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Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate

By Johannes Göransson.

from Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate

Obscene Father (speaking through an inhaler):
I am also violent in this crawl. I use a megaphone and the result on a million pigs is a visual concussion. I can see them but they are twitching and ill-shapen. There is an evil in my daughter that the pigs cannot reach even with their clubs and cuts and crayfish scraping up my chest. We have to lock the cabinets thoroughly I tell my daughter through the tube. She does not know language. That’s what makes her evil. That and the fact that she is mine.

I am also violent when I can see the cheering nation from the empty swimming pool. I faint with glitterglitter in that pool while officers video-tape-up the napalm body I built today in school. I held a rose in my garbled hand. Every time I make something for the President it turns to shrapnel. My father is still being taped in asylumjanuary. It is because he has an unnatural insect frequency that only I hear. I tell on him. I tell the officers, Right now my father is headless and impregnated. Right now he has stuns in his vertebrae. They fall for it every time. I am the Daughter of Revolution.

The Revolution:
I am also violent when working on the martyr exhibition. The sun is rotten and I have to bruise easily during car alarms. But most of all I need to hollywood some Africans for the final room, the Congo. That’s where I get my aura. That’s where I abuse gasoline. Please come down to see me on the surveillance camera. It’s the newest economy. It’s an economy of inside/outside where I am always the outside inside the camera. You might not understand how I can faint every time. It’s easy. Write a receipt for USA and I will show you how to rip off the primal scene.

The Primal Scene:
(Audience Members are made to play a brief version of Fall of the House of Usher in whiteface. They groan. It’s terrible.)

The Passenger (played by Adolf Loos):
I am also violent because I am adorned in all of the jitterbugs that should be outlawed. The ornaments on the walls are falling into the street as tanks drive by. The ornaments from the lynching fall down while newscamerasflash. I felt rubbed in the swans when I saw the correct woman for the part. All through the entire series of unrealistic events, as buildings and people were cleaned off, I had no idea that there was a correct woman for the part. The part of course was to play a host for the invasion allegory. Not a stare for gunshots. That was my part and I must have been next.

Miss World (with a hard-on):
Because I’m a teenager I don’t yet understand metaphors and that is why I understand what the passenger doesn’t understand: The security officers are not trying to turn him into an object (that’s just his sexual fantasy); they are trying to teach him to have an interiority worthy dying for. In Iraq, in Compton, in Flanders, in heaps, in chlorine, on film, with a necklace that breaks.

Father Voice-Over:
We want to teach him how to speak. We want to teach him how to channel the voice that is great within us. We want to teach him how to feel.

The scariest thing is the figure without an interior. Like puppets or movies. And the sexiest. I live in the movie theater. I hide from the cops there. I seduce women in there and steal their children. I wear a skull cap in there. And a skull shirt.

The Natives:
Why is it so cold in here?

Father Criminal (holding the Stagehand’s severed penis):
Now I have a billion-dollar hygiene to fake at the shooting. In the wound I could see the most beautiful butterflies reverberate. I had never seen butterflies before. I had never seen snow before. I came from crib death into crowd auction and my instructions were written with a felt-tipped pen on my slow-motion body. I could hardly make out the last word; it was prevent.

The Prom Queen (blood splattered on her white gown):
Look at my doll penis. Look at my cake. I acquired them by trading in a transistor radio. I went analog. Through my smeared red lips and my putrid lips and my eyes like orchids and my hair like snow, I acquired something greater. I became the penis.

Miss World:
Thanks to the massacres exhibited by the Prom Queen I now have several penises. They are interchangeable. It’s capitalism! I trade you a lesbian penis for your disgusting penis. It reminds me of home. The penis I still love the most is the one that flapped out of a soldier’s pants as he was dragged through the street. I have a copy of it. It’s my true penis. I’m Miss World. An impossible prince. Pun. Instrument. I’m a missing child.

Father Voice-Over:
(the sound of antlers banging against a church window and live swans being damaged irrepairably with blunt objects)

The Passenger:
First I thought the airport officers were disinfecting me then I thought they were infecting me then the airport burned down. In the hospital I though they were treating me then I thought they were using me as an antidote and then I watched the hunt for the black man on the television and I was scared that he was coming for Miss World. Now I’m a realist. I’ve covered up my eyes. Put your cigarette out on my thigh. Please. I want to be your father.

I want to be your atrocity kitsch.

Hollywood (this time a child who is prevented from obscenity and persecution through the discrete use of tourist trinkets):
You may know me from such roles as the colonial war in the jungle and the place where the president was shot in the head. You may know me from such romps without knowing exactly where the bullets landed and how the face shattered. Of all the widows that I love I love the widow who speaks into a tape-player the most. The cut-up widow I call her when I speak to her like I speak to her now. Cut-up widow, you may know me from such roles as the leading killer of people below the age of 45 or the trailer for a war that was more like a pilgrimage. The potential for bleeding was great and the divas were crowned in idealism. Their voices caused shock waves to propagate through the tissue.

The Locked-In Syndrome (played by the Hollywood-child in the midst of the Hollywood horses):
The problem with ass-fucking is that someone has to clean the machine afterwards. The problem with insects is not the noise that they make (a sweet noise in which I could survive) but that they will not die in droves large enough to cause a halt. The problem with horse cadaver is not that they bleed or stink but that they can be turned into theater. The problem with my femur is not that it breaks (which it does quite easily, quite gracefully, repeatedly) but that you will not know unless I make a fool out of myself, as I undoubtedly have done here, tonight, in front of a cheering nation of burn-victims.

The Dream Weapon:
The daughter posses a segmented body supported by the latest and hardest fashion objects. The segments of the body are organized into three distinctive but interconnected units: the foul head, the faintly flowery mouthpart and the abdominal region. The head has a colorful mouthpart decorated with ovule-like organisms. Her abdomen may be capable of feeling pain due the presence of nociceptors. The doll parts are insected with cake. The reproductive structures are fused with ganglia. The lungs are perforated slightly to allow for a gradual reduction of oxygen in the circulatory system. A daughter is an object that represents a baby. It is anatomically correct for nervous disorders. The baby’s wound is covered with flickering bodies of small insects with twitchy wings. In Hollywood we say that she is born again.

Mother History (played straight with her arms tied behind her back):
During courtship, the girl will form a doll of sorts by fusing the thorax which was removed from her optic tract when she was born to various less valuable materials, such as the inner whorl and other organisms associated with the breathing process or one of her floral tubes. She will fasten several gem-like organisms to the boy’s target area. Depending on his age – which may be anywhere from 6 to 12 – he may have to have his target area treated with various fluids to avoid infection. Often the process will have minor effects on the excretory functions, but he will survive. His nervous system is divided into a brain and a ventral nerve cord. The head capsule (made up of six fused segments) has six pairs of ganglia. Of these four can be removed without any major repercussions and attached to the doll should he accept the courtship offer.

Miss World:
Nobody kills me when I am bright. I have a ha-meaning when I black out rotten on beds. A rotten bed is a bed with the consistency of beautiful candy and children’s arms. A rotten bed is also called a rancid bed when there are teeth involved. When you pronounce rancid you have to show your teeth. A rotten bed is a spectacle for the folk marching through an infested body. Watch me when I am inserted and pilfered with in the crowd. I will not break. In Japanese my hand method is called “tebori.” It has to do with riots and girl parts. Watch me pronounce the word. My lips look like a tulip. All the sensory antennae vibrate. When I wake up the make up has been wiped off and the fists are sprinkled with gunpowder. Come on, emerge as imago.

The Natives:
Why is it so cold in here?
The action seems to have stopped.
Is it over?
Have all the images been exhausted?
Have all the bodies been disinfected?
How do we get out of here?


Johannes Göransson has written four books – A New Quarantine Will Take My Place, Dear Ra, Pilot (“Johann the Carousel Horse”) and Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate – and translated several more – including books by Henry Parland, Aase Berg and Johan Jönson. Two more translations of Berg’s work (Dark Matter and Transfer Fat) are forthcoming next year. He co-edits Action Books and the online journal Action, Yes. He teaches at the University of Notre Dame.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, August 28th, 2011.