Soda-Brücke edit

(rough viewing copy, tidy to follow...)

Pale smooth forms are dropped in formation. They have become a fractured terrain, arrested in the slightest dissolve of erosion, with thinning strands pulling backwards to points held steadily in the cadastre. It is impossible to infer any duration from here, but simply to say that a significant amount of time must have elapsed since…

Bones begin soft, form first as flat membraneous layers of connective tissue fed with a sober flow of blood. Cells slip, form an array between the layers and reinscribe themselves as bone-formers that siphon calcium from the blood and pack it slowly amongst the waiting matrix of cartilage. As they are packed around the cartilage the bones take form, spin into intricate honeycomb, become spongy, then compact. They billow into arcs and planes that punctuate straps of dark red muscle with ossified white.


Once, a memory of walking through a museum, pausing to watch maps made of white bones with spines flexed and pinned in smooth arcs, straining against the black wire fastening them. Watching onyx beads glued meticulously beneath eyelids that reflect perimeter lines of the cases precisely - holding strip lights bowing on each steep meniscus.

Standing still, and not speaking of much, perhaps pointing, it was uncertain whether there was a straining towards interrupted signs of permanence or impermanence, in the frozen displays of each sealed-in taxonomy. They hang without displaying the temporal marks of decay.

When these things are left to decay in place the eyes are always the first things to disappear completely. The bones are the last.
A decline in temperature must have the beginning for which there is no direct or discernible image – it is impossible to tell. Slumping evenly towards a plateau, and then on into half-lives of progressive cooling, it is the most useful single indicator of time elapsed. But there is immediately a small but widening fissure inside which form the errors in over-estimating or under-estimating the interval.

The interval.

Sheared off at the edges. An estimation, or a portrait, can be roughly approximated, but should be correlated with all other phenomena and close observations utilizeable in establishing the limits of an elusive probability, narrowing backwards towards the brink...


The room appears to be sealed, locked from the inside. The temperature is fixed by the constant circulation of cooled air that still travels through hidden ducts, and emerges as a steady exhale through the parallel lines of a metal grill mounted in the ceiling. This is good. The rate must at least be relatively steady.


A dark dried tide has seeped across the carpet towards the edge of the room and halted against the wooden panelling that stretches out behind the crests of ruffled bleached bed linen, mounded towards one side, to leave intimate channel. The tide beneath is marking the edges of the furniture, darkened towards the centre in subtle banding, as the heavier particles have been deposited closer to the remains. A rapid substitution of form on form must since have eased in pace to a slow shrivel, leaving faint traces of the incremental movements, divided by the weeks observed between each brief contraction of the flesh. Slipping tatters cling to the disbanding reef as the fluid has spread outwards in its concentric rings, inspissated, and hardened into a penumbra cast by the gasps of collapsing architectures.

The prodigious interval is confirmed by the over-yellowed peel of the edges of the wallpaper, away from vertical lines where the pattern does not quite meet itself, away from the radial cuts around wall lamps, the incisions around power points and switches marked with the cumulative hatchings of fingerprints. The light switch by the door is flicked down, but there is no light on. A piece of the long-blown out filament in the fizzed out incandescent bulb, perhaps left on, has dropped from the slim antennae that held it, and rests in the bottom of the clear glass droplet above the lettering.

Perhaps days have passed since the structure caved in on itself, as the gases that distended it into a plump limbed black tadpole blew through the blubbery flanks. The organs are all simmered burst plums, and spit pips.


Several weeks must have passed. Rough-wristed gloves, dipped and showing signs of drying, mimic the shape of an emptied hand, loosened at the knuckle. Five ridged yellowed shells remain attached at the tip of each beneath the snarled back arch of the cuticle. A roughly woven and monochrome tapestry of fibres have also sloughed from follicles into the proximate glop, dressing the edges of the head.
It is far too late to be close to certain. The tongue is surged trapped language between the crests of loosening teeth. The eyes are shrivelled shadows lolling into the bony hollows behind swollen slits.


It is apparent that in anticipation of eyelessness hundreds of convex lenses have thrived on the surface. The curve of each lens contains a muted fulvous liquid behind the haze of a cloudy cataract that blinds it. They range in diameter from two centimetres to twenty, blankly attempting to cover all the possible lines of sight inside the room, blankly observing the erratic drift of the final particles of kicked up dust in the air currents attempting to settle on the unmade bed, the undisturbed furniture, the half-opened suitcase. They attempt to watch also from oblique angles each instant of the soft undulating seethe of the organs beneath the thinly stretched epidermis. Several appear to have burst open like bladder wracks. There are wet tracks following the curves downwards to swelling drops, collecting and containing the reflection of fractured perspectives. The room has multiplied in miniature. It has become a fractal labyrinth. The surface visible through the breached empty lenses is boiled into a candy pink shine that has begun to dry in patches into an empty vellum. A few weeks must have elapsed.

The abdomen is a raw dim globe, bloomed into rapid topography whose sheets that display faintly etched territories are held in a peeling into slim scrolls, dropped over the edge.


The surface glistens, duskily, in tact. It can't be certain but it seems that around two weeks have passed. The surface is marmoreal. Slim rivers of mineral serpentine trace diffused and sinuous curves away from the broad welled delta formed in the cavity of the abdomen. Soon afterwards the surface is burnished Shagreen, the chest, the limbs, the face, greenish-yellow, greenish-blue, greenish-black.

The mineral impurities that settle as layers in limestone are mobilized and recrystalised in place, under the intense heat and pressure of metamorphism. They form the characteristic swirls that meander through the rock, cut from quarries and polished into grand panels and wide banisters held up by bulging balusters in the sweeping staircases of grand old buildings that smack of the shrivel of empires.

Arborescent lines meander pressed against the surface and form the characteristic swirls of tributaries that swarm into arteries, sable brown, in the shoulders, the chest, the limbs, the face. The skin is carnelian, pressing down against the buttery foam of subcutaneous fat.


Just two days must have elapsed. Seized wide open, fine geometric flecks dot the two cloudy hemispheres with steadily blackening constellations of points, visible from both sides. Each terse translucent globe of the static planetarium has begun to buckle slightly. If the images of galaxies become locked in position by a failure of the mechanism, with the bulb searing through the same pin-points into the vast curve of the domed ceiling, the projection becomes incapable of moving through simulated seasons or aeons, and hangs as universes ground to a halt, or moving backwards against the narrow point of the present.

Within 24 hours the straight lines that can be postulated between the flecks have slackened and re-drawn, slackened again. The lines crumple and shift into woozy arcs as the domes empty, as the humors leech, and begin their gradual collapse.


Now the upper surfaces of the skin are palest, apportioned into the faintest of contour bands towards the summit. These are archaeological strata. Wrecked pumps and flaccid sluices have allowed blood cells to trickle downwards through the serum and pool behind the skin, forming a low dark lake traced against the edges. It probably began 15 minutes after… it was apparent 20 or 30 minutes after…

The flat edge of the tapering foot of the table leg, the spiral of the flex attached to the base of the telephone receiver pressed against the knee, the knuckles pressed against the carpeted floor. Compressed against each plane of the backdrop, the lake is held stable above a light seam that traces the contact between the surfaces. Dark crescents have formed inside the earlobes, behind the fingernails. The bottoms of the organs have engorged and tiny ruptures have scattered soot into the surrounding tissues. This duration is too variable to serve as a useful indicator.


Within three hours, within four, the eyelids have hardened, the lower jaw fastened invisibly. There is a puckering of plucked gooseflesh into shallow foothills. Next the small joints have fastened in a perfect replica of the , advancing asymmetrically, and then against the leg of the bedside table, the crown of the head locked against the bed base, the whole thing is a whitening caryatid, chiselled limestone, briefly buttressing the geometry of the objects.

It will relax, slacken, smooth itself out in roughly the same order as it formed.


When a foreign body enters the flesh, the epithelial cells form an enclosing sac which secretes a crystalline substance that accumulates in layers. Inside the mantle, the bony rim of the eye-socket, a soft moist tongue rasps around the sediment and licks a fresh word into place.

A few moments have passed.

A slim film has formed on the surface of the eyes, wide open, which softens the forms cast back in them. At first, barely perceptibly, edges will have diffused, colours become shallow.
Next positions of objects will have become indistinct, and the space inside the room will have erased into depthlessness. The image is swallowed serenely in a nacreous bloom that takes its place.

The image is the nacreous sheen of the eye.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wonderful and entrancing composite
Signaling beginnings....