I (Archival) Involuntary Tongue

Involuntary Tongue

Victor Enns, 1985 2020 (ungoing)


Wir wohnten da
so lange, Abscheid
war kein Wahl
Es war getan.

from the mouth of the cave

We lived there
so long, leaving
was not a choice.
It was what we did.


Eines kan ich sagen – vielle von uns
starben, aber wir habenb die Entscheidendenden
selber umgebracht.

I can say one thing – many of us
died but we killed the decision
makers ourselves.



Gilles De La Tourette




The Involuntary Tongue is not about Tourette’s Syndrome or Giles de la Tourette  or the serious malady that bears his name. His personal story though is interesting so I’ve included it here. I will be including research and related writing. Subscribers/readers will see how a work is made from nothing, into something, and at the end, who knows, maybe it can be collected and made into a book. This is actually a test of my first post, hoping it will show up under Involuntary Tongue.

The image is from his short bio
on Wikipedia




the colour
Gilles de la Tourette

his patient has opened
a door  she has entered
her hallucination

a green dress
long sleeves pull at her
wrists as she raises her arm

her hands clasp
the ivory
handled silver pistol

she pulls backs
the hammer, he puts down
his pen, he is writing

his sister, her picture
on his writing desk
next to the green shaded lamp

this is not his mother
who has entered his chamber
with an ivory handled silver pistol

cocked, with a message
in her hands
a memory of green,

she is patient
her hallucination
stepping into his

quiet green light
with her long white fingers
the trigger

her green eyes
see his head turn
towards her

the bearded daemon
sprouts horns
his hairy mouth gapes

opens, utters
her name. She squeezes
the trigger in her hot palm

the first shot enters
his shoulder through
an elegant lapel

she raises the pistol
slightly, the second
shot shatters his jaw

still unsatisfied she
comes again, closer range
for the third shot

opens his head, nightfall
his last memory
green flame

the smell of sulphur,
the sound of disorder running
down the stairs.

-first published in Transition magazine

[1] Coprolalia is a presenting sympton in only ten to 20 per cent of Tourette’s cases. It is only one presenting sympton of “Tourette’s Syndrome,” named after Gilles de la Tourette, first to describe its complex and nuerological and behavourial symptons in 1885. Frued initally considered a genetic and nuerological cause for brain dysfunctions, of which this could be one, before discarding the theory and integrating it into his theories of repression, and the unsuccessful integration of the oral and anal stages of childhood development. In 1893 a former female patient shot Tourette in the head, claiming he had hypnotized her against her will. Both Tourette and many modern hypnologists state that this is impossible. His mentor, Charcot, had died recently, and his young son had also died recently. After these events Tourette began to experience mood swings between depression and hypomania. Nevertheless, he organized public lectures in which he spoke about literacy, mesmerism and theatre.[1] Around 1902 Tourette’s condition worsened and he was dismissed from his post. Gilles de la Tourette died on 26 May 1904 in a psychiatric hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.[1]



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