Mudlark No. 59 (2015)


I’m sorry, what? You like anxiety?
Exactly. Wait, no, not the feeling of it, 
but how it’s like a body inside the body
trying to jiggle itself out, but there is
no out. And that feels good?  Well, no,
but the jiggling, the zipping back and forth
make a kind of a net, or like a blanket, that
irritates me but it catches me, it catches me
before I fall into the maw. The maw?
What does that even mean? Just what it
sounds like, actually. You know how the
worst part of feeling sad is feeling scared
the sadness will never stop? That it’ll just
keep going on forever once you let it in?
You mean let it out? Actually that sounds
more like grief than sadness. Listen to me.
What I’m saying is that as bad as anxiety
or whatever you want to call it is, however
bad it feels, it keeps you from falling into —
I know.
               The maw. Right. The maw. 
                                                              You know,
it’s like you have a picture of this thing 
that makes it worse for you than the thing
is. Is that supposed to be make me feel better?
Does it? Make you feel better? The thing is
you make it sound like feelings, or the maw or
whatever, like they have a life of their own. Like
it’s an, I don't know, a place you might get lost in
instead of the other way around. Even though
you’re right here? You’re losing me. You’re right
here, not lost somewhere. I mean I see you.
And? You don't believe me then? You think 
this isn’t real? I’m not saying that. I’m saying
I never thought of it like that, and I can’t actually 
see any of it. It is a funny word, though, maw. 
You remember that song that goes
the mother is the hunger of them all? 
Anyway, I used to think they were saying 
the mother is the hunger of the maw. The ma.
That makes no sense at all. Well, how did 
you feel when you were singing it? 
How did I feel? Yeah, like it was all
you needed?  Like she could save you from
anxiousness once and for all if you could go back.
Back where? You know where. So that you
wouldn’t be afraid because there would be
nowhere to fall.  Because you’d still be there. 
Or be there already, or are. I guess I wasn’t feeling 
anything really. I just liked singing it is all.
Just liked the feel of singing it is all.

Mark Dow | Joke
Contents | Mudlark No. 59 (2015)