Mechanically Separated Chicken.

Sunday, March 16, 2003


The room is awash with dirty light, like a photograph obscured by a coffee stain.

There's a man crouched on the carpet. He's holding something, inspecting it carefully.

At first I can't make out what it is, this thing cradled in his hands. I step closer and peer over his shoulder and that's when I realise that it's a woman's head, a length of spinal cord trailing from her severed neck. Though bloody and clearly removed with violence, there's something modular about the head and jutting jigsaw-piece of bone - it looks like it might just 'click' back into place if reunited with the body it belongs to. The woman's face is white and creamy and beautiful, like Elizabeth Taylor circa National Velvet. Her eyes and mouth are closed serenely.

The man is wearing soiled grey yoga pants, and beside him a pile of dismembered limbs reflects a soft diffused glow, like sunlight through tissue paper. The woman's eyes flutter open, and sleepily, she mumbles a few words. In the heap of limbs, a foot begins to twitch. The man strokes her pale forehead tenderly.

'Shhh,' he says.