Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

How to Swallow a Pig

Robert Priest
From:   Resurrection in the Cartoon. Toronto: ECW Press, 1997.


Because of the shape of its face, a pig is actually one of the easiest animals to swallow whole.* Still, pig-swallowing is a very difficult and potentially dangerous activity. If you have advance notice, a certain amount of jaw-stretching and lip-widening prior to the event is always helpful. Your greatest enemy is self-doubt. You have to look at the pig's head and tell yourself that you can do this. Once you have greased the pig, begin by letting the fine tapered end of the snout proceed through your lips. The first obstacle, if it is not the back of your throat, will likely be your front teeth. Unfortunately these will have to be broken off. This clears the way for the full face-taper of the pig snout to zero in on your gullet. You have to be thinking "outrage" when this begins to happen for it is entirely violating and painful. But your throat can take it. Allow the gorge to widen as though it were a fluid, thinner with each stretch. You throat is a powerful python, infinitely elastic and accommodating. Once the entire pig head has squeezed by your gag reflex and entered your gorge you are fully committed. You will not be able to vomit out the pig safely. Nor can you wait long to continue, for at this time your trachea is entirely blocked by the pig's head. You are unable to breathe. Do not panic. Do not attempt to gasp or retch. Concentrate on swallowing. Having the wideness of the pig's bulky shoulders in your once narrow throat is perhaps the most violating thing you will ever experience. But you can do this. Just tell yourself: this is possible. Swallow and stretch. Keep your lower jaw loose to prevent the bone from snapping at the hinge. Suck with your guts. Use your lower diaphragm to draw the fat pig ever further down the gullet. Let your thick and lucent saliva lubricate the way. Saturating the pig with your juices will allow the celiated gorge to usher the pig deeper and deeper into your being. You may now need a friend with a stick to stuff in the pig's back end. This is the most crucial period. You will have been without oxygen for quite some time. You are probably blue in the face, but if you can widen to your most extreme limit, your throat cracking like wet bark, you will be able to slide your blue lips over the bare buttocks and with the last kick of the back trotters, the curl of the pig's tail will be gone. The entire pig is in your throat. Your intestines are stretching. Peristalsis has begun. The glottis is finally released and the first, terrible new breath can come with a gasp. You've lived! You've swallowed the whole pig. And now that it's entirely in your stomach you have to ask yourself: Is this not a most familiar feeling? Is this not the greatest feeling on earth?


* It is also one of the easiest animals to shove up the anus. This is not recommended for reasons of hygiene.


Robert Priest's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page