I’ve known Amy Guth for a long time. When I lived in Chicago, we used to hang out in bars and drink Hamm’s and talk about writing and books. We even had a sidekick, a plush pig doll we named Equinox, the Patron Saint of Sloppy Prose. His catch phrase – and this is such an inside joke that it can’t possibly be explained here – was “riff-riff-riff.”
Equinox would not have been amused by her debut novel, Three Fallen Women (So New Media, 2006). It’s like dark poetry, taking the reader on a literary ride that can sometimes feel like being stuffed into a body bag, beaten with lead pipes, and then thrown into a ravine – but in a good way.
For her asshole self-portrait, she used her own body as a canvass. She even sent me several different versions, and I’ve decided to post them all, because why settle for one Amy Guth asshole when you could have four? Yes, a confusing statement on human anatomy, but Amy is nothing if not an enigma.
#1. “Stretch Out and Wait”
Given the title of her blog, it should be no surprise that Amy is a rabid Morrissey/Smiths fan. But her choice of a title for this piece, “Stretch Out and Wait,” probably alludes to more than Morrissey ever intended. “The stars are farts happily passing through my asshole,” she explains. “Dance farts! Dance!” She adds: “Because I’m a dainty flower of womanhood, I don’t actually fart. Just, you know, fyi.”
#2. “An Afternoon Social Call As Seen Through My Asshole”
“At times, my asshole – oh muse thou spoken self! – cannot bear the still Victorian world I superimpose upon it and it lashes – lashes! – out in a post-modern DeLillo fashion – White Noise! My ears people! My ears! – to declare itself the assholian equivalent of Moaist China’s underground subculture by oppressing itself.”
#3. “Soul In Pure Form As Seen Through My Asshole”
Aside from the irony of a vegetarian in the meat department, Amy claims that this is how she’d like to be remembered, “with the blue typewriter of my youth, the typewriter I carefully wrote my first stories out on, merrily pissing off supermarket employees. Oh, but my assholian world exists too-often as the hard-sell of the epistolary novel. Oh Woman of Independent Means you exist personified as the Burroughsian Naked Lunch, words trembling and quivering with writhing in angst to be typed by my delicate hands in the asshole world. (Note: I farted a nice vegetarian little puff about a second later, just to stick it to the non-vegetarian man. Wait– I don’t fart! Nevermind.)”
#4. “Morning As Seen Through My Asshole”
Of her strangely compelling asshole self-portrait, Amy had this to say: “Oh, the forks, the forks exist in my asshole purely in both Pavlovia and Chekhovian symbol form. The ballgown, a callback to younger days, taunts me (from my asshole) with Gatsby ghosts’ finery, while my wearied and yet-awakened form lives in my asshole, set gingerly in homage to complete dominance in my asshole by spectres as veils and notes of The Turn of The Screw dance among the scene! Oh scene, then how you do turn, as you always do in such a bright moment of cliche to being my own Bell Jar, timidly placed in my asshole-world as a mere bookend to the catalog that begins and at times ends with the sacred gin mill closing.”
That’s one way of putting it. Or you could just say that Amy’s asshole likes to nap on the beach while surrounded by utensils.