POST-OP: MUTILATED NUDES
Beheading Medusa, your fantasies stream out of my body: the birth of beauty. Defying the sensuality of the alphabet, I imagine your voice as my blood.
You had dreamed of a book.
Words, to cure the tameness, not the wildness.
Because your name is Satan, you are the memory of losing my capacity to dream. And because you are the presence of evil in my body, your job is to kill all the flies.
A fly lands on your forehead. Another fly lands among our pile of dead ones and starts tearing them apart, climbing over the corpses, picking at guts with its feelers, bringing guts to its mouth. The only durable aesthetic is that of failure so you burn your hands in prayer to stop speaking. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? When you say I am a witch what you mean is I look good in this hat.
The voice of our unborn is uncontrollable. I yanked up a weed, the seeds spread. We watched them float off in a sunbeam. You kept hoping that our structure would be tangible, so I stepped off from a bridge. I drenched my hair in gas. You wanted me to stay invisible with you. Instead I filled my pockets with rocks. I tried to burn my body like a poem.
Now I am outside the human impulse. We speak of my death, not your dead body. Twisting genetics, ink streams from my forehead. You hear it but can’t name the sound. Murmurings, rustlings. It escalates in the presence of winds. I wish it would howl. I howl but my voice is a dream. You are sentencing me back into being. If my howl could escape you. If you could escape me. I watch you spiral out. I summon every entrail and grasp them in my hands, I grip them at the root, but it breaks. Your root rots inside me. I perform this cannibalism with a smile, because our antics have cost me sincerity.
The body is a mystery. The body is lost inside itself. The body flares up sometimes, leaking theories, and then we are lost, tamed. I choose words, more words. The body is a repulsive concept.
So I twist my hand inside my skull and squeeze, spreading my fingers wide. I grasp your severed cock, that I keep in a jar by my bed because it gives me vivid dreams, and force it into my mouth. Spiders crawl down my thighs, across my abdomen. A kind of scholarly pornography. A force you sense radiating from the pages of books.
When I say I’m not a witch what I mean is that I’ve just emerged from the forest covered in mud with branches knotted up in my hair, soaked in rainwater and sweat. When I say that you’re wild what I mean is that you are not like me. Heaven is perhaps the opposite of towers. And towers are the roots of hell.
My body spills.
You take the scalpel to the sticking feathered mass. A spider sac of tiny crawling angels. I thread them on a string, red because non legor non legar. You swat them, their legs crawl in the air. You look back to find them still twitching. Shocks jolt through you, strips of flesh splatter at the surface of the membrane, disappearing into dense clusters of feathers. You are silent but your eyes are full of ink. You can’t stop throwing meaning at the void to turn it different colors. Without color, I would have no autobiography. Without amnesia, I would possess no sexuality. Man abandons, woman murders. I wring myself out and drink the blood. Woman splits, man is two places at once.
You ease your fingers into the depths of the sac and feel thousands of soft spidery hands. The hard tip of an instrument presses into the raw meat of your palm. You pull it towards you and the organ clenches, contracting, releasing gas in soft spurts, a thin vein of violet sap secreting from its upmost lobe.
You take out a rib. You drill a hole. You scrape my debris with a curette. You read because it reiterates that language doesn’t belong to you. You stretch my epidermal flap, hold it in place with a pinzette, slide your body under it, pretend you’re suffocating.
As a child when you thought of god what you saw was a monster compulsively driven to eat itself, whose flesh instantly grew back after being digested. Slicing stars apart in the margins, forking new constellations, dreaming into the text, as it swallows you. You had dreamed of a book that would nourish you, that would teach you its secrets, heal you of amnesia and the compulsion to rot. Highlighting in the color of your skin, sucking poison from spines, whole pages soaked in bloodred.
A church is a place we could inhabit. A church is a place for staging porn. A church is a place for binge-purging on string from the mouth. You pull out a tiny golden string from the mouth of the instrument and affix it to my bronchi. Your hands are blistering and fluidy, emitting faint auras of heatwaves. Using blood as a lubricant, you twist my tubes so that they spiral into a dense curl, aligning the mouth of the largest tube with fray threads of cartilage, revealing the visceral pleura, snaking into the root.
Stroking it, stretching it out between your fingerpads, soul-prosthetic turned divergent flesh, you spit in your hand and crush a dead fly in my wound, scraping at its edges with your fingernails. You pry off your shoes and socks and flex your toes into the puddle of blood at your feet. You save my bones.
Now you dream of crucifixions, archangels dragging their tongues through your nerves, distortions of Christ. When I say I practice tarot what I mean is I cut myself open. Perversions of fathers and devils, everything appearing as a trinity. What you see is an octopus vanishing in a cloud of protective ink. You see evil. The white page hides the mirror in a trial by fire, a secret language we’ve both forgotten how to speak. When I say I am a martyr what I mean is I wish I were your mother, so that we could commit incest, exalting ourselves to the status of gods, where the virgin is syntax to dream against. You see a constellation because I watch you from below, disguising the water that bloats through my lungs as a sentence. You see a tattoo because my body is a book, or a fly that you thread on a string, piercing a needle through its guts, limbs twitching.
When the octopus is threatened by a predator, it secretes a cloud of ink. I always dream of a pen that would be a syringe. The other animals don’t actually exist because you’re not really an animal, you’re a god: unintelligible, sensual, instinctive, uncontrollable. And because violence is my genetic curse, the water is bloated with white energy, because I imagine your voice as my repulsion to water, you sink to the bottom, gnawing away at your limbs, and gods are like men; they are born and they die on a woman’s breast, until the ocean is left submissive to itself, the difference between speaking of the body and speaking from it.
This is what I see when I pursue us as a relationship between equals: I see you in the dark, I try to touch you, but a body of wounds squeezes into me, prays through me, makes me invisible, tells me we can heal like this, tell me to swallow myself by opening my mouth. When I call nighttime voiceless what I mean is that something else speaks. Your hands sprout fur and claws, drawing blood from my hip bones, you get addicted to the protrusion of my skeleton. I write of my body so that it can happen outside of me. Bodies of our sort possess each other in sleep.
Before you confess, you hold up a mirror to your face. I see that beauty is no longer restricted to meaning. There is a sense of splitting, smoke rising across your face, the world going in two, slipping back. When I say I destroyed my own mythos, what I mean is that there are no individuals here but you, the one who goes up in smoke.
This is what only partially happens: A mysterious paralysis. Whip-like wounds on my arms. The outline of a crown of thorns. Scent of roses. Tears and sweat tinted red.
You must remain unaltered. You must hemorrhage and not result in perfect healing or infection.
SCHIZOANALYSIS: BREAKING A RIB FROM A BOOK
In the deep structure, every mark of redaction has a sort of charnel voice built into it, stored up inside it. This charnel voice is a wall of sound, not only from the way in which it dilates each fragment, but also from the way in which these dilations defy textuality. Each redaction may diabolically oppose its own marrow, and even submit to the nonmastery of a hidden script, in order to exude a Godtext, a sensual text whose raw power is estrangement.
If God is an anti-polyvocality, it is because God fertilizes the bloodstream of impulse and surrender. If the subconscious of God is opposed to the adversarial instinct of the author, it is because God is a congenital abnormality rippling through the body of compulsory poetics, wherein resistance is incendiary. If the subconscious of God infests the battered text, it is because this animal utterance becomes a raison d’être for the text’s defiant physicality: God is that violence by which the subconscious frees itself from the body, and renders the body divergent.
The subconscious of God is not dictated by the bodies that it invades, or by the bodies that absolve it. On the contrary, it paradoxically attracts bodies critically recreated, it crosses out between bodies, it spirals through world-negation. World-negation is not a transcendence, it is a feral beyond, it is the intimate ars poetica of cellular reclamation. The image of an incubation zone can only begin to explain this forced death of meaning: a body is always a body of semi-abstraction.
God is neither the over-interpreted dream of a socius nor the abnormality of a blank page. God is erasure, the residual chaos of any finished product, an unwritten excess paradoxical to the performance of the body. God is that unreality through which an author-text is brutalized, captured by a gesture of inclusion. In such rituals of wounding, the fragment does not escape, but isolates the escaped word. The fragment does not confess, but is aborted under textual confession: it receives the sentence of becoming-visible.
The phallus of this text is triadic, invisible, and dead: it is the paradox of God, the transsexuality of the father, the abortion of the son. It is the phallus of the pen, the violence of the ‘I’ inflicting its will into the body of the other, the body of the text. Everything in this resistant erotics is prosthetic, godless, or ironic: the prosthetics of the voice of coercion, the paranoia of the body of poison as it murders its babies into coherency, the shame of the necrophile reconstructing a religion of perdition. The aborted text reflects the severed phallus, a hidden focus, a framework of inversion for what must be called skeletal polyvocality: a voice that silences or resists, an epiphany burned into the two-dimensional skin of pandemonium, a necrophilic praxis that extracts latent virtue from society’s monsters, a confusion of signs that implies the triple violence of the fragment, a skeleton of obsession and absence.
If irresponsible, that is because it is founded on an ethics of nonmastery. If contradictory, that is because I contain multitudes explains the role played by narcissism, indicated by repetition-compulsion, in the haunting of the surface that silences, as well as in the subversion of charnel textuality. And what is erasure if not doubling for the sign that narrates it, the diabolical or hidden sign that is not motivated by any idea of the word, but is alone capable of grasping the subtle relationship between the becoming-visible engraved in glossolalia and the psychodrama issuing from a pornographic surface? Between these two elements of isolation, erasure is the infraction of order that the sign devastates, constructing a lens of confessional escapism, erasing the witch from the sentence that condemns her, exerting the body’s defiance of textuality.
Should one resist what one conjures, revise secrets, pierce the skin with needles, silence with one’s script? Stolen glossolalic textures in the throat still do not involve any charnel voices, since charnel voices can confuse other penetrations only down to the marrow of revised epiphanies that eventually over-determine the body-text, giving murder a formality. Such is the monster in which skeletal polyvocality aborts itself at the mirror, a ‘self-narrating being’ thus sterilizing the voice of order.
PRE-OP: NOTES TOWARDS THE CONSTELLATORY BODY
- I call you a witch because there is no meaning that is inseparable from your absence, my stubborn reach for your impossible blood.
- It’s like a prayer. I wake up with raw nailbeds and cracked lips. For a moment I keep dreaming that we’re vampires. I see a snake with its tail in its mouth.
- You see a snake.
- Not a river running through your ribs to these.
- Not a snake.
- The artwork, writes Bataille, attracts us because it undermines the solidity of the subject. It destroys us as an object (insofar as we remain enclosed—and fooled—in our enigmatic isolation).
- In my dream you were eating me, but you had the head of a cow. I split your skull down its center and flipped through you, unable to make sense of your images, echoing your every word in my memory.
- As though it were ordained: the deeper my understanding of you, the less you are able to consume me.
- I am not a witch and have never been to the sabbat. I do not know how to bewitch.
- Erotically potent, potentially venomous, the intimate recipient who makes all metaphors possible and desirable: you must be trained, mastered, codified, bound to blank pages, nonsense.
- Carcasses twisted and bound symbolically. Symbols taken as echoes and to your darkened spaces unhaunted.
- Contained within an amulet, hidden in your hair.
- A culprit does not speak.
- Infanticide, cannibalism, demon orgies, penis stealing.
- Muffled throughout their history, they have lived in dreams, in bodies (though muted), in silences,in aphonic revolts.
- Consuming babies in cannibalistic feasts.
- Ripping stars apart, renaming them wounds, gathering rot in my hands.
- The text-as-carcass, the text-as-demon: it is psychotic to draw a line between two places.
- There is a nightmarish quality to Foucault’s analysis: just as we think we are freeing ourselves from societal constraints, just as we believe we are finally able to open a window onto our soul and speak our inner truth—ostensibly our one true desire—at this very moment we succumb to webs of power that have been conspiring for centuries to lead us to this self-reflexive posture.
- Sifting through dirt, sucking poison from spines.
- It’s like a prayer.
- The masculine modernist process of creation (author/muse), mirrors not only the mystic-confessor relationship but also the doctor-patient relationship in the Freudian talking cure (in all three binaries, she is the raw material, who needs to be shaped and coaxed into a narrative, she spurts forth, she needs to be contained).
- Christ’s appearance in radiant glory.
- A kind of scholarly pornography.
- Whole pages soaked in bloodred.
- Does Woman have an unconscious or is she the unconscious?
- Whereas magic seeks control, mysticism surrenders control to the hands of a higher power.
- So sure is my justice, that sixteen witches arrested the other day, never hesitated, but strangled themselves incontinently.
- Between a prohibition of bestiality and a guideline about dowry payments in Exodus 22:18: You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
- A young girl mounts a donkey. They are led through the town to the church, where the donkey stands beside the altar during mass, and the congregation ‘hee-haws’ their responses to the clergy.
- To prolong our intensity, I never throw all of myself into you.
- Cats chained together and yowling.
- Spit them out from your mouth.
Miranda Metelski is a Detroit-based multidisciplinary artist, writer, model, and maker of zines. A founding member of Ypsilanti’s Temporal Arts Collective, she has performed and collaborated at Electric Ocean Strip Search, Madhouse, Riverside Arts, and the Angel Orgy Temple. You can follow her on Tumblr at r3volutionaryb0dy.tumblr.com.