In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • excerpt from Blue Bloodshot Flowers
  • Philip Stanier

Ed. note: The performance that was the basis for Blue Bloodshot Flowers was originally performed at Brunel University in 2000. An excerpt of the text, some of which was used in the performance described by Broadhurst, follows.


He marked me out, and mapped my surface. His hands moving over my skin, fingertips rough like tiny moving cancers stretching out, trying to leap his broken-down frame into mine. There was a calm arithmetic in his palm. Strange how the body in repeating itself cell by cell, breeding, doubling, strange how these little clones can reject the persistence of the pattern towards age. Set up their own little colony. I'm sorry I've lost you: my metaphor was cancer as a symptom of a fear of death, that simply hastens it, hastens death that is, the result of a paranoid body. Was he my cancer? I was his—he was more afraid of death. While he was with me, I reminded him of his age and we wore each other out, but while I fed and grew there was less of him each time. The skin on his hand hung bare like a glove, each day the bones were thinner. I was against his skin but there was no touch, the surface was cold. His breath rattled more. We walked. Our daily average five miles; I was only a child, I would get tired. But those walks led to calm, great calm in the time of sleeping or half sleep with him, when it was twinned with my exhaustion after he wore himself out on me in the shelter of the forest. The weather was not often kind; we walked in bent-double downpours, the result of overzealous butterflies pollinating orchids in Brazil. The pelting downpour covered several darkening equators. Windless day and night. Through fields of a million blue bloodshot flowers. Battered shattered by the rain, broken glass fault lines etched in the petals. Sap and mud like blood underfoot, always cold. Wet hair in thick coils, fingers running through. As I went down on him. Those that went like worms through blades of grass. And the wet ground cradled us and we were wedged together at the knees snapping buttercup stems. Eating the flowers; despite the blankets there were too few for sustenance. I starved with a full belly. Now I walk, my daily average 1,000 miles internally. I have returned to zero so many times, I lost track of the distance covered; I deal in speed and daily averages. I don't know when he was ever silent or still. Always fumbling for intimacy. Always fumbling the anatomy of my disgrace. The other things future quiet crying and empty returning searches could not have been known in view of time and shade. Everything was too close to see the horizon. I won't repeat this enough. Cause I've got you deep inside me. I won't repeat this enough. [End Page 49]



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