from Part I
In California during the winter of Sun & Smoke. God is puking in the weeds again. He’s called it quits and I can feel his wax ear on my dry tongue. The fires are burning us into a desert and we were never nothing more than sand. I’m laying down on a table covered in vegan cheeze. The dank stench of crust punk basements burns like my urine. Burns like garbage pits in the desert. Burns like a lobotomized universe. No more Lazarus for us, nor more redemption song. The only thing rising now is ammonia and aluminum smoke. Everything is burning and I remember my war crimes. Hear god’s throat dry heave street grime. Thank you for your bodies, it never should have happened.
from the Intermission
“He shall tear it open by the wings, not dividing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is burning on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.” –Leviticus 1:17
I am vine tied to the withertree. Bone chimes dangle and oilsap is pouring over my body. My hands sin and are removed. They offer me a strange fire. I refuse and they reach around me grab my bloodless flesh. Pushing their way past my membrane, down my back, into my ass the hands are in my ass and all I can feel is scratching scathing hate surround my oil covered body. I say hello to god.
This garden is withering. I am on the edge of the sublime and the sun is melting my skullskin. The sun is afraid of its maternal power. The galaxy is the mother of the sun, galaxies are mothers of the universe. The sun is filthy for trying to fuck its mother galaxy. Flowers here become sun junkies strung out on fission and heat death. The halo of death is around you, Christos, with your golden bursts of self-righteous suicide.
It is a heatless death a chairless death a bottomless death a sugar-free death a fat-free death a death without meaning. My sapoil body is on fire and the brown flames move up my nostrils. It barks at me like cinnamon. Don’t put me out, I am not yet fried. My dermis isn’t crispy. If I could live long enough I’d dethrone you from the sky, Christos. I am now the thing that must be lost. I am setting traps for myself. I am the weathered wood holding back the wind. My hands are scratching at the walls of my body. They are carving their words on my ribs.
I don’t not like it.
Ivy lands on my hands and begins to suck the blood from my body with her tubetongue. I sweat red. My chest is her powder. Ivy takes cold knives from leafy hands and cuts me open. I am dry inside. Watching her defile my body is like watching the Trinity test in slow motion.
Scream or moan, it’s all the same to me.
Christos watching there, impotent fucklove prophet of death. A cancer of listening devices. A signpost to nowhere. A body full of hell.
Weed priests carry nothing to him, nothing but the smoke of a drone dab song on the waves of etherium.
I am so small so so so small I hold all the light’s weight and sink into space dark matter pushing me punishing me Riding waves of thought through the membrane mirror I emerge Incantations of the chaos god Spirals like vines in dreamland Choke me Choke me Choke Me Out Choke Me Off
And pull me into the vantablack hole our weight makes bile green lips shining in the backdrops of stars. I float with chords chest puff strummed in honor of our end.
Reclaim from my body what heat is owed you
& I shall see god I shall see god I shall see god
I shall see god in the valley of flowers blooming at night!
You are my nightmare, your golden corpse staring saintly at me. Your lips begin to move and tell me unworthy things about being an offering. A defective male. Useless like the Lamb, like Angus Dei. There isn’t enough blood left to satisfy the sky, to convince it to leave me alone.
Burnt man collapse into the promise the desert held. Smoke rising from crackle fat, shaving my skin. I am smoldered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Muravez has worked as a diesel mechanic, telephone salesperson, database administrator, and logistical clerk. He also spent ten years in the U.S. Army, and came to writing as a form of therapy. He earned his MFA from the University of Notre Dame. He writes mostly poetry and horror science fiction, and he currently teaches at a community college in California.
ABOUT THE MANUSCRIPT
The name “The Body Full of Hell” is a mashup of two experimental metal band names “The Body” and “Full of Hell” who made two collaborative albums — “One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache” & “Ascending A Mountain of Heavy Light” — which I think are some of the most important works of contemporary music. They capture a full spectrum of suffering that is necessary for confronting the world as it is today. My manuscript is a conversation with this suffering, and in it I’m trying to find a body that is full of pain, spite, and hatred. I want to say that it is trying to destroy the idea of identity, and at the same time refusing Foucault’s call to create a self that is a work of art, but I’m not convinced of this, even though that’s what I originally wanted to do. In “Christos” I took the Christ-signifier, some anarcho-punk lyrics, and some burning pastoral imagery to fuck up the voice of the poet. I want the voice silenced in the end. I want there to be a void where the was once a thing occupying space, time, sound, and thought.