Monday, March 7, 2011

FICTION: Inside the Calorimeter Cup by Kristine Ong Muslim

after Max Ernst's "Castor and Pollution" (1923)

Oil on canvas. 73 x 100 cm. Private collection.
(first appeared in The Hiss Quarterly Vol. 5, Issue 3, August 2008)

We huddle with the other elements inside a controlled environment. This guy, Bill, will not stop licking his finger. Now, the finger pad is bruised, and soon his blood will contaminate the broth. I hope they fish him out, recycle him with the other misanthropes, the mal-adaptives who cannot stop chewing gum, cannot stop whistling at the nude bodies fermenting on the floor.

A lab tech has left the vessel cover open to allow us to simmer, even gawk at the artificial sky and landscape propped around us so we can have something to look at. I hear the swish of Bill's tongue around his finger, the lewd comments of the degenerates melting as they graze the walls of the tank.

I hope I get to die sometime, to get thrown with the castoffs inside those jars of chemical waste. How quiet it is inside those tinted jars. There's nothing like the absence of the mechanical stirrer, that terrible metal rod at the center of our world which prevents us from sinking. Its drone has kept us awake for six years.

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