like guys with a video game’s dimension. I think about Parasite
Eve this way. Its rich antagonisms are feminine, animal,
familial, bodily, savvy, fractured, abstract. It contains a

You see how rarely I like a guy.

All de facto monsters in Parasite Eve are animals1——Eve’s
presence, her mitochondrial power, is mutative to them.
thicken. Monkeys toss their khopesh arms. The split tail of a rat
shoots fire. Pterodactyls
in museums fly once more. Men, if you’re
asking, combust.

I’m moved by these monsters’ particularity en bloc. They refute
an abiding sense that only one-off bosses in games
make memorable
enemies. In Parasite Eve, my battle with a polar bear near the
gazebo in Central Park
feels——distinguished, even if another
polar bear on the bridge has act-set like his brother. The
scorpion arrests me whenever she appears, though I know her
poison will weave in violet.
She is one-in-many.

Square got something very right about the behavior of these
animals and their situation in pre-rendered scenes. Ontologically
right. They move and act erratically, unhinged——like a feral
threat. But there’s no sense of mimesis, even in menace. The

squared-off battlefields contain these mutants in full variety, so
I imagine them as myriad off-screen, too: linked by species

alone, distinct as your cat from mine, as you from me, living
lives that overlap Aya’s by chance. That a horde of snakes
slither and strike never suggests that each snake in the dozen is
without discrete drive, direction, one might say
desire .

There are no cobras, only ‘a cobra,’ ‘that cobra.’ In this way I
can honor the being that grew
from egg to hood, and behind it the

In all this wild there is my Darling Snooki, encountered late in
the ‘EX-Game,’ and only with frequency on the top floors of the
Chrysler Building. She is a squirrel; of all those creatures
affected by Eve’s proximity, she appears most woodsy-handsome,
most ‘normal.’ OK, her mutation’s damn comely:
the tail’s been
teased up she’ s
Darling Snooki ot big dewdrop eyes; she chatters like a dotty
sprite when sounding at all. Her incorrigible attack is a battery
of screen-spanning yellow fireballs that confuse Aya, effectively
reversing directional input on the D-pad. Any reprisal and she
unceremoniously escapes.

I’ve seen a P90 dispatch Snooki quick. But many times she has
survived my Aya’s souped-up semi- and leapt off, flown off.

Once I encountered two Snookis in a showdown on Floor 55.

1 ‘Mixedman’ and ‘Dogman’ may be exceptions; as, perhaps, the creature called


As usual I was sitting by the weathered breaking spread-wide
limbs of an old statue writing lists. And then I thought Who Was

A cold mid-morning wind for me and for Valus too wasn’t it by a
cliff-side, bidens at the edge of a pool. Valus, a friend to
wheeling white swallows & holding in his big paw a heartsoak
cudgel twelve storeys high. Holding in her big paw a heartsoak
cudgel twelve storeys high.

A cudgel is useful for anyone who regularly encounters a
nuisance. Being that I ride out often to the Pine Barrens——by the
spread-wide limbs &c——it would yes behoove me to carve a cudgel
from a fallen oak branch of such-and-such sturdy width. I can’t
imagine a scenario where it would be better to bludgeon an
annoyance than avoid it straightaway but still isn’t it wise. And
Valus with his own majesty and wonderful height, Valus standing——
not quiescent, but with an urgent equanimity, the sun lighting
his dense grey fur to patches of creamy washed blue——Who Was That
Valus?——likely took the same cautionary thinking to his pluck of
a twelve storey oak from the plain and also hewing it down on a
pointy shale outcropping by Wand-on-the-Sea.

I looked down at my jotter where it seems I’ve nearly finished
three lists, the choicest being Best Sea Creatures. Probably the
list is made too complicated for its inclusion of fantastic
beings like Leviathan, Squid of Gold Salt Sea, Kuo-Toa, Wereshark
Named Sebastian Forêt, Solipsist-Mermaid, and Mariner Eagle Owl.
So far, ‘fish’ ranks near the top but I won’t give away anything

Around six this morning I resigned to leave off the sequence
titled Handsomest because honestly I was just looking for a
reason to write Chris Redfield’s name on a linen sheaf.

Valus I think took a trip to the sea to find a proper outcropping
whereby he’d hone the oak he planned to use for dispensation.
There’s something like asemia in a club; the impossible
motivation behind its rising and falling; one intuits the Gall
makes it rise but had better just get out of the way. It’s bodied
Spleen, I’m saying: the only space it can be contemplated is a
space just beneath its motive, in its shadow——and then you’re a
thinking thing crushed, an autonomically shuddering viscera’s all
that’s left. To contemplate a bludgeon from some distance misses
what makes it always, at least in the case of a bludgeon shaved
and smoothed by its carrier.

By the sea I think Valus washed his fur in two cold cataracts. At
times his thinkings resembled the monk, every thought there
gathered into a strong upright form, ascetic, gaze locked on
what’s Next / Here. Other times like the swallows.

Valus was a being fancied the Marula for its drinky texture——
though really they were sugar cubes to his size, yellow,

Valus, he irrigated a dry plain just for the crocus. She read
figures in clouds like me and had maybe a mythopoeic bent, hushing
her heart when boastful. But still he did something like smile.

I had an encounter thinking here when I left the statue and
stepped directly into the brush for having seen an opal shape
showing two yellow eyes. I pursued it of course for absolute
surety I had seen no such thing; in this way a man of fifty walks
from bedroom to kitchen very late night, positive the sound he
heard was a latch clicking loosely against the mullion——only to
be hammered twice on the temple by a rolling pin and all but
cleaned out of frescoes and goods by a set of burgling rogues.
Left there dumb. Anyway I went on despite the brambles and
chancing on bidens by a pool——as of course I would after writing

Stood there a spectral and opal shape with dull canary eyes,
vaguely littlegirlish in size and mien with low-slung shoulders.
Nothing at all prevented the entire scene from being mauve, not
the dappling sun, not yet her pallid glowing-there. As such the
dry grasses appeared to end in lilac-cones; the ferns achieved a
startling dusk magenta; and two blackbirds in boughs by the bole
she abutted sat in the attitude of darkplum question marks.

Great a hex I thought but that was Reason overweening and wanting
to best wonderment, stupor, the general mystic mode. Myself I
would be purple. Myself I tried to let go of reasoning then. Her
eyes had such strength and abstraction in their deep scintillant
pupilless color. I intuited dilation and contraction of sentiment
based on their saturation——marigold beryl citrine lemon——but that
was humanism I think. What is she? The lithe-amorphous body
turned with benedictive slowness as if responding to a far-off
call. When it went——when its opacity went from this place——I
stood alone in the regreening quiet.

I traced steps backward from my meeting and OK had near-ruined a
pair of brown slacks for brambles. I did have a polished apple,
cheese sandwich, and beer back at the statue. Walking I weighed
my choice not to videotape that spirit or even the reigning
violet marked its being-there. I’d considered it yes but what
ignoble tiny reportage, lugging screened rectangle from hip
pocket swipe swipe load point as proof of what exactly. As
solidification of what in memory when I could live alongside
visitation without intermediary, clean for every lack of record,
authentic: there, met, gone, but once lived alongside as I had!
And Who Was Valus I wondered.

I’d tried hard to make clean the linen sheaf where earlier I
wrote Handsomest but as you know the mark——it persists. To see an
erasure——. It’s the sensation I have entering a room where
Febreze has been spent; I never think What marvelous smart fresh
linen here! Who’s just finished laundry?——no. But always What
stink has been covered, what’s its nature, where still is its

My champion Handsomest Chris Redfield——as he lives in Resident
Evil 5 and 6——. Aren’t I prevailingly sad, thinking as always on,
feeling for, & in line with whatever straight man——sad, mistaken.
Listen I don’t feel inured to the heterosocial or masculinisms
and I see them for the thin bromides they are; I spend time
looking in the mirror; I’m simply unlucky this way, unlucky to
want what’s distanced and blameless in distance. As I count
myself blameless for the occasional woman who would know me more
intimately but to whom I can’t give reply. At 25 a queer
character played by M Damon bludgeoned a straight character
played by J Law aboard a dinghy. This was a film. He beat him to
death and then lay in tenderest embrace with the body on the
Black Sea was it, he held so closely J Law whom in character was
coarse to him, knew his difficult love and was indiscreet to M
Damon by the bathtub, but that difficult love——it surged past
weather. It was so desperate to touch that even the dead J Law
sufficed, so rank was its adoration, in such excess of the body’s
boat. I saw the film and was aghast but knew them both, I clutched
the armrest for having been found out. I’m torn-up, unlucky, God
help me. I’m sad but unfazed for having love kept from me in the
always regreening quiet.

Sadness, visitation, encounter. I was sorry, I am fazed. Myself
here I am, upright and on about the day with a storm nearby that
will sound on roofs——really sound. I can drive this body as I
have can’t I. I can drive it as a wedge of bread finds the mouth &
the pipe it’s fit for, how any cell that want its part makes
request and cheese finds a way. But something’s there despite the
order. A certain thing is there just rarely and its presence is
foil on filling to me. I am prostrate, the prostration of being
live body, loss immediate and lasting-past, so poor, I’m so poor,
pathetic, without dignity aren’t I. I’m always seeing a snapper
on the side of the road with split shell, a leg trailing behind
in double lumbering there on rte 109. And I wonder: How can I
drive this body with so much prostration, my body, a tall sleeve
breaking its hem to pull so much insufficiency along.

I want to know right now what’s realer in my spirit / behind the
wheel of my truck with good alacrity & one hand on the spliff or
this, hobbled but upright, ugly living guts, head heavy like the
grave signed with my name is imminent, tremulous, sick, revealed
to me the sham fun, every fun sham, prosthesis, long off from the
peace I don’t deserve even in sleep.

The beer’s been stirred flat.

Appears a protagonist backlit and on his horse. He rides a narrow
pathway towards a mtn summit. The path is in good repair for
remoteness and mise en scène. The horse is drawn to hold his head
heavy so to share the protagonist’s gravitas. (Of course it
doesn’t care a jot but is drawn just the same.) Of course there
is a girl slung on back saddle tied in criscrossing rope segments
for stability. She hasn’t moved; she’s got to be saved, she
slouches not like a worm ever No but like a girl full of the
world’s imperative for damselhood, sleeping, God she’s been
lugged this long across a nameless plain and so much isolation
towards a summit and the path is in good repair just because no
one’s come this way in years. I can read the narrative like you.
Meanwhile Valus regards a zebra from his great height on the
heath, so high the zebra’s a clover——that tiny and emblematic. I
cannot say Valus lives a quiet life because outside the story
everything is likely. But nevertheless up the path is the
protagonist and into a temple.

When the girl is laid on the bier finally her face pops out the
wrapping. How surprising——!——she has a lovely face and that one
piece of black hair arching like a frond over her forehead and
blown by a light breeze that comes through the plein-air temple
that very moment. The temple also is in good repair because
Sinister Force. When protagonist whistles the horse rears
properly. A directive is laid out——SO IF YOU WANT THE BREATH OF

Valus is raking back the leaves of a Trident Maple. A few miles
away Valus is reading stacks of anthracite like florilegia. Valus
hasn’t slept yet. Valus has slept soundly and now rests his palm
on a huge cudgel to leverage her kneeling weight. Valus is a few
miles away and her blood is a young red wine, a jeune rouge.

Valus: having learned all about him, this world gives up its
Procrustean. A bell rings in Valus’ mouth. Valus is two hours
away from completing her map. With winning élan Valus. A full
tree of roan pink-white cherries and ten thousand peels of orange
make a slurry cocktail in Valus’ dream. Just a few miles now,

Valus leverages her kneeling weight and stands, thinking.
Protagonist with his sword and minding his young longsleeping
lover bends on dumb extirpation and VALUS MUST BE THE FIRST THING
TO FALL a voice in the temple relays. That tiny and emblematic is
the protagonist. To Valus’ wonderful height the protagonist is
tiny, emblematic, quizzical, and no ceremony can make clear why
the sigil is stitched in light on top of Valus’ head. Why does
Valus have a weakness? Is it special sympathy I need to be
sickened by the protagonist’s servile missiony dispiritedness,
scaling My Valus fur by fur and killing her so its lover might be
made live again? It’s not special sympathy I need to be
enfeebled. Goodbye, Valus! Who were you? The beer’s been stirred
flat. A rain in sounding here. Goodbye, Valus! A mirror held to
your dead eye shaves the name off a Zodiac.




JOSEPH SPECE lives outside Boston, MA.