PROLOGUE: This never rested on the senses but as Fabula as a stone is, even today, continually hardens the earth.


You go out by [her] night not knowing or seeking or seeing but meeting in phosphorescence.

A freighter’s lights search the long slow curve of the horizon finding the flames of our candles set adrift in paper boats and you with stars on your thighs.

Neither human nor instrument could predict this: on the microscopic level something stirs—unheeded, absurd measurements reproduce, premonitions are launched, diagrams disassemble.

On the shore we discover a nest of white worms dissolving into each other. Tails and snouts retract, excreting carnelian blossoms the young divers will harvest. With an instinct for darkness they swap gems for code words. Their desire comes not from themselves but from their Amanuensis—she who has studied the transitional slime from worm to gem and back again.

She stands before her mirror. Bright fish swim there tearing up her image with their fins as she sings, “I do not know what to do. I am so small as to be a tube in a cockade. Oh my rosey body so clam, clam pink. Sex draws me hopelessly close to the cry of dangerous beings whose nights are lost in eternal flaming orgasm.”

No longer having a use for gems the Amanue feeds her mirror fish carnelian blossoms until they begin to burst. Fins, tails, scales, displaced eyes reconfigure as long rolling ribbons. Each fish a baroque cartouche waving as it flies out the window.


Jo Cook is a visual artist, writer and publisher. In 2005 she founded Perro Verlag, books by artists. Since then she has published over 100 books, zines, comics, and pamphlets. Her favourite artist/writers are Leonora Carrington, Louise Bourgeious, and Carolee Schneeman. Her favourite book right now is Visceral Poetics by Eleni Stecopoulos. 

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