Sean Kilpatrick just did another screenplay poem. No one cares. Me neither. Full disclosure: we had a regular but noncommittal affair awhile back. He is full of screeds against the challenges inherent in playing anyone for keeps. Against couples who are “ping ponged by pieties of dedication”. Before the dates in question, he was never legally abusive, so help me God. Not that I wouldn’t claim his scraps before the parish in hopes of eradicating even the most infinitesimal compunction of his rascally kind just because that sentiment is popular…
Sean Kilpatrick (interrupting): Apologies first and foremost, of course. We improvised a few intrusions, for which you are owed a pair of nylon stockings. No remedy, yet, to end the slight, fluctuating iron deficiency caused by the no longer scarfed and moderately spoiled cycle tripling in outpour since I abandoned you to spend platonic solitude on a glove?
Natalie Lugo: I have registered the cracks in your ceiling for a serviceable eon, tallying each vile ideation and adolescent sexual dotage, yes. Thank god we’re not us anymore. Are you one-hundred percent resentment because you suffer runny bowels?
SK: This is the most vital question a writer must be asked. I prefer it asked of me daily. Not to pretend my movements are that regular. If the process doesn’t bind your innards, the verse has misfired. Aside from the handicap of your attractiveness, I salute you for being young, acclimated, and above memoir writing.
NL: As someone whose sole focus is revenge, do you like being on the other cultural end of it right as you finally taught yourself how to compose, somewhat, after fourteen years of averaging one publication per month in small-to-less-small literary sites and mags?
SK: Well, I wanna ride off into the sunset with every condom I ever used. How do you walk off a sunset, girl? Glare in a mirror?
NL: What’s your book about!?
SK: Leaving necklaces on while you fuck.
NL: Have you only ever hid?
SK: There are not enough surrounding suburbs to commit me to my shrink. Maybe you can ask for me on your measly way to adjustment.
NL: Dating somebody recently of drinking age, a million years younger than yourself: pathetic or predatory?
SK: Had you not slept through my lectures, not that I’d take you drunk, or allow anyone in your mentally innocuous generation to sleep over without a witness handy, you’d be able to treat a husband halfway decently ten years from now when the puddle peddle turns into a settlement, a stately surrender to amenity, and you become an even more openly socialized cat than the lot of you already are.
NL: Did you keep backing up from the potty until you hit upon this life? Do you wipe yourself with a video game cartridge? What is it like sacrificing everything integral to life only to produce tome after tome people wouldn’t kick out of a trash heap one hundred years from nowhere?
SK: Do you paint your clothes on with a calculator, or recruit some fellow to tag you dressed? Parents seem to peel you fawns into revealing outfits on purpose, perhaps as a subconscious fetishism worse than mere trophy display (parents are innovative serial killers because they let their victims live), even if to avoid the kerfuffle about fitting in with whichever designers are responsible for such ridiculous communal entrapment, because it’s not as if anyone, besides a daft handful of terminally ill ne’er-do-wells, would care to face the music over the boring task of snatching one of you up off the goddamn street. Good luck surviving school, or so your propaganda states.
NL: If I had a factory of other you’s discriminating some volume with purchasable lines (new experiment for you), I think we’d still name ourselves after any better established fashion and switch the focus to stroking off bulls to remember testosterone in a more favorable light. So you have a book out featuring retro characters. What’s risky? What’s the big diff?
SK: The risk and difference is that my characters truly hate you, where others will only tease that they do, and this fact is proven through execution of style alone.
NL: If you actually had style, I would have made you stay my wife.
SK: Forgiving that, sure, you’re a tad broad-shouldered, sporting an isometric dude crew too bitty for your stout frame, the locks of which were smirched blue like many another collegiate patsy, excusing, also, how bottomless your inside was, room to party across every orientation, horse ran away with the spoon before a yardstick might find purchase, hey, neigh or nigh a clue of cervix tensed once, patronizingly or not, a notch lower than where nature screamed it. Yes, Mother Nature rooted through you, tongue upon lips, and hollered all her policies till the echo was a campaign. I’m saying prom still matters in your head, the iron lung of culture systematized so redundantly any resulting anxiety still wouldn’t capsize that purse. The community wants to chew your fingernails for you. Look at how you look. You don’t belong to you. Let’s pause to mutter how, by some miracle against the harebrained feminist zealotry demanding I accept your still cute fur like a loving dad, you own a razor: phew! You’re that type of gal common to the mainland who encapsulates everything social without a thought, dismissing the backwash of unending selection on a spunky whim. The safely bonkers gal who cannot skip her empathy far beyond a headline, because there is no dastardly obsession focusing her trade, because she is a collection of other people’s obsessions, whatever lessons they failed to impart, and every subsequent skill resides fucked in mirrors. Levied by forcible charm, kibbles and bits, minor kinks of unconventional flavoring caught inside the collective acceptances and attention spans you can only rebel against by becoming an ingrate, your scant aesthetics fill a wardrobe greatly but have yet to travel outside the flowers on your lingerie. Woe to your art, hun, surrender it, piece by people pleasing (the wrong people), networked piece to your forthcoming brood and step the hell away from each creative field. Bang out a couple incidental masterpieces, skipped ahead by the free workshops assembled around you, foreplay for the completion of your comprehensive garden manual, another bargain bin astrological prosaicism. Who would desire a spectacle to be their spectator, unless they’re beating off mandrakes left and right, Harvey Weinstein and dining you? You are infiltrated butt to chin by the power you resent and it is the most fulfilling cry you gave god, the naughty president, or loser dudes who sucked you into pruning. I resent when a muse usurps then trips over the equitable quill that conjured her and wins the pennant for it. But here I am overly nice, heard absolutely zero percent. Guess the sheets were stained in vain.
NL: You’re very Top Gun meets Ted Kaczynski. More like Milton from Office Space. Though you had to explain to me what that shit is and doctor up my prose with your intentionally tin eared asexuality. It’s fine because I study outcasts, mainly animals at the clinic, out of morbid curiosity, not respect (I do respect animals), and don’t care about your ideas concerning valid art. I know you’re like look what happens when you lead a life where everyone’s rushing to smile at me, or to bitch me into handing one out free of charge, such a luxury, any capitulation for a wink in return, but the secret is we had tender exchanges that probably meant way more to you in the long run, even if our time together barely meant half a thing to me in the moment. Don’t worry, we did register as half a thing, and I consider that too high a price to have paid (of course you got off scot free: I think you provided one cheap dinner, my bad), but, again, men hugely devalue over time without the fallacy of a ring. That’s how you freeze the clock in gold and holy shit the weight is unbearable. I like how easy it is to inspire career choices just by stepping out of my shorts. Unfortunately, you sprinkled on some extra meaning and keep the whisper of us in your palm, our single cloudy baby you’ll abuse to produce strained rhythms for, what – you vs. the page? You’ve explained how willful ignorance can be okay, especially at my age, you specified, as long as one shows a little bushido flavoring, but it seems, surprise-surprise, people not only take pride in knowing squat, because of how cool indifference makes you feel, gut over brain, what pliable control, funk above thunk, but then all these rewards across the populace are for repackaging its own blankness with a curler left continually on in that pop sense of platform dominion. Yet you’re just as admittedly dumb as anyone else and hatred won’t keep cutting the crust off your sandwiches. I may have volunteered to in its stead, at my peril, if you weren’t already betrothed to a defunct discipline. Sike, lol, try 1-800-273-8255 today! Not every vag bends the way you think, bro. Wait, is there a sizable distinction to be made between scholarly intellect snooting a piece of art into stultified virginity and confessing to a love of literature without the self-aware gloryhole of being identified as an obsolete nerd? Nevertheless (note: nevertheless is a word I would never use), I don’t miss you chasing me around the room with that nasty Adorno quote about sexual consent I think you might have misread, the tedious d’Aurevilly assessments in funny 90s toon voices, and your fave doomed genre of misogynic novels appropriating dwarfism. I let you hold me so you could stop pretending you’re in hell just a sec and didn’t even receive ice cream. ¿Por qué?
SK: Not to say we couldn’t alienate a whole sex offender registry. Glad you’re done slumming, though. Thanks for using a smartphone to translate between us. When attractive people feign relationships, they are likely getting their payout either financially or pathologically. Lucky for me, I don’t have money and no amount of calorie abuse could make me resemble someone’s dad. At least we knew the score from come one. You were willing to participate and collaborate sexually, instead just lying back and demanding to be impressed, feeding off the single desire between us, my former leer for curves, and didn’t immediately vomit at the sight of someone far less darling than you look. I’ll never again suffer the astounding potency of a person’s urine. Keep dating more cretins, let them bogart your crannies, splice their character in by proxy: the appearance of, and shortcut to, pathos. Reserve asocial activity for those easy on the eye only if one of you is jumped into it intensely enough to never profit later. Otherwise you’re a tourist, proffering trite threat texts for legal scrutiny.
NL: I might be different than you say. Men never seem too scary because I wager how much they will miss me hurts more than being hit. I make that wager with my life, not because I devalue living, but, because fuck you. Of course not as many boys are half as dangerous as portrayed, comically so. I’m not enough of a neurotic pansy to proclaim rebellion against everything slightly brutal, as I am so covered in the bite marks of strays it has became its own fashion sense. Tough talker, you contributed nothing rough in your splenetic bedroom paranoia, begging me to okay every movement made, which I suppose is a halfwit confection juxtaposing the terrible content you produce with such fatalistic remorselessness. Maybe I’m less common than you exaggerated while snapping back there? Your scarily pleasant etiquette remains appropriate in person, even when prodded (sorry, daddy). This reflects on the previous shitty long-term relationships that helped fully ruin who you are, the ones in which you played a bitch controlled by the confirmed indifference of a couple assholes who, it shocks me to hear, you never struck. I would have struck them a bunch, if what you relate is true, and they would’ve loved receiving at last the common kink their typical repressions were openly questing for all along. After you rented out your weaknesses over and over and let your guard way too down playing Shakespeare, a bouncer who paid dearly for the privilege to block and subdue assaults from other terminally ill sad sacks, you came to me quite the scarred (I’ll admit against my better judgement) man and I saw a pommel worth mounting for a term no longer than half a year.
SK: Must be a science to knowing how to provoke without too much irresponsibly pseudo-blameless lady escalation. And after all that I might still castrate myself twice for a bucket of your hair, were it of length and not drenched in Special K. Stoked you caught me in public being me (not that anyone read all this)? How about: if I yodel up your pussy will the echo leave a stain?
NL: I’ll try to never manufacture an overabundance of carnal naïveté or my byline might crush us. What a real parking fine of an inquisition news stoolies mustered. Such a biological scramble for the chopping block. Men in power act bad? I love having my evils underestimated by a construct of idiots. All this falsetto whistle-tooting below the belt is like trying to blow up a balloon with ketchup packets. Some people were born to clutch candles at a vigil. That’s why you’d never assault anyone: fear of all the pretentious mourning it might cause, right? Depressing that there’s no career here I get to play fetch with, notch on my belt, barnstorm across the headlines like so much taxidermy of what were formerly called testes. I wanted a butt tat of your finances. Drats!
SK: Night, sweetie.
Natalie Lugo lives in Detroit, where she works in a veterinary clinic. This and a piece at Fanzine are her first publications.