The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2017

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SEPT 2017 Issue

Lost and Found Animals Part 11: N-Escolia Wilawispia Transitoria [NEWT] (Periscopia Microcosmica Gershgorniana)

Suddenly, we see someone with a myna bird on his shoulders. Or he has an opossum on a leash and is leading it along the sidewalk, in summer, in the middle of an autumnal city and proud of his captive friend. Or perhaps a man walks by us with a boa constrictor around his neck and limply dangling over his upper arms. We are surprised. What are pets, and what animals can become our pets? A question mark hangs somewhere in the back of our heads.

Children growing up on farms raise sheep, chickens, pigs or cows as pets even though they see the relatives of these animals killed for food and perhaps even participate in the killing themselves. Although we accept animals as pets--a myna bird, an opossum, or a snake--as we accept the homeless because they are, perhaps genetically and morphologically, closer to ourselves than other animals would be, we have an emotionally hard time accepting "animals" like ants, beetles or inchworms as pets, although in some cultures these, too, have attention lavished upon them.

But--to go even further--the idea of keeping a bacterium as a pet has not until recently appealed to many. First, the existence of these extremely small creatures was unknown until the middle of the seventeenth century. And although at first these "animalcules" (as Anton Von Leeuwenhoek originally called them) were responded to with wonder, we recognized, two centuries later, that they could also kill us as surely as a rabid dog or a poisonous snake.

Because bacteriologists during the last l00 years have spent much of their time bent over a microscope, looking at the sped up or slowed down lives of various microorganisms whose laws of behavior make them, we think, so different from ourselves, we have been greatly educated with regard to these unicellular animals, whose lives are, we have found out, essential to our own, for without them we could not exist. Now, from the status of the little known, the nightmarish, the strange, and the fearful, they have been raised to the category of possible companions, not by any far-reaching advertising campaign but through the indefatigable work of thousands of amateur and professional microbiologists, and their interest in what lies beyond the visible, into the deep time of the past and the history of all living things on our planet has now become truly visible.

For these microscopic, unicellular animals are our true ancestors. Without them we would not exist, nor would all living things in our immediate world. The drying leaf in the late summer falls to earth and is followed by its bacterial destruction, eventually returning to its chemical constituents, the soil from which a tree with other leaves will repeat the same circular path. Without bacteria our bodies would not digest the food that enters us, nor would our feces return to earth completed, nor would the animals we live upon continue to provide us with the food which these creatures break down in order to make us live. We owe them our lives, yes, and perhaps our whole beings, for like Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan, they are what we are made of, trillions of living things, cells and bacteria--mostly beneficial although occasionally harmful. They live within us because we offer them a safe haven in which to propagate. In fact, it can be said that we are their parasites, that we live off them, that we could not exist without them.

The oldest living things are their direct descendants. For about two-thirds of the history of all life they were the only creatures on the planet, slowly developing their strategies, their tenacious niches, their exploitations of the minerals of that ancient world out of which they were born. They have hardly changed; they are a window into the past from which we may see them, swarming in their sped-up ballet or moving slow motion in denser media, unaware of gravity, blown by currents of water or gasses, powered by sunlight, or frozen for centuries, only to be reborn, creating and regulating our oxygen rich atmosphere and, in the face of enormous extinctions, surviving and growing, sharpening their strategies on the edge of innumerable disasters, the almost immortal anaerobic bacteria from which our multicellular bodies have come, slowly and painfully, through this small part of our species' history.

The earliest evidence of their existence extends back 3.6 billion years, perhaps only a billion years after the earth itself had formed and very shortly after the earth's crust had begun to solidify. We find microfossils in the so-called Swartzkoppie zone in South Africa, the Fig Tree formation from Swaziland in South Africa and the Marrawoona formation in Australia and other places as well. And if we look into the dark designs of certain carbon rich rocks, we may have indirect evidence of a perhaps earlier existence.

At first, the pet movement started with amateur microbiologists who, for years, had attempted to treat their charges "as more than the sum of their observations." Some successes were divulged, albeit small ones. Participants reported "time magnified" movements. "It was as if," they casually stated, "we were transformed into a sped-up camera, thereby slowing down the movement of certain bacteria." Some reported small, wiggling sensations, a feeling of buoyancy, heightened receptivity to light, and a falling off of the effects of gravity. Others found that they were not one organism, but one among countless, even to sensing their counterparts at great distances, like fragmented pieces of pond water, pieces which were holding the moon together, a kind of "living pointillism."

But the significant beginnings of established contact with microbial beings were to take a far more surprising turn. Molecular biologists and physicists, some of whom had been experimenting with the same microbes, had begun applying their grasp of molecular biology to a modified "cloud chamber", a new kind of linear accelerator which sped up not only particles but also their organization through the use of computer-linked particle tracers and "constructors". These created a "template" onto which the particles fell, thereby organizing the very genetic backbone of a microscopic creature whose complexity continued to grow, until, from its beginning at .0l Ao, it arrived at a hefty size of l0 Ao, that of the average Arcella polypora or Caulobacter crescentua.

But this new "template" creation differed from either of the above "animalcules" in its being composed of both organic and inorganic compounds--in addition, photons were added. These latter were organized in quantized packets, each with a minute charge and program which allowed it to fit into the overall configurations while remaining relatively standardized, developing a specialized function as does an early cell in the body, and eventually becoming unable to generalize.

The quanta were "aged", given a definite span amounting to three days of life (at the beginning at least). This time limit gave the overall organism greater "strength of purpose" and a sense of ill-defined goals out of which would come a "transmutation of generations." By this, they (their developers or "parents") meant that "learning was transmitted" and growth could take place. The manipulation of the inner world (which, it was later decided, would remain relatively generalized) was soon abandoned for the control of environments and the interaction of generations through increasing input of environmental challenges.

Though Pasteur, in a moment of insight and ecstasy, had exclaimed, "The individual is nothing, the environment is everything!", the original developers of what was at first called "Microbus II" (developed from a whole series of earlier attempts), were faced with a totally unique individual which, surprisingly, obeyed the preconditions and prerequisites of life and which, it was soon seen, could transmit to its offspring its accumulated knowledge, down to the "feeling pathways" and the interactions of the myriad "quanta" from which it was partially constructed.

Though the given DNA structures had been worked out in a rudimentary form (giving it far less genetic material than that of the most anaerobic bacteria or, even, virus), the results of its sexual behavior, its exchanging of genes, could not be predicted. Its reproduction, that is, its cell division, had been expected to take place sixteen hours after its birth, though this was no absolute prediction. In fact, it took place exactly seventeen hours, forty-eight minutes and three seconds (give or take a half minute) after its birth. However, its tripartite division was unexpected. At first, it seemed to have given birth to twins, but on closer inspection these offspring were not identical. Their chromosome patterns differed in several respects. They functioned like most bacteria, having small replicons which floated around in the body apart from the actual DNA and yet seemed to "bump" into the larger bundles of genetic substance, throwing off whole segments of genetic matter and replacing them with themselves (a miniature game of genetic musical chairs). These newly-unattached segments moved around within the organism, attaching themselves to the cell membrane at times and at other times to a single strand of DNA (quantized) and then, as if repelled, fell back into the genetic "yarn" to repeat the process, thrusting themselves on a part of the genetic trail and replacing yet another small unit, whose life, now freed from the "map", wandered off to explore the "terrain", only again, as in the previous process, to return and renew the dance of attachment and replacement.

Thus, after only seventy-two hours of this cyclical activity among the gene segments, the majority of gene sequences were displaced and a "seemingly" random organization of genetic activity insued. This "dance of genes" (so it was termed) seemed to display an unrestrained exploration of life by the new-born material, for the "mother" organism was powerless against its "offsprings'" movements.

But Microbus II was only the first in a line of advance (which has extended until the present) whose "models" now include "styles" of organisms in several classes--M-Pseudomonads (capable of breaking down organic compounds of all kinds), M-Azotobacter (nitrogen-fixing aerobic bacteria), M-Prochloron (photosynthetic bacteria), M-Microcystis (forms of Cyanobacteria, blue-green algae or blue-green bacteria capable of converting solar energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) into food and oxygen). Within these types, organized and developed by the mixing of specific traits to provide maximum "communication", a whole range of possibilities is now opening up. There have been no attempts to "cross-generalize" among phyla or to create new phyla consisting of hitherto non-existing genetic material, but these are certainly possibilities.

Early on, however, the first generation of microbiologists who had attempted to communicate with their "non-artificial" bacteria had begun to try with the Microbius series what they had before attempted with naturally created bacteria. And here, at first, they failed. Their experiments with ESP failed. Their attempts to "train" the new organisms proved futile. All attempts proved futile, that is, until a new strain, N-Escolia Willawispia Transitoria [NEWT] appeared. And now, after its thirty-ninth generation much has been accomplished, the most important result of which has been their transformation into true pets, certainly not on the level of dogs, cats, snakes, or birds, but perhaps on a far deeper level, one which has so astounded the scientific world that no one has yet begun to understand the significance and ramifications of this basic connection.

For the transformation has meant no less than a primal return to "our makers", our "symbionts", in fact, to be totally candid, to our ancestors, communication with those immensely tiny creatures which made us and to whom we owe our lives. The question of "Who are the pets, ourselves or N-Escolia Willawispia Transitoria [NEWT]" created a debate equal to that of Genesis itself. For we may be considered the symbionts of the microbes who inhabit our bodies. Be that as it may (and there may be much truth in the above assertion) we have begun to appreciate, through some kind of animal transfer identity, the lives of our "forebearers".

More than with the first tentative beginnings made by the microbiologists who experimented with Extra Sensory Perception and began to "feel" the world of these animals, the new attempts have been multiplied a thousand fold. Instruments have been developed which aid in sensory connection--devices which measure feelings of motility and lack of gravity dependency, vision sensors, location counters, practical guide maps, food magnets, evacuation tensors, large swarm communicators, temperature gradient movement control, angular density per unit mole applicators (ADPUMA), and others which continue to aid in what is now called, as a living field, "Pet Communion" by some and "Microscopic Ongoing Journey and Observation (MOJO) by others. And through these new instruments the growing society of "Microbe Pet Communers" (MPC) has produced a literature which overwhelms our very lives, threatening to increase our social status by including within our activities the percepts and goals of the bacterial world.

Because these instruments of communication and communion have been developed, a series of refinements within the genus N-Escolia has been produced, as has been the case among dog or cat breeders through the centuries. A list of the newest trained NEWT'S, what we now regard as advanced state projections from "drawing board models" will give some idea of lines of development. A survey of the "models" developed within the last thirteen years will provide the reader with an idea of the possible diversities of our interaction with this new "pet-prone", artificially created species.

First, there are the "Passive Retainers Of Stimuli" (PROS) in whose bodies we have been able to place a small amount of the accumulated memories of other types of NEWT'S though once inside the memory circuits of these PROS the material is difficult, though not impossible, to retrieve. "Prompters" have grown in sophistication. "Psychological Scanners" have been improved. "Algorithmic Closures" have developed in complexity. And, in short, these machines have begun to yield the material we have deposited within these specialized microorganisms. A truly positive feedback loop has been completed.

However, all is not positive here as elsewhere. Most of all, there have been strange "lapses of memory", "mirages" of information, gaps in the "passageways", black boxes of "discrete" data, "fallings out" of directional impedimenta, escarpments and torsion zones which (among others) have shot out their negative feedback, "infecting" the retrievers themselves. These specialized information fanciers and gatherers (many of them former librarians or computer programmers or both) have been suddenly taken by an overflux of both suggestive data and discrete information, an inundation plagued by immense gaps in measurable, practical, day-to-day perceptions.

First, after a three-hour extraction routine, they suddenly, at the dinner table, blurt out a series of imaginary number sequences which seems to settle in the air over their steaming food and then proceed to "dictionary", that is , “define in series” the molecular spinal tracery of some mythical organism so large we cannot perceive its existence, let alone its birth, death, or time scale. Then, for several minutes (even up to half an hour) they forget there is a meal and proceed to conduct imaginary symphonies of crustacia (on shorelines composed of “tidal exposed oceanic retreats”) while bits of lobsters crackle in others' mouths. After a while (six months at the most) they are hopeless cases, blurting out information at increasingly accelerated rates until they begin leaving out more and more and end up short-circuiting, aging much too rapidly for their arcane wisdom to be absorbed, for absorbed it is, within computers, who play back the information much more slowly and, it must be said, with the gaps included.

The Passive Retainers of Stimuli (PROS) have been declared "off-limits" and only trained personnel have been licensed to communicate. This, however, is not the case with the "Language Learners", another offshoot of NEWT'S, whose whole souls and bodies have been organized to respond to and repeat back a planned series of electrical or quasi-electrical (quanta) pulses, which are then reduced to machine language within a computer--translated--and the answer, or reply, fed back to its source of origin. Deuterium (heavy hydrogen) bonding has proved successful at retaining the information content of the Language Learners, and there are many who are beginning to learn a language (now universal among NEWT's) called JOINT (Joined Organic Interphylum Neuro-Transmission). It will become the language of NEWT's within the fifth generation and will allow us (though translation speed is not expected to improve as quickly as learning) to record a history begun as early as theirs and at each stage to pose questions which will require a significant answer over generations, that is, in both directions.

Specialized NEWT's have been granted more media attention than they deserve, and on a scale of values would rank low in our estimate. "Attack" NEWT's have been placed inside special documents and have proceeded to enter any being (including other microbes) who disturb their spheres of influence and territory of protection. It seems they are released from their "guard duty" by electro-chemical configurations and genetic readout codes which must be present when the documents are "handled" by the proper authorities. There have been some mistakes, however. The signals have been broad enough so that the "attack" NEWT's have taken an odor drifting in among the documents for an intruder and proceeded to "invade" the "host", thereby destroying themselves. "Police" microbes have also fared no better. Though they have managed, in certain cases, to trace various stolen items, such as rare minerals or chemicals--the class of all possible "scents" being too great--they have often identified an innocent fingerprint of dust rather than a clearly criminal type.

Among the many sub-types of NEWT's, the "chameleons" are the most interesting and most sought after. To close observers they are NEWT's through their electro-chemical composition and no more. If judged by their shapes, colors, or absorption bands, they would be mistaken for many another microorganism. Though it is difficult to assemble more than ten of these "chameleons" in one place, when assembled, they tend to confuse their identities with one another and revert to their original form at birth. Only when assembled do they assume their various colors, shapes and sizes. At first, attempts to establish their chemical make-up resulted in confusion. But they were noticed to "glow" in sunlight, like shadows of themselves, and then it was discovered that their nitrogen and calcium electrodes were "bent" so that light vanished within them and was only recalled within specific limits of chemical "willpower." Thus, they have taken the shapes of mixolydian modes, sea anchors; false ripples; managerial, involutionary privations; fish scales; corn cobs; microscopic deer antlers—in short, the list is as various as their electro-chemical make-up.

The Chemical Correctors, unlike the fanciful "chameleons", are extremely useful, and chemists treat them as pets even in their homes, where they return with them each evening. A "false" chemical reaction, even a sneeze, for example, might get out of control. The chemical balance of the environment might be upset and the projected image of the "macro-adult" might become distorted. Introducing the Chemical Correctors has allowed the proper balance to be maintained.

More esoteric (and yet more general) are the Heterotrophic Political Unifiers (HPU) and the Foreseers of the Obvious (FOTO). These specialized NEWT's were developed during political campaigns to allow for the "voice of basic constituents", as they were called. Many began to ask if the cells voted within the body politic. A growing number had urged that this area of potential constituents be enfranchised and its opinions counted. Others had argued that the individual citizen became the arbiter of his "inner constituency" under the outmoded analogy of slaveholders during the ante-bellum South (though this idea was quickly suppressed).

A method of polling the "total particulate" of a given citizen, however, seemed to follow, and a wave of fashion, based on a near-frenzy "pet" craze, began to exert itself. "For," argued those who favored an increase in enfranchisement, "were we not the servants of our cells and of the microbes, the bacteria which inhabited us, who make up 25% of the dry weight of our bodies?" "It is we who owe them our lives," they said again and again to a populace almost grown weary of hearing it.

First, Heterotrophic Political Unifiers and then Foreseers of the Obvious were included only in a kind of "personal tally vote." (The total enfranchisement could not be passed due to a large minority opposition.) When the "HPU's" were communicated with (through the universal application of JOINT), they would provide electro-chemical tallies of votes (a kind of instant and almost automatic voting machine) while the Foreseers of the Obvious (FOTO's) declared themselves representative for both minority and majority opinions. In the end, the opinions were weighed. The majority did not receive all the votes, as in our present political structure. These representatives (FOTO's) were sent once a year to a special Congress of Representative Entities (COPE) where their views on various issues were discussed, debated, voted on, and then passed on to the present Congress (of United Beings, as it is now called), their votes, as Congress declared them, "reflecting an unconscious up swelling of primary, indivisible entities, helpful in determining 'public opinion'."

Several more sub-species have been recently developed, interesting but still debatable as to their usefulness. There are "punctuated" pets who exist intermittently, on and off, like quanta (of which they are totally made), spirochete microbes who engage in a "twisting" ballet whose aim is to ritually "uncork the world", unicellular intellectuals, placed in the niches or “monastic cellular enclaves” of gut cavities where they "think" by organizing extremely small sub-atomic particles--muons, gravitons, quarks, etc.--into coherent processes logically pointed to some end which, they say, "is always present." There are also those cleaners of gut lining, who are, as it has come to be expected, "loaned out" to guests or friends after a meal, a kind of microbial vomitorium, a quick fast greatly appreciated in a world which has increased its speed in a foolish attempt to achieve immortality.

I have stated before that the making of pets out of microbes and especially from the NEWT's, has overturned our society as completely as has the invention of money, in fact, turned our world into one that has journeyed inward toward an immense, lost past which it is frantically trying to recover. Debts are often paid in "quanta"; microbes are given as gifts; conversation turns to "generation curves" to assess microbial development; disease is negotiated; the concept of language is enlarged to include “chemical grammar and syntax”; social and political relations are broadened to extend to (and, verily, to extend) the microscopic world. Mental conclusions are now "electro-chemical" conclusions; the computer has "integrated microbial chips"; styles and fashions of dress have adapted to microbial deportment. (Microbial mats are now being worn as scarves, for example, or there are microbial maxi pads for women.) In fact, the list grows enormously each time one reads the more than ten publications devoted now to new developments within the "macro-micro" world, (Macro-Micro, The Broadening Circle Affinity Review, The Unseen World, etc.).

In other contexts, the field of sociology and cognitive philosophy have been swamped by article after article on the supposed meanings of these changes for the world of living things. It has come to be widely believed that we are only parts of a total organism which inhabits the whole planet (Gaia) and that changes in the life cycle of one species portend changes in the whole, planetary organism. Ecology has been redefined to mean the total interrelationship of all living things and their protection as they (it--the total organism) realize their (its) potential, first on earth and then in the cosmos.

Within the world of pet microbe culture (cultures) [PMC], problems have arisen in the bonding process, which is the inevitable result of a relationship with such a mercurial creature as a microbe. The standard text, (Fools Rush In, l99l, second ed.) which the Society for Bonding Processes recommends, states that "extreme caution should be used in emotionally approaching your microbe since too much indulgence, at first, may lead to unconscious revulsion and the gap may be closed forever." This significant and irrefutable advice has been born out in a wave of cases, requiring the intervention of the society's bonding analysts, trained in the resolution of these very problems of quick indulgence followed by "intimate" revulsion. The process of reuniting the "pet" and the "owner" must proceed with extreme care, for revulsion is always under the surface of things.

Without help, an "owner" may continue to mentally destroy his very own bodily microbes and inadvertently destroy those of others. Declared a menace to himself and to our "expanded" society, he is, if the symptoms grow to an abnormal state, placed in a sterilized "containment unit" (SCU), isolated from extraneous microbes, and allowed to commune with himself, or rather, those living members of his own body politic. Through a slow, natural resolution in which both the total body and the separate bodies of bacteria which make up his own body merge consciousness and absolve differences, both worlds come to share a common value system and to communicate, not through mental channels or, it has been found, even through electro-chemical ones, but rather through an extremely subtle supramental grid work in which the mental and the electro-chemical come together on some other, not quite understood, level. In 3% of the cases bonding analysts have had to use extreme measures, sometimes forcing the "owners" and pets into well-lit, white-walled rooms in New Mexico and Colorado (Taos and Pueblo) for months.

If bonding problems have come to the fore, they are not the only difficulties with intimate contact. Bonding analysts have also treated such endemic problems in pets themselves as multiple traumatic regression paralysis (MTRP), pulsing intermittent sleep syndrome (PISS), reabsorption factor within systemic growth (RFSG), and other specialized and fragmented crises of contact with what has been called, in short, "the re-establishment of the parents" problem. Freudians and Jungians have united their efforts in achieving a new synthesis in which these synchronic and diachronic psychologies will come together in an unbroken ancestral line which contains both a "parent problem" (Freudian) and a "historical" problem (Jungian).

The Maimonides Dream Center in New York has been monitoring the imagery in "wet dreams" of both microbes and "humans suffering from Pulsing Intermittent Sleep Syndrome (PISS) and has tentatively concluded that the sufferers from this problem (both microbial and macrobial) have been exposed, oddly enough, to too much film viewing. The illusion of film, its "frames per second" reality, has allowed those pet fanciers—who have spent too much time watching their pets and who have, as a result, been able to slow down the extremely fast actions of their microbes—to "get between the frames", so to speak, to think or perceive too quickly, precisely because they think in images, which "quantize" and therefore establish a "language" (as well as a syntax and grammar) among "packets" of information, thereby transferring this process to their dreams, dreaming in "packets" and thus creating empty space in which possibilities are totally manifested or not manifested as in the quantum world. And should this be so surprising to any of us familiar with the origins of NEWT from the very womb of the cloud chambers? No, of course, it should not.

Psychologists have pointed out yet another important relationship between "pet" and "owner", one which strikes at the "heart"(?) of all living things. Inherent within the definition of a living organism is the fact that all creatures must excrete substances they have processed, and even let go of their processed material in ways we may not be able to conceive. Psychologists (and biologists) who study such things state that eating and excreting are part of the same continuum. "The pace of the process is ultimately (and intimately) all-important," Frank Rank, the noted pet excretologist points out. "The continuity of relationship," he continues, "is often directly connected to the mutual flow of both fluids and solids and the manner of their mergings."

First there was the problem of feeding a pet, which was almost, from the start, found to be more complicated than expected. N-Escolia Wilawispia Transitoria (NEWT) was originally given minute amounts of a formula containing sulfur, carbon dioxide, carbon and hydrogen mixed in an electrical "broth" and taken in at once (during their rare feeding times) by the whole body. Of course, this worked, as those knowledgeable in microchemistry knew it would: Short and simple-- an organism replenishes its chemical makeup.

But for N-Escolia Willawispia Transitoria, created from a cloud chamber almost "ex-cathedra", ingestion was not only a matter of replenishment but of exploration. Our palatal exploration takes the form of trying new foods, but only those which do not greatly disturb the makeup of our bodies and the chemical processes which seem to govern it. N-Escolia, however, began, slowly, to transcend its own bodily makeup, taking in food which would harm a "normal" bacterium. It would be like Spirulina, an anaerobic organism and a cyanobacterium, taking in oxygen, a deadly poison to its system, and living. Yes, over many millions of years the genetic transformation took place and in the process transformed the very earth we live upon, giving the our planet its oxygen rich atmosphere.

But the feeding habits of N-Escolia were infinitely more rapid. Given its standard mixture, it craved other elements until, by the twenty-eighth generation, it had taken in all the main columns of the periodic table as well as hundreds of compounds. This began to develop, many knew, into "intelligence", for N-Escolia not only "ate" through the periodic table; it began a process of "food combining" which is proceeding even today.

Watching this protean digestive process, the pet "owner" has in himself established a digestive process. He is able to generalize through mental digestion as N-Escolia generalizes through an exploratory physical digestion. The absorption of mental food proceeds to change the environment of N-Escolia itself and thereby sets up a feedback process beneficial to both owner and pet.

But ingestion is only one end; the other is the mutual excrescences of both parties. Now, expression on the macro level is also a kind of giving out, literally, "pressing out" (ex-pressing) of what has been taken in. Absorbed and processed, food becomes a vital force when released from the body. Words, ideas, and bodily movements go out into the world and as such go out in a definite state, one in which they are prepared to merge with the world, integrate with larger processes, or thrown out, like a bursting star, dissipated, broken down by various forces, both biological and non-biological and thereby become integrated into far larger movements which, perhaps, some have hypothesized, have a mind and logic of their own.

Thus, say the pet philosophers, excrescence is a "gift" to the world-mind. Giving, in all its manifestations, becomes a ritual act on the macroscopic or microscopic level, or on any level for that matter, and represents a kind of dying, a giving up of a part of a certain level of living to become a part of another larger process, which we may call "macro-life." So when we see N-Escolia eliminating something which has passed through its so-called "primitive" digestive system, we may suppose, also, that this "gift" has been prepared and is a representative action in the nature of its constitution. Certainly, this way of looking at what our bodies push out from us (ex-press) links us to the larger processes of the universe, for what happens in us as organizations of living tissue, because we are made up of that same material as what we observe, happens also in larger forms.

Thus, the link, again, is established between "pet" and "owner", for are not these words, we must finally admit, arbitrary terms for a relationship which bonds to something larger as communication speaks beyond the communicants, allowing the words to echo in the echoing room of space and time and the infinite dimension of being?

This broader definition of excrescence (and exprescence?) has provided a hint of hidden riches in what N-Escolia leaves behind, and as a result significant work has been done in the analysis of its faeces. As we might have imagined from its ingestion, N-Escolia is as varied at the other end as well. We have observed crystalline structures exuded from its "total anus" (like its total mouth). The lattice of these crystals began by producing light within our visible spectrum, but recently they have moved further and further into the ultraviolet and are now moving toward more powerful X-rays, gamma and cosmic rays. Somehow, it has been able to absorb not only chemicals but light at increasingly intense wavelengths.

In the most recent examples we have, these micro-crystals carry within them pictures of N-Escolia as well as chemical photographs of its owner, various views of its "landscape", and future projections of chemical configurations as well as "past possible" projections and rejections. In addition, we are seeing the outcome of a veritable chemical factory, albeit on a microscopic scale, but a chemical factory nonetheless. From its "total anus" come feldspar, lignite, beryllium, shale, oil emulsions, near-diamonds, mica schists, argon, and many other elements and minerals. It seems that N-Escolia has, since its inception, been engaged in a process of both creation and exploration, and though it communicates in JOINT as well, it seems more adept at delivering its messages through specific objects left for our interpretation.

Lastly, we also have reports of the reaction of N-Escolia to various intoxicants. These include several molecules of substances like coffee, tobacco, alcohol, tetrahydracanibinol (marijuana), and LSD-24 (Lysergic Acid Diethyamide). N-Escolia does, with great gusto, take in any and all substances, but the answer to their value lies in what it releases and how it releases them. Coffee, tobacco, and alcohol come out as long chains of carbon atoms, and "chains" is certainly an appropriate word here, for they seem like chains wrapped around themselves rather than objects freely expressed or substances living an independent existence. The excrescence produced by marijuana is a hazy circle of crystals in the center of which lies a perfectly realized miniature landscape, complete down to the leaves on the trees and the birds in the air (though there is little air in this landscape). But it seems to have produced a statement totally different for its picture of Lysergic Acid Dyethylamide. N-Escolia has chosen a kaleidoscope in the infrared, mixed with lines from the ultraviolet. With the proper instruments we can make out a "visible voice" speaking in TEXT (another microbial language)

Certainly, N-Escolia Wilawispia Transitoria is the greatest living omnivore. It takes the advice of the Buddhists: "Eat everything." But beyond the eating lie the transformations, endless and infinite. Attempts to fix or define this or that stage of "development" will be seen as the desire to stop the world, to produce the death of life, to halt the continual creation of life from the inanimate world which began to make us as soon as it was created, in fact, we may say, had us planned from the beginning of its existence. Eating is a transformation, as touch with the hands and mouth, sight with the eyes, sounds with the ears. And though our ingestion is extremely important and will determine what we give out, it is the transformation within the black box of our irreducible living selves which is the focal point for communication with what we have fallen from, the inanimate world, which is, at each instant, striving to speak, to create, through us, the whole of the living world, the unspoken word which may define itself with the cycle it has created from the beginning. N-Escolia Wilawispia Transitoria is merely one of its creations, through ourselves, of that voice. And we are both, ourselves and that larger world, listening.


Sid Gershgoren

Sid Gershgoren has published six books of poetry and prose: The books of poetry: Negative Space, Mutual Breath (a book of 65  villanelles), Symphony (a medium long poem in a "symphonic" form), Through the Sky in the Lake (a book of "lines"), The Wandering Heron (a book of haiku), and two prose works, Past Rentals (a fictional "catalog" of a company that rent its "customers" space, place, and situation in a particular area of the past within a particular time, place, and situation), and The Extended Words (an imaginary dictionary). Sid Gershgoren has published widely in various magazines and anthologies. 


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2017

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