Autobiography of a Terrorist Attack

Autobiography of a Terrorist Attack

By Johannes Göransson

I need to be pardoned, I need to butcher hogs. My enemies are emaciated and my daughters are native like gold at an execution. I am married to gold. To the president. The confetti falls on my face, on my lips, on my shoulders and in my long, wavy hair: it’s everywhere.There’s been an attack.

It’s surreal.

Like in a movie but if the movie burns.

Like in a doll if the doll’s hair burns but not its body. If it’s clothes burn but not its smile. It’s smile melts.

I look at doll houses. I’m masculine in my trousers but I am also scared of the musk, the magnificent widows, the gathered parents.

The throne is covered with clots.
The hospital is covered with seals.
Everyone seems to be married to the lawyers.
Except the terrorists.

Terrorists are lodged like foreign bodies inside my film. At any time they may appear at a parade with their gaunt and bearded faces because they love to be photographed. They are narcissists. It will kill them. They will be splayed crackling under the blue lights. Because they want to be seen. They have bad taste like the mothers yelling out of the cut where flies erupt.

I have a scar on my cheek.
I have a sweetheart who screams when I pass out. Interned. Alive in my eyes but ransacked in my wormy meat.

In my blue light, I sainted on guard with atrocities. I linger in the shadows, looking at the victims with their steel and gunpowder, covered in ashes. Their lips taste like ashes. Their apartments smell acrid at night. I have returned from the vastness of the land but I do not yet know the how killing an jolt a horse awake. How clean linen can be used cover up the decay. I nurse my nation with my yellowed chicken. I have sex with skeletal lawyers and handfuls of soldiers. I am describing the meat. The attack. I am dying everywhere gathered. The attack is without hesitation.

The attack is too immediate.
Russian peasants can understand this kind of art. They are beloved because they are dead. They are impossible to return to the hospital. They are already hospitalized.

I’m already slummed out with lye.
Let us save the expense.
This art pretends it wants nothing from you.
Not even you money.
Not even your jaguar coins.

Inside the sparkling room where artists used to be paid to smear charcoal on women, there are now too many sins: copulation, dialogue, watching, fledling. It’s hard to keep the diaphanous materials from tearing in the photographs and the wicker gifts are for the dying.

But outside, the terrorists are returning to their own form of purity.
They are carrying lace at a distance.
Their mother is perfumed in well-stained sheets.
They merely want us to hold them, but we can’t.
We are soldiers with beautiful cheeks.
Certainly, we cannot see their eyes from this devoured place.

I ask a dead father for some jaguar coins but he gives me soaked clothes wrapped tightly in the backyard.

I have a mortal skin.

I take your arms and your father is stabbed and shot in a cruel, frozen pose for weeks. The soldiers gulp and hiss in the green deep. The president pretends to ignore them behind the small fires. Pretends to read pamphlets about the law of labor and emaciation. Man cannot live by caskets alone. The angel’s name is Papa.

Papa, if I burn down mother’s sofa, will you be able to use the soot to draw lines on my chest? Will you be able to smell the mixture of gasoline and formaldehyde on my chest? Will you wander through militia apartments with unpaid children and say that only the unpaid are allowed to arrive? Will you name the struggle camp? You have wriggling worms in my film because it is written. You have thrashing fathers in the windows of fat cities. You wont’ see my eyes, won’t help the dead increase their poverty. You will mob women black. You will pile my meat under the moonlight. You are the wrong sor of drone art, False Emerald.

Along the valleys, the terrorists are decaying in outburst of costs and clubs. In one club they are covered with tarpaulin. In another the claws are used on the women, the whistling is used for the blood. The gulls swoop down on the carcasses and vacated hovels. The wretched chilren must breathe on plush sofas and look through stained glass. It’s Oriental in here. It’s entitled “The Wallet With No Contents.” I’m hooded and corporeal. I’ve followed the millionaires into their favorite underworld. I’m the president of the examined bird.

All around us the marble step are clean. The alligators are sucked out. We must build a new shrieking. We must dily-dally the alligator blackness. Keep the jaguar coins beneath the floor boards. Keep the thrashing to a minimum.

I can’t take much more echo and hum.
Velvet rope.

The terrorists have dipped their infants in black parlor waters.
I have found your father with semen in half his figure.
We’ve come about politics.

Johannes Göransson is the author of 5 books – Dear Ra, Pilot (“Johann the Carousel Horse”), A New Quarantine Will Take My Place and Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate – and the translator of several more – most recently Transfer Fat and Dark Matter by Aase Berg. Together with Joyelle McSweeney, he edits Action Books. He blogs at and teaches at the University of Notre Dame.