Art and Writing by Katie Collins-Guinn

Wanachi Wands

November, 16, 2020

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Hitachi says, beware of imposters. Cheaper is never better.

Imposters. I’m sweating. It’s cold today. The rain finally arrived. I’m sweating. Imposters is a show on Netflix. IMBD calls it a Dark comedy, 2 seasons. Will we ever refer to this time as a dark comedy?

Will we get to rebuild after 4 seasons? Lifetimes of conning have culminated to this point. Will we get to smile with relief soon?Will our bodies vibrate with a bout of ease rather than the obliterated lips of anxious chewing, deep rivers of worry embedded in our flesh?

Impersonators. Hoaxed. We’ve all been hoaxed, even those of us who swore we never could be.

Hoaxed from birth.

Our worry is but a tease.

We stand back now sweating, worrying, digging our nails into our palms, pulling out strands of pickled curls, praying in all the ways there are to pray. Watching truth choked out by chaos. Demon tongues spitting rage. Not magic. I suppose when a society is built upon the destruction of “others”, demanding we stop is considered a sin.

Jesus died for our sins, they say. But only if we ask for it. Who gets to decide what a sin is? It sure ain't Jesus. Sins are supposed to be washed away in baptism. I was baptized at age 10. My Godmother the embodiment of compassion and love. My Godfather a body filled with rage.

A destructor of lives that are just now learning to rebuild.

Evil is a skill carefully trained in self destruction. Like our impostor in chief.

Chief.

Words stolen, names stolen, ideas stolen, lands stolen, bodies stolen.

Babies stolen.

Babies stolen.

None of this is new, but we can make anew.

Beware of the wanachi wands. They are not magic. Beware of impostors. They will destroy us.

Excuse me now while I go sweat and smile alone.

Triptych 

Stereopsis (1)

I am nine years old now, but I want to be older.

I can't wait to become a woman like my big sister, Heidi.

I want to do what I want and stay up late,

french kiss my boyfriend and wear a bra.

I've learned some tricks.

I can flip my hair into a wave and wear red lipstick.

Put a dahlia in my ear

even though they don't last more than a day

before the petals start to curdle and gray.

I sing I will Always Love you

to anyone who will audience me.

In school, I get sent back to the bathroom

Once Mr. Pok notices that I’ve stuffed my shirt

With paper towels.

 

Before I take a shower, I close the door.

There is no lock so I turn on the water.

The mirror above the sink allows me to see just above

           my belly button.

I stare deep into the distance behind my body.

The wall by the toilet with the pictures of toilets

garnished with plastic flowers.

I cross my eyes so the image becomes blurry.

I slowly adjust my vision closer to my body

and into my flat girl chest.

I stare without blinking or quivering my eyeballs.

Two small orbs appear on my chest.

They bulge with my piggy pink girl nipples.

My sister calls me Miss Piggy because I love to eat

and always have seconds at dinner.

I can see myself with breasts

like the women downstairs in the boxes

in the mostly locked room.

It's like a magic eye poster, the kind where

you can train your eyes to see three dimensional images;

stereopsis.

This is my new favorite hobby.

I tell no one.

Too many people don't understand the things I see.

Sometimes I even see three!

Triangle (3)

"These incredible objects appeared to be designed following a

psychoacoustic geometry with magnetic effects of zero point."

I have no idea what this means.

I do know that a little pyramid was found

in a place where it wasn't made.

that it's over 6,000 years old.

It has thirteen layers of tiny bricks.

An eye at the top, just below its apex,

like the Dahlia  American dollar

sixty centimeters from the base.

Its smooth surfaced base displays an engraving:

A belt of three stars, Orion.

It glows florescent under ultra-violet light

and smells of the deep earth.

The black pyramid of La Mana.

I've never seen it physically before me in my waking life,

but it sees my eyes in my dreams.

If I look at it long enough, the eye pierces my chest

and my forehead, just between my own eyes,

as all three begin to pulse.

And black shadowy blurs of finger people start reaching.

Blurs (2)

The black pulsing shadows push into my dreams

at 1am, 2am, 4am, 6am.

Aching forehead, just between my eyes.

They want to swallow me but before they're able,

I awake and watch them fade into the ceiling;

hypnic jerk

Spiders, monsters, finger people.

My waking body feels their heaviness above me.

My eyes wide and frightened.

My heart thumping, threatening to burst.

My stomach explodes into my chest

and chases my heart up into my neck.

 

They appear at the grocery store, a person ahead

                of me in line.

I can't stop staring into their faces

as they stare back, deliberately.

I see my Dad's friend days after his funeral.

I see my Grandpa a day after his death,

the day after the longest night of the year.

I see my aunt Cheryl everywhere.

I see my great uncles, Don and Carl.

It is them; their eyes, their noses, their lips, and hairs;

the color of their flesh when alive.

I see those I never knew but they see me too,

In stares.

 

After the cloud filled with anxiety drips away,

I show them with my eyes that I see them.

It's OK I try to look-say.

I'm so glad you're here, but...

You'll be happier there.

I try not to cry.

A new face appears before me.

This new face doesn't like that I'm staring at them.

All the colors of their being has changed.

 

I saw my Dad's Dad the night before he died.

I brought him dahlias from my garden,

seven days later he appeared in a casket.

Little chapel of the chimes.

A place where people now eat and drink,

with no mind of the dead that were pampered and charred here before.

He held the dahlias tight in his death grasp;

their vibrant and plush petals, curiously still blooming.

 

Now my Dad is star stuff too.

He has just left his body and I hold his head

sitting on concrete.

Bruised ankles, aching biceps, twitching forehead,

Is what will appear tomorrow.

A new baby nephew's heartbeat

two weeks later.

I hear his voice, on the sidewalk

And others try to push their way in.

Shoo, I say, I'm trying to hear my Dad!

He is comforting me.

He makes me laugh.

It tastes so good cause I barfed in it.

His lasagna.

It's a pee pot pie as I make his pie crust.

The seekers are seeking comfort,

something I cannot give them

every time.

They seem to fight over my attention,

like when

I have three Taylor Swift songs stuck in my head

at the same damn time.

I play dark side of the moon.

Tha-thump, tha-thump, the-thump

It helps.

Katie is an artist, mother of blood and non-blood children, designer and writer, wifey, flower gardener, North Portlander and lover of the beautiful, especially the kind that hides.      

 

She has to be working on a variety of projects at all times or she will fall to the darkness.

She's spent time as a contributing freelance writer for the Portland Mercury. She’s part of the Corporeal Writing squad, which saves lives including her own.

Her adult coloring book The Stoner Babes was recently published with Microcosm Publishing. She’s had work published in Nailed Magazine, The Rumpus, Entropy and The Manifest-station.

She co-parents 21 roses and counting.