Exquisite Corpse - Issue 3
HomeSearchSubmitCorpse CafeArchivesCorpse MallOur Gang
EC ChairCritical UrgenciesBurning BushFiccionesSecret AgentsStage and ScreenLettersGallery
by Daphne Gottlieb



"My life has been a series of emergencies." -- Lana Turner

This week, I am lacking a little bit of god and so I go see my doctor.
In the same voice I ask my hairdresser to get rid of my roots, I tell her: Fix me. Make me better.
I have symptoms.

Which symptoms, my doctor asks.
The horrible ones: Heartbeat. Pulse. Inhalation. Exhalation.
And other ones, too.  All the female ones.  All the ones that go by three letters
and end in syndrome and all the ones in between.
I have static from the elbows down and my eyes are full of bees.
My teeth have grown roots into my brain and at night, my back clenches into a fist.

This has happened before.
The last time, the doctor gave me drugs and told me to sleep for 24 hours solid
but I forgot how while waiting for the bus and walked back to her for instructions.

Fix me, I tell her. Make me better.
You seem a little depressed, she says.  I'm not depressed.
You seem a little depressed.  I'm not depressed, I'm American.
You seem a little depressed.
So what if I'm a little depressed.

I decide maybe it's time to take drastic measures, see a rabbi, a manbo, a priest, a bottle of whisky,
a plastic surgeon, an advertising agency.  I call my therapist and tell her I'm fine.
I call my chiropractor and tell her I'll be in tomorrow.

On my way out of the doctor's office, three homeless men are waiting for me.
They see the work of my hairdresser.
They begin to pretend they have cameras, shooting me, over and over, and one says
You're so pretty.  You must be in the movies.

How did they know.  I am in the movies.  I am Sweet Polly Purebred tied to the trackmarks.
I am Fay Wray at the moment King Kong's hand unfurls.
I am Frances Farmer's bathtub, Jayne Mansfield's car top, Marilyn Monroe's dial tone,
Linda Lovelace's tonsillitis as I walk to the pharmacist, silver screen tight in one hand.

I trade it for a bottle of small new gods, sweet pastel buddha bellies in an orange case,
or white and shining as the projection booth light from somewhere above
that makes us all move until those words, THE END.

I open wide.  I say cheese.  I swallow.



Bio for Daphne Gottlieb:

Daphne Gottlieb is a San Francisco-based performance poet dedicated to visibility and provocation.  She is the author of the full-length book of poetry 'Peti',' released by Odd Girls Press in June 1999, and has been widely published in journals and anthologies.  In the summer of 1999, she toured the United States as half of poetry duo 'Hell on Heels,' and was a semifinalist in the 1998 National Poetry Slam held in Austin,TX.  She has been a frequent curator and performer at Luna Sea Women's Performance Project, and a spoken word curator for San Francisco arts space The Lab.  She is currently working on her MFA at Mills College.


Cadavar Exquisito
ec chair | critical urgencies | burning bush | ficciones | secret agents | stage and screen | letters | gallery
home | search | submit | corpse cafe | archives | corpse mall | our gang


Exquisite Corpse Mailing List Subscribe Unsubscribe

©1999-2002 Exquisite Corpse - If you experience difficulties with this site, please contact the webmistress.