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Kiss My Mouth

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France's Latest sensation... a perverse imagination of startling intensity.

The “world in ruins” shows up in contemporary cinema with regularity. Two different visions of the situation are presented in Godard's Weekend and Zetterling's Night Games. In both films social breakdown is well advanced; Godard's world, in addition, has gone physically to pieces. Cannibalism occurs; and we are reminded of Molyneaux. Zetterling's people, in a trance of activity and disguised interaction, play out their games in a chateaux that must be like the one in which Molyneaux's Marcelle is trapped. Sex is certainly an overriding issue in all these works—but in what peculiar ways it presents itself.

The world is in ruins. And time has ceased to behave in a sensible fashion. The phenomenon is different from the “timelessness” of classical pornography, in which (1) nobody grows old, (2) everyone lives happily, or at least busily, ever after, and (3) there is no external pressure to hurry up or to slow down. What happens instead in the modern erotic literature of the kind under discussion is (1) everything seems to happen in the wrong order, or (2) time has stopped moving altogether, and the characters are uncomfortably aware of this.


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Kiss My Mouth
Miguel Molyneaux
This page copyright © 2009 Olympia Press.
THE EROTIC VISION
We stretched ourselves out in the hollow of a suppu rating sand dune next to a bed of waving stink weed on the lee side of a macadamiz ed road over which the emissaries of progress and enlightenment were rolling along wi th that familiar and soothing clatter which accompanies the smooth locomotion of spitting and farting contraptions of tin woven together by steel knitting needles. The sun w as setting in the West as usual, not in splendor and radiance however but in disgust, li ke a gorgeous omelet engulfed by clouds of snot and phlegm. It was the ideal setting for love, such as the drug stores sell or rent between the covers of a handy pocket editio n. I took off my shoes and leisurely deposited my big toe in the first notch of Mara's c rotch. Her head was pointed south, mine north; we pillowed them on folded hands, our b odies relaxed and floating effortlessly in the magnetic drift, like two enormo us twigs suspended on the surface of a gasoline lake. A visitor from the Renaissance, comi ng upon us unexpectedly, might well have assumed that we had become dislodged from a pa inting depicting the violent end of the mangy retinue of a sybaritic Doge. We were l ying at the edge of a world in ruins, the composition being a rather precipitate study of perspective and foreshortening in which our prostrated figures served as a picaresque detail. At the edge of a world in ruins... Miller wrote tha t in 1949 in “The Rosy Crucifixion,” one of the first works to herald an entirely new ki nd of erotic literature. A considerable body of this new literature exists today, but in 19 52, when parts of Molyneaux's “Kiss My Mouth” first appeared, it was radically differen t from anything which had come before—certainly radically different from the “porn ography” which characterized virtually all sex-writing. The new erotic vision, which has b een gathering force for almost twenty years now, is as different from its antecedents in the sex field as, say, a prophetic trance is from a wet dream. Whereas the traditional material was “arousing” the new material is—well, let us examine some recurring the mes. The “world in ruins” shows up in contemporary cinem a with regularity. Two different visions of the situation are presented in Godard'sWeekendZetterling's and Night Games.odard's world, in addition, In both films social breakdown is well advanced; G has gone physically to pieces. Cannibalism occurs; and we are reminded of Molyneaux. Zetterling's people, in a trance of activity and di sguised interaction, play out their games in a chateaux that must be like the one in which Mo lyneaux's Marcelle is trapped. Sex is certainly an overriding issue in all these works—bu t in what peculiar ways it presents itself. The world is in ruins. And time has ceased to behav e in a sensible fashion. The phenomenon is different from the “timelessness” of classical pornography, in which (1) nobody grows old, (2) everyone lives happily, or at least busily, ever after, and (3) there is no external pressure to hurry up or to slow down . What happens instead in the modern erotic literature of the kind under discussi on is (1) everything seems to happen in the wrong order, or (2) time has stopped moving altogether, and the characters are uncomfortably aware of this. Here is an example fro m Selby's “Last Exit to Brooklyn”:
He had another cup of coffee, another cake, gulping them down, still looking at the clock every few minutes feeling a need to rush, no thought from what or to where, but only a vague yet crushing pressure of time, time th at seemed to wrap itself around him like a python... Time seemed motionless. The hands on the clock were stuck. The urgency now was not only for him to move, but for time to move, too; He opened the rear door and looked around not reall y seeing anything. Nothing seemed really to exist. The objects in the office w ere there, they could be seen each in its place, yet still there was confusion. He knew w hat each object was, what it was for, yet there was no real definition. He sat at his des k for a while, walked around for a while... sat... walked... sat... walked... looked.. . sat... walked... the only important thing was that the men get there. They had to. The day ha d to start. He walked... sat... smoked... the python still there. Were there no han ds on the clock! Is even the sun motionless? This sense of being involved in a timestream which has become nonfunctional is repeated throughout Molyneaux's work: “I had trouble keeping myself upright; my hope of s eeing the end of this excursion was sinking. The time when we had left the real wor ld, composed of people wearing clothes, was so remote it seemed unattainable. That personal hallucination spread out, dilated—this time with an absence of delimiting bou ndaries...” I nEvil Companions,ught in timePerkins describes this feeling of being ca  Michael as if on a roller coaster: Some of what happened to us, what we did to each ot her, might have been prevented. But we had gotten aboard a roller coaste r, and it was a race for our Lives, on a single track. Circumstances, the feeling of the t ime, made our explorations seem natural, forecast in all our stars. Aside from the fact that time-distortion is not unc ommon in modern fiction, how does it happen that it so often appears in the new eroti c literature? An explanation that may account for some of the hallucinatory quality is: d rug taking. In David Meltzer'sOrf this passage appears: When he flies from the tower of Babel, he thinks to himself that all he ever wanted to do was fly like this. With gorgeous atoms of night air illuminated around him, like the fool in the Tarot card falling from the castle, surrounded by molecul es of sacred colors. La Maison Dieu. Fall from the House of God. Is that it? Fuck it. How right is it to fly this way and the mind erases all landscapes and dreams and all the words are gone. It is like a dream of falling, something in a movie , the real world becoming closer... And in Perkins“Queen of Heat,”we find: I had fallen into a nest of black gnomes, but the s heets they used were silk. I felt silky, too. Laruba had handed me a long-stemmed pip e and a small piece of something like hard rock, as he showed me to my bedroom. The big bed was canopied. I undressed, drew the curtains around me, and began to draw the smoke into my lungs. It took my head off, and put it in the corner, to w atch my body writhe around on the bed. The head was clear as ice, but it didn't belon g to my body. It saw too much for a blind body to comprehend. It saw Alice a deathshead on an altar, the count as Charon, the other women I had run through as one endless lo ng tunnel, wet, dripping, and one long painful orgasm to experience. But perhaps the best examples of the interaction of sex and drugs are to be found in William Burroughs' writing. However, we must be car eful to distinguish between the
description of events in hallucinatorylanguage (agrammatical, neologistic, with distorted syntax and great running sentences in whi ch there is noncorrespondence between punctuation and units of thought—devices wh ich abound in Burroughs' writing) and the description in rather ordinary language of totally extraordinary—hallucinatory— events, such as occur inKiss My Mouth.is remarkable how these hallucinatory It events crop up in the works of various authors; it is almost as if some race memory were showing itself. It seems to me entirely likely that these events are entering literature in such profusion now precisely because they have been repressed for so long. By what agency? If we didn't know already, an analysis of Molyneaux's structure would tell us. The book's climax—a nasty, apocalypt ic, messy business—involves the symbolic destruction of the Church through the— murder is hardly the word—demolition of Don Aminado. The Marquis de Sade had some horrendous things to s ay about the Church, as did, for example, Maria Monk in herAwful Disclosure.But how did this situation come about —how did the Church come to exert such an influence on the human psyche that manifestations of escape have come to be so bizarre as those in Molyneaux's work? We must go back to the beginning. Paul of Tarsus was a Jew of the world. He knew Gree k and possibly attended the Greek university of his town. He did not attend the temple of Sandan, the Baal of Tarsus, but he knew how the god was worshipped and that was why he was so zealous for his own faith. He was a contemporary of Philo a nd may have known of the ideas emanating from the sage of Egypt. So long as he kep t within the fold of the Pharisees his personal life may have been little influenced b y the current ideas of his day. Once he turned to the faith of Christ, however, he took to it with all the vehemence of his nature. What had been the sexual life of Paul before he emb raced Christianity? Very little is definitely known. B. Z. Goldberg, inThe Story of Sex in Religion,that he may suggests even have been incapable of sexual activities, havi ng himself the “infirmity of the flesh” to which he made reference. But however he had live d in his old faith, when he turned to Christianity he separated himself altogether fro m women. He exhorted his followers to forego all sexual relations, marriage included. He wrote to the Corinthians: “I say to the unmarried and to the widows it is good for them to abide even as I.” He would have all people celibate, saying: “I would that all men were even as I.” And, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” At times Paul gave as a reason for his insistence u pon self-denial the idea that the sexual relationship, with its concomitant responsib ilities, was a hindrance to the service of God. Generally, however, he based his demand for celibacy upon, simply, an aversion for sex and women. It was Eve who brought sin into the world and she and her daughters were eternally responsible for human depr avity and death. God had to sacrifice His own son to save the world from the pl ight into which it had been led by woman. Consequently, all that pertained to the sexu al life was anathema. It took time to establish a celibate priesthood, bu t when once it was established it naturally set the tone and became a dominating forc e in the Church of Rome. Monks and nuns living in communities had been celibate fr om the beginning of Christianity; the institution took up traditions from both Judaism an d Greco-Roman polytheism. But it was not until the fourth century that any move was made to limit the marriage of secular priests, that is, ordinary parish priests, in the W estern Church. (In the Eastern Church, priests always did marry, and still do.) It took, i n fact, twelve hundred years before the Catholic Church reached the rigid clerical celibacy which we know now.
As Wayland Young notes inEros Denied, once it is accepted that celibacy is a meritorious condition, then a tightly organized cel ibate priesthood will naturally urge everyone else in the same direction, even if only p art of the way. By and large those who rise to the top of the Roman Catholic hierarchi es are sincere men who practice what they preach, and they are also the men who had the“best”training, intellectual which means in their terms the most rigid, and begi nning at the earliest age. (It is a solemn thought that most Catholic prelates in respo nsible jobs have perhaps not made love more than once or twice in their lives, if tha t!) When they want to find out about love they often tu rn to doctors. From time to time a theologian writes about sex for confessors; he does it by consulting the standard medical dictionaries, and seeing where they can be made to agree with holy asceticism. Some of these things have to be seen to be believed , but since they are written in Latin they are not often seen by the rest of us. They are the instruments of a carefully perpetuated ignorance, because when knowledge is re garded as sin, ignorance must be transmitted in its place. Of the three vows taken by priests of the Roman Cat holic Church, two are not manifestly against human nature. Neither disobedien ce nor wealth are overwhelmingly necessary to men; many people are very well able to get on without either and are not torn apart in the effort. But the vow of chastity i s a different matter. It is extremely difficult to live chastely. The result is that thos e who take the vow are in fact very often torn apart by the difficulty of keeping it, and...

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