the proper parallax between more and more distant homes is revealing more and more distant homes with a flatness that is lacking perspectival diminishment all bunching up toward the foreground in diaphanous taupe fatamorgana stratifications repeating upward into the tree canopies, the curious atmospheric effects are vastly enchanting housebergs becoming the battlements of steaming ranchcastles, I’m continuing on this errant trajectory toward the lowing of a cow, I’m agnostic about our arrival at <<Payrite’s>> roominghouse, Nadia is the weightless pollen thinness of my words, carrying her is easy even with my recuperating shoulder dislocation, the nasally respiration of a cow is plaintively lowing beyond a mass of shrubbery, Nadia is perking up her head from my shoulder and we forging through the brambles where seeing the cow we are leaning together against the fence watching her lying in the tallgrass, her joints are creaking under deep flesh mass kicking out her hind legs straight through the heather wanting an ottoman, the scalp & temples & jowls of the cow are lush with warm chocolate curly hair is swirling in ringlets from the humidity, the cowtongue is attending to an enormous and illy proportionate offwhite spot rising up her neck is blooming over her snout is sniffing inquisitively — She is The Solution Josef, An Absorption For Our Tenderness, A Magnetic Reservoir For The Beauty We are Seeing In The Quotidian Or The Gentleness Of Massiveness, The Gentleness Of The Metabolically Massive, isn’t She Beautiful — yes, yes she is incredibly beautiful and she is peaceful but I’ve no idea what Nadia is saying and whether it is pertaining to the cow or to her delirium, a pyramidal pile of dead cows—emaciation wracking with large swaths of dermis are missing where stripmining lesions are excavating the flayingly colorless musculature—in a separate paddock is burning, Nadia is fixating on our precious cow is supping the noxious odor of burning flesh & offal & fur, smoldering bones marrow expanding through rifting tricklingly sizzling into the pyre I’m forcefully diverting my attention from the sculpture of mortal acquiescence into spathal spadices of roadway, holding us upright on the crowning centerline against Nadia’s loping into the outsloping toward the kerb, we are meandering upstream into the confluence of bleachingly asphaltic branchings—axil filletingly blending—merging singularly, the returntrip optionless, straight into the confluence, fighting back against the recursions funneling us onto a long vista of the terminal culdesac toward <<Payriteskip>>—a taupeness of distintegrating fibrous wastewood siding in the overgrowth of kudzu & wisteria, globose multicapsular liquidambar woodfruits cobbling the dry dirtgarden, proximity to the home is exacerbating its flatness, where it is emerging from the foliage its facade is balding forth each subtly contrasting element—eaveline & fascia & shallow soffit & windowshutters & windowtrim & embrasure & window sash & muntins—projectively deceptive of depth but is lacking foreshortening or parallax occlusion or selfshadowing meshmapping the facade into my retinae from the smaze of the incineration is wheezing lowing—a delirious cow is burning alive—, establishment of our proximity to <<Payriteskip>> is elusive, the 3silhouette of an object is definitive of a projective prism—a <<blotmark>> or antiwindow—of darkness, the demarcation of a shadowsurface is the production of what is lying within or passing through the antiwindow, the soft bathing of unctuous luminance in each beadlet of Nadia’s ascian fever sheen, in our brightness we are in separation from the shadowmapping of the culdesac, the plat is upon us, Nadia is limply hanging from my shoulder, physically approaching the <<Payrite>> house itself is puzzling, numerous fencegates—each with a small metal placard of a handpaintingly flaking numeral—are leading onto paths that are crisscrossing the muddy yard so lacingly that none are apparently connecting to the front stairs, the steelwire fence is rusting and panels of mesh are meeting in a variety of seamweaves—some interlacing together at fraying selvedges, some lapping at a post, twisting fraying wirestrands around adjacent wireweft and fraying wirewarps back to adjacent wirewefts is loosening powdery rustcrust bronzing the mud around the perimeter of the plat—only one portal is lacking a padlock, the transverse elevations of the house are proportionally awkward and lacking windows & eaves, the strangeness of the facade porportioning is not of immaculate happenstance but of the confidently amateurish wielding of proportion by a naive human with tenuous connection to the extents of their own body, lacking the elegance of a classical phylum or the empathetic sensation of compression characterizing the caryatids and atlantids bearing the unfathomable weight of the firmament bearing on a cambering architrave—the actual sensation of action within its inanimate posture—, a shadowvolume is dividing the terrain into areas that are in shadowspace & areas that are not in shadowspace, liquidambar woodfruit ballbearings surfacing the front stairs and small landing fluidly cobbling under our feet are twisting Nadia offbalance and tugging me by the jacket strapping her arms around my neck hard down together onto the quaky woodplank platform is shaking the house trembling the front door ajar is projecting forth the tumescing prism of the interior dimness across Nadia’s outstretching pale fingertips, — We are Falling — we are lying here — Everything is Falling Out Of Me — you are intact Nadia feeling the calmness — Scintillation Up My Skirt — calmness and unburdening — is Mummifying The Bodylove is Emanating In The Glowing Of Dearest Precious Sweatskin On The Smooth Abdomen Down To The Hair Between Our Legs — Nadia — I am Falling — no — Everything is Falling — pulling Nadia upright into the tall & empty splitranch staircase a stairrun is leading down into obscure darkness and a concrete floor and a stairrun is leading upward to a flimsy railing along a catwalk is disappearing on the axis of two wallpaperingly dark portals of the upper story, the home is trembling inside the woodframe and the compression of sawdust is impermanent & weak, the empty textural ceilingscape is presenting sensations to my countenance, Nadia absently grinning at the decapitation of <<Payrite>> the landlord is floating down the staircase dripping from its neck with silken gore and grisly tendrils—jugular, spinal fibers, CN IX & CN X & CN XI, occipital artery, spinal arteries and veins—goldleafy spangly lesions and shimmering peacockfeather pericardium swatches all draping from the rim of a broad white charger, fleabites, Nadia is tugging down on my neck breath rasping on the fine hairs beneath my collar, the floating head is droning on with sycophantic pleasantness, an affable voice with forking inflection of his rhetoric toward the patronizingly superior, <<Payrite>> is simply oblivious, — Your Room is Down The Stairs To The Left, No, The Stairs are Not For You, Only The Exterior Entrance is Accessible To You, And The Exterior Stairs To The Kitchen — through the dirt on pathways of mud and beatdown nettles a flimsy door is opening into a small room with a utility lavatory and a window with false muntins—distinctive figurations of grime are bridging beneath the divisions—connecting to the interior room and the interior room dimly washing with dusty umber from a single window in the shading projection of the landing to the kitchen door above, redirection of cognitive resources toward valuable processing is ideal but difficult, laying Nadia down into the pallet I’ve the fearsweat of losing the entire storage of my production inside her, the productive collection of my consciousness inside me—all of my ephemeral glutamate jottings about the murderplot—lacking persistence—in the cognitive digestion of electricity—amino acids & gaseous molecules & peptides & rogue ions & monoamines & purines & rogue amines—is the cytoplasmic systemization within which my intellectual delusions are perceiving richly rhizomatic interconnection between word tableaux, not just bits but formations that within themselves are networking with potential—turning wireframe 3manifolds over and examining them from a variety of orientations—is fragmenting—my consciousness is fragmenting not in terror but in avoidance—into a system of increasing pressurization, it is not emptying—windiness from out of the ears—but increasing its granularity in more and more useless noise becoming topics of selfabsorption surrounding exilation and the pragmatic aspects of survival in a foreign locale, is there a bed, where is the pharmacy, where is the market, all of the familiar contents in a pouch of shards tumbling over each other with fine grittiness are losing their sharp edges and the specificity of their interlocking contours—a gascloud of fragmentation bounding brownian around the bonevault I’m desirous of massaging its coldness into a formation beginning the approaching of my skull I am feeling the thickness of the dermis and bearing my fingertips into the subcutaneous connective tissue & galea aponeurotica & the loose areolar connective tissue and the periosteum—panickingly, the albeit improbable vision of my head composition is a solid thunderegg of sedimentary dermal depositions over a tiny waxy chalcedony core and with cancellation of this vision is—in lieu of the brain—a cenotaph of vaulting emptiness housing my intentional distraction from the competing antagonism of the scintillating grotta dimness—turning inward i am confronting the more frenzying hauntology of exilation—illness is financially onerous, even without accessibility to doctors I’m carrying a notecard listing all of the things I am discovering necessary for proper caretaking of Nadia—something lathery, a razor, pesticide salve with active ingredients—<<Permethrin>> & <<Piperonyl butoxide>> & <<Pyriproxyfen>>—, the largest available jug of <<KodilKola>>, matchsticks, toilet tissue—atop everything else I’m forgetting that is necessary for homemaking in our particleboard grotta—we are carrying nothing aboard the transport outside Lubianka—and from the streaming horror and panicking i am desirous of lying down in complete darkness and focusing on the ambience of Nadia’s gurgling wherein the action potential of pieces of the tale that lie scattered around develop clear affinities, I am assembling them, gluing verifiable pointmarks and vertices of of each morsel—gleaning facts in official conversations, reviewing purloiningly facsimilous ADA documents, outright declarations by the Daemone—, the finer half of my haircomb through Nadia’s bobcut shaking loose snowing brown flealitter—tarsus & whole husks & facets of carapace & tergite & trochanter & pygidium & coxa & labial palpus & mesopleuron & antepygidial bristlings—onto the bedsheet beside her fitfully unconscious gasping, I’ve not a clue where the pharmacy is or even what direction the citycenter is lying, the cursory knowledge I’m possessing of the texture of the town is inflecting the character of my searching from adventurous to dishearteningly futile, having foreknowledge that no disruptions are probable in the relentlessness of homes passing homes and homes passing perigrinating along long lotlines protracting the nominal distance and rhythm of plats of dense packing particleboard prisms, dryrot, flat globules with the nebulosity of moldiness—characteristic of Herbig Haro formations—whose sporadic ejecta are superabundant flowing outward from the nucleus in diminishing densities across cladwood siding whose vague familiarity is deacetylating the molecular chaperoning of my sleeplessness into cytoskeletal anemophily narcotizing the cyclicality of my navigation, the sensation is of being within the haziness of the horizon looking back from a great distance on asphalt percolating the burnishment of its aggregation, involuntary coping through disembodiment, these are not my retinas, this is not my dermis, I am conjuring the calming familiarity of the small bodega pharmacy—at the intersection of Venice and Wade streets—its organization is gridding out a scenario in which—with my shortlist of acquisitions or I am minimally desirous of wandering through the aisles confirming the reputation of orderliness—the archetypal geography of products are promoting the palliative sensations of accomplishment or at the very least equilibrium, I am not in the body, exilation is generating a body prison incapable of accurately relaying sensation, even if the new things surrounding me are full of beauty I am incapable of registering them and constructing the cognitive relationships necessary for the argument of my life, rows and rows of shelving, hundreds of cereals & one kind of pesticide, candy middens & one kind of singleply toilet tissue, nothing is where the expectations of my intuitive guidance are taking me, vegoil is beside pasta—rather than beside flour—, crackers are beside soup—rather than beside pretzels—, pickles are beside peanuts—rather than beside olives—, not that I’m requiring any of this, the inversion of a vast prismatic cavern with a facade of austere & alluringly murky anaesthetization is trapping ornately systematic varicose infrastructure—piping & hosing & conduit & barjoists & dangling indirect luminaires—all pristine—although the floor is a punishment of scuffing greasy smudging skidding into the supressive patterning of the linoleum repetition—matte white emanating oppressively granular daylight saturation inside is casting all of the products and casework in shadowless foreground, I’m reaching up to a high shelf agonizing my shoulder, every soda imagineable is lining the hypostyle of carbonation bubling caramel brown and antifreeze green, fizziness is absorbing the omnilight of the white interior—into the separateness of each bubblespace the alien luminosity is infecting—is radiating back into outer space the sylvan palette without the knowledge of the sodabubble its charming effervescence is projecting brown and green pinpricks of subtle tapping across my clutching knuckles & proximals, every soda imaginable except <<KodilKola>>, <<Vr Perets>> is fizzing with the components of krokochlorocodide freefloating but without effectual molecular bondage, with an erosive pH—below 3—<<Vr Perets>> has the salts but not the psychic fizziness, <<Vr Perets>> it is, the foreignness of my sensations I am observing my hand reaching for the soda and for the matchsticks, I am in the roadway being rundown by an auto liberally roaring apart from the navmesh across pure asphalt, up the back stairs to the sliding glass door into the kitchen, in the refrigerator a demarcation for our fake estate of shelf inside the running dashdot of my name and Nadezhda’s on the maskingtape boundary defining an aggressively obtuse scalene sliver whose most acute angle—7°—is only barely breaching the large beakers and containers packing the front lip of the shelf, accessibility of the property is requiring the unloading of obstructive foodstuffs onto the floor though only for enough of an aperture for the safe passage of the pesticide salve beaker onto the altitude from the obtuse—136°—angle—the only area that is accommodating its diameter—, nothing else is requiring refrigeration, footsteps, the furtive breathing of listening is pacing through the hallway outside the kitchen, glowing, the footsteps are softening with attentiveness to my presence and stopping in the hallway just outside the kitchen, with silence gingerly replacing the containers surrounding the beaker of pesticide salve, another triangle in the rear of the refrigerator whose boundary demarcation is legible in fragmentary aggregation through the density of perishables as NN and MAR, down the back stairs into the heat and into the hot nauseawave darkness of the grotta, Nadia’s fine dark hair—feltingly kinky from sweaty flat pillow gyrations—is gathering into the thin sweaty plates of a scaly seedcone between my fingertips, a quantum status of fleas, in the exploratory snippings I’m sifting with my thumb against my fingertip are crawling with fleas and flealitter shaking onto the sheet leapingly escaping fleas into the crossaxial guillotine of my fingernails and into a small cup of rancid applewater drowning twice in bisection of the bastards, a flea beside the signature of sheetwrinkles, nothing beside the signature of sheetwrinkles in the dusk back corner of the pallet, fleas vaulting almost visibly from their redoubts are appearing on contrasting paleness, blank paleness, a durable Schrödinger representation of independent flea locations in the room yet they are elusive to me in the uneven luminance, a rotten apple in a glass of water, up the back stairs my foot is slipping just beneath the nosing of one stairtread is directly above the openriser of the stairtread below throwing my knee into the higher up nosing the entire wood stairstructure is quaking against the outside wall of the home, from within the opaque deposition of my reflection in the sliding glass door the figure of <<Payrite>> is scurrying into the hallway, the knee of my trousers is absorbing blood and imprecisely stamping a thin weftprint of viscosity is verging to coagulation on the lino texture asymptotically against the deionizing seepage of palmitic acid & stearic acid & oleic acid & linoleic acid where I’m unloading of obstructive foodstuffs onto the floor though only for enough of an aperture for the safe extraction of the pesticide salve beaker and gingerly replacing the containers surrounding the vacant shard of our refrigerator property, down the back stairs into the heat and into the hot nauseawave darkness of the grotta, toward the perspiration cloudiness, the nest of disease, the cool mass of the beaker in my palm, its persistence is peaceful is diluting the pesticide salve in the utilitysink into a frothing plastic beaker half, black flealitter is abundantly accumulating in the suds on my palms and in between digits, washing Nadia’s hair with pesticide and tepid soapy water working deeply down to her scalp with my fingernails where the fever is radiating into my fingertips, her mysterious skull in my palms sweating is dripping pesticide onto my trousers around my fingertips splayingly surveying the quasideath of her fervescence, I’ve no awareness of the person Nadia is visualizing herself as, not the person she is, her impression of the causal errors characterizing her in this miserable context, what vision of rectification and recovery she has for the absence of my death, noxiousness of the burstling sudsiness is repellantly urging my nose away and shutting my eyes from Nadia her skull is expanding beneath my fingertips searching for remaining zones of dry hair, the obscure solidstate of Nadia’s background processing in the protraction of typhic syncope is stygianly ferrying the precious inventory—hers and the partial duplication of mine—from cell to cell just ahead of the racing fever, the entirety of consciousness is compressible into just a few cells with the provision that cognemes are maintaining an acceptable velocity of transference through the diminutive accelerator of three neurons—or cultivation of synaptic tunneling across their triangular altitude or autaptic feedback looping—, her desire vying after her intellect, there is no erasure of the cogneme but there is separateness, the independent cognemes racing through the cellular matrix are immiscible at this maximal magnification ratio, influentiality between cognemes is nothing beyond the physical prohibition on their collocation, the imprintings of whisperings about the Kirov assassination are chasing the anguish—I’m not oblivious to that anguish—of my glancings at Anna are chasing the peacefulness of the dacha the feeling of the stones under her feet and fantasies of her massive cow and countless secrets I’m ambivalent toward because we are monolithic, the mystery is loving, I’m not loving myself, I’ve too much intimate knowledge of why I’m unlovable, the impossibility of total cognographic awareness in foreign bodies is the fortuitous fact of cognitive geography allowing for loving between disreputable people, from inside the sphere there is no horizon, the common delusion is that the cogneme is a static quanta—troglofauna—biologically inextricable from a specific neuron parcel of the physical brain and lying dormant in the foiba of the axon terminal, even as we’ve awareness that nothing is stationary, the medium that is passing through the material, scintillating beadcurtain of obliteration acceptance and excretion into the next scintilla of the medium passing through my bones and through the mantle, clinging to the strange fantasy of mother’s synthetic countenance indelibly inextricable from the cellular biology in a precise zipcode of our skulls, there are Nadia things I’ve knowledge of that I am synthesizing into her comatose cinema, but the fluidity and unreality of the visions are exclusive to the unconscious, synthesizing the phantasm is an impossibility, its patina and banal implausibility, arhythmic whitebalance catastrophe whose architecture is a series of false marble corridors and closets, watching a dreaming animal, iron petals on the pear of anguish, cold lake of the sinner, Nadia’s hair is airdrying enough for shearing, the fleas are lingering covetously alighting on fronds of her hair I am hacking away expeditiously leaving uneven stumpy clusterings pinching between my thumb and forefinger and dropping to the sweatdamp and droolingly crusty bedclothes, the fleas are remobilizing, chasing the retention of my exegesis into the terminality of my own cyclic speleologic oblivion, in the scatterings of hair they are tucking and folding themselves and quivering with gasping spiracles, some fleas loping away on foot are meeting the bisection of my fingernails, up the back stairs—whiteout—retrieving a metal basin from the kitchen, the velvet smudging of an ear against a wall, down the back stairs, the strandlets of Nadia’s hair leaving her scalp are amassing into the basin, and placing all of the smudging greasiness of hair into the metal basin clumping damply with pesticide is a poisonous entrapment for the fleas, white hairshaft white in the black wetness is drying into heathery ringlets curling into the outdoor luminance and out from the shadow of the house beside a small makeshift cemetery with mushrooms and tiny gravemarkers—clever petnames in handwriting on derelict decorative housewares—into this fairycircle on my knees in the mud I am lighting the noxious thicket on fire in the basin, the smell of burning hair on the pale smoak tendrils in the stillness is forming a stationary prism against an invisible threshold of pressure or temperature differential at the altitude of my gazing is topologically multiplying and translating its facets, is the smoak typhic, is the flea cremation a disease vector, in the depths of some ADA cinema triplefeature of <<Trojan Cecum>> sequels smoak from the incineration of the cadaver of Virgil is compelling a gaggle of starving birds into the underworld, thus as the smoak prism is elongating toward my mouth and eyes I am smothering the fire with damp nettles from a graveplot beside the decaying settling of the prism fragmentation into umber wisps of ember air, Nadia is whispering, the warm latheriness across her patchy scalp is crackling, — is In There is The Lady With The White Teeth Going —, shaving the dreck and hopeless stubs in great lathery dollops back into the basin, the razor is not a superlative razor is leaving Nadia’s scalp allover a fine and uneven tonsure, with a small cup of water and her head in my hand over the basin the last of the latheriness is rinsing from her tepid head cooling down onto the pillow, whispering — Young Man Please Some Limejuice — to my tipping a sipping of soda into her lips, dripping down into a small pond in the sulcus dimpling below her mouth nadir, up the back stairs with the basin into the kitchen, the elegant imperfection of her moon silhouette on the brown soaking pillow sheening in the dimness, our peaceful breath is coincident through my palm on her scalp, — No Smoking, Captain Yaroshevitch — footsteps on the stairs running, heavily the shadow of Payrite is bearing across the false wood of the main stairs, footsteps in the room directly above are a nuisance but Nadia is far inside herself in the absence of the flea banquet of angsty devourment in her scalp a fitful peace is sweating forth from Nadia’s tongue — So o Goo od Young Man — her eyes are shifting hypnagogically through fervescent terrain — No Exhaling Your Smoak In My Face — her placid nonsense is calming me, burning a small fasces of dead sweetgrass burning paper matchsticks under the embers and waving the thin capillaries of smokiness through the dark haze above Nadia’s pallet — The Incense, Take Away The Incense — the darkness is casting a charringly taupe positive of the room around my fumblings along the wall in a quest for the lightswitch along the rhythm of fine reglets between false wallboards—the composite paneling is concavely yielding to my leaning—and arriving back at Nadia’s pallet I sit down in the halflight beside the uneven minims of limpidity scrying the tremulous balls of Nadia’s eyes brightly distant listening cautiously to the dislocation of shadowfigures in the vacant room, a cavalcade of visitors emergent from the duskiness, the soft skin of her face watching the vacancy in disbelief at the waving motion of arms tracing the acrid smokiness of cigarillos from their fingertips — Pavel — & — The Finn — & — Lancecorporal Maximenko is clicking his heels — & — The Redcap — & — The Doctor — Nadia’s lips are partingly whispering — Father Alexandr and Mother Zakvaska — slightly I’m slipping a fingertip into her teeth for the encouragement of her sipping the soda from the beaker is tipping to her teeth and it’s saccharine plum bouquet is filling the room, and uncharacteristically of the illness her fever is breaking in the darkness amidst the preying phantasms, flealitter and sebaceous graysmudge under my fingernails, the noise of rattling cartwheels across the floor, — So o Goo od — from the small room with a utility sink behind a glass door watching Nadia awakening to the vague image of the morning sunlight is filtering through grime strata on glass and simmering through blindslats quivering through the photon sockets of emptyspace dividing in their probability of occupying one socket or another socket, the probability of a photon reaching Nadia’s pallet is nominally zero, Nadia is awakening with the reflexive solitary movements, strange emissivity, fixation on trifles of zoeticism and the vital sensations of infinite happiness and joyousness, keen misericorde quanta knifepoints of flashing starlight in the carbonation of the <<Vr Perets>> jug, inhaling deeply she is rising hesitantly gingerly carefully from the pallet onto her knees and inhaling the foreign air deeply supping at the unfamiliar dust bouquet she is inspecting the scattering of unfamiliar furniture, dropceiling, ducttape on the curtains, passing her fingers through the raiment of light and laughing with delicious happiness laughing in the hilarity of desperation, Nadia is whispering — Josef — stepping fulling into the weak sunlight — Where are We — weakly with convalescent benevolence of her baldness — Where is Our Cow —

John Terfry is a novelist and publisher of Inside the Castle:

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