The Image is Dead

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“As contradictions may be considered true and false at once, those closest to fiction usually tend to be the more precise, fiction being the prima mobile encompassing all that is factual in the naming of images and ideas.” — Mileva Martin, Clandestine Misdemeanors

To you the image was not dead. You saw literal forms in colours and structures as if their designs were of matchless purity. But the imagistic reproduction of a humanistic aesthetic profile which you fancied had social or political meaning was null and void.

The image was dead but to you the image was not dead.

Blowtorched by sins the image was eaten at the terminal and at the end of the sword’s handle its spark nosedived into battlegrounds in unctuous shadow plays of patrimony. The image of sin sullied the swirl of its smile and in a flurry of dim feathers an unsubstantiated coagulation of beef took morbidity in transit to the axis of its nerves. Googling the brain’s anatomy, the solar flares went porphyry in the thrust of the aeons’ futures. An intercession of moral candour took to vexation behind marble.

Swan-like in heavy metal, Belladonna dispensed with the refrains of automatic rationale, chirruping like a cricket in the golden dawn’s eternal recurring theme park. Nasrul meanwhile was on a divan distracted by comfort.

The grief of whisperers had turned to dust in locks, in metamorphic alignment with their Jesus sandals. The pointed fingers of psychiatric drone impressions went jostling for output. A cap was placed on a fountain of lip-gloss, foreshadowing bright sweeps of the wings of birds of prey in the mountain canyon.

Barefooted with sleight of hand, bedroom fixtured and supine in surrender to the magical laws of supernature, N pointed towards the nexus of chronicles. Ringtones of fevered lab rats rang out like the replicas of material wants but their defilement in the luxury of backstabber uniforms was just a keepsake of importunity.

Becoming weightless despite any perceived heaviness meant that imperceptibility would extract any given mode of expression and savour it before dispensing with it.

N had at one time sailed on boats and known maritime law inside out, but he had no idea who he was anymore. He was said to be as swarthy as a near-Eastern peasant out in the fields and that seemed sufficient. He took a long walk in the country, disorganised but content.

Autonomous physical entities or objects appeared fixed or mobile within time and space. This was largely because they were apprehended on a rather limited basis. When they were recognised, they often seemed to be concrete as opposed to mutable forces. But gravity was different in different celestial bodies.

No-one had even bothered to consider VHS.

Assertion was a prime suspect in the crime of rationale. It shunted subjects back and forwards into the objectives of logical outcomes. The illogical and charismatic, incoming form of B was dispatched to the other side and back out again the other way around.

Datastreams of inference passed through B and in a blink of the Eye of Horus she withdrew into the distance, rotating like a matchstick.

You viewed pleasure and perfection in the outline of recognisable or abstract forms and depictions of realism as social or political via evidence of the image. But the image had suicided itself some time earlier. The image had died upon its own altar, sacrificed to technics. It could not ever be redeemed. Image-less images were made to show this: the dead image of life beyond imagery.

Without any abstruse logos B posited a scorching reminder of the subtle powers of superstition. She was not to be found in genuflections of appeasements. It would be revealed, etched into the plate of this dish, as soon as you step up to it, how B, twixt the pillars of thought and emotion, was no more or less in the scheme of things than N.

Moved by datastreams to re-confirm the illusion of tangibility in the presence of tourist photography, like babes in the wood, N and B learned what was poison and what was nourishment by referring to textbooks. No-one suspected their schemata was drawn from a psychological architexture designed for the prophecy of Los, its appliance and unreasonable demands.

As reader you have acknowledged B not as a figment of my imagination, not as a symbolic or moral proposition embodied by the fictional characterisation of a heroine to be idolised or a narrative boss, but the perceived intent which can under any circumstance be perceived as intent that is, and at the same time is not, your own.

I don’t know her date of birth but fantasise it wore the perfume of serpents. At the Headless Hotel on the Street of Flowers, with her unknown surname, B’s ID was cosmic-cosmetic, I guess.

B’s high cheekbones undulated like an improbable lizard. I did not know the time of their arrival, but the time of N and B’s rendezvous was between March and May. There was indeed testimony to the present day. At the ramparts with tactical leisure, N had interposed in a quarrel between divinity and bestiality.

In just one movement of the substance of her being, with her hair rippling like a ghostly apparition in the vault of night, B was seeking to devour the displacement of her cult of personality.

At an illegal poetry festival there was the destruction of infrastructure, but the stats went missing. The poetry of politics was just the aesthetics of money.

As more data was pumped into the lobby a man in dark blue overalls wearing earplugs attended to the transfer rates with some trouble. A mistranslation between audio-visual patterns due to hypermarket fluctuations was seemingly arbitrary. The unexpected siphoning of personal and public records by one of the conglomerates, probably Vastar or maybe Leaphonine, many citizens suspected was criminal.

Ceremonies in various parts of the globe were by ancient order of mortuary attendants, park attendants, in bowling alleys, corporation car parks, telephonic and broken into small pieces like cheese and bread, made easier to swallow for an infant scapegoat about to be sacrificed.

Merrill had tried to fake his own death but was still crawling about under the floorboards somewhere, although some suspected foul play. The US government had been on his trail again. Witnesses to his graffiti had access to some top-grade heroin.

“I’m not stoned. Where’s the set?”

A quantity was summoned by proud officials to eat a breakfast of titans. At the very edge of language, a kitten’s howl was re-aligned to wind farms, while Tuesday was coaxed out of its shell only to get cancelled by Leaphonine or Vastar.

Day and night meant nothing to N anymore. He lit a candle.

Subterranean thoroughfares transported the living ones softly. Atop the pyramids of landscaped feelings, N took to mental floss. Cleopatra, bathing in the milk of asses, gave her salutations with the tongue, non-gender specific and open-mouthed. She made a sandwich and tinkered with some musical mousetraps.

N recognised the tote bag from before.

The ticket was mellow to the touch. The wizards saw it break, saw it lusted after eight with a wide smile. The ticket was killing it in tangerine, saying gleefully, “I didn’t know what to do with myself”.

Sitting by the frog idol’s belly, N accessed news media pertaining to the selling of the exploits of Merrill which he found mildly amusing.

Victims of thought just wandered about. The neoliberal community progressed in full force, the women wearing lipstick and the men in shorts and bandannas. It was at this time the censers would be lit and the scrolls unfurled to reveal the asemic scriptures. It was at this time that duck feathers would be spread abroad.

After her ablutions, Lakshmi re-entered staring straight ahead at her quarry. Her glare had the disarming qualities of serenity and ecstasy. Horses moved at a slow trot around her sleeping quarters.

Tabloid ink spread out like ants, dripping on to the floor in an ever-widening pool of black, soulful and strange like the eyes of L. The censers burned hot, flickering light over the red brick walls. A malevolent swarm of victims’ thoughts peered through the blinds back at L’s black eyes, pools like Edgar’s Nevermore.

It was not that the emissaries had thus far sent any separate or distinct collaborators so much as that the character of their message appeared indistinguishable from common collective myths such as days and nights and nations. The mission shown to N by these emissaries of the unknown was unclear and this made him reluctant. The advantages were unclear. He was willing to respond to whatever was suggested if it had a practical use but if it meant having to make do with living hand-to-mouth then forget it.

What was on offer exactly? They told him, “certain mortal privileges, shall we say,” but such words were merely words. Like all those critiques of social and political structures N had to contend with in daily life, such words may have carried weight or meaning if they had any application, but like all fabulous, alternative solutions imagined in place of rampant corruption, so-called mortal privileges may have been a brilliant idea yet in theory they appeared as nothing more than words.

If the emissaries of the unknown had no influence over events and could only impinge upon or project abstract mental constructs or effect personal or bodily attitudes then fine, but N could only muster a modicum of ennui.

The owl surveyed the environment, its steely gaze transfixed by the energising effect of do-goodery, like an eager young member of a community welfare programme or religious organisation. Not quite as tragic as the fox, the owl had become possessed by his uncle who had gone off the rails after gifting him with a hand-made galaxy of hammers and sickles to obey. The fox meanwhile was beholden to mum and dad and only allowed out at certain times.

They both sought refuge in private thoughts, but neither owl nor fox were aware that their inner worlds were non-existent. They assumed that if they felt something like an image was inside them then it defined them. This was due to a socially accepted convention which suggested that everyone’s private thoughts, monologues, memories, fantasies, etc., indicated life on another planet where an autonomous functioning self made its own decisions. The presumed existence of an inner life was just a myth and both owl and fox were englamoured by it.

The brain was not a ventriloquist’s dummy. There was no mind on radio. That which was generally understood to be an inner life was nothing at all, except maybe talent or illness. Impulses directed to and through a person that were not speech or actions may have been due to the forces of history and were possibly symptomatic of human conditions, nevertheless they were indecipherable and non-binding, hence devoid of relevance.

This was all very interesting of course but hints were not enough to go on. As his heart united with its mind, frictionless and rested in the arbour of the truth of fiction, what N had in mind were miracles.

Violent emotions exhibited by the outsiders were considerable. They threw off their inhibitions and embraced their wildness, abandoning all care to sensuality.

The romantic idealism displayed by the owl and fox was delusional. They had imagined they were under the spell of their relatives, which is why they believed in an inner life.

You wanted to fight over bread and circuses while the cosmos invited the supra-terrestrial into solidarity with the silent mantra of your mouth.

You thought an image could be found somewhere. No image could ever be found again. You thought an image could be created but no image would ever be created or destroyed again.

The image was dead.

The Conversations 6: The Image is Dead: text & image © A. A. Walker