Bill Moran

Old Man in Kyrgyzstan in 2010

By Jennifer Buzanowski via Wikimedia Commons

1.
Oh yeah well my Grandpaw says, hey, hey my Pawpaw says:

“When god spoke us into existence, he slurred and forgot his words. Wanted to say ‘bright’ but said ‘bone’ and here we are with such darkness in us. Was gonna say ‘crown’ but it came out ‘chemo’ and oh lord, we hate our hair. He said ‘want’ instead of ‘wind’ and now we breathe women and say ‘I’ and point to this body, this luggage.”

2.
Hey, if you say “Bloody Mary” into the mirror five times fast, your lil’ sis will appear before you and talk. Yeah huh, yeah I did it and she told me:

“No Boo Boo, this ain’t blood, it’s cooking oil.
Heaven tastes like eggs. I am bloated on it.

I, like you, have unhinged my jaw to take in all of this feeling.
But you are not what you eat. You are not your sadness.
That’s your body talking.
Your body talks like Pawpaw and says
‘Mais I got that pawdes, mon chra. I got the paw.’
It’s a Cajun family dish– this grogginess, this tired-of-living.
‘Sad’ is a lie your stupid body tells you,
so take off your body.
Stuff it down the sink.
Clog the toilet with your dumb bones.
When the plate of this world has been licked clean and
you are sleepysick, repeat this recipe:

Hey, if you say ‘Grandpa’ five times fast, your veins will fill with bayou and you’ll die and leap out your own goddamn body like catfish.

Hey, if you say ‘Grandma’ five times fast, you’ll wake up like a baby snake and bite your way out your body.

Ya know, if you say ‘Louisiana’ five times fast, sure enough, your little eyes will become eggs. Everything will look cracking and born at the same bloody time.

If you say ‘Summertime’ once under your breath, you’ll see your dead best friend in the hallway. You won’t know why he’s yelling.

If you say ‘I Love You’ to a girl ever again, on cue, your ex will walk out the closet like fog, like hot breath, and sit on the bed with y’all. She won’t actually be there but will fall on you anyways. Like a quilt. With her whole mouth.

Hey, if you say ‘Mikey’ you’ll leave the world. If you say ‘Alice’ you’ll leave the
world. If you say ‘William’ or ‘Happy’ or ‘Fourth of July’ or ‘Houston’ or
anything at all, you’ll eventually die, so why not say everything.

Hey, if some sad god spoke you into that sad body, ya know, you can speak
yourself out of it.”

Yeah huh, yeah watch:

Creosote Mouthwash Boudain Bill Bourré Bill Oh lovely Lorraine Oh chocolate
covered strawberries Oh chocolate-covered heart Oh chocolate-hearted christ
and rifle kisser How loud our sweet shells do crack Aunt Lily Aunt Lily butterfly
knife wife casino mom and pops–

I got words in my cheeks like cotton.
I do the genesis dance, snakes and all.
Abracadabra– I create as I speak.
I utter everything. I utter myself.
Into the world.
My mouth is an airboat and god is the air.
I dive into your bayou, O Zion, I swim in you
and forget that long weekend I watched my Momo die.
At the mouth of the river, I recall
when my Pawpaw played my blue guitar for three whole days until
he fell out his body.
Marymoo, watch, I’m gonna
kill my body and live in that blue guitar instead
and shine and shed my skin and sing
all the right words.

3.
Oh yeah, well if god spoke us into existence,
then my Grandpa did the same thing to god with that guitar.
god was asleep but Pawpaw woke Him up.
Saw Him in himself in that mirror and hooked Him
with a guitar neck and yanked
God out
by the cheek
like a catfish that was
Goddamn sick
of the water
and living.


Bill Moran is a first-year MFA poetry candidate at Louisiana State University. He was a proud member of the 2011-2013 Austin Poetry Slam national teams, as well as the 2012 & 2013 Austin Poetry Slam Champion and 2013 Southern Fried Haiku Champion. He has co-directed the Texas Grand Slam Poetry Festival, performed and taught poetry internationally, and served as president of Mic Check, a non-profit poetry organization in Brazos County, Texas. His work has been published three times by Button Poetry in video form, and is forthcoming in FreezeRay Press and The Dead Animal Handbook in print. Also, he is convinced he has the Gulf inside him. He appreciates your concern and well-wishes, but swears he is okay. Really.

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