This Manifesto is Not for Stovetop use

Claire Bowman

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Inclined to a field of unnecessary umbels, rationale plays hookey in an onion patch. Everything I’ve seen is unreckoned, and every unreckoning tends to jangle, so it is you hear me now with mollusks in my teeth, freshly birthed from the cave. In this space, it is admissible to become an oyster, a loose cloud, or a mineral murmur.


Here, the faculties do not compete against one another for air, but vibrate at their highest frequency in unison.






There is the faculty of the intellect, green and cold. There is the faculty of desire, that open and ascending desert of moons.

There is the eloquent faculty of absurdity, and her spiritual zip.

And the rest of the wet somatic sensations that are given over to us from this physical chest of drawers.



It shall no longer be within our capacity to chew anything but the cud of desire. We, like melonheaded beluga whales, must rub against each other in the ocean.



We must call, and await its return to bounce through us freely like a chant, with messages of distance from minor gods circumfused in an atmosphere of water.


Let us take a moment to undulate in underwater silence.


Let us better smell the stillness that governs this, to better apprehend the unknowable utterances that glide in foaming eloquence from the mouth of the mad, just to make their sound.

Dear Chickens, do not be afraid of the cannons, they are sterile and full of clouds.


Do not hesitate to eat the butterfly.


A skull bites.

Somewhere in a blue Midwestern basement, particles of your skin decorate the emptiness like good bits of meaning. But it is the cold meaning of equilibrium stretching its legs to feel the simple pleasure of extension, to mark the borders of its whole.
Over and over it rolls.


Let us drink ichor for a time, and see

I am here to say that it is the right time for a congregation. It is the right time to be overtaken, to convulse and fall down.

There is no stage here for the calculating eye. The false blabbering of sound judgement be damned!


Expose every architecture of petty hostility and let the cosmos have her filthy way with it. That slow sink into lava, that blindness.


Be a hot buttered roll on the tongue of divine sadness.

Poach yourself rare.

Become a jellyfish in heat.


Spatial rearrangement performs its feathered mutation and
my spirit

Hoard, legion, lexical madness, enter

I will roil in convulsions of simultaneous delight and derangement.


I will touch the gills of god, or hear it swimming past me in a fleet of silver, silver and milky green, eyefuls.




If you hunger, you are.
Nourishment may come in the form of sand dunes, wet stars, gorge.

Let there be no mistake, I do not speak from the ether, but do possess a physical body, though it be strange. Though it undoes.

Like you,
Sweet Beluga,
I sense electrical echoes with my melon.

I also milk my young and feel
the power of edible eternities leaving
me like a pulse. It is good to know your biology, so
that it can be forgotten
when the fragments come to fill our bowls
made of bone glimmering
with necrosis.

There is part of you that is cauliflower, there is part of you that knows it
and sings accordingly.

Let there be only mistake, and accidental congregation beneath celestial bodies so that we
may proliferate and eat raspberries to feed our failing consciousness.

Yes! I have lost my way. A hill of spiritual ants dismembers me with a whisper, and I sleep.

Claire Bowman reading “This Manifesto is Not for Stovetop use”

Claire Bowman is a poet from Missouri. She earned a BA in English from Truman State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Michener Center for Writers. Her chapbook Dear Creatures was released from Sutra Press in the Fall of 2017. Her work can be found in Narrative Magazine, PANK, The Volta, Deluge, and elsewhere. She lives in Austin, Texas.