Hotel Palenque /9 — Louis Armand

An orifice in the sky opening & closing. Out of it maggots coil. The gorge.) The mouth biting back its vomit. “Men have died from time to time & worms have eaten them. But not from love.” Landscapes which work for the disappearance of those who ravaged them. I dig down deeper into the night. Archaeology of the interred. Cain’s jawbone that did the first murder. A voice in the dark. “Just as before ghosts came out of the past, so now likewise from the future.” The daily ritual of birth, ascent & death. The sun swallowed up by the night jaguar. The other’s face is hidden behind a rigid mask. Sweat pouring down his arms. The needle makes up a vertical image. Inside & outside become interchangeable. The distance between two states. The illegibility of forms. A red throat. It looks like a cave. The great mystery. Movement from one instant to the next. The vein radiates w/ light. A snake garnished w/ brilliant shards. It coiled & uncoiled on the floor, looking up w/ red & green eyes. They glistened & whispered. Hissed like scythes at the sacred harvest. He’s lying on his side, staring at a floor covered w/ dust & human hair. There are holes gnawed by rats between strips of nailed linoleum, tin, bits of painted signage. LOS 3 COMPADRES RICOS TACOS DE BISTEC SUADERO LONGANIZA MACHITOS TRIPA CAMPECHANO REFRESCOS. Plastic bag w/ used needles like maguey spines bloodied w/ his leper’s blood. The scabs of his bubas. A pyramid of excreta. Base matter. Half-sleep populated w/ visions of what’s to come. Strung high above a pit of red coals. It’s as though his skin has peeled away, revealing the effigy within. A form that precisely resembles you in every detail, white w/ heat staring back at an empty petrifaction. The sky opens up. You feel something cool. Rain. It’s rain falling but there’s no relief. You imagine the flesh on yr scalp’s gone. So is the bone. The drops of rain are like acid. The following night you were given yr ornaments. These consisted of a headdress of Aztacomitl feathers & a sleeveless jacket. For the buboso, they tied a paper headdress, called Amatzontli, to his hair. A paper stole & a paper rag for pants. When midnight came the priests gathered around the hearth. Four days & nights the fire had burned. They separated into two lines on the two sides of the fire. The chosen ones took their places between them, facing the fire. Approaching. Retreating. Beginning again. Before the beginning even. To the avowed intent. The figures melt into the air. The flickering of light against the ceiling. Shadows cast by the ceiling fan. A vulture perched on the window ledge, nodding its thin head. The trees outside are on fire. They’re burning w/ a flame that doesn’t consume them. Laughter in the vulture’s craw. Its eyes bulging out at him. GOD IS A WASTELAND. The smell of burning hair. The grotesque bird cackles & erupts. There’s nothing there. Dry wind rushing in through the glowing space. Gradually it became hot & intolerable. He peeled his clothes off. The sky was faintly illuminated. He moaned as if he was having a nightmare. I understood. The time was not up yet. Then he started to throw himself into the flames. But the fire was burning high & he stopped in fear. Drew back. A second time he gathered his strength & turned to throw himself into the flames. But as he approached he stopped, not daring to go any further. The fire rises in the wind. You shiver. Yr stomach turns. Again & again. Seething as you pull away. It surrounds you now. Waiting to engulf. You keep moving, shifting. “The fire of death which masks the fire of life. The passion for destruction replaces the passion for creation. For self-creation.” The tension between thought & action. Language & intent. Something made to be sacrificed. Destroyed. Consumed. Anonymous homunculi. Their mouths & faces. Everything in which they were wanting. Bleak. Indifferent. Meaningless. Etc. He laughs. In the circle of fire the funambulist is laughing himself to death. The anima rising up. Repeating itself. Parodic guignolades spiralling through the dark night of the soul in lunar mockery. MI CABEZA POR DELANTE ES LA DE UN SEÑOR VIVO Y POR DETRÁS ES LA DE UN SEÑOR MUERTO. “In order to accomplish himself, he kills himself.” How many voices are behind those words? “It’s as though I don’t exist yet.” Not yet? Not now? As soon as these words were said, he shut his eyes & went forward & threw himself into the fire. He began at once to crackle & sizzle like something being roasted. The pyre flared up like a giant light bulb. He closed his eyes. Los ojos contra los ojos. A short while later, having fallen on their knees, the others saw the leper “who had become the sun” rising in the east. He looked very red, appearing to sway from side to side. None of them could keep their eyes on him. He blinded them w/ his light. He shone w/ his rays that reached in all directions, naked w/ heat. The sun like an enormous ventricle beating in the sky. Streams of candescent blood scorching the earth, red. Burnt flesh splitting & spilling out. The abdomen was already half-consumed & attendants were poking sticks at the chest & half-burned head. Inflated & blackened eyes. The skull visible where the skin had burned away. They pushed the armless, legless figure upright over the fire & turned it face down on the flames. Blood was dripping through the nasal cavity. Hissing. It seemed for a moment that one of the eyes looked at him w/ disgust & fatigue. Empty of desire he becomes free. Stasis. A voided metabolism. A distant mouth, very far off, motions through space. “There’s no more returning to this world.” Its portentous mumbling sputters out. Wind. Rain. Darkness settles over the embers. Fading. “There’s no sky. No false-mirror of eternity.” A longer silence begins to reshape the world. Everything’s motionless. Everything once again in doubt. By doubting will I begin to know? Believe? A still-point stationed against the flux. Images. Spectre. Contradiction. To fix oneself to, like a bug desperate for a place to die in. Not to be swallowed whole in the maelstrom. The vortex of the abyss. The nothingness. Like the grub of a death’s-head moth. Clinging to the edges of night. Burrowing into it. Night of eternal excavations. Inwards to the first origin. The irreducible. The sole motive. The fossil of death. All that is contained in the buried ledger of uncreation. Tunnelling. Digesting. Leaving in its wake a labyrinth of half-obliterated cuneiform. Decimated Hindu-Arabic. Masticated fragments of engined Egyptian. Pulverised Edo Period haiku. Lacerated pictograms from Lascaux. Piltdown Man’s jawbone. A piece of the original UFO. All the irrecoverable negations of non-history turned to frass. Immediately he began speaking about difficulties w/ language. “Expression.” To break through the shell of the present. Of the sensible. The multiplicity of these figures accuses & accentuates. To do violence to itself. Himself. In order to free himself. “On the other hand, consciousness is the contrary of this separation.” What am I thinking now when I look at you? The difference which exists between us. For us. Like two opposites. You go on talking. It’s only a matter of time. The words are bitter. Everything’s poisoned. Enervated. Only desire holds in check the destruction of what it desires. Of what it desires to consummate. To consume. Annihilate. This monument of minute particles that once blazed under a bleakly glowing sun. Suggested the sullen dissolution of entire continents. The drying up of oceans. All that existed were millions of grains of sand. A vast deposit of bones & rock pulverised to dust. Every grain & particle, a dead metaphor. A timelessness. Indecipherable. A petrified idea waiting at the end of sleep. The sound of shutters swinging closed in the wind. The darkness. An enormous room. A retina. A black screen pierced by needle points. The barely audible hum of a motor driving the apparatus. An internal planetarium. Constellations or cancellations. A light switch. The mental desert which suddenly appears & stretches out on all sides. A series of failed encounters. Everything has assumed the hardened outlines of a visible reality. And from this it can be concluded that the sun, or whatever casts light on this area, is at its zenith? Perhaps the sun is fixed there forever in eternity. It’s impossible to tell from the picture if it’s moving. Even the clouds, if they are clouds, seem rigidly in place. – , 14 February. Dreamt of a room filling w/ water. Woke late. Mid-afternoon. Walked into the village. Patterns of light & shade woven by the sun on the closed façades. In the shadow of a doorway, an old widow whose black veil only partly conceals her ravaged face. Waves of heat rise up from the pavement. As he passes back into the long, darkened corridor of the hotel, his vision fails. Slowly his pupils contract, objects come into half-focus. From the depth of the building comes the sound of moaning. Sweat floods his face. He looks down at shaking hands that are not like hands at all, but livid, grey. There are voices from the courtyard. It’s X, who has returned. The boy is behind him carrying his suitcase. X is looking at something he has dropped on the ground. He bends down to pick it up. In that gesture he seems to be lost again. Passing out of view behind a row of ferns. The other is standing behind a half open window. He’s blinking. Wiping the perspiration from his forehead. The air outside is cool & damp. Through the slats of glass hanging in the windows he can see out into the garden. It has begun to rain & the large dark green leaves are bent down under the weight of water. He looks back across to the entranceway. X is no longer there. Had we imagined him? The hurried departure at night. Weeks. Months perhaps. Of uncertainty. Hesitation. Fugitive letters w/ illegible postmarks. Crossed-out addresses. Had he returned & left again w/out us seeing him? You called out. There was no-one. The house appeared empty. In the corridor, barely visible figures moved back & forth at the street entrance. You recognised the old woman & the boy. You thought they stopped for a moment & looked back at you. Or through you. As if you yrself were a figment. A disturbance of the air. Insubstantial. A shadow crossing a path, cast by nothing they could locate in their world. How banal the impossible is thus made to appear. This, too, our protagonist ponders. Thinking of the “other,” whose return must always be ruled out. Drawing two crossed lines in his head. An X which records what can’t in fact be recorded. A transmission error. An erasure. The erroneousness of speaking about death. The very thing which can’t be spoken about. “X is dead.” There’s nothing there. A place as void as the present. That place which he’s only able to imagine as being like a closed room. Darkness full of vibrations. He listened, but heard nothing. Nothing intelligible. Yet still the night communicated w/ him. The deep vibrations filling an inner part of him. An emptiness in which they echoed & reverberated throughout his body. In his dream the room is always dark. Just as it is now. An almost impenetrable dark. Pregnant w/ some unrealised & yet constantly recurring drama. There’s the sound of a door opening & a figure rushing across the room towards him. He stood up as if to strike at an enemy. Then let his hands drop limply to his sides. Little by little his eyes adjusted to the absence of light. There was no-one else in the room. Was there ever? He felt himself shaking. The roles unexpectedly reversed. He’s standing in the doorway. His shadow falls across the room. For a moment it seemed that X had taken his place. Lying there, on the bed, staring up at him. He closed & opened his eyes to dispel the vision. Blackness. The minutes passed. Hours. Perhaps seconds. When he closed his eyes again the image returned. An old man w/ a pained & terrified look. Who was he? The world concealed nightmares behind its false quietude. Outside, the first vague rays of sunlight breaking on the hills. The blue fissure of the sky gradually opening, wider & wider. Until it engulfs everything. An aperture, transmitting its own inverted image. Its negative. A camera eye in which all things are framed. Whether they’re visible or not. Its omnipresent mechanism. Pursuing an almost human hypothesis, in a world from which man has become absent. When I come to, it’s always the same. I’m standing in that doorway. On the other side of the room, he’s sitting there at the writing desk. Just as he always is. He doesn’t move. He never seems to be aware of my presence. It’s as though nothing had happened. And so I close the door & retrace my steps. Go back outside. Feel the sunlight on my body. Transforming it. Renewing it. Absolving it, even. Lifting it out of itself into a febrile radiance. But in my mind I know that this is an illusion. What has happened has happened. There’s nothing to be done. You try to keep moving. Keeping to the periphery. Waiting for night. The fear of recognition. Of others. Of oneself. And the further you go, the closer you seem to the point from which you started out. All the time concealing yrself in the suspicion of those you happen across. Allowing their fear to mask yrs. As later it will come to take the place of conscience also. A mask which invites entry into the anonymity of the stranger. The other. The actor. Or which repels & sends you sinking back into subjective uncertainty. The failing spectacle of realism like a rejected skin-graft. A separation of parts illustrating the discrepancy between the self seized as an object by others & the self abandoned as a blind, searching subjectivity. The outward & visible signs of an elusive meaning. A shadow theatre in which the characters appear as marionettes. Their outlines, movements, gestures are projected onto a screen by a flickering light. Shadow writing. Instruments of exculpation. The drama disperses & leaves him sitting alone in a darkened amphitheatre & grey outlines of carved stone. Empty tiers rise on all sides in concentric geometry, repeating to diminished effect. What’s this assembly called here to witness & judge? Centred on a blank space to be filled by whatever y’ve been programmed to desire, hahaha. The name of whatever ailment. In order to confess w/out shame. To speak & not be seen. Not even to be heard. Touching the wooden grill w/ sweat-slick palms. Forehead pressed to the back of his hands. The cloying air of the confessional. KY & aerosol. NAKED LADIES. The bearded Madonna in her underwater cage. Kneeling among the sea grass. Shards of broken rock intruding between the bars. Palid light filtering from above. Brine forced into the mouth, drowning in a steel aqualung. Saint Cousteau gleaming down at him from childhood black&white newsreels among coral mermaids miming the Confiteor in breathless synchronicity. DEO OMNIPOTENTI. BEATAE MARIAE SEMPER VIRGINI. Raising the sacrament to the lips. Mouth full of darkness in which a pained voice is slowly expiring. Or you look up & at that moment X steps out into the open. The sky’s clear. The cold air of the church still clings to his back. Sun on his face. Descending the steps to the small plaza overlooking the village. The streets wind steeply down the hillside. Beneath archways. As you descend a sense of relief fills yr entire being. As though you were rising up through the air, from a hidden depth. This palpable hysteria of the reprieved. The film is rewound. The dead resurrected. Even if they are only imitations. We are invited to commit everything afresh. Once again the phantoms play out their roles. It makes no difference if there’s no-one watching. A phantom audience casts its shadows on the reverse side of the screen. And what if suddenly all the actors were made to materialise? Each given a contiguous role? As though to enact their absence “in the flesh.” So that god, too, might appear on earth. A vulture excited by the whiff of carrion. And what then? Staring dumbly into the craw of that deus ex machina. Its incongruous teeth made of ancient typewriter keys. Clotted with ink, dust, dried spit, palimpsests of dismal literature. The tooled epiglottis. Dead fingers wedged between the keys. Coagulations of molten lead. Carbonised hinduarabic. Black blood in ribbons of screed. Making heavy water out of it, always wiser in the aftermath. Voice over yr shoulder narrating the situation in a fine spray of halitosis: “A man leaving a cantina behind the marketplace in the early morning. His movements are erratic. Is he searching for something? Or trying to remember where he is? Or that he is? He leans his arm against the wall, his head on his arm. He’s standing in a blind alleyway. He stumbles against a garbage can & garbage spills out onto the ground. A dog begins barking. The man drops to the ground, clutching in turn at various parts of his body, not knowing where to localise the affliction. He lies there like a broken marionette in a marionette theatre.” Proscenium, balconies & fire escapes. Washing hanging from makeshift lines. Piles of cardboard. Old tyres. Broken concrete. Vegetable crates. Plastic sheets. A grey awning hangs over an open doorway. The stink of fried lard. Through the gloom, faces w/ eyes filled w/ boredom & fatigue. On a rack, a string of crude homunculi fashioned from raw meat. A tongue hissing on a grill, blackened, crackling in flame. A clock on the wall wreathed w/ dust & dead insects. A roll-down garage door. Stairs w/ orange carpet. A corridor w/ humid cubicle-like rooms on either side. Green painted walls & soiled mattress oozing body-stench. The light’s switched off & somebody enters. No words. Everything’s been determined in advance. The frame jolts. A sound like air being forced from the lungs. X lets his head fall backwards, eyes wide open. A ceiling fan hangs motionless above him. Hair smelling of pork rind slathered to forehead & neck. The shoulder blades come together in a sudden motion. Sweat pouring down the back. The dark figure astride him beats its enormous wings & makes the entire room shudder. Invisible figures watch the scene through a false mirror. Their eyes, could he see them, would appear listless, remote. Were he to become aware of their proximity, perhaps by a type of psychic transference. Thought transmission. Signal interference. As if they are nothing but aspects of himself reflected in the ether. Floating above him, detached from his body, observing his living image through a glass ceiling. The more he felt himself being observed the more he became aroused. His inner-gaze like the false mirror through which their eyes dilated & penetrated him. Filling him w/ emotions not his own. AND HE REALISED THAT THIS FALSITY WAS MERELY A PROJECTION OF THE FALSE NATURE OF HIS OWN SEEING. He’s like a periphery searching for a centre. Drifting further & further outward. The inverted gravitation of a projected illusion. And the moment he looks away his acquisitions turn to loss. Objects remain there gratuitously, or in fragments. Absurd & in want of function. In any event, they’re there in spite of him & point to nothing but their own materiality. The false ashes & practised grief. The counterfeit nature of the ceremony. As though he alone stood witness to the performed dimension of those rituals. He watched the drama proceed w/ mounting disquiet. At the northern end of the plaza, at the bottom of a long peristyle hall, the victims have their faces ripped off. If the operation’s done properly the face comes away whole, like a perfect mask. A physical presence which seems to dissolve. Like the carcass of a dog vanishing into the stairs, leaving behind a sickening vacuity. One by one things appeared to go missing, to disappear almost in front of his eyes. He imagined himself staring at a mirror in which a skeleton-like figure stood holding a bare scalp in its outstretched hand. “The gods separated earth & sky, but I shall put them back together again.” And then the mirror opens outwards like a doorway. Behind it an empty cavity. Last rest of the forsaken. He enters the tomb. Lies in the place of Our Father. The one who made a bastard of him. Would be made to pay. To go on paying. Had he a hand to enact this? A heart & a brain to breed it in? This curse which is shamelessly accommodated in the deepest recess of the heart & mind. What bias of nature? TAKE NOW THY SON. THINE ONLY SON, WHOM THOU LOVEST. AND MAKE OF HIM A BURNT OFFERING UPON ONE OF THE MOUNTAINS WHICH I WILL TELL THEE OF. Behind that door the priest lay asleep. For his own life he must sacrifice the other’s. Barely a life. A mockery. And he, a mock nemesis. Chance had brought him here, had put him at the mercy of the old brujo. He knew him now for what he was. An evil midget pulling all the strings of a grotesque puppetry. Himself, these ruins, the towering rubble of dead gods. He’d awoken from his delirium, knowing that this’s what must be. THE LOVE THOU BEAREST IS STRONG. A spectral figure. Unreal. A figment or a collation of figments. Its speech was full of arcane expressions, as though out of time. A litany of degradation. Musty confessionals. Cubicles. Darkened booths crowded w/ sour mouths, worm-ridden anuses, putrid cocks. The cloistered succubae of narcotised pain. Unsatisfied hungers. Moral blackmail. Stage curtains part on Bruegelesque panoramas of sodomy, flagellation, dismemberment. Like an ashtray at 4:00 AM. Full of all the night’s butt ends & spit. An abject benediction. Submitting to the cure of ridicule. A dwarfish figure laughing up its master’s sleeve. Or the caged lunatic w/ his magic scourge. A silver coin, floating, revolving through space. The trigger of a gun. A mother-of-pearl knife handle. The silver crucifix hanging at the end of a chain around the wizened neck. Light is reflecting at the point of intersection of the two parts of the cross. Drawing him into it. As he lay there on the bare floor the priest looked down at him from the ceiling. Now the priest was sitting against the front wall of a squat adobe hut. The light was shimmering in the heat. It seemed as though the old man was dissolving into it. Vanishing like a mirage as he approached. “Looking for someone?” A stranger was standing beside him. A solicitous expression. Concerned. Knowing. Suspicious. Afraid. “What do you want? What have you come here for?” On the far side of the room, a crumpled, musty blanket. The smell of sweat, sickness. It’s twenty years ago. He’s kneeling beside a feverish child, curled into a foetal position. The boy has black eyes & bruised forearms. ¿Por qué? Like him, those shoulders drawn inward. The scraggy neck. Do you understand now? The wrong shape. A wrong existence. I am that I am. No, that isn’t it. A mistake. I alone am to blame. And repeat it. Go on. Repeat it. That I was conceived in the stultified virgin womb. Fruit of a fucked-up consummation. The old impotent cock dribbling at the door. A mouth full of dentures to be knocked in. Muttering his vows post factum. In the ear of the deaf-mute. Our Father Who Art. Let him snore. Why didn’t they murder it at birth? To have dragged its carcass along this far. Its cross of inadequate flesh. To what end? That our father would sleep till I wake him? The long night. Night of the counting of years. A fist clenched around an object I can’t recognise. It’s impossible to let go of it. As though it possessed some inner meaning that won’t relinquish itself. That won’t allow itself to be relinquished. Then he realised there was no more time. He stood up. Approached the door. Balanced himself against the doorjamb. A tensed animal. Unmoving. Waiting. It seems to go on forever. As if I were somehow detached from my body. Someone’s looking down at me. Their surveillance implants its fear in me. Its unacknowledgeable intention. Let me sleep. Do yr own dirty work. Blood on those hands. The smell of something long past. The hissing, portentous sound of a choked breath. Flesh born of my flesh. A hand reaching out of water. Going down. The moon beginning to rise above the mountain. Casting an uncanny light. A body disgorged by the temporal river in violent purgation. The source & emblem of its psychic turbulence. Each mirrors the other. Dreams the other. The sound of insects mounting in the room. Running water. Beside him there’s no-one. The room’s empty. Is fading. The river’s closer now. Hissing. Closer & unbearable. A tide rushing across the lobe of the ear like an unrelenting wind. Then nothing. Silence. Through the window the shapes of trees noiselessly thrashing against one another. Branches flying off. Slivers of black clouds lacerating the opaque yellow humour of the moon. Somewhere, nearby, the smell of rain. The eyes close. The darkness in which the body becomes present. The lungs. The constriction of the throat. The erect cartilage. The phlegm loosening. “Floods. Swamps. Sap stirred by the moon. Are the natural settings in which the body is formed.” The volatile fluid. Materia prima. The desperate rage of its inversion. Shrouded in night. Condemned to an underworld. A dark recess of inadmissible passions. Their loca infesta. Like the rot & vermin beneath a loose rock. Dark, menacing words. “No man can escape his birth.” The rock’s kicked, dislodged. The vermin are exposed. Writhe on the ground. The path is littered. It’s difficult not to trip in the heat of a day which bends the body almost in half. A cretinous laughter echoing in the wild. A landscape of ruins. Shattered stone & tumbled masonry. Wall wreckage. Sheered girders. Splintered beams. The ground itself is coming apart. Cracked open. Further on we pass a long line of prisoners by the roadside. Chained to one another by the neck. Beside them a group of the solders. A priest smoking a cigar. They’re laughing. Something enslaved in that laughter. A latticework of possession & dispossession. The real & the unreal. Disfiguring their “purpose.” To preserve the self against those forces which insist that it must collapse & be lost. God & his clergy. Prisoners of conscience. Lined up in the dust. In the middle of nowhere. Brought here for what reason? The tragic & sinister aspects of destruction. Emancipating the flesh. Prolonging & amplifying the suffering of this world, to sweeten the next? Music to unworldly ears. In the distance, a cloud of dust rising above the road. Some kind of destiny approaching. Like a sphinx on four wheels. A question uttered in a foreign dialect. There’s no answer. The maw opens & swallows up first one & then another. The priest’s cigar expires. The soldiers are bored. They take pot shots at a vulture perched in a dead tree. The disguised presence of divinity. They shoot the prisoners. Themselves. Their punishment is that they can’t die. Everything remains as it was. The tableau goes on repeating, one assumes endlessly in vicious circles. Above, a red phosphorescence trailing in the sky. The inversions of Mount Purgatory. The sky spreads open above us. Its ridges & escarpments. Its mouths. Their emptiness takes on an oceanic & consoling quality, transporting us. As once, a breakwater, jutting into the sea. Waves run up against the concrete blocks & seem to pass through them. Continuing on to some invisible depth. Beneath everything which appears substantial, like an intestinal knot sinking & rising against the seawall. The erupting scoria. The wharves, piled against the sky. The hulks of container ships. A boy beating a dead fish against a rock, its body completely disintegrated. Scale & bone. The tail thrown back into the sea. Black smoke, belching from funnels. The jewelled shimmer of vented diesel. A brown seagull patiently working at the eyes of a dead pigeon. A humid pall hangs over everything. The taxis on the Malecón like ponderous amphibia. The shuttered store windows. Chairs placed upside down on restaurant tables. Listless forms haunting the arcades along the plaza. Under a tattered blue canopy, mats laid out w/ painted gourds & trinkets. An old woman held up a piece of stone to him. It bore a crude engraving. A gargoyle figure leered from between the cracked folds of her hand. A pair of tiny, grotesque heads. – , 24 December. VIA CRUCIS. In the early hours before dawn. The pale tomb-like monuments. The crypt open to the sky. The painful ascent. What does the path taken by a man teach us about his inner nature? An event that miscarries, like the torments of a falsified body. Who is it that lies in that tomb? As if to say: “I know that the world exists, that I’m placed in it like my eye in its visual field.” The sky spirals above that portal like the slow motion of water circling in a washbasin. Clockwise. Counter-clockwise. It was easy not to breathe, keeping the head submerged in cold water. In a moment I’ve become numb. Anaesthetised. The different parts of my body cease to register & seem disconnected from the whole.

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.