Saturday, February 12, 2011



Dentistry is a magic, hieratic art, a ritual performed by the shamanic dentist in order to attain his own numinous invocations, the almost supine patient a gaping mouth atop a rhizome of nerves and blood.  Or a slow motion practical joke, a silent— or mumbling—movie.

Place this chair in your mouth. A train is coming. I will, through this miniature carpentry, remove flowers, teeth, rabbits, decay and pain.  I will inscribe, tattoo, excise, scar, or circumcise. I will paint with stalagmites. Through the ceremony of small implements and mirrors, I will perform elemental cybernetics, a prosthetic  chiselling of tusks. I will place things inside as pataphysical jokes:  tubes, hoses, hands, butterscotch creams, metals, liquids, air. You will be frisked by fingers that you cannot see.

Dentistry is a spelunking of throats, an astrophysics of breath and bite. We are ushered into the small chamber, itself a mouth cleaned with precision, and then we are placed on the reclining bier, our eyes closed, a light shone into the antechamber of speech, the small studio where the voice is sculpted and into the centre of ourselves for we are a body formed around this empty space, this tunnel.

And sometimes the mouth is more than a heraldry of teeth, sometimes the mouth is sleep.  We have forged this appliance. It is a familiar, the shadow of the inside of your mouth. The recumbent celebrant expects a fridge, dishwasher, or blender resting on the tongue, pushing against the teeth. Here, we have made the moon soft and small enough for it to fill your mouth. Now bite down. You will sleep with this. The inside of your mouth will have no other light. Your insides will mattress. Now sleep.

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