back toJacket2

This piece is about 4 printed pages long. It is copyright © Joseph Cooper and Jacket magazine 2008.
The Internet address of this page is

Back to the Dusie Kollektiv Chapbook Series Contents List

Joseph Cooper

Memory/Incision, or as it is now called, Touch Me


Threatened. Narrative miscarried. Thighs agitated debate. Carcass architecture arrests you incumbent nude. Shutters thrust apart discharge. Drip grapefruit down your pubic bone. Veins strained as chipped paint. Stirrup strapped wrapped in hospital gown doused in host spittle. Nurtured immerse. Thread extends from you to end. Residue depressed under futile innards.


Elle is dislocated between pre-life and protest. She imagines her belly translucent, a tiny albatross circling her glaciered fallopian tubes. Her biological monitor statically garbles — gaga futurism pales the penumbra. Expose corrosion. The quarantined breach of broken water streaks imperceptible ink. Freezing moment as rain strikes the windowsill. Washbasin by the door, heeding. She is memory you. Her long neck craned under a curl of hair stealing punctuation from her cap. Language is compensation for a glance. Lips perspired kiss. Drenched misshapen mouths and tongues. A face pressed against a mirror dissolves. Diabolical prosthetic threatens idyllic skin.

Engendered by Oprah fiction she is the kinesthetic disruption of a wound. Quiet tremors the cusp. Riddled. A face strained wayward. Exchange elaborate stories through visible house walls. Manipulate game. Operation vies methodical lines. Hospital bed creaks inside the curtain. Sheets smell elderly. Pulse quickens. Disparate breath savors expiration. This is a conversation for selected ears. Elle and Simon prop bottomless cups against the wall. Dialogue cuts, listens.

There is that in love, discontinuity. A shiv enlisted within. An interruption mimicking memory made of water and metal. Tie stretched around the collar of dismissal. Wrenched vesicle stifled. The monster you love, their Novocain veridical. Transplant your machine voice into echoes. Mouths rebounding discharge. Lighthouse sentiment is affectionate buoys. The telephone rings and you answer.


Swiftly wake from cannibalistic dream head sandwiched beneath Spider-Man sheets. Fabric strands gasp and apparition. Perimeters of nosocomial thought volume everything that has happened between the shape of your interrupted body and the consequence of skin. Elle straddles the corner of the bed[1] examining her breasts in the mirror. She pushed her stomach forward coddling an imaginary offspring. Then pressed a nipple downward and plucked an ingrown hair.

Emigrate abdomen, invented living. I am not writing of myself as a vegan entrée. Precede umbilicus. This is where conception resembles artifice. Provisional membrane injured thread. Flush of ink and patterned sentiment. Formula is chemical process of integration. The feeling in my forehead burns like a dream.

The borderline patient is laborious, barricaded and untouchable.

[1] Hold and hide. When my father confiscated his pornography stash he left a torn page of a half-nude. Her eyes focused beyond the perimeter of reach. Lips pressed in discomfort. Yet more prominent is the illustration on its backside, a woman in bed fucking a plunger, her husband’s hairline split, clutching his trousers with a hard-on the size of his briefcase.

Cooper cover image

Joseph Cooper is the author of the full-length book, Autobiography of a Stutterer, (Blazevox 2007), and chapbooks, Memory Incision (Dusie 2007) from Autobiography of a Stutterer (Big Game Books, 2007), and Insuring the Wicker Man (Hot Whiskey Press, 2005). His work has appeared in several journals including Bombay Gin, Hot Whiskey Magazine, Small Town, and String of Small Machines. He is currently telecommunicating body projects with Jared Hayes.

Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all material in Jacket magazine is copyright © Jacket magazine and the individual authors and copyright owners 1997–2010; it is made available here without charge for personal use only, and it may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose.