I spent my Friday falling in love with a dead woman

Posted: Friday, February 6, 2009 | |

Zoë Tamerlis Lund (February 9, 1962 – April 16, 1999), also known as Zoë Tamerlis (maiden name) and Zoë Tamerlaine, was a former American musician turned model, actress and writer. She was best known for her association with Abel Ferrara, whose breakout movie Ms. 45 she starred in. Some of her other acting work included a guest spot on Miami Vice and Larry Cohen's Special Effects.

Lund wrote the screenplay for Bad Lieutenant, and left behind much unpublished material. Although she had never met supermodel Gia Carangi she was working on a biographical screenplay of Carangi's life at the time of her death, and she appeared posthumously in the documentary The Self-Destruction of Gia. (Carangi's life had earlier been dramatized in Gia, an unrelated production starring Angelina Jolie.)

Lund died of heart failure in Paris due to extended cocaine use, which replaced her long-term heroin use after her move to Paris in 1997.

The Life (written at 18)

One love, one room, one hundred names,
windows blackened, if only they were my eyes.
Alone, lifetime spinning, sharpened to the point,
In position of the strike it's been so long I've
garnered bedsores, and they will not let me sleep.
Where is the romance, now when the thirst is felt?
For velvet, syrup, and charity?
It was so clever: a false name, a slavic thrust,
Now they howl in the stillness, sand in the wind,
And your eyes sting but you know they cannot close.
Time was never in an hourglass.
It undulates, teasing with precision.
Time is a monsoon of strength and cowardice,
raw, but with veils, jails, of pain.
Objects have the strangest smell,
They reek of power, I think.
Telephones, hard-boiled eggs,
a knife, an oven, an iron grate.
My key in the door,
Who am I today?
I wait, wait for myself.
But if I'm not here, I disappear.
And so, myself, I wait.
One love, one room, one hundred names.
Windows blackened, if only they were my eyes.
Somewhere between the subway and six feet.

The Trip

There were sixteen beads that were not beads and the seventeenth was orange...

Recession - getting behind the 'I'.

Language. First, I - yes, still 'I' - could think - yes, 'think' - "When this is over, after, I will be able to sort it out..." Then, it became: "No, there is no 'after' because you are thinking 'after' from inside this trip-zone, whatever it is..." Then: "There is no 'after' at all because you are in this." Then: "I am here, no 'after' at all." Then: "am here". Then: "here". Then (as I phrase it): "Uh... Uh... Uh..."

There came a time when there was no more time, no more 'I'. Synonymous with this state was an inability to say "I". Not only verbally, but in my mind, so to speak. First, I could say (in my languaged thoughts) "I this" or "I that". Then: "I can't say/think 'I'". Then - there simply was not even the lack of 'I' in thought/language. It simply was not even not but uh... uh... uh...

As I said while coming out of it, referring to being interested in passing acidified events, "No, I was not interested because there was no 'I' to be interested..."

Now, being clear of that zone, I can't even fluidly phrase such things. In the midway I was speaking a mid-language that allowed me to express this state more easily.

I felt a non-relational distanciation. That was the only sensation, if one can use that word. There was no longer subject or object. Previously, in art, life, trips, I have explored trying to reach that instant when you can capture the non-relational 'I'. The absolute subject. When people think of being "one with the cosmos," in a sense they are speaking of that absolute subjectness or even absolute objectness. I was in a place where there was neither. I wanted to say glibly that it was the absolute object, but it was not. I was beyond both. If one, in acid fashion, recedes to the behind, behind, behind the 'I', in a sense objectifying each subject one creates and then tracing it to its subject, which in turn becomes an object, etc., etc., one recedes quantitatively. I receded quantitatively until I reached a space where I receded qualitatively.

There would be, first, two or three beads that were not beads, after which an orange one would come, and that was the window through which I could contact the IS. As I receded, there were more and more beads in between the orange ones. I had the sensation that if two orange ones were next to each other, I would have enough time to get a foot through the door, get a handle, whatever, and that would promote escape. But, no, that never happened until finally, some time after the peak which my body did sense, I said "I want heroin." After that, I danced for joy because that was an expression of selfness, of desire. Almost as if my BODY had said "fuck this, I need this mind so that I can feel heroin." The addiction clock, being the unconscious nervous system, had forced a time to enter. Time was absent, and seemed to go hand in hand with the self.

When Robert said it was 6 o'clock, I was shocked. Not by the time but by TIME because time was not and was not even not. Just like the 'I'.

Of course, all emotions, creation, irony (I-rony) were missing. That was taken for granted.

The lack of I-ness made me express the sensation of the place I had been as being "the useless place." Then, I used the cliche of "the black hole," but it is an apt description.

I truly was terrified that I would not return. Even when I had returned somewhat, I thought perhaps I would stay at the midway and even wondered what social function I could serve like this and what Robert would make of me like this.

One thing is for sure: There is no reason to be there, and what is to be done is to be done HERE. Not THERE.

I rejoiced in the snapping of my fingers. A snap. Rhythm. This had gone through what the acid was and back again without actually using the acid. Or that place where it had taken me.

Robert said I had a grin on that was ecstatic but there was terror in my eyes. Childlike. He described it as the perfect smile like in the magazine; i.e., a mindless smile as goes the literal cliche.

Indeed. With precision, I had lost my mind.

I wish I had a photo of myself not myself. The opposite of plastic surgery where one is the same self with a different face. I would have my face, sort of, with NOTHING there. NOT A THOUGHT IN MY HEAD.

Touchstone Levity

When foot is a measure not of inches but of
walk divisions Feet are the units that build a
walk. Inches mean nothing.
Inches mean nothing anymore when feet build walks and
Walks build themselves; history.

People can not join hands
People can join feet if feet
feet become walks
Walks are
A chain of walks is
thieve's liberty which is the
only true one.

Down their garden path,
On the water,
Down the front steps,
Blanched by noonday
Up the back steps,
sheathed in darkness

Levity that touches stone
touchstone levity


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