The Guardian by the altar steps, eyes displaced and in blindness seeming to see, is the hybrid spawn of Deities past, an amalgam outcast of earth, sea, and sky.
In what deceptively appears to be an Aztec warrior headdress, a poisonous stinger may be hidden, or maybe it lurks behind the Guardian’s back, the tail having pushed itself free from underground, coiling up, ready to unravel and strike any who without question tries to pass. Maybe that’s what the incarnate Whimsy full of mischief and fear who seems about to point is tip-toeing toward, and attempting either to sneak around or grab hold of in a bold effort to yank out the stinger for its collection of rare and strange things.*
The head of the Guardian acts as pivot and transition, upper body attached through it to the lower, the whole entity both parasite and host of itself like Ouroboros, the mouth at the intersection stretching and contorting, held together and blossoming through constriction into a new kind of mouth, as if mocking any ordinary mouth as unfit for expression. What the eye sees in this region cannot be adequately explained.
Out of a nest of hair which atop the Guardian’s head flickers like flames, a serpent’s body rises like a King Cobra from a basket, but it emerges tail first, a dragon shorn of wings and limbs but whose tail continues to be whipped around with uncanny control and precision.
Above the Guardian’s temples, the brow noble but honestly less so than that of Neptune or Jupiter, horns uncoil which actually are lively and muscular tentacles becoming long and slender at their ends, the thin and sharp tips surprisingly having feeling as fine and keen as nerve endings. When relaxed they undulate freely like streamers which flutter in the wind; but when willfully directed by the mind of the Guardian from whose head they come, they move in a mesmerizing rhythm around the serpent’s whipping tail, rising upward in a bizarre and ritualistic celebration and waving and whirling around like some primitive dancer in a trance doing crazy arabesques to the accompaniment of music never before heard.
Passing down through the mouth and seemingly emitted from it, the lower body of the Guardian resembles human form. The pelvis and legs, hidden from view, are planted firmly like the trunk of a tree. Since the stream winding into the distance has run dry but some water has been absorbed, on the torso fungus grows in places, little abnormal growths, while the skin in other places is worn quite through, revealing a tight network of veins and arteries which are more like the intricate roots of certain plants and herbs with magical properties but which in large doses are sickening and even fatal.
The Guardian holds and plays the word “ALIENATED” like an accordion, which when pushed closed seems like a breath drawn inward, and when pulled open arches like a bridge, an exhalation, the overall effect taunting and seductive.
In the foreground at the top of the altar steps, having just been buzzing all around, impudent and irritating, a Fly lands on the side of the altar itself, the slightly curved and elevated, sky-facing word “MIND”, while along the length of the altar’s curved top step, traveling from left to right, a Snail with horns extended, a kind of alien creature in its own right leaving behind a slimy mucous trail, creeps toward the edge barely faster than the hands on a clock face.
*A little backround story and description of the incarnate Whimsy tiptoeing in from the right side, sneaking around behind the Guardian: As an adult having evolved human features it bears some resemblance to “The Ghost of a Flea” which William Blake depicted in his marvelous miniature painting. In its first incarnation this Whimsy lived as a flea within the lines of the big spiral on the chest and belly of King Ubu. Nocturnal in habit, it spent much of its youth exploring the hills and valleys of King Ubu’s body, the funky nooks and crannies, often sliding down into the crack of his rump for fun; and as the sun rose it climbed back up to spend its days sleeping under a warm and sweaty roll of King Ubu’s fat or in the greasy depth of his bellybutton. One evening, so the tall tale goes, while itching and scratching himself and unable to find relief, King Ubu discovered down in the wild tangle of his pubic hair the young Whimsy lying on its back with one leg crossed over the other like some kind of poet looking up and contemplating the stars. This droll display of mimicry so infuriated King Ubu that he yanked out a clump of his own hair to get at the young Whimsy, which he then pinched up by its pollen-ball producing kilt and flicked like a booger into the world.
Since that time the Whimsy has survived in curious ways. It has learned to disguise itself in adaptation to the absurdity of existence on the shadowy margins. Tusks, or misplaced fangs, now extend out of its shoulders and curve up toward its head, the tips arching and pointing forward. In appearance now a gnomish nosferatu, its digits have grown long and slender with sharp little fingernails; and its face like a sarcastic joke in search of a punchline peers and sneers out from between parted layers of what appears to be a hollowed out onion worn like a cross between a bonnet and an old-fashioned aviator hat. Pointing upward from the top of that head-covering, stem-like and comprised of organic filaments with a string coiling around them, twisting and tightening them to a point, is some kind of horn, which provides direction and guidance to the Whimsy like some kind of pataphysical compass needle or divining rod.