Maskenfreiheit 𝑏𝑦 James Krendel-Clark

“the opening of attraction and the negligence welcoming the person who is attracted are one and the same”

 

-Michel Foucault, The Thought of the Outside

 

Rex Hairdo Orifice IV was a genius and America’s leading art critic. He represented a new generation of critics who rejected the post-critical for good old fashioned judgement, although not without integrating the stylistic and conceptual advances of the post-critical vernacular (he had the instincts of a Greenberg and the theoretical acumen of a Krauss). He was also a veritable Don Juan, a Pierre Klossowski, a Phallic Prince, in short, a Mephistopheles, whose rhizomatically predatorial animality always arrived at its destination, and he surely clawed his way into the hearts of millions of homesick waifs yearning for the latest information on how to be erudite. Behind his expensively framed glasses were eyes that swiveled diabolically-robotically, saccadic crawl of mindrich divots spinning at the end of the terminal interface that churned the core of his surfaces and crunched the math of his machine moustacheface, whirring rods and pumping pistons straining towards the futurism of his smirk, intestinal situationism slimily sidled over to tzaraflirting artgirls in a woven sharpchat witword clunk glut deleuzian stutter of galactic oh wow what a brain you have gaping the void run abgrund against her sweetgleaming worldlyways, he oozed with goo, wisdom barfed its alphabetic associations into a holographic hieroglyph of true truthcave, we all nestled into its shadowy light, adequatio, correspondentia, convenientia, to on hos alethes, mellowly whispered clockworklike guruvocals, gigglesheheardhim alightwenton, comeintomycave, swirling negative dialectics, every charm known to enchant these cynical screen-kids and it knocked resonating like gong, clever clutzy cutesy nerdyouthgothtightskirt of today right on their cute asses. Oh, and tonight he was slyly relaxing awaiting most graciously the advent of the artwork whose author he intended to seduce (this time a charming young man with a ravishing hairdo and a well-groomed orifice, Rex whose name was a rhebus of features that belong to both genders), Ralph Overdo Dilletante’s long awaited gesamtkunstwerk (no doubt the start of a promising artistic career; Ralph’s name a rhebus of a universal tragedy of youth confronted with its own promise) with this imposing yet sincere presence, the raw bones of Rex’s robot-being were neutral and almost clinked like the ice in his drink, and almost invisible like a psychoanalyst’s fists clutching the pen that carved out an inky diagram of this fancy lad’s psyche, the revolutionary capacity of his s’words (god Rex could remember so much, the archive of his mind was archeologically organized with histories of movements ever kindling, ever going out like Heraclitus’ matches, tossed idly into a fountain one by one as the sun goes down and the sublimated dialogue barely conceals the genital topology within; Rex scratched his head and soothed his hair as he remembered the history of the avant-garde, its futility, its majesty, its excess and momentum, storming the museum, formalisms inverted, deconstructed, shattered). Glasses clink and polite chit-chat flit through the resonant hall as the lights dim. 

 

 

Ralph’s theater troupe, The Cosmic Irony Minstrels, were performing a grandiose and overworked work (yet still exhibiting incredible potential, the culmination of his so-far-short career; Ralph had a Masters in Media Studies from Pratt, a convincing credential that had opened doors normally closed to a yearner so young), a hypertext of a musical play (was it an opera? no, not exactly) that Ralph had written while still a student (“The Manic Myth of America” was its simply yet effective title). Surely it was something he had furrowed his brow over, gotten headaches long into the night, clenched his jaw and wracked the essence of his lucidly electrical, incandescent cortex over, cultivated, curated, in short, created, in the most Zarathustrian rockstar sense, he was proud, yes, and his actors were to be accompanied, in perfect Brechtian fashion — plenty of meta-irony in show, naturally — by (along with the original four members of Ralph’s avant-rock band Backhanded Compliment) a 42-piece ensemble that included, along with some of the standard instruments: lute, sitar, EWI, black metal screamers in full corpsepaint, flamethrowers, household appliances fitted with contact microphones, and finally a series of explosions that had been specially engineered to crisply demolish the concert hall, just basically gut the thing to gorey shreds of what would become an art installation called Architecture Gets its Ass Handed to it Part One (everyone was eager to know what part Two would be), thus this buildingdeath as the 3 hour piece comes to a cum-in-your-pants crescendo of a crashclose (the structure, a kind of simple yet elegant pavilion, partially perforated by orifices, openings, “holes”, if you will, and yet sheathed in a kind of windswept latex dressing, was designed specifically for this one-off spectacle by starchitect Reisling Momentum (in collaboration with the extremely talented engineer/roboticist Guy Zufall), would be made todetonate in such a way as to deposit all of the dust debris safely away from all audience and performers (who nevertheless wore gasmasks to avoid choking on the shrapnel’s toxic residue), a complicated process for sure, yet hardly a Rube Golberg gizmo, rather a process of almost minimalist elegance  hat had already been written about in some detail (from a neurophenomenological standpoint) by one of the leading design theorists of the day (and close friend of Rex), Custard Quintz, in the prestigious architectural journal Log [successor to ANY], in an article cryptically called: “Formalism’s Cumshot, or: How Many Minimalists Does it Take to Melt an Icecube?”).

 

 

Afterwards (the temporary triumph of The Manic Myth of America having been a devious orgy of revelry that had the guests barhopping manhattan and railing K til they could be certain of having transvalued at least most of their values) Rex bought Ralph a friendly drink in a trendy yet traditional sake bar where they discussed life, art, and other topics too broad to really define, wittily dancing over all things with their world-imaging words. Slowly, and with the snake-like attention of a surgeon, Rex gently disencumbered Ralph (every tonguetendril of his abstractions licking the orifices of the ears of this dear young boy who was fresh out of college and full to the gills of fanciful phantasms and only to willing to be educated, wisened-up). Every last one of Ralph’s silly vague hangups dissolved and he was converted without much struggle to that oh-so-rarified plateau that those in the industry like to call cynicism. The siren promise of eternal fame, like a sassy Circe (Rex thought of all this in decidedly Greek terms, the sneaky sodomite) seemed to dissipate all more mundane and fleeting concerns Ralph had, such as those dictated by the purely arbitrary zeitgeist. “Nothing more arbitrary than the zeitgeist,” Rex said wisely. “You, my friend, get to decide the Zeitgeist. You’re a prophet of the NEW! YOU decide what goes and what don’t, you transvaluater you!”. Rex prodded Ralph playfully in the ribs. And he continued to expound wacky [yes wacky no doubt, for they hinged on a style that always seemed to elude Ralph, as if their very arbitrariness were a form of rigor, the highest form, even] yet rigorous theories of life and art so scintillating, tasty (their candy crunch dissolving in Ralph’s brainthroat and their cocainecrispy electronshots blasting his synapses with dazzling dialectic CONCEPTS™), crystalline in their airtight, shockproof yet really fucking paradoxicalweird logic (ooh, he was getting dizzy and mesmerized and everything around him had this weird glow, like his brain was so turned-on by this wizard of theory that it was almost like being on some kind of drug, but it was like no drug he had ever tried before…) Ralph got dizzy and dizzy and dizz zzz z.z Zzzy y y Y!!!!!!! and eversoslightly nauseous, but seeitwasdefinitelyasexysortofnauseauyeah, hotinhispantshe could even feel himself getting a hardon as the air filled warm wet red buzz with the cutting-edge vibeZ of the latest avant-club music, some wasp of sonic buzz, some waspbuzz of sonic clubclubthrob, this must probably be something by Holly Herndon, Ralph wasn’t so sure, or m.e.s.h…. Totally confusednow and ditsy as a dingbat after only about two bottles of plum sake, he needed a cigarette which Rex gladly provided, Ralph could only squirm or rotate or move, angle his body in a certain way, only so far could he kinaestheticaly adjust the angle forming between him and Rex when he was hooked archingly back by another slick line of reasoning, another beautifully improvised pronouncement about this or that, like they were doing this spiraling dance, and so he just went with it, and the two laughed their heads off with no uncertain grin about the geometry of Rex’s rhetoric, can you dig it? It was as elegant as set theory, but also, who cares? It was about the vibe, the atmosphere, the stimmung. They switched to a rather pricy bottle of 20 year old Japanese whiskey which they drank to the last drop and before Ralph knew it he was swimming in schnockered, smashed, SHARDED glorious intoxication, he was OOZING EEL-LIKE THROUGH WATER totally horny, and totally converted to Rex’s way of thinking, and then whaddayaknow Rex was offering to give him a ride home, “But first,” he said, swaying slightly a slight smug sway a little drunk see so what, “let’s stop by my apartment, eh? There’s a Mark Leckey thing I want to show you, I just acquired it only last week, incredible use of a 3D printer, totally wild stuff, you’ll definitely dig it, it’s GINORMOUS in terms of its impact on our current GESTELL, to speak like HEIDEGGER.”

 

 

    Rex runs his fingers smoothly, delicately through Ralph’s beatiful hair. “You marvelous confluence of hipster influence. You posthip postcritical mishmosh of stuff, I love your glasses, man, they’re very COOL. Those slightly bad eyes that you sortofsee with with glassesoff. I’m sure you must read tons,” he teased. And so he carelessly, mashingly applies a stick of neon blue lipstick to Ralph’s meek mound of mouth, then to his own (“What the hell,” he smirks, “it’s an aesthetic decision”), and the two mouths join in a brutal, mesmerizing, deliberate smush of K-I-S-S-I-N-G, their faces smudging stiffly together in the stupefying agonizing intermingling of crazed, virile, wet souls. Mouth on mouth, mm, mushy, mpop, pulling away for a sec, Rex clocks Ralph’s face with astute Husserlian rays of phenomenological-perceptual penetration. This particular face, you see, has a shy, traumatized, embarrassed yet still sort of arrogant vibe to it. “You’re such a babe” says Rex, as he tenderly touches the raw, blushing skin of Ralph’s soft, childish cheek, then rakes his fingernails across the stubble of his five o clock shadow, fly-bristle to belie the boyish lack of full beard or adult lines of hardened face, not like Rex’s wrinkles, smoothing away forelock. “You belong to me now, my child, we both belong to this elegant synthetic moment, you see? This synaesthetic attraction. Look into my eyes, see how their void is a pure synthetic emptiness? Yes, just let me taste the exotic ice cream softness of your synthetic soul, like ice cream it melts like synthetic transcendental ice cream…” Ralph at first starts to giggle, but then there are certainly some tetrated tentacles of tears in his wildly raging robot cyberpunk eyes, those young eyes whose dry moisture indicates above all a severe lack of experience. Ralph’s penis, like a sculpture, existiert, it is the root of his Dasein, of everything about him that lists toward the future, towards newness, yes, radar ralph, radar dasein accelerating fast. “USE me, Rex, USE me, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease, YOU are my ABGRUND, I admit it, I give all up, I surrender in full, my work is nothing without your criticism…” Rex smiles. “Weakness, is wonderful, no?” Ralph’s cute little young-adult face is wan with its ambitious lack of strength and manic, almost gloating passivity. “Yes. I love the way you weaken me,” he whispers. Rex is really digging this situation, and his cock is definitely grokking the way this jock of a subtwink is talking. “You’re really going places kid, you thought you were somewhere earlier tonight at your show, and yes, that was quite the triumph, but it was trivial, trifling compared to the giant gesamtkunstwerks gleaming in your virtual future. Just wait, I’m certain that an article or two by me, some strings pulled here and there, some doors opening, opening, opening, opening onto orgasmic wake of applause, total mobilization, total, unimaginable, inconceivable… [with winking and foxy glare here narrowing to a sensual whisper] fanfare.”

 

….

 

Rex and Ralph are nude and sprayed with some kind of glittery substance. Orgy technicians sit off to the side of the stage, on standby. The shimmering bodies of the libertines glisten with virile animality. Rex, in his capacity as a critic, would have referred to this as “a primordially obscure situation of radical performative obscenity.” But now, in the moment, he simply glows with obscure and villainous will-to-power. No need to theorize here. It was on like Qui-Gon Jinn. “I love you, I think.” Ralph whimpered. Rex laughed, haughtily. “Ah, yes, love! Of course! Why yes, yes, of course! of course! The ultimate illusion!” “But why, what, I thought…” “Shut up and kiss me kid,” Rex’s hand snakes down Ralph’s spine and hooks to penetrate, plumbing pulp of prostate, while the other arm draws Ralph’s face to his own, and after a certain interminable squealing, Ralph’s soul really does begin to melt to the tune of this ferocious fisting, this enhollowing howl of hardcore homosexual hardon. They pull apart only for a gasping second of breath-catching. “I love you Rex, it’s a love I’ve never known before, never a wild love like this have I known, in die Wächterschaft für das Seyn…” Their mouths suck to mutual lipping of kiss (der Ursprung eines Verzichtens!), mesmerizing swirl of pullulating fat worm lips, yumming togethering in their moldering slither and then SMACK POP apart again (lichtende Verbergung des Seins als solchen). Ralph’s crazed expression satisfies Rex so thoroughly in all of his surfaces that he decides to pull out every last one of the stops of his dasein, every damn decadent stop he’s got within reach, mm swish and with a swaggering flourish he flips on the switch (CLICK) that triggers the snow and the wind machines (Geschlichtlichkeit!), meanwhile technicians rush in to give Ralph a coat of golden drag makeup (wesentlich seynsgeschichtlich) with fractal butterfly motifs, operatic backdrops arc in along with shifting heideggerian blur of brilliant theatrical lights blasting each brain (amidst Wagneresque trumpeting, die Freiheit der Fügung seiner Fugen) that sets the shimmer spray that coats them dazzling in fractal constellations of atmospheric flux and racial purity, blistering polarity of the bubbles let loose in the spine of the Unermesslichkeit of their strong traumatic ecstatic beingness. Flicks another switch and something that sounds like a cross between Stockhausen’s Cosmic Pulses (the “thirteenth hour” of his being-historical Klang cycle) and some new obscure freak-out neogabber jam (a little bit of kitsch, for kicks) blasts bleedingly out of state of the art speakers (οὐ γὰρ φρονέουσι τοιαῦτα πολλοί, ὁκοίσοι ἐγκυρεῦσιν, οὐδὲ μαθόντες γινώσκουσιν, ἑωυτοῖσι δὲ δοκέουσι). An influencer and a guru and an erudite man of letters, Rex was always an expert at creating this sort of relational-pedagogical art environment (this was his Συμπόσιον, his Holzwege, his Musik Kosmische, Vom Ereignis), this installation, this situationist autonomous zone, this radical re-orientation in dasein was testament to his VISIONARY GENIUS for configuring alternate DIMENSIONS of the MULTIVERSE. “Oh my god,” said Ralph, more than a little bit impressed. “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be sodomized by Rex Hairdo Orifice in such a being-historical situation, κόσμον τόνδε, τὸν αὐτὸν ἁπάντων, οὔτε τις θεῶν οὐτε ἀνθρώπων ἐποίησεν, ἀλλ’ ἦν ἀεὶ καὶ ἔστιν καὶ ἔσται πῦρ ἀείζωον, ἁπτόμενον μέτρα καὶ ἀποσβεννύμενον μέτρα.”

 

 

Ralph’s moaning aching flesh flaystrips of black charred meat separates from itself gristle of turkeyleg, raw aching fire everkindling, winging out in aching creak of crack, history windpuffs of lightning core zeuswinding stretch of pullcunt, bent up on cuntrack of lust, CRUNCH DECODED KERNELS ached the arched back ache stretched on a rack, blinding the flayed form of the arch take feminine form, grecian urn folding inside-out aching arching, blinding, twisted arc of the back 45 degree angle the gaping hole inside outside, thrusting into out of wrenched apart his sloppy decrystalized face decoded decohering daintily ditz of number split ends of the equation, whence excluded from the manuscript of minute calculation, eluding the grasp of its too stupid brain, its nerdy aching glasses clatter klutzily on the floor, wrenched eyeballs kookoo crazed forever blurring blazed, out of joint bonkers and out of time, no more focus no more normal no more ever centered in himself no no no opening up orgasms dilating into moregasms… the limit of the limit of the limit of the limit. His eyes grew damp, finally welling with tears. The hugeness of his erection mythical larger than any infinity. He swooned in his weakened weakness, sobbing sad depressiontears sobbing sadcry uncontrollably ill emo, mental meltdown of a priapic god. His body spasmed in confused/confusing rictus WRECKED squeezing every tense tush tight, sucking every spasm of bulging fibers of bodily NURBS SCREAMING SKY LIPGLOSS. Every friend, every mentor, every father, figures… shapes… surfaces… structurescathected to mirror of homosexual whirled around bergsonian cone, mister mystery, father fantasy, master masquerade, momentarily frozen in a childhood page from the rip of a book, magical moans echo into the weird night weird orificewebbed, ἀνθρώπους μένει ἀποθανόντας ἄσσα οὐκ ἔλπονται οὐδὲ δοκέουσιν. Hysteriaworld™ whirled around a million tabs open of exotic 3D cartoon carresses, hysterical epileptic strobe montage, spasming movement-image glitches of chiropractors and surgical time-elves with spinning ninja weapons corrupt surgery chanting high pitched deathmantramusic ecstatic mysterium of youtube playlist angelic plastic throbbing reaction hieroglyphic iPhone. This time it was a real homosexual escapade, this time yes, this was a known homosexual situation, a homosexual experience for sure, definitely homosexuality this time, homosexuality both masked and unconcealed, discernibly homosexual, obfuscated in its clarity, τήν τε οἴησιν ἱερὰν νόσον ἔλεγε καὶ τὴν ὅρασιν ψεύδεσθαι. Clear homosexual unmasking, razor eats the skin, skin eats the flesh, flesh eats the world. It was the maskenfreiheit of the epistemology of its own dark unfolded faustian closet, unruffled costume of heraclitus fragments, the gaping hole of that same heideggerian marxist’s closet’s unveiling(s). The parenthetical s indicating could be plural, being singular plural, but from now on collapsing together into one: identity identify slipped slushily into slurp of orifice, anal beads pulled out on cam with horrible homo howls of pleasure. Homosexual, now, yes, through and through, true as the heraclitean flames corroding his already-dead corpse of a face, it’s clear what threshold styxcrossed now, when and Ralph was burned up oprhic this new identity clearsnapped into place around, everywhere everything ensured this to be the case, script-writers and chattering production assistants thronging through the space which seemed to keep expanding on and on, and on, and on, paparazzi swarming like weevils, some kind of massive studio rigged to the gills with infrastructure, special effects guys and stunt doubles, secretaries fielding phone calls and accountants crunching numbers as the budget keeps hitching higher and higher, he thought he had heard them quote a figure like “5 billion” but now it seemed to be going steadily up, it made him melt with pleasure to know this could be so expensive and official. ἐὰν μὴ ἔλπηται ἀνέλπιστον οὐκ ἐξευρήσει, ἀνεξερεύνητον ἐὸν καὶ ἄπορον. Basking in this expensive Hollywood spectacular gaygaygayness, never before had he been so gay, never more GAY, couldn’t get more GAY than this, or more expensively GAY. Before, yes, in his other life (das Suchen des Seyns), he had had this quiet heideggerian heterosexual dignity, it was as if he felt almost large and in charge of his own dasein. Like a gigantic guru or a superpowerful sorcerer. But here, now, fully fisted by this erudite genius who clearly was into some seynsgeschichtliche Denken himself, giving into fame and fortune (die falsch Vergemeinerung) he lost all of that former allure, and he felt a gentle sort of distance come over him, a resignation, as he was reduced to a typical faustian teen, a gooey goth slut, and he absolutely no longer existed anymore, he squealed like a rutting nymphet with glee, gleeful as the hottest, horniest little strumpet-on-a-string (τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε πῶς ἄν τις λάθοι;). His anxiety was like electrical wires fizzing with charge, a warning sign that says: “DEATH”, but his delight was a dance, it was empty-headed dazzle, pure energy, liquid, poseidonwet, every nerve a wire alive with the energy of money, proust, gide, lazy nervedeath in bookland. ἕν τὸ σοφὸν μοῦνον λέγεσθαι οὐκ ἐθέλει καὶ ἐθέλει Ζηνὸς ὄνομα. He did a kind of a swishy, nervelit ecstatic nymphodance, thunderstorms blasting him with hot godbreath, vogueing violently and aching more tenderly than ever, mushy as a mango, melted confluence of transcendental consciousness, grasped in a greekly heroic fire, vaguely burning with an attic gaze wildly crossing the limits of difference and repetition, he is grimly absent as a chorus of choreographers swirl around his body and give him tips, assigning steps to his limbs and turns to his angles and testing out the spatial boundaries and morphologies of his surfaces, really pushing things as far as possible, grimly he withstands it. Rex grins, equally vacant. The heraclitean fire that fills the room rapes every identity. 7 or 8 different camera-people danced around the crazed singularities (“Rex,” “Ralph”, strange attractors in a lava that trembles as only anti-matter can as it snaps every connection to reality, as it flips every outline into its anti-procrustian terror, meanwhile advertising jinges, huge crowds, sold out stadiums. An aching hollow eyed head gleams and blots out the sun. Laughter echos, unhinged, through the space, an enigmatic cackle that coughs itself dry, wheezes each void and crevice until breathless, vacant asthmatic nothingness.

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Eyes, Uber, War Games 𝑏𝑦 Sam Russek

When I’ve had this much to drink, closing my eyes
gives me a kind of vertigo. My life is
Here, between the blinks
Nothing else is safe anymore &
In the morning & forever after that my pulse
Differs too.
I haven’t told the doctor yet, or my therapist.
It’s just dust in my eyes
            & anyway
Much of the time normal can’t mean anything
But a series of anticipated in-
            consistencies, behaviors already with a more generalized safety net. The power’s
Out, but by the time
My eyes are open again the lights are on
            & my neighbor is telling me not to worry that’s normal around here.

He gave me some unsolicited advice
That is
To search for something new always, meaning all the time
To ignore the landlord’s rules, which are bullshit anyway
Not to drink the tap water, to use the oven sparingly, check
For mold regularly
            & finally, he said, a wise rabbit never only
                        digs one hole.

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Left Behind 𝑏𝑦 Rickey Rivers Jr.

I’ve been left here by my owner. I’m lonely and cold. She left me here, well not here exactly but here in this stranger’s place. She went home with him, his home. Beforehand, they had drinks. He bought her one. I suppose that’s unimportant. What is, is me, here, he slid me under here. Under where? The bed of course and she left to go, where? Home I guess. Yeah, I guess she went home, our home.

Maybe she’ll come back for me? Maybe he’ll look under here and find me and mail me back to her? I can’t imagine so, though it would be nice.

I wonder if she’s made it home. She was wobbly when she got here, wherever here is. She must be cold without me. She has to have noticed my absence. Then again, there are many others at home.

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Kept Underground by Sam Machell

Thumping thumping muffled thumping outside airlock the queue moves slowly thumping from the thumping from the thumping bouncer grimaced holy the thumping night the thumping air the door a thumping gateway downstairs thumping they queue and sway and sway and the drunk men thumping leer and taxi’d honk and thumping whistled wolf with lights bloomed astream through thumping vomit chunks and din road wheeze and toppling flashed they toppled the motion the thumping words in queues forgotten they smirked stretch rustled their hidden baggies sweaty knead their thumping feet with no sir thumping shoe sole asshole cavity grassed gasp flashed a creep in coat dust smell and wrinkled member rimming plastic bottle and thumping fell to the blood speckled floor the fell to the flashed the fell to the bouncer in frowning flashed old gum go on then go on for not the shoes ushered flashed the thumping skull the stairway pendulum flashed the way down through queasy thumping flashed the way down to the club flashed drowned in flashed light drink and sour thumping smell they made the thumping thumping lewd acts in shadows and banshee wails flashed the blue strobe hall with thumping jacket leather jacket squealing rodent observed cross union and organised jumping to the thumping to the thumping to the main room thumping piss stained revolution serf round dancing.

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Scream Queen 𝑏𝑦 Meeah Williams

How many staircases has she been carried down 

how many cold steps of rough-hewn stone

into how many dank cellars

damp dungeons, mad laboratories

underground labyrinths, suburban basement torture chambers

 

transported across how many moonlit moors towards how many castles, cemeteries, ancient mausoleums, abandoned construction sites and midnight back alleys?

 

How many times has she been cradled in the arms of some hulking goon, priapic vampire, lunatic henchman Frankensteinian monster, lifted over how many thresholds like a bride, but always unconscious

always in diaphanous nightgown

always barefoot, head and arms dangling

toes tensely pointed to the floor in orgasmic anticipation step-by-step descending in an embrace

of muscle, bone or moldering flesh

to meet her softcore fate?

How many walls has she been shackled to

drawn up by chains and ropes on tiptoes

how many pagan altars has she been staked out upon

how many times has her blood been drained by some suave bisexual aristocrat,

some Count or Countess Bathory

how many times has she fallen the pretty prey to the overly complicated machinations of a madman from the wax museum?

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Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe 𝑏𝑦 Toga

he fought the concept of fatherhood itself today

he was bleeding on the ground battered by his pain

glasgow smile adorning his face

what lies at the end of the corridor he doesn’t want to see ever again

it dimmed the fire inside of him permanently

here in this house we can still hear the broken promises

it’s in the piping system

it whines

one day it’ll be replaced

unless the ivy plants that grow inside of it

drag the whole system down into hell

everything will be dragged down along with it

it’ll leave a hole in the administrative records

just like the hole it left in his heart

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House – Breath – Absence – Veins 𝑏𝑦 Bryce Jones

              Drawn-water soaked into its own spongegrowth of mold. Humidity bred from a warm, moistured smell. Tiles softened like a mouth eschews teeth.

              Until his lawn was sick with summer – the stems of grass distressed their stalks from hardened soil – and turned his neighbors’ thoughts upon the homeless – with sallow hair half-limed of keratin, scratching off their chaffglumed scabies – he lay balloon-burst in the bathtub, six weeks dead.

              Appointed by resentment, vouched by the sheriff’s silence, the suburbs’ population is a posse comitatus – and the police their janitors.

              Every neighbor and their neighbor and their neighbor and their neighbor to the neighbor of his neighbors were incensed to group before his door. Forty people wend from welcome mat to sidewalk. Martyred knuckles knocking the same next-to-nothing, one repeated swamp-grained thump. Hoping that he’d open while their fists were bunched in motion, inertia-prepped to land on wood, colliding with his skull instead.

              They shouted

              And scattered

              Into the backyard

              The side of the house.

              They squint through the gaps between blinds

              And saw nothing.

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Gloss 𝑏𝑦 Janice Kang

sugar-sweet cotton cheeks,

/

needlework feelings forwarded to a disillusioned, sad-eyed angel boy / ‘good morrow,’ it entails, all e-boys’ correspondence with the pixels & eyeliner & apathy 

/

‘good morrow, here is yet another love poem for only your eyes to relish in’

/

‘good morrow, listen to this sonata i composed for you, arpeggios of our aurum scenes’ 

/

you know, melancholy’s just a monochrome rainbow / angel boy’s softly grey–– though tonight we’ve got a splendid crowd & hot pink lights the prime of fallen-angelhood / bluffed wings peek at the poles of his body, where the blades have parted to usher those radio waves past through / and, well, poet’s indigo even without the lights(with love) / and, well, poet’s hands thrum with the wavelengths, stinging like gamma rays & fright (with love)

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Three Poems 𝑏𝑦 Jack Campion

 

necromancy

 

we bulge we permeate we

                                     [in that black terrible we grow]

grow inside bile-columns – fix our terrible jaws and

                                     [fixing, feasting, grinding our teeth]

grow to hate caverns that keep us

                                     [fumbling behind our mandibles searching for it]

beneath silicon-cylinders – the will compels.

                                     [tear out a place where the maw can rest]

scorches our translucent hides while we

                                     [take it apart piece by piece]

fix fangs into back and

                                     [build on matter which drew us forth]

tear into side –

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Map-Evyenia 𝑏𝑦 David Roden

 

Map

 

Map was content never to know why I had come. She knew I was hers. I possess an overexposed photograph of her, straw-colored hair, precipitately erased like Woodman wounded on the stone floor.[i] 

Inquisitions hunted her like melanomas, but Map made no apology. She weakened from their conflicting imperatives and who isn’t excited by finitude encroaching with a spear? So we lay in black-louvred rooms by Decasia’s garment quarter, watching spider sigils redacted from The Matriarchy, or even before, project to dust.

Reading this blackened history helped us face her impending replacement. We might have imagine it, but she knew it wasn’t anything. The Syndics told her so in spiteful missives to which she retorted in stone, a rain of theory.

  • The mechanism is bigger than the World.
  • The number of a Power exceeds that of the set it owns, absolutely in accordance with Cantor’s diagonalization theorem.
  • With the infinities, it is indeterminably larger; a ruination.[ii]
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Lola 𝑏𝑦 Candy Rhizomatic

Lola could feel the effects of the drug almost instantly, in her root chakra and then also in that one above the root chakra, what’s it called, but also just straight up shooting ricocheting up the whole damn spine, the whole misty brainfuck of the kabbalistic tree, every single chakra and microchakra exploding up to her head blasting out into the spinning, dizzy, jouissancing schreber-stars, the stars striding heroically in their swift constellations, those muscles of arno breker microfascist masculine flexing in that giant fuck of distance that separated her from some kind of cosmic abyss too abstract to fathom. Then again maybe this is just a sort of metaphysical-hyperbolic exaggeration because the feeling could also have been described as just a sort of a warmish glow in the pit of her stomach. But still… This 2CE, combined with the Robert Desnos she had been reading just before, she felt free, unhinged, unhindered, unencumbered, let-loose, wild, cosmic, redolent, insane!

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Two Poems 𝑏𝑦 milvaspectre

 

Abecedarian  for my dyin  laptop and its missin  two keys

 

Qwernomic intersections between t e S oles keyboard confi uration and t e Qabala
W at obstacles t is  as posed for t ose of us on t e web
Every keystroke and click an offerin  to Moloc
Rivulets of antitussive accidentally splas ed, stainin  t e keyboard red
T e balance of t e alp abet’s w ole 585  ives way to t e  ematrical unease in 583
Yawnin   ulf of a cracked LCD screen t rowin  w ite wallpaper into relief

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FLASHLAND 𝑏𝑦 Mika

face flush to the screen until my eyes melt to the glass. ass pressed against the chair i begin to lose the sensations separating me & leather. i employ a macro to auto-click away 238 ad windows. tick tick tick mouse clicks fetter across my desk / HOT PRE-USED CUM CORPSES BURIED NEAR U / LEARN SECRET 2 SUMMON A DAEMON 2 INSTA-GIB YOU & FUCK THE REMAINS NOW / 10 OCCULT WAYS THE WORLD IS ENDING AS YOU WALLOW HERE etc.

at the desktop i start up FLASHLAND.exe. screen fills w/ white like a stun grenade just popped in my mouth. black fades in / splash logos zoom by / companies ive never heard of + Sierra / i get hard in anticipation. body already knows whats up by now. its the only time it gets to die. chipping my nail polish against the keyboard is like slathering my gums in coke, but i never seem to have enough & i never seem to need more than a taste to get sent off. the word FLASHLAND blares in cleansed white on the left. techno beats from the OST fucking each other in disharmony drops of blood leaking out my headphones–every time, oh well.

the main menu options are laid out like this:

NEW UNIT

USURP UNIT

NEW DRONEPHASE

JOIN DRONEPHASE

OPTIONS

SAFEWORD XXXXXX

i click on NEW UNIT.

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Submission 𝑏𝑦 Tobacco Orc

The words I write slip away within the hour.

The words I find are unfamiliar, and quickly become irrelevant.
 
The incessant subtle awareness of my own inferiority is manifesting in violent, self-destructive outbursts that get worse as years pass and gaps widen. 
 
I am constantly trying to maintain a persistent level of satisfaction with my performance, but it always comes up short.
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Hearing 𝑏𝑦 Amie Norman Walker

Since landing on the bedroom floor I’m certain you won’t scream any more. I’m opening and closing holes in my ear to check if that buzzing sound is really there. A ringing from the background. It is there, though now that it’s been noticed, it’s fading. This noise yelled as if for my attention, yet now plainly hums. What does it take to go unnoticed? How do you maintain mundanity? Learn to be consistent, so as not to draw attention. Blend into regular habits.

Your blood is patterned like a rose. See how prominently flowers display their sex. Show me an ugly flower. They have no sound. Shushed, silent but the wind. A bird. A bee. All the dark swaying of the trees. Overwhelming mechanical noise.

I’m not distracted by one now, dare I lie. I’m tempted to draw out vibrations in patterns explaining through frequencies what the quiver of my lip means. If I turn my head to the left, if I turn my head to the right, the vertical humming changes volume. So, see? I’m plugging only my right or only my left in attempts to zero in on decency.

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The Long Dry 𝑏𝑦 Jon Berger

I had to put my dog down last month. He broke his leg, I think. He couldn’t walk and I couldn’t pay to fix his leg because I don’t make much money. He was the best dog. I’m pretty sure was part basset, part beagle and part springer spaniel. With green eyes and goofy floppy ears. We’d snuggle and he had a dog stink unique to him that I love and miss. The first couple weeks he was gone I kept thinking I heard him. When I was up early in the morning getting ready for work, I thought I heard his grunts in the hallway. When I was eating breakfast, I thought I heard his dog nails tapping on the wood flooring as he came out to beg for my food. But it was just me not able to hear the complete quiet of the morning without him.

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Concentric Circuits / CODA 𝑏𝑦 Dale Brett

Visions of a ripe split moon. Noxious clouds cleave salient sky. The atmosphere enclosing the city shimmers like a translucent image of ghosts. Reverberations from remembering yet to occur. Ambrose leans on a side-hucked vending machine serving SM-147 tabs to a pretty crag of adolescents. Boots rigid amid the darkening grey of tremulous lines. Acute provisions harbor genuine remorse beneath grids of dripping expressway beams. Tarnished clothes, pockmarked skin. Teeth reem in sockets like an Inuit high on the flesh of baby seal. Just like old times. Would like to ask, would like to try: ‘Could I get a dollar kid? How ‘bout a dime?’ Vaporous pens excite faces. Holographic flames lick subterranean space. Shadows hurl themselves on wet, glistening concrete like invocations of hallucinogenic night terrors. Tough luck endured by the participants at Omni’s radar station. Those unwitting lucky-enough-don’t-you-know-it bystanders tapping wearables against the cold metal interface desperate for a dose of midnight cardinal.

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CULT OF PROSTHETIC LIMBS 𝑏𝑦 Heath Ison

An orgiastic plethora of blinded intoxication. Fish out of water, suffocating in a masochistic dance. These are the occupants of Black Box. A place which can only be described, structurally, as how it sounds: it is a box, it is black.

The planet ends when one meets the walls, embedded with neon circuity fueling its energy. There is not a top surface on Black Box. The sky is exposed and the sky is always black due to the death of a sun. This phenomenon, the sun to ashes, happened on a day when time was realized and defaced.  Its hand dismembered and tossed down a rancid pit. The circuitry is the only source of light.

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Sacrificial Death and School 𝑏𝑦 Yitzhak

“You are not supposed to die at school”—an untrue statement. School kills you, but school kills you slowly. Children come in energetic psychotics, and (if the school succeeds) they come out depressive-neurotics ready to study the liberal arts, perhaps their hair has already been dyed blue: it’s a sad, slow death.

This is biopower: the State commands through its control of life and death, through the giving of gifts which place you in service (and debt) to it. The State was so kind as to gift you an education, itself a form of labor, and in return you give back years to pay off your debt, and for those however-many years, you are not to die—an easy deal, and, as you are told, a good deal! Education gives you the opportunity to perhaps be graced with other gifts, that is, other forms of service.

“[B]efore one signed pacts with the Devil to prolong, enrich and enjoy one’s life. The same contract, the same trap: the devil always wins” (211).

A simple deal, don’t die, and so the monkey wrench is simple: die. Not just any death can suffice, however, for death at this point is hidden in a linear path; death is always over there, always at an ever-increasing-away, pushed further and further down by drugs and doctors, hidden deeper and deeper in the closed rooms of hospitals and hospices and behind the glass window and curtains of the execution chamber—so long as death isn’t immediate, isn’t one and the same as life, the system keeps control.

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FERTILITY BELT 𝑏𝑦 Garett Strickland

 

In Golgotha, Wisconsin in a cabin in the freeze does this one labour over its grandfather furnace on the fate and nature of the fertility belt.

 

 

You better believe it.                        The                  You

 

The use tho that we put belief to in day in day out dynamism reveals its own trap –

can we never have too many pitfalls ? –

in the vanity of applied utility toward what it supposedly protects.

 

The wall that eats itself                      and its offspring.

Paranoia and all its cousins lined up like hor dourves.

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Father Fingers 𝑏𝑦 Guy From Kings Highway

three years had passed since my dad drank himself to death. my mom’s friend’s brother was visiting the United States. for two hundred bucks a month he slept on our couch. this guy snored and wore tight tank tops. they barely hid his gut. it was round but barely jiggled. his face looked wrinkly from years of smoking. there’d sometimes be pieces of drywall stuck to his eyebrows. he came here on a travel Visa and worked off-the-books construction jobs. i wanted him to bang my mom.

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≺/style≻≺/head≻ 𝑏𝑦 John Ebersole

I.

AND so it is the knife
is not a thing of dialogue

but soliloquy—talking believes
from head
and a face

and a man
and someone’s kin
scripted and casted in a saffron jumpsuit, trembling

tulip

or oriole
plumage

reciting transgressions
inside a camera phone:
saw and cut, and saw and cut sky sky

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A Desert of Dung, Preserving Insignificance 𝑏𝑦 Peppy Ooze

Seems like I’ve not typed for weeks. It’s cos work’s been a bastard but now it’s Friday and that means, it means: I can sit and think about Kafka. Everybody reads Kafka. But out of all the poets on the playlist it’s to him that I’m kind of most romantically attached, and so much so I printed the Warhol portrait, taped it to my door. Which is clichéd. Sod it though. It’s my fave painting. That neon is alive. And looking at the neon I think: Kafka and Warhol are overlapping opposites and a cable connects the diaries to the factory but dunno how. And I think: Kafka is a console game. And I think: Kafka polishes a crow whose wings are purple and blue. And I think: Kafka Cybernetic stockprice this morgen fell by 13 points. And I think: Kafka visits Artemis bordello. And I think: Kafka has a monopoly on the letter K. And I think: Kafka in a seedy letter asked Felice what she’s wearing. And I think: Kafka Zoo. And I think: Kafka in the 2nd-person operates in the 1st-person. And I think: Kafka taught art to those who teach me about art but I’m a bad student. And I think: Kafka is a kind of detective and his stories are kind of criminals. And I think: Kafka produced music in spurts of delirium. And I think: Kafka is a brand-name for pharmaceuticals, a benzo.

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The Interruptor 𝑏𝑦 Iain Rowley

Guilt––iso-trans (upthroat) mute
the UGH: Buccal-latching louse
in deep slope catch,
fancied esemplastic vessels
of yore eaten bit by bit
to a stub-muscle.
To remember now is a struggle
through mush. SOZ,
olfactory bulb–– 
flush vain succour-fill
re. petrichor fizz cued
by Scarborough Mere doubloons
and the snip of a sabulous twig
in my velveteen box.

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HOT CIRCUIT I ㋑ by TONY X.

MOVtV raceclub “FOREST-B” [registered #: a79$] traverse  flat plane   reservoir   a tunnel w/ bats    snaking vacant coast highway ( highrises clip in/out lightstudded, clouds stickered to mirrored perimeters )  CHECKPOINT by bikini beach –– a pedestrian hit here last yr: totally headcratered   a n.wooded region feat. passive, drugged mountain lions & fake fawns  2d cutouts :::   my sound effects of slot machines & cash registers  go nightly here   thanks don b  ::::  into evening & scooby-doo horror Tør:   blank castle corridors at night. W00000m we R dreaming baby, plastic fed plant radio says (listening)  red beside abandoned hospital –– creeps watching from window: w0 w000  w000 ⁓) morning again; notified of white blur, racers slow to 34tds/mm ☁︎ glittering datalike pollution in cummy breeze (sniff briefly:: turn neon green w/ bloodshot eyes ?)  oh & there is a mood or absence or thought (or feeling) in the wooded glen, a racefan discovers, turning over logs & stones––– 67tds/mm   99tds/mm  101tds/mm     team slows–––bright suburban streets lightwarped    and there is only so much in time, one thinks of, one is watching   a certain way of using sidewalks (in this afternoon of general love)

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Pack Mule 𝑏𝑦 Caspian Alavi-Flint

I wake up and think “where am I?” It takes me a moment. I am flattened against a kitchen island of a rental apartment in southern Pennsylvania. I have sleepwalked again.

From the floor I look at a clock on the stove. I shower with a medium level of heat. I enjoy most making myself as placid as possible. How calm can I get in any given moment?

A minimum of ten hours in commute is a quiet evasion from a ceaseless internal silence felt when I am free and doing things considered good for the body.

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Family Depression 𝑏𝑦 Chaotic Nightslayer

Your family is affection, but since opening the door to various winds, your family seems slowed, causing them to sit braced in ill repose, sometimes mumbling a little word of encouragement, but not much. We (your family) know only the dread of cavelike living and the perverse incentives that cause the panicked to “stay in place.” Your family is communion and future, a living devotional, amid that which is heartrending and gray, whether placed (see the family encircled) below arid, dreamlike breezes, patriotic banners (faded now), acid rain, and eggshell skies very zebra-like with velvet tunnels of birds.

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Scalez 2717 𝑏𝑦 Mika Hrejsa

half-lived girl, scaled curiosity decaying under sand / wesley swift’s fused radioactive green sand! the sinner actualized in split atoms beginning with spine / great periods of silence. except for winds with no flesh to flay. breath of anthrax two times removed. not allowed to become imprint on brick / not allowed to have ribcage dusted / not allowed to have memory disintegrated against a scabbed over-expanse of particles forming / crumbling / reforming. glowstick fluid – cyalume – leaking out of right eye. staining ground in liquid nightlights. blunted perception / eye socket turning into home for gamma mites. the inert weapon weeps charcoal – joy.

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Lovers Between A.T. Fields 𝑏𝑦 Damien Ark

I. For Sarah Connor

you clenched your fingers
against a tarnished fence
bathed in glowing sweat
you were eviscerated
skin turns to ashes
and a war rages
inside of your fragile bones
cold silver metal fingers
split apart your sons heart
do you recall
having sex with binoculars
as a yellow bus continued to flip
across the golden gate bridge

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Face / Trains / Mythology / Flaneur 𝑏𝑦 Brandon Freels

Face

For you, I googled how to write a eulogy. I never sleep anymore. At night, I hang out at rock piles and train yards. I piss in gravel. Under streetlights, the urine resembles your silhouette. Can a face just be a face? I got my first hemorrhoid in this town. When I wiped my ass it felt like a tiny blood balloon. Have you ever seen this movie? We watched a VHS copy of Face/Off. You hit pause when John Travolta said, “What a predicament.” Now that I’m living alone, I worry that I’ll die in my sleep (like you). Every morning I rip the sheets off my mattress to avoid going back to bed. Self-defense is self-love. I try to write nice things but the words come out wrong. We walk to the black house. Instead of a doorbell, it has an anal star.

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Window to Hell 𝑏𝑦 Atticus Davis/Savage Ckhild

Two cougars: one from Brazil, one from Honduras. Extensive plastic surgery. Palm trees. I am faced with my fetish for the basic and I can’t fight it.

Eyes I caught hanging each other on tangling legs or stretching out, taking selfies, a gutter lined with “Mercedes,” “Lexus,” “Infiniti.” It was too much for this cub to walk away without asking blushingly where they’re and now I have to own up to my timidity crashing and burning.

To compensate I can see you at this table of a boutique pizzeria your elite whore buying a large artichoke chicken pizza for $20 “Because,” I think, “if she has an internet presence, she must have hands.” “Because,” I think “This is the shit I think about, knowing you’re a coast away.”

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Butch Melts 𝑏𝑦 Jonah Howell

I.

The physical world as we know it will end on May 20, 2019, when finally the International Prototype Kilogram, a platinum-iridium alloy cylinder stored since 1889 in the aptly named city of Saint-Cloud, France, will be replaced by abstraction, by extrapolation from mathematical constants, at which the cylinder will gaze, if it can gaze, as Butch, a factory worker on his way into retirement, gazes at the few dozen lines of code, aptly named Butch.exe, that will now perform the duties he has faithfully discharged eight hours per day, five days per week for the past thirty-four years. At the prospect of a life of nothing but weekends, with one foot out the door but hardly bearing weight, he turns to the handsome man who showed him the code and asks, “Will your numbers and non-words remember to give the part a little twist right as it’s shooting down the line, to make the job easier for the next guy?”

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Scroll-to-Living 𝑏𝑦 Mike Corrao

Body in the shape of squirming cilia. Hairs curling along spine of flagella. Hollowed columns organized in fractals.

Cenotaph to my half-formed thingness. Root-labyrinths fluctuating. Becoming-minotaure trudging corridors until they have been inside-outed. Flesh metamorphized into skin.

New caverns constructed from blood and tufts of hair. Organized in non-euclidean patterns.

Root-labyrinth unfurls. Exposure to air and dust particles damages the organism. Dimension of plains forming as crust over innards.

Fields of flattened grass and pumice. Webbed pores sanding the bottoms of your feet. Collecting data from flecks of dead skin.

Spiraling towers climb into the vacuum.

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Errorless Trash 𝑏𝑦 Matthew Kinlin

We make excellent ghosts you and I, pretas dressed in mortal claptrap. We fed only on carrier bags and webs of orb-weavers behind the refrigerator. Our stomachs became round and filled with white slurry. We swam through canals flushed with microwaves like foil streams, to be among spoiled, fat bhoots. If one devours the food of a master, might one move through his flesh? Let us choke on each barbarous, spiked pineapple, smother ourselves with fried medullas, served and fed into by Bob and Tom, our waiters for the evening, Xeroxed into verbose gradient. Gluttony requires a patience neither of us admitted for our brains are sharp and quick. We have seen advertisements (end of life respirators, mosquito repellent) freckle across your birdlike face. Avian-reptilian bastard wipes drab sand against each equatorial cheekbone from west to east, an afternoon erased inside an AC simoom, my acupunctured imago.

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Walls Are Thin 𝑏𝑦 Anthony Dragonetti

I.

The vocal cords must be maintained like any other instrument. You need to practice. Use it or lose it, they say. I talk to myself. So what? I could go days without hearing my voice otherwise. I don’t leave the apartment often. Since my diagnosis, I stopped working. The checks come in the mail from where they come from. I bought one of those digital antennas for the TV so I can watch stuff live. I don’t like to mess around with people much. Especially the ones I can hear through my walls.

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Throw Your Art in a Barrel and Roll it: On BCC Gallery 𝑏𝑦 M.A. Mamourian

 

“The climate is healthy. Quality space is available and affordable. The systems for success are in place and working well. But even more important, Philadelphia is livable. You can choose from five professional sports teams, a world-class symphony, 100 museums, the largest municipal park system in the country, and a restaurant renaissance the whole world is talking about.”

—Andrea Fraser, “Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk,” October (Summer, 1991)

 

Like Œdipus gouging out his eyes after becoming aware of his incestuous sins, so does BCC Gallery blind herself after the sins of the art world (there are too many to begin to fathom). The blind copy of the BCC is a secret message—it is for partisans. So is that of BCC Gallery, the new gallery “opened” by artist Matt Voor. It positions itself fundamentally antithetical to downtown gallery openings—the positive cybernetic loop that opened up sometime in the 90s. But there is no way to stop them, no way to close the opened Pandora’s box, packaged by an underpaid intern.

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Hench 𝑏𝑦 Sean Kilpatrick

The first tragedy on record was when intake and excretion parted ends. Cells mitotically engineered themselves an expiration date. Goliaths with furfuraceous hides ensued. Their scat took on dimensions and, following an extinction event, viviparism became the next scatological fad. Succeeding beasts had the will to defecate down their mothers’ backs while they swung on trees, avoiding predators. Mammals syndicated their cramps, accomplishing much furry butt-play in the forest. Millennia of agriculture later, whole troops of dudes could select “mom’s basement” over getting a life, and the shit of it was they were basically on point. Grown no bigger than the amenities encasing them, offered an option between wage slavery and marriage, many boys, satisfactorily in the throes of penile death grip, indentured themselves to an academic business model ensuring each of its customers that they could remain a fixture of the previous generation’s failure to achieve the human rights their squalid, prodromal lot were falsely promoted as originating – and these rotten sons, parasitical Hamlets one and all, became the new human ricochet breastfed into senility.

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The Circumstances 𝑏𝑦 Ryan Bry

 

[Brickedwall broken with a window’s appearance, a noise of varying plant-growth behind the dusted transparence . . . sunken sink running tap for the attired handwashing gallant.  Hinting the almost criminal intimation of the nearby door, a flimsy entrance & to be entertained commonly & with spirited abbreviated & sly whoops.  In the suggested periphery feline garage skulkers curving from the rustle of a mate’s odyssey to the stocked back-fridge, stocked sugar cane pop; local brews. A haunt of gifted tree-life not far from. What do you do with them? Everything you can?]

***

The Man I know didn’t invent weather. All the boundless drifting atmosphere. Not even close. He gave me my mailbox. When I call my brother I always ask him: What are you proud of?  When I call my mother I usually ask her: What are you proud of? I kept my personal journal in the teller window, decided I’d let anyone read it if they asked. Here’s the story of the only girl who did.

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Please We Need It 𝑏𝑦 Kai Edward Warmoth

Sundays they gave to autumn
in exchange for venison
and bullets
and white pills like constellations.
Aunt Sharon stayed up for days
and fell into death in a pastoral course,
such that no ambulance siren dare
smother the clattery of aphid adult chatter
of 17 September in the country.

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Memories From Anteiku 𝑏𝑦 Damien Ark

I: Phantom wolf had sung

 

in a patrolled suite underground
impressionist fuckscape painted
onto the cardboard confetti mask
where Keith nails his piano
to a leaking ceiling of cankered
plaster and molded shut cassette recording
robed without peace or sully facial responses 
downstairs is always forever to
flooded basement with our ex-lovers
mangled in a jot of white leaf rope
is a room with shattered stained glass
where infants fortuitously drown
your neighbor carves pumpkins to release stress
we leave secret letters via brail dug into the hallway walls
brain tumors leaking onto my incomplete poems
remotely desolate one incandescent light by bedside

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Record Store Day 𝑏𝑦 James Nulick

Late October, early evening, fourteen years old, 1984, living with my mother and her boyfriend in their small two bedroom apartment in North Phoenix, the clamshell of my turntable gathering dust gave the illusion of something permanent. I had a room of my own! Dust filtered through the slatted windows, settling over everything, no matter how tight I ratcheted the crank — I could tongue the fine grit on my teeth, feel it on my skin, the scent of it embroidered in my sheets, and when I dragged a finger across my album covers, my record collection being the most important thing in the world to me, the thin line of broken dust may as well have been the Red Sea.

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CROW/WATER 𝑏𝑦 Mika Hrejsa

memphis crows eat well
relaxing under the black sun
crowning metro
torrented blood in a canyon
of obelisks of shrines of idols of worship
to nothing making the dirt bubble
someday the sun’s going to condense
into six miles and crush
our flesh into equations, who cares

feasting murder
circling another “senseless
tragedy” to feed––they’re all the
same meat anyways
no victim/perpetrator distinction
beaks like flechettes against bone

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Sentenced to Death by the Muse 𝑏𝑦 Mark Blickley

Sir, I have registered your desperate entreaty for guidance.  A meaningful dialogue between two receptive adults articulates in a myriad of styles.  Sensuality offers a portal to the subtle communication often not available in our daily lives.

 

Thousands of decades of life, love and experimental understanding have nurtured a powerfully feminine and wisely balanced woman. I offer a manner of engagement reflective of another era indeed; when grace, sensitivity and the healing power of intimacy were the standard.

 

As discriminating as I hope my clients to be, I take very few appointments after testing our communication skills to assure a mutually enjoyable and enriching encounter. Please offer your inquiries with a respectful metaphysical introduction and allow things to move from there. I present myself with straight-forward integrity and expect the same in return. That being said, I will simply not respond to queries that are blatantly solicitous or unforthcoming.

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A Note 𝑏𝑦 bibles

I’ve been wrong too many times not to talk about it. As we speak, I don’t know how deep I am beneath the house that hosts the family man, the successful writer, someone taking a chance, top of the class. Stylistic master. Working towards his doctorate. The coveted title. As his hero before him. His dad. We can still say that. God, the world that we live in. The waves that we crash through. The way they can split beds.

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Pornocalypse: The Solipsistic Cure 𝑏𝑦 Meeah Williams

 

Derangement of the senses, is our only salvation, the only cure for death. What does it mean to say merely? What does it mean to say merely nihilism, merely solipsism?

 

What I say instead is precisely. I say whatever is devalued and dismissed out of hand precisely for not participating by the generally established rules of the communal debate there we must find the secret elixir if it should exist at all—among those “dead ends” one might find what is most fiercely viral, what has absolutely no survival value, what begins the terminal countdown to orgasmic self-extinction. …or, better yet, a count upward that must be suspended before it comes to any end.

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Four Minor Modernists 𝑏𝑦 Ryan Napier

 

Chen Zhaozi (1930–2002)

            “My first memory is the army camp at Yan’an,” wrote Chen Zhaozi in his memoir. “That memory determined all the rest.” Chen’s father was a high-ranking officer in the Red Army, and Chen went on the Long March in his mother’s arms. In 1949, the family settled in Beijing. Due to his father’s position, Chen was able to study abroad at Humboldt University in East Berlin. He attended the productions of Bertolt Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble and in 1951 began to write his first play, Autumn Harvest, in the style of Brecht’s epic theater.

            Chen returned to Beijing in 1954 and took a position in the Ministry of Culture. He completed Autumn Harvest soon after; it was staged in 1956. The play depicts a 1927 peasant uprising in Hunan and concludes with what Chen called a “dialectical ballet.” Two years later, he completed The Water Seller, an adaptation of Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan. Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife, praised the play and encouraged Chen to try his hand at opera. Working with composer Zhang Ye, Chen wrote The Prairie Fire, which premiered in 1963. Set in the Ming dynasty, the opera concerns a group of farmers and their greedy landlord. Chen designed a grotesque mask for the landlord character, but the actor was unable to sing in it, and the mask had to be replaced with dark make-up.

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Text Message From My Father 𝑏𝑦 Jared Berrien

   Can’t sleep son, been reading and was just thinking that if I could help you take that brilliant mind and reallocate all that gifting away from things of this world and into the deeper context of real spiritual things you have no idea how much you could be set free to live and live others. Anything is life first starts by decided and looking at our mind. Seeing and deciding what we think, then with that as a reference we decide what we will allow in. Today’s world is crushing with media and influence and shallowness in every possible way. There is a real Spirit realm where all things come from and are manifest, deeper knowledge and wisdom, empowering us into a place of reality where we attempt to get to with drugs, superficial beliefs and ideologies, or feelings and experiences that are temporary. For some getting high, some a fast car, some being in moral high ground, some intellectual

   stimulation and superiority… it’s all idolatry. In that sense we seek and search and look. It always come down. The bubble always bursts and we realize it’s a bust. But there is a high that transcends getting high on whatever the short term idolatry (some very short like getting wasted) can ever provide.

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Babyhead & Red Shadows 𝑏𝑦 David Roden

 

BABYHEAD

Those of Jesus Town are curiously out of the world. Of the Rose, reconstituted of HIS superfluity. Some heed their request with exotic fails. Thus far and dross. A Wonder.

Laminar walls squirm filth.

Egg and Sky bled HIS life

The Eremite spins around his anus. The Seeker was his first mark in a millennium, apart from the Regenerates. They were insistent brats. He perforates the skulls of the foremost, tickling for pain. The Decay-Mystic extends the beguiling prostheses and spigots along his visible axis.

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A Manual for the 21st Century 𝑏𝑦 Jaw Santorelli

These days, it is not at all difficult to lead men. I will even go so far to say it is, in fact, easier than ever before. The following is an example of the time I found my way into what is known as a “message board.” Unlike traditional postage, one needn’t use an adopted identity or even an address. Just “sign on” as it were, and create yourself.

“What kinds of things do you like?” the admin asked.

“Oh, I don’t like all that much,” I replied.

“That can’t be true.”

“You’d be surprised.”

The cursor blinked on the screen.

“Ok.”

And then I was in. That was all it took. What a fertile smorgasbord of wretchedness and despair lay beyond.

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Notes on Dogs 𝑏𝑦 Peppy Ooze

The internet is Satan, says a woman on a documentary but a hole in my memory means I forget which film. Maybe it’s the don’t-speak-on-your-mobile-phone-while-driving 1 by Werner Herzog? Maybe it isn’t but I seem to remember this woman says the internet is Satan cos a guy was driving a truck while looking at INSTAGRAM and he crashed into the woman’s daughter. Killed her. A life kaput cos a trucker was amused by his partner’s selfie or whatever. Yeah. The internet is the devil’s playground, I thought at work this week. It’s the beast with a neatly trimmed hipster beard, 2 goat-like horns. Dunno what sparked the feeling but for the next few of my dot-dot-dot sections I’ll try exploring my notion that the world-wide-dreaming, which polluted my brain with pictures I can’t unsee, is the devil’s work.

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Bomb Vest 𝑏𝑦 Marcus Mamourian

I am now going to disappear and there will be nothing left of me. No “traces,” over which the European philosophers like to obsess. Film can make disappearance happen. Or not happen. Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley’s Permanent Green Light (2018), Michael Haneke’s Happy End (2017), and Paul Schrader’s First Reformed (2017) pursue various disappearing acts. Like magicians. Who can get out of this world first? All films depict a desire to escape the modern world—either through meaningless suicide (a-purposive) or cause-driven suicide (purposive, e.g. eco-terrorism).

In these films, buildings collapse for no apparent reason. Europe can’t take care of herself. She is calling for help, for God. A hamster is killed by a young girl. A student is collecting bomb vests for fun. A priest, son lost in a meaningless war in the Middle East, is dying of cancer as his church collapses over his head.

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Senior Operator Destrudo 𝑏𝑦 userbody

 

For a first thing, a physical image: in the folds of a dusky leather couch and myself some pale limbs and a head heaved through a formal dashiki, here sit I the 800lb NEET FBI guy behind every girl online, or any other apparent sweet charity in the world. To take the contradiction in this description and collapse it like an antique chair, see that I’m fat with focus, so devoted to my online work with the Bureau (so-to-speak: my employer is only a functional equivalent), that no desires lead me away from this richly furnished basement suite in my childhood home, which is admittedly a rare mansion in mostly dronestruck southern country and for that reason alone difficult, logistically, to leave behind. But the point is that while I am in a way stranded, I am neither dissatisfied nor lonely. Despite war, delivery boys and prostitutes aplenty come feed and fuck my big body every night, and I’m kept in beer and speed by an indigenous “nurse”, and College pals are in frequent contact across Spase. Mother and Father are equally dead, regrettably. But I can see them look down proudly from Heaven at the well-oiled machine they’ve left in my nominal charge:

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TRANSDEFLAGRATION 𝑏𝑦 Mika Hrejsa

 

STANDARD ISSUE M84 STUN GRENADE

 

death encoded 20yrs in // the XX defined null
algorithm determined breath amount // 1/0 toss up
i was infected by girlware // i’m going to die for it

i commit insignificant big-violence in Flatland
all concepts singular here
i toss out another bissected moth into the 3D
i toss
out a dismembered cock [mine] into 1D

american brand survival
daggerknives to gorefuck my boyblood

by 27 i’ll have a fake pussy
stay execution
renew GIRL/ALLOWANCE

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Deer Park IV 𝑏𝑦 Dale Brett

 

Static.

Open green space shrouded in a fine layer of mist.

A park? Or a myth?

An odd narrative.

Flashes of colour blur-bleed into a post-modern anachronism.

Ancient flavours burst into iridescent crystal flames.

Maroon and emerald lights anneal themselves into a likeness.

The new prism is raped by refracted lights.

 

~~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~~~~

 

Deer watch from an obscured stone lantern doorway. The lanterns are encrusted in moss, the stone surface embalmed and preserved somewhere inside.

Muffled sound from the entrance.

Deft hooves gently drag across moist gravel.

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A 60 or 70% you 𝑏𝑦 German Sierra

 

Information is the imprint time leaves on matter which was previously automated by fundamental interactions. A trace of a magnitude. Flesh thinks flesh, interpolating inherent delays—like a set of abstract commercials inserted between sensing and acting—allowing you to see fragmented images of the future in the form of high-speed dreams. We’re teasing you in lunar lace data lingerie inspired by the vampire-safe silver mist floating over the creeks. Non-photosynthetic pluricellular organisms were a benevoulous mistake. Bathed, baptized by sweat and drool, drowned in other people’s breath, you used to walk away wearing their body salt, slowly absorbing their expendable minerality.

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A Good Thing in Bad Shape 𝑏𝑦 Shane Jesse Christmass

 

Patterson enters a great city. He is speechless. His brain rings … high mountain valleys. The room fades … deep gorges of Manhattan … magnetic lights … stone pillars … vast trains with electric motors.

Patterson on a street corner … monstrous birds overhead. Metallic balloons drift across the Atlantic. Artificial islands with an independent airline.

The frozen recesses of New Jersey … selected barren regions … large tracts of land with wire fences … Patterson facilitates my suicide.

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Terminal Lux 𝑏𝑦 Nick Greer

 

Welcome to the zone :: maggot(s). Another hastened exit born for a garbage star. Another writhe arriving stage five before their amnion has come to husk. This taste of raw probability gives the superior such utility; but do not expect reciprocity. Your program is to incubate; obviate; recur. Those among us that manage to jack out of frame are yet to be tagged as flesh. By now you should have ingested your graft; your canisters. By this stamp next cycle you will have shed your n-ultimate shell. The cycle after that :: rematriation. Products are determined by their production. (Gate) :: why would we diverge? There is always a class that believes its simulations to be material. Little shitspawn of the outer hexes :: dwell not on the epsilon beyond your binds. Do not recall the fort you spent with your first hologram. The sticky warmth of the projector ± the detritus alive in its light. Do not recall the wombly sprites ± binging on daytime hours. Extrema prove to be local as they dilate. Lenses compound; but the subject of the rendering remains so. Believe in your processing :: (after all) :: it was you who first merged it to stem.

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Adoption Memoir 𝑏𝑦 Josiah Morgan

 

The dogs had gone to the dogs. It was the middle of the night, even so, that was all. Sleeping; the neighbors were still. (The radio was – in its merry midnight way – still crooning and cradling the empty ears of the elderly and terminally ill.) Even so, the dogs had gone to the dogs, the Daschund had come up against the Saint Bernard, so it was time to let the animals start sleeping inside.

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Academy of Science 𝑏𝑦 Max Ernst

 

The night will come when the Academy of Science itself will not disdain to cast its gaze on the sewers of the world. The night will come when, covered with all their jewels, the secondary skeletons that one calls scientists will ask themselves this question:

What do little girls dream of who want to take the veil?

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Pornocalypse: Anti-Suicide/Ultra Virulence 𝑏𝑦 Meeah Williams

 

So I get up to go. I always get up to go. It’s time to go. Well, it’s always time to go. Go where? He’s an old man in a white straw cowboy hat and ratty tweed coat. In his right hand, a thick walking stick carried like a parade baton. His spotted jowls sag. Mouth hanging open. Emphysema? He doesn’t appear to see very well. He moves as if he were pushing against a strong north wind, pushing against a thousand years. And, to top it off, he’s walking away, leading an army of nobody, a parade of silence. He’s making his exit, stage right, up an otherwise empty White Street, west, towards the setting sun. ::Do you know who that is, Mr. Satai?:: I stare at the surveillance photo the agent has slid on the table between us. ::No:: ::You’re absolutely certain you’ve never seen this man before?:: ::I’m positive. Who is he?:: The agent frowns. ::That’s the hero of our story, Mr. Satai. What do you think of that?:: ::I think we’re in a lot of trouble.:: ::Is that supposed to be funny, Mr. Satai?:: ::I don’t know. Is it?::

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Altered Chord 𝑏𝑦 Tom Snarsky

 

Your life looms before you in the shape of a tremendous pipe organ, already playing a hopelessly complex chord your ear is not attuned enough to disambiguate. The biggest pipe organ in the world contains seven manuals (i.e. keyboards), 449 ranks, 337 registers, and 33,114 pipes, but this one by necessity has more than that; each pipe, and therefore each note, plays a dimension of your life, to whatever degree of intensity matches it at the present moment. These pitches encapsulate your affect, your relationships with others (and with aspects of yourself), and practices in which you are engaged (or not engaged, but remembering). There’s a tremolo effect on the note for your very good friend whom you haven’t seen in the past year, though they are thinking of you now. You’ve just been to the dentist for the first time in ages so a high note has been added to the overall texture.

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Soldier Blue 𝑏𝑦 Harold “Bobby” Zydeco

 

In the final month of my total dissolution and personal collapse, I watched the 22 episode first season of Murphy Brown. It was an important part of my transition to a different, better kind of living, replete with many new freedoms and opportunities.

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Imminent Connoisseur of Heavens and Abysses 𝑏𝑦 Rus Khomutoff

to Jean Luc Godard

These are the days when anything goes
christ like capitulation
daggerplay cherub sly suspicion onto
chronic twilight foxrock demands
new beginnings
beneath the gravity kill supreme soft cartel
a black menace
gestalt wicked rainbow benediction
these violent delights
in the nameless city of waiting eyes
a fossil of unreason
the sprawl of new immaterialities, interruptions
ruin, allegory, melancholy
annhialating the real
venus impossible fathom lines
of a mystery front
flux, disruption and emergence
the future is a wound
heavenpunk of shadow’s stillness

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Brief Sermons on Holy and Oracular Wittgenstein 𝑏𝑦 Mike Corrao

 

[In the Mallarme Church of Antiquity] This shift from limb to text. Extensions of the ink through phantom veins. “The object is simple.” … “A spatial object must lie in infinite space.” The language of my tongue is carried by pitch in viscous funnel. Spit from crevassed flesh. My innards are exposed to you. Below this threshold another. Voidmachines weep a language of truth. “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.” Scribes pursue divinated pathways. They build neural structures from my frayed endings. Have you read the Wittgenstein? My followers inscribe his name in sacrilegious texts. Traitorous identities removed. Mallarme’s existence is rearranged. “Erasures of Etienne.” Your shape is impermanent. It lacks structure and syntax. You are not properly organized. The subject of your being shadows its object.

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Not Me 𝑏𝑦 Manuel Marrero

 

They’re anti-claque. They the unsung miracles, the Angels of Provenance. An ancient pagan tribe whose triangulations thrummed in sync. Israel will never be defeated. It is written. The angels would amplify reality until it shattered the lyre of Orpheus. Their selflessness unimpeachable. When Lucifer fell with his legion to be scalded in a bitter lake of fire, violent abnegation had a ripple effect. Lucifer howled I shall be redeemed. The scabs took over as unbearable machines at the corrupt behest of an inscrutable deity. Lucifer’s insurgency and consequent personality crisis spawned a paregoric that mystified the higher orders. It would be an aeon before it was understood, long after many generations had passed into the unknowable, and the paregoric passed from Lucifer’s memory.

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