Caught in the Act
“Caught in the act of giving birth to a new oil-paint earth of no set design, you will lie there dying.”
Surrealist Prophecies #8
The eighth in a sequence of surrealist prophecies written using the divinatory technique of automatic writing (with subsequent revision). The theme of the sequence is the collapse of our global civilization due to uncontrollable climate change, leading to a mass rejection of both faith and reason and the re-enchantment of our world among the ruins of our failed creations. Some of the poems in the sequence are set before the Fall and portray the spiritual and emotional dilemma of our current crisis. Some describe the Fall itself, and the strange changes in thought and perception that will be needed if any are to survive a world in which humanity has been radically de-centered. Some describe the world to come, a world newly alive with gods and spirits yet free of all dogma or fixed belief – a world of beauty and strange magic.
The eighth prophecy portrays the Change itself with gruesome imagery, as people and things assume new shapes. These images are not meant to be taken literally, but make no mistake – the changes we actually face will be equally violent to the world as we now understand it. In the words of a pagan philosopher, “Myth is that which never was, but always is.”
Caught in the Act
Caught in the act of giving birth
To a new oil-paint earth of no set design,
You will lie there dying.
This hundred-year brick building, sick with death,
Will pulse like the breath of a vermillion flower, slick and wet,
The thorns of which will twitch with passion -
Bloodied marble, passion spent.
Carved chunks of fat and meat
From feet and arms
Shall hang from every road-sign, drawing flies.
You will stare, unmoved.
Your eyes will show no surprise.
Like clinging vines the lines of flesh
Will hang stretched as if from hex to hex,
The spread-out skin and fat
Of some exalted wretch.
He will stink of sex.
Like broken beauties,
Streaked with tears,
You will bleed and bloom.
A god will rise in beauty from your tomb.
Christopher Scott Thompson
Christopher Scott Thompson is an anarchist, martial arts instructor, devotee of Brighid and Macha, and a wandering exile roaming the earth. Photo by Tam Zech.