body#0017 / by Nicholas Lawrence

Wrenched violently from a dream;

                 no time for respite; 

                                  descent into fresh fantasies begins.

Momentarily trapped 

                 (encased within a decisive nothingness),

                                  its sphere of consciousness 

                                  pulses out 

                                  towards extremities of

                                  a corporeal cage.

A moment of hyper-sentience approaches:


                                  prodigious nonetheless.

No longer bound by somatic confines; 

                 the body’s presence not merely perceived. 

It is:

                 the body, 

                                  every part of it

It is: 

                 the teeth, 

                               the lungs, 

                                                the heart, 

                                                                the spleen. 

Thoughts no longer restricted;

                 words and pseudo-images usurped. 

Its teeth:

                 are thinking

                                  (a more appropriate term lacking). 

Its teeth:

                 have thoughts

                                  (again vocabulary restricts). 

Nerves pulsate with messages:



Its mind has broken free, 

                 all oppressive boundaries 


No longer just thoughts,

                 its mind is: 

                                its whole, 

                                                its being. 

Equilibrium returns; 

                 it is thrown back into the world. 

Memories faded;

                 sensation of knowing gone;

                                contact with the body’s secret workings lost. 

A new body stares down from above

                 (where else?);


                                                reflected image borne

                                                of polished surfaces


Only a few minutes old,

                 this body already has a past. 

Every moment it experiences: 

                 simply memories of moments 

                 gone by. 

Every new body it inhabits,

                 awareness increases. 

(Numerous meat sacks before; 

                 infinite number to follow.)

Fresh, innocent vessels

fueling a thirst for 

forbidden knowledge;

                 the past ardently refusing 

                 all attempts at



A little

                 /a lot:

                                  not possible.

Can’t increase it; 

                 definitely can’t reduce it.

“You have it

                 /you don’t,”

                                it now realises, 

                                                after centuries 

                                                of new beginnings.

It is always there,

                 there is no escaping it.

Only way to slip through its paralysing embrace: 

                 to not be. 

“To not exist,” 

                 an unfamiliar voice 


Those words.

Its words.

Words echoing violently inside

for what may as well have been eons. 

“To not exist,” 

                 the voice now screams 

                                  (at what sounds like

                                  the top 

                                  of its lungs). 

A painful dryness spreads through the back of its throat.

                 (The voice, 

                                  of course,

                                                   being its own.)

It lowers itself onto the floor; 

                 abandoning the cold slab 

                 upon which it had awakened;

                 rips sensors

                 from various parts 

                 of its body. 

Its legs feel strange, 

                 almost alien; 

                                  to be expected 

                                  during the first few days.

This is a body it is going to enjoy experiencing pain with




                 (the body)

                                  feels proud.


                 (the subject)

                                  does not approve.





Nicholas Lawrence is a postgraduate philosophy student living in Stockholm. His original fiction has been published in Tincture Journal and his translations appear on Monday Art Project.