The Desire To Be Everything / The Five Monologues of Dr Ythros

The Desire To Be Everything
Valerie Keane

The Five Monologues of Dr Ythros
Allison Bulger

stranger – guest:
a homecoming in perpetuity
or
the five monologues of Dr Ythros
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE SKOLION, AND
A TABLE, MADDED W. TURNIPS.
OPPONENTS QUIVERED ATOP SPECTACLED PLATES;
THE EXTRAVAGANCE OF THEIR HOME
LAY ABOUT THEM LIKE A TERROR.
VOID OF INFINITE REFLECTION
FINISHED LOSING US
NOT BY ROD, NOR BY SWORD;
BY GROTESQUERIES OF WILL!
FOR ‘TO LOVE SOMEONE’ IS FOLLOWED BY
‘MEANING TRADITIONALLY ABSENT’.
WHAT JOY, BREAKING FROM
THE HOST IN QUESTION: AN INSOLENT GESTURE,
SHE ADJUSTS THE PENDALOGUE.
WHAT THEN IS HELL, OR WHO––?
1
a response to the countess in definition and apology for the mystic ascetic
Self – scramblers survive contra desire, a specie of failed immolant. They do not intend to rise
from the ashes of their deposed morality, but they do! Think Thích Quảng Đức, beholding
Saigon, still. After deposition, to be, still––that’s Hell. In other words, your grace: Hell is the
lashing – out – for – adulation of a scrambled form; Hell is the body – shaped space at the foot
of body; and Hell is survival in that space. Good, I’ll continue this later. Don’t I sound just
like her? Void this, void that–– Some styles never grow old. Just weary.
DISRUPTED EATERS
SWIVEL UPON THE GUEST.
‘XENIA DEMANDS I RECEIVE YOU’––
THE SIGN, MUMBLED DR YTHROS
READ GUESTS WELCOME, AND WHAT’S MORE:
A LAWN SPRINKLER JUICED WITH LARD
MAKES FOR FATTER GRASSES.
ENTER THE MIRROR (FUME OF ETERNITY)
THE MARXISM ABATED, THE ORIENTALISTS QUIT;
AND THE HOST’S BRONZED LITTER
SWUNG OUT THE KITCHEN DOORS.
‘TAKE OFF YOUR STETSON AND
SIT IN YOUR PLACE’.
NO GOOD OUTSIDE THE MARKET,
it CAME BEARING GIFTS.
2
on capitalism and the basic paradox with a refutation of speed freaks
Nobody runs this matrix. Friendship is under siege. Take Holdy’s portentous sap, ‘The god is
near and hard to grasp…’ It’s aggressively fitting. You robot footmen, you circle like vultures
when I set down my fork. We might pack you off by the thousands, we might ship our
electric giants to Myanmar or whatever it’s called, we might stuff rocks in their pockets and
inter the whole lot in some anachronistic stream, the Euphrates, the Bosphorus. Or we might
get artistic. Slit open our rockets and splay them on beaches like fallen elk, their long ribs
making shadows into candles. Doesn’t matter. We’ll never see the end. Vessel cannot rust and
neither can the seamen. He’s rolling by the way, the captain. He’s ecstatic and we–– As my
mother used to say, We packed the wrong suit for the occasion. She also said there isn’t a mix
more frightening than a grown man with a baby’s teeth. Right on both counts and I aver, that
man––he… He’s inexcusably distant. And in such a queerly particular cohort. Nothing worse
than particularists, in this physician’s experience. They’re a furtive set, lacking the foggiest
regarding Utopia––which approaches, and why… Treatises like sugar pills. Were I the
superior wrestler, which is to say had I the intuitive brawn, I might stake my own claim. You
say principle of hope, I hear pincers for the pope, princess apple coke, pony’s pull and rope
and I’d keep going but my point is continuing’s impossible.
I GRANT YOU THAT––WHY, DR YTHROS,
YOUR OVERCOAT. HE’S NEVER LISTENING.
‘DEONTIC CATEGORIES ARE THOSE OF OBLIGATION’.
IN NATURE, THERE ARE NO HOSTS;
T’WAS ORIGINAL SIN EXTINGUISHED STRANGERHOOD.
THE QUESTION REMAINS,
HOW MUCH DOES A HAMMER
HELP A HOUSE?
PROSTHETIC GOD
WATCH FOR REDUNDANCY, MAN.
LAUGHING, THEIR MOUTHS
CRANBERRY – SMEARED,
FRIENDSHIP IS UNDER SIEGE!
ACHIEVING CONSECUTIVE PAUSES,
DR YTHROS WINKS:
‘PATMOS ISN’T SPLENDIDLY SITUATED –– BUT IT’S
HOSPITABLE NEVERTHELESS’.
3
the true significance of 1600
The core bifurcation is between the realist and the fantastic, and there wasn’t any dread
before Copernicus, we hadn’t any idea before the sky cracked in two pieces, and horror
poured out like a milk. Thank you Countess but I’ll set my own limit, and it certainly isn’t
three. Which reminds me, have you seen the way Christ is like a pygmy in those old
Burgundian paintings? Gray as a martian, and with legs like the very crutches our boy used to
hobble up the grass – masked hill. I’m of the opinion, as you know, that Bruno Giordano
started it all when he so perplexed the Spanish with his infinite worlds they lit him on fire.
That inquisitor’s fear rent the skies and the hole never closed up, we’re still mitigating late
arrivals. Like this one––what a gown.
I’D REMEMBER THAT SCAR ANYWHERE. IN TRIBUTE:
‘THE FRUITS ARE RIPE, AND DIPPED IN FIRE…’
OF COURSE, SAID DR YTHROS, WE MUST BOW TOO.
THE ROLE OF GUEST BECOMES HER.
DRINK DEEPLY OF HER SILENCE;
FOR it LOVES SOMEONE,
WHEN it FINISHES LOVING itSELF.
THE NIGHT PRESERVED IN DISORDER
IODINE CAPSULES, AND
A ZILLIONTH TERM FOR THE CORSET.
IS IT COMIC OR TRAGIC, ASKED DR YTHROS,
WHEN ART CAN ONLY BE MADE
ABSENT THE BELOVED––?
4
suspicion concerning the underpinning of all things
I have a preoccupation with substrate and I’m going to make this hard for you. The fourth
course is terminated and we’ve hardly even begun, we’ve barely even set out. Madame, we
are foiled. We’ve camped inside it’s blood. A rather baroque cage, ours, but a cage
nevertheless. Stairwells and pipes all the colors of the rainbow. Those drawing room plaster
heads… And yet despite this ecological feast I suffer a creeping sense that we are missing
diversity. A skinning would reveal it’s all made from the same dough. Postulation about
which I’d like to be wrong, there’s a sorrow to it––but I’m a man of mythology as much as
the next lab coat. Some days I look at my hands and think, Was I invited here? To this
exercise in self – absorption? To this terrible, wonderful, unbreakable room?
A PHENOMENON: KINDLING,
NEW RIDGES DOWN THE SPINE.
TO DISCOVER OUR FATHERS OUTLINED IN TRAGEDY,
REVIVIFIED BY THE HEARTH.
‘NO CONVERSATIONS ABOUT DEAD
SCHOOLMATES, NO CANDELABARAS’.
ELEMENTARY, SAID DR YTHROS,
ALL RUG – WRAPPED…
UNTITLED
THE DINNER PARTY’D GONE LONG,
THE HOST SUFFERED.
‘WE ENCOURAGE FOOTMEN HERE’.
FATHER TURNED BROTHER TURNED LOVER TURNED
HUNGER––
it OPERATES BEST IN ABSENCE.
it OPERATES BEST IN OUR HOME.
5
the definition revisited
Crying without compass, weeping without witness… Sobs solicit punctuation. That the act of
sobbing might end your life. And thus end your stimulation. Which is to say, Countess––I’m
continuing, I haven’t forgot. Hell is the incapacity to curtail your stimulation and the inability
to endure your stimulation, coetaneous. Which is to say, Hell is shocking. And Hell is
cowardice in the shadow of shock. Nowadays everyone wonders, all apple – eyed, How did
we get here? I don’t! Enslavement to ritual brought us here. The caricature is recognizable
but must be taken literal, or consumed without salt. Hell is a body burning. Why, you ask?
The symbol for ‘fire’, we forgot it, a blatant failure to map the descent. Exhaustion bests
intention, every time… But to lay down in the absence of every and all comfort, to nap inside
devastating lack, to choose fire over fire? I’d call that commitment. Hell, you see, is comfort’s
apogee because it is comfort’s nadir. Which is to say, the inhabitants all had a choice, and
there was nowhere else to go. What is solicited, then… Authority, the one without qualities.
Not god––period. It never comes