Petra Whiteley

Ars Gratia Artis

Quiet! We want to look into our souls! (Thomas Mann)

I. ars est celare artem

This word that I will not say cuts through my fingers,

through my hand. Only through this cut can flesh be felt.

The following of the rip will not lead to belong, just to find

a question, not an answer. Never an answer, words not to be.

II. caret initio et fine

Jesters in the rain dance on the spikes, the noose of words

around their veiny red necks, butcher's hooks, unattended,


they will nest that rope up there, keenly, crying 'faster!'.

Air for the fish.

III. de fide et officio iudicis non recipitur quaestio

The priest has sharp teeth, the rain hits the glass. Every

thing is yours.

Confess the f(l)ame[s], set your[self]house on cold fire.

In those flames you can be God of every[day]One. The Rising

of Poe-T, victorious, with mouthful of corpses. Affix-nose-coccyx,

entrance, this fuck chosen. Cli(que)ng fantasy, hands-as-one

clapping oratorium.

IV. acta est fabula

Now, we must talk of anaesthesia of sex, of clocks tender rotating

quietly, churning the ashes. The masks of criminals worn, eyes

unlying. Burning to beginning. Mid-air ladder perspective.

We must talk about the artifacts of departures of waves,

the powder of sky, the lines of stars, the rush of big bang. Cuts covered, the warmth of blood, the apparition of life. Blasting the white sheet, cover my face. Cover it tight and cover it now.

Petra Whiteley © 2010


I kept walking from the town, the place

of wind and restless mouth; those were empty pockets

of breath and their words nothing but hell from a shotgun.

The clever(mad)ness of men

tongue-full-wagging, throw-scream throwing.

I was thinking things to be silent about.

I was thinking about thick water

and breath with no harm.

Colours with which dreams give swing

to fools flashing bright gowns and lonely skulls, well,

I'm done with that now.

I was thinking of where to whisper, where to make its cold grave.

Under the leaves,

under the water...

Still, there is no rain; there are no more deserted


to push the steps on the gravel to some distance


I want to scratch a song, a piano in a dark room will do.

A song in which to be silent about everything that should

be and should have been said to a stranger at the bar,

where truth stares at you when you finish that drink,

and that idiot dream with its violet sky mocking,

that rainstick sound in the empty skull left behind.

There in the bar where strangers know you better

than your God knows you, whom you know

better than your mother.

Petra Whiteley © 2010