My Mother is a video nasty,

a  lurid analog nightmare

transcribed with bloody fingers

onto VHS, shoved in a thin

cardboard box with age lines like soggy skin,

then sealed in urban legends:

tight, taught cellophane.  


They speak of it in whispers on

discussion boards.


How the tracking is off on every copy,

EVERY copy.  There is a gnarly buzz

scratching through the opening credits.


The last 15 minutes are legendary.

She removes her face with her finger nails,

pulls it off like a thin rubbery plastic.


A secret face, white 

microwaves of intense mockery,

focused as a lighthouse beam.


Papi dies the hard way, the Clive Barker way.

Hangers like hooks, fish hooks,

tear him asunder.

He is hunks of raw, red steak.

Ribs flower from 

torso as marrow oozes like a thick pollen.


This is an important shot, the commenters say,

the reconfiguring of his sex.  KubrickFurry asserts

Ann’s monstrous feminine is conservative.  RandallFlag 

retorts there is a lacanian message obscured by this corpse

flower:  the trauma of child abuse embodied by the real.

I am dodging face suns, hauling ass through the

barbed chain bramble that was my home.


Avatars debate over impossible architecture: men and women 

sparring with verbal chainsaws as I run through

a five and a half minute hallway, chased by a faceless medusa

in a dream of jagged ambien singed into the glass eye of a

Kodak camera. 


No one understands the ending.

They say I have to live,

fight my sister in the sequel.

They say the irrational is the milieu of cult films.


I say burn every copy of this ring virus.

Smash it.

Crush it.

Never let your mother watch it.


David Arroyo

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