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Vintage floral image, taken from page 172 of 'Œuvres complètes de Jean Jacques Rousseau_ed

The Medicine Issue

Oxford Literary Review

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Jamie Cameron and Rupa Wood in response to Emil Ciroan


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The Gods

"The Aztecs were right to believe the gods must be appeased…”

                                                 — Emil Cioran

Sometimes I discover I've been thinking about the night

I slipped and split my temple on the spot the basin

and bath meet. How I lay there like an aquarium emptying,

watching my blood thread a course along the grout.

How later you rushed in, embarrassed suddenly to see me naked,

and wrapped me in the plastic curtain, an Aztec priest

preparing my body for unspeakable ceremonies:

the weight of a heart… a fragment of the sun's heat

I wanted my life in your hands. In the tub the bubbles pinked.  

Jamie Cameron

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"The Aztecs were right to believe the gods must be appeased, to offer them human blood every day in order the keep the universe from sinking back into chaos. We long since ceased to believe in the gods, and we no longer offer them sacrifices. Yet the world is still here, no doubt. Only now we can no longer explain why it does not collapse on the spot.”

— Emil Cioran

The Trouble With Being Born

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The Gods

            With your life in my hands

        the night on the bathroom floor

    increasing the distance between us

        held only by threads 

        of a bleeding language


        beneath the flower pattern 

            of the expanding universe

            came a sign 

        that I will lie down with you

            under some future stone


            wrapping the plastic sheet

                I clutched your body 


                possessed by a world 


            with nothing more 


        than this tacit agreement 



            doubtless the world is still here

                for I have played the Gods and won 

Rupa Wood

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