Ben Cottrell Text English

First, they throw sparks

First, they throw sparks and fiery glances, then, they piss themselves and splash you, before they swing themselves astride their brooms and fart up into the air. Ueeyuyuee: naked across cities. Moscow, Tokyo, L.A. Roaring over river and valley, up the mountains, down the mountains. Over the sea in the devil’s ride, straight ahead to the next continent. Into houses, out of houses. Through closed doors and open windows. In and out. Their eyes are green, their hair is yellow. The wind screeches when it enters the mouth hole and cracks when it thrusts out between the legs. The smell of the cellar spreads. Under the wallpaper gather the woodlice crunching.

Violet haze seeps into the dark night, soaking it like luminous gas. Contrast agent administration for trees and bushes, which know nothing of their sclerotic shudder. Eve gently embraces the innocent shaft of the apple tree. Only Adam doesn’t yet know. Poof, a bang, the all-powerful Prince of Darkness pops out of the broom bushes. Only the gold-toothed little snakey rejoices and, awaiting its prophetic fate, freezes to a totemized idol. Turn my head! Scratch my little tooth. Rub my little nose! Then you’ll see.

The beast, the beasts, the beast. The beast, the beasts, the beast. Repetition helps. Repetition helps to banish the formless through naming. The house, Beth, will pacify the bull, Alpha. In the beginning was the word. The word as a coagulated ritual of incantation. Isolation helps to banish the formless in sign. Figure/ground: never was it easier not to be afraid. Conquered form, conquered fear. The achievement of abstraction was killing. The achievement of empathy: life. Unleash me, control me, unleash me, control me. When something ex- or implodes, there is no more ground, no more figure. Inside is outside is inside. So capture it, conquer it! Make Alpha a harmless A! Don’t melt, don’t be like spit or dust or smoke from the chimney! Take shape, finally and forever! I summon you, I beg you, I implore you…

And then, when the beautifully enclosed signs, suddenly smeared with witches’ flying ointment, release everything and pollute the world, like CO2, which seemed eternally bound in the permafrost marshes of Siberia, everyone laughs up their sleeve: The beast, the beasts, the beast. No Mr. no Mrs. no Ms.

Dr. Daniela Stöppel, Schlehdorf, January 2020, for Ben Cottrell