The Professor Makes a Series of Disgusting Suggestions Progress, if there is really such a thing, Means realizing how disgusting

we are, As much as understanding all our wonders, We human beings, although disgust is how We separate ourselves from everything. But we could not ever be separated If we were not unseparate already. We open ourselves to every contamination A little more than anyone admits. We all love messy foods, the slimy drip Of grease and mayo from the cheeseburger. Even a vegan loves the smear of nectar Of locally grown peaches, sticky fingers. We add ketchup and garlic to ice cream. We stare in fascination at the maggots Eating dead flesh, and sometimes it's our own. The cockroach is our friend, our lucky cricket, The signature of life, how it goes on, Beyond the multiple apocalypses We now see coming from our own actions-The way we've soiled our nest and stewed in it. He'll be there with us right down to the end. We listen avidly to coughers up Of phlegm and goo and ropy, green discharges. We tolerate or even give applause To those adventurers who with consent And without harm make love with animals, To those young men who crawl in bed with crones, To those old men seduced by mindless nymphets, To men who prefer menstruating women, To women who can stand to be with men And women who can stand to be with women, To orgiasts and masturbation freaks, To people who play games and wear costumes, To every kind of grip or penetration, With body parts and objects, fresh produce, With law enforcement hardware and God's blessing. We even give approval to incest, So long as it's between adults or children, Or somehow just a bit of fantasy. The story's always somehow Oedipus, And always the handwriting on the wall Is just the money shot, an oil spill, A soiled napkin, the stained wedding linen, The footprint of the biggest game of all, Its stink of pheromones and sweat and shit. We gladly learned in Sex Ed 101 How to inflate a condom, blow it up, And practiced on a used one that we borrowed. We keep our scientific cool and study The serial killer's hand and the pig fetus And Einstein's brain, in amber juice, in jars. We stroll through graveyards, thinking of the worms At work beneath the surface of the world And wonder at the power of recycling While we go on treading the worms And crumbling cremated ash in fingers. We dream about how we could touch the corpses And sleep in the hotel beds they just slept in. We boldly go where everyone has gone, Sitting right down upon the toilet seat In public restrooms, dancing cheek to cheek With strangers and their residues and odors, Feeling the slick adhesion of the seat,

And always in the bowl's a rotten broth Of unflushed feces and wet shredded tissue. We stir our soup with bloody flyswatters, Knowing the microscope will still just show The standard number of fly parts per serving, How many thousands in each loving spooful. We know that chimpanzees and monkeys are Our brothers, sisters, cousins, and we eat That monkey meat, the same way we survive At the expense of other human beings. We stroll down alleys, following the scent Of urine, looking for our boon companions, The homeless, whose sickbeds we so admire. We see the naked tails of racing rats Crossing our path, fleeing the same edge Of the same reaper, natural selection, And wonder how we got our own cut off. We feel their toes lightly climb up our bodies, While snakes are sliding up our legs and spiders Nest in our head, and earwigs sliip inside us, Right up the nostrils, in the ears, the eyes, And every hole, as needles full of poison Slam their way into veins and into muscles, Most certainly the heart, which must be pounded To keep it beating out that zombie rhythm That gets you through the days that have no meaning, The constant fear that Bush precedes McCain, Perpetual TV glare, internet flicker, The mindless hum of compressed ipod drones, The cell phone shouters' yammering at nothing. We put up with all this, suck it all in. We are indifferent to all the vomit, Or even pleased to see it spray and splash, Cheered how the cook will sneeze into the soup, The lukewarm, grey soup kitchen glop. We torture animals and enemies, Half-drowning them, dissecting them alive, Cutting their heads off for the camera, And push the fishhooks right through our own flesh. We pick up roadkill, planning our next meal And drink the backwash in the sacrament wine. We eat the shit we eat like it was candy, Though it is really shit. We smoke the shit We smoke like it was purest oxygen. We always find the glass we drink from spoiled. We find our friends have had their guts spilled out In accidents, and that their undewear Is stained. And none of these things bother us, Now as we watch ourselves in today's mirror Squeeze the socket and plop out one glass eye.