Autobiography by Tan Tzy Jiun

after Tomaž Šalamun’s ‘History’

Tzy Jiun has breasts 
the size of grapefruits.

Her hair curls wantonly. Thick
dendrites grow out of her
overstuffed skull, mycorrhizal
like the pregnantly moist soil of forests.

She has a metal hook in her womb
she cannot stop talking about.
Her wet kisses gush thirst,
wet as the gills of a trout.

She uses tampons instead of pads, and on occasion,
silicone cups that she folds
into the shape of a venomous mouth. 
Her hand towels are rough
unkempt beards lining her tiled bathroom wall.

People and I, we look at her amazed.
She keeps her distance.
She has uneven feet.

We wish her well.

Did I mention that her breasts are canons?
We might blame her lips—
the fat pout of a clamshell. 
We might blame her choice of lifestyle.

She fears realistic scenarios
and avoids driving at all costs.
She washes her hands
so often they peel.

As of my opinion on
what we should do with her—
I say we must take into account
her immoral influence over man
and woman alike.

I say we steep her in formaldehyde,
so children could yawn at her unannotated display at the museum
for centuries to come.

We shall erase her
from the birth registry.
We shall name no charity after her.
Why are we still talking about her?

We might conjure her ghost.
She might haunt us till the end of time. 

What will we do then?


Tan Tzy Jiun is a poet and historian from Malaysia. Her work is published and forthcoming in Here: a poetry journal, Stone of Madness Press, Sine Theta Magazine, Quince Magazine, and Eunoia Review, among others. You can find her on twitter tweeting her funny little words on @tzyjiun_

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.