FROM THE AMERICAN CHEESE SPECIAL: ‘The Processed Cheese We Are’ by Bruce Reisner

The Processed Cheese We Are

It was worth getting hundreds of tiny, painful infections all over my six linear feet of selfness. At least my face isn’t a smiling necrosis from too many nose jobs, like happened to someone we’ve all heard of. Someone famous for music and a processed American physical appearance. They told me at the hospital I’ll probably make a full recovery from the stunt I pulled.

A ‘stunt’ they called it at the hospital. Offended. Does no one teach conceptual art anymore? I stapled hundreds of individually wrapped slices of American cheese to my body in house-shingle fashion, overlapping them so rain water would run off the outfit. If you try this at home, be especially careful with your staple gun when you create the loincloth portion of the suit. There are veins and arteries that trade blood flow with the groin. That’s the part of the costume that will take the longest to recover from.

Assuming the antibiotics and steroids work, as well for me as for the farm animals, plants and chemicals from which the synthetic cheese is derived, I should survive this performance and go on to more statements about what humankind has become. Are we not all individually wrapped sheets of American cheese?



Bruce Reisner is an artist/writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His poems, short fiction and visual art have been seen in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Sledgehammer Magazine, Readthisplease (an anthology) and the Ranfurly Review.

Image created on Stable Diffusion