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He who may be killed, but not sacrificed, knows that exile is the secret to life everlasting. And what a life it is.

Such a bearing of graven desolation is writ upon the peaked, misshapen face of the homo sacer that you would imagine him cold to the touch. You would be wrong: his veins pulse white hot. A febrile vitality discharges from the crawling sulci of his skin, layer upon folded layer of leathery tissue, a topographic burlesque of twisting sinews and crags of cartilage.

He cannot see himself in the mirror; even that passive glass will refuse his image and as such, he cannot confront nor dislodge what he feels: his sovereign monstrosity.

The passage of time affects him not. He lives in an eternal solstitial blackout, this subversive ubermensch, suspended underground.

In his waking hours, he retires to his dim study and by candlelight, this poor, eloquent creature with elegant, ink-stained fingers, pens philosophies and treaties of weird and florid genius illuminated with mathematical diagrams and esoteric glyphs that gleam with a sinister power and track the machinations of atoms in air.

His nights are always the longest, loneliest night of the year. His ontology perches on that uneven fulcrum where all spatial-temporal dimensions are canted and collide; ageless and deathless, he cannot escape himself, this ceaseless nadir.

He sleeps with his eyes open and inhales like a thief. He awakens to blood caked to a rust under fingernails, spent, yet still erect, with a doppler echo of screaming in the ear canals.

Monsters are always beings of appetite. It is their way.

But for the first time, the sacred man dreams. Of what or whom, he does not know, only that the dreams prevaricate and are unhappy.

He stirs but does not wake as magnetic, tectonic shifts rattle his spirit, and rumbling, reset the gravity of time.

Each day he awakens to new somatic complaints. He does not know the hair on his head has turned completely white.

What he does know, with growing perplexity, is that he cannot seem to complete his great masterpiece, his enervated mind thrown in reckless pursuit after that which eludes over and over, returning, maddeningly, empty of purchase. Finitude is creeping up on him.

His consciousness, stretched taut and thin, snaps. Slumping into narcoleptic slumber at his writing desk, his left hand knocks over a pot of ink, blotting out the incomplete blueprint of a symbolic universe laid flat beneath his face.

We will never know what libidinal visions, what inverted hieros gamos, attend the sleep of the sacred man. We may only bear witness to the following: the peristalsis of terrestrial marrow, the furrowing of lithospheric hide, shuddering to life, some luciferean force that tilts the earth by one degree and splits the mantle open.

So dazzled and blinded he is engulfed by the heavens, instantiated in it, crowned and theophanic. Awakened from stasis, his cells rapidly necrotize, weeping, sluicing alchemical fluids, o, nigredo.

Look you now upon his exposed wretchedness, splayed before our witness. Yes, you would be the one to testify and I would be the one to know: how cascades of flawless diamonds did tumble from his collapsing flesh – and alight their brilliance in the dilated discs of my pupils!

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