The Insistence of Momentum
by Sacha Archer
We cannot but ask, remembering the penal system of that day, and the tortures that awaited him—the wheel, the stake, the fire!—we cannot but ask, I repeat, what induced him to accuse himself of this crime?[i]
Deliberately abandoning themselves to the intestines of impossible labyrinths... The labour involved in returning, case by case, soft-abdicators, to the state of upright animals of the blazing sun, is left to the hospitals from which, revolutionaries, not entirely opposed to some sparse, utilitarian entertainment, intercept and withhold funds.
If a question is going to be asked, let its answer not be the silent, rotund embrace that melts one. Counter-revolutionaries, dripping obsolescence, herald the heroic as innate in waterlogged receptors. It is not. It is now high-noon, and the wheels, the axle, and the fired fuel indicate the direction as On!
Dat is a fust rate reason why I should want to see de law execute but not for me to go myself in particular, when, perhaps de ole man point his rifle at me, and tell me to clear out.[ii]
The book of precarious law never could be told apart from the hideous leather bound Bible. Then the Quran was placed on the table, and the sutras, the endless sutras... the Mahabharata and folk-tales from the most ignored cultures of the Earth... But each is the same, mixed together or taken alone—lists spiced with narrative, or no narrative, objects to be opened and closed, ignored or propounded—whichever's beneficial at a particular moment in time.
The revolution's only law is placed within the dictates of intuition. It is a dangerous step, that which is worth stealing. A bullet can so easily fly. Clear out? Women and men, young and old, of the revolution, have a penchant, rooted in the acknowledgment of the absurdity of Justice, for the shot that rings out at night—or the middle of the day: the laws of physics.
Prolonging his trip as far as Spain, Apollonius there got up a sedition against the authority of Nero, and thence crossed over into Africa.[iii]
Prolongation is the positive vantage of procrastination. A regime of pills can keep you alive drooling in a chair. There are those who prefer this! Degenerate elements swaddle themselves in the cleavage of their sexy butchery. Their superfluous, and so it follows, deviant peregrinations, lead to restless incisions into unadulterated consciousness. Carved up and laid out into an episodic serial, the mutilated consciousness furnishes the degenerate with comfy autobiography that automates decision based on biased patterns. The wreckage of perceived individualism: the stuff of running—from what will catch up!
The child ate little; but sat with her elbows on the table, her firmly rounded chin resting on her clasped hands, and drank in his words.[iv]
How often we forget just how powerful the magnets of the hands are, what they intentionally or unintentionally draw towards them. The chin—positive & north, clasped hands—negative & south. This tableau of locked reverence, gushing thematic attraction, voraciously splashes innocence and semen across the walls. Its cleaning is mean work—drudgery in the wake of cutesy-poo and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. In her presence, one can't help but catch the fragrance of vomit stained on the little girl's chin. This house baulks the revolution—and the revolution, hands off, abandons them to a languid cannibalism.
By-and-by a lion arrived, and from among the frightened herd chose out a fat elephant, which he seemed as though about to devour.[v]
Good, good, good! But what's the delay? Hunger is not the causal propellant one extols when unwilling to flinch. Hunger distends the belly, fixates on a blade of grass, fattens the sun. It is hatred refining precision reflexes, tripping the springs. It is hatred that whets the appetite for a clean plate (summarily smashing it). Or, taking a different tack,
there is nothing inside an animal
being burned alive
but the desire
to make it
Where, it may be asked, were my ideals?[vi]
When one walks into a telephone pole, they are not looking where they are going. The romantic deviationist, claiming to have been elsewhere, reveals that they were lost in thought, often articulated as a day-dream, which is the same. Dream and thought, basic bodily functions, remove us from ourselves to the same degree as routine defecation. They are echoed by the secretions of the thyroid, the over or under production of which are hazardous. Ideals? What are they? If you do not perform one action, you have performed another. It's not an issue of a box titled, LOST AND FOUND.
It puts me in Mind of the famous Roman Lady, who suppos'd, that Men had, naturally, stinking Breaths, because she had been us'd to it, in her Husband.[vii]
When one tastes fame, the correct action to be taken is, at the soonest opportunity, to fuck one's own throat with a dildo until gargling bile and blood. How else could one continue clawing at the earth? Such action is far from extreme, given the alternative. Unanimous anonymity strengthens the musculature of the clear-sighted. The despair which, pocketed throughout the body, the revolutionary taps and sucks, is refined into presence of mind. False consolations of the calibre of marriage result in the drying of these essential reservoirs. The more fetid the revolutionary's breath, the faster our famous Roman Lady runs, like those model buffalo, over the edge of a cliff, into a blood-kettle.
His wishes upon this occasion are the best that are the best turned; you do not, I am sure, doubt the truth of mine, and therefore I will express them with a Quaker-like simplicity.[viii]
The Quakers were exterminated as a minor but no less important stepping stone on the path of perpetual revolution. Exercises were carried out within their cardboard villages immediately following their effortless occupation; villages, the dismantling of which (buildings and bodies) served to improve cadres' morale without an excessive expenditure of energies or resources. The ease with which such a casual, downright lazy massacre occurs is an index of that people and that culture's value.
Addressing the gastric disorder of wishing, it should first be said that innumerable cadres have been lost to this grotesque state of being. So encompassing is its perversion that one observes total transformation of the inflicted within twenty-four hours and usually within a mere five. It has often been observed that a strict diet of belittling and manipulation, followed by the assignment of him or her who is undergoing rectification, to the position of conductor of torture of superfluous elements, effects an arrival at savage intelligence which will only gain in clarity.
His [King Friedrich Wilhelm's] experience on this occasion served to prove that good-faith and the virtues, so contrary to the corruption of the age, do not succeed in it.[ix]
The revolutionary, having two hands, must take up corruption in one, and the virtues in the other, and having thoroughly felt the overwhelming fatigue of their fatuitous positions, crush them both. Corruption, banal as the virtues, is a necessary consequence of them. Isolated? Who walks in the sun without their shadow? To model one's actions on the examples of corruption is to nourish and safeguard the position and practice of the virtues—and vice-versa. But what then, is to replace them? The tenderness inherent in the bear at night, that threatened, eats you alive.
Frankie strode grimly to his corner, ignored Milt, moved on into the dressing room.[x]
Frankie, his absurd name oozing images of 1950's greasers in high school parking lots: combs & knives, packs of cigarettes folded into the short sleeves of their t-shirts revealing the boredom of bicep-worship. Such marketable packages in and of themselves are regarded as targets, when worn with that intensity of faith which renders them indistinguishable from the animal's identity.
Frankie would surely have been destroyed at the onset of the revolution, immediately identifiable as a bad element. Given away by the anxieties and dissatisfactions that had bloated his step and, with the disfigurement of advanced aging, kicked in his gaping face.
But we do not realise how much such accusations meant at the time at which they were made—how they affected not a man's personal advancement only, but also the opinion in which he was held by those for whose opinion he cared the most.[xi]
An opinion held like a precious antique shatters on the floor. An opinion held like a ready blade is fallen on by that body. An opinion held like a lover betrays you. And when too many opinions are held—one isn't strong enough.
Beyond the ability to wrap it in a lung, the element of air, whether accusation or wind, contains no meaning for the nomadic loyalty that is neither pushed away nor towards the etiquette of alliance. Those employed in the re-conceptualization of the contemporary landscape through broad gestures of disruption knock down those who sidle up gingerly to cultivate attachment.
Beneficial! One needn't root out counter-revolutionaries who throw themselves under the wheels.
His first prediction is fulfilled in the case of Narcissus, who, despising the advances of all females (in whose number is Echo, who has been transformed into a sound), at last pines away with love for himself, and is changed into a flower which bears his name.[xii]
Before and since Nostradamus there has been an overwhelming failure at reading the moment at hand—and there has been a paper house compensation. The creativity exercised just to prove one knows, and the logic withheld, that's charming in its agreeable modesty, could never incite criticism when passing through axiomatic lips:
If it is perceived in the distance one knows it when it's here.
But who, with a modicum of experience, hasn't been stricken with how thoroughly distance changes something that is then seen up close? And if something is only believed to be seen? A perverse and diligent logic is discovered slaving over its work. At the center of the persuasive claims, a fetishization of collusions. To couple two unrelated, non-contempor-aneous events and then to call them mother and child simply because they bear the same family name... only shows how little one knows about their origins.
As to infallible predictions, don't we all already know? In death we return as flowers. Since the violence of the revolution heightened our senses one cannot escape the fragrance rising from the fields.
An expression of hatred lighted up the eyes that rested upon the young creature who was unexpectedly rendering his part so difficult to play.[xiii]
It is the vocation of all cognizant homo-sapiens to denude themselves of roles and follow the path of least resistance. It will always arrive at revolution, pushed there by those who reject the direction of their blood and condemn themselves to the suicide of building. One can taste the sweat on the skin of the young creature who buries himself with resolve while convinced that he is climbing. The tree he's in is the one from which he'll be hung. This is to be expected in the culture of dead-ends. But, this young creature is not abandoned completely to his parasitic learnings. He projects self-loathing onto the eyes which he has removed. He is pulled in two directions. Too bad his quandary has resulted in such an effective knot.
Why will you talk like that? You know you promised your father——[xiv]
The father has been discarded for the man as the mother has been discarded for the woman; the son and daughter discarded for the boy and girl.
Remain in your chrysalis and render it a bag of stinking shit.
See the bodies in the sun. Will you be standing or lying down? Revolutionary or counter-revolutionary? Will you promise or do? Will you come of yourself or be dragged here?
She had met and formed her own opinion of the protestations of not a few young men in her time, and it was evident to her that, while Ingleby's attitude became him, he did not recognize the fact.[xv]
Attitude reduced to fashion! This woman knows something about here today, gone tomorrow. After all, she must! She's persisted in the study of hyper-intellectual metrosexuals and weighed the value of each long, thin, whine—and produced results! deduced conclusions... Where is her piece of officious paper, over which someone made a speech and someone else signed? And what a piece of paper! It opens doors and improves cocktails. It was among the recycling that contributed to the paper of this book.
In the mouth, the grating sand of arid complaint—but when one insists that it's protest, valiant, peaceful protest... it's a day at the beach. And a bottle is waiting to be thrown, a head waiting to be hit.
No one else could have heard it but Melody, whose ears were like those of a fox.[xvi]
Because she listened in. Because she did not know. Because she thought she then would know. Eavesdropping? Tone deaf! She spies with an enthusiasm that gives birth to anthems. Who gurgles and coos beneath a loyal towel hung up on the line? Flags, accessorizing vulnerable convictions, subject to the direction of the wind, are so much dirty laundry. How much more redundant then is spying, when you don't know black from white, sharp from flat? And when you do? You do not spy, nor do you stab someone with a finger! You look them in the eye.
As to those ears—the praise that's been heaped upon them! Such unique deformity, through its isolating exceptionality, lends impetus. But yes, too much.
Push and pole as he would, he seemed to have no control whatever over the boat.[xvii]
Whether weather's a bitch depends on the presence of a motor, the amount of turpentine hours stored indoors that have stripped skill from the natural inclination to struggle and thrive, and, how willing one is to dive, confident it is possible they will die. Remove success from achievement and it widens considerably. Flustered at being beaten—that's flaunting your wasted limbs to the domino winds. When the storm comes, all the dry twigs... The landscape glowing in the season of maintenance.
Perhaps sometimes Mary was sick, and then I am sure he did all he could to help and comfort her and make her forget her pain.[xviii]
Pain is the territory of sharpening where we bond with the teeth of the earth. Don't forget it. Empathy declares left, but leads right—an embedded politician with dentures that are rooted in the skin. They sink in—and bite clean through.
Philanthropists! You, upholding habits of a rag-doll Jesus: comforting is to hold a head under water with your fat hairy fist, in a tub discarded in the center of a remote field. Not exactly what was intended? There, there is the subtle politics.
She had walked to the railing and was leaning both hands upon it.[xix]
No revolutionary can answer at what moment precisely archetypal accumulation begins to outweigh instinctual composure. It is soon evident. Again and again. The contortions of adolescence result in either bending or breaking. Ninety-five percent of the population accepts the bit between their teeth. Do you think this fails to effect a period of mourning? The revolution is a state of mourning (not compassion). Five percent (and this is being unrealistically optimistic) find the grace of arcs their bodies hold in store. And this is not chance, class, colour, or gender. It is disgust.
When Cymoent heard the melancholy news, she flung away her flowers, and rending her hair, threw herself speechless on the ground.[xx]
Stop the modern-aesopic gossip and you rob the beatific slug of its soul. Stop the modern-aesopic gossip! The soul is as forcefully present as... as.... The soul denotes an emptiness we shape with name. Tales of wisdom spilling from the anus in the center of the face—the fur of the things! Flash-bulb uvula smacking the back of the throat (the height of masturbatory reportage) enjoys a game of ping-pong that spells la fin du monde. A mouthful of pubic hair. Welcome to the fabled dialogues played out in the flesh.
[i] Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot
[ii] John Turvill Adams, The Lost Hunter: A Tale of Early Times
[iii] P.T. Barnum, The Humbugs of the World: An Account of Humbugs, Delusions, Impositions, Quackeries, Deceits and Deceivers Generally, in All Ages
[iv] Eliot H. Robinson, 'Smiles': A Rose of the Cumberlands
[v] Songling Pu, Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
[vi] Winston Churchill, A Far Country
[vii] Aaron Hill, ‘Of Genius’, in the Occasional Paper, and Preface to the Creation
[viii] Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, Letters to His Son, Complete: On the Fine Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman
[ix] Thomas Carlyle, History of Friedrich II. of Prussia
[x] Gerald Vance, Vital Ingredient
[xi] Elizabeth Sanderson Haldane, James Frederick Ferrier
[xii] Ovid, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Books I-VII
[xiii] E. Marlitt, Gold Elsie
[xiv] Arnold Bennett, Leonora
[xv] Harold Bindloss, Delilah of the Snows
[xvi] Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, Melody: The Story of a Child
[xvii] Frank Richard Stockton, What Might Have Been Expected
[xviii] Anonymous, The Boyhood of Jesus
[xix] Maria Louise Pool, Friendship and Folly: A Novel
[xx] Edmund Spenser, Tales from Spenser, Chosen from the Faerie Queene