[Reigian Studies.] [On behalf of the baroness.]


Those Were the Shots [1]

[A few of the chapters from “Instantànies d’adés,” a recueil of impressions written in Paris during the late nineteen-seventies — later (the eighties? the nineties?) turned into American.]


Those were the shots (1979)



Group shot of dozens of people assembled at the entrance of an imposing building, mixed solid, with funerary masks, dominated by angry or fiery strokes of feet and legs, dancing, tribal. In the foreground, a tousled-haired tyke with a pole from which a lady’s head dangles. Around them, shawl- and sari-clad spectators sit or stand.

Close-up of fireflies caught in yellowed tar, counting the moments, submerged in angst. To the left, on a rug-strewn dais, various ceremonial objects, made of bronze, are tagged and arrayed. To the right, a river, long and wide as a large cylindrical white beard, framed somewhat in black and red robes.

A manicured lawn with its perimeter packed with finely dressed women and teenagers, smiling and greeting the triumphal arrival of one János, whose trimmed round head would further tickle anyone’s fancy.

From an old bearded man garbed in a dark rusty mantle, seated on the floor of an elegantly appointed room, comes the order. Following the tottering voice of the scruffy fellow, seven sbirri, possibly academics, in formal wear, immediately surround the eighth one, János, the doomed Hungarian. In a rough and severe fashion, he’s brought to the berm. There, he assays reading from a slim book. The pamphlet, tensely perched in his hands, flutters like the wings of a dying moth. The Hungarian recites something, obviously stupid. Neither the sitting hetman nor the public, much less the assassins, take any pleasure in his discourse. Is in the air, one can feel it: everybody demanding that the head of the hapless recitant replace the one of the lady at the end of the tousled-haired tyke’s pole. Everybody, that is, excluding perhaps a moustached man in a lounge suit and necktie who anxiously looks toward the camera. He is Janusz, János’s lover.

Janusz, the Pole, in an effort to prove the scruffy fellow who gives the orders a fraud, dares express (sotto voce) an opinion, heard nonetheless, as it were below the skin, by a few of his brutalized neighbors. It is an opinion based on the bedrock assumption that János’s head is less akin to an egg that the one of the old bearded fellow himself. For his pains, Janusz is rewarded with a litany of critical rejection, with plenty of foreseeable antipathy, from those that surround him, surrenderers all to irrational awe.

Pampered by lyrical peasants as he wandered alone through pornographic Poland, now megalomania clouds his judgment. The maternal magnetism of his splendid peasant champions, instilled in him a propensity to lionize, instead, all would-be cannibals. That’s why in the company of the soon to be hung Hungarian he had emigrated to these obstreperous and outlandish sites, where, with insidious seriousness, those haloed savages ruled.

Telescoping courage under a false identity, he waxes rational, and buttressed by the perturbed and slimy glitterati of farther deep inside the mob with several obnoxious acclamations, while he forges his evasion, he silently shouts with the rest of them.

The oval head of the one that until yesterday had also pampered his nether eggs now gloriously thrones in at the end of the rather smooth lance the tousled-haired tyke holds high. Once lost in those parthenian roughs what an easy truism it is that one never knows what to expect.

Janusz’s navel is painted red. A lotophagist, he gently cottons to the notions of the less pugnacious amongst the flesh-samplers; in the languid rhythm of exotic fountains, he yields up also to the old phenomena of ecstasy, trance, and catalepsy which occur above all among the more infamized of the narcissistic savages. After the hanging and beheading of his transient significant other, their faithful marriage alas suddenly over, he crawled around, desolate, through the mists of abysmal self-flagellation, half buried indeed in the worms and manure of lots of free-roaming cattle, and trying here and there, over walls and ruins almost connectant to an ancient outpost of the Tsarist empire, to write, among the annoying coughings and sneezings of other epistolarians like himself, lovely János’s obituary.

Uttering his thoughts in the hieroglyphic mode of ars emblematica, the resultant graffiti of his invention, though cryptic enough, had one been able not to be too speedily dismissive of his exertions, and had one tried to decipher their awkward rhetoric and images, although of necessity better described as topical or even pointless, the aim of one’s pains would altogether have proven nonetheless quite meaningful. But, of course, not one of the tainted types here cared shit, no one gave a groschen. Trapped by forces beyond their control, each of the pantomimic and occasionally even howling companions scratching at the same waste of wall, had also the same vain hopes, the same irruent itches that at the end their quotes would perchance somewhat echoic culminate at the ears of the generalcy, just about; even, for the more ambitious, would resound among the vaned screens behind which the mandarinate wallowing waddled.

On the other hand also, for one who loathes axioms, let one’s travails be better left in the dark, yawned Janusz, at last equanimous, and obviously starved, so emaciated, agomphious, torsive, on the dirt, to the left of a useless carcass, petrified.

Shot of a throng of outrageous thugs, full of futile desires, and assembled in front of a rotten wall, the lot almost mixed solid, with squinting masks, dominated by angry or fiery strokes of feet and legs, spasms of cheapest peep-show.

But what an eery smile his! A risus sardonicus, no doubt. Or a rictus mortem, else. Love among the carcasses and the derelicts, his thuggish ilk. Of him whatever next will they utter and show — write and draw? Also indecipherable, of course.



The irrelevant war over
the argyraspid no longer unscathed
at last the zenith bathes the veldt.

Buried beneath waned muscles
aimless throngs exiting the asylum
a rarefaction of phlegm.

Gates thrown agape
earth scorched and excoriated
fates unfolded fêted.

Fervent glaciers of her womb
fading edges of evoked nuisances
from hundreds of extinctions fled.

In the darkroom of the tunnel
oblique mimesis
a claw’s developed into flesh.

Numinously tantalizing girlfriend
needling butterflies
of the vicious thrust felt.

Trampling on his swerving pollinator
pawn of past epistemic episodes
with dark hypothesizings fed.

From the train the incinerated knife
soiled alchemy
on the luxurious snow fell.



Shot of the traveler, who has already seen many savage nations. Holding a chronometric instrument, his hands’ muscles taxed, a testimony to the assumed heaviness of the swiveling plinth of the tool. A dangling macabre monocle gnaws at his right biceps. He’s without a shirt. Must be used to brachiate about, as one of your strenuous anthropoids most dexterously would. Without that material he could not perform his essential task here. From just this way of speaking, one is postulating in favor of accuracy. A wealth of details would cram the screen. A fossil key circling his lusty neck ignites his red hot-rod, seen nebulously on the background panning left. He’s a true pilot who, always acutely sensitive to noise of any form, if ever he meets a coterie of frightened brutes who, at the sight of his approaching bolide, shriek with wide-open stone mouths, he’s immediately instilled with all kinds of civilized learnings which impel him only to further onslaught.

The man’s János, the ascetic Hungarian, who, yielding sometimes to raptures of the flesh, is apt to ecstatically rape not only orphans and spineless widowers, but even the champions among the savages, if caught when raining and underground.

Filtered by the crystalline kaleidoscope of pyroxenic almost prismatic magma, the uncertain light abuts on the giant carving of some grotesque being, with fiery windows for eyes. Longish shadows on the somber landscape. A darkened sky. The trees inching lower, hunched, as if by the onus of the black clouds so awed. Seven trembling skins bear witness to the inclemency of the moon. By the grease of grot, intones sepulchral a voice, and wakes up perhaps the lethargic vicinity.

An esplanade overflowing with dreck, teeming with filthy aborigines, their gargoylish bigotry showing foremost. A besotted plebeian crowd doomed, as it pertains to the faithful of all creeds and sorcerous cults, to self-destruct — those at hand particularly as soon as the contemptible warlock hereby ascended in order to bless and above all damn them, likewise dies. Aboard also, high on the same clumsy catafalque, just behind the gesticulating bishop, propping him as it were, the sinister implementers of the doctrine, the whole bunch looming Caravaggiesque enough.

The infallible autocrat, cheating tyrant, then doomed soon to finish in a rush his absurd homily, for he will have to run to the bushy edge over there, where as he strove and strained in the solemn act of defecating, suddenly perished, first proceeded to defecate through the mouth about matters of faith. Raising a foolish continuum of incoherent worthless conundrums never to be squarely solved. The squawking swarm of Pavlovian, obedient zealots at his feet meanwhile for sure getting it all, about the underlying truths, and the intransigent hardships one must endure into the ewigkeit. The more things change, don’t.

The current carried me exactly here, apathy prompting me to think even a bit harder, yawned also Janusz.

In the previous village he’d earned his keep bartering the fecundizing offscourings of adventitious privies. He holds firm the fervent wish that he could be so imbued with cowardice that no fortuity and no blow of fate could break him down. Later the hung Hungarian deflowered him. The Pole brimming with empathy.

Group shot of a few ignited witches philosophically allowed to play with the idea of living a dream within a dream. Not far, in no-man’s land, a thicker bunch of expatriate maidens menstruate sequentially. The tides of whimsical wind send to yonder forests some of their colored strings and scarves.

Going back decades, Janusz hears again the humming of the herrings, the Cossackic methods of the picturesque harpooners, and how victory by the sword changed the tenor of garrison life. Before only magnanimous nightmares salved the superfluous sores of the usual torpor. The surge of chronic migraines also provided a modicum of deliverance. Cumbrous domesticity, the daily debacle of its egregious affront, made him flee, husk without a kernel, born by the reciprocal dusts.

I’ll never blame János for the ambiguous felicity he today affords me. As any soldier, I crave prick.

Interlaced, our inexorable fates brought us together — in such a forsaken desert of a rickety jungle what’s more. Just as well. Until today we shat on chancy fortune and grew older and uglier, and retreated further in, if not despondent, highly miffed. But now here we are, among the savages, privately enthroned, as is only proper. Furthest travels who travels with an improved doppelganger of his at his tail.

Close-up of a couple of degenerate colonials, sipping a maroon beverage and feasting on some sort of liverish viand. The backdrop is constituted by seven deflated skins of seven flayed indigenous females. With a short feathery duster, a glamorous native pickaninny endeavors to keep the lusty flies in check. Cagey smiles all around.


A powerful dust cloud approaches from off-camera

Shot of the makeshift stage.

Twists of witticisms, masterpieces of annihilation, leavened with disorder and intertwined with paralyzing acoustics and sundry vibes of enraptured photons, exhilarated the erst awe-stricken orchestra of passers-by. The subject matter dealt above all with the intrinsic impermanence of truth as seen through the maelstrom of current events, the vortex of verily monstrous news from the home country, the frictions and ordeals anent that repulsive corner precisely. The erstwhile so much respected mirrors of society were now pyoid lips outgassing garbage, and the goddesses of yore themselves obstetrices of blind entropic crapulence.

Ere our buffoon could nonetheless slap its last punch-line, a feeling as of sinking sewers underfoot took wholesale possession of the worthless tatterdemalion audience. In a blink all were disgracefully stuporous, all fair-play foul, all joy melted, whilst the shrunken gargoyle of a clown above fell under the pall of fear and exhaustion, thus becoming if possible further uglified.

Through the blurred purflings of the desert, unknotting itself from the stalagmitic dunes, a pedaling cuckoo of a bedouin; as he’s toiling nigher and nigher, his appearance more and more extraneous, the fabric of space, pristine until now, becomes withal homogeneously gloomier.

Hoopoing on the angry crest of the manure pile, a baleful female cries her skeletal longings, and in random fluctuations the hyperbolical seethings of yonder sands send messages of festering impact. Ludicrous craters pucker our faces and clumps of lumps pop up and vanish on our parricidal skins that rather look like lapidated sheets, as if swathed each of us in sacks, or maybe, yes, as if each sewn up in a translucent subaquatic bag, with a rabid mandrill, a crazed cat, a fuming viper, and a clucking incredulous cock inside.

But better end your silent prattle, for lo and behold, hovering with such eldritch facility, as if gliding now on the hyaline wavelets of the mirageous pediplain, the imperious bedouin how more forbidding he looms! His perilous circumnavigation, his sempiternal periplus, finishes with a spirited sprint. No longer the everbiking bedouin, the errant juvenile, the eely escapist, the arrant jouking thief, the ewigfligende outlander, the freaking trickster on the lam, but the poor dry slough of an exhausted soul.

The hero’s fallen flat at our lacquered feet. Evidence of their appreciative acumens, verses quite apposite rise warmly to the minds of some of the more intricately coherent amongst us eminent ones.

Agroof upon the loam / the flustered demoiselle:
How fondly reaches home / my red-hot peckerel

Neat shot of him, the fallen bicyclist, as a lazy doll, gawkish, convalescing after the added inconvenience of a long tropical fever, feebly smiling, somewhat wrapped up in slipshod fashion, sprawled on a flimsy recliner outside. Glimmerings of abstraction in the background, with perhaps a leaching sepia of a scant would-be jungle blearily peeping. Suspicious bones protrude from the quiet mirror of an uncertain swamp.

Also, farther to the left, ghosts-like enigmatic figures crowded around one of the stakes that loosely enough props the stage, sort of another dismal congeries of sociopaths ominously spiraling and staggering about whilst muttering their atrocious orisons at another of those incongruously carved poles the nauseating natives are too often so keen to zealously worship.

First among the natives, the shrunken toad Dim the Dominant, the stunningly pregnant pontiff, whose love is paramount for gourmet delicacies, roasted parrot above all, still far in the distance keeps wailing and uttering his perpetual inconsistencies. The after-effects not materializing at all in any sharpening of compassion, quite the contrary, wretchedly calling yet for further slaughter.

Until from the dusty convoluted mists instigated by the flawed allegiances to custom, included the sudden crackdown on any visitor from the poisoned hell of that malignant desert, simultaneous streams forth the stick figure of a no longer amnesiac crone. The sole perhaps of the indigenous nuns not bayoneted by the brave crusaders our antecessors, the stern colonial reckons.

Shot then of one of the elder and darkest aboriginals, who, though of peregrine stirp, natal or oriund were she indeed to that same old (erst destructed) village; in point of fact she’d been in her earliest years one of the doozier amongst the vestal whores offering, naked and lithe and svelte as the next pretty spider strutting on the runway of her web, their always miraculous virginity to the eager devotees, and what’s more on the very temple that used to sit where the fake stage still, albeit very uneasily, today sits.

Peremptorily urging quiescence, some of the select colleagues make room for the vintage witch, since time immemorial just one ridiculed cog of the ruthless machinery of the outdoors. Will she be as mendacious as ever? Or will she illuminate the whole sombrous tableau? As hawks ready to pounce (that is, blindly debunk,) portentously we watch.

Anastasis, Anastasis! She feebly yells. On the eve of thine departure how choicely we rogered!

The moribund acquiesces, equally thrilled. Thrilled as shown maybe by the frenzied expressions his countenance tries to manifest; his toothless gums for instance reaching up and sucking the tip of his gnomical comical nose, his adunc snout, his varicose proboscis.

The hoary explorer lost those last eighty-five years or more! Thus us whistling, nonplussed. Whore mother of mine!

So all the ado, who would’ve thought, proved to be nothing but a dubious gift from beyond the asperous and tremulous threshold of the threat (felt nonstop by all as flesh-boringly contumacious) posed by the extensive deathly dryness of the inauspicious blot of infinite sand distressfully stationed on the outer margins of the wretched hamlet.

After all, so, nothing worse than the happy reappearance of Anastasis Peckerell, the legendary so-called discoverer, and enlightener cum obfuscator, and evangelist cum manurer — the relentless inculcator amongst the heathen of some of our more manurial verities.

Plus of course he’d verisimilarly been such a voracious cockerel with the dames, not least with the juicy vestals of many other cretinous creeds besides — and the mongrel quality of a vast number of commoners in the current population possibly attesting this lascivious power of his... though who knows. For alas, let’s rue the fact that there isn’t extant nowadays any snapshot of his alleged philandering, not even in the shape of a somewhat disguised bawdy postcard. At this lack of evidence the instantaneous quandary arises. How reliable have ever been your typically mercurial mobs of rotten twats? Even in our own quite erklärten home societies — about which in any other realm rightly dithyrambic might we grow — the delusional old bitches do nothing but — never better said, gentlemen — déconner.

Be it as thou wilt, the truth was that now some of the ladies, their illusions showing, the lighter colors of their lustrous naked skins added, indeed palpable, testimony perhaps to Peckerell’s yesteryear’s erotic activity, an activity that eventually had flooded the continent, sought to have at least a less obstructed glance of the badly put together jack-a-lent, such cobbled scarecrow that most of us are even declining to play any longer the ever-vigilant hawk.

Rank liars, even the younger harlots had cheerfully recognized the lusty libidinous pipsqueak. Without a doubt, without a doubt, ‘tis him, they assert.

Also, now came to light that he, princely chivalrous champion (only that with the latest rifle nicely accoutred, thus endowed with an extra phallic weapon, as it were,) had likewise engaged in several sprees of wholesale killings — a fair cipher of counterplotters who had unwisely turned against his inseminative ardor being the lucky recipients of his retributive zeal, not to mention of his phantasmal shrapnel.

Anyhow, confronted with all those laudative attributions, the agomphious hero tried (one imagines) to smile. To no avail. A train of irruptive haters further mashed him. Frugally bestowed each of them with a fanatic’s shriveled pea-brain, the ugly yokels had been brewing their rage and jealousy for some time now. In random sudden fury, richly vindictive and, again, faintly parricidal, they, by one too many of those phantom bugs of ungraspable adversity utterly irritated, as a herd of rhinos charges, charged, their quite coriaceous feet pounding for the nonce still the fiercer. And no shit.

Shot of a (luckily monochrome) disgusting pulp of a very badly advised mummy, beaten to a mummy too, thoroughly trod upon, utterly destroyed, out of kilter to a tee... Unwiederbringlich indeed. Not the best of times to be reborn, Janusz, damned creep.


we are the continuators... emptying the boxes, and more

visits since July 2008