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Juliet Cook and j/j hastain

Mess Hall

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I puked on a nurse uniform
and that's when my last wing broke.

Shards were spewing across the room
and everyone else was crawling under
hospital beds, as though I was evil.

Something needed to escape from my mouth.

They rip their own hair out, then insinuate that I did it.
They punch themselves in the eyes, bang their heads
against walls, then imply that I pushed them.

Maybe it was the doctor's fault. He rammed
a jawbreaker down my throat, then claimed
it was part of his standard medical procedure.

A gumball machine slot is not a cunt slit,
but you can get your finger stuck inside either one,
and either one can suddenly break.

Now all the balls are filled with bloody bile.

~Juliet Cook~

Fault Lines in my Mouth

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I never had a normal mouth. It started out
tiny then grew into a contorted maw.
Sometimes it appeared to be honey

combed into submission, but the inside
was always dripping red and breeding
another sequence of conjoined twin killer bees.

I don't know what made me
so sharp edged. I don't know what hung me
above the undertow and made me watch

my own stingers grow, buzz more fiercely,
overtake then undertake the moon,
maroon my hive into a mutant cocoon.

~Juliet Cook~

Double Stuff

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He treats my small breasts like little gear shifts,
but inside my head I'm more like Double Stuff cupcakes
than car parts. Still I might be open to experimentation
with a fist full of grease and dark frosting, at least
temporarily, until my temporal lobe starts twitching.

My upper arm muscle exercise has decreased their size.
I imagine making myself new ones with edible red confetti
on the inside, prone to explode when he revs up the motor.
Then a sinister sounding rotary suddenly starts spinning
all the way up to the ceiling fan. The fan crashes down

onto the ground and leaves another broken hole.
That's when and where my twin emerges
from an A cup to a Double Stuff cup
cake with a blood bath in the middle,
with an unfair mean streak oozing out her brain.

She stabs the frosting knife onto the top
of two different animals. Inside her head,
blood drips from the hole in the ceiling
and splatters all over the bed.
She forgets her own name.

I awake with muscle aches
all the way up my thighs from the latest seizure.
My twin is gone, has managed to lift herself
all the way up to the top of the ceiling again.
The man who was treating me is gone.

Is he under the bed? Did he ever exist?

~Juliet Cook~


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You reach your hand into the void of your empty body and pull
out an entire, frothing cornucopia of
pink doll eyes, writhing tongues, flesh and glass.

An ethics that slithers and contorts: bloody cherry
baby mouth,
girls milk,
wrists, black throat cake.

Blow-fish burst out your lagoon.
A reason to pull a rune to trust
a true color. The sun might express itself by accepting
you into blue hour. Cloudbursts of scarred art
iculation can reshape into tiny stars shapely
retention tar smeared with a skinless hand
over a line. A bardo. How to move down
into discord or swoon up into a lullaby
or both?

~j/j hastain & Juliet Cook~

Blood Red Cloudbursts

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A week-long obsession with clouds
not unlike other humans
yet somehow more.
Cloudbursts through every keyhole
I peek into. Is this a dream?
Has my vision been whittled?

Or am I a visionary who must
figure out what the clouds stand for?
Rising up, sinking down, all the color
changes and the shapes like
strange rapes, reoccurring
rope lengths.

Ions and decay, a proliferation of
intravenous flying things, changing
wings, swelling and then exploding.
I am growing
unafraid of speaking.
Speech stenciling.

Each mouth a sharp
elongated portal.
Each direction once waxen,
a soft song encounter with strands
altering the stew, spewing out
new prototypes and quickly
revamping all light.

~j/j hastain & Juliet Cook~

Torso Chamber Orchestra

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Even ongoing contortionism
eventually becomes a limbo land,
but how do we know when?

How do we know anything
for sure? How do we know
if it's real or another dream state?

When does the dream become
a nightmare? How does it feel
when the contortionist begins

to break? What might lie
in between those cracks? Sate?


I started maniacally writing letters to
Erik Satie, every letter ending with
is this too many questions?

Check yes, no, or maybe.
He couldn't check anything,
because he was dead, but

my dream state felt a gun living
inside his skull box head,
a gun shaped like a piano key.

Pressure on the board and then
a war dancing. Fate? Or free?


The dream state started shaking
then instead of waking from it
and approaching usual synthesis,

I refused to ever wake again.
However, when I stopped moving,
I could still hear the neurons firing

and it began to sound horrific.
I felt like a giant gurgle of
limping implacable groins.

I knew the season was changing or
had changed into a maroon Ouija board.
on which I had charged myself

to begin to divine
an Underworld's spring.

~j/j hastain & Juliet Cook~

➥ Juliet Cook Bio

➥ j/j hastain Bio