As far back as I can remember, my parents have spoken to me in a dialect ripped from Martin Scorsese's 1980 boxing flick, Raging Bull. The film centers on Jake LaMotta, played by Robert DeNiro, an Italian American middleweight boxer whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite destroys his relationship with his wife and family. My parents, fearing that too much caustic-boxer-talk might overburden their seven-year-old, diluted LaMotta's vernacular with their favorite bits from playwrights Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett-- because that's so much better. As you might imagine, the results were catastrophic. Unaware of the monster they had created, my parents sent their little girl to a conservative southern elementary school where she offhandedly announced to the playground: Did you fuck my wife? What the fuck you want? and my personal favorite: You punch like you take it up the ass.
Needless to say, it has been an uphill battle from there.
In the spirit of difficult childhoods and questionable parenting strategies, for our twenty-fourth issue Mouth presents Growing Pains. Inside you'll find narrative and lyric poems about moments of self-discovery and burgeoning womanhood, a dreamscape narrative that resists linearity, and some thoughts about Greek yogurt.
We hope you like it.