Friday, 10 August 2012

Of the Caniballes

Each death is obtained by a sense reaction no slower than a brilliantly cushioned pin, the fields nearby yet distant suspended within some giant teardrop. People walk out into the fields and have no recollection of how they came to be back in their rooms, children speak with the voices of animals, animals take to their burrows, their tree stumps, their caves and sleep our lives away. Because you are beautiful and your skin is quintessence of fiery mist the objects surrounding bewilder themselves. What is a piano doing there? What is that hinged glass reflecting a sky which doesn’t correspond to the sky glimpsed through the window above your flowing flowering hair? Each time, pause then replay, your mouth opens and you make that incriminating sound generating the minimal narrative creating a space on this earth for you. Then we’ll walk into a stormy sentence. There is a philosophical problem which can perhaps best be expressed as a problem of the intrinsic (and not the philosophical problem of an intrinsic). I notice at your wrists little clumps of eczema, gently raised, and seen close up a minimal rash resembling goose bumps on the insides of your thighs. If buildings appear to sway with the storm then buildings will sway with the sentence, ourselves cognitively assured in our repeatable annihilations.

The year has drifted and the fields stand flat and dull against a formulaic text. What terrible things did they do to you to make you so unhappy? What terrible things did they do to you to make you so happy? Now your face is becoming flushed, your most delicate skin raised or erased. In many consciousnesses there’s an idea of a few young people in simple clothes and down at heel shoes dancing while a beat up truck rattles through grisaille streets. An old man with a mole’s face jumps from the truck. He walks like his legs are being broken. The wind wanders through a church tower nudging its bell. The young people stamp their feet and shout; I observe how when night enters the room it shuts your eyes afraid they’ll overwhelm it. “But nothing so beautiful / as the earth on dope” (Stephen Rodefer, Four Lectures). I’ll never dare not to converse with you, and there’s that supplementary asymmetry to mourn (unnamed though not unnameable). You repeat your actions under the beat of wings, terrible glittering eyes look down upon you estimating the risks involved in tearing you apart. The mannequin falls from the chimney, no the mannequin falls straight down the chimney. Then shoots back up again and becomes your lover with her razor sharp lips. No uses for sundials therefore.

Next they’ll give you a sonic machine. Bees, drowsily buzzing among honeysuckle. The sough of sands sucking in seas. Clouds sighing as they puff out your cheeks. The theory of texts is essentially a theory of movement. Essentially a theory of texts is the theory of movement. You were born in a place so sleepy its name is the sound of radios vanishing with the leaves. Then you packed your bags and headed for New York. I’ve never been to New York and there it was I met you. There was a thunderstorm and I took off my coat and held it over you to protect your hair, a quintessence of burning autumn leaves, from getting wet. We raced along Fulton Street and you said we don’t know our own names. I’ll learn to play guitar for you, I’ll lie abed all day carving your name into my torso. There’s someone at the door. For centuries it was as if the theory of texts was essentially a theory of repetition, whenever the theory of the text wasn’t essentially a theory of repetitions. Rachel says she remembers that song from when she was five or six. Her mother wore blue jeans and a black silk blouse. The perfume from her mother’s blouse. The dog squatted to shit on the lawn. Her father made a home movie. Rachel looks at the ceiling and the sonic machine is flower maidens their song transposed through a moonlit curtain.

In the sun and no rain the dog’s turd hardens. It’s August, children play with a hose soaking themselves and laughing and running and tumbling over in our arms. I look at Rachel beside me in our bed which floats on a placid sea. The skin of her face is slightly reddened, her pale body edges towards invisibility, I lose hold of the windowsill and fall ages to my death. Rachel puts her legs up under her and scratches her belly. I fucking itch she says. “They are seated along the sea-coast, encompassed toward the land with huge and steepie mountaines, having betweene both, a hundred leagues or thereabout of open and champaine ground” (Michel Eyquem de Montaigne,  Of the Caniballes translated John Florio). On the hard pavement cops gather round Rachel’s shattered body. There’s not a mark on her, not a bruise or scratch, no blood, only popular music pouring from her mouth. The cops take photographs of the sleeping Rachel and immediately turn into blind worms which crawl up her legs towards her sex. We went to the seaside on a trip from London. I dropped my ice cream and cried and understood that I would always be unhappy. I went up to my knees in the chilly waves then ran back to my parents waiting for me on the shingle. Then we went home and that was the last I remember.

“You are nothing but an academic exercise” (from the text for Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia movement 4). Yearning for home. The cartoon has little dogs on bicycles with little puppy dogs running alongside wagging their tails and yapping. You shake with fear, afraid of the shadows the shadows throw. First thought was they were rags until they shook themselves into the form of an old man in a doorway. Theory of forms. Rachel knows how to read the words on the side of the building before rain washes them away. Fuck it gets boring. The movement of the text is unalterable. First she crawls down some steps the angel encouraging her with sugared words. Then she opens her mouth and the incriminating sound hangs in the clean air. The angel seizes her, wrenches her head to one side, beats her repeatedly on her naked buttocks and on the inside of her thighs. She barks like a little dog and the angel presents its buttocks to Rachel’s nose. The silence in the room is what speaks, Rachel and her angel are mute as lightning. The rags twitch in the doorway, the air in the street tastes like it arrives direct from hell. The movement of the text reverses and yet the sequence is the same. The little puppy dogs in the cartoon run away from the bicycling dogs and up the stairs through an open door into a spacious, airy apartment. They lick away Rachel’s tears and her lovely face brightens. Starlight enters through the tall window and an invisible cimbalom plays it across the threshold.

Back at home you can’t understand why you’ve never been in this place before. An uncanny couple who resemble lampposts call you their child and play general knowledge games with you. As soon as they are asleep you make for the back door, climb onto an overturned flower pot and haul yourself over the fence. Your hands become tangled in barbwire and you can’t help but cry out. Your entire family stands there, watching you with all the solemnity of effigies defaced by iconoclasts. Rachel cries out at the things the angel is doing to her. Pale green waves deepening to dark grey. Seabirds shrieking and hallooing, a solitary dog diving in and out of the waves. Whenever Rachel isn’t here dimension collapses. The bookshelves jumble up against my desk, the fields flap thinly inside the curtains. And I get that weird sensation where tears are running down the inside of my face. Then you understand that the moment the present passes it had never existed. All your memories are simply a trick of the future which is the trick the present plays upon itself as soon as it passes itself on the street, or in the fields, or in a room where again Rachel descends some steps on hands and knees the monotonous scripture beginning for the last and first time again.