By the Graveside of a Mind. Chapter 1.

The story’s author, Richard Rathwell is a Canadian, which means he is trained in being luggage to colonial powers.

In this case Britain and the United States.

Liz Truss and Barbie on the Runway, with their Rathwell Accessory

Well. That was then.

Richard at the Fall of Berlin. Pick your century.

Just two of Richard on patrol with the Canadian Army Forces Securing the Arctic Today

The hard won individual identities of the neurotypical West mean little here. What matters is to have boots on the ground.

Right, so let me introduce myself as well.


Harold Rhenisch,

It’s my roll in this staging to translate Richard’s texts into images, for this new, post-textual world. The Chat Bots are writing the poetry now.

It’s time to move on.

The point of translating texts into images is part of Richard’s transcultural project, which he brought back from Africa. It is to provide images that mediate for uprooted people living as their cultures and suddenly stripped of them and thrown into troubled an uncertain ground.

Richard, Child of Refugees

All involved can read the images equally. They are words: words taking the next step forward, as refugees must. Into the unknown. The 20th century self is not the guide here. That one, tied to culture, has been driven out by forces of violence created by the attempt to hold onto culture in change. The binding force here is transformation. Humans are migratory animals.

As usual, Richard was the voice of Canada abroad.

What, did you think it was Celine Dion?

Richard Rathwell Fighting the Crimean War for Canada in Zimbabwe

Now the battle is for what’s left of his story before he disappears like a hard drive poked with a cattle drive. He writes:

For two weeks recently I was inside one of the world’s most advanced neurological wards with a condition that involved hallucinations, related and unrelated paranoia, a sort of rigor mortis, which I believed to be self-induced to feign death, and other creative and imagined terrifying experiences wrapped into a loss of space-time and identity.

Welcome to post-individual life.

At first, I thought Richard was describing poetry, then I realized that he had been imprisoned in a variant of concern of the SS Barracks in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp on the Ettersberg, united with its Cold War twin, a postal drop box from the old spy capital of Bonn.


My answers to these questions are in the images you see in this blueprint. Richard writes. I translate.

An example follows:

I tried several times to escape from a secure ward. Twice, I was restrained by heavily protected security persons in body armour, assisted by ward staff and perhaps visiting relatives. Once, I left a blood trail near where I was hiding in an open gown, tackle waving about, behind a perfectly skeletal bed trolley in a lighted, abandoned room. I remained there for some time despite coaxing, by very pleasant psychiatrists, and others. 


After all, you can only read the legend on the gate, To Each His Own, when inside the camp, looking out at the SS barracks outside. The pig-man is a political sculpture of a corrupt West German Judge installed on the verge of John F. Kennedy Allée in the Cold War German capital, Bonn, now a ghost town. He has a key, but passes in and out without it, even when the door is wide open, like the ghost he is.

So the self decays, while the images of it linger until they have a life of their own. The images I am presenting you with here are the point at which the new world order that Richard finds himself in collides, or sometimes embraces, the world of images and won’t go away.

As Richard says:

I apologize for some of the stereotypical nature of my hallucinations. I had a fairly long one, where I was in hiding from a son, who also was an owner of the hospital. I imagined it to be a private one in the Caribbean. 

In this hallucination, it was extremely important I control the flow of midnight stars, tiny white pricks of light, in an upward direction in increased speed towards the pole. It is possible they were fireflies.

They could have been ashes from his mind, burning out.

Or mine. Perhaps we share one. A mind. Not just the biological entity called Richard and the biological knot of cells that people call Harold because his mother loved to read historian novels, but this map written on our skin.

Our eyes are battlefields now.

After all…

We continue to witness Richard battling against the attempts of neurotypically-programmed machines telling him something similar to what a Chatbot told me yesterday, that his mind was a niche project, so not in its database:

This movement of lights commencing and accelerating at the right moments would open a portal. I do not know what this portal was for. I was guarded behind a curtain by a person from Zimbabwe who had both white and black spotlights to detect whether I was moving or not.

Richard’s old friend Robert Mugabe promised Richard transcultural transmutation but cloned himself instead.

Note how he shows up in sticker on a lamp post in the old East German prison city of Bautzen, left over from a street battle the night before. The West is right to be afraid.

Unfortunately, it chooses to be afraid of immigrants.

These guys:

Water is no barrier to life.



Next, we’ll go to the clinic for Richard’s makeover. Bring scissors, glue and a medical kit.

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