You are currently viewing A Good Thing in Bad Shape by Shane Jesse Christmass

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.

Patterson’s powerful body … cruel pistol shots and knife wounds. Corrosive poisons … poured by Patterson … down my throat. These agonizing tortures.

Countless furnaces erected inside Battery Park. The mere weariness of Patterson’s body. Steel wire fences assembled with rapid speed. Powerful horses with long red gashes. A uniformed policeman with a hand of dynamite. Wild confusion inside a small alley.

Patterson dines with a mysterious companion. They speak in subtle tones. He is a handsome young gentleman. Patterson has a fat face. You could fit him in a small box. Skin like tissue paper. Twenty-four hours of non-stop fucking. We sign legal documents. We change our names for large sums of money.

A sad world full of secondhand clothes. Patterson in a silent corridor. Tiny dots in the fire flame. This is the seventh time Patterson has tried to kill me. A great dome full of machinery … intricate mechanisms … molten metal. Movie theatres pulsating with invisible vibrations. Factory whistles and automobile horns inside an apartment house.

A long moment of light grey sky. A metal tube full of regulation sleep. A dull shine across Manhattan. Surgical instruments placed on a black panel. The antiseptic air … five minutes of silence … a green haze … a soft breeze … Patterson beneath the blue sky.

Patterson’s long body … the summer evening … his body pressed against mine. A small figure in the side street. An electric scalpel … a man’s voice … my new body. Shock waves on an unseen shore. The green tide of a strange look. A cold man dead. Patterson talks in faint whispers. An open mouth with quiet laughter. This is late afternoon.

My time with Patterson is all subsequent days of safe behaviour … sharp eyes and unusual efforts at fucking. Patterson pays me some substantial amounts of money. Patterson advises me he is going to become a hotel thief in Mississippi … a powerful man … a professional burglar.

Unsound horses plod down an uptown street. Patterson and I move to Baltimore. Small holes in heavy doors. A thin layer of red putty on the heavy boards. Noxious gases coming from the subway and wharf. A violent quarrel between Patterson and I … full of stormy language and full confession. We fuck all night.

Patterson and I are in serious trouble. We move into a fashionable boarding-house. We follow our instructions. Patterson has powerful hairy hands … enormous physical strength … he is American. He purchase a large revolver. He makes an honest living using evil ways.

Patterson and I holiday at a well-known sporting-resort. We take the train there. We have the correct appearance and our clothes all stuffed into canvas pouches. We dine with an attentive salesman. He was previously a store detective. He takes an envelope from his coat pocket. He bounces bad checks and smokes cigar butts. Patterson places thumb marks on my chest. He sprays himself with various perfumes. I dress in some ill-fitting and disreputable suit.

Patterson hasn’t had a substantial meal since last Monday. I am drawing pictures on loose sheets of paper. Patterson and I are moving out towards Minnesota. It is a dark evening. Patterson has brilliant blue eyes … yellow hair … a fox-like expression … a waxy paleness … ears like tenderloins.

Patterson has a bad nervous condition … he’s vile … a fair copy of illness. Patterson has broad shoulders … he lounges in some comfortable chair … drinks good wine in midsummer afternoons. It is a hot day. Patterson and I fuck for a thousand dollars.

Black tuff drowning in real water. I’m passed out in some obscure area … snoring behind the apartment door. My passport has been cancelled. Patterson writes down his contact number. I have misplaced my credit card. This all sounds way too mysterious.

Patterson is now an unfamiliar face. This is a terrible dream. He is a small human figure. Smashed‐in windows all along Bowling Green. The relentless sameness of our relationship. All small talk and night insects.

Nearby trees pressed against black sky. I fall asleep. A popular narrative. Patterson walks with a slight limp. I walk in the
opposite direction. Sudden rain against car window. Demonic crosses imbedded in the near distance. Patterson has shiny hair.

Animal shadows underneath afternoon sun. Patterson and I are sitting in the basement. It is a cold winter night. We pick apart small metal objects. A bright hot sun. A vast pine forest. Long stretches of black sky. Silent drones in the airspace.

Large birds circle the antenna tower. We hid amongst the tall prairie grass. The earth spins and my head expands. It is a pale morning. Fingertips stained with nicotine. This could be anyone’s story. This is not my story. The sun exists. Patterson does not.

The tree swallows me whole. I have a smoked‐down cigarette between my fingers. A slow shadow across city streets.

Patterson doused in bird‐blood … buried in riverbank mud. I stare at the plate glass storefront windows. They’re eerie … it is a pale morning. Oak trees pour upward from long dry grasses. The pleasant warmth of the morning sun. Frost patterns no more.

Huge mountains constructed beneath Manhattan … a new abyss. Patterson purchases me a toy telescope. A glassy mass of skyscrapers. Colossal tubes beneath the Atlantic Ocean. I am asleep in the guest room. Intelligent creatures under unlimited sunlight. A metal sheet full of small holes. A black crust on my driving gloves.

Precise patterns of pulsar frequencies. Patterson has a black eye. He is a sterile lump of gentle air and contented laughter. I have spent entire years with his strange smile. This isn’t the first time he has tried to kill me.

The soft undulation of Patterson’s skin. Factory smokestacks from my window. Unfamiliar hands upon my body. The wind blows red confetti through Koreatown. Pustules on my bare legs. Pervasive odours adorn the streets.

Dusty firewood in the fireplace. My final day to be alive. Patterson’s bluish hands across my throat. I have an unbearable thirst. Strange fabric smoke into my nostrils.

Patterson’s graceless silhouette. He doesn’t flinch when the wind hits him. Horrible burns on his cold skin. Patterson and I fuck with regular intervals.

Red phosphorus bare skulls inside the furnace outside. The ambient heat keeps us warm. The town’s clocks ring out. Corpses strewn having succumb to ancient magic.

My thirst … I am naked on an ink‐black carpet the still‐open door. My body’s decomposition … the phosphine emanations … the smooth skin … an internal combustion.

Patterson is sealed in an airtight tank … a total vacuum … he is disoriented.

Patterson and I fuck inside a marble vault.

My fingers shrivel … the sheets are damp … the sharp crackle of blood pouring from my ear. Blue ink as fiery breath. Rust as a particular skin disease. The touch of the seat leather. My muscles are bruised. My body in a display case. A constant spit of rainfall.

Patterson’s pubic hair. His prick. The constant feeling of his prick … an iridescent mass.

Corrosive gases throughout Lower Manhattan. Damp asphalt as the rain stops.

Artificial suns flood … an unbearable light. Patterson wears a rubber gas mask. I have severe dermatoses.

My indecipherable gurgling. Patterson strangles me. I am behind a high glass wall. The greenish glints of the glass … an odd aquatic tinge.

A tremendous din from the railyard.

The pasty material that is Patterson’s flesh.

Patterson beneath magnesium glare lights … we fuck on a woollen rug in the room downstairs … smothered in potent anaesthetics. Bodies feeling bodies.

My numb fingers. Manhattan as an absurd hell. My lack of brain cells and logical connections … this forgotten jail.

Patterson’s empty eye sockets … the white sun. The mental workings of my memory circuit … the mental unease.

Long Island like a bleak landscape … ammunition shells in the fire pit. Plainclothes security officers discharge the paralysis beam. Patterson has a hollow tooth.

I swallow high-potency poison. It is the right time to do this. Patterson’s face is all angular … cybernetic machines.

The assembly line moving with hypnotic rhythm … my nervous system hidden behind metal walls. Patterson’s dull eyes. My fingers shake. This is our final form … a painless death. Sixteen hours of bells ringing in my head.

Patterson takes his own life. He takes tasteless bites from my chest. I am in absolute darkness. My nervous system shuts down … unescapable pain.

This steamy darkness … this endless sleep … Patterson’s sweat … sweat with an awful bitterness.

Patterson with an unsteady stance. I have terrible fatigue … utter exhaustion … incoherent speech.

Power cables on the floor. Political literature on the floor. Carved gravestones on Rat Island. A cold evening in November.

Man’s body beneath a mesh net. Invisible transmitter inserted into my waist. I keep hearing music when there is no music.

Real experiences of slaughter. Patterson pushed onto a green metal floor. I am inside a transparent glass bubble. Cylindrical pills pushed inside Patterson’s mouth.

The entire city is a musty odour.




Shane Jesse Christmass is the author of the novels, Yeezus In Furs (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018), Napalm Recipe: Volume One (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017), Police Force As A Corrupt Breeze (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2016) and Acid Shottas (The Ledatape Organisation, 2014). He was a member of the band Mattress Grave, and is currently a member in Snake Milker. An archive of his writing/artwork/music can be found at