from Daughter
by Janice Lee

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Our planet has the wrong name and in truth we come from the sea, dismantling ages and yet, there was no sea.

THE OCTOPUS EYE (right) is physically
like the human eye, and is part of the most
highly evolved nervous system found in lower
animals. Similarity of eyes does not indicate              [ image ]
that man and octopus are closely related, but
rather means that each developed the organ
independently. This phenomenon is called
convergent evolution.

Like a relief map, pocked and streaked, it is always dusk out here, and dusk will always be dusk falling like thoughts onto my bed, like an abyss, no light reaches here.

I may have the bends, having descended to significant depths, the nitrogen forced into solution, pressure falling, rising to the surface, the nitrogen turning back into bubbles of gas and now allowed to dissolve, obstructing my blood vessels, cramping my joints, I think– I think–

Are we talking about the octopus or me? Once in awhile, a dead octopus washes ashore, tossed onto the beach by waves. But as I've mentioned before, there are no waves here, where are we again? Am I becoming a blur or are you? Keep me on the edge over the edge under the edge at the edge–

The long arms attached to a fleshy blob, the arms curl around my neck. But I just imagined that. I've imagined a lot of things.

AUTOPSY 1. Seeing with one's own eyes, eye-witnessing; personal observation or inspection. 2. Inspection of a dead body, so as to ascertain by actual inspection its internal structure, and esp. to find out the cause or sear of disease; post-mortem examination.

God must be a bear, arms outstretched, ready to hug and feed you honey, my child, and it is sweet.

Nosce te ipsum, and yet it is impossible to know our own bodies in that way. Often, like a disease, the uterus operates according to its own laws, traveling at its own pace, yet demonstrated by a token presence: blood. Still, fit to fall, and it seems that what someone has brought us is the body of a dead God. Yet, the daughter cries out, "I never looked like that!" Of course recalling that we have been made in God's image, but where do such morphological calibrations exist? Where is such an authentic body that an image becomes an image or a repertoire of images that is the body? So the reservoir of a voiceless voice, an orphaned daughter or an orphaned void:

          Only though shaking off this burdensome body could the soul achieve union with God.

Is that not what we are looking for?
In these remains of a dead god who once was great, will my right hand be permitted to push into the swellings of such a perforated narrative? Slowly but surely, I am sure that I hear those bodies speak to me, and I am inclined to hear and obey, but as my fingers rub against the contours, it is the finitude of this world, this body, this slime, that strikes me. Which voices must I follow in such an inspection of a dead king, will I discover the tickings, tockings, defects, anatomizing what cannot be anatomized. I hesitate.

Father/Mother, I have a mind to be acquainted with your insides.

Surrounded by hourglass sand and at the edge of an introduction, the only tools needed are the knife, the mirror.



as a doubling, as doubt, as those supporting branches which I cling onto, and in it I see the drawing of breath from rays, raising up and walking towards those heights, a tube connecting me to my father, and yet somewhere or another one is always possessed by a supraordinate idea, dissolving the projections or projecting those lost memories outside of myself.

after all, the world, a primitive one at that, is more or less a fluid phenomenon within the steam of my own fantasy, where subject and object are undifferentiated and in a state of mutual interpenetration.

a story of the daughter and the octopus. shall we dance?


aka the scalpel, the one that helps to find aliquem alium internum, a certain other one within (what do your insides look like?) and we are confronted with the metamorphosis of the gods at every new state, the prophet rises up in the unlikeliest of places, and anyway the loss of the past becomes insignificant for the saviour is lost too, and the savior is that insignificant thing or else arises out of it, a daughter, a stone, a furrow, so that the daughter/child is both beginning and end, an initial and terminal creature, the flesh to be cut open and bled out, or swept away by the sea.