'This piece is inspired by the films of Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci.  Though much of his work comprises elements of sex & politics, he is a master of unsettlingly powerful and intense images. Overall, I am drawn to the way he portrays the human form in an extremely carnal and disturbed way.  This piece attempts to employ some of Bertolucci's tactics, specifically the way he balances erotic hunger with physical pain and examines the dichotomy beneath a
microscope.' AM
by Adam Moorad
The figure locks as it folds into itself. Arms into arms.  Legs into legs.  Chest into stomach.  Muscles vibrated with cement pressure.  The belly bloats with hot air. Saliva and sweat congeal in the wrinkles.   A ridge forms down the center of the face.  It streams like hot wax.  The nose bubbles-up and pops.  Into the void, the face is sucked.

A light bulb swings from a single cord suspended from the ceiling.  It rocks like a pendulum from its black cable, showering light on the figure's waggled face.  It is the face of a man.  He blinks before his eyes are pulled into the sinus with the rest of his visage.  Loops of skin pile and twist at the joints.   Shadows spread like steeples across the floor, along the red carpet, along the crumpled papers, all the way to the purple walls. They glow mauve in the damp air.  The man moves, craning from a swivel chair, teetering left to right on his hips.  His chest balloons, as if to cough, but there is no mouth to expel his phlegm. 

His hair whisks back and forth.  Short. Brown. Plain. He does not understand what is happening to him.  Or why.  But he accepts it.  And remains seated.  His two legs melt into a single worming limb.  It wags like a dinosaur tail.  From it blooms a single foot.  It remains flat on the floor.  The weeping toes clot into a spackled hoof.  He stomps.  His thigh trembles from deep below the skin and, when the tremor surfaces, waves coil down the appendage like a chocolate flood of creased skin.  He shrivels like a brown apple rind.  His back arches, then springs back into position.  His abdomen attacks his orphaned spine. 

His hoof scrapes across the red carpet.  He cannot breathe.  When his toes brush against the blood rug, his knees groan.  Teeth sprout from the caps like inverted ziggurats and bite at the air, gasping for oxygen.  His calf spools like an expansive turbine, as if housing a pair of heaving lungs.  They suck like spawning vacuums.  The walls begin to bow.  They bend towards the center of the room.  It is the man's figure pulling them.  Paint peals off in tiny flecks.  The chips are snatched and eaten by the greedy kneecapped mouths. 

Behind the man, cold air pours into the room from an open doorway.  It's wet and full of mucus.  The man's pelvis liquefies and spirals like a tornado, spinning gooey juice bone like a drill bit down through the swivel chair. 

The light bulb rocks from the ceiling, immune to the figure's pull. Incandescent. Radiating. A turret, slowly pulsing weak voltage above the vortex.  

All the paint is sucked from the ceiling.  Nothing but a bald wall remains exposed and clawed.  The knee jaws chuckle and cluck, like frenzied chickens chased by a wolf. The papers? Gone. The carpet? Gone as well. The hungry mouths turn on one another. Spearing.  Bobbing.  Swallowing. Twisting.  They laugh and snarl through their razor teeth, chomping up from the hoof chins to the calves to the shriveled thighs to the stomach and the chest.  They devour thumbs, fists, buttocks, waist, breasts, and belly.  The under arms and fore arms follow the ears, tonsils, and tongue. 

The man is no longer visible. Nothing but a bleached ribcage remains, speckled with paint, paper, and dust.  The kneecaps fall to the floor and, slowly, slither their separate ways, twisting and rolling through the raw fuzz, reaching with torn fins. 

Electricity tinks inside the light bulb rocking from side to side.  A blinking Cyclops spire tethered to the naked ceiling.  It winks at the room below it.  Everything has been stripped bare.  Only the shadows remain, painting oblique lines across the swollen wood.