My Sickness Speaks by Rachel Nagelberg

the dildo vibrates poorly  I only
changed one battery again
this laziness  this lack of
ownership  it’s almost more satisfying
to have objects half-working  to have
the motor half dead  because I’m not really
doing it  I’m only half doing it  and we are
ever so grateful for the energy that’s left

fatigue requires constant jumpstarting
I like how  the meager dildo  feels against
my clit  vibrates but a decibel  too slow  to
cum I must  mentally accelerate  to cum
I must concoct  an elaborate cocktail  of
past and projection  to cum  I must maintain
total stillness  to cum I must be  engulfed in
narrative  to cum  I must locate  a

                          And how can one be violent
about the sort of things one’s

                          to write about?2

in dreams  I have no motion—rather
motion is not  accessible  this body  hides
even when there is  no environment  no
circumstance  no ground  in dreams  my
mother appears only as  a presence  I sit at
a lot of picnic tables  I have done extensive
on the symbolism of “picnic tables”  it’s


2 (Hemholtz speaks)



Rachel Nagelberg is primarily a fiction writer based out of San Francisco. Recently she began listening to the wondrous albeit often disturbing calls of the poetic form, and has finally found a venue in which to explore sickness and the body with her ever-beloved tools of language and philosophical thought.