“Do you know what today is?” Nothing speaks from the void.
“Why, yes, duh, it’s Thursday. Punish me. Make me bleed the more,”
Maldoror croaks, weary with self-contempt. “And don’t forget . . .” resounds
the wall of unresolved tones. “Total abjection to befriend, invite,” Want
recommends like a radiation burn. “Today will be Mal’s last day of night
school and the uncelebrated dead cry out from annihilation.” Naught is
only kidding around and prepares Maldoror his supper: Two ring-
worm on rye sandwiches with crusts and a liquified-rubber and urine
brine to wash it down. “My favorite non-comestibles!” shrieks Maldoror.
Then ’pon his scaly tum he rolls and from his hole he slithers into many hives
to be humiliated by his teachers of ex-post pessimism. The air is Venusian.
His student debts will be a yearly renegotiated perpetual plunder
and his labor is to be classified as inessential, so to teach him another thing
more sinister than the obedient iconoclasm and perseverance professed
at the satellite campuses of the École Fleurs du Mal. Perversion of a fashion,
Mal’s pulchritudinous mind for spite. With disgust of strong and meek alike,
he purges a portion of every meal for those ever imaginary ancestors ginned
into an oily smear of wispy charcoal dye just beneath his outer-most layer
of chapped forehead—an intravenous Ash Wednesday, a parody and curse
without purpose or delight. The non-vacatable body staring out bearing
down as himself; all the he he’ll ever be. The bathos of good and evil hangs
from his teeth, a broken piece of floss spasming party streamer at each ex-
halation, magnanimous or antisocial. What kind panic can finally be heard
when ankles roll, boughs break, airplanes dive, the last step’s a real doozy.