Now the desk with a gap at the middle, to piss in, that made all the difference, so we thanked them, our legs slid, to the latrine, at this point, where we shat, a week for nothing and the puss, excuse me, or not, but appraise me, my eye, the puss and that, if that, would not address the sty with words, never if, we had them, all of us, two centimetres off each shoulder was enough to fit the desk, looking at each other with eyes that did not see, like yesterday, so they prescribed a shoulder crunch, and something for the glutes, and another thing to sit on, a brass head, cut from the statue at the centre, it fell on my plate together, with the shit that runs down the side into each ear and over the nose, from birds, this bird was dead when I returned, with a bit of web hanging at the neck and its last wet shit on the floor, white urea I’m said, in the web at the neck, long the beak, the web, a creature all eaten up inside and dusty, so they say do ins and ups and the sway to feel better at the desk, no, uric acid, although the best of all was neck retraction, I did in meetings, the sty leaking still, but we all had them, pissing at the middle part that made the difference, four legs and my own in the latrine, today looks unlike yesterday, like then, the sty makes it due to the puss, on the cornea, nothing having changed except that, and the desk, not to forget the latrine, I had forgotten the latrine, that is how my legs slipped, the brass head no shoulders to rest on, so they slid, I forgot that too, in that it might happen, the blue stuff they put in the waste below get on my toes, a better way to sit is with each heel in the eye socket, but they prescribed heel lifts and so I pulled them out, we thanked them mightily then looked for something else that would help, like the death of their world. Our heels slip, we found ourselves, and wading, for good measure as they said, the desk at the centre sat, blue toes, the death of their world that would, it taught us the functional use, and made us dead, at the desk, with five minutes left, the bird itself was dead when I returned so long, the death of their world indeed. A boil in each socket, the crack with moss growing out two beetles pressed into themselves, pulp at the edges, inexpediencies and taken to task for no particular reason, on the soil pipe, appraise me, pass on their apologies to the group, lines, given, lines, think of what we have missed, appraise me, think ahead, of that, and communities that tell themselves they are communities, I am never entirely sure who offers what, they repeated, eyes turned back, the bladder and the pressure, better to piss and not wait, piss every hour, the desk has a hole after all, runs down the head, each minute the piss and professionalism, it would have been purposeful, anyway I piss, work the bit by the other, heighten efficiency, blue fingers, black heels, sink towards the hole in the desk, neck retracted, two feet, five hands, one foot, pushing a film across the surface, it helps to know, a history of what, fuck, language develops later, in any case, keeping sane and solvent no matter that, a hard seat, brass head makes all the difference too, there, the what, a boil in each socket for better suction, appraise me, fill in this form, get better, get worse, find another thing to say, kill it, say nothing, who that, black toes, blue heels, lines, given.
First the drawbridge falls & crushes my head
Then when I respawn I drown in the moat
Two of my hearts are just outlines now & I’m
Underwater from the start this time
But I get tangled down in the loose weeds
& drown anew
Three hearts outlined & they put me in a forest
Lightning & falling trees don’t get me
But the wolves do
I’m up in the turret with four hearts empty
This spawn point doesn’t make any sense but
I’m too hopeless to put up a fight
The NPC is hunched over a mystery box
When I go to look inside they turn
& stab my face
& I respawn with no weapons at the bottom
Of the same dark spire a
Spiral stair spools down to me & I climb it
Now I lose a heart just from fear
I don’t even have to die this time & don’t know
How few I have left but less
Than halfway up the stair a spike triggers
Shoots straight out from the wall through my
Heart & I respawn again in a great hall
Of armors & weapons none of them
Mine I am still unarmed & I take
Barely ten steps before the poleax
In one armor’s arms falls
I respawn on a tiny island in the middle
Of a lake nothing but fog & water all around
I’m wearing the armor whose poleax
Slayed me it’s so heavy it’s making me sink
In the soft dirt I try
Swimming but it’s just more sinking
Through the green water into even softer dirt
This heart outline is
Worse to earn because I just have to wait for it
I respawn finally in a chamber of gold
Barred behind by a platinum door
Two hearts left full
The NPC is here
Hooked up to an iron lung
A golden lung
Their body doesn’t move
Their hair is thin & limp
You have two hearts says the voice
Coming from within
The chamber of gold
Will you give one of them now
It doesn’t take anything to say yes
No special input
Another heart outlines & the machine whirrs
The NPC’s eyes open slow on the golden table
They look over at me sadly
& say thank you
I have one life left too
But maybe you didn’t know
Color returning slowly
To their cheeks
It takes one more to open
The platinum door
This fact hangs like an executioner
Hanged by another
The voice within the chamber of gold is silent
The air is a mystery box
We look at each other in the quiet
Faces crimped with pain
& well-lit in the gleam
From the platinum door
The forever metal
The Hospital complex is visible through a line of stunted trees planted on the other side of a drainage ditch. The water is orange and black, filled with things that ought not to be alive. This thing, this us/er.
Pet’s lips moisten the end of an elegant glass retort. She says she wants it, wants to do it, for me – publication be dammed! This Thing wants to die.
This I, S/he or it (the Thing) which Uses wanders across depleted, poisoned earth. Around us rusting pipes coil round the inert chimneys and gantries of the W Steelworks.
I look down into the ditch’s lugubrious stream of unlife, scoop up the heavy metal soil and fill my mouth and belly slit, curious about what I can metabolize.
Maybe we’ll both die for good this time. I strip, crawl down into the stream, a slip of a body hooked over the edge tonguing the sluggish water. The unlife reaches out in a metaphony of wheeled urchin bodies, intricate molecular machinery mating with my own. Its wave of poisons ratifies me, makes me hard, anxious, determined.
I rise, replace my clothes and look over the tree line towards the ancient Rotunda’s slate grey anatomy, filling sky like colliding moons, surfaces straited and pocked with ornate arches and cracked stone entablature.
Rickety tramways run through sparse, intermittent woodland and hermetic suburbs ferrying a few patients at a time, happy on their junk, furtive about their involvement here. They decline interviews or queries regarding an institution that, to all intents and purposes, serves no one.
I see them mature, trailing opiate drips and monitors round wards, rapt by their new-born, speculative anatomies. Aside beatific suffering, their faces radiate a planar commitment to momentum.
We prefer to think of them as collaborators. Each a former life with its conatus, a senior Promethean once informed me: vessels stitched from skin, bone and gut, suppurating basal tumors, piercings of bamboo.
Invert Queens drag wheeled oxygen cylinders uselessly along corridors, straps biting into soft backs, fanning out their shells like wings.
They entice nearby objects: doors or telephones, stagnant water. When entangled, they are transferred to the new Suicide Wings around the Rotunda: cinder grey blocs, reminiscent of the old Units but larger and less prone to ‘breachers’.
We know enough of your father’s work to imagine what they contain. The puzzle is in why as much as how, Pet says.
I’m in the office at the back of her lab. She gasps as I close my hand around her throat, stroking her vulva with the retort.
The Thing that Thinks hypocritically insists on a safe word. But our limits are my forbearance. There are old weeping incisions between open thighs, cigarette burns the color of memory. This Doll.
The Rotunda bulks above single floor prefabs – maelstrom grey falls under perpetual skies, condition vertigo. The ground doors are covered, only the oculus at the tip of the dome allows unfettered access. That which cannot be seen or attained from the ground.
grains of ocean floor sank as each footstep formed soft craters on the sand; radiating the heat that rippled the sky. i thought of the sea lapping around my ankles until i would be carried from the earth adrift across ocean seen in underwater footage on loop; televisions emitting blue from electronic stores where fish wriggled in an azure realm—someone giggles of their secret world with what they might never tell beneath that sly smirk. when the floods hit the asian peninsula, there was a distinct feeling that society had begun to lose its grip on the world as the once turbulent crowds now pause in city squares momentarily, vendors barter from their kiosks reveling in the commotion that powered the city lights flush in fluorescent sign panels akin to a fantastic carnival where each product was part of some nostalgic experience we reminisced. rather than the future wiped away in these floods, things seemed to get more remote, receding into those megacorp buildings; red signal lights in the evening sky like some fruit grown out of antennas. radio waves leave tears fallen from headlights circulating in melancholic avenues of their perpetual departures that diminished the past thrashing into the frothing buildings that fell beside us along highway balustrades slicing across the earth. land: the support of ground based systems and flags wadded on the flagpoles outside of local bars teeming with an unending ruckus muted in distant rooms from apartment loft towers, seemingly utterly evasive of that wonderful cataclysm.
my unit from blue energy group’s reconnaissance division entered through the hong kong seawall via an unused pipe duct that would have routed water into the city for the reclamation process—our mission: to scout the ruins and gather intel on the flood damage and settlements within the area to inform the company’s revitalization plan for the city. with this, they hoped to be the first to hand this revitalization plan to china, compounding recent gestures such as keeping their business within asia and relaying intel to their ministry of homeland affairs about western competitors. when news of hong kong’s reclamation broke, an overwhelming tension filled our ceo, mr. kwok, who knew in that precise moment that he must be cautious on how to act with the opportunity of new land—headlines called it the age of the new world, claiming land from the raptures of nature that wracked the reserved urban geometry.
the day called “the heavenly descent”, despite the publicized use of weather manipulation devices that fired into the sky circulating a concentration of power into the endless downpour until shafts of sunlight melted the clouds, warmth that enveloped the city started to appear from the falling sea level, revealing the foundations built underwater in a black boxed project which led to the seawall’s activation rising around the city almost in a natural sequence: the eventual territorialization upon their golden land. we were in the pipeline strained by violent waves, feeling more like a chamber with ghosts of unfathomable destruction that left only a red light which twisted our shadows, as they melded into the forlorn darkness, the lieutenant behind me turns to cover our sixes for silhouettes that might appear, obscuring the light for an instance before ending it in a single burst of gunfire flickering within the shaft. such motions tempered in our steps at measured pace—demarcating seconds—each action a separate moment that confirmed a clear course of actions, levelled weapons just a tic away from a firefight until we see a white circle at the end of tunnel, the coming sun.
“Through advanced spellcraft, listen to this
Through memory. The spirit that I will now
Be turning into is a phantom of air,
Is a shard of star shrapnel.
My friend, may I shed
Into the circulatory matrix
That was a digital
Brandishing a dream into
The wild moonlight
Hypnotic techniques of clouds
That leveled the shores
Of Lower Saxony
No source of space
Surrounds this light
Hovering over a glade
A meadow spurned
The wine of my sorrow
A hologram beamed into the
Mind of the people
Infraterrestrial altered state
Rituals, mind powers
A blending of parallel realities
The moonstone, the bloodstone.”
These words are spoken through a filter. They are modulated by topaz. Neon clouds came in with the storm, the sandstorms and cyclones of the nether-regions. The wasted world fed on despair, magnetized to the remote parts of the psyche where negativity corrupts all natural desire to transcend the personal, the limited, the visible parts of the self and go deep into the invisible, the second sight where ordinary awareness gets left behind.
Interstellar owls assist this operation. An interstellar owl is hovering overhead, the oversoul and spirit of the land. It provides something like a conscience. And the alien trumpets, the devil’s trumpet announcing the darkness of Arioch, lord of the seven spheres. The old lord’s skeletal frame and the balance of elemental stones is at hand. A mist passes through azure fugues and carnelian quartz into the crystalline shield. Blood rains through the Shade Gate and into the chamber-sphere of the moon lord, this infernal and decadent canticle,
“May he who loves the abyss cease to exist,
May he who gains the scepter be enmeshed
In bloody waters and infinite darkness!
Leaking vitality and ulterior dimension
As in the way a star imparts its light
To the darkness, to the void
Unimaginably vast, the macrocosmic
Enterprise mirrored by the emptiness
Within our hero, mad Arioch
Host of the iron crown
Cursed by the carnelian quartz
The talisman magnetized to the lunar,
To the unknown, to the second sight”
Soaked in the ashes of long dead enemies, the fire spheres rotate telepathically. Gazing into the crystal as a method of knowing and singeing the impulse for fear, for eliminating all traces of doubt. In the mind of the dreamer is the resolution of a young warrior. The moonstone radiates a chemical atmosphere. The bloodstone seeps into peculiar auras. These floating orbs act as a walkie-talkie to the nether-realms.
“The shape-shifting multiplication of elements,
The werewolves of infernal Voltrex,
A nebulous wasteland and purveyor
Of the gems that are sought,
The moonstone and the bloodstone.”
A current of dark air whispered epic poetry in a dead tongue. The telepathic air had froze the mind of Arioch and in this moment he knew –– his thoughts blackened by fear, that he had gained the second sight. Through the essence of suffering, the darkest star had begun to shine. The star lodged in his heart, implanted at a young age to siphon his desires straight through to the dead had blazed. The void within him pulsed to the current. The nebulous regions through a forgotten haze. The vibrating bloodstone. The supernatural moonstone. Surrounding the topaz throne are the hellhounds from the infernal regions.
Your breath punctures static mirror. I look at it and watch the glass shatter into a moon that dissolves and evaporates into discarded memories. You had written numerous things in an obscured chat box, your silent form dwindling into dusty cracks of a silent room in an apartment.
Your dialogue made my retinas squirm. You typed a sentence that blew a vacuum of digital and imagined pornography into my mind and tore off shards of my eardrum.
“We did erotic things. Having sex underneath an enveloping moon. Can’t you feel me? Swimming in your brain, attacking your neural net, sharpening my passion in your heart.”
I fell atop a discarded moon. You had eyes that pierced the twilight and sank into my fabricated heart strings. The last time I heard your voice, it assaulted me, a form of digital bliss. I suck your static breath and watch it leave the fabricated moon without a trace. You begin typing to me again. I’m aware in my moment of half realized reverie, sitting alone in an office building with lights continuously blinking.
“When can we meet?” she asks me in riddles. “When can we meet under the dying moon? This archaic way of meeting, when my form can disappear in your dream and we can meet and let our bodies aglow.”
I stare out the window of a windowless room. A digital screen for a window. The silent pixelated grass and the smell and auditory sensation of insects chirping their mechanical whirrs. I have neighbors but they exist outside of this box. They call it a digital hell.
I escape during boredom, up at 1am for lack of sleep. Suffering paralysis from the screens but being sucked into the screens just the same. I met her under the rubble of the screens. She said we could destroy the screens together.
Every scene would change. But she would leave me, and I’d feel our meeting was left in vain left to rot in the digital hell. Have you heard of the Deep Blue? She once asked me.
stifling frailty with new skin,
i yearn to feel the concrete
snot like resin crusts my shape
i don’t recognize this person
and that was the plan, sure,
to reconfigure, re-adapt
mixing and matching false solutions
to this chemical puzzle
but i run my teeth across steel
in agonized reluctant sacrifice
i’m biting the edge of my life
every time i try to mold
i break glass with flesh
slashing tendons loose
smearing myself cold
lost in strange reflections
i will never recognize this person
and i refuse to participate
the form is rejecting itself again
and it purges itself
Meandering under a greasy moon
An unctuous lunar ellipsoid
Baleful and buttery
Up: pustular corpse-eye
Down: polyvinyl fondlings
Rubber bullets; wobbly bass
(Read: pert tits; glitch)
Blue attic nights
In which the blue glows sexily
And drones ecstasy
We know weaponry
We throw destiny to the loups-garous
Sensors and metrics and Fidel Castro
Are the future
Arm the neutered
Sepulchrally reboot spongy gray operating systems
Or snort rails of Haitian zombie powder
While watching Roller Blade
Or The Undertaker and His Pals
Or Peter Scully’s appeal
Fuck the lot of them
Their sad sacraments
(The blue of video stores circa 1994)
Barthelme smeared the moon
He had issues with the moon
Our only jumbo night-light showcasing
– illuminating wanly –
All nocturnal earthly horror and miracle
Waves and menstruation
What a meddlesome cosmic ovoid
Coffins rattle around inside my skull
Like a maraca of bone
Let us prey…
On our natural satellite
[DONALD! FUCK YOU!] Star reference: 27 and 1/3
Diameter: 3475 meters kilo
238,900 miles from the blue attic
And still a motif
At that distance
About the girl in the attic: she appears ageless
90 or 9 – who knows?
Anemic and elfin and polyvinyl-hoodied
Likes kitchen-sink magic realism
From Massachusetts probably
That’s only speculation though
She could be made of porcelain for all I know
Green brie/celestial bod
And elegiacal brooding
Brood king elegy
The gradations of an outsider art –
I would read suicide notes as verse
Natural disaster aftermath as organic installation
I would read a schizophrenic hobo’s lice-mealy handscrawled autobiography
I would watch amateur porn and look for fluky symbols
Unintentional abstruse subtexts hiding in rutting creeps
Do not suffer pitiful mannerists like Lin Tao
Anyone can do Lin Tao: e.g., I need to check email… this is stupid… a koala ate Chris Penn’s chin off… I laugh and feel bored
An antidromic hike into an ahistorical past is needed
Aikido for rapists; destabilization happens, essentially
Campy blue UFO light
Looks like a straight-to-video erotic thriller from the ‘90s
Fafnir roars in UHF
I want death by band saw
I demand death by band saw
Goodnight, you pursuers of jackal delirium