Friday, January 01, 2016


"Death Ritual V: His Black Mountain" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 01 January 2016.

Charcoal, sidewalk chalk, chalk pastels, black walnut branches, cotton twine.


I just completed The Revelator by Robert Kloss. I will tell you that it is a brilliant and brutal book, a look at America through the life of one person—a fictionalized version of Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism. As in his prior novel The Alligators of Abraham and his novella The Desert Places, co-authored with Amber Sparks, this book is filled with the violence and suffering of everyday life and the common person. There is a truth in his writing that doesn't shy away from the horrors of real life.


Multiple times in this novel, there are bodies found in the forest, swinging in the trees, having committed suicide in the face of personal failure and/or apocalyptic fears and/or eschatological ruminations.

I don't know how prevalent such hanging suicides were in early 19th century America, but I was reminded of the suicide forest of Japan, Aokigahara, The Sea of Trees.


The Black Mountain in the novel is crucial to the protagonist and the faith he is proposing and promoting. There are seven branch-trees; three hanging bodies; two gold plates; one Black Mountain.


You can view more pictures of "Death Ritual V" HERE.

1 comment:

Ada Ludenow said...

For reasons unbeknownst to even me, I have been... yes, binge watching A Certain Television Programme over the holidays. It's called The 100, an involves a seed group of young* (and therefore beautiful by this world's standards) people sent from an "ark" in orbit around a depopulated, possibly radioactive and typically post-apocalyptic earth.

There is a mountain containing horrors in that show and this immediately reminded me of it. I will refrain from further commentary on the show (although there is a handsome fellow in it named Bob Morley) but the resonances are there. This is a beautiful piece and I love that this is a landscape. The mutability of your medium adds a certain contrast: not to a physical mountain which shall wear down, but the Eternal Apocalyptic. It's Baconian, perhaps, but I like that sort of work.

*I will add it seemed stupid to send down 100 young people. Why not the "old" who would have had experience and were past child-bearing age. But they aren't beautiful, I suppose.