MEAT / WATER / VESSEL

A commission for the Dead Lovers series by Sticky Fingers Publishing

I am the reparative reader, writing from love, writes Alice Butler, of Cookie Mueller’s work, and I echo her sentiment. And because, Donna Haraway says, the speed with which we disappear from the apparatus of citation is breathtaking, these lines, like those images, are borrowed and the borrowing becomes an invitation to women of the pen. Women who transgress, distort and make excessive these verbal codes in praying mantis as nonhuman mothers—Annie Dillard; ogged bodies—Tai Shani; in the pointed repetition of poetic similitude— Quinn Latimer; the objects of poetic economy—Sylvia Plath and in the visual slippage of sunstroke prose— Cookie Mueller. Hold them close in your mind—these names—for I won’t utter them again; but enfold them into a single she—whoever de nes themselves as

such—a she not universal but uni ed.

He said meat, water, vessel. He said, survival, discovery, progress. Man’s projects have made us and thus we assume their symbolic form and those forms take ours—think ship, that maiden voyager. Like him, I’m taking liberties, for there are many other images through which we’ve come to be. But let us sit with these—the bare bones of domestic institution that

says—

the meat is on the table the water is in the jug the jug is on the table

He says solid, liquid, air—fundamental. He says prime steak; he says unctuous and salivates; he

says open wide.