The Arms Left Over

Christina Chalmers

Prefatory note:

Imagination asked un-method to fuck method, but method, being stuck by the fingertips to the fingertips of imagination, being stuck by the green antennae to the megaphone-steely lips of imagination, being stuck by the webbed feet to the goose-steps of imagination, being stuck through your sandy and dishevelled face to the fiery kissing of imagination’s hourglass, being stuck by dehydration to imagination’s acidic lion of personality cult, being stuck by the nasal passages to the entangled and animalistic airwaves of imagination, the two being conjoined like some twinned star-bodies in subterranean embattlement, could not be fucked. Un-method is with the animals; imagination is in the sanctuary.



On the ring-roads radiating in circles to the sea, there is a reverse rapprochement. Wings and horns are flocking, swine flu found dead on the shoulder of an anti-piracy brigade as a bright red parrot flies, bird flu is a species of boar as fungus and spore are dispersed on the mental complexes herding in the petty bourgeois lovers’ hands. Francesca, she sneezes, dies, latterly gorged by truffle and too much loving.

Five-thousand sea bream, salted with anthrax, on plates which are really envelopes, to be couriered down the corridors lining the insides of a humanoid, dressed up as a humanoid. The sea dilates, it is a puddle now, and in it, a miniature lake, she rises like a silent lady of spittle and hunger. Eros, as puddle, does not wash her feet too kindly. Her feet are gnawed by the piranha Asbestos, the bailiff Thanatos and its route to the sea are only bringing accountancy back to romance. I am no swans or geese, lacking beaks; and the world has no fins, no hooves or arms for me, not wrenched forward or cut off to stick on. Netting or webbing is soft, moistly burnt, is a dead bee, treacled, consumable and stolen. The silencing of romance becomes a kind of method: the blood-louse’s crazed pedagogy.

I dream only now of becoming volcanic plankton. Herculaneum is a series of numbers so close together they are merely dead bacteria, and the bacterial gravestones merely equivalence scales; a genus left repayed and repainted in Pythagorean splendour. Drawing it, the bacteria, the pixel’s real substance is, they say, blood. Blood of blood.



Thanatos returns from his dancing with the tide’s heavy and muscular encroachment, to tell me that I am not okay: “Your dead body has no arms for me”, he says, demands an excess of recompense, but my doppelgangers have fled to the world with my taxation slips, insurance payments, and, even, entire savings. I have spoken too many times to him that even he will not speak back anymore, giving lip or turn against more field than face. The others are the ashes of expectations. But as ashes I cannot weaponise them, with no concept of conversion and no metamorphosis to gorge on.



Feminine mystique crawls, drooling, where masculine arrogance is a hawk spitting rivers. The spittle of a conforming kiss, the stillborn, the mouth of this caressing kiss, the lips modulate soft to hard in turn. Feminine mystique crawls on four hind legs, in clogs and stilettos, drawing back and kicking forward, flailing without arms. It is it is method. The geometric arrangement of such impossibilities is invited to impossibilise on the palms of velvety undersides, riled by silk and stretched over your eyeballs;


But mystique is a different animal to me,
me, I’m so gauche my man-eater lipstick
  comes off my face,
going away on a why-have-you-forsaken-me binge
Where causality snaps to casualty
And I speak with my eyes forward,
because I am walking on flesh



We, Atalanta, will refuse, will kill for fun,
the new Kate Mosses, the new Giselles,
bounding at holy auras of the beautiful,
are Warhol-like shot down.

The foals’ eyes are sparkles now, sequins pure and overlaid with imploding numeracy. The hunter and engorger of tongues like ours is the fox of the Amazon, is the state dressed up as a private detective, in the crisp-white flowing robes of the state.



Dante intones about crows and how
the world is really an imperial green dog.
I am ensconced in Americana, cannot
think about theological poetry,
cartoon crows, magpies, silver,
or miniature formula one cars.
All fencing off is an accumulation
of time in modulation of sensitivity;
I think about this and how disaster
is always the possibility of reignition,
and in my head you ask me to be
more serious. But Dante knows my pain,
pulls his canine to its kennel,
with the whole of the internet
throbbing against my spine
like a sniffer dog pressed up
against your temples.



Or ceasing
Or dead cellular
encirclement is
the black rhino
from Montecarlo
is pure gold
sur la peau

Christina Chalmers was born in Edinburgh, studied in Cambridge and lives in London. She has published in magazines such as HiZero, Rivet, Scree, No Prizes; and has a book out named Work Songs from Shit Valley Press.