The Parts of the Body Talk About Paradise
John Gilgun
Ink drawing by Priyadarshi Patnaik


My task is to sit at the center and hold the body together.
If I relaxed, it would revert immediately to chaos. So chaos
and control define my existence. Paradise is a perfect
circle and I reflect perfection. But at birth, the cord that
connects me to the circle dries and drops away. My
guiding spirit is the sun. I reflect essential energies.
My color aura is red. At death, the circle of perfection
descends and I'm returned to Paradise. Death rattles
the body and reintegration begins.


Woof, whiff, wilt! Paradise is the smell of piss, of
shit, of sweat, of sperm, of blood. Like a burrowing
animal, I dig my way in and root around in it, roll in
it, kick up its dust. I am the patron saint of dogs,
sacred to sour meat, my aura radiating from every
lamp post, bush and tree. When the wind blows
from the rending plant, I'm halfway to heaven. God
is skunk cabbage and on the eighth day he created
rotting fatback.


I am a million miles of conduit and ductwork through
which essential light radiates. Listen! You can hear a
billion synapses clapping hands. The absence of Paradise
is silence, all circuits shut down, all messages delivered,
the messengers' bicycles locked in their racks. Mathematical
beauty is what I convey and Pythagoras is my patron saint.
The music of the spheres is what I conduct and Paradise
leans forward in her orchestra seat to listen.


          Paradise is a cupboard
          in which vital organs
          are stored. Paradise
          contains, Paradise
          supports. Paradise
          creates an opening
          in the air and sashays
          through. Paradise is


       Paradise phones.
       I grab a Yellow cab
       and go over to his place.
       We fuck ourselves blind.
       When I come, the galaxies
       clink-clunk like bedsprings.
       That's all I have to say about
       Paradise. Could there be more?

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