Roll Your Tongue Back

Rebecca Cox shows the reader what it means to want.

Visual art by Samara Liu.

Tuck tongue in cheek and knot it
now to please. Apple Bitten, hey there
anesthetize me tease, head knocked against
the bed post, now make notches with your teeth,
opening up a burning throat, coated in a candy
sheen. My tongue a rolling rambling
tambourine, let the noise making muscle,
hammer against your bones, mandible beaten bolus
vibrating brass piano strings. Sigh and
let your flesh fly, roll it out back against
your slick dentines. I wanna feel your lip slip back
feel my fingers break, hear your saliva smack,
go ask karma how difficult it is
to crack me in half,
and push humility down my throat,
where my bile floats and you
can smell my shoe soles burning.
Turning into tallow in the jaundicing streets,
slick and melting sallow to adhere
faster than horse glue can coagulate,
and appease the need of adhesive
youths yearning, now wait it's my mouths turn to kiss
the asphalt and melt tomato red. Gyrate your
buds back, chew the cow cud spit
and smack it in your jaw, down till it's ground fine.
Daddy says he likes that. Sweet drag,
little lovers layered thick with vasoline,
she'll swallow all your stomach's nubile
grease. Here I am, Apple Bitten lookin smitten,
how's your new cheap thrill, nose holes drilled quick
to the leak out your dribble spill. What's happenin, did your
tongue slide slack, break your taste bud sack?
I wanna see you roll your tongue back.

Toddlers, Coloring Books, and Tiaras

Rebecca Cox confronts gender roles with her younger brother over Jacinta Bunnell’s coloring book.

Jacinta Bunnell. Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon. Oakland, CA. 2010. ISBN 978-1604863291
Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon

Recently, a family member was confronted with an odd request for a niece’s Christmas gift. The constraint, though she felt it was completely warranted, eliminated most popular toys, books, and movies. Her sister-in-law had asked that she purchase a gift that was, “genderless.” Having recently looked through the pages of the coloring book Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon, a book written by Jacinta Bunnell with the intention of providing parents with a vehicle with which they may discourage the establishment of gender roles among young children, I suggested the book as a gift for her niece. Realizing that most of the content would be lost on the three-year-old child, I decided to experiment with my slightly older four-year-old brother, Mark.

Sitting cross-legged in the center of my living room with the sound of Modern Warfare Three humming in the back round, I removed the coloring book from my bag. Enamored with the sound of guns and falling helicopters, Mark did not at first seem interested in the book. I asked him if he wanted a present, then handed him the pink and purple covered activity. He did not immediately dismiss it, but asked me who the people on the cover were. We began to flip the pages and he laughed at the silly illustrations of dancing monsters. I found a page I thought was fitting, captioned with, “Enough war, tonight we dance,” and asked Mark what was happening in the drawing. He immediately said, “He has a sword,” ignoring the disco ball and the boy with a large afro.

Watching as he flipped through the pages of the book, laughing at the odd depictions of princes and monsters, I realized that Mark had a few of his fingernails painted. I asked him why he painted his nails, to which he responded, “Because I wanted them to be pretty.” My brother has been raised in quite a conservative household; it was odd to me that my father should allow him to paint his nails. I had often heard my father say to him, “Mark, those are for girls,” in response to his asking for certain items like heeled shoes. From this experience with Mark I came to the conclusion that I do agree with the author that gender roles are forced upon children, but the book’s implication that children fall into those roles only when influenced I must disagree with.

Accompanying the many hilarious illustrations is a page of questions which many adults may have some difficulty answering. This book is taking a step forward by exposing children to images of both boys and girls engaging in interesting and genderless activities, though I feel it was ineffective in its purpose do to the fact that children confronted with the book would not understand the message. This book takes on a relevant topic. Jacinta Bunnell has raised questions that I do not usually think about. This book could be a great tool in the fight against disempowering gender rules.

 

Mr. Chinaski

Rebecca Cox crafts a dialogue with Bukowski’s alter-ego.

Visual art by Dana Field.

My bones would wait an eternity
for breaking, exposing themselves

to you. Waiting to have muscle
stripped and marrow sucked.

The sallow skin leeching urea,
an excuse to tempt you

towards me. Would you shatter
a violent work, with calcium

deposits sculpted for your pleasure?
I would willingly divide my

heart, section by section. If
you so desired, I would

flay myself to be served on
a silver platter. Kissing your

toes with my eyelids, I would
weep and dismantle myself.

Sonnet # 7

The voice in Rebecca Cox’s poem saves a disintegrating lover.

Even the stalest of tobacco tastes
sweet as I hold your wounds shut. Waiting for
the blood to clot, ill with the thought of
a possible entanglement, startled

by pirouetting brass. Your winking flesh
remains unsown, parting for your eased
consumption, each chipped tooth pressed with
force against my humming tongue. Thin human

claret has filled our open palms, the
stale wool of a lamb removing your stains
from curdling floorboards. It was honey which
leaked from your pores, evaporating

into smoke. Golden lattice, I walk your
spine with my fingerprints.

Dewdrops

Rebecca Cox’s lyric takes a dive farther than you’ve ever gone before.

Visual art by Shutsu Hsu

Within dewdrops I do see your green eyes,
reflections of your dilated pupils,
unevenly so. They drip from the sun
and into the mouths of the lost children.

You quench the thirst of my adolescence,
its inconsolable tendencies, the
endless cold in which dewdrops do form and
sit upon my blushing cheek. If you were

to be smashed upon cold ocean cliffs, I
would pray to be eaten by see moss, then
pressed into sentimental remnants
of sediment, and consumed by unnamed

and undiscovered creatures of the blue.
To become a dewdrop upon your cheek.