Johannes Göransson

From Haute Surveillance

I learn how to use my knife to apply the proper dose of strychnine. I learn from the children. They learn with the television blaring bodiesbodies.

I have horses that are infected and girl singers who hyacinth me while I hurt stuffed animals. It’s a hallucination to have such a strokey relationship to one’s knife-girl.

Here I am staring at my ceiling for probably a half hour while the world all rabbles up and the museums are looted and looted and looted and all the urns and knives and razorblades are pulled out and in and out and the best part of The Shining is when Shelley Duvall is running down the stairs and she sees those two guys in furry outfits that’s when she may loose it may become an artist instead of a mother.

That hotel is built on bones.

This hotel is built on microphones.

The problem with microphones is that they are attached to the body and picks up all the sounds: the skin, scratches, pearls, kisses, hisses teeth, looking, gasoline, trilobites, ornations, Hiroshima, tape crackling, insect crawls, ashes. It’s an arrival we are looking for, not just another way out. It’s a deportation we deserve for our botched models.


Lets kill ourselves a son?

I only have daughters.


I have a lover who holds my hair with one hand while eating chicken with the other. It hurts when she pushes my head up to her pelvic bones. “Harder, lick harder,” she says while lllicking the grease off her fingers and grabbing another wing. The grease gets in my hair. Her hair gets in my mouth. “Lick harder,” she groans and bites into the chicken carcass.

In an allegory the sign is allowed to be a sign, finally, according to Father Voice-Over. But my lover is also grotesque, Father Voice-Over notes, And the grotesque is at odds with the shape of the allegory. Especially in a fashion shoot.

The tourists are allowed to take my photographs if they first offer me some food. I am famished. And I smell like chicken grease. And I have burns on my arms. My lover burns my arms with chicken grease.

She must be an allegory. But it might be that I am not.

Or my wife is not, and everything she touches is removed from the allegory. My penis for example is now meaningless.

The camera is on.

I make a spasmatic pose for the penal colony. It is meant to teach them family values. Although they are never to be let out of their mice cages. And they already know how to spasm and how to breathe underwater. They have pig strokes.

I have sunstrokes.

I wear a gas mask for the finale.

The finale: My father’s mansion has many exit wounds.

Our Lady of the Strangest Victim: Nothing was fake.


I’m so hungry it’s like I was throbbing oriental fluids. The effect is ornithological. The material is bodies. A thousand bogus bodies.

Johannes Göransson was born in Sweden, but has lived around the US for several years. This piece is an excerpt from his recently completed novel, Haute Surveillance. He is the translator of: Collobert Orbital by Johan Jonsson, Gingerbread Monuments by Victor Johansson & Klara Kallstrom, Remainland: Selected Poems by Aase Berg, With Deer by Aase Berg, and Ideals Clearance by Henry Parland. He is the author of: Dear Ra (Starcherone, 2008), Pilot (Fairy Tale Review Press, 2008) and A New Quarantine Will Take My Place (Apostrophe Books, 2007)—and the chapbook Majakovskij en tragedy (Dos Press, 2008). He is the co-editor of Action Books and the online journal Action, Yes.

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