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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.



For there are but four cycles

My oath, promissory note

To the Glistening One

To meet my mentor

O Tiamat,

Not slain in vain

For the ruins of creation were

Once lush



Danse Macabre!

I fashioned

A play

I formed the sea and firmament of your soul

Axis Mundi of your ribs

Anima Mundi


Dramatis Personae


Their thesis was antithesis. Antipodal, to return the wretches to their primordial sea, return dominion to the sacked Mother of Chaos, Tiamat. The Vedic scriptures pertaining to Kali Yuga approximated the climax.


Myself? I was still waiting. It seemed all I could do. The walls of my confines were glass. My captor had swallowed the key, and butchered the calf of romance as I watched. She wasn’t malevolent, merely etherized. American life had subsided into an almost zen-like complacency, the Hegelian end, anathema for the Judeochristian disciples, ripe agency for the monolatrists. But vatic forces were gathering now to disrupt their binary equilibrium. They were angling to make a run for it amid a million pale moments. The godheads of speciation were bowed. The nature of complicity was a breath. I’ve never felt more alone so cry for me, would ya? Clarify your position, enrich the stragglers who are loath to choose a side on any terms not their own. I am but a mild acquaintance to you, the reader, but won’t you visit with me now and then? You’re not even fucking real, you might say, and I did say that, to a comely, shapely face on the other end of a bifurcated time zone. She said, I have to be able to see the whole thing. It doesn’t feel valid. I tried to tell her we were all Gods, that through the screens we thrived, we were like Romans. Pick a fight with an empath any day of the week but today we are like the Romans. Anything you want, you can see, visualize and take. I tried to vindicate your plight, Candida, by telling you the heuristic truth. God is not very interesting, but demigods were a different story, so take the piss home but don’t expect the bank to recognize fiat currency. It takes a village to make useful idiots and replicate them by conceit. If by some mischance you should be splayed on the stern or your mighty hull, I will come from you, for you, seeing double. But for now, I wait in the palladium. The parts of me that told me to stop waiting on you broke. Your wound so deep it poisoned my mind.


Subsidized by the high strata, the life I’d been given was forfeit. I lived in a resort town. I had fallen in love with a woman on the internet, and the memory formed the chains I now shook.


We call them howlers. The ones with underdeveloped amygdalas and swollen oblongatas that surfaced from the brine of the pelagic realm only yesterday. An imperceptible shroud, antennae like lightning rods, athletic. I can’t allow you to be happy. I just can’t enable that, as much as you would otherwise have my support. So I’m here to meet the moment halfway. By all means be my guest. Evil arcane and incarnadine. A lament for the crestfallen. The red letter sings.


The valkyrie that brokered this meeting is perhaps the only reason I show. I’m not sure why, but it’s just as well that I loved her once, before every day became death, and every night its painful afterglow. If the aerolith that struck the dustbowl and dug the great southern Crevasse couldn’t bring me back, imagine her profound importance to me. Soon, they’ll cast their eyes skyward in terror, and the bellicose Angels, the ones of lore, of the revanche, will attempt to plunge the obsidian dagger into the primordial cavity. And Second Ruction will be the last.


Oh but honey have you guessed my name yet? My dance is the reason you don’t sleep at night, flickering in a coruscating mosaic. It’s the smallest things in this world, the inverse of what you might believe, that would devour, should they be granted the abject opportunity. When you observe the macro, its infinite vastness and internal molecular complexity, the micro seems hardly worth saving. So why am I here, overlooking their latest work? My erstwhile compatriots whose ancient tongue I alone to pronounce. Why, for love of course. The elemental trinity, the trident, the holy ghost. The howlers, they’re but emboldened vessels housing gizzards, circling a fire pit, making rain to intensify the blaze. My blaze. I burn slow, brighter in a dark age, a beacon for those who might seek me out, a lodestar in the terrible light of dawn.



Couched in the cushions of nuance, cornered by conviction, she emanates at last, evacuating a terrestrial pore, with the most vacant eyes I’ve ever countenanced. Time has aged her, cored her out, exsanguine, gaunt and severe. I do not shock easily; there’s gravity, and time, the bitch. Have you guessed yet? I wear the albatross — but never your red letter. I am dearly beloved and feared. I speak evenly in antiquated tones and high diction. I am always at eye-level with despair, and should you mingle, you will find me. Automata now, autosuggestion. Anodyne, tepid, toothless. Know thy enemy. They stalk. Draw a box plot. Volcanic prone. I will paint for you the deep south ether. Ball bullet point sclera, the enemies mollusk, crustacean. Cognitive strain of milk maids, I feel numb, ode to a goat. Fucker. Into a deep ether. Aeries’ acclivity, their declension a declivity, a proclivity for the precipitous, a fount of beauty terrible how I warned you it would be propitious. Sumnter, it was grand. The plebiscite convene used to lapping up the adulation lavished on you by worthier men. Jealous, thought you weren’t good enough to plagiarize. Make maps of my thoughts.


You appear startled. I know I’m not the sight for sore eyes you once bristled and moaned at.


I’m pacing you in the material realm, but lapping you in the eternal sleep.


The ice sheet melts on schedule. Even under arbitrarily improved conditions, the pressure will buckle the ecosystems. But I haven’t summoned you to weep at the prisoner’s dilemma. Another arbiter awakens.


I have felt the Glistening One. She stirs anew, animated by noumenous breath. Your dogged sense of virtue once endeared you to me, but the picture, you must see, is unchanged. The holocene gasps her last breath. The children…


The children are stillborn.


Then why procrastinate the inevitable? Why get me involved? Parlor tricks like today…they’re a drop in alluvial floodplains.


Speciation is not agency; it is the will of the Lord to complete the fourth cycle. The Angels are arrogant. Revelations is a telos. It is a final solution.


The will of the lord…


Tell me you don’t still harbor spite.


You know it not in my nature. Spite does not pertain to our lingua franca…


I know there’s bitter resentment. For the extant texts? The ones that misrepresent you, conflate you with other demons.


At this, Hypatia extends a hand to brush my cheek.


Remember, whomever’s plan it is, it’s always been the overwhelming urge of the empyrean to salvage meaning. But their meaning attends cost. It cost us.


I choke. Make no mistake, I would scorch the earth still, if it brought us back together. Dislodge riverbeds and basins from Abysssynia to Albion. A hot wind is transferred from her palm. Smoldering. The Herodic archetype. The Palace Guard. The Pharaoh’s army. An army of the dead. Pretend army. Scapegoat through a needle’s eye, a Homeric nod and a wink offering blood meal. Or donation. The dumbly held suspicion you cling to. To promote misery, nihilism and heroin. H town reigns in hell. Let no man reign. Protect pederasts.


And what kind of grassy knoll shit was that?


The half-life of what you planted aeons ago is expiring. The desire addicts are raving. Their tongues sterling— Satanic Babelists.


Annelids, Cephalopods, Nautilus. Roving gangs of marauders on the infernal runway. A runaway svelte. You took my reasons with you, Persephone.


And now I’ve come to return them. Write it down.


But you forget. You’re not me.


I will lash the earth. I will rain indignities. I will bring the Fall.