The Whorish World


Wilna Panagos





I, Veronica did it, truth-finding, truth-seeking

Muck-raking, bringing victory.

It was a horse, of course, in which the warriors hid

Pretending to bring peace, says Veronica Forrest-Thomson. To the whorish world.

Veronica, says the language, a herbaceous plant with narrow pointed leaves and spikes of blue or purple flowers. Or a cloth supposedly impressed with an image of Christ’s face. True image, says blue or purple Veronica. The movement of a matador’s cape away from a charging bull, says the language. It doesn’t matter, says George. Whorish world.


Highly Recommended with Five virtual stars and Five bright stars on loan from the night sky. This whorish world.

From India to the planet Mars: a study of a case of somnambulism with glossolalia, says Théodore Flournoy. This whorish world.

My mother used to say the heart makes music, but I’ve never found the keys, in this whorish world, says Rodney Gomez. A short history of silence, says Jane Yeh. Enough experimental preservation. Enough archive boxes. Enough Mayakovsky clubs.

In Leningrad, at four in the morning, I would be in someone’s studio, but we would not be debating art theory, says Andrew Solomon, we would be watching crazy David Bowie videos from the late Sixties, laughing at how creepy and sincere David once was, reveling in retro-chic and other lessons we can learn from the last days of disco. Enough people who love Mayakovsky, not for his poetry, but for his clothes and his hairstyle.


Fasciculus Medicinae: Wound man has arrows and swords and hammers. Wound man has boils and cuts and ticks and snake bites and hurricane Matthew. Wound man has post hype, pocket objects, mobius mail and the failure of discourse. Wound man has text annotations. Wound man has a broken heart. Wound man is still standing defiantly alive. A wound man walking. But some people know what this means, says Marina Tsvetaeva. Zodiac man simply has stellar tattoos.


Cash loan same day whore’s pasta. Spaghetti alla puttanesca. Fill your ears with beeswax and be tied to the mast of a ship. Our gorgeous, terrific women had to resort to prostitution, says Italian World War II. Ouroboros represents the concept of eternity and endless return. All the literati keep at least one imaginary friend, whispers Joseph Brodsky.

Pilgrimage to heresy: Who was Priscillian? Those of them who were enlightened were permitted to tell lies for the sake of a holy end. Liber Apologeticus. An aviary of allegories. The composite video monster, says Salman Rushdie.

We lived here, says Minas Avetisyan. Whorish world, says Gabriel García Márquez. 





what happened to the door?



Methuselah and Old Hara

5 000 year old bristlecone pines in California

The sun shone. Rain fell, no more than three inches each month. Fire blazed nearby but did not touch the grove. Small limber pines grew further upslope than ever in human memory, creeping into bristlecone territory.



50 000 year old clonal aspen stand in Utah

Pando struggled. Its root system, 80 000 years old, supports more than 47 000 trees, most of which are nearing the end of an aspen stem’s lifespan of 110 to 130 years. In June, the new shoots — the young trees that could replace the senescent — sprouted. Outside the fencing that the park rangers have erected, deer feasted on the shoots, inside, fewer were eaten. It will be another decade before the community’s survival is assured.


Llangernyw Yew

4 000 year old yew in Wales

Most months, it rained more than a foot. The days were never too warm, the nights never dropped below freezing. As an evergreen, the yew only shed its older leaves.


Sarv-e Abarkuh

4 000 year old cypress in Iran

The grass and the hedge that circle the tree posed no competition, but still the water was shorter than in other years.


Olive Tree of Vouves

2 000 year old olive in Crete

The sun shone. The summer was dry, as it always is. The olives grew and matured.


Jōmon Sugi

2 100 year old cedar in Japan

In the warm and humid forest, the tree continued to grow, separated now from the clamor of increasing numbers of human visitors, who must view it from a platform 15 feet away.


Jaya Shri Maha Bodhi

2 300 year old fig tree in Sri Lanka

It was warm this year, as it always is. The tree’s roots breathed easier now that humans are kept farther from its base.


Gran Abuelo

3 600 year old patagonian cypress in Chile

UNESCO declared the national park where the tree lives a world heritage site. The tree, unmoved, continued to grow in the mountains, not so far from the ocean, where it was neither too cold nor too warm.


Old Huon Pine

10 000 year old stand of Lagarostrobos in Tasmania

The trees here, some as old as 3 000 years, are clones of each other, joined by the same root system. They don’t care that humans call them pines when they’re not technically pines, they stand through snow and rain. Each tree may have grown as much as 2 millimeters this year.


Old Tjikko

9 550 year old spruce in Sweden

The trunk is hundreds of years old, its roots have been living for almost 10 000 years. Above ground, the spruce survived another year of hundreds. When it dies back, the roots below will grow another one.

(Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura)








Wilna Panagos lives in Pretoria, South Africa.  Long ago she wrote and illustrated a few children’s books and more recently something which may be described as a nouvelle vague transmogrification of The Divine Comedy, a postmodern experimental polyphonic florilegious pastiche.  Her Facebook alter ego is