Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In The Strangeness of Infernal Dreams

in a land where the angels sleep in the road
and mothers shout with ecstasy
a hundred more years will not corrode
I'll be in the hollows of a noisy sea

and now December is hidden
and poverty swarms
someone has poured alcohol
on my heaven in the middle of a storm

madness is my ambition
and madness is my decree
I have medicated the orchard
and bottled the trees

I'll tear at my soul like a lover
on a nail in the ground by a shoulder blade
over this flagellant I will hover
and the mark will be made

Chris Mansel

Taxonomy Illustrata

I'll show you silence
says the corpse in the window
his chest sprouting birds

imagine he says, a torn elbow seperating the stairs
or the life of a maggot once his insides hit the open air

chrysomya rufifacies here, he gesturing towards where
once his heart after another, he laughs

this silence I am speaking of you find as they feed,
I find the movements of deformities...unceasing and exquisite

this he said and his species shook until it was smoke

Chris Mansel


the mirror collapses
it falls but the image
does not

the sound of the glass
is archaic, it's an ancient sound
the amplitude
carries over into silence
it is a mutation

the timbre is unfounded
undifferentiation occurs
the image
is dominant

- Chris Mansel

Dear Sigmund

dear sigmund, accept into your uncharted lands
an emisarry, young Cherkovski, aged sixty-five
he will be arriving on the Oceanic line carrying prints
of Hammershoi and papers of introduction from
his travels
as you open the window and greet him as he strolls
up the path into your garden, please realize he is
charitable and wise
please read and analyze his unpublished memoir
Cherkovski, may wish to stay on for some time
as it is his birthday.

Chris Mansel

Symphony In The Cold

what you see in the smoke
is eating through the light
as if storytelling were to awaken
from beneath its blindfold
to a beautiful river who's breath
is immolation

- Chris Mansel

Relief In Passing

a testimony from Babel
collapsing constructions of lies
like Dresden, translators fall to ash
cancer in the early drafts
gathered from the classrooms
falling asphalt fragmented into the sky

Chris Mansel


ghosts move about on frequencies
illustrating their own private hells
with each movement like a corpse's
raft circling the blast site
where a guerilla lowers his kerchef
to the sun, emptying his weapon
into my face

Chris Mansel


The coyote half-submerged knows the current cannot hold him
The ash from the brush fire is like confetti
The naturalist is watched by the owl until he changes

- Chris Mansel

Nights In The Examination Room

its indistinguishable, the cruelities
disseminating an experience by pain
where the cartographer listens as the ground moves
and hears nothing

Chris Mansel

Dostoyevsky From The Chinese

Our guide is familiar with isolation and changes in the light
He shows us an ecosystem unknown to motion and reachable by light.
He draws a glacier on the ground and steps back,
gesturing towards the end of the day

chris mansel

Siberian Folk Tale

if I bury you in the snow
I will wait till it rains
if I burn you in a car
I will leave your name
if I abandon you in a well
I will not drink

Chris Mansel

seneschal songs

a monologue continues anonymously
while a body is carried above a sheet
to capture the sorrow and to be burned
spread the ashes over the body the voice explains
it began with Charles Dickensbefore his body was
removed and transported to India

- Chris Mansel

Monday, July 05, 2010

New Iowa ( a work in progress )

footsteps on the head of a ram

There is no strength from holiness, the fetus in this weather must learn to fend
for itself. The new Buddha will form a line in the air, never to cross. Without death
the breath of gods are little more than the crunching rocks of an exodus. The precise
tracings of a circle that was first formed around the rim of a crest of fire. Shatter the
cave and your left with the sounds of dust smashing up against animal skin. Orpheus
slain to protect the hour of stillbirth.

trembling before the darker trees, hair spread on the ground. Angels like mucus-covered
crows jumping around in the skies. Younger ones yelling in indirect speech about the
ground rising, sweat becomes the bodies only defense to the odor of fear. Burn like a
direction and separate.

unmask, resin for flesh
cavernous omnivore, gestures
animate animal tones


Imagined center of a bloody pit, faces in cadaverous cold. Emerging slowly from a crawling movement to dusk, misery running on the ground. Into the darkness where bulging eyes stare back in milky and horrifying expressions. Steps. Submersion. Hermetic
Ancients swinging axes of bone over shoulders scared. Silence. Coming out of the darkness upside crosses appear and stretch for miles in every direction. There is no movement except for the passing of air between scavengers who press their faces together.

Lit from a hundred wells, the meatiest obstruction penetrating the lips of the passerby. The horrid aroma of death consuming signaling the skeleton beneath the skin of intense displeasure.

The inhabitants remaining still, only vegetation, reduced almost to ash as it was, moving at all. Stopping upon the severity of the heat, the sounds becoming intolerable.

Dialect of approbation

Dead and whiten. The ground sunken. When they stopped a small form of animal formed its shadow upon them. It stopped away from them a short distance. The others in the distance still did not move. Still facing away towards the trees of darkness it was eerie. When they looked closely at the ground there were sticks, sharpened, facing out of the ground.

Water began to come up from the ground. Slowly at first and then more. The sunken ground began to fill and they moved to higher ground.

As they attempted to settle the animal spoke and approached.

That’s the reflection of hell. In the water….there. When it ignites, they’ll come.

Then the animal made his way back to where he had been. They looked around and noticed that many had turned to look their way, away from the dark trees. They turned to look at the water that increased its flow up from the ground faster and faster.

The ones who pressed their faces together were moving together as one. All around them there was movement. Suddenly there was a great heat coming up from the water. Their faces froze. Suddenly they heard thunderous movement coming towards them. Men with axes screaming in a language they did not understand. They were coming from every direction. The air grew very cold. Flames began jumping from the water as they dropped to the ground and held on to one another.

The first jumped over them and swung his axe at the flames. His body was engulfed in fire. His axe swung wildly as his body kicked and fought the fire. Others approached immediately. Some were dragged into the fire by the men with axes and were killed.
Ash covered the men as they collapsed onto the ground. Their milky eyes staring into nothing.

The sounds returned.

The horizon was masqued, severed in agony of ash and darkness. The ghastliness a foretelling of travel further on into this land. The men were up now and stood motionless with their axes at their side. Facing into the trees their heads slowly hung from exhaustion one could only surmise. The sounds were unbearable. A constant pounding. Not knowing the language, they offered what food they had at their feet and gathered together and moved on, moving closely together. Keeping sight of the ground and the minority of water they passed great hills of stone that appeared to have been wrecked into the earth.

Their procession was brought to a halt when they were met by a group of men with large hammers swung about in both hands. They gestured towards the children and kicked at the ground. They were confused by this until they looked past the men to see the ground in the valley below corrupt with huge insects. The insects were thrashing about and screeching.

Then a man stepped out from behind the men and spoke, “My name is Bots. These men are known as the Rau. They will help you.” The people spied Bots suspiciously. Finally one who had led the others spoke to Bots.

“We have passed through one land where water burst into flame. Men there came to our aid. This land too is strange to us. We have no destination, only to escape the darker times.”

“There is no more dark and light. Hell has come and all has come to pass. God has come and gone. There are no more revelations, no more second comings. We are all that’s left.” Bots said.

The insects began to approach and the Rau turned and raised their hammers. Their tails swung about and thrashed at the Rau, fangs gnashed and the Rau fought just feet away from Bots and the others. Bots guided them to a cave for sanctuary.

The noise outside the cave grew more intense until Bots spoke again. He bent down at the opening of the cave protecting the others.

“They can smell you. You have put them in danger by coming here. Once you were over the path they went into a frenzy.”

Again the leader spoke, “God has come and gone, you said. What is the chance of survival in a land….” he looked around at the others he had traveled with. “Who are you?”

“I am Bots. I have always been here. In one form or another I have always been here.”

prescience, shoulders dangerous
half-covered and prophetically fearful
outward peaks and inward/hellish image
Ancestral snakes, scorched from a hole in the
Bots explained the origin of the insects. “They came from the riverbeds. Their births mixed with the collapse of vegetation. The vulva of their reproduction was misrecognized as disease, and was taken for weakness. Their incest became violent.”

They could hear the fighting growing ever closer to the entrance of the cave. They huddled together. Bots did not move away from the opening, even when the shadows of the insects towered over him.

Intimacy, incapable of anger/intimacy
Cracking the whiteness. The body/shudensha(last train
I confess,
…moving within.

Gravedigger, moving with his hands
forehead against stone
my impression is shaky

..give me

a photograph of hell.

The stones in the cave began to shake. You could feel the percussion of the insects slamming into the rocks. They gathered in a small group for protection. Bots stood still. They didn’t notice the water coming up from the ground until smoke crowed around their feet. Bots turned and stepped outside the cave.

- Chris Mansel

Friday, July 25, 2008

Goya's Penitentiary

My shadow is on my face and its a darkness that I inhibit whenever I can. I find it personal and it is something I can't share with you. Not since I burned my clothes so hastily and proclaimed myself free of the mincing fear of myself have I been so confident. It all began in front of a statue of Goya. I turned to find myself a bandit, a driver, a male drawn too late. In a chapelI was Osiris, my clothes wet and by no means an August body. Unable to recuperate my precious breath, my body roaring. Discriminating. I hold no intimacy, I hallucinated an image of my soulin the background. Flung open at once, oil on a brush, tincture of a animal skin. This inevitable dying horse drug across my flesh, the position in my eyes was struggling, burning of my infection. I was in the painting wide awake. Forty three point eight by thirty two point seven.

- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Pineal Eye

running from the earth
like a diamond in reverse
same as nature its heard
the front seat of a hearse
get the bad weather first

nothing is so divine
as the pineal eye
from a lizard to a king
from Lorenz to Laing

syphilitic through the vein
the ship's sails of intestine
sailing under another name
misguided as Charlton Heston
signal fire spelling out fear

nothing is so divine
as the pineal eye
from a lizard to a king
from Lorenz to Laing

its just a merciless suicide
to touch a child who's died
waters swollen from the tide
screaming till laughter cried
the hearse hits the pole first

nothing is so divine
as the pineal eye
from a lizard to a king
from Lorenz to Laing

- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bodhicharyanatara – The Reincarnation of the Peasant Buddha

Irrational pubic descent, I remember waking with the taste of gasoline in my mouth. I knew I needed a change of clothing and I hadn’t eaten in a few days. Pubic bone severed my spine. A hair fetish overcame my companion and we spent the day at sea, the vagrancy sutra repeating in my head.

Helter skelter on my forehead, helter skelter in my hands. Blood is causing the boat to sink. We’re on the shore and there’s music. Tribal incantations to remove my spinal column, baptisms of urinary fornication. I am brought to a boil in pools of excrement and force fed the pages from my writings.

My companion dead now bobs up and down beside me, she died quickly before they could ask her anything. My vertebrae is removed and used as a drum by the shaman who tells me he can make me well. When I awake it is three years later and I am crawling the shore retching up blood and watching as the drops construct the Sistine Chapel in the sand. I collapse into the crucifixion.

- Chris Mansel

Monday, March 17, 2008

Drawers of the Wheel Watch

ankles feasting dug their faces away
undergrowth reinforcing contempt
crawled mud-soiled body of one
a whisper that curls briefly – surging

immediately into the moment
Where it seems
To suddenly
Burst into place
Like a murderer loosened from the restraints
First black then white then back to white again
Burned the dead silence
Inebriated unmade bloodied
The dead lay face to face turned on their sides

The dead were exhausted

Reviving their ageless demise

Carrying themselves on their backs down the hell
At dusk to the gates brandishing sunken cheeks and tattered souls

(downpours of excrement)

were undressed and catered to the living
cold water poured under the door
in the darkening dream

siphoning every ounce of pain
that could be swallowed or beaten
of narcotics pouring
the faucet

the mystery has been thrown to the ground.

- Chris Mansel

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Freud In Whiteface

The psychologist prays into the cloth
his blood he carries in the ear of his dead child
immerses his soul into black coughs
mau-mauing turrets of speech
cupping his hands in the raw meat
drinking from his soul, answering her face
race guerriere
clotting the steam
ejaculating lincocin
perspiration beading up on the floor
skin is dead, and forget the orgasm
will shed the phlegm of the conscious

- Chris Mansel