On January 22, 1998, in my [Leslies] absence, the members of Verbatim who were present wrote collaborative letters to me. I believe this was done by dividing pieces of paper into squares in which the participants could write a few words (no exact number specified). The papers were passed around the room and the letters completed in a connect-the-points fashion.

 

January 22, 1998

Oh sweet Leslie my hamburger, my sweet, sweet sweetie. When you began the holy thing cooking it didnít feel so good because it was too tight and oily. However, whenever we wanted to begin, you delayed. So I tried to encourage your creative seasoning and pray for the apples falling off their respective heads. Yeah, and you were off your rocker, too. Accept it all, little alien -- in the land of cats youíre the top dog. Youíre so hot, you can eat your fianceeís cake with scuba gear, but donít choke on the plastic couple instant war-fighting digestible love-shots, whose vaccines flew off his rocker and there was this totally hot-bodded muffin. Not to be derogatory, I mean, but my mouth watered because of this other mouthís shapes. The shapes it was making in my direction were those of wedding dances and chocolate pie the morning after for breakfast. Together we made all the money in the cabana jealous -- the animals were slain. Cleveland cleaves to me, entwined. In spite of carnage, Barbara, the delinquent hustler, met a man who totes totebags, fellates unsuspecting security guards, and croons 70ís songs nightly at "The House of Liberace." Wish you were here. Lovely lingering Leslie.

 

Lotsa love,

L.

 

 

Oh Leslie --

If I were your age and you were mine then the divisor might self-destruct. A nap would be good for those fertile moments when I am caught kissing my own hand until the cows crow. Oh, and did I tell you? Yesterday I finally met my motherís ka, floating out of the tomb with all her worldly possessions. Nothing was dead until death died. DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH. Uh oh, I began to obsess. Once I had asked them to tell me a secret -- to steal the airplane whose pilot (at least) was leaving right away. I discovered that even though it shone like platinum, the male flight attendantís bottom was squishy yet not unpleasant, so I said, "Rambunctious!" and then picked it up off the sidewalk and took it home with milk and cookies. I wish I could be so kind. All this because it is you that tread water so fine in seventh grade. Nobody, not even your father, couldíve guessed our love for you.

 

Goodnight,

Us.

 

 

My Leslie:

So far today nothingís broken except for my hymen, so donít fix whatís better now anyway. Grab hold of the sunny sun. I mean, really, I just mean one thing will hold your left pinky askew. In other hands I have been melting. Did I mention it? I donít pick at the brain of the flayed frog unless itís upside down, as the saying goes. Anyway, fuck with short and shallow basins; sheís just a shot out of the dark and into an infomercial. Sweet, really sweet. I built a monument to candied tongue. The authorities said, "Let it remain, let it lie, let it fall into its own juices and marinate until a sound that had returned becomes pessimistic." Once more, whatís your sign? Before and when you become dripping with mucus, blood cholesterol will be stolen from another sort of flamingo, or person -- better yet, 72 of them! Like leprechauns! A freak show. I wish there could be leprechauns on every protrusion. A double seated bicycle of love for you, my love.

 

--X

 

Dearest darling,

Salut! Fire! Cross your heart and stick Ďem up! The yesterday praying mantis landed for the life of that stupid shit stink and the godamn son of Richard put out a stungun alert for all the ducks. Remember the toiletries when you go camping. Politeness, of course, is the thing that makes gum (guar gum). Abstemiousitude the thing that cries for its mama when she takes an automotive retreat to the ugly parts of Guatemala. Do you play there? or do you just go there faster with that part of the Rhineland where the goats wonít go. I went there under the stalagmite cave. Oh baby, underwater or undersexed, I never believed it though she swore up and down that they eat great food and also that he "gave great head." Whatever. Was this about knotted chewing gum that wonít stop making that munching noise in my toaster? "Die!" said NYNEX (er, Bell Atlantic) yesterday because they had a bug up their butt. So I said, "Buzz off, jerky!" I blew dirty little kisses with my chewing gum. Kisses beautiful.

 

Ciao,

Quincy

 

 

Dear, dearer, dearest Leslie,

Be kind to how I love you and savor the present taste in the rug, for how I miss you. I dreamt I saw a many-cardiganed librarian. Would have been meaningless, except that it was thrown under a file -- a novice to purloined spark plugsí complaints. King Kong shed a tear for you. He climbed up N. Y. City, and looked down, and saw only stock brokers mean and nasty, especially on Wednesdays when they have tickertape parades. Needless to say, Iím, um, not quite ready for, not quite wanting the kind of flower that is letting it laugh or um, yup, letting it begin its prayers with "Amen." If you see what I am pretending to predict, a King Kong style crash, then kudos to you. Consequently, I felt the need for a declaration, a wish sent to you via a laundry-chute to Space Mountain. The singing spaceman says, "May your eyes always sing in Bb minor."

 

Love,

V.

 

 

A pink knot looked out at you, Leslie, and half your wardrobe fluffed up higher than a preteenís bangs in the Midwest. Iím inspired, babe, and I keep rubbing my cheek over a blue pen ink drawing of a suit of hair blowing around the bay and just about to come to rest in the very place where the hurricane begins. Tomorrow, when it blows, donít ask me to wipe it up or to blow when inapplicable glycerin nails dot our relationship like frozen peas under twenty futons and cross our angry word-exchanges with cloned sheep embryos that manned the ship that was so sunk. I gotta tell you: his bottom was unusual yet manageable, yes -- it had only a top and a middle. The parade fucked it up before it got out of hand. His golgi apparati swarmed with arches of ants and pants pulled up too, far too little space for his gonads and their sport utility vehicles donning your old suits made from your old pillowcases and your new pillows.

 

Yours,

Uri of U.R.I.

 

 

Rita, Adam, Julie, Jenn, ?