“Gaki”, The Hungry Demon

(This is a “Gaki”, a hungry demon depicted in “Gaki Zoshi”,
a medieval Japanese Buddhist painting of hell.)

The Gaki demon is only made of skin and bones.
His skeleton is only covered by skin.
The bones are rattling and the dry skin is rustling.
Hardened nerves cover the bones of the skeleton.
Collapsing joints trace movements like those of a beggar
appearing in Pieter Brughel’s drawings.

Hair, teeth, pieces of dry dirt and pus become attached to the skeleton.

This turns into two different Gaki, hungry demons.
The last demon becomes an old woman knitting something,
like in the painting by Goya.
The old woman then becomes a blind man laughing
with his forefinger pointing at something
like in another painting by Goya.
This in turn becomes a crying woman like in the painting by Picasso.
Raising her shoulders, she becomes a mask.
The mask is now too heavy and sinks within itself.

A Gaki hungry demon appears again.
As it walks, it changes into four different hungry demons.
Some stick out its tongue; some stand still at one place.

The last demon becomes a parched face like a dried flower.
(The face gets buried within itself.
The face becomes blurred and protrudes forward.
Three faces drawn by Henri Michaux ener the inside of the face.)

The parched face becomes “Hyakki Yako”, a hundred goblins in teh night.
(These are made of dry pieces of dirt.
These are in the changing form of someone fearing
he is about to collapse into small particles.
These are condensed and very dry.)
The hundred goblins become “Yakubyo-gami”, the god of plague.
(His face appears in fleeting moments among hair
that covers his entire body.)

The Gaki hungry demon reappears, this time with electric hair.
The electric hair slowly dries and becomes thinner.
The hair becomes entangled.
His face is pressed into a transparent piece of vinyl and protrudes.

Nerves in the toes tremble.
The entire body is becoming solid
and is transformed back into the joints of Brughel’s beggar.
The thin joints, like those of a daddy long legs further collapse.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email