by Kyle Hemmings
“The three of us were an island of protoplasm shaped like pre-war Paris.” From Emily’s once banned memoir, Flowers and Vaginas.
Emily’s words to her father before leaving for Krakow, 1933:
“O Father, bring me back a magical goose with green shallow water eyes.”
He came back with a real goose that could whistle.
Rumor: Emily had an affair with a survivor of a boy scout cult. He later hung himself over her bed with fastidious double knots. It was a fond conversation topic for some members of the Lost Generation.
from Emily’s diary, pg. 248:”Love is imagining your vertebrae as a trapeze and hanging from it by one pubic hair.”
After a short torrid romance, Gertrude Stein slapped Emily for cheating on her with a charlatan, named Hubert Moss. Emily’s reply:“There is more than one port of entry, Madam!” She swiftly strode out of the parlor room.
Another doomed love affair with the modern dancer, Mille Minski, before she spun off the earth using her arms only. Emily’s comments over her memory: “We were both fools, gullible to the whims of our internal atoms, always random and colliding.”
“…your teddy bear words won’t unbutton me,” said Emily to the crazed czar of silly-putty makeovers, Boris Bodonovich. She later set fire to his closets of silk robes and Chinese slippers.
Emily’s early marriage to the movie mongul, Weinstock Till—after he retreated to the fantasy world of his tiny plastic houses, she murdered him with construction paper and glue. “It wasn’t much of a marriage at all, “ Emily stated at the trial, “ just the two of us ignoring each other, even during sex.”
“…with the sweet-grass smell of ennui drifting through the window, my sisters and I kneaded our flesh into polyglots of lust.” (Emily’s attempt at fixing the source of her nymphomania and addiction to silent film stars who slept with their knickers on.)
Emily once knitted me a sweater designed with dribbling gerbils.
“If you truly love somebody,” said Emily, circa 1948, ” then you must make up a whole bunch of shit. And throw it at them like you mean it!”
Emily Wasnott at the senate hearings over her association with the American espionage agent, Willis Greenley, (1968,) “Am I not the queen of my own mosaic of despair? I should spit in your faces. Your wrinkled sourpuss faces that hide lies and payoffs! Greenley was a martyr compared to most of you. You should eat his words, swallow his silence. Fuck your gavels! Fuck your laughing typewriters that spit back at you your own incriminating rhetoric!”
Emily’s note to late symphony leader, Lord Harold Troth–“Darling, let’s compose a rhapsody in drag.”
“All over Europe” writes Emily in 1948,”mechanical daffodils are dying.”
On her institution at Queen Hermina’s Mental Hospital, “There isn’t much to do around here but compose silly love poems to shadows hiding their penises. The psychiatrist thinks I’m an inverted flower and has all but given up. And there’s lots of time to do abstract art during recreation. I call it abstract art because I can’t paint faces or houses for a farthing.”
Emily to the big game hunter, Kirby Rhodes, “I don’t much like maggots in my panty hose. Go sleep with your boas.” He laughed until he heard the cry of rhinos in the distance.
The controversy of Emily’s death: suffocation in an elevator with a toxic mushroom sent to her by Sir Kirby Rhodes. It was mocked as a comic suicide by both the coroner and the House of Lords. Lord Harold Troth cried gender-neutral tears that were heard all over Europe, and perhaps, the rest of the world.
Kyle Hemmings has both text and art published in Match Book, Burning Word, Cherry Tree, and elsewhere. He loves street photography, underground comics, and 60s garage bands that never scored an album contract. His forthcoming collection of text and art is titled Amnesiacs of Summer. He is the co-editor of Yavanika Press.