Friday, 20 April 2012
Poetry Month 2012: Daniel Scott Tysdal - for Albert “Slim” Redstone’s visit to Body Worlds in Taipei, Taiwan
Daniel Scott Tysdal is the author of two books of poetry, The Mourners Book of Albums (Tightrope 2010) and Predicting The Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method (Coteau 2006). Predicting received the ReLit Award for Poetry (2007) and the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Award (2006). His work has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies, and has earned him honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards (2003) and the Matrix Lit Pop Award (2010). He currently teaches creative writing and English literature at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Excerpt from: Thereminist Sing the Body Plastic
for Albert “Slim” Redstone’s visit to Body Worlds in Taipei, Taiwan
Oh my Body!
1. The exhibit is alien enough for a thereminist. And Slim
would welcome that otherworldly trill, one of those
ghost-voiced scores from films with titles like The Day
the Earth Stood Still, Mars Attacks! That would make sense.
Aliens doing this: turning a tarred lung plastic, making
a skinned man’s hide plastic for him to offer in his plastic
muscled grasp, making plastic
the dead. Slim waits for them
to show, these aliens, emerging tentacled or bipedal
with moon-shaped skulls to fuse plastic with his skin, flayed, say,
after they torture him. “Admit we’ve saved you,” they’d demand
before preserving each of his wounds, his flesh peeled back
into thousands of tiny mouths sticking their tiny tongues out
at decay. He reaches for the cheek of a plastinated boy
when no one but the boy is looking, and he wonders if
the aliens are right there, genuinely synthetic beneath
his touch, feeding on the boy’s decomposing decomposition,
an alien, like a parasite, perceptible only where it mangles its home.