Did I ever tell you about the man
who taught his asshole to talk?
His whole abdomen would move up and down,
you dig, farting out the words.
It was unlike anything I ever heard.
Bubbly, thick, stagnant sound.
A sound you could smell.
This man worked for the carnival,you dig?
And to start with it was
like a novelty ventriloquist act.
After a while,
the ass started talking on its own.
He would go in
without anything prepared…
and his ass would ad-lib
and toss the gags back at him every time.
Then it developed sort of teethlike…
little raspy incurving hooks
and started eating.
He thought this was cute at first
and built an act around it…
but the asshole would eat its way through
his pants and start talking on the street…
shouting out it wanted equal rights.
It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags.
Nobody loved it.
And it wanted to be kissed,
same as any other mouth.
Finally, it talked all the time,
day and night.
You could hear him for blocks,
screaming at it to shut up…
beating at it with his fists…
and sticking candles up it, but…
nothing did any good,
and the asshole said to him…
"It is you who will shut up
in the end, not me…
"because we don’t need you
around here anymore.
I can talk and eat and shit.”
After that, he began waking up
in the morning with transparentjelly…
like a tadpole’s tail
all over his mouth.
He would tear it off his mouth
and the pieces would stick to his hands…
like burning gasoline jelly
and grow there.
So, finally, his mouth sealed over…
and the whole head…
would have amputated spontaneously
except for the eyes, you dig?
That’s the one thing
that the asshole couldn’t do was see.
It needed the eyes.
Nerve connections were blocked…
and infiltrated and atrophied.
So, the brain couldn’t
give orders anymore.
It was trapped inside the skull…
For a while, you could see…
the silent, helpless suffering
of the brain behind the eyes.
And then finally
the brain must have died…
because the eyes went out…
and there was no more feeling in them
than a crab’s eye at the end of a stalk.