seven further attempted to use the serial apocalyptic narrative structure to reveal, or maybe just retcon a mythological creature more terrifying and world-ending than and prior to Lucifer, seeming to imply that the previous apocalypse was incomplete, and that all along this more fearsome creature has been lurking, forcing the audience to reframe and reconceptualize the previous unveiling. What should have been post-apocalyptic, focusing on reminding us what we value, how to hold on to it, and how to keep fighting in this new world, attempted to remain apocalyptic by extending the sense of unveiling—but this time without the sense of the divine (or at least Chuck) gently guiding toward a set conclusion or an announcer explaining where they’re headed. Seasons six and seven can’t make up their minds: What genre are we in now? Thus, the lack of cohesion felt by audience members in seasons six and seven may not be due to “bad writing”, but due to the lack of satisfaction of form. A new unveiling, if Gamble et al had taken that route, would have meant first setting up new questions and problems to be answered and solved, or necessarily explicitly (and early on) denying that the previous apocalypse was a complete unveiling. When Gamble failed to set up a recognizable narrative arc that names the genre in season six until the angel Castiel’s confessional speech in episode 20, The Man Who Would Be King, the audience was understandably lost. Season seven, then, seemed to go the other direction, over-emphasizing what Porter et al call the “kernels” of the story arc in every episode by referring to the narrative arc in every episode so that we all understood very clearly what kind of story this was (another extended unveiling, with a new divine text found at the end to further support this). Even with this guidance through multiple dick jokes, though, it’s hard to get excitable about Leviathan monsters when Lucifer himself is locked up for good and God himself is out of the picture. It’s no wonder season seven literally ended in Purgatory--the narrative is in limbo. This problem is unique to commercial serial narratives dealing in the apocalypse. Apocalyptic rhetoric, either the prophetic or the standard apocalyptic, depends on a singular ending clearly visible to audiences to hold ideological sway. With each apocalypse only building on a new one and denying its completeness, we are left without a clear sense of space, or what we are supposed to do (if we CAN do anything). When there are multiple “ends,” we become perpetually retconned about the genre we’re in and the argument being made, and Eric Kripke’s departure shown through Chuck was clear enough that most fans will not see seasons six and seven as a further delay of narrative desire, as a further unveiling of the hidden kingdom of God (or the supernatural). While I cannot offer a solution to this narratological quandary (although a look to Buffy, BSG, and, I’m told, Fringe, would help), Season 8 premieres Wednesday (9 pm, the CW), and I am putting my faith in new show runner Jeremy Carver to, at the very least, pull Dean out of Purgatory and back to the show’s most basic form: saving people, hunting things--the family business.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Randomest of Random Poetry

The diss is finished, submitted, accepted. Which means now, perhaps, there will be time for other writing.

Jon Tuttle asked me to read a poem or two for the Snow Island Review reading on Tuesday the 30th, and I didn't really think about it before saying "Yes." Not that I'm regretting it, but that with this and the Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival earlier this month, I have come to realize just how much I've failed at writing in the last two years.

I've decided to read either two short poems from the Disability Workshop, or two shorter, older, poems that I had polished long before the dense, academic prose took over my brain. In trying to locate these (some of them on this blog), I found some other, really strange, pieces I wrote last year, my first year in Lafayette, and my last year in Boston. So I thought I'd post those here, in an attempt at recovering what was lost. Note that these have not been revised, and at times falter in syntax.

Friday Last

too lofty a word to speak here--love--and yet i do, aware that the "v" goes on to long, that i'll have to lick my lips quite soon. the rain falls listlessly unlike that first time i thought about the concrete ledge of the stadium, when it poured so hard no one knew i was crying until i tried to speak. too close to the rain, to the sidelines, to his breath fogging in time with mine, i fall back to my place on the third tier of seats without hearing a reply. florida, i say to the floodlights that cast our shadows together into one, can be reached by car in twenty hours. the ledge is too far to climb at this hour anyway.

On moving back to the midwest
if this is a sign of retribution, of atonement, nearing me then i’ll look away or look into the sun to blind me. this cloth is scratchy on the shoulder that’s not sweating yet this shoe is digging hard into my heel. the robe around me is just enough—my god, it’s may, and there’s my breath—just enough of a coat and it’s black. this robe cost too much, too much to cut my hair and box my clothes and drive drive drive west, even though the ocean calls me. the strap has blistered me again, flesh welting in accusation, making my cheeks twitch, i’ll give it away now if i blink or smile or raise an eyebrow, this carefully twirled hair will pull the cornerstone out and i want it to. there’s the pole i fell upon, there’s the one that fell on me in the early morning scent of steam and sweet cookies. there’s the track we circled around then around again and never quite met in the middle, the rubber soles and the rubber ground bounding us away from each other.

The ones my fingers know they've always known
and at this stage, can no longer afford to hazard guesses
this touch was my only intuition once
Pairs of people wander around me in my pretty dress
they come, they always come, to spoil the child
with "babe" and "hon" and "sweetie"
a slippage in the slick sweat on metal
intentional falter, intentional trip over sidewalk cracks
his words are praiseful, bouncing against the raindrops .

The trees come at me--this can't be--but the light is moving and I know I can see North and South at once. The wind slaps like waves, chunks of wind patting my eyelashes down to shut out the marching forests. Blunt wind, sharp sun--they say you can bathe in it, but it's all spikes and rays--speeding the leaves up into my face. It gives us a chance to sing loudly into the roar about the conditions of possibility--meaning, really, hope. To think about definition as the definition of the shadow on the moon. To hum a melody about what we contain, how we curtain it away like a shower, like a dirty room, so that the open space won't swallow everything, so we don't lose our shapes and release the churning infinity within. The strain of forever nips at the bounds we set, the missing fences around sensation.
The setting sun lances with intention this time, opens the pain, pokes holes in the boundaries of my flesh and I bleed freely, without cause, this time. The hole it makes expands, jagged, and infinity seeps out, flooding away words, lines, fences, until all is All and All is one. The trees are marching to staunch the flow and even the simplest question--are you alright?--is a feat of creation, but not impossible.

A vision of the messianic

I see you in the finite,
Which is, of course, wrong.
I see you as a condition of my caught breath,
As a phantasm of a deeper structure.

I ask for simpler words
(Perhaps angry words?):
Something to keep a beat to when the beat slows down,
And to walk to in the new night.

I want to measure a chill in the air.
I see you as a condition of cradles and graves,
Without which I am hungry.
It fed off of the delta valley.

Every other line is empty
Of devotion and vocation to cloister.
Not me, not in context, not in the northeast,
A condition of angrier words.

Being a liberal in war

Oh how easy it is to die in war,
The fletch of the arrow, the hilt of the sword
To see your own blood and want to see more
To bow to the sky, to scream from the core

Oh how lucky to die before
The panic sets in, they even the score
They burn all the bodies, loot all the stores--
How lucky to die as they blast through the doors

Oh how simple it is to protest
To scrawl on a poster and scream with the rest
About blood, about oil, about the oppressed
To fast and to mourn that we’re overly blessed


We are one big family
While all the stupid people writhe in agony
With sauntering steps kept to pace
The brush and bend of pulse and pages.
The party blesses one another;
In cold address each does stumble,
Hiding in their fetal poses
As one would cradle rose bouquets,
Cherishing sores from thorn arrays.

The undesirable among us
Chip each edge of memory from us
With emotion sweet as sugared donuts.
We must choose to abuse the past like this
It does not come naturally
It does not leave quietly
It will not be happy till we loose our fits
And miss these bleak displays.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Settled in to the hard edge of a chair--it cuts and makes its shape known against my body, and this awareness of sitting skitters at the edge of thought--I'm listening to songs that are substituting for prayer. I'm fairly sure Fiske is misreading the social action of fandom, and I'm fairly sure Burke says it all better in a single phrase: Literature is equipment for living. And I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with what I'm supposed to be reading for--oh, I'm poaching, baby--but the lines of the chair and the shining tabs of fanfic lining the task bar and the sounds of hope and peace and love penetrate the film of pain just enough to shatter my discipline.

This dissertation is being written amid burning and stabbing and weakness and twitching, words in the spaces between pain, theses extracted painstakingly, chaff from wheat, diamond from rock, tumor from breast. And even when I laser focus, pull my mind and soul from the body long enough for clarity of thought, it's there, in the meat; back down in the physical my legs move without consent, my brain registers startling scents, my ears baulk against the pressure of some deep throb of sound: A passing car. It's solid, inside me, a force that my soul shrinks from until I'm nothing but a singularity. How can it not appear in the writing, this pain? It manifests itself in every sentence, tainting my masterpiece with that which I abhor; the thing I hate infiltrating my love, I cannot escape it; we are forever entwined. When I speak of hope, it's never about my own.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Final" draft of disability poems

When I took The Rhetoric of Access Class in the Summer of 2006, Dr Salvo kept asking me why I could theorize all sorts of things, but couldn't theorize my own disability. Or even seem to conceptualize it in any meaningful way. While I had come to terms with the necessity of the label "disabled" for university purposes, I didn't like to use it except as shorthand for my situation--which, as a Burkeian, I should have realized the implications of this naming, but, then again, I wasn't theorizing it. I struggled to define for myself whether the disability was part of me, or if there was some other core identity outside the illness. As though the illness were a deviation from my True Self.

"You don't let it define you," Lou said today, as I struggled to finish the prose poem. And this is and was and probably always will be the problem. It does define me, but not in totality; it is me, I am it. It colors my language, my bodily movements, my lived experience. It gives me, in Burke's words, an orientation or perspective that prescribes strategies for living. But people, particularly normals, don't want to think about this, because admitting the sickness is (in) you is to admit your proximity to death. We run far, far away from death, if only to return to it in the death drive. Being disabled means being mortal. And that makes people uncomfortable.

Well too damn bad, people. As Mrs Curie told me when I struggled with Weber's Clarinet Concerto, "Make beautiful mistakes"--or, in another orientation, make the mistakes beautiful. Here's me trying to make the mistake of my body beautiful. (Oh, and Jeff, if you're reading this? Thanks, and sorry about the Muppet comparison. And to AHS band members: Yes, I'm aware I was never "cricked." But there was that one time with Kamp's pants, and you know we came close then...)

Twelve Steps Away From Disabled

He wants me to walk like a penguin; I want him to speak to me like an adult. My feet turn ninety degrees without my permission and I waddle triumphantly across the office. No, he says, not looking at my mother. I meant, turn them the other way. My toes face each other and twitch hello.

In the middle of a step, time stops with a high whine, bright and still like a frozen sunbeam. My boot slides in the snow banks; the New Hampshire sludge has a contract out on me. The rest of the class keeps on walking. Thanks, teacher, for leaving me be--I‘ll catch up eventually.

If I don't run now, I might be able to walk later: this is energy conservation in its finest. The gym teacher is unimpressed by my planning skills. He thinks I mean later in the day. I mean later, when I'm middle-aged and sporting a wheelchair. I've got a lot of contingencies to consider. I'm already eight.

My fingers fly up and down the keys, faster than anyone, and my mother looks relieved. Somehow my body knows this, easier than walking, than using a knife and fork, and I wonder if this is what it's like to walk without thinking left, right, lift, push. The concentration of a step is harder than Mozart's clarinet concerto in A.

And hit. Three feet behind again, panting and red faced; my foot is nowhere near the white line--it’s betrayed me again. The bass drum pounds on, and they threaten to throw me in the creek. The doctor’s note stays in my back pocket. I’ll take the plunge instead.

Trudging uphill. The cold feel of frozen meat that is my thigh trips me, breaking the article already written in my head. I can't ask the question I want to (Do you agree with the Senate's decision?) with the noise of pain coating the scene. I go for the easy schmooze instead, and Mom recommends I rethink journalism school. We call the new round of college applications "Plan B."

The word is washing machine, but I'm going with "the thing that gets things clean," which earns me laughter and friends. I smooth over the gaps by speeding in circles around missing words, so it's okay, and no one notices until I try to order pizza and ask for balloons instead. Much giggling ensues. Instant friends for life.

I didn't mean to hit her, but she was sitting too close, and the arm decided it needed to inhabit some other space, so I'm telling myself it's not my fault. When the leg kicks me back from my desk and into the wall three days later, Jeff’s mentoring skills kick in, and he eases my blush with jokes about the spontaneous overflow of emotions. I tell him I hate the Romantics, anyway. I score points for intertextuality.

Jeff’s a mad Muppet-like man, bobbing in his seat, Mennonite compassion oozing from the books on his shelf. You’ve got more options, he tells me. You’d like grad school, because it’s clear Plan B is a bust, and I don’t want to travel too far into the alphabet. I refuse to ask What if I run out of words? What if I get lost? because Jeff has too much faith in me, and I’d hate to ruin his day.

They put me on the top floor, of course, high above the city that breathes for me most days. Fire drills aside, the minuscule elevator carries me faithfully down to the pavement I can pound, inhaling Boston, infusing it in my skin. The stairs stare me down, and I glare right back; I am not lost, for once, in the streets that wind dizzyingly in marshes and fens.

To the prim professor, I say, “The creation of audience identification is necessarily voluntary: But what if they don’t want to feel disabled with me?” The words haven’t gone anywhere, as long as the buildings twinkle at night, and standing in the doorway between here and there seems to suit me.

I'm sitting in the driveway, trying to remember which one is the brake pedal again, and how to get home. Twenty years of failing to be the right kind of penguin has been like the slide of twilight into night. Or like a frog being boiled slowly in water. “Becoming,” I say to the unfamiliar street signs, “is different from being,” tasting Heidegger on my lips. As long as I’m still driving, I haven’t yet arrived.

Sirloin Or why you shouldn't hug me

Please unloose my flesh
To let fly free that which
Aches against my borders.
Like frost on a window
Binds sticky and prickles,
So do your fingers scratch
Against the edge of my skin.

It begins in the spine,
Tracks down and settles
Matching gut for gut,
Meeting stab with stab,
Etching rutted lines
Through pulsing muscle,
Clean Ginsu marks,
But not to stretch,
Not to butterfly open:
It’s not your intent to butcher
Me with embracing arms.

And a bonus poem that I didn't have the balls to read at something called "Disability Awareness Month." "Raising Awareness" is an idea I often rant against, and this poem is to be read sarcastically: Imagine a whiny 13 year old girl's voice, and you've got it just about right. (Yes, this and Sirloin are reposts, but with revisions)

Raising Awareness
Are you there, passion?
Are you yet asleep?
Has hope awoken you on cue
at the end of the end,
where you can sip the most fuel
thrust forward at the tip of the fuse?
Or have you slipped beyond now
infusing the realm of dreams
where you are more easily grasped
where you are not denied a chance
to light the plot to enlighten the world
And make them all impassioned for the cause?

They’ve waited, passion,
those banner-makers and slogan-writers
They who walk for cures with posters held high
They’ve waited on you and upon you
waited for your arrival at the darkest night
triumphant in trumpet blares at blastissimo,
For you to burn the untouched souls
And inflame them with compassion.
But you snuck in quiet to the back room
and tied them up in our own pink ribbons
till they are furiously still at the keyboard
passionately aware, the standard of awareness raised.

Are you still here, passion,
Now that the worst has floated downriver?
It seems they can't remember
how this is supposed to end--
is it a tragedy or comedy?
A romantic gesture?
A single rose on the fifteenth of February?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Vines (A meditation on consubstantiation)

In working with the "Writing the Disability" group, I've been contemplating what Burke has to say about disease. It's not positive, of course. In Burke world, disease is dis-ease, and is what we are always/already acting against; we are "rotten with perfection" or at least the motive to perfect, and that means constantly expunging the disease around us. But what happens when the diseased is a person, not an idea or situation? What does that do to Burke's motive of identification: He says we all want that communion with each other, but do we really? Do you want to share substance with the ill and dying? That would mean admitting that you, too, are ill and dying, and we Americans don't do that well.

So, thinking about Burke and disease and about his brief comments on consuming ("you are what you eat" being his example of how changes in substance can occur) and thinking about the latest episode of Supernatural, in which Famine perfects the desire to consume which leads to death (insert Lacan here), I came up with this. This Whatever.

To be consumed,
to share in substance
to stand on the same ground
to emerge from the same soil like spider plant offspring
Springing off away from each other
soaking in the same rain
under shadows, one withers
the other bears fruit amid glittering rays: This is brotherhood.
It falters against the wind
it leans against its brethren
it steals all the nitrogen
just to stay till spring
just till May, not greedy enough to hope for summer.
To be ensconced
to huddle together for warmth and shelter
to bear down to the root
to find the common branch
and kill it: This is brotherhood, too.
Free from earthy tethers
from the lines of fathers and mothers
from the what was consumed together
the fruit bearer bears itself away
takes no part in the disease
of yellowing leaves and barren pods.

And, now I've managed to depress myself. Lovely.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Functionalism (WIP)

[That which washes the other in a holy palmer's kiss]
scratches and twists
[structures which twitch and make things tap].
they used to run up and down
keys blinding [they who listen and clap]
sliding up [the spaced line that gaps a chord]
with joy bursting from the tip.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sirloin cut

the glare of hope
begins in the spine
tracks down and settles
matching gut for gut

meeting stab with stab
tearing rutted lines
through pulsing muscle
butcher knife sharp