Benjamin Carter Olcott
Winner of the Prospero Prize
Always an automatic reconstitution of the fleeting thought flickering like a gas lamp on Boulevard Haussmann in 1873. There in the gutter shadows congeal and pulse like fetuses in the first placental drift of the hospital light shimmering formlessly, too small to be human, too heavy not to be. Density like centuries taught us. In the first plays the masks ruled the shadows—where were the shadows?—the masks were shadows. On Haussmann Boulevard in 1873 there was the floral element inherent in the lurid green piss-smell reconstituting the earth, reflecting the threat of the recyclable in the stars, bastions of pin-logic, once, only once—and now the empire of empiricism has asserted the doctrine of concerted origin, now language is to have no meaning. These are the thoughts projected into the shadows on the gutter in which the crustacean lay quivering with the sensation of something incipient, viral. An insect is crushed, its leg shattered. There is the possibility of plastic and its non-recyclable hubris, chagrin. There was a time when astronauts were politicians figured in the simple presence of electrical lighting like on Haussmann Boulevard, in summer, where an insect is crushed, a sundered mask, and Paris came like all the cities ever ruled by space’s extent being where not-space begins.