5.03 / March 2010

You don’t know how it feels to be pulled inside out: an ode to Bull Shannon

The moon has gone ape shit.

Sick of the tickling and the poking and the poetry.
“You callin’ me fat?!” She howls when men write of her bountiful glow.
“Your mother!” She moans as she throws waves over levees and land.

She makes the streets into fountains and bites her thumb at the sun. “Suck on this, bright eyes!”

Orion pantomimes a gun under his chin.
“I saw that!” the moon pulls to rip at his shoulders and now he laughs out loud at her attempt to pull away. She is a tantrum swinging fists to the body connected to the arm connected to the hand pressed against her forehead. “Say it to my face!” Orion reels back laughing, his horse teeth bared and his bulb nose glowing. “Your ugly!” she thunders, her body shaking, her fists, her nails making cuts in her palms.

She can feel it fall from the inside. The slow and careful collapse of everything holding her up. She has been dizzy, tired. She has been out of breath, made bad decisions. Blamed it on headaches. Blamed it on whiskey. Blamed it on the fact of being a giant rock, orbiting an ungrateful planet that insists on spitting rockets at her. Her whole body is being a brat, a cramping, creaking, groaning mess and she is grumpy and she is pissed off and she is sick of the kick stab pain in her gut. “Take a picture!” she snarls behind clenched teeth.

She feels the crumbling within. She feels the people moving around, all this time self-trapped. One thousand, two thousand, some million years ago, they fled the lights. Burrowed away as soon as the flashes appeared on the dark surface of the earth. Fled the men pointing and staring. Their telescopes getting stronger. The moon people’s secrets getting closer to getting out. They dug tunnels to hide away and now, lost, they dig tunnels that run into tunnels that turn into tunnels. Floors and ceilings fall into floors and ceilings. They dig to find a way back out and all this digging, all this time is causing trouble. A persistent pain that is making the moon a cranky bitch.

These moon people, these fleshy sloth bodies. Generations of digging, wrangling through the mud. Time has stolen their eyes. Turned their hands into shovel palms. These years of digging tore away fingernails, knuckles, bone. Made their hands into spades with sharpened points. Made their knees into rocks; round bulbs to hold their weight. Their backs bent arched and their shoulders low enough to touch ground. And those eyes that used to be Bambi bright and curious, gone, melted away. And now the children are born with dark beads on either side of their faces that twitch and shiver at the sounds of incoming rockets. Black beads that shimmy and shake for no reason. If light existed in these tunnels the children would be monsters. Gremlins. Gate keepers huddled so long under the arcs of the tunnels that their bodies have developed into the pretzel knot neccessary for those who only know digging.
One of these days they’ll run out the tape, they’ll make their way to the surface. And they’ll push their shovel palms right through a wall and into the big wide open. And they won’t even know. Their eyes won’t see the sun or the way the shadows and light get split. They won’t know what to do with all this room, with their arms, their legs. Their beady little eyes will shiver, their shovel palms will quiver and stab at the rock below. They’ll want to go back in, they’ll want to hide. But the inside is falling apart, is pulp pulled away. And the outside is just a skin made of paper, a strand hanging on. One more shake, one more shot and all of this will fall apart, burst wide open and these stupid little moon people, these dumb bodies that only know digging won’t even know that it’s time to stop.