from Nude Memoir
Laura Moriarty


Ten minus one

She counted but was

not believed. The syllables like a mantra. The answer. Counting in order to rid herself of numbers, of time. The increments of the present. The same count. A decimal minus one reminds one never to go over or to go back. Not a sequence but a repetition like a song. A petition like a question. Never again. Duchamp as a form of grief. A diary. A display of the invisible. Of visible decay. The mode here is eliminative. It is the only mouth she has left.

"Piece of Ass Lost." The necropolis pictured by a dead poet in Ellroy's Clandestine. Poet cop. The mouthpiece of fate. Exploitation as love. Women who don't get older. Women as men. It doesn't matter. The U.S. number one in violent death just past Mexico and Brazil. First in the First World and the Third. The guardian of the infested spirit. Someone follows a woman. She is not a muse but a fate. She talks too much.. They drink together.They eat. Is she one of many or a singular masterpiece. Impossible to follow him down that street. The action is complete to the degree that it is not legible. Or transferable to another medium. It is not unfinished but undone. Not the crime but the gun. The piece of string with which you hope to find yourself. Missing. She was missing her head. What we have is a reconstruction.

Diana watches herself on TV. She wanders absently around the house. She is not dead. She is an artist. The interview reveals everything she hopes for. There is a queen and a corpse. She finds her cigarettes and begins to smoke. She is seventy. Voluptuous as parchment. Thickly written. She takes into herself a sense of death. She lets it out.

She wonders how to preserve access without giving into a deadened sense of hierarchical exclusion. Now that authority has been shown to be the shuck it is. To provide a method for reading, to alter the activity of reading itself. In retrospect or in the sense that it had already taken place. She read the scene before the crime. Or we wouldn't be having this conversation. His ambition is naked, mechanical. He also wants to read.

The vaginal scroll

She performs (Schneeman)

Memorably laid out

Source or origin

Like a physical note

Of itself sufficient

Opened like the book

She wrote

The reconstruction is sloppy. Bad. Not convincing. Not made to be so. Black velvet lines the unseen back of the door. To soften the blow. Her character pokes through her performance like bones through flesh. Judy. Judith. She loves him but he loves her double. Her twin. Who is convincing. A con, snare or fox. A pest. He likes the angularity. The bending back. But he falls during the kiss. He is injured. "I hate this" she says. He doesn't miss her then.

The scroll unwinding and the performer

Takes over removing

Her shroud her look

Distracted in the picture

She takes off

Her glasses her theatricality

Will be attacked in place of her person

He argues her down

Her desire is unknown

Impossible to predict its hold on him. "... a diagram of the cruel geometries of desire." The reviews are ambivalent. The scriptedness of their exchanges are painful to him. Her double jumps into the bay. The actor after. Also his double. Later on a sound stage wet close-ups. The real actors. His strained face dazed with obsession. The paleness of her hair, dark dress spread out but clinging also. Her limpness in his arms. He stares down at her, climbing imaginary steps out of the sea. Her high heels in silhouette. The twist of her waist is displayed to him, to us.


Madeleine is weak but alive. Unconscious. He takes her to his apartment on Russian Hill. He kicks open the bedroom door, placing her carefully on his bed. He first takes off her shoes. She stirs but doesn't wake. He holds her in a sitting position, unzipping her dress in the back. Pale wide shoulders, wet slip, brassier. He pulls her dress and slip over her head. He becomes aware that her breasts are against him. Nipples like buttons. He works quickly against her waking. Unfastens garters. Peels off stockings. He reaches around her waist and has some trouble with clips. He begins to breathe hard but quietly. Her head falls back. Her neck is long and white. His hands are dark against her skin. He is careful with his hands like a surgeon. He draws the blanket over her. Even in this drowned sleep there is a defensiveness to the set of her features. He stares only briefly. His audience, himself, is aware of the contrivance of his composure. But is unaware that her unconsciousness is an act. He knows only in retrospect. Perhaps she knows that he is both protector and killer. She seems to be in control. Also looking back. But she is out of her depth.

The Bride does not refuse

this stripping by the

bachelors, even

accepts it since she

furnishes the love gasoline

and goes so far as to help

towards complete nudity

by developing in a

sparkling fashion

Her intense desire for orgasm clings to her like his red silk robe. When she runs she knows he will go where she goes. She has tricked him but at too great a cost. She sees this as a job. He sees it as rescue and sex. But she can't be saved from the danger of being false. She can't be had. The hopelessness skews their perception. Heightens their senses.

The artist likes to see the woman go too far. The woman likes it too. She manages the twists with some virtuosity. She puts herself beyond her skill. The character changes in desperation but is unable, each time, to survive. Her eyes in multiple shots. His eye in the credits. Jimmie. A simple expedient but effective. Death to itself. And Kim. The actor is left.

To be disassembled

Exit stage right

And another rescue

Marooned on a penal colony in space

She remembers his memory

His voice a slurred machine

"My nakedness creates you," he says (dead)

She brings up the interface

Turns it on

A golem. Like herself. Skin like flesh only not in her mind. Inside the memory, the wetware an obscene cream as if robots ran on semen. She turns to him. In pieces. In a kind of mechanical pain. He carries in him the mothers who didn't survive. It is evident in his soft address. He is her confidant. Her history. She confides. They confer in a jacked-in version of love. His love is wired in. They know things together that otherwise only she knows. "It's better than sex," she says. He says " No, it's not."

Kienholz by definition

The bionic man

"We can rebuild him"

Not a faceless door

But organ donor

Plugged in

What happened to him

If she is Death in Orphee

He is her driver

An assisted death. They would be lovers in another life. She prefers his later more vicious fiction but he hasn't grown into it yet. Their times are not synced.

He in fact

Was scattered

She assisted

It was speaking

Not belief

She longed for

She was

The expert

Not love



Issue One
Table of Contents