THE SIGN OF THREE1
or
ANOTHER UPHILL BICYCLE RACE
or
FORGET BAUDRILLARD


1. THE DISCOVERY

It is the hour of the wolf, just before dawn.

Out of their houses
Hopes and nightmares
Rise;
They drift
From dream to
Dream;
The city hears a
Sigh
It hears
A scream

Dark channels
Run in
Half lit streets:

An early walker
Turns a
Well known
Corner, and
Confronts

the
Scene:
A wing,
A golden
Carcass-
Entrails that
Spell
'Heaven' ?

Carnage
In a phosphorescent
Pool

2. THE SCENE

Daytime bustle.

Bells, Cordons
Clipboards,
Cameras
Keep
Those
Children
Back !

Now
I am standing
At
Two doctors,
Overcome
With fumes
The corner
Of
Thick hieroglyphs
Confess
The deed -
And
Doer, could
We
Read them -

24th and 3rd,
The scene this
Morning of
Zipped plastic
The most brutal
Stringers
At their
Handsets
Downtown
Slaying

3. THE BRIEFING

Smoke filled precinct room. The chief is showing the
detectives on the case slides of the murder scene.


Grown downwards
Fed by
Coils that
Rise
An arm moves
Outwards
Light
That burns a
Horn of
Smoke

The scene.

Next

Here you see
The lesions
Clearly

Drift, particulate;
A verse of
Poison spells
The killer
Took his
Or her
Time.
I thought,
such cuts
Take care.
Six men blew
Dust
A vortex.
I inflate
The sponge of
Blood my
Heart
Takes air from
I create
Myself from that
Their
Lungs
Rejects

4. THE AUTOPSY

Autopsy room. Remains on metal table.
Running water.
Surgeon dictates into tape recorder as she works.


A pearl
Kissed by the
Palest
Rose:
Caucasian
Water swirls
Clear from
The
age
Unknown.
Steel section
Hose
And drifts
Around
The parts
drill

Cortex
Picks
Up colour,
drains.
Exposed - a
Section
Threads of
Pink -
A dawn drawn
To a
Black hole
Vortex
Twelve,
Let's
Wrap'.

5. THE REPORT

Police station. Rex gets the coroner's report.

Have you seen
I took it in my
Hands
Rough type a
Carbon
Foolscap double
Space with
Errors exxed
The chief
As well, a fan
Of prints a
Clipped manila
Jacket.
Jane or
John Doe

- a
Number
NO DETECTIVE ON
THIS CASE
Department Red
Stroke, Stamp:
State
Coroner
SHOULD
READ
THIS BRIEFING
Something wrong ?
BEFORE
RECEIVING CLEARANCE
FROM
It's
Just a feeling.

- hands like
Parchment, too
Much coffee -
sure:
You saw the
State that
Thing
Was in ?

I turned
The page.

6. THE CONFESSION


Across town
In a room
The walls a
Gallery of
Cut parts,
Hieroglyphs,
Twelve stations
Of the cross,
A man sits by
A box and
Makes
Confession;
Magazines and books
Speak,
Television;
Mind the
Cloister, tape
The priest
Between them
Sole
A mesh meniscus

Wire and cable snake
Across the table

Air vibrates, it
Makes a
Wave which
Fluctuates, a
Force that moves
A coil which
Turns a sound
Into
A field and
Prints

7. THE PACKET

Rex picks up the cassette

So fates are
Sealed
In
Soft
Enclosures
Sent
Without excuses
Just
A faint
Impression fixed
In
Rust

For you.
Rex
- picked it up
Revolved it;
no
Return
Address no
Autograph
Cut parts from
Papers
Mismatched
Letters

Rex
- takes
A blade with
Care
Reveals the
Foil pack
Folded, rolled
Back
Blows..
Dust first -

Carefully -

No prints
Unfold the
Foil - now
Set aside
A pencil lifts
The flat
Cassette
No prints
Flip up the
Case-lid slip
he tape in
Press the
Flap back
Then depress
The raised
Slat 'PLAY' and
move back.

8. THE VISIT
A psychic reports a dream to the police

MYSTIC IN SLAYING
CASE
AIDS COPS
I need
A dream
Something
That's just
The Killer
Touched.
Not evidence, not
BY OUR CRIME
CO-

Near enough
To go

-RESP-

on. -ON-

Hell, -DENT

He
Just walked in,
He
Had a picture that
He
Said he saw
Last night reflected
In a pool
Of gore
He
Said
He
Saw this in
A dream
And then
He
Drew it.

9. THE FIRST CLUE

The psychic describes his dream.
Which is a picture


Dawn,
Carmine lake in
Febrile hand
Drawn in,
Half-fringed with
Pines.
Broad-stem canal
Its base - a
Mirror,
Looks like, with
A face
Reflected in
It; half way
Round
A golden strand -
This,
Red Death
Loreli
Would see, or

Venus embloodied

And then
The lips moved
And
I wrote

10. THE DISAPPEARANCE

A bulb
Light streams
Connects, reflects
As if they'd never
Been
Gloss shined
Ceramic
Holds no trace
Hosed white
No fingerprint
No grease
Stain
Gone
Impossible
The corpse, its
Parts, canopic
Jars, slides,
X-rays, samples,
Notes,
Reports, all
Gone -
Culled
- The
World
Re-set

The door
Unbarred, the
Guard
Still set, the
Lift
Unused and
Disconnected

Yet...

11. THE DREAM

Rex now has a dream. He tells it as if dreaming

The rock rolled free
Round five
A wolf
Howled out;
In fogbound
Streets
No footfall
Fell;

Miasmus, doldrum

Track: one (soundtrack)
Tone, a-
Tone, one
Clue: a
Window blazed,
Armed seraphim
Surround it
and
Within

Unseen, a
Lone
Observer backs
Away

Telephone rings faintly

Is that?
Awake !
Is that?
Rex here.
All hell broke
Loose
Spelt scarlet
Trails, a
Signed
Confession
Yes
Get over
Here
Too late-
His dream
Dissolves,
Unsolves
His case;
Sleep's truth
I am
Lost and too
Soon
Forgotten
On my
Way.

12. THE ERKLARUNG

It walked ?
I know -it
Rests
Beyond belief.
I think it
Brings
Our troubles to
Three ends:
The first
What, not
Who, the second
How, not
Why
The third,

Who gains ?

Each answer
Speaks
A single
Name, the
Same
Who died
- We
Thought -
You Mean ?

- Pinned to the
Great West
Gate

Too many lies
Confused
Us

Fate
Though made
No
Rest and
So
By death
- a victim
Of
Excess
Of
Guile - our
Spook's
Escaped

Spook ?

Yes

I don't'

What's left ?
Ten minutes
Wait, six
Pages;
Time
And place
To
Recapitulate

13. THE RECAPITULATION

A green cross
Marks
The spot.


The scene-of-
Crime
Team
carried off
The corpse, swept
Up the
Dust, collected
Every
Scrap; they
lifted
Prints, took
Casts and
Made
Impressions;
Last
We had
Four hundred
Photographs and
Three whole
Days of
Tape
- The whole
Damned
Trinity -
The stuff, the
Copies and
The tapes
Escaped
OK'
The killer
Too
Well..
Wait...
Then...
No, the
Point is,
Absence
Also leaves
It's
Trace'.

You mean'

I mean
There are
Remains but
Not
Remains; it
Is a
Case, but
Not for
Long -
We have to
Move -
Come On

14. THE RETURN

(same as the beginning)

The scene, the
Same
Except a
Car, no
Dream,
Slips through...

a watered
Wound, dawn
reinvents
The Rose; a
Slight rain
Springs

... drear lanes
Unseen
To turn again
The turn
Our tale
Began upon

A circuit
closed


15. THE DENOUEMENT

On the cathedral steps

Two cops touched
With
Gold stand
Breathless by
A
Battered
Olds,
They see:
They see the chalk outline of the corpse
The white
Escape
Outlined
Across

Both flag and
Stair, a
Second
Absence where
No lich now
Lay,
A chalk
Line
Closed up in
an easy
Hand, a
Line the rains
Already
Washed two
Thirds
Away.
The Sign of Three

FIN



Notes for the text:

Written over the space of about seven months, mostly in cafes, while working with Stevan Tickmayer and Josef Nadj on Josef's dance piece L'Automne du Fauve. A German translation was made into a Radio piece with Lutz Glandien and broadcast a number of times before being remixed as a demostration piece in Dolby 5.1. An Italian translation was also made into a radio piece for Rai Tre in Italy by Tiziano Popoli and an number of prisoners. A French translation was produced as a theatre piece with director Philippe Thomin, Stevan Tickmayer and I wrote the music and Marie Goyette, Eric Houzelot and Christian Germain were the cast. This is a current projet, so exited programmers can email me.

Programme note:

This is a simple story, made unnecessarily complicated by confusing it with two other stories and then trying to tell them all at once. On the other hand, I am hoping that the whole turns out to be greater than the sum of its parts. Despite the text, there is no closure. It's a puzzle, as all detective stories must be - otherwise there'd be nothing hidden that remained be recovered; and no work to do. I express my good faith in the fact that, however it seems, nothing here is arbitrary or pointless and, although there are many possible solutions, they should all elide. It isn't Heidegger; it sure 'aint rocket science - and of course, it settles nothing. Nevertheless..



other writing: Scale Plunderphonia Looking Back
Science The Sign of Three .




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