Wanda Phipps

the table piece


let me meet you at the table—I have difficulty eating with strangers but I will try to eat with you talk with you—communication is sometimes difficult for me—I am sometimes silent even at the table the place for conversing. dine with me eat with me, eat me...

it is difficult at th-th-the

sometimes to put something in my mouth while someone is wa-wa

watching, while you are watching. It is in here—in this section where the meat is

the table = ideal, romantic love, possessiveness, jealous, manipulative and controlling

he wants to throw out the table
security, protection, paternal love
I want to keep it

in another segment he and I lapse into an improvisational kind of Monty Python or old British Music Hall sketch with a man and a woman—husband and wife fighting about a table in a Cockney accent—he hates the table and I'm saying "how can you say that about the table—it's the reason we can sit together and eat together" and then my-my-my

sit together-eat together

and then my argument deteriorates into "my mother gave me this table and it's one of my only pieces of memorabilia from—the only thing I have full of the de-de-de

memory of me dead mother"

           loving a small one breathing
           sitting in

           sitting in amniotic fluid
     love boundless
     then speech appeared
     and love lessened

maternal love—we are tied together and he wants me to let you go
mother he wants you to let me go

I was around 6 in a pink and white dress
lots of lace—my father there—we were playing


the floral print wallpaper at my birthday party
2 years old—I cried when I couldn't put my fingers in the cake

someone said: I love you...you're so beautiful
           What can I do? What do you want me to do?
           No, you're a woman...a Norman, I mean a normal woman
           So, I guess you're stuck with us, unless you find
           someone else to adopt you

           you hit me last night

           the other night
           when we switched
           from one end of the bed
           to the other
           I could have sworn
           you were her
           and she you
           mind flips

Sam and I were talking and then I realized I was in a little boy's body and I started to scream—people thought that the boy was possessed but I felt I was trapped inside him and was so frightened—he was maybe 7 or 8 years old—a little blond boy.

Sam and I had been traveling—we were staying with friends and we had to get back (the trip was connected with a college somehow) one of the friends gave us directions—how to take the subway back—I had a hard time getting dressed to go and couldn't find my black jeans—got the woman who lived there to help me—in this little yellow storage alcove to find my clothes—then I couldn't get my jeans on because I'd put my big brown boots on first—so I started all over again—but I finally left and Sam had something to get together and said he'd meet me at a certain subway station—so I was on the train and I saw the stop but wasn't sure it was the right one—but I took a chance and constantly looking for Sam I jumped off right before the doors closed—I got off and he wasn't there and the station was deserted—the train had also been empty except for me—I searched and searched for the exit and then finally found it through a dark parking lot and slipped through a high fence—out on the street—no Sam—no one—I'm in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night—I saw woods—I was by a highway—I saw a gas station and I was so afraid—so frightened but I started walking—trying to find my way.

I was an adult—he, a child—he asked me to watch his initiation ceremony—a woman asked to watch the initiation of a boy into manhood—why? Perhaps another way of teaching—to observe his way—his path and follow—Sam's role always seen not so much as a father but as a brother—peer and family.

Little Red Riding Hood—"Damsel in distress"—I followed her "coming out"—I became the knight in shining armor—I rescued her from the evil villain who kidnapped her then disappeared—I was an adult—she was a child—I was her guardian/protector—I followed in her footsteps—I was "after her"—I found her "got her back" in the end—she let me catch her—gave me clues "left me a trial/trail" pathway/road/plan/goal/jail—she was the "wild child"—I was the mother learning from her—she—always my connection with the world of women


when she lets me go
I'm not satisfied—when she holds me—I'm not satisfied—I want the table and the food on it and also space—the clear space—freedom—feed me—I am afraid full or empty—too full of you I disappear—only desire remains—nervous—my body shakes—it shakes and I mirror you—full of you unsatisfied—empty still wanting.

            step and again
            picture enough
            particle sure
            painstaking sound
            current prayer
            step and forget
            pure tin
            relax and reward
            binary stew
            strain succor
            bargain parade
            pure and again
            swing light
            painful stake
            talent stagger
            popular strain
            opulent soak
            target sound
            pick-up channel

mother means direction in darkened steps—footsteps can be whispers—sureness stains the landscape and uneven stories sandwiched—constant and dear downstare whale boned history scamper in my wrong step harness it—I'm sorry and that always happens

kitchen us with gingerbread—you taught me to bake to feed and I am always full—fertile—ordinary especially good dangers will await—I could tell you wanted me—I could see this although you denied it—denial was the green light isn't that what they say about women what they usually say about women—you are my woman hard to get

and this is all play—when I sit at the table I remember all of this I can see this in your eyes—guilt is a familiar emotion—for what I've done and what I haven't done—died this yes this feeling of dying an ending war house—I was preparing myself he said for another event yet another surprise too—whenever we pleasure—stops to stand—stammer

as the divine Marquis said: the child belongs to the father not the mother—owes allegiance to the father not the mother...