It's absurd to
think that periods empty of love are blank pages in a woman's life. My case
was not unique: I was already old, I was afraid of dying and distressed at
being in this world. After considering the historic page and viewing the living
world with anxious solicitude, the most melancholy emotions of sorrowful
indignation had depressed my spirits. Long ago all the nice people were poor,
allowing for exceptions. It's true, the one thing I have gained from exile is
the privilege of going to the zoo. Teaching birds to talk is a task requiring
great patience and the right approach. As the owner of a hundred such birds I
have studied them at close quarters for some twenty-one years and I know when
and under what conditions each species will start to mimic. One day, a woman
came up to me. Sooty addressed her: Good morning Judge, what's your name,
where is my rosette? There is nothing so sad as to see a parrot cooped up all
its life in a tiny inadequately sized cage, remarked the woman. I found,
looking at the sky again, a clear, black crystal dome: the sun had not yet
risen. Taking a walk that day in the hills. The possibility of a stream that
forks in exactly the right position to feed two lakes. A blue Moslem town
skirting the edge of a cliff. Two fine horses, horses in the early dawn
eating slowly, swaying from side to side, horses that plough, never in a
hurry, but always accomplishing something. In case of this. In case of this.
A collage of original
material and cut-ups of opening sentences by Djuna Barnes,
Jane Bowles, Charlotte
BrontĎ , Leonora Carrington, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir,
Marguerite Duras, Emma
Goldman, Radclyffe Hall, Violette Leduc, Countess Markievicz,
Muriel Spark, Gertrude
Stein, Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf
Memorandum of a Mad Project-Maker
the 4th century AD, shortly before the period that is generally represented
as the collapse of the Roman Empire… an author who remains anonymous wrote
De Rebus Bellicis (DRB), a treatise for the counsel of the emperor in matters
war. In the late 19th century the text was still called 'Denckschrift eines
verruckten Projektemachers' (Memorandum of a Mad Project-Maker).
- Gerald Raunig, A
Forget your rams,
tortoises, raven's beaks and cranes, your scorpions and wild ass siege
weapons - your tormenta. The future Sigmund Freud will have a field-day with the naming of the
drone. What castration anxiety! A male honey bee, his ejaculation so
explosive his penis is broken off and left inside the queen during mating.
Drones - like empires - only mate once, and die shortly after their greatest
display of power.
My alarm sounds.
Raise the alert. System cause & the first sign. My tear. Voice tearful
voice, eyes easily moved. Have a little cry. Be a real cry-baby. Drop
crocodile tears. Trim, (de)burr, trim, clip, trim. My tear brought 3 month's
growth of beard. Whiskers jagged edged, ragged edged, need a shave. Damn it!
Blast! What a drag. Barb snorts while ‘it' you rate barb &.. Pain weapon.
Gun-murder-spectacled. Agog. My dear frolics lovemaking. My alarm & unit
measuring data transmission speed. Marble. Billiard ball. Have a game.
Roll-on deodorant. He didn't beat about the bush. He made all the right
moves. Pull out. Know a thing or two about history. Billet. Block of wood.
Mug face. You should have seen his face! My alarm & mule's packsaddle -
there's the rub. Ache all over. Arms. Weapons. Factory soldiers. They came
into town to shake, weaken, disturb, unhinge. Shattered nerves. Whole world
shaken. Stunned by the news. Happy cattle-herd of humanity* move, set off, start swinging.
Sick. Weapon-blinded. In one eye poked out. My alarm is clear. Summer.
* Mallarmé: bétail heureaux
des hommes, trans. SM
you're a water
your trembling hands
You dig tunnels on the edge of slow-moving rivers. Seldom seen, your
high-pitched squeak can still be heard. Your remains are found in the pellets
of birds of prey. Owls and hawks regurgitate your bones, fur and feathers. I
occasionally find you dead on paths, drowned or trapped
sentences passed under the screw-plate,
subjected to the saponification of obligatory metaphors
you enter bottles. Once inside, the sloping neck scuppers your escape. Your
corpse attracts other shrews: Dusky, Common, Masked, the Least Siberian. I have found twenty or more dead
in a single bottle. It's hard to identify shrews positively. Most have to
consult specialist books. Roman Jacobson studied aphasia, a language disorder resulting from
memory loss. The language disorder
(I am in the habit of keeping strict note of my mental phenomena according to
the methods recommended by philosophy)
of language in different ways so that those suffering from a ‘continuity
disorder' tend to use substitution and those suffering from ‘similarity
disorder' tend to use association. He said: Metaphor is alien to the
similarity disorder, and metonymy to the continuity disorder. He was drunk! Horribly drunk!
your fur is soft
as willow catkins
you dive well
© Sheila Mannix