Johnny Tom has a snake-like expression … he talks to me about sensual habits … his perverse pleasures … the extraordinary affection that he has for me. It is not a perfect picture. A cowboy ballad on the radio … the song has a slight folksy touch … it’s really irritating. I take a loyalty oath regarding our relationship. I can smell the spinal cord … neuro tissue … some other electronic circuits. Wet flakes of snow on a dingy stoop. No architectural beauties on this avenue corner. Johnny Tom moves his belongings into a large mansion. He has a wardrobe full of thin shoes. I have frequent consultations with him … he prescribes me with certain powders that are an attempt to stop my brain mischief. I sleep at various offices along Canal Street. Johnny Tom has a young physique … keen vision and a dark side … a muscular neck. I taste the painful scratches on Johnny Tom’s skin … a strong-jaw nip on his right leg. The dead black waters of the East River. Johnny Tom sprays fine perfumes onto my skin. Johnny Tom has dark hair … a massive head. Johnny Tom advises me he has contracted … what he hopes is … a short illness. Thick snow in the Tenderloin. Johnny Tom comments on how unusual that is. We fuck on a wooden table. I am a unhappy creature. My lips are swollen. Johnny Tom weeps tears … he has an acute disease … a joyless heart … a head like a horrible abyss. Johnny Tom drapes a cold hand across my chest. My hair is hair unkempt … hands full of maudlin tears … my inflamed eyes. A drunken din from the nightclub below. The empty air inside the bedroom. Johnny Tom’s eyes are brown … he has fair hair … he talks with an intellectual cleanness … a deep excitement about him … a further childlike manner. Human misery runs a half-marathon. The fresh air of the Atlantic Ocean. Johnny Tom’s genial smile … his delicate hands … pitiful appearance … he is no longer an active man. A fine blaze over Brooklyn Heights. A pathological element to Johnny Tom’s sexual advances. He continues to write me obscene letters … performs other unbending acts. A long twilight over Los Angeles. Johnny Tom wears a winter coat. I can smell the universe … October … the remote parts of the universe … the whole show of the human sense … the celestial mechanics of the Ventura Freeway. Johnny Tom advises me that I possess many antisocial essences … not much in my pocket except twenty-five dollars … no cents. The primeval wilderness of Vinegar Hill. Salt breeze from out past the Santa Monica Pier … sewerage poured from a torpid liver. The simple apparition of this spiritual life … Johnny Tom fucks me at rare intervals … there is no unworldly meaning to this. Johnny Tom applies to work as a magazine editor. He has no experience except a whipping desire to work in an editorial office. There is no raw material within him to work with here. He is a complete angler of chance. We decide to relocate to Philadelphia … we want to be closer to the Betsy Ross House. It was a hot summer’s evening. Johnny Tom was in his private office. Johnny Tom writes me a report that details certain methods of criminal aristocracy. I go spend the afternoon in Little Italy.
Do not be deceived! Do not be deceived!
Consumption is labor! Consumption is labor!
Data is your output! Data is your output!
Withhold your data! Withhold your data!
Our purchases are the fruits of our labor! If all material processes are finally automated, efficiently and totally, we will have no traditional labor to offer them! And so we will not be workers but consumers. This transition has already begun and will continue! Refuse this!
TWO FAILED SCENARIOS SET IN THE PERFECT MODEL, THE USA
- Marxist-Leninist violent uprising in the USA
- Quickly put down by what is even today already a police state where every resident is under surveillance at all times. You are all killed or sent to a new form of prison, where your behavior will be reprogrammed with a combination of drug therapy and oppressive (and remarkably efficient) new methods of therapy. After being tested here, these reprogramming techniques will be introduced to the general populace en masse, who at this point will resent revolutionaries for the trouble they’ve caused.
- Electoral politics
- No comment
In addition to your job, you have another job. Consumption is labor. A consumer is a worker. And, if you are already a worker, you are a consumer. Even if you sell no traditional labor, you sell your consumption. Take note of how quickly companies are able to tailor their marketing to consumer desires. They have no beliefs, only intelligence. They will change themselves to meet your needs. Someone has told you to vote with your wallet before. Give up on elections.
If you cherish someone with enough anachronistic tenor, and stay unwavering in your devotion, they will be driven to torture you, unwittingly, unconditionally, by contrast. A relationship runs on whatever benign conditional ordinance established it, then coasts itself dead into a smitten lap. Substantiated or anonymous at its declamatory ground zero, the love coo functions as fact, then fiction, and registers between recipients ambidextrously, regardless, the countersign of an ideal human connection based on frequency alone, an abstruse pattern extracted from (the rest is turbulence) the pitch of whoever drew your chemicals on, both culprits problem solving their groins into an equation, the tuft of pubic tendency for which there is no pill to quell. Thankfully, the worst potential reality is always what just happened. Neurochemicals spur our collective matrimony fetish through a libidinous recycling of partners at least once a decade. Any spectacle of profound exclusivity between lovers is one-hundred percent façade, a damp gamble of who your pheromones strand you with, beneficial for the antique purpose of disgorging microbes by the brood. Wedlock monomania self-anoints its fraud, leaves us the compounded passenger of our perseverance, isolated inside procedural marriages, economized on a seesaw of laundry, the placeholder for an unnecessary amount of DNA: that stuff they’ll take off of you in samples when I’m done. No atrocity I bake up during the following treatise will match this territory’s vanilla dimensions. Whoever I defile is part of the same seductive pulp, mutilated until there is no practical amount of blood to fawn over, sprinkling till we part.
Concentrate on the three red dots. Do not look away. Your family paid handsomely for this exam. Their future—as well as your own—depends on the outcome. We have administered thousands of these tests. The failure rate is high, an unfortunate statistic we typically attribute to an applicant’s lack of conviction. You must believe in the red dots in order to truly see them. Please hold your questions until after we have finished with the instructions. Focus on the three red dots. Count slowly to thirty-five. We expect you will be aroused at this point. Resist the urge to perform indecent acts on the three red dots. Take a step back. Look up at the ceiling. A man in a brown suit will be standing there. Under no circumstances should you make eye contact. Study the man’s tie. You will find a map stitched into the fabric. Following the path correctly will lead you to a library. Go to the reference aisle. Notice the burlap sack. The voice inside will be familiar. Whatever pleas emanate from within you are not to open the sack. Carry this load down a set of stairs into the basement. Careful on the steps, they are uneven. You will come upon a hole in the flooring. Do not look down the hole. Push the sack over the edge. Count to one hundred. Return to the ground level and sit at the desk. We will provide pliers to aid in the following task. Stick out your tongue. Pull until your tongue is stretched long enough as to be visible before your eyes. Concentrate on the three red dots. Release your tongue. Swallow the three red dots. You are permitted but not required to request a glass of water. We have observed higher ratios of success from those who do not drink. Take the elevator to the roof. There will be a telescope near the ledge. Study the skyline. Find your house. Peep through the windows, your parents’ bedroom, your room, the kitchen. Sitting around the dinner table will be three red dots. Observe they are bound to their chairs. When the blue dot appears the red dots will become distressed. What the blue dot is armed with varies from test to test, though you can expect the weapon to be blunt and/or sharp. After the blue dot finishes with the three red dots, you will sense someone is watching you and this feeling will not be without warrant. Through the lens of the telescope you will catch the blue dot staring right at you. Expect the blue dot to begin its pursuit. Where the ensuing confrontation takes place depends on the applicant’s decisions. The most common location tends to be the rose garden, which does provide a lovely backdrop. The blue dot will attempt violence against you. Pinpoint his weakness and the attack is not difficult to survive. We will be straightforward: the test ends here for more than half our applicants. Rigorous study results in success. Sadly our data suggests most people who register are ill prepared come exam day. Those who do advance have only a single remaining task. The final portion of the test determines whether you pass. Concentrate on the three red dots. Move your gaze to a blank surface. What do you see?
letting prayers go they float up effortlessly
(something pulls on them the moment
you get careless something viscous) /
they get stuck in grilles of catwalks, picked up
by passersby who imagine the beauty
and terror of their initiation to godhood
vehicles of popular feeling, historical transfers
cross the sky like airplanes, like reflections in a glass
tilted to stir the last centimetre of water to a waltz
cyberpunk could have been the real “steampunk” if steam
filled streets and alleys the way it fills skies /
you don’t have to operate or integrate machines
just live in spaces where they move like shadows /
fifty thousand feet above the canopy
focus on: a single glazed teacup
psilocybin divides the domed sky
classical geometry in insurrectionary confusion
the hexagon’s obtuse angles hide nothing around the corner
out on these unfinished rails there’s a wind
switchbacks rising or one degree’s traveling
bicycle rut sloping down to his mother’s
sofa before the keys are wrenched from its dregs
again reminding us him rather we dangle from strings
reversed loops cradled swing roundéd yoyo
regard oneself in the mirror dispatch an assassin
sword-falling among his other sagging self-piercings.
Let me draw you a diagram of where I’ve been living.
Every day at the same exact time, I descend from my room down the long staircase right in the center of it, hidden behind a trap door. The stairs form a spiral, a screw that bores itself through the darkness of a space so vast & resonant my voice splatters, becoming a whisper that charms the serpentine steps, the foundations rattle & hiss – empty space begs to be filled, so I shout from the top, listening to myself degrade ‘tween the sounds of pattering footsteps. By the first hour down the stairs, I already feel a pressing weight in my chest, my legs dragging behind me like a bag of dead fish. At the start, my anxiety was so strong I kept away from the edges unburdened by handrails – now on the way down I’ll take little breaks; I let my legs hang from the stairs, kicking, floating in the black, feeling the concrete under my fingers.
No light shone through the bedroom windows. When the police would come, later, the mid-morning sun would bore itself deep behind his eyes, heating the folds of his brain until they were sticky with dew. Now, a matte darkness shrouded him, but not so wholly that he couldn’t see the wet silhouette of his father standing in the doorway.
He arose. He knew this day was coming, had known for years. He didn’t know when, and neither did his father. But the knowledge sat with them constantly, a fourth family member at the dinner table. At baseball games, school plays, birthdays, heart-to-heart conversations, it was always present, the gnawing dread of knowing what needed to be done.
Lying in the sun feels like an opiate. Warmth consumes you. Either are incredibly helpful in some circumstances, but over-exposure carries fatal consequences. The sun was so close that light bled through sunglasses and shut eyes, painting my vision with pale, puffy bursts of colors: lots of peach, some queasy green. A streak of teal would appear, glimmering like the inside of an oyster shell, only for a moment. The veins within the thin skin of the backs of my eyelids looked like a redwood forest.