Article: 261302 of talk.bizarre
From: Scott Ellis <>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Skin
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 00:52:07 -0600
Organization: Blue Sky FreeNet of Manitoba Inc.
Lines: 53
Message-ID: <>
Status: O


Skin is a man's cutting edge to the world.  (Robert Duncan)

Bob should have used more lotion.  (His ex-wife)


Drunk as usual, stinking with river mud, the satyr Marsyas lifts his spit-
slicked flute and challenges the Gods.  He has been doing this since he 
discoverd the music to make nerves dance and blood chafe.  Thrusting up in 
shrills to mock the zenith, he roars no God can match my music.  He hears a 
lyre's arpeggio and there is Apollo, empty and radiant as the sun glinting 
off a distant, icy peak.  Three white-robed Muses stand behind him, their 
braids heavy as chains.  The pale God holds out a scroll that the wind 
carries to Marsyas.  The satyr cannot read the challenge and slaps the 
parchment into the river.  Apollo smiles with teeth of ice.  After you, he 
says.  The satyr leaps up with a trill, landing in a puddle that spatters mud 
on their white raiments, on the faint, golden glow of Apollo's sandals.  He 
sidles and weaves between them, stamping in rhythm, brushing their pale faces 
with his rosy, hairy shoulders, waggling goaty ass at Apollo, flute skirling 
and warbling, splitting notes and growling.  He ends on a peal like the lust 
of a falcon and bows, sinking deep to one knee in a cowpatty.  In reply, 
Apollo runs his fingers down the lyre's silver strings, plucking an air thin 
and stately as a proud widow.  He sings in a voice of of butterfly wings, of 
dust motes gold in a sunbeam.  He turns to the Muses, eyes empty as 
maelstroms.  The Muses look at each other.  One nods to Apollo, not glancing 
up.  Marsyas tries to run, but the God is before him wherever he turns, 
binding him with cords of burning light.  He is roped fast to a laurel tree, 
his dark eyes rolling while Apollo's flashing blade dips beneath his skin.  
As Apollo flays his victim alive, he hums a spritely tune in counterpoint to 
Marsyas's groans.  He marvels at the satyr's dark skin, how smoothly it peels 
off, how alive it feels in his hands.  He lifts it layer by layer, prolonging 
the goatman's agony as long as possible and finally edges his jewelled knife 
into the quick, working with an immortal's patience to expose muscle, bones, 
fat.  But what he thought was the last lamina shucks off like the skin of a 
boiled egg and there is still another layer, another and more, each one 
thinner and finer than the last, each joining the others, curling and 
writhing round the God's feet.  Apollo can see strands of muscle and the 
arteries' pulse through the skin, but every slash of the flenser reveals 
another level of dermis, darker and tougher and the satyr stands before him, 
undiminished and quiet now, watching him with a baby's huge calm.  Apollo is 
hacking and chopping but he can't find blood or flesh and the pile of skin 
reaches to his knees, rustling and clinging.  He strikes Marsyas on the head 
with the butt of his knife but instead of falling the captive begins to turn 
until he is whirling, throwing out sheet after sheet of dark, suffocating 
skin, blotting out the sun.  Apollo runs but he has lost all sense of 
direction.  He cries out and drops the knife.  There is calm then.  The Muses 
have fled and there is no sign of Marsyas.  He scratches a pimple on his 
dark, pockmarked skin and hobbles off muttering, trying to remember where he is.

sae - Un revenant dans un linceul de la meilleur coupe  (Robert Desnos)