My prose poem, “The Collector”, has just been published in the very handsome looking collection “Short and Twisted 2012”.
It is, without doubt, the weirdest poem I’ve ever written. The sort of poem you wouldn’t want your mother to read.
It came to me after running into someone I hadn’t seen for a long time. When I asked her what she was doing these days, she told me she was analysing tissue samples from men with prostate cancer. That, I stress, is where fact ends and weird imagination takes over.
I should have seen it coming. She told me she worked in a laboratory, collecting tissue samples from prostate patients. We hit it off. Went out. Then it started. Innocently at first. An offer to give me a haircut, then a manicure, and a pedicure. After we first slept together she said she preferred circumcised men. Offered to do it for me. I was shocked and resistant but I didn’t want to lose her. She was a trained nurse, could get some gas. I could trust her, and actually, she did a good job. Neat and clean, no infection. Our sex got even better. But in the kitchen one night, showing me how to slice mangoes, she took the end off my finger. No need for hospital, she said. Stitched it herself. A week later, looking for ice cubes. I found the fingertip in her freezer, along with my foreskin. And in her chest of drawers, all my hair and nail clippings, neatly dated and labelled. I confronted her over dinner. She admitted it all. Yes, she was a collector. No, she didn’t love me. Yes, she only wanted me for my body. And she would get it. The next thing I knew I was up here on her mantelpiece. A disembodied talking head, alongside half a dozen others. Other parts of me in the salad crisper of her industrial sized Frigidaire. And probably various bits and pieces providing blood and bone to her vegetable patch. So that’s my story. How did you end up here?