Excerpts from Vanessa Roveto’s hybrid-genre manuscript, The Clinic, a finalist for the 2015 TS Book Prize.


There were exhibitions in the clinic, dark aspects penetrating the heart greatly. The old building had wings in the back, flanked by a staging area. Windows were occluded by metallic sheets, barely open, suggesting an erotic dilation. The gray walls were fatigued in the presence of others, yet enchanted enough to harass a passing devotee, causing most often a surprise to patients lost in the noble avenue, high on fresh doses of medicine.

* * *

Doctor Alex dreams she’s sitting in a full-body cast and a beautiful Patient walks in. The Patient bends down, presses her fingers into the exposed parts. She presses there, the Patient does, near Alex’s asshole. They pass through a hallway into a surgical theater with billowing curtains, a study platform, lit up like a dazzling sky. The Patient, Anna, mouths the words, I am going soft.

* * *

Nurse Tiffany accompanies a new patient along the crooked hallway.

This is the happyway where the rock-star-turned-mental patient was attacked by a sex maniac.

What’s a sex maniac? asks the 12-year-old rhinoplasty.

It’s a very simple operation! If you want cherries, you get cherries.

Nurse Tiffany clutches the girl’s hand, they grow smaller down the crooked hallway.

* * *

Patient 1

The skin on the head of the cock, as with the rest of the body, is deformed, desiccated, discolored, elastic, and its pieces can be pinched between thumb and forefinger!

Patient 2

With a quick frontal incision, the tit can be shaped like a wedge of cheese!

Patient 3

Licking the wound like gasoline aids healing!

Patient 4

The labia flaps can be cut easily and dissuaded to yield a more appealing clam!

Patient 4

The brain can be harvested and engaged!

Patient 5

The pinky has grown old, but BDSM needn’t be the only surgery recourse!

Patient 6


* * *

Doctor Chad operates mechanically wearing a suit. Doctors of a certain ilk, operating in an acetonic way in which the clothes make the professional. It is the costume one puts on to get into a characterization. He takes the new patient for an ingenue then, as he fixates on the area’s organ he would later pluck from her. To caress in the hand’s mind is to feel the like forces he charted as that of his incisions, the liberating machinations. A lower tumescence being fostered. He stares at the rendering of the organ with it in there, inside. She is its host and to be desired as the sacred vessel. It is a fact doctors, those of the true legion, often regret having not worn the proper uniform. Had he been in his scrubs, he surely would have raped her!

* * *

Nurse Tiffany runs to inform the others that a girl gang in the anorexic wing shackled another girl who claimed to be living off tissues and bits of string. They sewed up her vagina and now she’s running around with a fake one, rubber!

* * *

She took the patient’s hand around her own.

What has happened? What about this danger? You’ll give me the details, eh?

She leaned on the patient, devouring the dazzle.

Hey! What ails you on the cheek, that blackened wedge?

I have many others, come into our room, you’ll see!

The patient drew Doctor Alex into the room, taking care to close the door after them. Doctor slid the clothes off the girl as slowly as possible and with the cry of the wolf who finds his lamb slaughtered. The thin skin of the idol was striped up and down with long bluish scars!

* * *

The scope of Doctor Alex’s desires indirectly forms her gratitude by the vast increase. Her ability to alter reality consciously in line with what is useful seems to promise a gradual removal of barriers foreign. The desire is not the change in reality, but on its own terms, toward freedom. Emphasis on the past tends toward a future perspective. The search for lost time becoming the vehicle for its discovery.

* * *

The act of penetration is often thought to be innately transgressive in its violation of autonomy. By suturing that gap then, there is a denial of interdependence. The pollution occurs from within. The audience is denied the pleasure promised by the fetish. The audience is alienated and hostile. There is no audience.

* * *

Doctor Chad, philosophically: Much as the homosexual has the orangutan, so the heterosexual has the ping-ping ball!

* * *

Intern Gregory projects a film slide across the body of a dead patient with the words: “Premature Ecstaticulate” is the stimulus-response relation between a surgeon’s hard-on and clinico-aesthetic events yet to occur. The penile sensitivity to the upcoming plasticwork is currently an object of investigation. It’s been posited that the erection appears as a response to an imminent castration, predating its presumed stimulus days, even weeks, beforehand.

The patients in the observation deck clap. Nurse Tiffany is holding up a sign.

* * *

All agree that the enjoyment of the grilled sweet pill-meat is the taste of the new age!

* * *

Doctor Alex is traveling the most dangerous path unknown. By the tempo and speed of her journey she avoids falling off of reason. She lands in a perplexity taken without considerable risk, on a pleasure of immense creative insight. Everything she undertakes is decisive and absent of consequence. She tears through frames, disciplines, without being clear where such destruction might lead, until some goal is reached, something unimpeachable achieved. The whole woman is an adventure. An impossibility that vehemently opposes the philistines of the day. This irreconcilability is presented heedlessly, consistently, brilliantly. She pieces together, adds, heaps up: signifiers, prosthetics, bandages, surgical wire.

* * *

Give us a plastic primal experience!

At this moment the patient’s chest X-Ray is projected onto her body, onto her fake tits. Then the face of a celebrity is projected onto that. The patient grabs her tits and the eyes “open” and “close” in the universal rape fantasy.

* * *

Doctor Alex has a row with Doctor Chad. He keeps trying to shove his testicles into the nostrils of several patients. But it tastes so nice, he says, with the voice of a lovesick soldier seeking sustenance in a foreign land.

* * *

Sexuality offers possibilities for obtaining the most powerful and most basic needs of well-being and satisfaction. To make a claim for these possibilities, one must develop a highly productive personality, a need for control of the masses. The basics of well-being increase and its satisfaction met in the sphere of another human presence when perpetrated within the limits that have been set. The fulfillment of this claim, dependent upon the availability of “material,” means for its satisfaction, well-being must be accompanied by a forced simultaneous orgasm of the general social order.

* * *

Intern Gregory marvels how the rubber vagina sits there like an inanimate object.


Vanessa_Roveto_author_photoABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vanessa Roveto is a writer living in the United States


Medical practice as psycho-erotic soap opera. A mad philosophical speculation, a pseudo-scientific meditation. This is a horror show.