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PARASITES OF THE SYMBIOCENE
SJ FOWLER & JOE TURRENT

AN EXCERPT FROM SJ FOWLERS PAPER RETROSPECTIVE
NEMESES [II]SELECTED COLLABORATIONS, 2014–2019




PENIS-EATING LOUSE


The penis-eating louse enters male humans, typically aged 18-39, through the anus. It severs the blood vessels in the prostate gland, causing the erectile tissue to fall off. It then attaches itself to the remaining stub of the penis and extracts blood through the claws on its front [clarification needed] causing the penis to atrophy from lack of blood. The parasite then replaces the penis by attaching its own body to the pubic bone. It appears that the parasite does not cause much other damage to the host, but it has been reported by Lanzing and O’Connor (2074) that infested men with two or more of the parasites are usually underweight. Once the parasite replaces the penis, some feed on the host's blood and many others feed on human mucus. 

This is the only known case of a parasite assumed to be functionally replacing a host organ. When a host male dies, the louse will detach itself from the pubic bone after some time, leave the male’s crotch, and can then be seen clinging to its head or body externally. It is not fully known what then happens to the parasite in the wild.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Joseph, great job on this entry, this one can definitely be included in the August issue, thanks so much for turning this around so quickly. I know the PEL is an especially difficult one to write about. Nasty business. It can’t have been easy for you after what happened out in Siberia.

A point of clarification, if you write Professor Reynolds at Keele, he won’t mind a cold call if email isn’t your thing (nothing passive aggressive meant by that given your recent slow responses), he can provide you with that citation after his clinical study in Stoke-on-Trent. Amazing he didn’t even have to pay those test subjects. It’s worth contacting Biddy O’Connor too I think (RIP Sonya Lanzing!) for the detail on the mucal feeding once the groin blood has stopped flowing.

One final note on this one, to your last sentence, ask Reynolds and O’Connor, but also have you tried Kirsty Irving on what happens to them in the wild, once it’s left the head? I think she micro-camed one with her Japanese nanotech and found at least a dozen were burrowing into the anus’ of many different kinds of animals. Hippoes and crocodiles especially. Ask her, tell her I sent you.


ENCELADEAN BROODSAC


The Enceladean broodsac is typically found in the humans of Europe and North America.

The worm in its larval, miracidia stage, travels into the digestive system of a human to develop into the next stage, a sporocyst. The sporocyst grows into long tubes to form swollen “broodsacs” filled with tens to hundreds of cercariae. These broodsacs invade the human’s optic nerve (preferring the left, when available), causing a brilliant transformation of the iris into a swollen, pulsating, colorful display that mimics the appearance of a grub native to Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. The broodsacs seem to pulsate in response to light intensity, and in total darkness do not pulse at all.

The infection of the eyes seems to inhibit the perception of light intensity. Whereas uninfected humans seek dark areas to prevent predation by invasive species such as their apex predator, the giant Enceladean moth, infected humans have a deficit in light detection, and are more likely to leave themselves exposed. In a study done in Poland, 53% of infected humans sat in public squares or on rooftops, and stood beneath streetlights to a greater extent than uninfected humans.

Enceladean moths are the definitive hosts where the cercariae develop into adult distomes in the digestive system of the creature. These adult forms sexually reproduce and lay larvae that are released from the host via the moth’s excretory system. These droppings are then consumed by snails to complete the life cycle of this parasitic worm.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Not sure on this one Joseph. I hope it isn’t rude of me to say, but I think you’ve overreached. I understand your research is important, but the work needs doing properly. This is science, man, not conspiracy corner.

Everyone and their mother knows the worm is found in Anatolia. Is that Europe? Might be worth avoiding controversy and throwing in the word Asia, hm? Also, and yes more importantly, you’ve spelt sporrocyst wrong.

I do like your description of the iris swell though (perhaps science might give way to a career in poetry?). Good job on the snail cycle and again, elegant description of the moth shit mouth.

Also, quick q, have you seen the Singaporean Aardvark eat these fuckers? Amazing to watch, like me at an all you can eat chinese buffet, without the £6.99 price tag and brutal diarrhea.  Also disstomes spelt wrong. Use your spellchequer.

Have to say, really enjoyed Centreparks, thanks for the tickets.


PUBLIC BARNACLE


A female Sacculina hominum larva settles on a suitable human host and crawls across its surface until it finds a suitable spot such as the armpit or kneepit. It then develops into a form called a kentrogon, which inserts a stylet into the skin and pushes its way inside. From there it moves through the inside of the human, in due course pushing out a sac, known as an externa, on the underside of the groin. The part remaining inside, the interna, develops tendrils which spread throughout the human; they absorb nourishment and enable the parasite to control the behaviour of its host.

The presence of the parasite retards the development of the human’s gonads, which eventually atrophy. The parasite causes a male to develop certain feminine characteristics including the broadening of its abdomen, while in females, the abdomen becomes narrower and the mammaries degenerate. The eggs of the parasite develop in the externa and both male and female humans carry these eggs around, secured to their perineum. If the parasite is experimentally removed from the host, female humans will usually regenerate their ovaries, but in males, sex reversal takes place and they develop ovarian tissue.

The eggs inside the externa are fertilised by male larvae which enter the sac through a pore. These males are tiny, never become adults and soon die. However, the female, including the externa, can live for as long as the host survives, perhaps one or two years. Multiple eggs are produced every day and remain in the sac for about six weeks. The behaviour of the host is manipulated to the extent that it no longer grows, washes, or seeks medical attention for any limbs that are lost, and when the parasite eggs are ready for release, it will climb onto a rock, bob about to release them, and waft them on their way.
EDITOR’S NOTE As you know I’ve been having a difficult time. Certainly there is a lot going on. The PB is no joke, and you can imagine how I felt opening this email attachment. Thanks a billion. I’ll tell you now, something maybe you can add, in your scholarly-science faux-feinman positivist-poet stylings, burning don’t help none.

In terms of the content here, loved the Latin, absolutely brilliant you’re able to make this stuff up and it reads so authentic. Not to make this personal again, as I’m aware it’s irrelevant in the context of the journal, but I’m not sure I can verify some of your theories here. I know you’re bitter about what happened to Hardman and the rest, but it’s not all bad. Maybe symbiosis really is the future, like they said. Maybe it’s no better or worse, just different.

I have to say too, I think I had already finished growing, all limbs remain, more or less, attached and I’ve seen my doctor twice. It doesn’t take control. It elevates you. It allows you to become who you’ve always meant to me. It’s something that feels new and familiar at the same time, as perhaps it should. I’m certainly eating healthy grey foods and listening to lots of folk music.

So perhaps you can dial down your sardonic, sarcastic, self-righteous tone back in this one and we can look to publication next summer, usual fee.











S.J. Fowler is a poet, artist, and writer living in London. He has published seven poetry collections and numerous others of visual literature and collaborations, including Unfinished Memmoirs of a Hypocrit (Hesterglock Press, 2019) and {Enthusiasm} (Test Centre, 2015).

Joe Turrent
’s poetry has been published in Ambit Magazine, in the Over the Line anthology of poetry comics, and online at Poems in Which and 3AM Magazine. His debut collection, The Moth Apocalypse, will be published by Haverthorn in 2020.

NEMESES will launch at St. John on Bethnal Green (London)—Saturday October 26th—with readings from Ailbhe Darcy, Luke Kennard, Joe Dunthorne, Eley Williams, Harry Man, David Rickard, Karen Sandhu, Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain and Gareth Evans; see here.





FROM THE PUBLISHER—“No poet-artist has ever explored the potentials of multidisciplinary collaboration as thoroughly as SJ Fowler and Nemeses is a landmark publication evidencing that exploration. The book brings together over 50 collaborations and collaborators, placing poems and prose alongside musical scores, diaries, sculptures, films, photographs, scripts and more. It explores not only the grand potential for collaboration as an innovative, generative, playful and profound practise, but also aims to expand what is possible when sharing the live upon the page. New works made with pioneers of entire genres like Iain Sinclair and Phil Minton, to collaborations with some of the UK’s most exciting writers like Eley Williams, Max Porter and Joe Dunthorne sit next to works made with a global selection of writers and artists unknown on our shores and reflecting Fowler’s internationalist practise.” 

See here.









2019




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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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