:: Article

Anatomical Drawings Made By Infants

By Lauren de Sá Naylor.






Pins and needles in my clawed hand and limbs glued together by a film of sweat, and the robe also adhering to abdominal skin. To peel or unfold requires the overcoming of paralysis/paralytic easing-out/birth/resurrection from there, from where it all happened.


I drop him unambiguously and explicitly, circumnavigating inebriated dramatisation. He takes it better [without drunkenness or opening his forearms; making the inside come out though thwarted by “super-efficiently clotting blood”] that way he supplements acceptance of my withdrawal of fucks with threats of vengeance by way of the narrative dissemination of my sexual perversity, like when he [accidentally] hit me and I begged him to do it again. I don’t care and leave [the flip-side of material reality, in which I was cut deep and couldn’t breathe but still, in exposure, rage…own it, someone said, “still tryin”]. In any case, I am moving away to Wales to be with my new lover.


We fight in the car, in our adopted home of Leeds: I admit to him “I am frightened of you.” I utter this through gritted teeth, tears streaming, very quiet so you only just hear, so you hear enough to inquire; my larynx is raw from guttural iterations originating in the belly that scrape [fingernails] down the vertical flesh-line of the larynx. I return to childbirth, July 2009 – “Don’t scream, GRUNT” – I don’t scream, I grunt, he above me, displaying violence facially, inferences of abandonment, the collapsing of psychic defences, reflections on ‘organic mirrors.’ (AJ)


This all happens afterwards. The dream comes back to me backwards-forwards. What happens can be condensed into the regulating omnipotence of AJ. My vehicle is a stand-in, for a body or landscape: a polymorphic-experiential-phenomenological tapestry. He takes control of the clutch/gear system and the brakes of my car, which is descending [in gear, no free-wheelery] towards a junction. I can feel the gravitational resistance viscerally, it confirms my dominion: the contingent determination, the ‘I am it’ inherent in the collaborative ontology of a body activating a vehicle. Testing my limits. Not bearing this trial; my resistance is taut with desire. In a psychically flexed state I swerve into a side street and begin to run (it is Preston, my home town). He pursues me for a while until we arrive outside an amber-illuminated wood-panelled drinking bar where I watch us converse (the content remains latent) then into which he disappears with an old friend (it is London: his adopted home). In our conversation he gives up on me or gives me up. Go to *Detroit* on your own I say; I won’t go anywhere without you.


Cycling, I arrive an hour late for work (I only work 1 day a week – it must be Saturday – it’s a bookshop). I encounter my car, which is parked in obscurity somewhere between where I worked in a bookshop [1999 – 2001] and where I lived [my first flat, 1 bedroom, Avenham, cobble street, the precise location of Preston’s first Mosque]. London is a network of parallel streets, a grid; this is on the edge, a shingle beach called ‘Worthing’. I have comrades. Comrades who know everything there is to know about me. I encounter my car (again), abandoned on double yellows, yellow parking ticket adhering to a wheel-trim, flapping vacantly.


I didn’t know it was a convertible; my lover’s lengths of flexible wood lay inside it’s full vertical length, white-blue like my daughters IKEA bunk/cabin bed, in pieces. That’s what we came for! (hopelessness permeates the super-Welsh Llangefni wood yard. Never take me there again), this is what we came to collect and it has been delivered to this car that is and isn’t my car: perplexing. I lay them down in the capacious boot carefully as if setting down swaddled infants and set about finding the roof of the car: drive slowly, no socks, single line ahead and farther, a cheap car park. Can you help me fix my roof? I haven’t moved an inch/the roof has been left behind, there, underneath the car [it was]. It is handed to me by a beautiful overall clad boy with oily black skin and a melancholic expression. Thank you. I clip the roof onto my car – interior soaked. I can’t stop thinking about you.


The car/bike transmogrifies as I navigate the streets for a place to park. Side streets are Preston (home town). Signposts are in Welsh and unintelligible. Some streets are carpeted over the punctured tarmac and too narrow for a car to pass, though I have just [looking over my shoulder] driven into it, or remember doing so on another occasion. “I am aware of not being a member of your group but please can u help me park?” “Where can I?” Idle spiel about maintaining division between workers and consumers. I move on. I cycle up a steep hill where a cartoon family play exuberantly. At the crest of the hill is a park that hosts an art installation, in which enormous subcutaneous-lurid-flesh-tone jellyfish-like forms ascend, globules amassing in the blue sky ether. Conjoining, border-linking in deliquescence. Their morphic borders transform fluidly, shape-shifting, cohering with other forms mid-air and being incorporated like globules of oil, only to be divided again without incision, volition in absorption/volition in disgorgement; contingency is their sole operation. I am mesmerised [again]. I am hypnotised. They seem to approach as I pass them by, never taking my eyes off their buoyance. Their surface and general morphology have the quality of bubbles – oily, rainbow patina and shifting dimensions, guided by the air that holds them aloft, supporting them when they plunge, elevating them with acquiescence not by force. Truly yielding and also jellyfish: solidly globular, not at all amorphous, and pink! Pink against blue sky! Pink hovering over mounds of mown green grass, mound of venus, trimmed greenery, what could be finer, which could be artificial, indispensable to the experience of this ‘art’ but I like it up here on this hill, no lid on this, nothing to navigate or compress, this art ‘works’ on me, it ‘works’ me, I ‘work’ with it but it translates as pleasurable anaesthesia.


Leave me here inside this transcendental revelation in a total grip. I am held tightly.


Reluctantly I pass through it–what keeps me going? Great tumescent, puffy, polymorphic lascivious pink air and aqua behemoths–inflatable sharks appear around a bend and suddenly the path morphs into a slalom upon with the audience ought not to be trespassing. I realise I failed to perform ‘proper’ observation, instead consuming the display, ingesting more than was mine to absorb, narcotised by it: it had me. Now I am remade as witness to an event; the sharks advance slowly, making contact with the sides of the slalom or horizontal helter-skelter, and the pink mercurial medusae-globules retreat. They dematerialise inside the infinite azure.


Back into side streets. I pass an open door to a prenatal class, I look in and see white plastic chairs hosting hordes of seated wombs [I let my maternal desire seep out recently, secrete: pushed it back in], flanked by supportive husbands in grey suits, worried, and a wall display that transfixes me: anatomical drawings made by infants.




Lauren de Sá Naylor hustles on the rural border between Lancashire & Yorkshire, Manchester & Leeds. A writer of experimental poetry & creative non-fiction, a mother, a bartender, a cleaner and a garment trader, all of which weave into her work to make a negotiated textile. Her work is generated from her environment in the broadest sense, knotting  the unconscious, desire, negation & affirmation. Identifies as un-proudly White European, via UK & Brazil. Makes images in collaboration with artist Andrew Clwyd.



Image by the author.




First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, November 16th, 2017.