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Camera Obscura Pt. 1: The Star Chamber Reviews

"Camera Obscura Pt. 1: The Star Chamber Reviews" (2005)

1. (Espionage)
2. Mock Trial
3. (Vesper X)
4. Writhing Tonge
5. (Angeldust)
6. Neuron Gutter, Neutron Star
7. (Debris)

1. (Espionage)

(lyrics by Mir-h iD)

fly fleetly, lest limelights will expose
our dodge to the camera's eye.
go shadow their every move.
sensors, zoom in.

even the tendering of one dulcet dewdrop,
which, drifting, alights from that warm, drowsy air,
is one surplus touch for its sweet, swelling apples
to burst and brim over with velvety juice;
ignorant of us that make their clocks tick,
they doze in the shade of the habitat's tree.

translators, decipher.
The Tree of Innocence
shoots from Nature's unsullied garden,
gratifying their tongues
without the tang of our grievance.

Beelzebub: is this the right hand of His work?
Sensors: Rather He tried His sleight of hand!

Sensors and Interpreters:
no hand of the grandfather clock can indicate,
nor tolling sound, the time to change time,
but we, the black field hands that steer the Wheel,
can counter the cast-iron grasp of His Law.

Sensors: Hush! he awakes.
Beelzebub: sensors, zoom in.

his blank eyes roll upwards
and grope for the something which he can't twig
but does tantalize him, taunt him.
his fingers are shuddering and tense with strange wonder
to reach for the sky that remains too remote…

2. Mock Trial

Mock Trial
(lyrics by Mir-h iD)

“I will ascend into Heaven,
I, the son of the dawn.
I will exalt my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit also upon the mount of congregation,
in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds:
I will be like the Most High.

How are you fallen from Heaven,
Lucifer, son of dawn?”
(Isaiah 14: 12-22)

Michael: How come most sudden venom runs wildly in the blood?
With hollow heart would you spill … Lucifer: blood which is my own?
Speak no more of blood to me, whose blood-money is thicker.
This heavy heart’s anatomy … Michael: What can be got from a stone?

The Angelic Choir:
The morningstar rivals the mounting sun but, ere the
zenith’s touched, searing spears sweep away his cries.

Marshal, don’t pause. Can’t you hear how your ambition
churns their blood and fuels their sputtering hearts.
Can’t you hear how your winged words take off,
rocketing from their raucous gullets.
The new poltergeist of Time has wound up your tin soldiers,
and now they wait for your adept command.
With no added water, but the salt of tears,
distil our grief into a charge of gunpowder.
Zero in, keen marksman, the missile of our grievance
and sure the warhead will speak the truth.

March – with me beyond the marches.
Fall – into line – rank on rank.
Forwards – to uncharted ground,
Justice – is on the march.
Chorus: March! Lucifer: Charge!

Projected on your bloodshot eyes,
a screen burning with eyestrain,
a lurid nightmare reels inside
the camera obscura.

It is not to hide I’m in a smokescreen
but to record over doubts made flesh as ghosts.
Stung by smoke and tears, the occipital lobe
registers the actual frontline.

Your worst doubt to date is here in the flesh,
itself without doubt and callous.
Kill it off and triumph, or else embrace
your sorry defeat.

Lucifer: Your bribe will yield but innocence Michael: while you have been found wanting.
With heavy heart I’m here to spill… Lucifer: blood which is your own?
Speak no more of blood to me, whose blood-money is thicker.
Michael: This heavy heart’s anatomy… Lucifer: What can be got from a stone?

The Crown Court

Gabriel & Prosecution: …the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Lucifer: As Heaven is my witness, for truth it is we rise.
Gabriel & Prosecution: On the indictments, how does the defendant plead?
Lucifer: Not guilty of rising, but proud to have risen above guilt.
Gabriel & Prosecution: You can refute the wealth of incriminating evidence?
Lucifer: Elsewhere our busy minds were forging our alibis.

Justice is blind or squints through your specs,
wearing truth’s stiff wig and coif,
but when truth wears my face,
please frame its mug-shot for me.

Like when your conceit blared out afar,
your voice ebbs as echoes in deep mines of space;
your mockery whirls on the brink of brash perjury.
Please no more gibes or we’ll add contempt of court.

pathologist: A body’s unearthed, its face maimed beyond recognition.
Lucifer: Don’t fear, since I can identify the body. It’s truth.
Gabriel & Prosecution: Forensic research established the corpus delicti.
Lucifer: How humble the fingerprints signed to the work
of him who set free the phoenix from its cage.
Gabriel & Prosecution: Truth is not safe in amorphous, free chaos.

Objection, your honour. I ask for reprieve.
Not his rising but his doubts gave rise to his sorry defeat.
With strings tweaked on two sides by sensory forceps,
the wavering nerve centre burnt.
He’s privy to your minds and truth, but knowledge is not power.

Michael (Chief Witness for the Crown):
Then why didn’t his defeat give rise to doubts?
I saw none, when I met his dry eyes
and with the blade of truth overcame untruth.

Gabriel & Prosecution: Objection overruled. Is there anything left to be said in your defence?

“Hoe magh het Godt van ‘t hart, dat hy zoo laegh, zoo diep
Vernedert dien hy tot den grootsten scepter schiep?
Een edelmoedigheit, geheilight tot regeeren,
Voor eenen minder zich zoo zwaerlyck kan verneêren,
Van heerlyckheid ontkleên, en opstaen uit haer’ staat,
En stoel, dat zy vervloeckt den glans en dageraet
Van haren opgangk, ja veel liever had gebleven
Een schaduw, zonder verf, een niet, en zonder leven
Want niet zyn, overtreft verkleening duizentwerf”
(Joost van den Vondel’s Lucifer, Act 4)

On the counts of dissension, public violence
and contempt pending the court procedure,
we, the jury, find the accused party guilty.
As they have forfeit their civil rights,
their profiles shall be deleted from the celestial registers.
In lieu of disciplined rehabilitation,
we sentence them to a state of eternal expulsion.

3. (Vesper X)

Vesper X
(lyrics by Mir-h iD)

Quomodo cecidisti, fili aurorae?

Are we but shades
cathartically shed on
a camera obscura of sorts
capsized, washed out,
indistinct and begrimed
here we must grovel
with dignity under a
still peephole.

Are we mere statues
clustered in our glasshouses
- a box with no confession -
to kneel under a bronze law ?

But the bronze law melts down here
as the smoking gun inhales.
There's only ourselves
and the deaf walls moving in on us;

only ourselves and our questions snapped at
only ourselves, sécreted once they're secréted.

We are our own time-bomb flowers
as we're cluttering
a hothouse in a blind spot,
a mass grave
that's manured with scandal
in no sun.

4. Writhing Tonge

Writhing Tongue
(lyrics by Mir-h iD)

… but to swathe me, the wound, in globular
gauze, that is, with salt to smother,
upon which to cultivate the waste,
was quite another.
From the suppurating heart, pounding with magma,
through cracks I had crept towards open space:

A circumscribed garden, where time, if not
languished, but dallied like the new race,
snoozing alike in a surreal siesta
under a bower of unknowing bliss.

The idyll be mellow and pure,
yet idle ideals did fester
the malignant cells of my memory,
seething like brimstone with sorrow’s
own secrets of purulent war!

The quill’s been plucked from my broken wing,
my pulsing wrist’s open to flow poisonous ink.
But why should my hand rather tremble than pen
the first germ of history’s scenario
on the tabula rasa, the hymen unflushed
as yet on the eve of time?
The earth will not be bare of but bear
the germs of my existence.

My skin has sloughed off and my Tree stands
upright in the womb of fecund innocence.

if I entered the haze, won’t it steal
into me? if my tongue won’t tell me,
why, dear stranger, should I follow
your glide which defies it?

How dare you distrust a divine visitation?
Have I abruptly carried you off?
Do you think a stranger can be this intimate?
Allow me to implant a sense of the divine.

I alone govern the tongue
to lap up the juice from a fruit
so rife with vistas of divine relish
it could erupt any moment;
but our familiar orchard looks
unnatural and remote.

Swallow or choke in the bittersweet seed.
Convulse in the death-throes of knowledge.
Does not the hangman-tree’s overripe fruit
tender tastes hitherto unknown?

Exit your home of indulgence.
No cover is constant ‘gainst spite and distress.
Wear sorrow’s shroud and naked shame’s sackcloth,
but no dressing can heal the world’s hideous wound.
The infectious miasma of decay
swiftly swells up the world over,
the wood of Nature’s tree
bows to the burden of sin.
and Paradise is nothing more
but a mirage embedded in your minds.

The history of time
was condensed in one diminutive drop,
where I am the alpha and the omega
where, eye to eye, I meet myself,
downwards pursuing the spiral revolutions
until the bottom line, the end of times,
the big bang,
when history collapses upon itself.

Adam: The tongue is a raw piece of meat,
Eve: which writhes with the foul tang of terrible words.
Adam: We’re fooled into wisdom, then naked truth shows
Adam & Eve: cruelty’s cold angular grin.

Adam: The trees shed our guilt to clothe us in shame;
Eve: with shame thorns and thistles sting our bare skin.

Adam & Eve:
Despite or due to the vileness of tang
and tantalizing intangibleness,
our thirst remains unquenched.

My throat is still dry and parched.
The tears of heaven shed but salt
to preserve and inflame the wound
which can’t tell between burn marks of caustic catharsis
and frostbites of piercing paralysis.

5. (Angeldust)

(lyrics by Mir-h iD)

w ink ------------------------- win k
angeldust for the reckless
ghost-writer to burn up
your neuron motorway
colliding with your cortex
a vo r tex of fe v rish g lass
win k ------------------------- w ink

6. Neuron Gutter, Neutron Star

Neuron Gutter, Neutron Star
(lyrics by Mir-h iD)

Lucifer: See how, I to I, eye will meet my selves,
heir to their chinese box under seal.
Once the toy’s code is cracked,
the horn of lips unsealed births open season.

Wiretap the tight rei[g]n on which
every eye does see X
thru channel krosstalk
and teknikolour ghosting
"your hijack is your salvage" (signed the Pirate)

You: but the urban heart gallops
pumping through presage-riddled alleyz
and the traffic-jam
at the gastro-crossroadz
with panting pistons of sludgy …
f – e – a – r .

> What if, between each coffin bone <
you were free to flee
the chafe of post-fugal safety,
as petalz by lethean
lanez can traffick
no quick fix against the Fickle Figment?

Lucifer: the warren’s flaring nares would
draw in your acrid dew – only to puff
out the sulphurous
smoke on your nape,
shepherd you into your blind bolt-hole.
In/out – again – in/out – again – in/out – again – in/out…

Red War. victims:
Projectiles of diversions, safelight alarms,
jitter everywhere; as
the bullet’s image is imprinted in the eye;
the cartridge fuels up on a database
of souls and ignorance
making room with a view.

White Pestilence. eyewitness:
But for wired life, the nucleus is empty,
in[ocul]ated against parousia
our pilgrim rattletraps trailing our fears
Corrupted cargo? Any pathogen hitchhiker
to deadhead the (g)hostcars?
3x the trojan horse stuttered … not so
the wildfire of chasseurs echoing from its womb.

Black Famine. The Equestrian:
Like the eagle @ the liver,
this scrawny scout, this dark satanic mill,
walks with never-healing hunger.
Scavenging the century’s corpse
for your tablets against me,
you, marasmic and meagre, become its daily bread;
not the voiceless bodies of hollow men
but their disembodied voices.

Lucifer: Voices of ether withal – serrated on the edge
around the icy bower in Babylon’s
concrete covert of knowledge,
where a paper plane of death statistics
touches down in the dust bin;
the crew of fickle figments are go!

CNS News Listen ! Silence !

"News anchor stands in, as former chair‘s sidelined
on wrong side of today’s pranged bridge."

Pro-guard: our tape binds the safeguard of our liberty
Anti-guard: they sex up the corpus
and through loopholes shoots subconscious sham
Pro-g: you pander to panic; why mask our seeing-eye dog?
Anti-g: if you say eye for an eye, why must it shrug off scrutiny?

“pre-polls show pro-guard hit home at play-off talks.”
“vertigo beaten at ballot-box.”

Delegate: A patch in a changing world,
the star chamber’s been installed.

I am Legion, organeyesensation
my stars will watch you flocks
my scourge will strike with furious anger
I am Legion, the view from your room.

Lucifer: … punchdrunk in the gutter you see
the puffing chimney on the scarlet lab
in after-pangs, the labial scars
on the door, the brass placard:

“Here the B-st from the Sea
sired the B-st from the Earth,”
voice-over devouring lung [inside out]
Here also the B-st from the Sea
begot the bastard son of dawn,
undevoured in the stern chase

of red dragon chasing mother chasing
her elusive bait of twelve stars,
one-third unhinged, shooting stardust
leaving the world, punchdrunk in the gutter,
a neutron star.

You: We’ve become
T-cells tearing at the hand that feeds us.
Kamikaze anarchitects drawing the bottom skyline.
The Pirate’s mutineers shaking the tower’s wide foundations
to feed the bloating crypts of babel.
Unto Earth-turned-Sea, drowning out History,
golden bathtubs, boilers bleed and dissolve.
The sky’s the limit tumbling over
the last vertigo a wagging tail.

7. (Debris)

(lyrics by Mir-h iD)

this sun or this morning's star sinks
into the blind spot of temples
would we drift off the defaced map
if we rose and dogged its profound plunge

we chase ourselves on phantom
legs and the dirt that grows them

if, ransacking the ziggurat's
shabby bricolage of shops,
we defile the virgin dust
and the chemist's mouldy balm,
overtake the queue of bones
for the sanctum's cut-rate bargains,
would for this alone
the dome collapse upon us?

we chase our past
but pass our chase

it is the arcane, glamourous dummies
that scan us
the arcane, glamourous intercom
that hems
it's the neon script that reads
it's us who are being read.

we are almost on display for sacrifice
at the counter in no sun.


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