Miriam Atkin and Malka Main

Chthonic Tcholent: A Writing Game

For two or more players, preferably across two or more time zones

EQUIPMENT: access to some method of document sharing

OBJECT: collectively create a singular piece of post-subterranean thought that thoroughly obscures each individual revelation, leaving players relieved of resolution, catharsis, atonement, and accountability

PREPARATION: players should read up and/or ruminate on the concept of She’ol, described in the Tanakh as a feminine place-based craving below the earth, a down-beneath location with a womb a hand a throat a mouth, a fearful hunger for the dead and a gleeful lust for punishment

START OF PLAY: players determine an approximately 8 to 88 hour time period during which they will, at every time of day and night, unburden into a communal document any thought stray and startling, any awful jingle of words heard by the mass-inner-ass, all transgressive hopes, symbol soup, past and present depravities not typically shared in direct light or above the ground

CONTINUATION OF PLAY: at the conclusion of this initial writing period, players pounce upon the entries like furious fanged flamingos in a session of brutal unbridled editing, a murder and re-murder of every confession, a communal ripping, until it grafts together into one Babel-ing voice from below

WINNING THE GAME: when family, friends, and loved ones gather round the thing and cry


At the She’ol open-air market the experiences of kin are walls to each other. A weather forecaster hawks early titmice, a disappointed hospital janitor arranges crocks of clit—liberated & bitter, and a wife noosed in a plait of her own hair returns abandoned lovers to the bodies of their mothers.

I will mostly avoid being violent if I can always ask more questions.
Wear a fanny pack on your throat if you want it slit, gassed or flabbered.

Past a hollow where the Jerusalem dirt was clawed away, the casket split to snap off the most favored parts of a decaying dad. The mephitic chest, flayed and canvas-rolled, applies to the live trunk of a Mexican wrestler, all pale brown burliness to slam against. It is not a traversal but rather a dispersal, a turning-to-dust rendered in post-production where pathos is rather thin and wheaty.

All this land is necrophagy-by-pussy, the pinching wealth of nations, borning midges on hand cuck. Babies thwarted by Big D-day after waiting all winter to ride rides that promise the thrill of unmaking. Standing up, in separate corners of the room, crunching wordlessly into spoons of smashed glass Crispix, we cum to the wrongness of that.

Find one exuberantly scant and crusty miniver sucking the elegant fingers and bright nail beds off the end of a pilot’s arms. How else to coax those parts from the bodies of living men? It has no slit of diffusion.

This morning a full-grown woman got born good and wet for the open mouth of the world. She came to just after last light, when all the field mice had returned home to their beds and the barn owls repaired to their perches. She bit down on the flame in her erector pili. Then withdrawing two eager explaining-a-thing eyes from the face of a 19-year-old marine biology student, she metaphored His She’ol-eaten parts from the bodies of living men.   

How to explain the waywardness of fluids? Option A: You are an inept interpreter with the body of a clairvoyant ache and you undecipher the premonition of drop-deads as loneliness. Option B: You are a retrocausal anti-Newtonian and, filled with Lagrangrian-style propaganda, you experience your afters before your befores. Option C: You are a haunted yellow-tooth cunt, the stony baby of Narcissus and the Gorgon, born with a slow-release twat of treachery.

dangle your points over a thatch of Lori Pettys to decry the decline in tzedakah-giving. It will make a nice lady someday.

Beef of my body,
travel inside the hallways of every swirling man.
De-note his rhythm through Her gulping end. Those bugs drink water from both ends of their bodies.

Mister Frantic,
bake the blood of nations in a cistern.
Maintain Her whatness is something you can feel, not hear.

With this unswallowing wish
I passively aggress your face
and cum to the wrongness of that.

It is coded.