Rigorous
Volume One, Issue 3



The Snarky Bloated Fish Wants a Taste of Cheetos,
Or So I Think

Taeyin ChoGlueck


*

Her foot smiles this dumb smile at me. A mole protruding - a malignant tumor with twisted humor, ever shifting and fattening. The Grinch’s smile, wide and thin, but on the whole, a bloated fish. Never blinking I

feel her eyes on my eyes, my eyes on her bloated fish foot. Pink, all in all, what brings you in today? The fish mouth unmoving. Can it even eat? I ponder, only to say I brought Cheetos, which is more than what it can do, yes? The pink pale scales straight out of the lake. I sense no desperation, not for water nor attention, or so I think. A calm lake. Perhaps it has only snarky scales left—the vessel showing, snarky, bloated fish.

The snarky bloated fish asks, what would you like to get out of our sessions? A stoic faced fellow. Don’t mind it. Mind if I do, Mr. Fish? You’re just a fish so I eat Cheetos. Uhhuh. CRUNCH CRUNCH would you like some? CRUNCH CRUNCH’s alright CRUNCH okay CRUNCH by and by, my eardrums fill with Cheetos, Cheetos squeezing out from my ears. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. I hear phalanges typing

C-H-E-E-T-O-S, the snack pack Cheetos doesn’t even reach my stomach. The melted corn syrup barely go past the throat. So little, all gone, a shame. Where are the Cheetos? CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH I have it right here. Of CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH course sixty times and crossing cheesy fingers. It costs me to talk with the snarky bloated fish, or so I think. It costs someone. It must cost to talk to a fish. Do people pay for circuses these days? The fish never moves its lips, though. Green or purple, which lipstick did it choose this morning in the calm lake? Color those thin lips, though does it have fins? At least, I’m sure the bag of Cheetos cost me three dollars.

I do not know if Cheetos accumulate in my belly, and the bloated fish wouldn’t know. Unlike snow that become avalanches, Cheetos dissipate. They are like air. I crunch with my teeth. Nothing comes of it, or so I feel. Hypothetically, the crunching should accumulate, like time should accumulate. CRUNCHing should count, it should accumulate. Cheetos are real. They have to be real.

The bloated fish question marks everything. I notice the pattern more, do I have eyebrows? Don’t ask me. Why do you like Cheetos? I’d rather not say, for, how will it ever know? That poor creature, outside the realm of Cheetos. It is too cruel of me, I realize, to CRUNCH CRUNCH in its presence, but what can I do? The bloated fish waits. I shall not share, I conclude, with that thin lipped snarky fish. It has no mouth to CRUNCH with. At least it can hear, so I say to it, I like to hear the CRUNCH in my ears, you understand? It’s rhetorical, but the CRUNCHing is intimate. Not like the earphones, but an internal ringing, the ever encompassing CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH.

Cheetos construct inside my head the worlds. There is purpose in their entering. The CRUNCH construction resumes. Echoing halls it will be in the end. With beautiful stained glasses all rainbows. Soundified through Cheetos, it will all accumulate in my head, one CRUNCH by one CRUNCH. I speak to it finally. The bloated fish utters no more. I leave with my ultimate Cheetos.

*

Owl eyes have no eye for Cheetos. They’ve put it on sale. Cheetos is offended. Orange and yellow signals to me, recruits me. It is all going according to plan. Thus, it is time for the next batch

of Cheetos to enter. CRUNCH it resumes. The cashier is that way, the owl eyes eye me, spying. What did I expect? A world run by owl eyes would not do CRUNCH. Eyes won’t ever understand. Seeing is not believing the CRUNCH. It blinks one eye at a time. Left then right. I feel my fingers, they are ready to

Excuse me.


Taeyin ChoGlueck: "I am a poet and playwright. My experiences range from immigrant to second generation, from Korean to Korean-American and Minnesotan/Midwestern identities. A large portion of my life is being the Co-founder of InterAction, a diversity catalyst nonprofit. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Margins, Juked, Ricepaper Magazine, Kyoto Journal, and others."




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