About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Anatomy TheaterPoems
By Nadine Meyer
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Nadine Meyer
All right reserved.
The Flayed Man
after Juan de Valverde's 1560 anatomy text, Anatomia del corpo umano
He has flayed himself for our inspection, pressed his knife through the dermis of his large right toe, run its tip along the base of his foot, splitting left from right, up the back of his calf and thigh, carefully, the way a woman runs the seam of her stockings up the midline of each leg, and slipped his muscled and gelatinous body from its casing. As one slices the skin from an apple in a long spiraling similitude, he has kept, where possible, his ghostly likeness intact. In one hand he holds it out to us, a testament to what he's done, and in the other he holds the knife. Martyr for science, he stands, each muscle overdeveloped, numbered for the anatomist's study as if it were possible to slit this human casing, slip from one's integument and go on living in the delicate inner flesh. What then is beauty when the skin has been shucked? A marbling of muscle and fat, the patterning of veins and arteries, tenderness of disease? Complicit, a participant in his own dissection, the Flayed Man brandishes his life: without regard for his soul, he offers this oblation, his own decorticated corpus, to Medicine and Anatomy. For over a thousand years, for fearthat to dissect the body impedes the soul's chrysalis, its incorporeal unfurling, the study of anatomy had virtually stopped, but now the Flayed Man, his jaunty disregard, his terrible theatrical privation, the outstretched offering of his own skin as if to say, all this, I have done for you.
Excerpted from The Anatomy Theater by Nadine Meyer Copyright © 2006 by Nadine Meyer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.