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ARTIST STATEMENT #242:
The Fifth Book of Nephi
It pleased her greatly to tease me mercilessly. It was a game we liked to play, in which she drove me to the edge of despair and I, in turn, lifted her to the very heights of exultation through the power she sucked from me vampirically. Being devout worshippers of the underworld phantasm Mormo, she told me when our acquaintanceship was still young that a hitherto unknown Fifth Book of Nephi had been discovered beneath a pile of perfectly preserved, mummified members of the prophet's early church (untouched these 185 years in accord with the seer's explicit wishes, until the restraint could no longer be maintained, and the cache was finally tapped). This was, of course, an unsanctimonious untruth. In reality, if the prophet had felt that peculiar "burning of the bosom," and wished new books of sacred writ into existence, he'd have simply hired the necessary scribes and struck while the iron was still hot. Still...
The way the sunlight hit her right forearm was beyond sublime. It was the time of day in which the light was brightest in that part of the new world, sometime between noon and three o'clock. She licked her chapped lips. She was a great beauty in her day, and she could still turn heads, even as her quest for goddesshood progressed beyond the point at which the physical body suffered irreversible decrepitude and dehydration. All at once she ripped the strip of diamond sunlight from her skin like an old bandage, taking several of the fine hairs that adorn her feminine flesh along with it. The hairs hung suspended like dust mites in the sunbeams, writhing like earthworms, like lizards tails, promising regeneration.
She was the director of the Messianic Mountain Genealogy Center for 47 years until forced into early retirement by jealous young polycarps too holy to be touched by the all-consuming flame. In other words one too many baptisms for the dead devolved instead into late-night "bull sessions" in which the junior administrators plotted nought but the very downfall of this brutally honest though obviously gifted hierarch whose toes they were not fit to tickle.
It was the greatest, cruelest prank of all when she appeared to me in the guise of her seventeen-year-old self, making love to me rapturously like a typhoon over warm ocean water, promising me an eternity of the same, promising to multiply my seed across a sphere of our own possession deep in the reaches of nebulous space, and then at the pinnacle of ecstasy cascading into a pillar of salt which trickled about my loins, never again to appear to me in human form. She was the love of my life, I've no trouble admitting. I spend my nights now in longing for that spurious Fifth Book of Nephi! For its wisdom in non-existence is surely greater than any manifested and thus tainted by the shaky hand of an all-too-human seer. Nephi himself said that any errors in his chronicles were the posession of his humanity alone. It is for this reason that my beloved goes unnamed throughout the reams of my writings. If you wish to discover her identity I suggest you consult the Messianic Mountain Genealogy Center. Their motto remains to this day, "no tombstone left unturned."
June 4, 2015