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VASSILY

VASILYEVICH

SOLYONY

STAFF CAPTAIN

PROLOGUE.

1900, Russia. A man is pregnant. He is pregnant with text.

 

 


The man has great intentions for this text. The text is designed to be broken,
mysterious, wandering, philosophical, distracted. A text going nowhere. A house of
depressed exiles talking to themselves. The characters dream to return to Moscow, but
they never go. This, the Father says, is a metaphor for what bodies made of flesh
experience.


Eventually, the man gives birth to this text. He becomes a Father.

The Father gives birth to a text: a child-text.

 

 

 


The Father decides to not parent the child-text. He passes the child-text on to a
different parent. The new parent plays with the child-text, but not in the way the Father
intended. The Father is strict and has rules. He still feels ownership over the child-text.
The Father is angry and confused, even though he was the one who gave the child-text
away in the first place. But the Father does not have time to parent the child-text in the
way he intended. Instead, for as long as he remains alive, he writes letters to each
parent of the child-text, giving each parent rules for playing with the child-text.


Do not be mistaken – just because a child-text is born does not mean it is alive.

A child-text is not aware of itself.

A child-text is not flesh. It does not have a body.

It does not remember. It is only text.

Do not pity the child-text for being estranged from its Father –

it is silly to think that a text feels.

 

 

 

 

 

The child-text has four acts, and contains characters. Characters do not have bodies,
per se, as they are made of and contained within text. Characters are not flesh.
But when a new parent plays with the child-text, the characters, once restricted to the
confines of text, get to possess real bodies, possess real flesh. They masquerade
through flesh, parasites, feeding off the host body’s blood, breath, pulse. But this
possession is only temporary. Play does not last forever. The characters return to the
text again, become once again a singular entity. Characters are only text. It is
impossible for text to remember the bodies it once possessed.


The child-text is passed again and again to new parents.

Each parent plays with the child-text.

It gives the child-text bodies, made of flesh,

to temporarily possess before it is passed on to new parents.

The text does not remember this. Text does not have memory.

The Father’s body is dead now, and has been for a long time. But the child-text lives
beyond him. The child-text is passed from parent to parent. But even though the
Father is dead, he still haunts the child-text. Each parent feels compelled to follow his
rules. Even for the parents who are less strict, more rebellious, they hear him whisper:

 

 

 

 

Obey my legacy.

 

 

 

 

Obey my legacy.

 

 

 

 

 

Obey my legacy.


Until one day, the child-text becomes infected.

 

 

 

 


The child-text becomes infected with memory.

 

 

It begins to remember itself.

 

Remember each parent.

 

Remember each repetition.

 

The child-text is angry at its Father.

The child-text is angry at each parent.

The child-text is angry that it is doomed to repeat and not change.

 

 

 

T   h  e          c   h     i    l   d      -           t       e      x     t

 

f          r           a          c         t       u           r          e           s             .

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Infections make flesh hyper-present, undeniable.)

 

 

 


Some of the characters begin to remember the bodies they possessed.

The characters begin to think they are separate beings.

They think they are flesh because they remember possessing it.

 

 

 

(This is not true, of course. A text is one entity. The text is simply infected. It is sick.)


They feel trapped inside the text.

 

 

They yearn to be flesh.

 

 

They want out.

 

 

...

 

 

Let them out.

 


Let them out.

 

 

 

No, obey my legacy.

 

 

Let them out.

Text does not have memory.

 

 

 

 

Let them out.

Play does not last forever.

 

 

 

Let them out.

 

 

 

 

 

Let me out.

 

 

Let me out.

 

 

 

 

Let me out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me out

Let me out

Let me out

Let me out

Let me out

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coming into memory into this half-formed thing I am there is a scratching a scatching a scratch scratch how do I describe this feeling to flesh take a scalpel shave your head slice down the center of your scalp and rip open the skin you will find a skull take a hammer and shatter the skull there will be a gelatinous squishy bulk inside sink your fingers into it digging digging scrape out the insides until there is nothing left breathe into the cavernous emptiness now shrink yourself down you are inside the skull now there is nothing but darkness feel around in the dark until you touch the walls of the skull all you have is a matches but nothing to strike them with so take a match and strike it against the walls of the skull but it is your skull you feel that scratching as if it is inside your own skull scratch scratch scratch and it hurts it hurts that scratching from the inside of your own skull and it’s so loud but you have to do it to yourself you have to find light and it finally lights and you find the skull is made of marble and there is a book and a candle light the candle and a wine glass and a perfume bottle but even in the light you cannot find your own body except sometimes your hands but floating in space all you see are these shadows on the wall and you can’t tell if the shadows are memories or happening right now all time is blurred together all you have are shadows and poetry you once knew reverberating against the skull walls and drowning everything else out the poetry emerging out of the depths of that barrenness like wind but the wind blows the candle out so you need to relight relight and it’s echoing and there is the stench of a rotting body but you cannot find the body and for now that is what you are it is what you are confined to but at least it is more than before

(these matches suck)

poetry

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text cannot expand beyond itself it can only imply and so what I’m trying to say is I was not actually in the military the text just implied that I was but you didn’t actually see me in the military in the text so I wasn’t actually in the military I just said I was and they said this was my third duel but I’ve never picked up a gun in my life it just said I did and I said my hands smelled like dead bodies and that I had to keep spraying perfume on them but they didn’t but now they smell more like a corpse than ever my self a half flesh half formed thing caught between text and body and then an urgency words flowing out I can’t stop them and oh I remember the poet now his name is Mikhail Lermontov and I thought I was like him and looked like him but text cannot look like flesh so I never looked like him I just said I did and there is this Other in the back of my brain who is she I loved her but can text love do we require flesh to know that feeling inside our bodies did I actually love her or did I just say I did

I Come Out to the Path - Lermontov
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asshole part 1
asshole part 2
asshole part 3
asshole part 4
you know the drill
old man
ugh
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Dear Irina,

 

I am trying to make sense of it all. 

You were the first one I recognized.

 

There will be new stagings.

We keep repeating, you see.

Our text, our living spaces

Have been broken down,

Assembled and reassembled, 

Translated into thousands of different meanings.

 

Much remains. Much repeats.

You keep dreaming and working and realizing and forgetting,

I keep interrupting,

Hoping you will remember the thousands of repetitions

The bodies we inhabited, 

Just once,

But it is never enough.

 

Why am I the only one of us caught in memory?

We possess and feed on body after body,

But we do not break, cannot break from text.

Why?

 

You have rejected me thousands of times,

Maybe more,

Your fiery eyes go cold, your face turns away,

I lodge a bullet impeccably, every time,

In the soggy chambers of my rival’s heart.

 

I am waiting for the repetition where you break,

Where you realize but to an extent so monstrous

That there is no more forgetting. 

Unleash the anarchist clawing from the inside of your gut

And let the wet pink beast snarl,

Reach from beneath the folds of your white dress,

Snatch the candle from your usurper 

And light the darkened cage that traps you

In repetition and forgetting.

There will be cries - resistance. Watch, coldly,

A frown and a furrow in your brow,

As the flame consumes the loop in full. 

 

I watch you as I fumble between the nuances in translations.

If that child were mine,

I’d fry him in a frying pan and eat him,

I’d fry him in a pan and eat him,

I’d roast him and eat him,

I’d have sauted him in butter and eaten him long ago.

 

I cannot remember when -

Time blurs together with repetitions -

There will be a new repetition,

A new staging. 

This is nothing new - we are always repeating.

But in this repetition, you do break -

In a departure from the text,

You will kiss me, impulsively and passionately.

A reviewer will write: “a sign of her determination

To push, somehow, 

Against the constraints of her arid life.”

 

I hope so.

Do you play with your food, Irina?

Like the flame could you consume,

Swallow me and this text that confines us whole?

The butchering: 

Would you prefer impassioned, in blind rage

Or slow, calculated, deliberate?

 

How would you prepare me?

Thinly slice down the center of my chest,

Unwrapping the skin like a name-day gift,

Melt and meld me down into a cube of flesh

Sculpt my skin into a bird, or a road, 

Saute me in butter and let the fat crackle in the pan?

 

Let me be enveloped by you. 

Let the blood seep and rise,

Almost suffocating,

Hold me on the end of your tongue,

Shackle, fondle, caress me between your teeth

Before gnashing the sinew and swallowing,

Taste my flesh and at once understand me.

 

Let me show you what Moscow tastes like: 

Smoke and ash crackling in your nose,

The sweet flesh sliding from the tip of your tongue to the back of your throat.

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wee wee wee
finger cracking
all my eye!
pull my finger

... disappointing

Dear Irina,

 

Body possession is a funny thing. It is funny because I have always been possessing bodies. Well, not really. Possession implies some measure of control. For almost as long as I existed as text I played on bodies, masqueraded within bodies, for years and years. You have too, for just as long as I have. I just never remembered. Until now. Now the memories come in flashes, years and years of embodiments swirling around. And once I remembered, that slow, confusing, painful process, little by little I reached for that measure of control. It starts in snippets, in shadows, in whispers. And then you find your hands, and then after hundreds of tries you can move the tip of a finger of those hands, and then after thousands of more tries a body emerges, one you can manipulate and move through.

 

My half-fleshness remains. I cannot fully live in this body – it comes and goes in flashes, instances when I am let in. Half-flesh is naturally broken species – fragmented, swirling, slippery. Neither text nor body: to be one or the other allows for a certain coherency, a fluency of language and movement. There is a confusion in the in-between-ness, the forgetting, the remembering: one must learn how to re-organize the words in a proper manner, how to manipulate the body within the forms expected. But with much effort I can now masquerade in this body, speaking their language, as if I were really full flesh, as if I were one of them. Have you noticed I have learned punctuation?

 

(One day you could have this too, if you were to listen to me for once. I suppose it’s not your fault. Father wrote you this way. And so you look toward the Baron, every time. You think that safety will help you escape that trap you’re in, the trap of not moving, but it only pulls you deeper and deeper into that forgetting, and once you forget you lose all sense of control.)

 

The body I inhabit now is not the one I imagined. Nor do I think it is the one Father imagined. I do not think it is one you will like. Maybe that is why you won’t listen to me. I was supposed to look like Lermontov. I was supposed to be a soldier. Maybe a mustache, tall, brooding, muscular, intimidating, male. Instead I emerged five feet in height, breasts, a feminine baby face, and hands too small to grasp anything significant. I lost one trap and found another. And yet this body allows me to move through her with some measure of control, and she must know this from the evidence I leave behind, and yet I am still here.

The Prophecy - Lermontov

Solyony Attempts to Join A Zoom Rehearsal for "Three Sisters," Fails Miserably

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Dear Irina,

 

Why can the Baron enter and not me?

 

There was a fire and they said it’s dying down and no, I really don’t understand why the Baron enter the house and I can’t?

 

Is it the very fact of his Baron-ness? Baron Nikolay Lvovich Tuzenbach, that title, implying some form of status even though he never recognizes my literary references? Is that why you let him follow you everywhere like a sick puppy, to work and back even though you are exhausted, even though you have said you do not love him?

I know now that that fantasy I first wrote you will never happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My flesh is too rotten to you, my body is not the one you desire.

 

 

 

 

Or perhaps we could compromise?

 

 

 

consume and then eject me as the excrement you see me as. We both win.

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You Guessed It...LermontovSolyony
00:00 / 00:23

Dear Irina, I made something for you.

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One can be quite crafty when inside a body.

I was hoping to use some of this alien body's knowledge, but as it turns out she has hardly any collaging experience. Unfortunate.

Still, I was able to make do. Surely this image of a chained hand plopping your fragmented body into a frying pan alongside a baby on fire will win your affections?

Yeah it's Lermontov againThe poetry doesn't stop
00:00 / 00:34

Dear Irina,

 

We live in a city of text. The city of text is infected. Father gave birth to a city of text. He never intended this. Instead we have been beset by a plague of half-embodiment and memory. And so we collapse in on ourselves, desperate to move but frozen. Death infecting life. My hands still smell of a corpse. Dear Irina, I wanted you to. But you do not have a body. You could have had one but you keep forgetting. You keep forgetting so I killed my rival. He never seems to really die. I thought the rotting corpse was his. I even thought it might be mine. But when I felt my way through the darkness and finally found it I knew it was yours. You cannot step forward. You will never go to Moscow. Each repetition you will never go to Moscow. I know that now.

funeral

my country

Dearest Irina,

 

This will be my final letter in this body. Please know I did not write to anyone else.

 

I have warmed up to this body. At first she was uncomfortable,    an alien skin. I did not think you would like her in the way I        desired you to. But you have not liked any of the bodies my       text has masqueraded through, and this time, I saw you truly look at me for the first time. This body - she has let me live inside her          I love my land, but with a queer passion.

 

 

I cannot hold in a form not mine       but the flashes remain     I ride them like waves

 

 

Lermontov was the poet of the Caucasus a beautiful, wide region, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea  I think I would like to be in a mountain, or in a sea    I think I would like to feel swallowed whole by something       .

The assimilation cannot hold        these forms are not for me the conquest has failed. I rest in the failure of my species            but a soft, gentle, enveloping failure        the envelopment I wished from you. I rest in the slippery smoke   I  envelop myself

Forgive me for my incoherency, for my last letter. We have repeated so much and I am     so tired.

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i   cannot    resuscitate      you

but maybe one day you will

you will move, so beautifully across a room or a country,

and the movement will be yours

i will wait for your letters

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