"Back in the early days of New Narrative, when we were all wanting to be in one another’s work, I complained to Kevin, why don’t you write about me, and Kevin said he didn’t write about me because writing was an exorcism, and he didn’t want to exorcise me."

Dodie Bellamy – The Buddhist

This. I’ve been asking myself why I don’t have more of an urge to write about The Guy with a Face Like a Cop and I think I just found the answer.


Super Bowl Sunday

"I want to kick and scream," I said.

He looked up. I said it again. This time the coin dropped.
"Fuck it, let’s play," he got up.

I pushed him onto my bed. Got on top of him. Looked down. I wanted to hit him. Hard. I wanted resistance. I wanted to bump up against some physical limit. I wanted breakage.
I tapped him lightly across the face. Were we both annoyed? Was this as close as we’d ever come to a fight?

He heaved up, rolled me over, slammed me onto the bed. Tore my pantyhose and panties off. Shoved a finger inside me. I fought back. Wrestled. Stifled the impulse to clock him in the face. I elbowed him in the sternum. He forced me down again. A finger in my ass and one in my pussy. I was hanging off the side of the bed.
"I’ve got you like a fucking bowling ball."

More struggle. Silent for a moment, him over me. Looking down.
"Look at you. You pretend to fight me but your cunt is all wet. You just want my dick in you."
I looked at him. So? What was he going to do about it?

I got free. Felt his desire to let go, go slack. Pinned him down. Locked his arms behind his back.
"Big strong man, just wants to get fucked like a little sissy girl."
I spat in my hand and worked a wet finger up his asshole.
Him on his back, me sucking his dick and finger-fucking him still. His dick getting softer, his asshole opening. I couldn’t tell if he was freaked out or loving it. Called it quits. Lay down for a minute. I put my arms around him.

Next thing, there I was, my slip hiked up high exposing my cunt. Him kneeling above me, “good girl,” as I sucked his dick. On my back, knees at my ears as he pushed into my ass, feeling the familiar fireworks inside my brain as he fucked it slowly. It’d been too long.

Two hours later, at a sports bar, a family event with the Super Bowl blaring out of the TVs. He made a remark about his dislike of football. “Remember how I fucked your ass earlier, doesn’t that make it more tolerable?” I asked.

He laughed. “Yes, it does.”

"44. This particular conversation with the expert on guppy menopause takes place on a day when, later that afternoon, a therapist will say to me, If he hadn’t lied to you, he would have been a different person than he is. She is trying to get me to see that although I thought I loved this man very completely for who he was, I was in fact blind to the man he actually was, or is."

Bluets by Maggie Nelson


"I may not look right but I sure do feel fine/ You hang around me and I’ll undo your mind…"

Seems useful

Seems useful


Punch Drunk

"Does it turn you on?" The Mad Artist asked.
I shrugged.
"But it fills some kind of need?"
"Yes." I managed to say, though I was not really in any shape to talk.

It was Christmas night, we were in a hotel room. I was in heels so high I could barely stand and the most obscene skirt you’ve ever seen. I was lying on the bed, tears streaming down my face, not crying. Not crying. He’d just beat the shit out of me.

And when I say that, I don’t mean that he whipped me with his belt, or slapped me across the face, although that too.

When I say he beat me, I mean that he tied me up, hand and foot, stood me up in heels and punched me repeatedly. In the ribs, in the gut. I’d double over, hit the bed, hit the ground.
He’d pick me up, stand me back on my heels. Swaying slightly, I’d look him in the eye. A boxer in the ring.
"You had enough yet?" he’d ask.
I stared at him, let out a laugh. A punch straight to my sternum. The air went out of me, a crunch, maybe I broke something. I was still standing.
"Do you want me to stop?"
I swayed, steadied myself, stared at him.
"But you didn’t use the safe word."
I stared at him again. Come on tough guy. One more round.
He’s 6’2 and moonlights as a bouncer.
BOOM. He tackled me and I flew to the floor.
The full force of his weight. Knees on my upper arms. Trying to throw him off, him slapping my face lightly.

He stood me up. Did I need a break?
Again, I shook my head. Considered spitting him in the face.
Another blow. Square to the liver. So hard I hit the floor again, seized up, couldn’t breathe or talk. This was when the tears came. Hot, wet. Somehow embarrassing, but not unwelcome. Wasn’t this why I was doing this? Well that and to get away from it all. I thought of the past year. I thought about the guy with a face like a cop, the one who makes my heart want to burst. So much salt water inside of me. A body blow will do that.


And when I fall hard, I fall like the proverbial ton of whatever and by fall I mean I splinter everything around me.
Another might call it apocalyptic.

By another, I mean the guy himself, the victim I mean, the guy headed away from me fast.

He might use the word apocalyptic when cracks form in the asphalt, when windows shatter, when women cover their daughters’ eyes.
When he floats upward to heaven.
I’m not being melodramatic.


— "Superstar" from Spectacle, by Susan Steinberg