[WAVES LAP AGAINST THE SHORELINE, THERE IS THE FIZZING OF SEA FOAM OVER FRAGMENTS OF SHELL AND STONE. THE LAPPING CONTINUES AND ROLLS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AS A BRIGHT, CLEAR VOICE BEGINS TO SPEAK...]
Salty crackle in the morning’s first yawn. First words crumble out and lie piecemeal on the sands. If they are not swept away by the tide they will be collected, millions of years later and trapped in amber spheres like ornaments to be arranged. Or rubbed between fingers and somehow transcribed. Gritty words from a small, dry mouth yawned out many moons ago.
The first sounds are formed in the tight centre of the coil - held in its whorls like a wasp’s nest - spongy to the touch, a woven, flaky kind of fabric. They are squeezed from the pressures of oceanic depth, hardened into beads of very pure, very clear speech. Echoless and tightly packed with the resonances that come from the sightless deep, and from the first colours of time and from the singular pressing thought of the Ammonite. The opening bar of its music.
The bead rocks in a planetary motion in the central chamber and, as the hours elapse, from this first hour of night to the last, it rolls along soft tunnels, lulled by the waves. The coil tips and turns like the bulb of a glass of dark liquid in your hand in the evening. Tracing the trajectory of the radial bones - one way and then the other. With each rotation the bead travels on - gradually softening as it moves, absorbing moistures that soak the singular thought, and then drying, aerated by fresh gusts that enter through porous chambers. As it reaches the final throat it is lighter than it began, honeycombed and processed. The first thought distorted somewhat from the feeding forward, the rotations and the drying out. But the marrow of it is there, sitting tight in beaded form, waiting for a crack of daylight behind the lips.
[THE WAVES RECEDE AND A SINGLE, HIGH NOTE MOVES THROUGH THE AIR, TOUCHING THE SURFACE OF THE SEA AND BECOMING SUBMERGED. WE HEAR THE MOTION OF THE SEA FROM UNDERNEATH THE WAVES. A DEEPER, PRIMORDIAL VOICE BEGINS TO SPEAK, ITS WORDS OCCASIONALLY )))ECHOING((( AS THEY MOVE...]
I am The Originary Coil in the early hours. I bob on the surface of the shallows. The repeat of the wave pattern )))l u l l s((( me. Below me, microscopic krill and algae simmer.
A shaft of light rips through air and continues through water until it touches the sand. Pushing through porous membranes - translucent, syrup-soaked papers - it skewers firmament then ocean on a length of newly-dawned sun.
The sky hangs low, inches from the surface of the sea, pressing down on a small waterspout with all its blue. )))Wrestling softness((( flattening it, squishing its bulbous rounds into one another horizontally, like a balloon animal being run through a photocopier.
We move together, affect together but shift too in our own dimensional textures. We share air, weather, night. Anything that touches the skin.
)))A strata of atmospheric bodies(((
The pleated surface of the sea ~r e f r a c t s~ me slightly - fluting my edges. Folding forwards to future hardness when soft sands are ground down, becoming )))asphalt, concretes, epic sheets of glass(((
A human spots me from the shore, wades in.
I think it’s a ribbon of seaweed? [SPOKEN BY A HUMAN VOICE, HEARD FROM BENEATH THE WAVES], it says of a floating, undulating white tube that looks a little like an intestine.
Oh actually it’s just a carrier bag!
As it turns I catch, flashing in the corner of its eye - the spiral of a human belly button half-buried in the sand, clear as day until a wave set overlays me with thick cyan.
Yeah, I’ll just grab it and put it in the bin!
[THE UNDERWATER WAVES RECEDE]
An ammonite then appears lodged in a pore on your forearm, wriggling, the vibrations re-setting your bones to snake.
I crawl inside the carrier bag, wrinkled from use )))from holding other bodies((( and wait 66 million years )))to be gathered(((
[A SOUND LIKE RUMMAGING THROUGH A BAG OF DRY TRASH RISES THEN BECOMES LAYERED, MAKING ITS OWN STRANGE RHYTHM. A DRY WIND RISES AND THEN RECEDES, TAKING THE TRASH WITH IT. A SLOW SPOOLING SOUND OF SOMETHING WASHING ASHORE, BOBBING IN THICK OILY WATER. THE DEEP PRIMORDIAL VOICE CONTINUES…]
I am The Originary Coil crawling to the shore. My face is a horizontal line of eye, beak, eye. An all-seeing mouth.
It’s squalid to you I know but I’m planning to reside here on the shoreline, long past the sociable hours, deep in my own thoughts and collected juices. One eye tilted upwards, scanning side to side. I like the smells that I can smell:
)))oil, alloy, matte lacquers, wet stretch(((
One end nestled in my centre, the other an open O ))))))))))))))))))))))) like a mouth.
We began in the centre by the belly button and grew round and round, our parts and our skin tones tucked into creases. The centre )))p o p s((( a few millennia in, a self-made puncture, allowing cool clear water to stream through the fresh black hole.
Eyes and ears are embedded like jewels at certain ages on particular chambers. These walls are called septum, akin to the one that divides human nostrils.
)))M o v i n g((( I secrete liquid to make the walls of a new chamber. The septum folds as it meets my outer shell, creating strength, allowing for deep movement. But I prefer warm, shallow water… the grip of sand under my belly.
Some years down the line a group dreams on the side of the cliff. I feel the juice of their bodies far away, suctioned to their shells.
[A BRIGHT CLEAR SOUND LIKE A METAL COMET ROCKETS THROUGH THE AIR AND BEGINS TO DESCEND]
I see their glistening trails on my white walls, )))I see juice already dried, reflective, glistening((( that shows )))where it’s taken them(((
[THE DRY CRACKLE AND CHIRRUP OF INSECTS RISES. A PULSING, DEEP AND JUICY SELF-POSSESSED VOICE BEGINS TO SPEAK...]
I am an aerated rock surface, baking at high tide. My holes, small pocks, sliiiiIIIiiiiiiiIIIiiiiiiiiIIIiiiide across my surface and gather into a signal - a spiral, pushed into place by the coiled retractions of a salamander’s tonnnnnnnnnnngue. I exude a milky lubricant to withstand the sun’s heat.
Newly mobile, my holes liqqqqqqqqquifyyyyyy in this fresh formation, making my outer layers soften. Insects travel through them and out the other side. I gather pace, akin to an ant mill, a birth spiral, and over time, bore gently back into the rock in a different form. I am pulsing. I am beating.
[THE LOUD DRY REVV OF A CAR ENGINE INTERRUPTS THE INSECT NOISE AS A CAR ZOOMS PAST. THE NOISE FROM A BUSY RING ROAD CAN BE HEARD AS A HUMAN-ISH VOICE BEGINS TO SPEAK, ITS FOOTSTEPS CAN BE HEARD CRUNCHING ON THE GROUND...]
The gleaming black muscle of the whirlpool tongue is a banquet for the eyes. Tight formula of ribbing at the edges and a chaos of nodules at the visible root - splashing about in liquids native and foreign. Lusciousness in the rotational follies of the afternoon - circling the stacked circumferences and awing at their beauty despite sand and puddles of petroleum underfoot.
Wanting it so much. Following the voice that called to me over the racket of the ring road - the voice getting ever more supple and able to roll and twist around whatever it is that needs to be said.
Even in repose it is processing - plump and alert. Tasting the inner air and sending signals to the top, the centre, the very ends of my digits. Willing them to reach out, to grasp, to be receivers for gritted salt and shrugged off skins.
[THE ROAD AND FOOTSTEPS RECEDE]
Centrifugal, the whirlpool tongue sends remembrances )))spinning(( whips them with tasted liquids and lays them along the length of its pleated edge. Something happens in the middle that you can’t see - even more chaos of winding roots below the visible surface )))accompanied by the toasted smell of popped corn(((
Perhaps - a second, or further muscle at the centre, the lower arm of the whirlpool tongue, powering it via circular motions in the dark.
Resting in the moment of tasting.
)))Perpendicular, volcanic retort(((
[THE SOUND OF A METALLIC TORNADO RISES, ITS REVOLUTIONS GAINING PACE. A BRIGHT TINNY VOICE BEGINS, ITS WORDS SWIRLING AND REVOLVING AS IT SPEAKS...]
I am a soft metal whirlpool lit by an afternoon storm. Human eyes see me through binoculars as the light turns yellow. The clouds pass over my revolving body, black grains of air pervading the vista. Shining silver ribbon, reflecting all faces, all weathers, all skins, all your needs.
In my side, a slit, a mouth which opens up, a thin red line against black where the rib gives way.
Listen, lack of adaptability is what’s gunna be our downfall. And you know it.
The snake takes its tail out of its mouth, and runs along the ground to feed its muscle.
At deep night when no human eyes are watching my nature, I am whirlpool created by a hand. But there is nothing idle about my spiral. Held in a rockpool, just captured fresh tide, the body parts of crabs are stirred and enter my tornado like cars, krill stick to my sides due to the centrifugal force, while the sandstone walls erode imperceptibly at my touch.
[THE METALLIC VOICE GIVES WAY TO THE RHYTHMIC DISTORTIONS OF AN ANALOGUE SIGNAL SWITCHING CHANNELS. A CONVERSATION BEGINS…
IN THE RIGHT EAR, A DEEPER, WISER VOICE, IN THE LEFT EAR, A BRIGHTER, FRESHER VOICE. THEIR WORDS SWIRL AND REVOLVE AS THEY SPEAK…]
I am a whirlpool, at the middle of the day. Sluiced in a silk skin, I am a spooling nerve, floating just above the ocean surface, shimmering slightly, a mirage part-ossified.
My centre coil, just 1mm in size, the first form I found myself in, begins to rise like a sun-lit speck of skin, like a concertinaed skeleton.
[BRIGHT TWINKLING BELLS RISE UP]
On the hill opposite, its younger sibling, I churn myself with the longing to learn. I catch the sun at just the right angle, like a floating mirror, and a tubular skein of air peppered with dust motes and swimmers conjoins us briefly for communication.
[A COMBINED NOTE OF VERY DEEP AND VERY HIGH BEGINS, AND CONTINUES, AS THEY CONJOIN]
It’s sebum that ensures my lack of resistance. I rise at the rate of their slightly held human breath. I suck microscopic bodies and words from the shallows, they slide around my coil and I let them off into the air.
[THE WORDS ‘BONES’ ‘BREATH’ ‘SKIN’ ‘BONES’ ‘RESISTANCE’ FLOAT, ECHOING]
Carried like pappus caught on an updraft, these light blue words remain in our life, they don’t degrade. Right now they are hovering, bright, albeit some of their descenders and ascenders slightly cracked, miles away in the smog of Lucknow, which hangs over deep creases born of collision.
I too look something like a vocal chord of smooth muscle or a fresh fern. Lying over rocks adds scrunched pleats, counterpart to the divets offered to me by gentle rain. I am as close to being completely porous while still having a form as it is possible to be.
I did not begin flat, to then be rolled on a human hand or thigh. I grew this way, I ploughed circles into water and air. Living my growth on slow revolutions, distant relation to the centrifuge of the earth and all that it has cast up into human life like flying spittle. To make a rolled thing taut, you’d have to unfurl it, press it down flat with palms, then roll it back on itself, breaking its bones.
[A SHIMMERING SYMBOL SOUNDS AND FALLS]
I tilt my body, ellipsing the channel. I shrug grass and soil over myself, into my middle, the rubbing turns my parasitic worms into pearls.
I unfurl like the pinna of the ear, exposing the imprints of my stacked circumferences. Like a streamer I wave ecstatically in the wind before diving into the ground. I carry dry material, then damp material, then more of what is very deep, upwards via vertical bellies and stems...
The wind falls silent and I drop to the grass, )))a woozy creped horizontal line. Like the rings of my growth process, the new pleats of my muscle memory are impossible to hide(((
[THE UNFURLING OF A CARRIER BAG - LIKE BLOWING THROUGH PLASTIC - BEGINS THEN GIVES WAY TO URGENT, METALLIC BREATHS. OVER THEM, THE DEEP PRIMORDIAL VOICE BEGINS TO SPEAK…]
I am The Originary Coil held under the dark light of a solar eclipse. I bob on the surface of the rapidly cooling shallows. My sutures shine, this internal bright usually hidden just below surface shell. The repeat of the wave pattern, lullllllllllllllllllllllllllllllls me.
In this fleeting dark, I trace circumferences. I take incoming languages onto my tongue and )))taste them((( )))roll them((( and swill them, searching for an origin story I can attach my spine to.
[THE SOUND OF RAVE MUSIC PLAYING TINNY FROM A STEREO OVER THE CITY ON A HOT DAY RISES OVER THE METALLIC BREATHS…]
My surface has a slight spring. Like the skin grown over a previously pierced ear, there’s )))b o u n c e(((
[THE BREATHS AND RAVE MUSIC RECEDE INTO SILENCE]
Holes make honest bodies, I think, twirling a nearby whirlpool and sharpening its point. I watch as a confusion of worms nightcrawl on the baking sand, milling it down their smooth muscle bodies. I allow my tongue a
)))l u n g e f e e d((
I am a black sun full of puce marrow and cream stretchy nerves. A hole in the great blue, oceanic sky with the power to traverse the )))above, the below, the boundaries(((
Yellow light snakes through a pinhole: the writing on my secreted walls reads different, depending on if you are coming in )))or going out(((
[THE CITY RAVE RETURNS, THERE IS A SIREN, THE CHIRPING OF BIRDS. THE TRACK CHANGES AND THE BEAT DROPS AS THE HUMAN-ISH VOICE BEGINS TO SPEAK…]
Motley colours shoot across the surface of my vision which is a bad sign. I can’t look without them following on and seeming to know where I plan to look next. Preempting gaze.
)))Ink black, emerald green, hot pink((( and flashes of gold.
This patchwork swirls and is the left behind of a too-late night - part outdoors part in - the inside being a solid embrace of darkness moving. Hot throb that seems to be the beginning of a body processing in quarter time - like a march or a clock that cuts whole minutes, whole hours into fours. The cacophony of it building starts in rumbling, almost silence then grows, via what sounds )))a lot like panic(((
I watch as the ammonite alongside me creates enough of its own centrifugal force that it bores a hole into the wave-form. Penetrating surface, then rock, then molten centre, barreling under the earth then emerging )))g l a m o r o u s((( into the sun of the city.
[A RUSHING DISTORTED SOUND OF SPEED BUILDS IN INTENSITY BEFORE BEING SUCKED SUDDENLY INTO SILENCE…]
Part ancient skyline in the distance as the sun sets. I can see the Attiki Odos beginning its coil in the hottest months of 96, crumbling with the sweetness of bergamot )))sticky like tarmac((( not yet laid but destined to melt under thousands of tyres in August. Stuff buried here will be excavated in the process - deep time, long bones, teeth.
Under orange sodium light, the perfect circle of picked out trenches in auburn earth lays horizontal to the highway. Imprinted coils slightly bigger than the )))average-ish, human-ish((( body left behind in the surface. I walk here at night, via the underpass, needing new shapes to rest in - new coils with a hole for my skeleton. I contract the muscles in my centre to make a curve. To make my body into a route.
)))Motley colours shoot across the surface of my vision(((
It is sublime chaos and a relief. To be )))disoriented, spun, night curved((( It’s very long overdue.
[DARK WATER BEGINS TO LAP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT]
By dawn, not one but hundreds of bodies will have washed up here, indenting the disruption of hardcore and sand that edges the high speed lane. Through the late night lapping of colours, and strobing infinite lights. The stretch is horizontal and we have to f e e e e e e l it.
[THE DARK LAPPING WATER CONTINUES AS THE DEEP PRIMORDIAL VOICE BEGINS TO SPEAK. IT IS NOW FULLY DOUBLED AND SHIMMERING, OCCASIONALLY ~STRETCHING OUT~, AS IT HEADS INTO NIGHT…]
I am The Originary Coil at dusk. I bob on the surface of shallows. The repeat of the wave pattern ~l u l l l l l l l l l s~ me.
I float in a spike-less enveloping warmth. I begin to unspool myself in the water, then wind myself back up, letting off small water tornadoes for the pleasure of generating other circles. Causing pearly chaos to the microscopic bodies around me. This is a high-concentration environment. My pores ~h e a v e~ expanding and contracting as I swim. Buyant like an aluminium cable tie, acting like a sphincter and bending into an almond shape to ~m o v e~
I am a horizon line, orange red and unravelling distance. Smallest lowest light, drawing in the edges of visible air around me and resting, downward, in the circle spot making myself the bright pupil in a black iris.
I turn to my chambers, unpinning them for night. In the day they are heated, allowing for taffy-like ~s t r e t c h~
[THE SINGLE, HIGH NOTE RETURNS, MOVING THROUGH THE AIR…]
The sun rubbing the lip of the night produces a voice that pleats the air invisibly, like vocal cords vibrating. The voice becomes visible and it skids across a wet surface, leaving a ribbed S-shaped trail. Remember that the voice is the result of vibrations, of waves, of pleats.
I am floating in the deep past, but also in your stomach. I am where you came from too (where you should have come from). The body wasn’t born vertically. Outside forces caused it over time to become vertical, taut, tight. I don’t rep to gain hard sheen, I rep to create reams and reams and reams. These give me more floppiness, more ~s t r e t c h~ The curve of the earth and the light’s boundary approaches, spilling millions of me like seeds.