Drowning, Falling, and The Concept of Death
By the fourth suicide attempt he was guarded and institutionalized. He was incurable but he had enough scars from injections of thorazine to prove he was lethal. Once he had walked into the hospital and asked to be hospitalized. The lady behind the counter told him there would be a wait.
"We'll get you're vitals and then you can have a seat." He asked again and she called the guard because he was getting smart. When she asked what medicines he was taking he laid the bag on the counter and when she went through them her eyes grew big. She got his point. She picked up the phone.
When he was led into the familiar corridor, the familiar rooms. He laid down because he had fought before. As he was strapped in the orderly left the door open. The doctor walked in after a few minutes.
"I read your book finally, some of the metaphors escaped me. A lot of good it will do you in here."
He did his best to stay conscious but in a few minutes he was gone. In his dreams he saw himself bleeding out. He saw hypodermics sticking out of his face, arms, and hands. He walked out through the locked doorsand through a window, falling and hitting the parking lot and bursting into a blue liquid. He woke the next day trying to chew through his restraints.
Art by Chris Mansel
See Poets and Writers page for Biography
the Underworld is released
from opening the body
the behavior can be detailed by
exploring the cavity
the intoxication from the aroma can
be justified by the whole 'milieu'
you can discuss the demons of the soul
by attesting to the journey taken
everything is ephemeral says The Shaman
as he takes his place
at the hive of the Bee
waving the vertebrae of a horse,
he waves his hand over the
communal drain and shouts,
"The Migration has led to this!"
Techniques of Consecration
if you attest to the divinatory
instance you feel within yourself
to move forward
to board the river
to fall from the sky
to open that
series of captions
that hover over you
why you fear falling
being that expresses
the contents of
your human bridge
a being powered
by guilt, disgust
facilitated by that leprous ecstatic
you see squirm under the pressed lens
a banquet of ceremonies, where the seven
spirits of the tree
the influence of the mongrel animal
rushing to an operatic
indention that appears on Everest
"The Shaman jumps, he does not fly"
James sat off on his journey towards the mountains with a copy of his book and a flashlight because it got dark in the cave he had read about. When he reached his destination he sat down and read his work out loud. He could hear his errors that he couldn't see. He had read about the Cold Mountain poets and he admired their work. By sunrise the next morning he had burned his manuscript and relaxed his eyes.
The next afternoon he awoke and a fly landed on his arm. He stared at the fly as it crawled to the end of his forefinger. Then another fly landed on the back of his hand and walked along to where the other fly was now resting and rubbing his wings together. Another landed and then another. In a few minutes the flies had arranged themselves and had spelled out the word, "Air." He took this as a sign that he should leave the cave.
He remembered what a teacher had told him when he was first starting to study, "Don't breathe the wrong way in, you'll always be trying to find its way out. Eventually, one of you will have to part ways." He walked out of the cave and the ash from his manuscript was waiting for him with his first step.
- Chris Mansel