Hotel Palenque /8 — Louis Armand

Red paint is visible in the background, shadowed by the higher relief. At the end of one corridor, a tiered courtyard lined w/ glass-cased exhibits. One of them, the lower, exploits the involved pattern of red & blue scrollwork on the interior of the doorjambs. On its left-hand edge it assumes the profile of a violin. Or rather half a violin, since it depends on the drawn additions of bridge & neck & right-hand side to elaborate it. The fragment was originally placed in the upper course of the facing stones, at the northwest end of the structure. In addition to the broken lintels, each entrance had a carved landing & a second carved step above it. Except for the central doorway, whose upper step was the sacrificial altar. Ascending there. Before long I saw the first corpse still grimacing w/ suffering. Its face was nearly black. Then I saw two. Four. Ten. Twenty. Then I saw a hundred corpses. The stray dogs feed on them till they’re sick. Their number isn’t a straight increment, but a curve changing direction constantly. A snake-like emblem whose threat produces terror. Stupidity. Immobility. Life seems dead. But this picture also fascinates, intensifies. I stand at the edge of an expanse stretching like a mirror to the horizon. In it a sky immolates itself. Turns red. An ember pressed up against the iris. The half of a face that immerses itself in fire. A mirror washed in a shaft of red light. A string of blood & sinew trailing from a grill. Layers of humidity rise up & stifle, clutching at the throat. Walls staggering on sodden foundations. In the cathedral darkness everything appears far off, telescoped like figures in stained glass. Approaching & slowly passing. A spent body slumped in a niche. A row of blacked out windows. Beneath an archway, a retablo composed of three figures. One kneels in a posture of supplication. Another stands like the Virgin of Guadalupe amid neon flowers. Pelvic bones on which to build altars to the Christ dying through eternity. Purple & black velvet of bruised flesh. The uncounted miracles repaid w/ sperm & candle wax. The third figure wears a head dress consisting of coiled emblems & holds a fan-like shield. At his feet, the foetal contractions of an unadorned body. That body, also, had to pass through the eyes of many needles. Death & incarnation. To deduce its travail from what remains. The scratches a missing gate has left on the paving stones. A worn step in front of a doorway. The flaking surface of an old wall. The position of a chair. The shape of certain stains on the floor. The ceiling’s cracked & drips w/ the moisture from the cracked & fallen roof above it. Los muertos han perdido toda confianza en los cimientos de nuestras casas y de nuestras lenguas. (A “factitiously real” setting. In any case, the location had to “speak” as much as the human forms which had departed from it. The real space had to become part of their consciousness. To exist through them & the manner of their thought. While the choreographed movement had to seem natural. Not the imposition of a stylised gesture upon a too-concrete reality.) – , 13 October. I examined the blood distribution that was located on the walls & ceiling in the north eastern corner of the room. There I observed blood deposits located on the wall at a height above 1.7 metres from the floor. The absence of blood deposits on the wall below 1.7 metres was consistent w/ shadowing. The distribution of the blood on the walls & ceiling within the north eastern corner was consistent w/ cast-off. This occurs when an object w/ a deposit of blood on it passes through the air in a backwards swinging motion. When the motion is arrested it causes blood to leave the object. As each blow is struck, the pattern of blood on the walls becomes more complex & difficult to decipher. They’ve begun to speak of “The House of Dark Writing.” Akab Dzib. Covenant of broken flesh. Their accounts become increasingly embellished & macabre. Each aspect of the sacrifice is recorded in lurid detail. What else can be done w/ death than to simulate it? The victim’s body, where a god becomes flesh through sacrifice. Flayed. Beheaded. Rolled down the steps of the temple. Eaten. Fed to the lizards & dogs. Left for the garbage collectors. (THE SADISTIC RELATION IS ONLY SUSTAINED FOR AS LONG AS THE OTHER IS ON THE VERGE OF STILL REMAINING A SUBJECT. IF HE HAS BECOME NOTHING MORE THAN REACTING FLESH, THE SADISTIC RELATION NO LONGER EXISTS.) They became strange to themselves. Limbs. Faces. Facial expressions. Thoughts & feelings had become estranged. Their eyes were no longer properly placed in their heads but were entirely twisted out of position. A human figure pinioned to a rock surrounded by dogs. The evident suffering of the creature set them on. Whetting the appetites of cruelty. Forms which the sun renders volatile. A wound gaping in the searing light. The turning shadows of vultures about to descend. The same disturbing forms recur. A theme of death emanates from them like a ruptured spleen. Something bleeding from the bowels or vomiting blood & petrific matter. The muted, obstinate rage in which existence is pushed to the limits of the possible. The obsidian blade opening the breast. A single incision under the ribs in the second intercostal space. Through it, the priest extracted the heart. A collera, a wooden ring placed around the victim’s neck, prevented him from screaming. His mouth did not open, but he made a contortion w/ his body, wrenching his head back. His torso elevated & legs arched, holding in his hands the tray on which human hearts, still beating, will be laid. His head’s turned to one side. His gaze lost in the distance. “I cut yr navel in the middle of yr body.” To know & understand that the house in which y’re born isn’t yr dwelling. That yr true land is elsewhere. Alone now, he resumes his confession. An arrangement of surgical instruments w/ which to dissect the inner self. Anaesthetics. Mechanical gauges. A leather-bound notebook, open at a page covered in patient handwriting. A diagram, in the shape of a pyramid, orientates a drawing of human anatomy. “In applying to man the results of investigations into the function of the cortex in the higher animals.” – , 9 october. “One of the animals was brought into an extremely excitable state by a clash of the inhibitory & the excitatory processes. All forms of inhibition were disturbed. All negative conditioned stimuli acquiring positive properties. On application of any conditioned stimuli, the animal entered into a state of severe hyperpnoea. The disuse of negative reflexes did not improve the condition.” At first, not to lose sight of the main issue, we are compelled to simplify. To schematise the subject. Having acquired  some knowledge of its general properties, we feel overwhelmed by the mass of detail. All of them calling for elucidation. Recurring patterns. Hieroglyphs of unconscious origin. The impossible task of revealing their true design. Something programmed in the first cell division. The coded mechanism, structuring all that must come afterwards. A perverse curiosity of the too determined, too rational mind. “An intelligence which would know all the forces by which nature is animated. And the respective situations of all the elements of which it’s composed.” – , 28 january. Clearing a path through the jungle at the southern end of the temple complex. A small building half-concealed by undergrowth. We open a clearing around its base. Identifying rubble from the collapsed roof. A band of hieroglyphs forms a barely legible inscription under the cornice on all four sides of the façade. The interior structure is filled w/ debris. The entranceways are also half-full of debris. Each fragment forms the sign for a visual meaning. An archaeology of intent, piecing together the evidence.. The petrous mass sinks into the earth. Then, as it butts against another, the symptom re-forms & the meaning shifts. Seeking out the ever elusive sacral stone. Something drilling in the earth. The shape of a giant molar. Grey shadows on white. These, in imitating the look of crumbled plaster conjure the effect of air. Falling away from the armature of the visible. A profile sketched onto the wall. Filled in w/ dark flesh tones. The features are suggested by the tracing of black lines. Hand. Arm. Neck. Chin. The lips seem to part. The lower lid of the eye twitches. “It was his eye, perhaps, which made me render him as Death?” It isn’t true. There wasn’t anything different about his eye. It was not one thing more than any other. Or that I was aware of anyone there other than myself. Through the wall the sound of water being poured into a plastic bucket. 3:00 AM. The minutes are escaping. The seconds. Somewhere, far off it seems, an event approaches. TIME ITSELF. As if it were possible, to wait for Time. Time for what? How many paths converging at any given point? Progressing towards it. Inexorably. Like the phantom of a dream. A priest-like face, shadowed below the eyes. Along the jaw. Thin bloodless lips. They’re curved faintly into a smile. That’s merely how the facial muscles are set. The skin pulled up at the edges of the mouth. In reality it would suggest an expression of pain. The eyes like strange dark caverns of speculation. Hypnotic & unanswerable riddles. A proliferation of false signs. Locked doors crafted w/out keys. The petrified corpse of one instant among others. Each new order come to replace the old. Sons rise up to kill their fathers. Become their fathers. Embody the paternal fear. The ascent of man, between the pseudo-father & pseudo-son. Between “true words” & “bad words.” FIEL. FIEMO. To fray innocence w/ culpability. A confession, out loud, even among the dead stones. Reverberating from syllable to syllable. Until the words themselves pass out of hearing. Held only in memory. An echo. A leitmotiv. A reiteration. For the greater glory of the word whose meaning is elevated on the absence or decline of. What? The priest does not answer. He does not disturb the incorporeal murmuring. Only the god himself. The absolute. The one promised by the poets. Symbol & mystery. The reeds knitting the surface of the spirit water. The absence of reflection. The once opposed forms resolved into the figure of a third. A body seen naked against a weathered façade. What remained of the frieze was decorated w/ grotesque masks. A roof comb extended the motif skywards. Dark & light red. Blue. Yellow. Dark brown. White. Green. Now a red band is visible under the vault spring & around the doorways. In the chamber beyond, traces of painted figures remain on every surface. Leaves. Scrollwork. Interwoven here & there w/ the forms of human beings & animals, caught up in the motif of the text. The first figure has a hollow torso, the open space uniting the back & front of the figure in one simultaneous rhythm. The upper limbs flow into the lower limbs w/out interruption. The head & breasts & shoulders are unified in one clasping, knuckle-like extension. The lower limbs retracted. Beside it, a second, more recognisably human figure. A drawn-out face. Nose-bridge. Delicate nostril & eye. Rounded chin. An ear adorned w/ tubular bead ear weights. Hooked-nose mask forming a spiral gammadion in front of the face. Across the façade are arranged a series of projecting masonry elements composed of two parallel walls w/ a shelf between them. Between two masonry thrones, the central doorway to the structure opened behind a corbelled step. Seated in this niche is a stone figure, its head & headdress broken off & lying on the floor beside its feet. A large serpent head, its jaws projecting from a cornice. Armatures shaped like human bodies. A seated, cross-legged figure, tenoned, half-concealed within a subordinate niche. Quatrefoil-shaped mouths silently communicate. Tenemos un cataclismo adentro. An expressive left hand gestures downwards. Above the cornice the frieze slopes backwards from the plane of the walls. Between them is a low u-shaped bench of stone w/ two carved legs. A stucco bas-relief panel extends upwards from it, composed of two registers. The lower register is a triple-headed serpent, its body composed of Kan Crosses. Circular markings & snake-like designs separate the bottom register from the upper one. The three heads face the centre of the image, bearded & crested w/ muan feathers above each eye. Tláloc masks in each of the gaping mouths. Vegetal forms emanate from the lower parts of the heads. Pale roots dangling from the cracked stone like narrow tusks. A narrow corridor opens between them. At the far end of it a space opens, littered w/ charred offerings. In a dark recess, a low bench once decorated w/ nine seated figures in stucco. Only traces of their feet & legs remain. The nine lords of the night. The Bolontiku of the Chilam Balam of Chumayel. “The face of the earth darkened & a black rain fell by day & by night.” – , 7 February. The approach to the temple complex was through a valley & up a very long, steep stairway. Only traces of the stairway were still visible, but the trail was marked by altars & stone basins. The overhanging trees maintained a perpetual twilight. Moss blurring the outlines of the stone relief. Thick tree trunks blocked all the lines of sight. At the end of the ascent we were confronted by three towering stele, each bearing the image of a submissive captive & a victorious warrior. A lower terrace, covered w/ earth & stones. Above the overgrown stairways & terraces only the roof comb of the temple is visible. The building itself concealed beneath the ascending foliage. Ruined stonework & bas-relief. “Drowned men, half eaten away by stone. And on rocks, above them, other men who were struggling to keep them down.” The entrances to the building are overhung by lintels carved on their undersides. Two passageways lead from the main corridor to the interior of the building. Past the second square chamber, a hall opens to the west. Three steps lead up. Then the passage makes a sharp left turn, opening onto a further chamber, filled w/ the debris of a long since fallen ceiling. – , 12 February. Three square chambers lie under the huge stone terrace, carved out of the mountainside. Further on, a shallow recess & figures huddled at one end bleakly against the rain. He sat down on the very edge of the wall. A red ant is feebly attempting to surmount a stone ledge. Watching the mist slowly descend from the mountainside, he lit a cigarette. Its red eye, insentient. A pale blue sea in which it floats like a sun. In the distance, aluminium & corrugated iron sheets reflecting the sun. A denuded hillside, furrowed & brown. Below it oil tanks & tin huts laid out in a rigid geometrical plan. A wide dirt road winds down the valley w/ convoys of logging trucks. Further on, the jungle opens onto cleared land. The road cuts through farmland. Clusters of houses. Sheds. Silos. Generators. Stock yards. Yards filled w/ rusted machine parts. Burnt-out trucks. Mountains of old car tyres. Bales of twisted iron. Mounds of black plastic. Silage. Newspaper. Tin cans & plastic bottles. An incinerator. A rickety water pump w/ its shaft banging in the wind. On the outskirts of the next village, a cantina on the roadside. A group of construction workers stop & stare. There’s the sound of an oil drum being set down. The barman was smoking. His elbows on the tablecloth. He regarded the strangers w/ contempt. Behind the cantina, a row of sheds. Makeshift structures w/ shit-stained adobe walls. Corrugated iron. Tarpaulins & plastic bags hanging like curtains between gaps in the walls. Masonite sheets tied across the roofs. Plywood cubicles beside a dried-up sewage canal. A shrine nailed to a pole. IN NOMINE PATRIS. The sanctity of human waste. Nostalgia of the abortive time before creation. “The figures were annihilated. Destroyed. Broken. Because they did not think, nor speak to their creators.” Transmuting the arcane matter. They made the flesh of clay & earth, but their creation was no good. It melted. It was too pliant. It couldn’t move. It had no strength & couldn’t stand up. It couldn’t turn its head. Its face sagged sideways. Its sight was poor & it couldn’t look behind itself. It had speech but no intelligence. It was too easily dissolved & swept away in water. Seeing this they destroyed their work & began again. In the shadows of the pyramids. Celestial dung hills. Calcified, in which to excavate to the cloacal prehistory of creation itself. The eyes turn upwards to the firmament. “Meaning’s elsewhere.” Deciphering the rhythm which governs the movement of the sun. Moon. The planetary bodies. The stars. Silent fractions waiting to be part of any expression. The gaps between speech or the gaps blown through speech. Wind. The echo of thunder. Fire. Earth-tremor. Static down a telephone line. Traffic. An approaching train. The darkness & noise filling a train compartment as the train passes through a tunnel. All of those voices which have “fallen out” of speaking. To proceed from the simple to the complex, or from the complex to the simple. Each experience is a mechanical fact, separate from everything that can be verified in the world. A localised consciousness on the surface of two hemispheres. Or the question itself is w/out meaning. I proceed as I proceed. – , 3 February. We return to the excavation site. Although in truth we have never left. What would be there, at the end of that tunnel? At the end of the process of excavation which itself has become a kind of purpose? The desire for the impossible. “That which stands beyond.” Suspended in a realised void of successive objects. Standing at the top of the giant steps, shrouded in fog. A luminous green haze, thicker & darker at ground level. In a brief instant, numerous terraced stone walls rise up to a broad platform. “The plaza is divided by two opposing & contradictory perspectives.” Between white veils of mist, the remains of similar terraces & platforms litter the steep hillside. Ellos suben sobre el tejado de la eternidad y miran a lo lejos. Listening to the far-off voices. The sound of crickets. The wind coursing through the deserted ruins. Their outlines becoming less & less discernible as the mist thickens & darkens. Within minutes it may all vanish. As though from the face of the earth. Returned to the jungle once again. In that long dream. Formless. Here it was too that man came. Invented the divisions of chaos & order. Dreamt of the beginning. What came before. The dream itself. Night. Like the night before creation. Any night. Repeating the words of the ancient book. “It’s dark. Before the light of day.” Lost in the ruins of a past which was never present. The rubbish dumps in which civilisations gradually decompose & recycle themselves. The long count. Reduced to the zero of absolute proximity. The interval between a temple inscription & a headline in yesterday’s newspaper. Between the ancient prophesy & the advertisements of science-fiction movies. Between the dawn of man & the false-mirror of rejected dreams. Time turns metaphor into things & stacks them up in garbage bags. A cosmic unconscious in which everything is equivalent. Even as we go on dredging about in it, looking for new symbols to analyse & explain. It remains the same old story. Remake of the old b-grade creation flick. IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE VOID, etc. The cast of lesser gods speaking amongst themselves saying “Who’ll bring light to the world?” Evening falls. The scene takes place on the edge of nowhere. A dry wind blowing from the east. The back of the throat feels like sandpaper rubbing against the tongue. An old silver bus parked on the roadside. The tick of its engine cooling in the night air. A sacred heart & portrait of a white-skinned virgin hang from the rearview mirror. The ceiling & chairs are upholstered in red vinyl. The dashboard’s studded w/ chrome. Music drifts up from a roadside cantina. A fire in an old rusted oil drum. Oozing tar-black. Air thick w/ unburned petroleum. A figure stumbles out of the darkness. The camera pans to a crowd of figures pushing in around the flames. Their faces are half in shadow. Only their mouths are completely visible. They’re arguing about who to throw into the fire. The directions are sparse. “To bring light into the world.” Proceeding from accident to accident. Unscripted dialogue. A studio voice-over. The limits of eternity blah blah. They looked at one another. The leper, sitting in the shadows, drew their attention. “Let it be you, Bubosito.” An image flashes across the mind, of dark figures rushing out at him, tying him by the hands & feet. Behind me I hear a scream of great agony & protest. I turn & see a man swinging violently back & forth, eyes dilated w/ terror. The scream came from deep in his viscera. Two men were trying to hold him. He breaks away & ricochets w/ violence from one side to the other of the circle which has formed around him. At times he spins on one leg as if it were rooted to the earth. Then he frees the leg & shuffles backwards rapidly as if he were fending something off. In his ricochet he seems about to lose his balance. But the others keep him upright & he re-enters the circle. He’s being pitched forward & back, buffeted w/out mercy by an inner convulsion. His body’s no more than a glove over which two hands struggle for possession. Doubt lingers in the ambiguous gesture of the hands. Are they raised to strike or to fend off a blow. He’s shading his eyes from the fire. It’s already the light that assails him. Glaring as though from every direction at once. His face is dazed & he can hardly keep his balance. He falls, rather than kneels, before the priest. Kisses the ground. The priest shakes a gourd rattle in his face & little by little the supplicant recognises it. He bows his head & rises from the ground, glancing up w/ newborn eyes. He looks about as one awoken from sleep, re-establishing the world about him. Struggling now to think or listen. A sound addressed not wholly to the ear: beneath the slow-moving surface of language, a second language lurks. YOU DON’T DIE ALL AT ONCE, it says. THE BODY TISSUE LIVES ON. FOR MINUTES. HOURS. The gaze appears to be fixed, even as it follows the movements of an other. All the while, the eyelashes continue to flutter. The eyes to turn in place. The hands to fidget. The lips to move. But this fibrillation is barely perceptible. The body appears rigid. Petrified. Subjecting it to psychological X-rays. DEATH ISN’T A PERSON DYING. OR A USED-UP UNLIVING BODY, A NEGATIVE ENTITY, BUT AN AFFIRMATIVE POWER IN NATURE. Coupled w/ an instinct to overcome what’s familiar. To invite whatever’s foreign, unknown. To swallow him. Eat him. Dissolve him. Set him up as a boundary beyond which the “I” becomes lost. Seizing you in its mystery. A rough hand in the dark. To erase those gestures which come back w/out warning & say “I know you. You always stretched out yr arm like that.” The object of gratification & someone who passes for the one who experiences it. Fashioning its violence into a psychological state. To search for an identity which is a threat to itself. To you. The instant vertigo when you reach out yr hand beyond absolute knowledge in order to find the other. Or there’s the pain that rises again. In the teeth. The temples. The back of the neck. An objective & very real pain which nevertheless can’t be localised. A burning in the throat. Larynx. Lungs. Liver. Spleen. The two sexes. As though stripping them away, one at a time. Replaced w/ a void. Between the material & the immaterial. Blood circulating in that constricted space. Animating it. Or else you prefer to search out other possibilities. Looking elsewhere & differently for that particular form which will engulf you within a whole. A gesture must be specific, not born from itself. Not from yr capabilities or yr habits. But organised against the limits of experience. Beginning w/ the first unqualified intention that presents itself. To accumulate details. Material of a diverse nature, which, randomly gathered, prove to be important. Necessary. An iron gate shadowed beneath an orange streetlight. Someone knocks. Enters. A flight of wooden stairs in the courtyard. A small cell-like room w/ a steel bed-frame. Already the location describes its own allegory. Intuited. Arrived at. Enlarged from the fragmentary inscription. The events which we assume follow or precede what we know. A blank to be filled. One among others. Perhaps it’s the same blank, differently positioned in the scheme of things. Appearing otherwise. The scene of a repetition, a variation. An on-going dislocation. The place of no place. How to represent it? Or not. Making oneself available to whatever meanings may arise. The footsteps on the concrete floor. The sound of the door closing. The laboured breathing. The thud of the body. The voice. The voices. The refrain. The oath. The involuntary groan, like the exclamation on the lips of an abused child. Of a condemned criminal. Of a boy making love for the first time. The phrase born on the wind. The shred of a cry. Describing how, through obscurity & secret detours, a theme develops until it becomes an obsession. Till there’s no alternative but to confront it & rid oneself of it. On the floor a pile of manuscript pages. A notebook. A sheet of yellowed paper lies half-obscured by a shaving mirror. A line drawn across the intervening space, from the inside margin to the cut edge of an adjoining (or even of the same) sheet. Which now “hardens” to the solidity of a porcelain dish. Each piece submits itself to meaning, w/out “enduring” it. The same piece, in another location, constellates another sign. A razor lying in a basin of rusty water. A meniscus of soap scum. Across the bottom of a sheet of paper a smear of blood. The sideways print of a finger. Smudged. A series of pencil marks. A dirty face towel. A three-legged wooden stool. A glass, cracked, coated inside w/ a white patina. In front of the mirror he was admiring himself in his new face. He had eaten carefully all around it so that just what he needed was left. A decrepit death’s head. The shabby impersonator unmasked once & for all. By means of a simple gesture, the mask comes away. It appeared surgical. A rubberised outer skin. The anaesthetised worm-ridden underflesh. Sunken yellowgrey corpuscles in suspended animation. The flow of blood miraculously arrested. An act of replacement is performed. The renewed flesh sutured in place. A long row of thin wires stitched into the gap like hollow black erectile teeth. X other stares back laughing w/ bloodied mouth. Holds in his hands a deck of small mirrors, like playing cards. One by one they’re dealt onto the floor. What do we do w/ him? This sinister joker, done up like the old ambiguous demigod. A chest of good or bad fortune waiting unlocked before him on the ground. “Beside it a supplicant raises his hands. The rest of the image is so eroded that it’s impossible to make anything out of it.” A circle of ashes. The omnipresent smell of bile, cordite, burnt hair, flesh. He looked at the right hand which is almost eaten away. There’s barely any flesh. The bones, also, have been reduced to three molar-like stumps projecting from a ridge of scar tissue. He’s unconcerned. He conceals nothing. Detached irremediably from the world. His left eye, as though a leech had attached itself to the underside of the eyelid. A dark form swelling against the iris. THE HUMAN PRIMATE SEES ACCORDING TO ITS NATURE, BUT GOD SEES ALL THINGS AS THEY ARE. He feels the heavy gaze of the other upon him. At all times he’s aware of that presence. Their eyes meet. He shook his head slowly but said nothing. At the same time somebody else, a stranger, gesticulates in his direction. Suddenly it appears he’s being pointed-out. Needle-track cuneiform on the webbing between fingers. Fingernails of black obsidian. The colophon of the Guilty Mind signalling w/ stupid credulity to its own iteration in the physical world. “Every deadman has at least one thing to say for himself.” Savouring the fragrance of the urinals. Digging through trash-piles of mildewed leather & rusted chains in search of the prognathous skeleton in the closet. Homo-cops in undercover drag, nightstick & tempered steel. Even Christ had to drop his pants in Herod’s stalls. The demand for the restoration of anal pleasures being equal to demanding the right to speak, eat, breathe. ¡Puta mierda! Copro-urophilic dogs stalking the ego. There’re others, too, who stand in the way of this revelation. And in his mind, his thoughts became only a description of unthought actions. Sucking authority’s cock for the sake of authentic class consciousness. They’ve indexed the National Defecation Tax to the bourgeoisie’s fear of being fucked in the arse. “Reality,” X said, “is what happens to a body from which I’m detached, removed, absent. Pain has an end.” (The presence of someone standing behind him. Hands around his neck, thumb over thumb, the middle fingers touching. The arteries in the neck & at the temples, bulging. Head filling w/ blood. Face turning blue. Legs shudder. A soft cracking of the larynx. Or blood pouring from his arse onto the ground. It spreads out on the sand & begins to spurt like a fountain. Eyes closed before the spray of blood. Their mouths open, drinking the thick rain. Insatiable mouths. Each one as parched as a desert. A tree suddenly growing up. The leaves & branches torn off. The trunk uprooted. A mortifying scream. A neck wound. A reincarnation. 

Louis Armand is the author of THE COMBINATIONS (Equus, 2016), THE GARDEN (11:11, 2020) & VAMPYR: A CHRONICLE OF REVENGE (Alienist, 2020). He lives in Prague.