The Birth of Doug Rice (As Spoken In The Tongue of Grandma Mugwump)
by Doug Rice
In 1957, belly open and headless, Doug Rice was pulled out of Grandma Mugwump. The flesh of his sister, Caddie, however had been left behind and Doug was born into the gaze of an apparent eye, sliced by laws. His thighs driven apart by thunder. No lightening came for this the house of Mugwump. Born a boy. To this day, Doug Rice has been known as a boy. A boy. You are not a girl. No, I am the stories that have been told of all those times far off and long ago. To this day, it is still rumored that Doug slips unconsciously into speaking out of his bloodied remains. Murky words riddled by the dull shadows of the moon. The police in nine states have accused Doug Rice of surveying Doug Rice, of private-eyeing himself, looking for Caddie's forgotten flesh. In the afterbirth, Doug inspected what remained of his, my, her body for markings. Thinking that someday, God willing, I could become a dangerous woman. You know the kind that Mick and the boys want to push off clouds. Made homeless in blue desert heat.
Grandma Mugwump was the first one to show me to the mirror. She handed me a looking glass, made me into this uncontrollable once-a-bitch-always-a-bitch, forced me into word-making, into rim-roaming. Hysterical. Wanting to be a whore, an open sore confusing lines of history. Caddie flew down from the sky fisting me. In my eye, she deranged my intolerable memories. I can fuck you. Me stuttering. I you. On my body she moved through those permutations that Grandma Mugwump had invented, had mastered, during those years she had spent deep inside the Bowery. Burroughsian Bunker years. She danced the veils of invisible laughter. Blackhearted mother's blood crawling beneath the streets. I stood inside the making of such blood. Wetting the ground, mother's blood has never been nothing but laughter to Caddie. Silent, Caddie drove her violence through my despair.
I fed on what she had pirated from me, sucked food raw from her mouth. I was left with silence festering in the cavities of her teeth. Words decaying, ruined words unsaid in the trash heap. Monday morning fragments on the curb. Stuck in her mouth, I tried to disease her body, struggled against her hunger, hesitated inside the in-between. I wanted to wash her body away from the world, move her into my skin. To the naked eye, Caddie always seemed to be the first to disappear. She boiled strong words. Howled. Between her lips, muscles in my ear. She declared her body. The body, not the name.
In the name of her body.
I am cunt.
Words quivered on my wet lips.
I put on her words and she forced me to return to the scene.
But I was lost in some sort of desert laughter. Nomadic breathing. Nobodaddy flesh and I could not remember my way back to the right sentence, to the beginning that destroyed the beginning. In the beginning there was the virus made flesh the word made flesh unto my skin.
She opened me, splitting our tongues.
Flesh between her teeth, spitting. Her ribs crushed me. I am not your mother. Said I am you. Our mother, being watched, stood, dressed in words down on the river banks. Little boys and girls are such easy prey. She created disasters out of the names, our names. Drove me to understand my desire. Abstract nonsense. I could not drink my own blood. Choked back the bile. Tasted the grey rooms of Poppy Torgov. Her eyes, pearls rubbing salt into my wounds. Set free, her voice wormed its way through my body. You make me scream.
This is was.
History, gone mad, invades the present in the past.
I became the place for the beginning.
Caddie opened her robe and showed me for the first time. Use only your eyes, she said. I looked. Saw that, like Grandma, Caddie too had only blindness as far as the eye could see between her thighs. I watched her lips. Try not to miss anything. Saw, felt, but remembered to use only my eyes. Saw that my cock was not there, that it had been devoured.
And in the once-again, find-again, here comes everybody begin-again beginning, Caddie stood directly before me and began the making of blood.
Curses and magic.
I stumbled down onto my bony knees. Someone's hands under my arms. Cutting my knees on all the broken bottles. I was one of the ugliest whores in all of America. Dressed nice, but too skinny for my own good. Working the Birmingham Bridge. Just about all your desires are possible under that overpass. Hidden deep inside the shadows, making noises. Shuffling my body, ten dollar whispers. Glancing over my shoulder at the skyline of Pittsburgh. Ten dollars and you can travel the galaxy with me. Wiping my mouth and limping just a little more than last night. Dark agents have been knocking at my door, raping my practically invisible, nothing-there body. Trucks and cars shaking my sense of direction. That last one hurt me a little. I remember when pain was good. His pain, not Caddie's, was more than I could remember.
I sensed madness around the zipper of his pants. Grandma called such smells locomotive breath. Grease, gasoline, oil fighting the flesh. Tar and feathers. Grandma had warned me, never take a man under the bridge if you can't swallow his smell. But he knew I was too exhausted. Nothing left for the struggle, nothing to struggle over. My body had gone away years ago. Him so drunk but with such a large body. On top of me like he was saying a mass for the dead. I think I know what's wrong but I could barely breathe, let alone talk. The words. Prayers to broken columns. If I could just get the words out of me. God, I wish Caddie were here. Pushing. No. I struggled against all the air collapsing on my flesh. With my tired, muddy hand, I tried one last time to brush him away. But. And my cock, hard and messy, getting in the way, saying no, I am not that kind of girl. Not a girl, nor was meant to be. Better get excited, bitch, or it's going to hurt. Him on top of me. I see the blood in his eyes. Eyes I do not dare meet in dreams. Heat. Blond grease and oddball odors for hair. Dried up, rotten bitch. Smell the life he has been living. Saying: God save me, I'm your missionary man. The broken jaw of my silent cunt. An empty cellar in the rainy season. But me flat and silent on my back. I have something there. Digging into me with his cock. My wet cock trapped inside my wish-I-were-just-only-a-girl-dreaming-I-am-no-not-a-boy, a girl, some sort of neanderthal cunt girl. Missing history. Behaving as if I were sightless. His hard cock, slippery thick, pushed me into me, against me, my self. Slipping under the twinkle of a fading star. High school kids, alive forever, crossing the bridge, tossed pennies down at us. Him not coming, like it's my fault. I crawled out from underneath him, scavenged his pockets, sand and dead lottery tickets. Without a tenner, I returned to the corner. Passing cars slowed down and I whispered through their cracked windows.
The next morning Caddie ran into my bedroom and showed me once again the magic of her blood. Marked, but with pain unknown to me, she was still alive.
A cut with no blood. Muddied waters of the Monongahela. Sludge down my thigh. Yes, and this is for your pain too. Caddie's cunt hurt me. Hammers in the corridor introduced pain as an idea. Cryptic sister chain me. Took my clothes away and right there before my very eyes made the tearing of my flesh invisible and unknown. Her speech, frozen in thick waves, cultivated the dyslexia of my cunt.
Now when I walk the streets, my cunt speaks against me. Caddie told my cunt to talk straight. Like I am able to do such a thing. Like I am familiar with cunt logic.
Hammers continued. Pounded away at my womb. Mother's screams. She hovered over my body, circled the earth. A voice, she spoke, has no way to know its beginnings. But she had the techniques for making me a woman. Her thighs knew all about the unmasking of the flesh, the unmaking of men. She called such labor of dead finger talk, nature. Electrocuted flesh burned through my belly.
Last sighted in Ohio. Leetonia. Doing the streets. Fingering the nights. Sandlot faggot woman with a cock and let me tell you, she knows how to use it. Took a high school boy and gave him a time he'll always remember. Hiding in the bushes. He shot the skies down. "Scuze me while I kiss the sky," and she did. She knew just what he wanted as if she had ever been there before. She took him, all hard and so young, into her crippled mouth. More courage to forget how all these memories came to be. My mouth, so much like hers, chewed the air.
What scared me into time away from the body?
I outraged the word. My words against the Word of the Father and God said unto me. Me on my knees, sent by God. Begging. I began confessing, but who would listen? You did this to me, Caddie. Desires wrestling thigh to thigh. Never once asked me what this body meant to me, how this body fit into my desires. Caddie is my sister. I know that I am not her. Spoke these words to those I have harmed the most. Her tongue hissed across the floor. Her lips with all kinds of things to say. Dragged words across open spaces. Fractured the outlines of my desires. She corrupted my name with her tongue. Praying to sleep in Grandma's bones. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Her madness still lingers in my cunt. At the edges of who I forget I am. I still smell her every time I move. Her wet thighs surprising me with pain. I hit her hands away. She rushed her hands up under my skirt and who was I to think that I could even think of saying no. Her hair drifted down into my eyes and mouth. This is my mother thinking she is my father. With a cock between her thighs and reaching up for my wet cunt. Nothing there. More and more, my body frustrated. She smeared mud on my panties. And they were hers to begin with. Wet smacking hands. Soiled body. Noise scratched across my flesh. Ungodly dirt. Dangerous fingernails. Her body soaked clear through. Invisible. She fingered my mouth. Me wet, like there's no tomorrow. I struggled to free myself from her hard, turning body. Under my left eye. A crack. And she could enter me if only she used her imagination. And she did.
Her hand came out.
Scared me, she, into my body. I am her. I am here without her.
My mother, twisted palms trying to rub my cock away. Oblivion. Toil and toil, but only steam rising and disappearing. In the mirrors, my mother breastless, screamed in tongues. These will not be my last words. My sister's knife fell, clattering, to the floor.
We came to the broken place and went through it. Once through, I uncaught Caddie and her screams are my memory.
Sparks jumped off my body. I moved out of the ashes. Ate the filth of the earth and used my breath as a weapon. Told the world that I was a man. Told that story, like it had something to do with the truth. Tried to make my cunt invisible.
Took to the road. Doing highway lines just to stay alive. Here it goes. Interrupted desires. Voices of the drowned and the end of the line. Blood smells. Looking at me, Caddie made my flesh uncanny.
Limping mother. Echoing with sighs. Crammed with unfathomable angles. Wanted by the Ohio State Police--and every Tom, Dick, or Harry with desires. Mommie gnawed on her wrists. Wounded. Separated. Owned by the deformities of her offspring. Unable to look into the mirror, not even trying.
Her wretched eyes saw the grotesque words of my flesh. I cried out for Caddie to cover me.
God gave me a brood of snakes in my womb. None of you are my children. She made me unto me. Suspended her body. Twins, they said, and then Mom, that real-to-life mom, collapsed. Breathless.
On the road.
She pounded my cunt.
Buzzards fed on my naked bones.
Noise swarming over my flesh.
I am Caddie.
Can say this in the name of the Father.
For Thine is the
I is my Mother
The voices began finding me
Caddied nailed her shadow to my flesh