by Finn Egan

illustrator Daniel Egnéus

Issue III

Piano 1


I moved not as others move, have moved, shall move.
Moved with all the complications that are void within
me. One day there, another here. Moved with the seeds
that sprout and rape life’s rotten fruit anew.

Friends, dishes, liaisons, haunts, hiding places —
patterns, reactions. False senses of insecurity. A
philosophy rhymed upon the piano I cannot play. But I
do: piano piano.

And here I am. Arrived as it were. Lost, perhaps found. 
Three floors, I subsist on the top. The place more
Roman than Baroque. The first two sans humans. At
peace?  There is a long, never winding, mute and 

removed carefree hallway that assumes access to the
four rooms. The stairwell is not for me: nor the wrapped
art, utensils, phone, light, reflections, doorbells, bents,
rhythm (née calendar, née time, née horizon, née agony). 

There is a pot in the kitchen —
an absolute red, with handle and lid. 
Inside the pot are things for me. 
The pot never empties.

In one of the rooms, the largest room (and not the
bedroom), there are rows of letters. The letters have
escaped the rows to float on the floor. I consume the
letters and add to them.

The bedroom is not where it should be. The mattress is
pinned between the floor and an unconcerned molesting
Venetian installation of wax and light. The surrounding
cushions are wrapped in bile and form an organ.

Sleep begins out of reach and turns engaging — my
birthright — the plane where admissions of omissions,
divinity and creation, penetrate relevance. Office hours
for the uninvited and discarded. Between the floor and 

the molestation we’ve come to an understanding: the
Façade of randomness has given its Order. The letters
and the pot (in cahoots with The Venetian), ever slyly,
piano piano, have begun asking questions. 

With whom did I speak? What was said? 
The letters, the pot. 
Production through consumption 
Translation or lack of Verity?

There is another room, between the room of letters and
the ill placed bedroom, across from the pot. The smallest
of the rooms. This room, the small room, is without
letters, protruding Venetians, facilitating beds. 

The small room has a window that faces west but does
not open and a spoken for rocking chair. Grey walls
(unadorned except for a girl in a picture in a frame)
surround the rocking chair. The girl stares at me. 

Stares not as the Venetian installation hangs over me.
She stares in the other way. When I rock in the chair that
is spoken for she stares and smiles. I smile back as I
leave the small room, head to the pot, grab my things 

and wander into the room of letters not sure if today will
be consumption or production — both. After reaching
into the pot and swimming with the displaced I fall ill,
grab some ink, paper, genuflect and relieve myself.

The recommended 
daily allowance 
I’ve been prescribed is 
as of yet unheeded.  

Bowing before (and accepting praise from) my altar I 
evacuate. It is not unpleasant and not without duration.
The suffering back to equilibrium long. Perhaps I
reached too far into the pot? Not enough?  

I wash out my mouth, take what the pot has to give me
and surrender to the well placed Venetian installation of
wax and light who’s loosened his grip on the ceiling and
inched closer to my thoughts. Indifference or Insolence?

The candles rest upturned on his tentacles, flicker, and
drip a painless wax on my forehead and down my face,
rallying over my heart. The intrusion does not slaughter
Sleep but infiltrates and walks me to the room without 

letters, protruding Venetians or facilitating beds (the
room across from the pot and between the cunningly
placed bedroom and the room of letters). The smallest
room (the window that…the grey walls…the smile…).

The girl that always stares,
sometimes smiles and never impends
leads me with her eyes
to the floor below.


I turn my back on the window that does not open and
face the girl that Sleep walked to the rocking chair
engulfed in grief and grey walls. She stares at me,
almost smiles and promises to lie. I walk east.

The long, never winding, mute, removed and damning
hallway assumes access to three rooms — the room with
the girl in a chair in a frame, the room of spilt letters, the
room with expectant Venetian and newly placed red pot.

I greet the Venetian, reach into the pot and am bitten. I
withdraw my hand to see rat whiskers and a contagious
tail waving warnings of disgust and lies that lay ahead.
The foul odor of truth. I reach back into the autocratic

pot a bit more at ease with rat bites, a tad more accepting
of the carnal tendencies belonging to the contented and 
pigeon-holed — a touch closer to contracting Vermin Of
The Soul (from which there is no coming back).

Sleep walks the rat in a picture in a frame
that sometimes stares, always envies 
and often reeks of malnourished Vision
to the room of lost letters.

With bleeding palms, rabid deductions and infected
veins I walk to the room of letters, stand over the task
and join hands with my brother-in-arms. We (the rat and
I) sound the alarm and respond to the bell.  

With vermin eyes (and as Schadenfreude Brethren) we
oversee the procession: Single File Now…Careful Over
There…No Running Please…Away From The Door
Ma’am…OK, All Over, You Can Head Back Inside.

I leave the room of flourishing denial, rapid convictions
and screaming justifications for the molesting and the
autocratic who lay on the infested lies of the now rat
ravaged mattress on the floor of the oh so well placed 

bedroom. I join the rats and bite back. Our feast of blood
and disease and control ignores the malignant for
symbiotic chewing on the fat of provinciality while
bowing before our reigning priestess Ourobora.

And now WE 
are that creature that
connects the Above and
the Below.

Brimming and depleted I am I again (less my former
self) as I scurry to the room with the Priestess in the
picture in a frame. I sit upon the spoken for. She stares
thirsty ivory eyes and asks me if I seek healing?

As the time for semantics has arrived its need has long
since passed and my emersion with Biters and
Laceraters and parasitic Meanderers has slowly (piano
piano) and all at once asserted its Other.

And it is this Other eye and this Other brain (this Other
soulless arbiter) that has usurped the worthy and
commandeered the obvious for an illegitimate perch and 
an illegitimate authority to repeat and answer an 

illegitimate question. My now darling Ourobora has
stepped out from the frame on the grey wall, turned her
back to the west and begun to rock me a soft lullaby and
tell me all will be well once I concede to trust in her.

My savior mounts the spoken for
and speaks soft curses
into my ear as she
cradles us to the floor below.

Piano 2


My deliverer has returned to the frame. Her Ruiz-Tagle
stare is now hidden behind blind blue eyes and assuaged
viole(n)t lips. She is without questions or offers or
whispers. The window that faces west has gone black.

The interrupted, never winding, present and damning
hallway is no longer silent but a bleeding bedlam of
lyrics compromised and songs abandoned and operas
forsaken and dreams slowly (piano piano) disowned. 

The stunted hallway that leads to the rat placed bedroom
finds the Venetian and the pot eaten by the multiplied
and duplicitous that no longer bite but smile (Smile),
agree (Smile) and wallow (and Smile) in, Genuflect to,

and obey the Other’s catechism: that recreant echoes
and crowns of ironic thorns are to be the majestically
sought after, deified, cavalierly donned, and imitated
until numb to all transcendental possibilities. 

I evacuate once more (with no 
letters to consume or add to) and 
match beady yellows with my new, 
forever and settled for lot.

In lieu of creed capitulated, (life) lost, and destiny
acquiesced, my spoils: camaraderie and proximity,
supposition and juxtaposition, malaise and platitude,
kisses and poison: no longer impend but arrive.

Speaking to be understood (the bastard kin of punk
acrobatics) I no longer compose but chime to and for
every rodent, every reptile, every man and every ghoul
that habitually smiles and kisses and smiles and kisses.

And with that all the compromised lyrics and abandoned
songs and forsaken operas raise their disowned voices
and beg for the pleasure of bites and infections and
excavations and molestations by siren satans to replace 

the yelping, demanding, implicating off key chorus of
compromised grins and moments (and souls) whored —
begging to be mad once more as I beg for the absolute
red to excuse my sin of belief in furthering an Other.

As devout pauper I return to the womb
of the self nourished 
and embrace the charity
of the silence below.


I’ve arrived to my confiscation occupied by echoing
syncopations synchronized and allotted affirmations and
parasitically harangued moments of disposed invalid
disposition as I extend my hand up a la yesterday 

longer as lotus seeking light but to corrupt and own the
descension of exposed slivers of loss and diverted pain
that hurl their wholes down the path upon which I now
await (to infect, to smile at, to encourage, to bond with) 

and am bound  as that hand from above was
singularly accessed by entropic excursions the thirsty
claw I now provide is proffered as tardy realization that
all matter aside from heart is a dilettante flag praying for 

conservation of its lungs and polluted gusts to hijack its
ennui and allow the attrition of direction given: abide by
and enforce Gravity while (e)ter(nally)minally rocking
in the windowless grey with self portrait in the frame.

Embrace the frightened and calculated
spew from the Other,
it is the intended and deliberate
hand from Above.

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