Erin Perry - Lyric Essay

from The Puberty Essay


Introduction, On Beginnings, or
Origin Story, Roman Buildings, or
Namely as Having to Do With
Audrey Hepburn



Noah Webster’s Dictionary

[from the Latin pubertas, from pubes]
defines puberty as, “n. the age at which
persons are capable of procreating and
bearing children. This age is different in
different climates, but is, with us,
considered to be at fourteen years in males,
and twelve in females,” and pubes, is
defined as, quote, in botany, the hairiness

of plants; a downy or villous substance
which grows on plants; pubescence. Martyn.
End quote.1 and pubescence as, “ n. [the 1
Latin, pubesco, to shoot, to grow mossy or
hairy.] 1 . The state of a youth who has
arrived at puberty; or the state of puberty. Brown.
2 . Hairiness; shagginess; hairy, downy substance.”

In my estimation, therefore, and however, persons and plants growing hair down there is exactly
what this essay is concerned with

pubescent, arriving at puberty covered with pubescence, such as hair, bristles, beard, down,
etcetera, as the leaves of plants, as the leaves leave the plants, as the birds wake in the morning,
and the bees buzz a bunch on the ground, and everything is moving with purpose, though its
purpose is undeniably both foreign and familiar, as was a supposed speech that every supposed
youth receives either at fourteen years in males or twelve in females depending on which clime
they are in


1First Edition, 1828


Learning about women’s bodies from Audrey Hepburn movies, so as and during puberty how
everybody’s bodily scale is deranged.

Learning about hair from the peach fuzz on Audrey Hepburn’s cheek. Obsessed with Audrey
Hepburn: Audrey Hepburn who

was Dutch, who

was hungry during the German occupation of the Netherlands, learning that, due to starvation, a
plethora of hair will grow on the skin of the body to keep it warm, Audrey Hepburn who

knew food was scarce, who used to dance, whose dance teacher marveled at that under-
developed body and you imagine someone like that old crone of a dance teacher leaning
over your shoulder, whispering,

you, young girl, your body, too, has a ways
to go, though not

in the way
you can expect it

and you shudder and you twirl a daisy betwixt your fingers and you continue to pluck it to bare

And, just like that, Audrey Hepburn was discovered! Was cast as an “unknown” in Roman
, and gallant Gregory picks up her body outside her palace villa, her long hair brushing,
longingly, the bench she attempts to sleep on because her nurse/governess/assistant/lady’s
maid has drugged her nightly glass of milk,

and gallant Gregory gives her his pajamas and the bed to sleep in and later they zip around Trevi
Fountain and after a whole day and night they are in love, remotely


And gosh, how young was she, and was she always looking so young despite her age was she that
because of, or resulting in the contrast of age in her leading men:

And here we go, illustrating gaps:

Fred Astaire, 30 yrs Gary Cooper, 30 yrs, Rex, Harrison, 21 yrs Cary Grant 25 yrs older Cary,
Grant insisted, on, no, love, scenes, claiming, it, wasn’t decent.

commacommacomma comma chameloooooonnnnn you cum and gooo you cum and gooooo


Playgrounds, Janae Angie
the Oracle, Janae Angie
the Seer, Janae Angie
is the Girl
we all Fear

Always looking at other girls’ bodies, lumbering awkwardly into them.


The school bus rattling by,
chains clanking,

on top of voices.


Poor Sheila.
She was the first one
to get boobs —
they arrived in fifth grade
and everyone talked about it,
even our mothers.

really liked The Spice Girls,
transgressively preferring
Scary Spice
to Baby Spice, who was
more popular.

was tough, wore
short skirts
and was not friendly
to me, but I respected her
because of those boobs,
so I kept my distance,
and did jumping jacks


Introducing Janae Angie, the most popular girl, who at one point had a perm ahead of the rest,
who styled her hair in a sleek bob later on, who complimented my Saltwater sandals, finding a
pair for herself, and thereby making them chic again, as opposed to the shoe my brother my

sister and I all wore from ages two to twelve every summer, picking out different colors, my
getting Clare’s leftovers, Janae Angie who, at the start of the year with this sandal compliment
seemed to be heading into friend territory, but in a sharp, angular turn in the spring began to

show me her coldest shoulder, maybe it had to do with the day the nurse came to our class, and
Mr. Kincaid took with him all the boys to the playground whilst she discussed with us an
upcoming change in our bodies, called A Period, and she gave everyone a pamphlet to take home

to their mothers, so as to communicate that a discussion had occurred, alas, and alack, I was
absent that day, feverish, watching the Muppet Babies, boy how I loved Fozzie Bear, and, of
course, rambunctious Miss Piggy, so pretty with her purple eyeshadow, and upon returning to

class not understanding that I had missed anything of importance, Mr. Kincaid, droning on
about nothing I can remember, but certainly Janae Angie at recess giving me her crumpled
pamphlet, telling me it was Important, and I said, Okay, and we played foursquare but no one

would pass me the ball, and, furthermore, for the rest of the month, no one would trade snacks
with me, and so I ran, and I ran to the fence, and I ran back from the fence, and I ran to the
fence, and I ran back from the fence, and then recess was done.


Janae Angie ascending through all of the ranks in all of the schools in all of their stratospheres,
her, every once in a while, saying hi to me kindly, and kindly accepting scepters and such, and
later on becoming a kind nurse, who is maybe relegated to descending upon young women to tell
of them of their inevitable menses, so clear was it at such an early age her perforce talent in
readily doing so, or, if not a talent, at least a rough inclination of the importance of its

Karolinn FiscalettiIssue 1