CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
FAQ
Ben Doyle



FAQ
When did you first draw shoes on an animal?


Thank you for your question. I first drew shoes on an animal a long long time ago. There was hair all over it, one can imagine I was still technically enrolled in Beauty College. Stumbling one morning (plummeting weeping grackles, the easy irony of a snowfence ablaze, half a gaffed sun dribbling sparkling footage onto the dead highway) homeward, away from my stomach—those contents (which included the cursive k elastic string of a candy necklace) had been pumped that evening into some sort of demarcated carafe—I tripped over a scarlet four-inch spike-heel crocodile stiletto, stippling my cheek on the superpavement. It was Mary, Mary that did this to me, Mary gone again, Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Scotts and Heat and Fruit So Ripe It Can Kill.

Later, I was drawing some hippopotamuses. I had a book on African wildlife from the children’s library. It should be very hard for me to admit this, but I was tracing. Well, that wasn’t so bad. Some hippos were standing (floating?—treading?) in a few feet of scum-water next to the absent ink of a gazelle’s spine and ribs. All the others were idling in the tall grass or bush filthy. Oh the ease with which some animals live, their foodstuff is everywhere and their hide is so thick their only predator’s only course is their significant and nutritious eye-boogers. It was then that I realized I had never seen the foot of a hippopotamus, rhinoceros, or behemoth. Nor have I since, despite my attention being drawn to that area of their anatomy at every optic opportunity. It is like they sink into the ground. I cannot even imagine. When I try, sometimes I think hooves, but then toe-like tendrils reach in and squiggle. Tendrils with their full bristle and gummy cuticles. Once one stands in this universe, one begins to become more qualified in clouds, in degrees, darknesses. With the darkness, my little window began to bore me. I placed my face on my fist to think and cracked the scab in half.

Note: these shoes, canvas and rubber, have been drawn with full awareness that few heels would survive the ballast of a full-grown riverhorse. Indeed, this is the advantage even my worst drawings have over physics—a like monstrosity. And nary a tranquilizing dart has spent its long-simmered load—sweet sleep from anywhere or nowhere, collapsible mortality—inside the body of another. All my darts are in capsule form—syringe filed; fletches molted, blown away, far away, pretty birdies—locked in a tamper-proof bottle beyond the trapdoor over the soft-scrubbed sink. Any other article on an animal seems obscene.








FAQ
Is it true that the meat of the hammerhead shark is poisonous?


Thank you for your question. It is only a rumor that the hammerhead is poisonous. In fact, the head of the hammerhead is delirious over wild rice. But it does bruise easy. The bread of the hammerhead is shaped like a loaf of french bread. The brain of a man is more like a pastry. Then there are the braids of insects (which replicate the insects themselves on exposure) and birds (which have hollow bones, one can breathe through them into the soda).

Enough bone can certainly be poisonous, especially during erection. Cartilage is catching on. Some babies wear it between their softspots. A galleon made of cartilage would surely float. I try to concentrate on my cartilage and feel nothing. This is incredible.








FAQ
Do you feel you would make a good mother?


Thank you for your question. I feel I would make a medium mother. I would not be one of those mothers who say: “my mother ruined me, she slammed my hand in the door, she blamed it on my big stupid hands. Small pearl of my womb, with this kiss now do I punctuate my oath on your little oven of a head, I will show you everything and banish you softly from every wet breath of it.” I wouldn’t be one of those mothers, those mothers are major. They’ve got serious gripes.

Is there anything more serious than a serious gripe? Some power beyond the dream not to be as you have been? If I have a gripe, it is toward something very like my mother (but it never looks like her), something that had me plugged in there, floating, something that let no light in. Don’t misunderstand, the life is fine and I appreciate the weather (it changes) and the senses, the textures and colors. But there is something about that floating, and though I don’t remember it seems each of my dreams already happened there. It is something about not remembering and that perhaps I could, still, had there been installed a window, a skylight, or a lamp. The colors and textures I missed there bring on a mile of gripes, the colors of the walls while my eyes arrive lidless, as the nerves twist. I miss those colors.

Oh, I have seen inside the body. I have been to beauty college and they have models. Channel 73 is dedicated to seeing inside the body. There is a scope they slide in there. We cut up frogs as kids, frogs and a stillborn piglet. Those both stank; I want to see it when it’s alive. I have had surgery on my stomach with only a local anesthetic. Inches from the mirror, I’ve cracked the skin at the corners of my mouth trying to see it, trying to follow down those purple twirls. I’ve rolled my eyes back as far as they would go, closed them so hard it was hard to breathe. There was this week once I didn’t sleep at all, I thought I might see it that way, and there were many ways of looking that were like that. And once, I allowed the world into the mailcarrier with the firepoker.

It was like he had another mouth, it sounded like it was whistling. The ambulance was already on its way, I could hear it sobbing down South High. I had called them half an hour ago. They have a reputation. You wouldn’t ask me this question if you were the driver, you in your blue coat with the snakes and the crosses, you wouldn’t ask me what kind of mother I might make. If you had seen me looking, if you had seen me standing with the ring around my eye, with the ring running down, you would know that I would make a medium one.








FAQ
When did robots, as we know them today, come into existence?


Thank you for your question. The first industrial modern robots were the Unimates developed by George Devol and Joe Engelberger in the late fifties and early sixties. The first patents were by Devol for parts transfer machines. Engelberger formed Unimation and was the first to market robots. As a result, Engelberger has been called the “father of robotics”.

I like to call my arm Engelberger Arm, these people it points to—“fixing the power”—Unimates. The flashlights on their helmets are undeniably genital, and therefore good. The lights on their helmets are each kind of sex part. O light, wed to dust, leave it, fuck me into a cloud shape; I know the first man to lift a stick to strike his neighbor down was the first man, I know the first to dissolve was the first god.

Another theory states that the scarecrow was the first robot. This theory is endangered however, due to the recent discovery that the first scarecrow was an eviscerated crow.

Still other theories posit the effigy, the story, the bomb, Cye, and the SDR-3X.