:: Article

A dog shot in its face

By Gary J. Shipley.

The Moon’s Jaw, Rauan Klassnik, Black Ocean 2013

We’re in the concentration camps, where the evils are always banal. And we have the usual itching from the usual twinset: the doting colluder, the wrung out opportunist. I turn and almost every page takes its lead from Catullus, loving and hating all at once, where every bit of tenderness will border on cruelty, its intent ambiguous, industrial – them white noise dogshit pigments of Klassnik’s gnawing cadences. For here, as in Holy Land, the rat has become the brain, and the asshole the cunt, and this is pornography, this is Artaud’s “overheated factory” beneath the skin, this is The Moon’s Jaw – hanging off. We know how ethics sours our goodness with its one thought too many, and it’s Klassnik’s method too, when he ruins a saint or dirties an innocent – all his limping vestiges of beauty, uglified. The snake’s jaw dislocates to accommodate a calf, and like this the moon will open, a hole inside a hole, back to kill us as it talks us out of death.

All sincerity is deviant, and The Moon’s Jaw knows this, and celebrates it and suffers it. In my hands there’s this bodily rejection of self-censorship, this ejaculation of fetters. And I was wrong: I thought Guyotat had dibs on this much cum. But I’m getting there, where the pain’s in the waiting, where the pleasure is, in the woods with my top as she takes a cheese wire to my gleam. But I’m being slowed down: the dashes and slashes and ellipses and colons and proliferating periods choking my orgasm like pictures of nun’s cunts weeping gleet over the ruffled heads of birds. His dashes like sutures on a skeleton, keeping together what’s already gone. And for all the cum and blood, there’s no sex and violence here, only sex-violence: a self-neutralising amalgam that’s the antithesis of titillation. Like the rat and his maze, the two have simply grown together. All opportunity for frisson done with, neutered.

In Vegas—Lilacs, boiling, cool, & dark—You begin to eat my ass:
Wiping yr mouth, from time to time—& glaring up at me: Like a
Vampire, a Lion, a Shaman—Swaying, bubbling, seething: Down
into every nerve. . . Cold white shores swaying… Till—At last—
You slide in a finger… Then two. Fist! Elbow! Shoulder! Head!
. . . & you’re inside me: & yr breasts are my breasts. Yr cunt—My
cunt. Yr slow dark heaving mouth—My slow dark heaving mouth.

These appetites are sick, and terminally so; they’ve crawled up inside other things and are dying there. And the softnesses here are those of the broken down hooker, the jaded porn star, who when she eviscerates herself does it cunt-first, exorcising the pleasure centre with a talon, with the heavy undercarriage of what we thought of once as made entirely of flying. Contaminated miscreations these, these “Chirping Gargoyles”, these “Dolphins moaning in gangrene.” And yet regenerations continue, the new creatures feeling themselves out, teething their cavities and bleeding gums on the need to be anything at all: anomalous creatures that have “learned to die. & not to.”

And again with the slowing down. As we drag out the death to the death, prolonging the half-blind horror of our interminable decay, until the only distraction left is that of fucking the shit out of it, cumming inside it and breeding siblings to it, gestating its mutated fetuses in vats of the stuff, and we drink it all down and we puke it all up – self-witnessing – and drink it again until the appetites that keep us here die. But they don’t die, so bury us this day in a river of tongues. For the appetite ignores us, like the cosmos we stabbed that didn’t even flinch. We’re barely the steam off its piss on a cold day. But I’m reminded he’s kindly, that there’s love in him that’s ferocious to leave, but still can’t get past the breath off the page, the way it smells like Dennis Nilsen’s drains. And I recall he was always just scragging himself, and that he found a way to hang around afterwards, to sample his own company. And he had sweetness in him, and light and tenderness, and what weakness, what need – I’ll “pour his ashes on my head in the healing sun.” And there, out the corner of my eye, those Sad Sketches of wardrobe interiors, their folded dead men – men no longer men, but concepts of what men do: externalisations, then, of that Mr Nilsen’s trauma.

You did up my hair—Holding it tight like I liked—& even tighter
as I cried out suddenly: Glancing over at a fetus in a jar. As though
it could save me—Crawl back into me—& fill me w/ milk.
Children, hands locked, dancing all round my gleaming body. You
painted me: & jeweled me. Posed me in bed: Dead, but reaching up
still. Lips parted slightly. Shining blue.

The world returns like a scene from a halal abattoir, our own materials fed back to us tasting of fear, our faeces gilded in opulent metals, in rubberised gold, in “cathedral meat.” And now it’s a choice, and you can blindsight gore or you can fuck it and eat it out, make origami storks and flowers from its skin, put your tongue down its throat and into its belly and lick clean the babies you put there. You can clean it all unrecognisable with the blackness inside your mouth. But when everything’s refulgent, there will still be pretty girls, their faces framed in roses, viewing themselves through two-way mirrors; a child killer cranking out one last sneer of semen into the metal of a death row latrine, there on the other side. And out the jaws of his keeper’s zipper, wilted and misshapen, a child’s sucked thumb. And there’s another mirror, with an Austrian man in it, and he’s washing his cock after visiting a son he borrowed and never gave back. And yet people still mean well. And then the shutters are gone, and the locked doors left open, and in the new light, “There’s no way out. But we don’t stop trying.”

Trakl tried and gave us twilights and poppies and celestial vaccines, and those toothless angels, poisoned, their useless wombs reconstructed from blue space and bloated with rats. And Klassnik? And Klassnik?… He’s here now to reiterate that having your cake is eating your cake, and that the cake is made from cum and from blood and from shit and from urine and from all manner of excruciations, but that still the cake gets baked, and that therein lies the flaw, and therein lies the dream of us, and of love, and soft grass and flowers and a moon’s silence.

Gary J. Shipley is the author of six books of various sizes. His work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in literary magazines such as The Black Herald, Gargoyle, Paragraphiti, nthposition, elimae, and >kill author, and in philosophy/theory journals such as continent and Glossator. More details can be found here.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, May 16th, 2013.