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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life

Skeuromorph Detective (Continued from Cybercorpse # 10)
by Julian Semilian ||
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But now the hours were passing, perhaps, I reasoned, it is her season to make me panic by exaggerating this ruse, how could I ascertain whether she imperiously intended this comedy to be horror, to linger for the duration of mere moments or to persist for interminable months, she alone held the key to this convulsive melodrama, who was she? a sinister soul pirate, plundering demon, appropriating me in her stockings, abducting me in her stockings, encapsulating me in her stockings, sequestering, sequestrating and confiscating me in her stockings, abandoning me in her stockings, these stockings, which, though initially palatial substance of enigma, were now beginning to itch, what if they caused me a rash, and suddenly I am assaulted by a drill of lines I couldn't make any sense of but which coerced me to write them down, lines such as:

"Reality being too much like sausages inspired with pre-established humors, too much for my network of internal inventions, my frightwork of catacombs, I crept nightly to my queen in the guise of a cinderblue aviatrix."


"Siphon off the clouds, chameleon clarinet!"


"Strive for the unclaimed unredeemable."


"A few stragglers coagulated into a no more than an April idea of pavements."

Or, and this one I liked a lot:

"Nocturnal midgets dust off the chimerical tattoo and mold his chambers by recitation of new solar entreaties."

I am repeating each line over and over again so as not to lose it to amnesia, as I am no position to write them down, and I recall, apropos the line stolen from my computer I was facing now on the billboard: it was also very possible that Thea had inoculated my left buttock with a very tiny object because earlier while she was twirling her right finger inside my anus I felt a minuscule metal prick on my left buttock and it could easily have been her left fingers inoculating a foreign substance in there, though I can't figure what the purpose of this could have been, if they can make a tiny cell phone that can track you wherever you are, they can certainly insert in your plasma a minuscule gadget to discern even your thoughts, and, could she be working for them too? I could only assume it was a microphone, everything is so tiny now, so undetectable, it may be more than a microphone, I am not familiar with the latest developments of science, I have ignored my studies in science, especially those concerning espionological forays, it was a computer chip perhaps, connected to who knows what sort of Hades retrieval system, yes she could be working for them too, I am very behind in these studies, I confess my ignorance here, of which I am not proud, knowing how technology has developed the last few years only, and everyone but me is adept at technology, and it makes me feel they learned to tolerate me, and accept me and remunerate me simply as a creative type, there must be something they are trying to extract from me, there must be something, what she inserted in my red buttock, I mean my left buttock, while I was squirming as she twirled her finger in my anus. My right leg was curled inwards at first, foot against my left thigh, but my left thigh then elevated in a dancer's graceful arch lifting to the sky, something I had actually observed Candora execute on stage before she and I met and her grace had entranced me and I was left unwittingly wishing to perform it myself with the same grace, and because she had performed it before me on stage that grace invaded me and persisted as an enriching element part of my assemblage, though I never imagined the opportunity would emerge for me to express it by performing it myself. I assume that is what happens with the arts, they inoculate you and become part of your daily routine without you even realizing it. Something occurs to me here, in discussing the arts and their meaning, that it was the sole reaching for the sky, the sole, what sort of meaning could this comprise, sole to the sky rather than hands, the bottom up, as though I were wishing to stand on the sun perhaps, I recall Heraclitus and his "the sun is as big as a foot", I thought of Osol' as in sun versus sole, Osol' as in terra too, but this held no meaning for me momentarily, so I won't explore it, but I did feel it was appropriate for me to perform this particular gesture, my sole to the sol, and though I couldn't see Thea behind me I sensed her and gave in to the mastery she commanded, I solely wished to be her Juliette, I abandoned myself to being her Juliette. And this would be another statue I would put up in this town. But more about that later, something to do with statues I've been pondering about. I feel that the graceful arch of the leg curling upwards would make the statue bewitching in bronze or maybe black marble.
     And I recalled the painting by Max Ernst, "Virgin Mary Spanking Baby Jesus", and how could I forget this, oh Imogen, this is frighteningly close, Virgin Mary in this painting resembles Thea very closely, Thea, though she is Teutonic, she looks exotically Asiatic, perhaps she is endowed by an atavistic return, perhaps Egyptian, perhaps Hindu (and as you know Ernst is Teutonic too) and she had her hand raised and about to bring it down towards baby Jesus' butt as he lays on her lap, his legs arching upwards just like mine were, toes curled in obvious delight, just as her right foot is drawn back, it is an intimate moment shared between mother and son, and it's the only time in my life I wanted to be Jesus, more, I craved to be Jesus. But more later, like I said. Still, I can't help but wishing to pause so as to cause my words to render the painting itself, not merely describe it, but I am impelled by the imperative that drives this narrative I am imparting to you to return to the plight in whose grips I was presently trapped, so you must run to the library or the bookstore and get the book of Ernst's paintings yourself, as I said, in the past I would have rendered the painting with my words, not merely describe, but now my words must cause you to rush to the bookstore or to the library, or perhaps if you possess an Ernst, you must go to your shelf for it, so that perhaps, I use perhaps a lot, because I don't know the source of, what drives, the imperative that propels to push forth with this narrative, or its purpose, the presently privative that impels me to push forth, the demigorgon in whose grips I might be, is it a source whose purpose is to force me to extract an event, to return to an event, an impending increment to reveal to me what I was looking for at the incipience of this narrative, who knows, perhaps to abstract a concept to illuminate my plight in whose trap I was presently squirming, here and now, as I now could not wrench myself from this memory quicksand machine they spliced and concocted in the form of a frightening fishnet Madonna, as my memory strands were melting, this detail they quartered from my life's continuum, which they placed amidst the rest of the quartered details, concealed inside the rest of the tortured and quartered details imprisoned inside the Amnesia Spectator, this fragment of my life floundering as it was now in the fishnet of their manipulated interpretation, like a contortion detailed and glimpsed in the twist of a distorting mirror and which acquires its significance simply because it is sectioned off through its distortion, suctioned off too, and there is an instant of glimmering recognition in the distortion which you would never spot in the morning's toilet mirror or even in the common activity utilitarian mirror of say the airport's bathroom, or any other public place where quartering and restraining our mirrored image is part and parcel of our taking our assigned place in the forced common activity utilitarian march, this detail, yes, which now they could mirror and entrap me in for their unscrupulous purpose. But why, I did consider this, why should their purpose be unscrupulous? Because, if they wrote something about me, their purpose was to define me. Let's go back for an instant here to the Socratic "know thyself", not that I am a fan of Socrates, but the sentiment itself is one I admire, no, I despise Socrates for how he is always "right", how he always wins arguments by trapping you in the quagmire of his restrictive "reason", and to think that for millennia we've allowed him to oppress us inside the avuncular cavities of his superego mentality, but still, know thyself is good, I too have desired to know myself since I was very young, but perhaps out of a character flaw or lack of concentration. I have been unable to do so. To this day I still don't know myself; perhaps the trap is to believe you can; as for me there have been a few character attributes, flaws really, I have spotted in passing, some of which depressed me or infused me with low self-esteem; but essentially I didn't believe them, because I thought that at the core I am a much finer character, and what I was experiencing were only tests I hadn't yet passed because my time hadn't yet come. And if a newspaper places an article about you in its entrails, for the public to observe, it must mean that, since newspapers are written for the people and by the people and for the purpose of educating the people, that what they wrote about me is the truth, there must be no insinuation even, no feathery insinuation that intrigue is at work here, intrigue which grows green on the truth, because how could you impute upon a publication which claims to tell the truth for the people that it tells untruths about the citizens of its own community? And thus, if the newspaper presented a fragment of truth about me, I should then be grateful to them for it for it was helping me to find myself, to know myself, in other words. Because I didn't want to take on the view that this is a rat race, the cynical view that everything is corrupt and that everyone has an agenda they want to fulfill and that in order to fulfill it they would resort to any means necessary, that they would manipulate the public opinion through the newspaper, for instance. They would make me an object of ridicule, for instance, by placing in the newspaper this event segmented from my life, a diorama on view for the education of the public (and my own), a view into the depth of the human soul, with the long-range purpose of improving the state of humanity through self-knowledge, no? But was their intent really to reveal my inner self, exploding as it does out of the abyss, the mysterious, the miraculous, the true, to create a mirror for everyone else to look into to delight in their own inner selves? Something to make them reflect upon the marvelous? Create an event in diorama, which, upon perusing, they would exclaim: How whimsically marvelous life can be! Or to create a mirror which to shame me and shame others' desire to perform along the same lines as me? A segment representing an area whose borders must never be crossed for fear of being placed on public display as object of ridicule. Because if you recall, I remind you, we're talking about the listing of my name in unequivocal cathection to this detail, an incriminating increment, sectioned off, something I was observed executing that someone connected to the paper, or someone connected to someone connected to the paper and who observed me, though, merited mention and certainly, the someone connected to the someone at the paper must also be connected on the other end to someone or an institution, more than likely an institution, the institutionalization of a purpose cathected in some sense to what I was observed doing; what I mean, the purpose which they institutionalized was supported by what I was observed doing; by what this someone, or this someone else connected to someone, both of whom indoctrinated in the interpretational mode whose survival depended upon extracting a meaning inimical to it from the detail wrenched from my continuum

and here I must pause to mirror my plight in the eyes of those whose purposes mirror mine, such as Paul Klee: "To define the present in isolation is to kill it",

an extraction through a refracted interpretation of an incriminating increment, this act that I was observed committing. Thus I reasoned then, and perhaps not wrongly so, when I knew a little less than what I know now, simply through deduction due to the chain of the above mentioned events; that is, something I was observed doing appeared to the observer at the moment that he or she observed me doing it to serve the purpose of his or her purpose, in the sense he or she perceived it to be the same as the purpose of his or her superior in the hierarchy of the institution he or she belonged to and thus of the institution herself, and hoped to advance towards leadership in, the hierarchy of the institution, this institutionalization of a purpose I could not clearly at the moment discern, (fishnetted as I momentarily was, with the fishnetted spliced one melting my fingers on my left and Loony Linda, fishnet shanked Loony Linda melting my right), but a purpose which, as I noted above, the increment they extracted as a refraction of my life's continuum was inimical to and thus necessary for its survival; the institution he or she (the observer) belonged to and whose ladder he or she hoped to climb, all at the root a detail wrenched from my life's continuum by this someone's interpretational mechanism, detail which, for me, were I to be able to track it, would mirror for me the original event which they quartered through manipulation to obtain it, I realize right now just how far they have gone in wrapping my vital wiring in the cotton of amnesia, no, it is not yet time to consider this, yes, no it is not, why should it be so difficult to, no I must, and I was resolved to get there before I met with incarceration or internment in the asylum they had just finished building and now Amnesia was notorious for; or even death by dissolution, as it awaited me now before the red light in the fishnet grips of my captors; the obvious thing to do next was to find once again the person who had originally spilled the news to me, the person who originally announced to me my debut as a Opublic figure' in Amnesia, and shake him and rattle him some more. Or why not, and this idea came to possess me, to rely on my own command of alchemical implosion because for an instant I ecstatically inferred that perhaps the centripetal force of my thought spinning would suddenly spill out for me, the quickening speed of the spinning would spill out the event I was in search of, unable as I was at present of availing myself to any means of ambulation. Fishnets had wrapped her Jagger lips around my tongue while her tongue was a spigot suctioning my memories! She was a construct! A spigot for suctioning memories, memories which, once spigotted into her hard drive they could access and make use of any way they saw fit! A hard drive disguised as a demon spliced in the guise of a Jagger lipped ballerina shanked and fishenetted nimphette-fatale; they had been watching me, they had discerned my fatalities; And Linda, Loony Linda, long exquisite tongue now shooting right into my right ear lobe, how did they reconstruct her? Only from my poem, which they had found in my hard drive? There was nothing I could do as I was being plunged into the quicksand they had prepared for me; I thought of counter-acting with Rilke, and how "every angel is terrifying": but is that the sort angels he envisioned? "that even one of them should embrace me and take me close to her heart, suddenly I would dissolve before her greater being." Instead of angels, the divine, the greater being being an institution in whose devious purposes I was floundering. My flesh would be found a few days later quartered in plastic in a trash can in a parking lot in Amnesia while my suctioned and digitized memories stored in a warehouse below Amnesia belonging to the Hades. Or perhaps, more likely, being put to use for purposes I couldn't discern and for certain wouldn't endorse, like my puppet's sudden appearance endorsing the purposes of someone whose purposes I despised, more, who were inimical to the singular weft of my formulations and symptoms. This incriminating increment, solidifying duration to be presented on a stage of ridicule. As Bergson would have it: "And while we can no doubt, by an effort of the imagination, solidify duration each time it has elapsed", i.e. place it in parenthesis, on stage, diorama, between quotes, frame it as a picture or a news item, "divide it into juxtaposed portions each time it has elapsed, and count all these portions, yet this operation is accomplished on the frozen memory of duration, on the stationary trace which the mobility of duration leaves behind it, and not on the duration itself." And have you ever attempted to fix the frozen memory of duration? The invading neighbors, a haze of militant psychic substrata, the reticulation of an advancing and retreating armada of psychic events which battle you if you try to speak of them, and who knows what happens if you try to speak to them. But I digress.

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