VJ René

Crash Tests


After breakfast I force his genitals through the wind
shield of the white convertible, crying like a child.

The situation allows me ample freedom to explore
myself in various trajectories. He is everything I need:

insomnia, pre-lunch cocktails, harsh fluorescent
skies above the terminal. By the way, what

are we all celebrating? Are you going
to edit me? Are you under attack? We scream

at stylised intervals: an anti-nuclear rally
of unconscious need, waking the whole street.


Dressed for a smart lunch with an airline executive
I visit my husband in hospital. Holding his limp

penis between thumb and forefinger, he talks
about Hitchcock. I am trying to visualise

her threatening distance: a woman doctor
with heavy black hair, her scarred

mouth like the seam
left by a broken zip.

A quickening impulse lifts me
from the bed. My husband, half-erect

is folding a silk scarf around his glans, retying
the ends as if endlessly wrapping a parcel.


The doctor ran over my husband yesterday –
              a minor collision.

I watched the blood irrigate his tie.
              Brain tissue

gift-wrapped the pavement. She
              lolled back,

her pale eyes staring through the window
              as she masturbated,

left hand holding an unfamiliar brand
              of cigarette.

When I stood to leave, she turned towards
              me her erect

penis, as if she might discard it
              at any moment.

It’s a bloody compliment, she said.
              Ask him.


She asks me to go for a ride. In the jumpstart
of dusk we drive past access roads and intersections,

police cars whose rotating lights flick at the dark.
The doctor is unconcerned by my drainage tubes

or my clothes, their painful chores. She moves
my hands across the mirror of her body:

soft technology. Mirrors
either side and overhead.


My body is a language in search of objects.
In the car-park of the Oceanic Terminal, flies

vibrating against the glass, I will switch off
the ignition and lie back in my seat.

Above us, metallised creatures will soar
through the sunlight. She will loosen

my flying jacket, exposing the brief
enactments of re-opened wounds.

Her wrists will be keyboards of perfume
annotations in the handwriting

of golden machines. When I touch
her mouth with my own, our soft

unshielded collision will bring
the whole crowd to their feet.

VJ René is studying a PhD in Creative & Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia. They are the author of two pamphlets, Scavengers (2021) and HYDRA (2020). You can find them online at @wearenotnew.

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