The Garden /2 — Louis Armand

& in an infinitesimal fraction of a moment a passionate demand for justice surges upwards from the bowels of the people & Allah is moved to satisfy it like the Lion of the Rif when his blood was up sprinkling her cunt with coriander & white sugar a hunchback vaulted like an arch serenading Babylon with His sonorous kisses Ô the exquisite sweet flow of saliva in that otherwise soundless odourless colourless utopia as dreamlike as the Tangier Stock Exchange knowing that paying one’s way is related to the wish to defecate upon one’s masters rising up in the world on Archimedes’ screw property’s an illusion He says as once more morning replaces dawn night into dawn into morning suspended in that single moment all moments interceding & over the city the sky becomes a fire a burst ventricle loudhailers & trucks & voices pealing in chorus she felt the light beat against her eyelids little by little a red disk filling the black screen & faint blue vertical & horizontal lines weaving spectral acrostics of Xs & Ys between the membrane & the eye neither time now nor space in a controlled loss of control but if Allah starves He can always eat His children while for everyone else meaning’s simply eclipsed did they think an AK47 & a dictionary would deliver Paradise or merely retribution for someone else’s sins a mirror’s just a piece of glass whichever way you look at it nothing but angles of incidence & angles of reflection & not the exterminating angels she’d once believed hid themselves behind the silvery sheen like Death behind its mask waiting to catch her by surprise in flagrante delicto observing her lips to tremble & redden & her eyes to become languishing as self becomes antiself becomes an echo only a conjurer’s cheap trick as if to say open sesame & there she was a wax fetish with needles sticking out a sliver of mock moon through a barred window the Madonna of Al-Mansur in an open hospital tunic dear Allah I’m so desperate no money no-one wants to fuck me please send help M as though she’d seen a ghost the way she might’ve expected someone her saviour like Jean Genet to appear suddenly on the gravel driveway wearing flowers in his hair she might’ve run outside one day past the guards as if to greet him a moth flying blindly into light & that was Death & all that filthy hygiene they’d injected her with day & night spilling out like spilt milk like crème-de-menthe how picturesque if she were still alive she’d have to stomp on them the tiny day-glo fishheads stomp them to death death death bare feet white against the white of the massacred concrete while Petit Déjeuner recites the verses he’s just composed ah ah you’re hideous lean forward & look at yourself in my shoes the lights flicker & the entire sky flickers as well the driveway is needlessly cluttered & false it sets M’s teeth on edge in opposition to the languid grace her mouth affects as it slides forward then retracts sucking in His presence she starts to unfasten her arms & legs till she’s nothing but a spectator is this what true pain is she tries to hate herself but can’t escape the feeling she’s only following commands in order to hate & to love there must be two how lonely Allah must’ve been before He created her to suffer for Him but how could she be sure who was who anymore doubt having a tendency to always flower in the mind on opportune occasions Allah she decides mistreats her because He despises her now that He’s had possession of her body what more does Man want with a woman but to negate the rest as well like pissing into a bidet & when Genet raises his bare arm she feels the muscle twitch in her own arm the only true thing is play-acting she said in a low submissive voice whereupon Genet showed he was satisfied go on be sarcastic but that wasn’t reason enough to kill her He’d abandon her too like all the rest hadn’t Allah seen her in fact lying there in a heap trying to touch His hand to speak to Him promise me she’d said but He hadn’t been moved to promise He could promise nothing He promised nothing as remote it must’ve seemed as the Pillars of Hercules her sickness did this to her not I a woman of course is always sick whenever she’s not the obliging memory of les temps perdus sick of life sick of the night of day sick of being the alibi of Allah’s unexamined sale-con-science His intimate soul His cinéma théatre roman opéra lying there she reminds Him of a broken TV the way her face flickered in the light like an image with part of the colour spectrum drained out but can an image alone be capable of denying nothingness of taking precedence over life la rencontre la passion physique la séparation le retrouvaille He’s trying to convince Himself of a belief that when He looks at her she’s really there but memory has no obligations her eyes are telling Him the world was ever the way it was they say the world in which a path had been prepared for Him leading as if inexorably to this travesty dreamt-up in an operating theatre Messieurs Mesdames they’ve cut her out & replaced everything inside with a faulty machine tragedy He wrote has become indistinguishable from farce sweating into His collar afraid He too might be contaminated by it the very air felt thick with her disease like some sulphurous cave the words took form credulously before His eyes a philosophical study into the condition of the soul how fear doth make the intellect valiant & that idiot Sartre with an octopus for a brain telling that Man must suffer on his own behalf while hydrogen bombs & fast-breeder reactors & Simone de Beauvoir naked in Chicago in M________ they discuss the fate of the world also confusing existence with life when did it begin where was the first green place they found slouching out of the deserts of Africa Arabia Palestine dragging their feet across Euphrates clay & set down in an orchard the likes of which unseen to forget the horrors of the path by which they’d come the murderous ape the receding ocean to wash their consciences clean from now on they said the world’s right in front of us we no longer need to create it & the ibis-women nodded & sang knowingly in their incomprehensible voices in their forbidden dialect History reserves a special place for them slanted in the retelling Le Meurtre de Gonzague enter King & Queen very lovingly upon a bank of flowers the proles applaud they’re hungry there’s nothing they’d rather eat than the tripe of aristocrats but Power has a way of displaying its charms a King’s employed to die pompously for the good of all a woman to weep purpose she cries is but a slave to memory so long ago according to the copyright she appeared even to herself as an allegory all these years later forgetting which was the actual crime & which was the punishment husbanding the strange fruit or lying down with Allah’s first-born His belovèd son-&-heir His gormless infatuated golem impatient for his first fuck her lips tasting of mint tea & pomegranate & disillusionment je ne trouve pas je cherche & He of course suspecting none of this her tendency to become psychotically depressed carving serpentine patterns on her skin with flaked obsidian intentions don’t change she told Him they only become more apparent descending by predictable steps to slammed doors screams & smashed glass in the night eventually rape becomes a methodology a conjugal routine such as washing dirty socks barehanded it’s possible to be sentimental about anything if you put your mind to it like endless handcuffs & leather harnesses & rubber truncheons the cuffs had left permanent gauge marks on her wrists & ankles the torn skin across her thighs step-by-step the scenario created its own outcomes stumbling in the wilderness of an Eternal Punishment she’d been secretly longing for from the moment she exited the womb in that unconscious groping for words to appease to acquiesce to suffer is this all there is now nothing but appeasement language disinformation sometimes she dreams of a knife that all her doppelgängers had one neck so she could put them out of their misery & afterwards she could still taste the electricity in her mouth the metal in the blood her tongue like a botched castration she leered she made obscene grimaces in the glass she spread consternation 100mg at a time shitting in the ward corridor a thin sliver of watery grey & thus beholding her bestial state Allah was beside Himself not because of the dishonour brought upon Him but from the tedium of the stereotype & in response they tie her hands & feet forcing her into an ungainly abasement He can see the shaved patches of scalp the groove in her cheek from the leather thong dead voltages stir behind her eyes without recognition gaze upon my hideous face no-one remembers the old story how in the beginning there was no-thing only a word not even a word how could the universe in its infinity have spoken a shout in the street a shot fired randomly into a crowd the soundless Big Bang light fleeing through the same void it creates more alone than ever it’s the future that decides if the past’s alive or not every spent-breath struggling to exhume it from banality & wouldn’t this be perfect happiness if I opened my eyes to see as if for the first time a vision that’s existed forever the original electron perhaps but when she opened her eyes in reality the room the street the city had been replaced by their opposites as if they’d all been reconstructed backwards in a studio in the memory of a video-cam or microsatellite shaped like an angel beaming its pixellated POV on Paradise Lost inverted in time or reversed in space to cloak the memory of all the terrible explosions & crimes perpetrated by Men with the faces of children & the tears & smiles of women while the Director chides them for their lack of realism the question is to act or to be while to choose is impossible trapped inside her Kaspar Hauser impenetrability ogling the world through a slit in a mask as if it were the last hiding place on earth a shelled mollusc a crab in a vagina all for the love of nothingness zigzagging up into her intestines from that delicately pleated anus dilating & contracting under a magical remote stimulus & the electrodes inside her head singing in falsetto where the brainstem had become detached now floating above her somewhere among the clouds of singed flesh ozone burnt diesel excrement kif like the all-pervasive au-de-cologne of Allah-le-Tout-Puissant pouring His morose soul into His writing machine whole consternated reams of celibate marshland or thalidomide children or birds & sick dogs or at night nothing but smoke or black & red insects or eyes fixed on the ground or spitting into the fire or the reeds & rushes or at the edge of the water in the coolness or the sway of androgynous hips or eyelashes or mouths or filled with fever & desire or marked by secret depravity or rain falling like night on the sea or in the freezing dawn or the moon or in a rubbish pile but she was hormonally sick of poetry why couldn’t words simply be described by things the nurse’s saffron-stained hands for example the naked street urchin staring from the doorway for example the transvestite cop swinging his stick for example the prognathous imam with soap residue in his beard for example the Coca-Cola sign reflected in a spreading pool of donkey’s piss for example the dog flicking its ears for example the refrigerated vial pierced by a hypodermic for example the callus at the base of her spine for example the hum of the rheostats for example the square root of -1 for example & with a simple flicking of a switch the entire ceiling came down forcing the breath out of her pinioned beneath an earthquake a hot wind coursing through the obliterated hallways & corridors through the impossible crevices of piled rubble pouring into her tonguing her eyes mouth the purple blinking neon of her gashed body is this what pleasure is defecating all over her how far removed she’s become from that image she once had of a real woman & not this invisible travesty choking in a cellar if only she could free herself she’d take a knife to her throat drown herself with progestones estrogens antiandrogenes in the name of their prophet amen & mes fesses tu les aimes mes fesses I felt I was being pushed further & further down my head my whole body till the pain had no feeling at all as if I was a vagina giving birth to myself submerged & distant voices echoing in unison further & further down like ghosts of sunken Atlantic u-boats no sleep all our memories are wasted we’re living dying inside a film to an audience of power stations in the future there’ll be nothing but allegory extinction the vast wrought signs of abolition sex not opposites coeval energies wave-particles reproducing re-evolving we weren’t the first won’t be the last newtlike in febrile amnesiac sea-voyage through endless minefields a lit butane lamp in a room thronged with giant moths how can anything endure the terrible rising of the sun the semaphores of erupting heavens of capitulated Time in the time of capitulation a dog-rose blooming on the wadi where it doesn’t belong are love & political meaning incompatible the part played by fable in transposing dramatic theory the wild nights they spent fucking or roaming from place to place & bivouacking wherever they happened to be at dusk beneath the stars founding a nation on their bedrolls under the gunwales of their upturned ships or became barbarous nomads refusing even sleep sowing the desert littoral with their weeds & the wind’s cultivating chaos here a bowl of broken glass light catching the shards a rusted pitchfork-head with tines threaded through hollow rocks driftwood crosses amulets hinges no fence to keep in or out the wind through wire harps keening singing moaning across the Rif the malim the talking pipes of Bou Jeloud what were they saying those shingle-voices those magic circles of white flint sandstone mudbrick redgreybrown the self-altering ash the alkaloids of apocryphal weather of tides & continental drift the sanctuaries of desiccated sea-kale the shadows of the eucalypti shaken by the ceaseless harmolodic stream flowing circulating throbbing feeding the spiral of scabious cistus horned-poppy valerian lavender & the bees the bees the bees she leans against the wall flattens her torso so they won’t see her counting backwards from a hundred everything in its own time the Death of the Gods wasn’t because of her there were others suiciders faith-healers all pleading their innocence like the music she’d heard long ago in the Jardin de Bab El Kmiss imagining all the things unseen & unspoken that haunted each moment in immobile flux guilty guilty they cried till punished they sang guilty in the absolute they who mitigate the crime commit the crime sub specie aeternitatis as if knowing their sequence of commands by heart without ever having read or heard like cosmic background radiation the first future tense but words are just mirrors of pervading entropy heat-haze over distant rooftops dogs barking at debris of fallen satellites what more can I hope for than to die unknown even if pain’s inescapable as ingrown as a thing within itself as longing assault lament who are you when you’re inside me even in solitary confinement her eyes become lost in starlit skies chest rising up towards her throat her gorge blackens the hole of the navel the furrow of the larynx bruised with sweat as she fluctuates among her alteregos I turn the page & there she again is struggling with her mind that’s been changed without her permission invisible TV waves scrambling the live-feed like downloading the universe one telegraph signal at a time if she closed her eyes she could see the picture-lines descending her retina like a tattoo being printed out inking itself scribing itself into the cahier du refuge of her inner-being socalled like dreamless kitsch & had she too become a fulcrum of their controversy hesitantly poised upon the dereliction of the cosmos from quark to quasar & those ravaged shoulders of hers pinioned in reverse prayer dear Allah why don’t you see me anymore can’t we just be casual acquaintances & fuck occasionally I miss your cock your fatherliness my eyes are so bad tonight is it because memory equals disappearance I still need to find out how to go further find clarity please please please write to me come back amen but even supplication failed in their effect as she herself was failing & thought of all the people whose eyes would never meet hers across empty intersections & all the disregarded phrases from foreign languages blown through empty streets thronging her dreams with their fugitive existence how their voices both lured & repelled her but did I create Allah before He created me the way He’d taken such a shine to her queenly cunt glittering in the first light before coming to resemble in those long wilderness years a Bedouin’s irrigation ditch but a Writer dies just like anyone else disappearing without a trace inside His words all future memories automatically deleted the only possible surface was to fill in the blanks to have something to hold onto somewhere to breathe this histoire d’ Ô je n’habitais pas la vie mais la mort submitting with a docility close to that which binds a hypnotizee to her hypnotist it was too perfectly in accordance with the genre the way she accepted each sadistic humilation & silence like a knot gathering each fragment of her consciousness into a point of dark interiority they say I knew Him but who really knows what they know His back to the camera in a blue headscarf in a photograph taken on the edge of the Sahara somewhere near Zagora maybe & the grey suit jacket that He wore everywhere till it fell apart like an allegory Art & Life the same narrow cut of the shoulders the way He hunched over His writing machine wasting one illegible ream after another in pointless violence if all He’d wanted to do was make her into fiction He could’ve just turned once to look at her l’incarnation de Sa part maudite in all her intractable purity but for me I’m beyond words I’ve seen too much a woman’s seductive enjoyment can just as easily be a mountain to subjugate in everlasting ascent je rampe le long de ses contours though it’d be easier just to clench her teeth forced back into an inner turmoil without revolution into the intermezzo of an existence that isn’t nothing merely so a circle can be drawn around it singing like a child in the forest in such a very short time even her DNA will be illegible a nucleus of mutability in the same way as every word leads to something else a doorway a passage a sex a genesis doing everything it can to make itself beautiful mon amour & not just because Art’s all that remains of History like an endless supply of Fra Angelicos ringed with a gold nimbus you’d think He’d choke on the sentimentality if it weren’t for the fact you ache to feel His cum burning inside you my mythical female reader dutifully conveying this nightly in your prayers on your raw knees as nakedly as language permits the secret garden beneath the ramparts beneath the burning gate & even though you have no name for it this place exists like a temporary reprieve where everything & its opposite narrow to a single arch doorway windowpane in a room closed off from the senses the way its walls expected nothing the illusions of the night before & the night before that all absolved in lines of lips eyes bodies a visceral thread created by a silence more intent than it should’ve been to stitch time to reweave the departures & absences a length of gutstring to tune an orchestra upon it was the same night she always experienced over & over cut down the middle like an anatomical display from which her very existence diverged with all the ungainliness of a propaganda that animates naked bodies in forensic mutual violence miming the discrepancy between what’s on show & that it’s on show les yeux ne veulent pas en tout temps se fermer their subterfuge has all the contradictory arousing qualities of death fear action dreams of the limits & banality of dreams watching them makes her laugh despite her vertiginous arousal thinking of all the women of mythology abducted by aliens in the throws of some erotic disorder one minute they’re having their brains fucked out by a hirsute Lesbian the next they’re in a plexiglass cocoon in Allah’s private space laboratory hahaha she plays the more lurid details backwards & forwards through her mind savouring them out of a spite that’s at best paradoxical knowing how He hears all sees all her personal Allah no more love no more suicide to repudiate is to lie yet taken objectively it assumes a false repose like the sacred dildo swelling against a thigh a hand against the small of the back Allah chides the lowliest molecule His hidden powers catch fire in a whirlwind of cracked milk-white tongues in the black blood of rapturous gall bladders He grows to enormous proportions inside her light & shadow in all their turmoil filling her senses allowing herself to surrender again despite knowing she’s nothing but a substitute one among an infinite number for that Mother-of-God of His the famous recipient of untold pleasures but was she a woman or is there no such thing per se because the becoming of Allah in His licit & illicit Oedipal jouissance shouldn’t be thought of as belonging to the woman category if only because it’s never that simple to be a real infidel you need to be a paranoid schizophrenic as well as denying the quasi-hysterical identification of her orgasm with His for God’s sake look at this filth did they really expect her to believe the war between the sexes wasn’t sexual but transsexual the struggle for the phallus the threat of castration but the real mantrap was the separation between erotic themes & social themes the way at precisely such moments He put His hand between her legs & roughly began to caress the absence the hollow the hole the lack in which her being languished huddled like a shadow in a cave forever awaiting fulfillment by His supernatural light this love that goes right through her unleashing panic agony dreams sometimes she has some of the most disgusting dreams in which nothing’s left to chance as if every scenario had been thought-out in advance by an ego-maniacal computer with infinite RAM rotely intent on exhibiting its genius for industrialised punishment routines like some knot of overdetermination or an insideout blackhole whose fascination is that it constantly repels in order to conceal its monotonous singularity its démultiplication catégorielle made from the mannered vocabulary syntax meaning of a minor state functionary obliged by circumstances to prostitute himself in the souk as a letterwriter disconsolately arrayed at his typing machine To Whom It May Concern like some Grand Vizier brought face-to-face with the alienations of skilled labour it’s a timeless gospel he wastes none getting down the first paragraphs of an epic in the making & no way shy about it a few days of punching the keys should provide ample substance for a compassionate pantomime he’ll be able to milk till doomsday the poor Misunderstood Genius he surely is does this remind you of anyone she demands turning to the audience but words weren’t made to last forever when you look in a mirror you don’t see who’s been there before you as if to keep something by denying it by denying the loss of it like Hermione of her Longings & Lear of his Madness & if the sudden apparitions come to life it’s only in order to pass away it won’t’ve been the last time art was born of coercion or innuendo sketched rather than achieved like lightning in a serene sky for a brief moment the world was on fire & her with it Ô mirror mirror but can you blame her with no word-machine of her own at her beck-&-call & having to make do with the primordial elements & less ancient artificial intelligences chased from their grottos & caves & oases to shelter under eaves in drains behind the walls inside the glass as like microwaves across cosmic solitudes their voices in many aeons unechoed qui êtes vous but she can only hear them as long as you believe in her like a sixth sense surrounded each of her actions yet not of their accord the witchcraft of retreating angles of bifurcated presences fleeting enough never to be remembered or misread or ignored the ever-selective works of unelected hours recurring in a suspended alien moment a culmination without conclusion as though each time she glimpsed only one aspect of the reality in which she’s suspended but which she can’t seem to grasp hold of adrift on an allegorical sea of her own devising with only the vaguest suggestion of landfall far in the distance carob trees of apparently real hair a sunken ship on a reef smoke signals deleting the sky above a once-extinct volcano dissolving to mirage she’d been counting the false sightings for days weeks the flocks of seabirds hinting at invisible shorelines luring her on hopelessly towards a shadowy stillness or a cloud-bank stubbornly retreating over the horizon like a movable mountain range each night the pale zodiacs flickering low in the east like campfires hidden deep in dark mangrove estuaries as she moved inexorably towards them swimming through the air insect-like in lunar trance but inevitability is its own illusion even the Earth going around in circles the dark vital signs of time-&-space the turmoil-without-purpose these little acts of futility in which melodrama enlarges itself this is the world I am making use of in my reconfiguration said the chrysalis to the imago we live we die what’s the Mind’s part in all of this it seems we exist the same way we dream in a world where the old beauty is no longer beautiful but the new truth is not yet true my love you are like a corpse from which the brain has been removed & only foot-peddles levers hydraulic gears how can anyone take themselves seriously with a toilet-chain up their arses praying to the out-of-sync dimming light of the Vision Splendid the Pejorative Vision the Contemplative Non-Distance between a woman & the idea of a woman like a vapour trail cutting enigmatically across the blue an ascent towards something implicit & evasively banal that never ceases to return like a dream-within-a-dream you reach out your hand & the image of you reaching out your hand immediately becomes a physical thing you’re nevertheless utterly unable to grasp because like any gesture it’s a compilation of uncertainties a hand a face this hand this face nothing is a foregone conclusion crossing-out her lines so that she’s forced to improvise in front of the mirror as in the beginning hahaha the first-last refuge of a woman-between-men power also operates in its withdrawal from the scene the vacuum of injustice between rich & poor between Africa & Europe between man & woman she reaches her mouth across the divide pressing her lips against the screen made warm moist clouded by her breath to kiss the image of herself eat her words is there a language that can express the jouissance of a mouth crammed with vitriolic html where does the light go that finds the retina dreaming of unique downloadable character sets as though they stood on the verge of an irrevocable erasure like a codename of which all that remains is the initial letter a barely audible consonant alone in a sea of noise indistinctly murmuring & beyond it the silence it masks & which envelops it in the same precarious instant she felt herself drawn towards it & repulsed lured by chance outlines & pushed back & in that strangely present tense of her oscillation she appeared to herself as a pair of eyes drifting in their own space punctuating it but through which space also flows & she was staring down at the streetlights aware that a tide was welling up inside her & no longer a surface to reassure only a reflection in the glass pierced by streetlights beyond the punctured womanly form swelling to incredible proportions of its own accord into a nebula of flesh & corrupted matter an idea began to take shape her body was a hive of wounds pre-existing any implement a secret mutilation from within is this what it means to give birth hohoho as though I’m always going back over something I can’t recall because it’s been taken from me & the fear that there’s no end to this pantomime by retreating from the mirror one goes deeper into it by retracing one’s steps one continually advances & at moments when her mind was quite clear she’d complain of the most profound darkness in her head of not being able to think of becoming blind & deaf of having two selves a real one & a false one which forced her to behave badly she felt she was struggling towards some haven of finality the secret unseen light in which the end would be revealed lumen luminis deciphered at last from the sidereal or hieratic writings of the lost chambers of night the places where the souls the divine entities the shadows & spirits the transfigured dwell symbols words phrases like talismans magic charms written over bodies of dead language the voices in the head the blankness & rage the conferred invisibility of the foresworn inshallah but how the revived syllable doth stink raised from its interred posture fumigated in dung like a gaping vulva they must bathe their language in red myrrh & myrtle-water in lavender & musk-rose-water in boiled locusts & the bark of the pomegranate tree a whole apothecary’s bag of tricks how blessèd they must be who have a god half the planet venerates down there between their legs 24hrs a day the sacred logos fresh as the proverbial daisy pushed up from six feet under what a travesty Jesus-Lazarus must’ve been with his wormy flyblown stigmata they never paint Him like that planted atop Golgotha that time of year all the blood & unloosed bowels of the crucified wafting on the airwaves to any among the faithful of Judea with a nose to smell by hark an angel bearing floral-aldehyde number 5 a melting winter note at 40º celsius a woman’s perfume with the scent of woman but to experience oneself as cut-off from others is also to hold open the possibility of transcending this isolation by entering into all of their lives experiencing them like a mirror in which no division of time or space prevails only the fluid contour of an irrational gaze tracing a path between each of her gestures now opaque now transparent like half-formed celluloid images in which the subject is forever moving beyond the edge of the frame & whose features remain indistinct blurred unfocussed as if I were haunted by everything I am forbidden to remember & somewhere she was sitting on a bench by a river that resembled a photograph of the Seine & she was smoking a cigarette watching the barges slip by on the Lethe-waters below the stone parapets there are elements of the scene which remain indiscernible by going back over details perhaps it would be possible to reconstruct events & she was looking across at the people on the other side of the river there was something disturbing about their movements at a distance their mouths which seemed to open & close silently like fish a chorus of the damned who’re drowning who can’t even drown nothing’s real she tried to scream but her voice had the quality of an overdubbed cassette as if she were on stage faking her own pain not laughing her legs flung open to the sun in one of her dreams Allah appeared to her as a walking melanoma done up in drag a blonde wig teeth plastic tits His neon bleeding lips reminding of vague deliriums formulated in the crudest medical terms a mask of voluptuousness weakness depression lethargic torpor desire’s ever-shifting Allah said as too the mind which remains open to vision even when the eyes are not if something doesn’t exist you have to make it exist sticking a coathanger up His arse His little abortions all tumbling out small & sticky & sad-looking dead like the world she wanted to kiss them make them better with tears in her eyes & a song in her loins & disco lights in constellation high over the Atlantic on a clear night if you looked hard enough you’d see the beacon atop the Empire State Building my child American dollars whisper in your dreams This Land is Our Land conducting their sacred product ceremony to bless the fecund with junk so they may bring forth degenerate multitudes like a callused mouth making love to a toothless conscience Africa was born at the intersection of two nightmares we think we’re dying of grief but it’s grief that dies of us exacting a kind of revenge in uneven stages the way a bone breaks & the tendons the muscles the arteries & the skin break also but not in a straight line nor afterwards grow back together at the same time lying there irradiated in my own nakedness I grit my teeth so as to own my suffering if only on credit whatever He’s writing in His book will never be enough to save me from having to live through all the dross & excisions that cost the most precious vapid hours of bliss Ô you cretinised avatars of Mankind wake up & do yourselves in while there’s still a chance instead of just cutting your ears off like Vincent Van Gogh so as not to hear a contrary opinion at least Van Gogh was sincere while you’re not even sincerely deluded how long do you expect us to put up with your fake obscurities in which all that rings true is the sound of cash registers one day the tribesman rowed across the sea in their canoes to cut out the heart of the mythical beast the measure of our success will be the extent to which the products of our actions confound our enemies yet what surprise when instead of a heart they found only numbers accumulating & multiplying & called this the soul & she herself had thought her existence was supposed to be a closely-guarded secret haemorrhaging out of the darkness of the poet Allah’s intestine & onto the bleached page the tribesmen stood around like leering Pierrots in cut-out pillowcases they didn’t understanding that making Himself understood is no more a virtue in a writer than it is in a god & it goes without saying they’d never seen a woman before either & decided this new thing must be Bounty itself the embodiment of Spring like a child that could be kept on a leash & raped at will but Spring was never young she’s older than Autumn than Winter than every season she was there in the beginning plotting the downfall of the vanities because she is the beginning & at the end will be reborn in a viridescent field of stars but is it true that every spiritualised female’s an invention of man

Louis Armand is the author of novels including The Combinations (2016), Cairo (2014), & Breakfast at Midnight (2012). In addition he has published a number of collections of poetry & theoretical works. He lives in Prague.