Dear Danielle Pafunda

Manhater

Manhater

Danielle Pafunda

Dusie Press 2012, 63 pages, $15.00, ISBN 9780981980843

April 22, 2013

Dear Danielle Pafunda,

After reading the first few “Mommy” poems in Manhater, I put the book down. Partly, this was because they made me feel creepy, but mostly it was because I felt compelled to look you up on Facebook. I am not sure what I wanted to find out that wasn’t written in your bio, but I looked you up anyway. 

I was surprised to discover that we were not already “friends.” We share 359 friends in common, as it turns out. I was happy to see from your photos that you have kids. That made the “Mommy” poems seem less creepy. If I didn’t have a daughter myself, the poems probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much. They triggered my protective instinct. I wanted to protect my daughter from “Mommy.”

I saw photos of you at a wedding, photos of you dancing, photos of you playing miniature golf. I saw a photo of you showing off a bright red scrape on your neck. I wondered if it was real. You didn’t look like you were in pain. In another photo, you’d painted your face to look like death.

Anyhow, I returned to Manhater last night. I was happy to get away from the computer, frankly, as the whole Internet had been lit up with news of the capture of the Boston Marathon bomber, and I needed an escape. I read all three sections in one sitting. The feeling of creepiness never went away.

After the creepiness of “Mommy,” there was the creepiness of worms and illness and death. I started wondering about the illness. I had noted something about disability in one of your online bios. I did not go back to the Internet right away to find out what the connection might have been. Instead, I concocted a truly creepy narrative in my head. 

It went something like this: the speaker has contracted a lethal sexually transmitted disease. She has contracted this disease from a man. It is permanent and fatal and ugly. She is very angry. She wants revenge. When she gets horny, she finds a man to fuck, knowing their intercourse will kill him. This briefly satisfies her until the sexual urge returns. She must kill again.

She’s a manhater.

Did you ever see the movie Liquid Sky? I saw it once in a crappy VHS version. It has never come out on DVD as far as I know. It takes place mostly at a new wave club in New York in the early eighties. An alien comes to earth and lures men from the club back to her apartment, where they fuck. Her orgasm is so intense that it kills every man she touches.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that you suffer not from a lethal, alien STD, but from fibromyalgia. I looked that up, too. It sounds painful. I am sorry you have to live with it.

Having written this, I am tempted to “friend” you on Facebook. Do you think that would be too creepy now that I have stalked your profile and imagined you as a disease-spreading alien out to destroy the male sex of the species? I guess it’s no creepier than the fact that you and I and everyone else have all thrown over our privacy to Mark Zuckerberg.

He’s kind of creepy, too, come to think of it.