≡ Menu

Guillotine Press

Jenny-Zhang

 

THE LAST FIVE CENTURIES WERE UNEVENTFUL

The last five centuries were uneventful

the stitches that melted

from my ripped open cunt

tasted like mint and changed color

when I peed

I peed with the door open

because this is bounty

the universe has a fat lip

we put every cock from China

inside it and splash

in the slippery oriental jizz

you feel like seppukuing because your butthole is unretractable

you feel like seppukuing because your butthole is too determined

you feel like seppukuing because one time a man was rejected by a woman

she said, You’re creepy

and he got a gun

and wrote a manifesto

against bikram yoga

against women with great bodies

against women who want to have babies with other men

against women who want to have babies with men who are not allowed to be part of their lives after they have the baby

against women who know they are good looking

against women who have died for knowing they are good looking

against women who loved women and mocked men for jerking off to the idea of a woman touching a woman

I have jerked off to the idea of a man

jerking off to the idea of a woman touching a woman

and that idea bought a samurai sword from ebay

and seppukued

I wanted to have a baby

I wanted to carry my baby to term

I wanted to have milk oozing from my tits

I wanted to have bigger tits than the tits I have now

I wanted to drink my own milk and breastfeed myself

I wanted to breastfeed my mother and tell her I love her

I wanted to miscarry a baby by falling down the stairs

I wanted to toast to my own miscarriage with breast milk from my tits

I wanted to have bigger tits without having a baby

I wanted you to tell me I’m the reason why the world is going to hell

I wanted to give you the hell you said I was capable of creating

no one really cares but you do and I do

we take the relics of entire countries

and trash them in the sea

when we dive for the past

we find unearthed thoughts

the fertility of what you think could one day be

is just the honest desire to be remembered after you’re dead

so much that you focus on how to be great

so much that you focus on how to be new

so much that you forget to love your father

so much that you forget to love your mother

so much that you forget to love your children

so much that you forget to love your pets

so much that you would forsake the barren godforsaken twice

farted sea which gave rise to the queen and her queenly farts

and her princely kingdom

where she once told you and I and our children to fear everything

and we did

and we lived like that

and we still live like that

and we still know nothing

hiding our big dreams in the invisible centers of roses

where we feel big and round and ready

and ready

and ready

and ready

and ready

and ready

and ready

I’m ready

I’m ready

I’m ready

I’m ready

I’m ready

I’m ready

I’m ready

—–

I would have no pubes if I were truly in love

This I know

This I am sure of

the only non-white person at the poetry reading

was totally related to me

I don’t call anything a dream

your primeval stink really gets me

I think fucking is P in V but later

my mom tells me there’s more

Is p pussy and v vagina, I say

You must try everything, she says

I say it too always striving

to be someone’s mirror

everyone tells me I am my mother’s mother

both of us were born with curly pubes

that straightened out late in life

she tells me about a Chinese academic

and I’m like, I’m a Chinese academic!

and she’s like, yeeeah

but not like him

so yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaah

I’m not like him

I don’t have anything to say

I don’t have very many ideas

after falling in love I smell medicinal shit

everywhere

trying to locate the source

I trace it to the inside of my bedroom walls

“If you never marry and stay in New York

no one will ever see the lovely paintings

from your childhood that hang on your walls,”

Yah mom, I know that

Is that what you want, she inquires

I know the answer

I know my answer

I know the answer

still I don’t think I have enough

still I don’t think I think enough

At home, I make Minnie Mouse dive into my muff

and I swear to god she’s the only one

who gets me: “You, my dear Minnie

are my best and only friend

no one else in this whole world

understands.” At the library

I swear to god

I shit myself standing up

reading Sweet Valley High

squeezing my cheeks with determination

when Bruce Patman “grazes” Elizabeth’s breast

later I swear to god I wrote “graces” her breast in my diary

and I am so excited by this first evidence of poetic greatness

that I wipe my big sloppy cunt lips on my diary

so I can frame it and get it shown

in the next Whitney Biennial

I know lots of white guys

who have done this

who have rejected their family wealth

framed their own cum

splattered against the front page of yesterday’s newspaper

I have been offered day-old semen

in a champagne glass that came with the discounted Moet

my mom bought from Costco

it’s important to get a good deal on cum-vessels

tomorrow I think I shall shop in bulk for flour and sugar

so that I can bake cum cakes

for my own true love

how good I am

how saintly my practice becomes

how generous I naturally can be

it’s everyone’s party

it’s everyone’s right

“just because it offends u doesn’t mean

u you should make everyone else feel like shit”

just because most days I feel like doo doo

doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say sorry

every once in a while

every once in a while

my mom is all like, say sorry

and I’m all like, say sorry

and she’s all like, say sorry without the say

and I’m all like, say sorry without the say!

I bet if she could

she’d stuff me right back up her lil cunt

and we would fulfill each other

in ways we cannot dream of now

it is not so doo doo to be admired

when someone says:

I dream of your rice paper skin

and those almond milk eyes

and your water lily breath

gets my American hamburger

so completely solid

I am like, yah I know

you think I don’t see myself the way you see me?

but I’m not gonna make this about me

I’m not gonna eat Keats’ eye after all and use it

to see who will read me when I’m dead

to see who will write about the women in the fire

after the rest of New York’s landfill floats away

I swear I am related to every single person

who has ever suffered

not that this is about me

or my suffering

or how I am at the center of all this

how no one has ever had it

the way I have had it

People who know me ask:

how does it feel that the most tragic thing about you

is something the average person cannot ever see?

it feels secretive, I shall say at the next party

it feels wonderful, I shall say at the next dinner

it feels tremendous, I shall say at the next wine and cheese

I feel everything, I shall say to the one person

who has suffered nearly as much as me

we are both so lucky, I shall say

we have both lived so much, I will say

don’t you think so? I find myself saying

don’t you feel it to be true?

______________________________________

JENNY ZHANG is the author of the poetry collection, Dear Jenny, We Are All Find (Octopus Books, 2012) and Hags, a non-fiction chapbook forthcoming from Guillotine Press. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Fence, Rookie Yearbook One & Two, Third Rail, The American Reader, Bomblog, HTMLGIANT, Glimmertrain, The Iowa Review, Pen American, Jezebel, The Guardian, and Vice. She writes for teenage girls at Rookie magazine.