t h e..g u i l d..o f..s u r g i c a l..a l c h e m i s t s

the work begins with her acceptance of a gift

an inexpensive watch perhaps
some poor example of a tool of her profession
which she will not recognise as secondhand

she arrives at the time appointed
( no: she comes there late )

in the former medical wing
of the halmstad university
( yes: the original building )

she had been reading

in the state of organised revolt
conformity becomes the only true rebellion

she arrives in time
& now is moving through the corridors

the doors here are perceptual
impossible to walk through

a door is opened to reveal a door behind

eventually there is a door made out of wood
she stands in front now
looking through the small square hole

behind the hole
a piece of paper, moving
right left down up
scratching, rustling

on the paper words & numbers
some of which are legible


at one point the phrase pful gui
passes briefly across the opening

beside the square hole is a piece of string
weighted by a pencil

with which she is perhaps expected
to write on the moving paper:
there is the implication of mathematics

at one point, on the surface is written
the birds of paper will not fly alone

some of the letters
do not look like letters

she cannot work the machine of paper & pencil:
another attempt is permitted
but the question has changed now, subtly


in the inner room she finds them waiting
disposed around the space in ones
all standing sitting patiently fingering the artefacts
each of them attending at a different junction
in the narrative

some carry unsheathed implements, as symbols

see we have collected all historic instruments
in maintenance of what is past
museum we are hospital are gallery

( brief extract from the physical catalogue
one manual of handwashing techniques
one porcelain sink, excessive pitted
one gas mask
one glass syringe

do not suppose, however, we are antiquarians:
the adept holds to both the inner
& the outer work

ah we are practical men

this room that we are in
may be a text, some work of visual art
& yet you will agree, bears all
the outward hallmarks of a game


her eyes adapt

the room fills up with flasks & papers
instruments of surgery & language
charts, leaves, tapestries

her eye is drawn towards a quote
with a single error only
stripping apparent surfaces away
& revealing the infinite which was hid

& when she looks there is a wooden table
when she looks there is a mound of shavings on the wood
& when she looks the mound is the size of anatomy


& they are sweeping the shavings to the floor

when what is underneath is fully visible they stop
& in her hand an instrument appears

from somewhere a hand points to an eye
from nowhere a hand points to a heart

the impression of choice
where there is no choice

( the heart is opened to reveal an eye
the eye is opened to reveal a heart )

o corpus gloriosum
body academic

ah one body now

video screen showing only noise
gordon kennedy : water dust gordon kennedy : the guild of surgical alchemists gordon kennedy : for holderlin gordon kennedy : fragment morning
gordon kennedy : venice gordon kennedy : aminal gordon kennedy : harry crosby is dead gordon kennedy : spider death readymade