So I start running into this guy
at the bar I go to on non-kid days after work,
old buddy of my older brother, nice guy, still lives here
in the town where we grew up, like me.
We talk about food, his work, my work, his family,
my family, pop culture, politics, religion, whatever
—it’s cool. I dig. I like the guy alright.
But the last time he popped up on the stool beside mine
at the Downtown, he busts out with, or rather he mutters
fast, as the fast mutter appears to be his preferred method
of utterance—“I’mgonnadoa slurrycleanse,
yousitinthisslurry, this allnaturalmixture,
takesallthe toxinsoutofyourbody, it even takes care
of your colon, Iknow, you’relaughing, it’sweird, Igetit,
but they gave me half off. I’m gonna try it, it
And I do laugh, I can’t help laughing,
trying to imagine what kind of hippy mumbo-jumbo
goes into whatever vat of all-natural ingredients he plans
to immerse himself in—nothing against hippies, I like hippies,
at least the ones with jobs, like Ben and Jerry,
but it kinda makes me wonder, if they have jobs,
are they still hippies? BUT ANYWHO
I imagine this sludge of blueberry skins, flaxseed oil,
banana peels, shredded Tarot cards, oil of bergamot, the foreskins
of several properly circumcised Jewish babies—one can only imagine
the healing powers of beeswax, sea salt, locust husks, dead dictator
moustache hairs … The conversation moved on, but later,
after I’d come home to let the dog out and turn up records
loud enough to make the house feel less empty,
which is a volume that can’t really be reached,
I have this flashback-epiphany. Wait. Hold on.
“It even takes care of your colon?”
My man is gonna sit in a tub of vegetable juices
Wiccan sweat and fossilized mastodon DNA for three hours
and it will EVEN EVACUATE HIS COLON,
and this is supposed to be a pleasant sensation, stewing
in his own solids among the various liquids, letting
that septic cocktail mix and fume by the hour,
in this pigswill mudbath of his own excrement
and certifiably organic non-GMO watermelon seeds?
He’ll come out smelling like he just met up with Pepé Le Pew
at a big city bathhouse. I might try it, too, though.
I mean, hell, for half off.
from Rattle #46, Winter 2014
[ download audio]
Steve Henn: “For a time I kept running into my brother’s old buddy at the bar. Every once in a while he’d preface a story with ‘now, don’t make fun of me, but …’ His commitment to going through the slurry cleanse was one such story. I never did find out if he went through with it.” ( website)