A Dome Of Lenses (excerpts)

The right hand has been in power for as long as there have been hands. He cuts, he chops, he shakes hands and he salutes, he writes down numbers and letters and he always plays the lead part on the piano. He is the good hand, he gives blessings, he is the caesar of all hands, he drives the hooves, he punishes the claws, where would the world be without him? No one knows, no one wants to know, no one except the left hand...

The left hand has had enough of the right hand's rule. The right must either stop or else be stopped. But how can the left ever win from the right, when the right is always the one who's holding the weapon? The left hand knows only one way to stop his enemy and that's by stopping himself, by going on strike. So he writes a manifesto, in big, clumsy, almost illegible letters. "From now on I won't hand you anything anymore, I won't hold anything for you anymore, I won't play the rhythm on the piano, I'll no longer applaud with you, I won't put on your glove, I won't point the gun, I won't do your dirty work, I won't do your heavy work, I'll no longer be dumb and clumsy, I want to have my turn to shake hands, I want to be the good hand, I want to wantto wannto wannta wanna wanna wanna..."

The right hand can't do anything anymore, his fingers are drumming a pointless rhythm, he wants to pound and punch, pull away the paper and break the pen, but he doesn't dare, because who knows what the other might do? After a week of doing nothing the right hand gets an idea. He offers to help the left hand by writing down his demands for him. "Leave me alone!" growls the left hand, "You can read it when I'm finished!" After another month of doing even less he offers to help the left hand at least write more clearly, by guiding him with his own fingers. "Don't you get it yet?" barks the left hand, "I don't need you, I never did and I never will!" Another three months of nothingness go by and the right hand offers to hold down the paper so it won't move under the left hand's pen... "Fuck off!" bites the left hand, "Can't you see I'm trying to work!" After a whole year of silent despair the right hand wants to pray to his point of origin but for that too he needs the other. My god, my god, he punches through the air, why have you forsaken me?

The left hand looks up, drops his pen and sweeps away his unfinished manifesto. He embraces the right hand with all his fingers and strokes him over his back. "I heard you calling me god, this is more than I ever asked for, now I'm coming back to you." The left hand and the right hand fold themselves together and pray to their point of origin. "Forgive us, we've been evil and arrogant. But now we love one another and in this love we want to serve you, each of us in the way you made us. At last we understand... You are us and we are you..." And the voice of God thunders down from the mountain: "Are you both quite done down there? I've been busting to go to the toilet for ages, I trust you still know what to do, and after we're finished we can all go get something to eat. And later on one of you can hold my book and the other can turn the pages at the right moment, or is that asking too much of you?"


Of course it exists. Because it has to. Women dream of it, they starve themselves to death, suck out their own fat through a straw, carve out their deepest innermost selves, just so they too can become a perfect Barbie doll. Thin and hard and hollow, isn't that every girl's dream? "Oh Barbie, I'll never eat again, I'll never feel again, I promise, if only I could be just like you..." Of course it exists. Because it has to. Men dream of it, and who wouldn't rather have the real thing? If you don't believe me, all we have to do is run a personal advertisement, asking for men who ever made love to a real Barbie doll, please respond, because this is a subject that we, two open-minded artists male and female, are now researching for our upcoming novel...

So of course someone is going to reply, maybe even mailbags full. At least from guys who'd like to try it just once, maybe never thought of it before but get turned on by the idea, especially if they think we're going to be watching. Or the more experienced: Dear artists, I've been making love to Barbies ever since I started shooting seed. I never knew anyone else who did and all the specialized journals are silent on the subject. Maybe, just maybe, I'm not as lonely as I thought? Yours gratefully, Ken. PS, oh, I almost forgot to ask, when can I come by to show you?

So we've been interviewing subjects for a few months now, putting all other work and play aside for this fundamental research. Each man has his own specific technique for making love to the Barbie doll. The simplest most obvious way is between the long legs, holding everything together with one hand, rubbing the thumb over the hard little breasts, leaving the other hand free to caress the hard little face and the long naturally blonde hair... But this was all a bit too obvious, some men figured they could do much better than that. For those blessed with an organ small enough to fit inside, the procedure is simple enough. The legs accommodatingly open themselves when pushed upwards, revealing the smooth surface where one can stick in the knife. The hole should be just the right size, not too small or it hurts, not too big or the legs will fall off. Line the inside with soft pink latex and your favorite lubricant. For those men burdened with a more generous anatomy, the doll's torso can be cut open to allow for a more roomy fit, preferably down the spine, or else down the middle of the chest, depending on which side is usually turned upward...

But a writer can't just write something like this without raising suspicions. Somehow people always like to think you must have done this for real, of course you did. You could also write a story about, let's see, a boy who kills a chicken by making love to it and then he feeds it to his parents and his dad chokes to death on one of the bones... And everybody knows no one would just make up a story like that, and if you did make it up, that means you want to do it, and if you're an artist, a real artist, then you just do it, of course you do. The world is your playground, people and their lives, their hopes and fears, their most shameful little secrets they confessed to you once in the middle of the night when they were drunk, all this is yours to rape, to twist around and cut to pieces and put back together any way you please, all this is nothing but material for you to turn into words.


The Warrior's Love Song

I kiss my teeth
My teeth protect me
Against my lips.

I caress my fists
My fists protect me
Against my hands.

I love my hate
My hate protects me
Against my love.

I embrace my enemy
My enemy protects me
Against being loved.

And the moment I made a fist
My whole hand was filled.

And then one night
The moon was black
A homeless heart knocked
on my iron door.

You know so much
About protection
You know so much
About love.

A tired war blows
Over the crying plains
I beg you for shelter in
The armor of your ribs.

And the moment I opened my fist
My whole hand was filled.

I love my heart
I love my heart
My heart protects me
Against my war.


Finding that one special person is nothing special, some people do it many times per life, some even many times per year... When you've just fallen in love, he is always the man of your dreams, she is always the woman of your dreams. The soul mate. The alter ego. The better half. The prince on the white horse. The whore with a heart of gold. The recipe is old as mud... A fairy tale, a drugstore novel, a Hollywood romance, a three-minute love song... All you have to do is fall in love, overcome an obstacle or two and live happily ever after. The end. From now on everything is settled for all eternity. Nothing left to say. Nothing will ever be the same again. For as long as it lasts... A new love is a rebirth. My best most charming face pasted onto the front of my skull. My best clothes, my best hair, my best smell, my best me. Every day together is a night out. The whole world has changed color. I want to kneel down in gratitude before every single blade of grass. And already I've told the first innocent little lie. For everyone's own good of course. Or not to ruin the mood. Like water running to the ocean, without even thinking about it, simply following the path of least resistance. Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Where were you last night? What are you thinking about? I love you just the way you are. Nobody's perfect. And at least I've got this one all to myself. And whenever I need that little extra stimulation, I can find all I need right here behind my own eyelids, so much more perfect and convenient than the real world. So there's always at least four people in bed. Two bodies doing the work, and two dreams. Every day together we're just a little bit more at home. And home is an old sweatshirt, an old sofa, home is the dirty dishes, home is where I can be myself, where I can have my moods, where I can pick my nose and fart. Let's have another bucket of ice cream, it doesn't matter anymore. What's a few layers of blubber as long as we've got each other? We still go out but no longer together. There's nothing left to talk about, for my deepest secrets I still have my friends, fire always dies out sooner or later, we both have our own hobbies and anyway it's not healthy to spend too much time alone together... The deception is now complete. My beloved has been eaten up by an alien body full of hidden thoughts and dirty little secrets. Guilty of the murder of the most beautiful thing I ever had.

All words and images copyright 2008 by Vanita & Johanna Monk

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