10.3 (Spring 2006)
Top Girl
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Marty McConnell



You can have Gertrude Stein’s brain or
Cindy Crawford’s face, but not both.
Which do you choose? But maybe you
don’t appreciate Gertrude Stein’s writing,
maybe you don’t find Cindy Crawford
beautiful. Then do you choose neither,
choose your own brain, your own face?
But others find one brilliant, one stunning,
mightn’t you be happier if people found
you brilliant or stunning, mightn’t your life
be easier or at least different? Or do you
think you are happy. Do you say, I like
my brain. I like my face. Here you’ve been
given this extraordinary chance for
something altogether else, something
altogether new, and you choose neither?
The same same? You call that happiness?
Satisfaction, maybe. Which is not the same
thing. Not at all.


what would charisma do in the back of a pickup truck?

what a drag to be a man
in a drab man jacket, blue
black blue, tie a splash, pastel
or red / what a shame, the weatherman
’s a eunuch, cold front moving, mouth
of rough marbles, full stop. tonight
ride with no shocks, the truckbed
slick with saliva, something; oil, extra
rain, the teeth wriggle orgasmically, a junkie widow
in her husband’s blood, baby’s first piss, grins
sweeter than a president shot
during sweeps week, hotter
than molasses on fire.


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