Arachnid Selfportrait /4 — Louis Armand

the portrait hung on a wall — on which wall the Arachnoid cldn’t remember — it was long ago — two parallel strips of barbed wire sunk in impasto — a blue filament mesh — calligraphic — to ward off the evil eye — one dies as often as necessary — phobic sublimate spun from the inner timelapse chrysalis in which morsels of flesh hung to be sucked dry — life processes — one entropy machine feeding another entropy machine [in utopia nothing is left to waste] — let them eat art! they said — just as the spider produces but also consumes its web — it wld’ve been so ample a feast of prodigies [in our dreams the dead never go hungry] — w/ all the dog days of disillusionment still to come — you may have heard that only an idiot stares at the sun but a real lunatic stares at the moon — as the capitalist said to the vampyr, bleed ’em blind — it’s necessary to take the conflict to the zone of the colonizer [unless you intend to rot here in a blue funk] — oh look they even left the keys to the house — well it takes a particular kinda mensch to acquiesce in having their balls cut off [more literally than figuratively] — & y’re their child? — in the ABC of learning process that rates in all categories — the circumcision scar forms a ring around the eye — yet nothing is thereby comprehended — nothing grasped — they’re tracing a pale around the mentally=disturbed child — incense — herbs — ideograms — the more they trace the more elaborate their barricade becomes — rising polyp upon polyp like a coral reef — blanched — bonewhite — spontaneous shadows across a seabed black with seaurchins — not an imaginary border then — not a compulsive disorder this nomansland — this nonentity sans pareil — how come it doesn’t simply disappear from the face of the planet? — throwing a carapace over the hole in its heart — a cloak of invisibility — a carteblanche — camouflaged into the interference pattern — dissolved — written down into the mantle plume — every erasure is a point of attraction of digestion of regurgitation — have they pinpointed the place where the Arachnoid squats to shit yet? — the well of the scribbling horde? — the cavepainters — arranging their offerings — their sacrificial effigies — you’d think G.O.D. cld show some gratitude at least — Christ not out there savin’ today? — BUH! shouts the mask of benevolence — fingering its little pile of mud — an unseen hand at work editing the ephemera — a falling rooftile in Venice — a broken stair in El Kef — well if y’re gonna let someone walk all over you may as well lie down & get the benefit of it — they had the streets cordoned=off the whole place crawling w/ green crabs — gangrene of the anus — every cop was another putrid fatherfigure who’d escaped from someone else’s dream — an ectoplasm sliding around the margins — “better watch yr step kid they shoot foreigners on sight down here” — the Arachnoid had a pair of eyes like withered plantain you almost cldn’t see them — drank themself half to death w/ snakebite serum — the psychopath in society & also within oneself — your friendly algorithm narrowing the probabilities — last known abode was the Missing Persons Bureau — & spoke endlessly of the quest w/out fulfilment — under a mock moon the wrecked lighthouse blinking=out its old maternal semaphore — visions of G.O.D. wheeling an atom bomb in an antique perambulator — they have erected for the occasion an observatory atop a mountain of charred rubble — etc. — only a few steps into the fog & the image disappears entirely — cld these steps now simply be retraced for everything to come back into view in a different bifurcation? — the Arachnoid flings its loose limbs around to illustrate the secret hieratic dance of its tribe — committed to celluloid by some fugue=state miraculator drunk on purple aconite — the seven veils — Ariadne’s luminous thread — the kinbaku of Jorōgumo — 蜘蛛 — weaving & unweaving its slattern’s death as upon a gilded sword — Pharaonic mummies unravelling the noeud borroméen — as w/ starved eyes their goatheaded divinity — this abattoir sky — arranged like mordant philatelists haggling over stamp duty — see how they hoard what most affrayes them — all for the sake of permission to suffer at the end as in the beginning — time is a strange place — somersaulting the mind=gap like a rat on a treadmill — by representing the brain as a network of nodes connected by edges a flat world can be made to appear round — two roads from where one pushes while the other pulls — Earthrise on the holodeck — Houston we have a problem — the Old Womxn of the Mountain roaring through acid haze — FEAR IS EROTIC COMPLIANCE — though there are some who doubt G.O.D. ever existed — the butt of all their shit=sandwich jokes — accordingly every event took the form of a conquest — gratuitous outrage married to long hours of unrelieved boredom — G.O.D.’s career among them was necessarily that of a scapegoat — tethered to the ceremonial pole & whipped on schedule — even their attitude to bloodletting was attritional — like a onetrack cosmodrome — but of all their escape plans writing had to be the most ludicrous laborious potentially fatal — [it refers to itself yes but only as another] — for the time being they gathered in circles chanting — TEN NINE EIGHT SEVEN SIX — so much for the impossibility of silence being expressed on the page — but wld weightlessness confirm the opposite? — finding themselves during long Octobers of interstellar drift conversing w/ a tiny white spider hanging in the porthole — meanwhile on some Martian outpost a flywire door slams in the wind — roobats swoop in a yellow conundrum of sky — is this where they’s going or already been? — home injects its venom when there isn’t one — “the unnecessary decorative element” of longings prepared to cannibalise each other the moment the oxygen starts to give out — what use now of their dreams of being snuffed in style? — a red=ochre silk garotte? — DNA spritzed all over the upholstery in alphabeticide of whitelight peristalsis? — missile=lock claxon? — lysol & babywipes? — the skeleton behind yr shoulder faintly stirring the air to urge on w/ all the subtlety of the dead=but=not=yet=immaterial — for whom an ill wind blowing from the arsehole of nowhere bestows historical resonance — & wld it be redundant at this point in the story to make a stab at upstaging the Nancy Reagan / Steely Dan collector’s edition centrefold on the backseat of a pranged Kingswood? — win one for the Gipper kiddo! — well it ain’t rocketscience — dreaming one day of being a method actor strapped into a flying bomb — the plot reolves around a secret chemical weapon (y’re it) — Nancy plays with the brain virus like a hymenopteran wielding a telescope — zooming=in & castrating it — in 50ft neon the letters VIR/US — somewhere between manhole & asshole there is this entire fucking fiat economy — “& G.O.D. created” unaided by eugenic trickledown theory — how to successfully be a womxn in these United States — [for ABORTION read A=BOMBER NATION] — Godzilla making a same=day comeback on Bikini Atoll disguised as Brigit Bardot in Spyder Grrl drag — deepspace never quite deep enough once the conspiracy channel owns every available bandwidth — ah the grandiose midgets of action!ah the shrivelled octophallus! — fearless & natural as a cyborg watching a nova unfold — from here to eternity & recklessly back again — a buffeted point of access arresting the tones in gearboxed metempsychosis — voices echoing among architecture built for demolition — what use is a G.O.D. if y’re not allowed to kill it? — weather in extremis parting the shitsea — phantom timeloops of 40 years’ quarantine — returning to maskless submelancholia gaping tomb=like to hungerbeast rapture — banking if nothing else on reems of authentic dissociation flowing forth — all the aneurisms & bleeding hearts of every known denomination & then some — there’s more suffering entitlement in this galaxy than ever was star quality real illusory or dead — the watchers are in a catatonic daze — stirrup’d in backrow recliners — G.O.D. like a morosely vivisected toad twitching on the screen — mind=shock of compulsory resuscitation regimes — they want to know just how often they can kill it & still force it onto its feet to do a full day’s work — phrenologically speaking — product purity reckoned by the slightest cranial infraction to gulfs the size of the Marianas Trench — it’s a messy business — wading on average groindeep through the spilt ectoplasmic DNA of canopic jars in twilight’s last gleaming — cat=eye & jackal=snout — embalmed incest cult victims wreathe the divine sarcophagus — a black obsidian egg wherein lies le corps=sans=orgone — thus the child in search of a dogma finds it at last — left in a ditch w/ a bullet between its eyes — flashforward to candlelight through fissured airlock — a mirror & glassine stare glinting back — this is not my body! — auroral vapours surge from the void to consume the trailing nostalgias of a consciousness w/ no future prospects from here on — tranced the mindeye recalls how once it dreamt its own flesh served on a gold plate — a nude contorted mesmerism —infinite regress dancing to a dog’s dinner — makes a regurgitated meal of it — [cryonic wormhole habitués feign seraphic ennui] — on the surd count you will enter the dimension of myth — down the umbilical rope the voyage neverending through Pluto’s realm — assailed by dark neutrino winds —unspectable ghosts of the heliopause — black star — antisun — Planet X — what’s the unspeakablest matter m’lord? — άλογα! άλογα! άλογα! — never fuck a gifthorse in the mouth they said — [again the voices over his shoulder] — molested by feelings of sudden homesickness & steering resolutely in reverse — dog star in occultation — it was time they made a tactical retreat to the nearest roundabout — sneaking past the picketlines — [BEHIND EVERY EGO’S A SCAB LABOURER!] — the imposters were producing a new society — while neglecting to burn down the old one — “always the last to arrive profit shamelessly from their predecessors” — first one’s free motherfucker — learning to take acute interest in addition multiplication subtraction etc. — [it’s all in the numerology The Man sez] — reading between lines to bankable subtext — literature is precondition of printable money hahaha — provided y’re ever in a position to spend it — [an idiot & their credit=rating are seldom parted] — Life According to the Gutenberg Phalanstery — takes real genius to aggregate frass into a full=on neurosis — a walking renal calculus w/ an errorist eye of Biblic proportions & built=in panic mechanism — 40,000 years of laughter condensed into a single croak — THE END IS NIGH! — joining all the fullstops — parsing the paragraphbreaks — drawing a bead on denotation’s next=to=last restingplace — IT knows where the truth lies even before there is one — the dicethrow’s dicethrow — Visomatic voodoo — scripting interrogation routines so subtle y’d swear anything at this point just for a chance at being in the hotseat — or any seat — as long as y’re in the house

Louis Armand is the author of THE COMBINATIONS (2016), THE GARDEN (2020) & VAMPYR (2021). He lives in Prague & Beja.