Living in such a state taTestaTesTaTe etats a hcus ni gniviL of mind in which time sTATEsTAtEsTaTeStA emit hcihw ni dnim of does not pass, space STateSTaTeSTaTeStAtE ecaps ,ssap ton seod does not exist, and sTATeSt oFOfOfo dna ,tsixe ton seod idea is not there. STatEst ofoFOFo .ereht ton si aedi Stuck in a place staTEsT OfOFofo ecalp a ni kcutS where movements TATeSTa foFofoF stnemevom erehw are impossible fOFoFOf elbissopmi era in all forms, UsOFofO ,smrof lla ni physical and nbEifof dna lacisyhp or mental - uNBeInO - latnem ro your mind is UNbeinG si dnim rouy focusing on a unBEING a no gnisucof lone thing, or NBeINgu ro ,gniht enol a lone nothing. bEinGUn .gnihton enol a You are numb and EiNguNB dna bmun era ouY unaware to events stneve ot erawanu taking place - not -iSSuE- ton - ecalp gnikat knowing how or what 6/23/94 tahw ro woh gniwonk to think. You are in -S-i-X- ni era uoY .kniht ot a state of unbeing.... ....gniebnu fo etats a
Welcome to the scaled-down version of State of unBeing. This issue is small, and we're damn proud of it. We're not constrained to writing for anything just because it's summertime and feel obligated not to go out and enjoy ourselves.
Submissions were slow this issue, due to the ending of the school year and vacations taking away a majority of my writers in one town and mucho family problems in my town. What fun, eh? Keep those submissions coming in, and thanks to those who sent stuff in for this issue. The quality is really there.
One note about the editorial in issue number five. I said I wouldn't take cut up stories. That's not true. I will, but I'd like to have the whole thing or at least most of it. I'll split it up (this issue was so small that MiNDSWEEPiNGS didn't get that treatment since I had lots of room). I just don't want to have a bunch of stuff hanging off (can you say my two unfinished stories... they'll get done SOMETiME...).
Oh, I promised some people a write-up about my experience with the police. In keeping with the scaled down version of this issue, here it is:
Pulled over. "Keep your hands on the steering wheel!" Got out. Patted down. Searched my hat for drugs and weapons. Cops ask us questions. "What were you doing driving around at 11:50 on a Friday night?" Look at us in funny ways. "Is it wrong to just drive around?" "Yeah, sort of." Search Doorway's change bag. Search my hat again. "Do you have a tag name?" Wonder what the hell a tag name is. "Have you been down to the station recently?" Walk over to the police car and put hands on hood. Think about finding a quarter to make a call home. Let us go.
There. Hope you enjoy this issue. Read it quick, read it fast. But I'm sure you'll read it more than once. Until June....
The Dancing Messiah
Flying Rat's Nostril
"Monsters we are, lest monsters we become."
What is anger?
It is becoming imminent to me. Anger that is.
It's all there. It always has been. Have you ever wanted to scream at someone and tear their lungs out. Just wedge your fingers between two ribs and pry. Grab their lower jaw and pull until you hear a faint ripping sound over their screams.
You didn't, because anger never became action. That's frustration. That's what i want to do. I'm tired of frustration. Frustration causes nothing. Lack of vigor. Lack of will. Lack of life.
What's wrong with me? -nothing-
I want to be angry, not frustrated.
Fucking mad I said.
It flows through me, tearing at my eyes and clawing at my brain. It saps my will and keeps fucking me up my ever chafing ass. It flows through my veins like fire. It flows through my veins like piss. Hurts like getting your testicles slammed in a door. It bites like salt from a shotgun into your back.
It makes me even more angry.
I hate everything. I hate this. I hate you. I want to tie you up with dental floss.
I love you. I want to have your children.
Fuck the world.
They (?) want to get guns out of the hands of the populace, so that the people can't fight back. Those who would resist no longer have the means. The people who teeter on the edge of rebellion would be discouraged from it by the illegalization of weapons, improper thought, etc.
On the subject of improper thought, it will probably be through society that rebellion will be quelled. Already, those who are different are considered rejects, pariahs that no-one who is "Popular" (i.e., Politically Correct, or PC) would dare associate with for fear of becoming an outcast. This ostracism is not, in the vast majority of cases, even a conscious action. It JUST HAPPENS.
One of the most powerful tools of evil (NOT "Satan", not "Lucifer", but EVIL) are the fundamentalist Christians. THIS IS TRUTH. Those Christians who have forgotten how to forgive; who have forgotten the meaning of acceptance. In effect, these tools are partly responsible for the decline of the church in the past few years, and will continue to be so in the future. They turn those seeking truth away from God with their self-righteous attitudes and hateful treatment of those not "Saved".
It feels good. Partial rebellion feels half-hearted; hypocritical; shameful. One wants to meet ones enemies face to face with pride. We also want to make people think. What better motivation than near destruction?
Worse yet, it's good for 'em. If you think about it, when killing people, you should kill the young and the innocent first. Shoot them now before they can become corrupted. Spare them this rat-hell called life. As long as you are killing the innocent... might as well kill the guilty. The more of them you kill, the more innocent you will have later to kill. They deserve it. They've been killing you slowly all your life. Destroying you imagination. Smashing your dreams. Stealing your money. Fucking your wife. C'mon, think about it. Chances are you wife will have been fucked by someone other than you before and after you're married to her... possibly during too. What the fuck have they done for you. Welfare. Yeah right. Great fucking idea. You only have to bury them once; you gotta feed them the rest of their lives. What if it isn't their fault??? Too fucking bad. Life ain't fair and we all gotta die. I just am tired of being screwed against my will for something I don't want or need.
People hang on to shit. Useless stuff nobody needs. Blow it up and make room for new stuff. Shit, where did that stuff come from. Somebody put their sweat into making it. Enjoying another's suffering. Let's blow up the suffering. Let's blow up the starving. Wanna end pollution. End the cause of it : the human race. Why is killing people wrong. What if I declare war on the rest of the world. What if I declare war on you. Killing is allowed during times of war so what's the problem.
If you let everybody fight for the world, only the people worthy of surviving will. What about gangs you say. Give me a high powered rifle, a box of shells and a damn good reason, and I bet i could kill a few dozen from a half mile away; by myself. Let somebody rule the world. I'm tired of the world ruling all the people.
What's wrong with me????
DARKNESS FALLS (SEPTEMBER '93)
do you feel the end coming?
can't you hear the world screaming?
i call out to entropy
i beg for release
but all i hear is laughter
the darkness laughs at me
count down the final minutes for
they truly are the last;
not long now until time ends
count down the final minutes
for midnight is at hand
the dream dies with the dreamer
no hope is left for dawn
reality is over and
all illusions gone
the sun and earth have fallen now
at last the darkness falls
XENOPHOBiA (OCTOBER '93)
the foreign shows not its face
but those are its eyes
in the sockets of the familiar
they stare back at you
the strange calls out to you
the new and unknown calls
they transfix you in their gaze
you know it not but today is the
Day of Reckoning
those eyes are judge and jury
will you take up that which they offer
do you stay
steadfast in what you have
or seek out distant lands
change or stasis?
and can you see
there is no distance
but that within yourself
URBAN HELL (DECEMBER '93)
lacking only what we have
we struggle to become who we are
blazing a trail on the Interstate
the reaper sows
the lovers hate
demon-blessed we gather now
to make our sacrifice
as the altar burns we are enriched
with visions of Apocalypse
healed with razor-sharpened knives
informed by dark malicious lies
we reach downward for the skies
searching for our alibis
justice is blind
and deaf and dumb
faith is dead
with hope beside;
so the three are crucified.
the silicon sword cuts both ways
master it to survive
but be prepared to learn it lied
when the promises were made
so go plans that were well-laid
skewered on the neon blades
by urban hell we are betrayed
SANiTY (DECEMBER '93)
one of us is sane and i hope it isn't me
it takes sane men to fight a war
sane men do what they are told
madness never built a gun
madness didn't build the Bomb
madness can only push a button
it took sane men to run the wiring
reason to split the atom
reason to destroy the world
you've brought us from rocks to bows
from bows to guns
from guns to bombs
but you never noticed the man you gave them to
when mankind takes its turn at the tables
snake eyes some up sevens every time
and reason never seemed to notice
10 EASY STEPS (APRiL '94)
In this volume we have taken great pains
(with great pain given to the verses)
To assemble a collection of the greatest poems
Mankind has ever known;
And sanitized for your protection;
After all, we know that you really want
A good read with some cheery rhymes
And not to be burdened
With troublesome thought or emotion.
To this end we have selected the most
Verse we could find, and have gone through
Lovingly considering each word
And removing them with a mother's touch.
With them we have placed in this volume
Ten Easy Steps to Enjoying Poetry (tm)
So you need not even decide for yourself
How to react to each censored line.
Now we feel so confident that
We offer you this, our guarantee;
Should any poem in this book offend,
Or disturb you, or ask you to think or feel
When you do not wish to,
Simply return the book to us
(or its ashes if you prefer)
For a full refund.
TO THE NORMALS (APRiL '94)
give me your strength that you may see your weakness
meet the hypocrisy that you hold most dear
look at me and see all that you are not
all that you fear becoming
all that you know you really are
surely you are not as blind as you seem
surely you know that which you deny
surely you understand what you claim incomprehensible
surely you are what you despise
i think i know you well but i know you
know yourself far better than to truly believe you are
what you claim to be
or are you merely a corpse
struggling to run before rigor mortis is complete
struggling to smile before the rictus of death becomes
all your face can shape
if your body still lives your mind is still dead
DEATH TAKES ANOTHER (APRiL '94)
death takes another
from youths exuberance or a veil of baleful gloom
fallen in a burst of imagined glory or slowly run down
gunshot ring hypodermic plunger liquor flow flame leaps
a million deaths and you never heard their names until the
obituary reduced their lives to a few lines of text
i will not fall so easily
i will look upon the face of death and
for what can be funnier than death?
but death does not care to be subject to laughter
death takes another
THERE iS A TASTE (APRiL '94)
there is a taste in my mouth
i cannot name
there is a feeling in my soul
i cannot know
existence should be enough
what more can i ask but life
but it is not enough
i know not what i ask for
but i quest after it
i cannot tell if i can know it
for what it is when i gaze upon it
there is a feeling in my soul
i can name
it is called emptiness
and its taste is in my mouth
TWO WAYS (APRiL '94)
there are two ways to live
one can live by outrunning death
run fast enough and the coals will never scorch you
one can live by hiding from death
build your walls well so death can never enter
and your own walls hold you
there are two ways to die
one can die by losing the race
burning with meteoric flame like a phoenix that
forgot the trick of rebirth
one can die by being discovered
watching your walls bury you and knowing
to fear is to die each day
ABOUT THE POET (MAY '94)
i am a poet a philosopher an agnostic
who would have met god but his secretary said he was busy
and never quite explained where he was
i have been a liberal a libertarian an anarchist
and i think i will be again sometime
but i don't quite know what i am now
my chaos is hid in order
my madness is masked by reason
i hide behind a mask of words
but don't know on which side of the mask i stand
i suppose i should be pleased to meet you
but what difference can it make anyway
ASH (MAY '94)
has turned the core of my being to ash
for i took too long to pass the torch
now i know why the word is burnout
for the flame burns out from within
there is nothing left
save ash which holds my shape for now
yet needs but a touch to crumble
i no longer know what it is that burned
save that i once called it i
BOW LOW (aka CASH) (MAY '94)
bow low before your god
whose idols in green paper fill the dreams of those
who are blind to all else
when truth appears to them they think of what will sell
they cut the truth revealed with shit scraped off the street
and peddle it on the corners as the promise of heaven
with words chosen to twist the souls of those who still have them
and win the aid of those who have already sold theirs
the first thing to learn is you buy your way into hell
and then pay to customize your suffering
take another hit and maybe you'll learn something if it doesn't kill you
FALL OF THE EMPiRE (MAY '94)
the roman eagle's beak drips blood
a gladius is clenched in his claws
the state is dead
congress hemorrhages funds
and reporters leech the presidents past
like rome we fall
caesars blood is by the years transmuted
to printers ink
to daub wounds of another sort
FACES OF THE DEAD (MAY '94)
they show me faces of the dead
and tell me stories of people i never knew
exhorting me not to make their mistakes
but what is a mistake is left unclear
do as i say not as i do
the cliche is reaffirmed by a weekend drunk
who urges me ever to remain sober
without telling me why i should or why he doesnt
if what you do is so wrong why do you do it?
i wish you would tell me not to die
REGRETS (MAY '94)
the ground is littered with the corpses
of all the time i've killed
seconds minutes hours days
rotting remnants of my lifetime
they had their chance and i rejected them
now is the time of looking back
now i visit the graveyard of wasted time
and watch these moments join it
FOUNDiNG FATHERS (MAY '94)
(dedicated to what was once america)
liberty or death
but how was i to know then
what my words would buy
what would be done in my name
and in those of my friends
comrades in rebellion we were
now our words are twisted
to support a travesty of our dreams
they are turned against our successors in spirit
my words are now weapons
aimed at their own meanings
and not what they say we were
we were as you are
until we chose the time to act
as you strike a blow for liberty
we did the same
but failed to guard the future
CYBERDRAGON (MAY '94)
i have mastered the arcana of your technology
and melded it with the magic you deny
my claws are edged in titanium steel
my flaming breath now laser-aimed
i hunt my prey by night with the sensors
that you hath fashioned for me
i am cyberdragon
i am death
you have made me so
i was born of your myths
and grew in the poisons of your world
you created me
and made me your archetype of fear
and now you dare to be surprised
that i use your tools as well?
technology works for whoever controls it
you must learn you cannot stop the dragon
even with the heat-seeking nuclear death
you seem so proud of
for you are the dragon
i am you
SHADOWS (JUNE '94)
we live in different worlds
in yours shines the light
on mine is cast the shadows
with no clear reason
in shadows i make my dwelling
from shadows i reach for the torch
the shadows flicker around the flame
for a moment i can almost touch it
for a moment my shadowworld dissolves
for a moment i stand at the threshold to your world
and instinctively i falter
the torch dies
the shadows flood back
and all i can do is laugh
He's a freak, a freak, a whacked out type a guy,
He's always moving, never sitting
Wearing bells, floppy hat, man is he sly!
Just laying around was never quite fitting.
He is king of the dance floor, me oh my
He's on the dance floor, you'll never see him quitting
He gets all the chicks, he catches her eye
Cuz he's a freak, to the mad house he's committing
He's all sly with the chicks he's romancing
Dancing, now dancing's something he can do
He moves like the wind, 'specially when he's dancing
Doing the mashed potato, even the boogaloo
He makes a big show, no way is he meek,
Dancing like a fool, acting like a freak.
SOMETHiNG MUST BREAK
Two ways to choose (or raise the dead)
with pain behind, go straight ahead
room full of people - grouping as one
I can't break out now, the time just won't come
Two ways to choose, which way to go
decide for me, please let me know
looked in the mirror - saw I was wrong
If I could get back to... where I belong
where I belong
Two ways to choose, which way to go
I paused for one - whom signs forbode
If we were immortal, we would not bend
washed up on the beach here, struggling for air
I see your face still in my window
Tormented clouds won't set me free
something must break now
this life isn't mine
something must break now
wait for the time
something must break
Is there room in your contemporary heart
For love, compassion, or kindness?
Are you told you are compassionate?
Why do you believe what you hear?
Lies. All lies.
You argue in harsh terms with hurtful words
"I am right," you say.
You are wrong. Compassion judges not.
Is there room for true humanity...
In your contemporary heart?
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
In my mind's eye,
I see beauty, love, and grace
In my mind's eye,
I see only your face
Guileless... I gaze beyond the windows,
your soul flitting through shadows.
Elusive, I know not where it goes
when you are hurt; it never shows.
When you love, your heart bleeds
red passion, pain, desire;
I long to know you more, your needs
To adorn myself in love's attire
I make myself a strutting peacock
A display, with which I turn my luck
REQUiEM FOR TWO
When first I tried
Again I tried
a working venue
Then we tried
to make it work
First you lied
About your dealings
I tried to hide
My true feelings
I saw your side
You hurt my feelings
and I relied
upon your word
I tried to love you
a dearth of tokens
as love had died
within your cold
What's on your mind
I'll never know...
You're not the kind
to make it work;
You're not the kind-
you'll never know.
In the beginning . . . (dramatic pause) . . . there were three brothers. Their names were Lorg, Spork and Spam, and together they ruled the world. On night, while they were dining on snail tongues, Spork looked up and said, "Look brothers! The sky is falling!" This of course caught the brothers' attention and they both looked up.
"No Ass-munch!" declared Spam, whose eye sight was the best, "The sky's not falling! That's just a large number of octopi descending from the heavens!"
Sadly it was comments such as this that started the rivalry between Spork and Spam that ended so tragically.
"Either way, I don't like it." said Lorg, the acknowledged leader of the group. With that, they each stood and prepared for the battle that always occurred when they met space faring sea-life. Standing with their backs together, the brothers readied their favorite weapons. Spork drew the spoon and fork that he had latched together with spaghetti noodles. Spam began molding a magical and unexplainable substance, it was said to have come from a crashed meteorite, that was his namesake into a net and trident. Many interesting debates have been sparked by the question of "What came first: Spam or Spam?" Unfortunately, no one has ever been able to satisfactorily explain that question. Finally Lorg began to call up a horrible concoction of saliva and mucus known as A Lugi, many historians believe the word "Lugi" to be a corrupted form of Lorg, from the back of his throat. There are many horrible stories about men who died of asphyxiation swimming in his dreaded attacks.
Quickly the octopi drifted to the ground, surrounding the brothers. Their ranks parted to reveal a large squid wearing an overly large crown. He grinned evilly, which was no small feat since squid don't have any lips, and declared, "I am the Squid King! And I have journeyed here from Antarctica to liberate the chickens!"
"Why?" asked Spam, puzzled.
"I am going to raise an army of chickens in order to conquer the whales." he declared regally.
"Why?" asked Spork, puzzled.
"To enslave them of course!" the Squid King replied annoyed.
"Why?" asked Lorg puzzled.
"Peanut butter! Dear Lord what kind of Idiots are you?!" he shouted, clearly angered.
"Well, our chickens aren't for sale." stated Spork firmly.
"Who said anything about buying? I said Liberate! Don't you know what that means?"
"Yea Ass-munch!" stated Spam smugly.
"Shut up butt-weave!" responded Spork, deeply insulted.
"Butt-weave!? What in hell is a Butt-weave!? Can't you think of a plausible insult!?" screamed Spam.
"But . . . " Spork began.
"Silence, All of you!" screamed the Squid King.
"Especially you," he said, pointing a withered tentacle at Spam.
"You boys have two choices, you can A: release your chickens to me or you can B: get killed by my army of octopi."
"Blue! No wait! Yellow, I choose yellow!" declared Spam.
"Shut up! I told you to shut up you slimy bastard!" screamed the Evil Squid King.
"Spam's right! We're keeping our chickens." Stated Lorg firmly.
"Then prepare to do battle!" declared the Squid King evilly.
The three brothers and the octopi fought for 3 1/2 days and 7 1/2 nights, with appropriately long breaks for tea and slug-tails. Finally, the brothers triumphed.
"Do you have anything to say for yourself before I run you through with my spoon-and-fork-lashed-together-with-a-spaghetti-noodle?" asked Spork lethally.
"Yea," stated the Squid King with dignity, "your fly is down!"
"Huh?" said Spork as he looked down at his toga. Did I mention they wore togas? Well, they did. The Squid King took this opportunity and jumped off the cliff that they had been conveniently standing on.
"You let him get away, Ass-munch!" said Spam exasperated.
"What's a fly?" asked Spork, innocently.
Lorg, however, was not so care free.
"Aunt Jamima . . . " he said. "She makes her world famous pancake syrup from chicken gizzards! The Squid King might go there next!" And with that he was off to check on Aunt Jamima, leaving Spork and Spam alone in the middle of a vast, open, flat prairie.
The Iron Horse
Many days after the battle, Spork and Spam were disposing of the many octopi bodies when Spork heard a small whispering voice.
"Hey Dork!" it whispered in his ear.
"Hmmm!" hmmmed Spork without looking up.
"I said, Hey Dork!" whispered the voice urgently.
"I'm listening" said Spork patiently, still braiding the octopus's tentacles so that it would fit into the Spiffy! brand garbage bag.
"OK! . . . " the voice cleared its throat and started in a deep scary voice,
This caught Spork's attention, because it was tuesday, and while he always heard voices on thursdays and odd mondays, he never heard them on tuesdays.
"Oh well," he said. "It must be this coastal air."
He shrugged his shoulders and began to braid the next octopus.
"Hey Dork!" whispered the voice, "Are you listening to me?"
"No." replied Spork.
"Well, why not?" asked the voice hurt.
"Duh!" said Spork rolling his eyes,
"Its only tuesday."
"All right, that's it! You asked for it, Dumb-Ass!" the voice cleared his voice again, "KillSpamKillSpamKillSpamKillSp SpamKillSpamKillSpamKillSpamKi . . . "
"OK! You win!" screamed Spork, "Gods, you're annoying."
Spork drew his Spork, or vice versa, and crept up Spam. Spam, who was busy braiding an octopus, did not notice his approach. Spork grabbed him by his Longhorn-orange-with-avocado-green-polka-dots mohawk, and pulled his head back. Did I mention that they all had mohawks in really gross colors? Well they did.
"Eat this, Assmunch!" he screamed and proceeded to dismember Spam with Spork's Spork.
Hours later, Spork sat exhausted on the ground, surrounded by a large field of chunks of malleable meat.
Just then, an evil looking man in a business suit came walking up.
"Hello friend, my name is Hormel and . . . " he paused as he noticed the malleable meat mines, "Say are those small chunks of some unidentifiable, malleable meat I see surrounding you?"
Spork wiped the foam from his mouth and stood up. He tried to say something witty but "Ungh!" was the only thing that came out.
"Well!" he said in a high-pitched, and evil voice.
He clapped his ha
(Sorry! I ran out of ink!)
nds together and said, "My friend, you're in luck! I happen to be in the business of buying small chunks of malleable meat!"
"S" is for Spam
Hormel produced a small aluminum can from his pocket and began to cram large amounts of Spam into it. Spork's eyes widened, Hormel had just crammed all of Spam's remains into a two inch by three inch aluminum can.
"Say young man, what exactly do you call this magical substance?" he asked raising one of his thirteen eyebrows.
"Well . . . I . . . uh . . . m" attempted Spork timidly.
"Out with it, man!" he ranted. "What are you, A dumb-ASS?!" he raved.
"QRBXDY . . . Spam!" he stammered.
"OK!" he said and quickly wrote Spam on a label that said: This can contains ____________ .
"Hmmm, I guess I should pay you for this . . . " he paused and chewed his lip, "I know! you want a ton of Latex!"
He snapped his fingers and suddenly a large block of latex was there, gently wobbling in the wind.
By the time Spork had blinked 5,281 times, Hormel was gone.
Giggling like a schoolgirl, Spork began to stroke the latex.
Suddenly, Lorg was there, standing powerfully over Spork.
"How was Aunt Jamima?" asked Spork innocently.
"Don't be coy with me!" thundered Lorg.
"Whose coy?" asked Spork innocently.
"Shuttup! I know what you did!" he raged.
"How?" asked Spork stunned.
"I didn't trust you, so I left someone to watch you" he said motioning to the thirty-man camera crew standing behind him. The director, Bob, waved.
With sadness in his eyes, Lorg took his brother's Spork and broke it into 15 even pieces. He placed these into a box with ____________ of the Covenant written on it. He wrote Spork on the line and put the box back in his pocket.
Spork dropped his head in shame, unable to look his brother in the eyes.
Suddenly, he spotted his salvation. Hormel had missed a piece of that magical, malleable meat that was once his loving, if highly annoying brother.
With a cry of glee, he pounced on the tempting morsel and downed it in one bite. It came upon him suddenly, the illness that one would rather die than experience. Spampoisoning.
It came upon him suddenly, hitting him like an elephant with a cocaine-dusted gerbil stuffed up his anal passage.
First came the light headedness, and then the pounding headache. He swayed and dropped to his knees, groaning. By this time he was sweating out of every pore on his body. A mixture of blood and bile erupted from his mouth, spraying a red and yellow ichor in all directions. Spork collapsed into a fit of seizures and finally died as his stomach died.
Tears flowing freely, Lorg grasped his brother by his teal and sandalwood striped mohawk and gently dragged him to the curb for the garbage man to take care of. Many historians believe that the garbage man never saw the body, but that the brother's strange neighbor, Mr. Finkle, took the body for himself.
I saw Lorg many years later, he had carven a large throne out of latex and placed on a sky scraper so that he could better watch for the return of the Squid King. Other legends tell of how the Squid King was forced out of Antarctica by large mounds of Jello, and how he fled to New Zealand where he raised another army. This one composed mainly of Platipi and Peacocks.
A mental image, one that I dwell on a lot: the desert. I'm in a car or some vehicle, and I'm driving pretty fast. The highway stretches before me, and there's no other traffic. The sand spreads about me like rumpled silk, surrounding me, isolating me, cleansing me. Mountains, sometimes, are in the distance. The yellow lane markings pulse past on the left, flowing, flowing, like the cool water flows from a mountain fall. I hear only the throbbing of the engine, the air warm and fresh and dusty, sometimes cool, in the evenings.
"It all seemed so harmless, the way it began, and it all made sense. Of course currency needed to be replaced. It was too easy to copy the bills. Sure, it was necessary to replace the cards with something even an idiot couldn't lose. The Mark, the UV barcode that was to be tattooed on people's hands, the special readers, like the barcode scanners in stores already.
One day, the National Guard began rounding up possible dissidents. The feeling against most Christians had grown more and more virulent; it was easy to malign the raving preachers on the television, spittle flying and a soft-cover Bible flopping in their hand like a dead fish. Too easy, in fact, to dismiss the raving millenarians the ones who sold their homes and moved to the mountains to "be closer to God."
Sitting in the room, so like a classroom. The others around me, waiting. I don't think they know what's going on; I do. The real problem cases were executed outright. It's hard to believe these things are really happening. I don't want to die; why am I sitting here? Why don't I leave? I'll tell the others here that they're going to die -- maybe they'll listen...?
We're going to leave. There's only a few of us, but nobody seems to care if we leave or not.
Now we're outside running across a field; there's a bald man, and he's out of breath but scared. We all run to an old schoolhouse and go in inside... there's some sort of nursery inside. We hide in there. There's aircraft overhead. It sounds like a thousand angry steel bees. They're bombing the shit out of the city! Oh my God! Look out! There's one... no, a couple of the things coming toward the schoolhouse! We're all very still and nobody moves because we don't want to die.
One of the babies is out of its crib and is crawling around. It's going to attract attention. If one of those things comes in here it will see us and kill us! Oh my God... it's in here! It's here! If I sit really still maybe it won't see me.... It picks up the baby and puts it into the crib... did it look at me? I'm in the middle of the floor... and it didn't see me... is that a good sign? They're all over outside killing people shooting them with huge rifles and there's the horrible sound of death all around in slow motion everything's dying and I see it all I want to run and hide! Run, go away! I love you! I will find you! Please go now! If we're split apart maybe we'll survive to see each other again -- please go now I love you! I will find you! I go running into the smoke and fires and I don't see her... the others hold her and keep her from following and coming after me... she's screaming don't leave me I love you but I have to for her to live It's all so slow like in the movies and there are choppers overhead and I want so desperately to live but I'm so afraid and so I run and run so she will live and the guns so loud in my ears it's the end of the world and for real not some kind of bad dream or movie and there's death all around me...
The therapist looked up from his notes. "When I count to three, I want you to wake up. You will remember everything. One, two, three."
The patient, a boy about 17 years old, sat up and moaned. He had huge black crescents under his eyes, and was out of breath. Pale, sweating, and shaky, he sat up in the recliner and faced the doctor. "That was horrible," he said. "It was so real."
"And you've been having these dreams a lot lately?" the therapist asked. "Yes, for about a month now. I haven't been able to sleep. That's why my parents brought me here."
A blonde, with curly hair to her shoulders. Blue stockinged legs and tight denim shortness. A large purse. A pack of Marlboros. Smoker, she is, and a good one at that. Purple nails, pouting mue (lips turned downward in the perpetual displeasure... spoiledness). Blue eyes.... "Blue is my color," she says, then turns to look out the window at the passing cars. The grizzled old trucker glances at her, sighs. A life wasted, he thinks. He's right. Red lip prints in the white filter, a broken nail on the middle finger of the right hand. Blue shoes propped with her legs on the dash... her long, attractive legs, but he's too tired to care. Too tired and too old. Russian literature, or something film noir.
just paint your face a shadow smile
slip in here away from view
oh it doesn't matter how you hide
we'll find you if we're wanting to
so slide back down and close your eyes
sleep awhile you must be tired
and everynight I burn
everynight I call your name
everynight I burn
everynight I fall again
everynight I burn
scream the animal scream
everynight I burn
dream the crow-black dream
everynight I burn
scream the animal scream
everynight I burn
dream the crow-black dream...
I. ...don't talk of worlds that never were / the end is always never true...
It was in the summer before my freshman year in high school that the dreams began. Seemingly normal enough, they got ever more terrifying and nightmarish as the months passed.
At first it was but an infrequent occurrence, and pleasant enough. I would lay awake until the small hours of the morning, unable to doze, staring at the shadowed darkness, the black within black of moonless nights, the shadowed blue of those reflected night-noons.
It was as if I closed my eyes, then opened them, unable to stay still. Agitated, I would doff my sandals and pull the white robe over my shoulders, and set out into the woods behind the house to listen to the night sounds.
I have a morbid turn of mind; the sound of loons calling in the far-off wetlands was, although chilling, oddly invigorating. I listened to the night sounds, enjoying the inked solitude.
The dreams would always begin this way -- the loons, far off, screaming their woman-scream to the others in the night. Their calls waxed louder, and an otherworldly silence would choke off the other umbraic noises.
I sensed a presence behind me. As I turned, the loons, the wailing loons, would cease their horrifying cries, and I would see her, standing in the pale light.
She is the image of utter beauty. Pale, alabaster skin; ruby-red lips, a livid purple in the blue-white light; fine, flowing white-blonde hair; pale, pale blue eyes. She is clad, always, in a short, gossamer tunic, revealing, yet not.
As I follow her movements with my eyes, I see she holds two things -- a wrought silver cup, adorned with pearls and what looks like opal; in her other hand, a heavy sash, with what appears to be a silver dagger hanging from it.
She kneels, setting the things gracefully upon a queerly round, flat stone, a stone which must be nine meters across. I am drawn to her, and I go to her. There is sadness in her eyes, a deep spring of longing and melancholy that wrenches my heart. Always, always, we reach out to each other; agony, and tears on her face as she fades from sight, calling to me silently.
II. ...there's nothing you can ever say / nothing you can ever do...
As may well be assumed, these dreams affected me in the most profound way. Several people tried to interpret the dream, yet there was always in me a feeling that their answer was not the truth I knew I would recognize.
The dreams occurred with increasing frequency. Nightly, then, I saw her tear-streaked face, her deep, deep sadness that pulled at me from across the void. In the dreams, there began to be a sense of something pulling, dragging me from her with increased vehemence.
The dreams were most vivid when the moon was at its fullest; I would see, hear, smell, and feel the forest around me. Everything was shades of blue, always.
I began fighting my forced withdrawal. Once, on a very brightly lit night, I will swear that I touched her. For the briefest instant, our fingertips touched. I felt an electric thrill unlike anything I'd yet experienced, and enlightening, joyous bolt. I know, know that I touched her; for the first time, the expression on her face changed from sadness to a straining frustration. I was concussed out of my dream-state; I fell hard onto the uncarpeted floor of my room.
III. ...everynight I burn / everynight the dream's the same...
For a week after this episode, I was confined to my bed with an extremely high fever. Throughout, I kept seeing her face. On the next to last day of my illness, I heard her voice for the first time. It was a sweet, melodic voice, and she soothed me in my delirium. During the daytime, our visits were uninterrupted, though we still could not touch, for fear of being forced apart.
My recovery was slow. I had never been more ill nor nearer death in my life, and as such my body took a correspondingly long time recovering.
I remember vividly the night my fever broke. I was laying on soft, blue-green moss, listening to her singing as if from a great distance. I tossed, rolling semi-consciously on the warm, cushioning turf.
When I was next aware, she was over me, one cool, soft hand cradling my head gently, the other tilting the cup to my lips. Her voice bade me drink, and I did.
Warmth filled me, and I looked up to see her start. She moved quickly away, and I lost the vision of the forest; in sickly comparison were the trappings of my room. I longed for her already, and I felt the sweet nectar of health cooling my fever and warming my extremities.
IV. ...everynight I burn / waiting for my only friend...
I shortly fell asleep, wearied by the ordeal. That night of my newfound coherency she told me her story. She was the daughter of a foul, evil man, one who had dabbled in the black arts. Her mother was, for lack of a better word, a sorceress. She had been raised by both to revere the dark gods and their twisted practices.
On the eve of her adolescence she had been given, and given herself, to one of the more powerful spirits which her parents served. She was to be his bride, his consort, and their sacrifice to him to gain his favor.
She had not given herself to the creature, which had been enraged. Cursed, she had had her soul bound to the light of the moon, never to see daylight, never to know a man, and never to live until she gave of herself willingly to the creature. She held out hope against hope that she would be able to reach out into the dream-stuff of some young man, and thus convince that man to help her break her dream-bindings.
The knife and the cup, both tools of a magus, were given to her by the beast in hopes of buying her compliance. She knew that accepting the trinkets was not compliance; to acquiesce to its demands would mean her soul. Once given, gifts of that nature cannot be taken back, and she knew this, and refused it still.
She had been in this limbo for a long time; her identity had slowly been leeched away by the thing's constant intrusion into her thought-mind. She couldn't remember her name; she didn't think she'd ever been given one. The beast had named her first "Lorayees el ka doaliim", which meant "flowers of sin". After her reluctance made itself evident, she became "Gi'ra'a a'emme", which meant "moon-cursed".
V. ...everynight I burn / waiting for the world to end...
Still physically ill, my mind was free to explore this dream-land with her. Never touching, we wandered the forest, talking of the things of my world that she'd never seen. Her passion to be free only increased with each of our conversations.
In the strange dream-speech, she told me how she felt bonded to me, our destinies linked. Leaping upon a wild and ill-auspiced idea, I told her to give me the knife. This she did, and immediately we felt the beats's presence nearby.
Choking back fear of an intensity before unknown, I turned to face the thing. Of deepest black and sickly hues, the thing towered over me, enraged by the girl's betrayal. It reared up, filling the fugue-sky with hate and lust and rage. Though affrighted, and trembling as a small animal does when it spies the plummeting hawk's talons, I stood my ground. Never before faced with courage, the thing lashed out; I swung the blade two-handed, blindly, striking it.
With the touch of the cool silver, the thing recoiled, boiling backwards, away from the girl and I. I ran at it, shifting the knife in my hand, bringing the flashing metal up in an arc across the thing's front. It mewed like a thousand dying felines and shredded into shadow-stuff.
As the thing faded into the darkness, I began reeling, and felt myself falling. I felt the girl clinging to me, falling with me, clutching me desperately. Her grip slipped, tightened on a sleeve, and was lost. I awoke with a start in my bed, feeling as if I had fallen onto my bed from at least three feet up. I was sweating, laying sprawled across the sheets like a broken, abandoned doll.
VI. ...just paint your face a shadow smile...
I began classes again that summer, hoping to recover lost school time. I would graduate with my degree in two years, with any luck.
The summer session ended, and the fall classes began. I discovered an artistic bent I hadn't known I had, culminating in a series of drawings and paintings with the dream-girl as the model. People marveled at the grace with which I executed these renderings of her; she was all I thought of in my free time, and these pieces came naturally to me.
Finals were being held in a few weeks, so all my attention was turned to my studies. The girl almost forgotten, my final year was almost a blur. Time passed quickly for me, almost too quickly.
A acquaintance of mine in the registrar's office called me on the telephone one spring afternoon to tell me that there was someone calling around to different schools, trying to find someone fitting my description. Aside from a few traffic tickets and a misdemeanor drug charge, I'd done nothing wrong that I knew of, and certainly nothing that would cause someone to look for me with the apparent fervor this person was displaying.
The week of finals being upon me, I dismissed all thoughts of this mysterious person. When my papers were finished and my exams complete, several friends and I went out to celebrate and let off steam.
VII. ...oh it doesn't matter how you hide / we'll find you if we're wanting to...
I sat in my room alone, trying to decide what to toss in the waste and what to keep. I was getting rid of many of my books, and trash I hadn't known could exist lay about in overflowing plastic bags.
I was sitting in a semicircle if my possessions, sorting and deciding their fate, when I heard a knock on the hall door. The campus was nearly empty, most of the other students gone with their families and treasured possessions. It was just after dark; my window was open, and the radio was blasting away. I hadn't figured on disturbing any early sleepers; as I said, the campus was all but deserted.
Irked, I rose and went to the door. I stood in stunned silence when I saw her -- it was the dream-girl, she whom I had rescued years ago from my fever demon.
She was dressed in as close an approximation of her dream-garb as modern fashion allowed: a light, gauzy blouse, pale denim shorts, and light sandals. She was as beautiful as she'd been in my dreams, and more.
She was real.
Her pale hair was long and straight, hanging to her waist in a complex braid. Her ears, I noticed for the first time, were elfin, almost pointed. Her lips were painted lavender, her eyes darkened with eyeliner. Seeing me seeing her, she simply reached up, cupped my face in her hands, and kissed me electrifyingly.
VIII. ...so slide back down and close your eyes / sleep awhile you must be tired...
I am always with her now. She wanted to thank me for freeing her, and she gave to me that which she could give but once. Her kisses brought sweet agony, her teeth sharp, her small mouth strong and insistent, drawing from me life, nourished by my love, returning to me limitless existence.
I am always with her now. We wander the night, hand in hand, searching for the sweet, sweet nectar which fills her with life she's not had for a thousand years or more. She will never betray me, for in our giving to one another, we have bonded more closely than any wedding band.
We never kill.
"...and everynight I burn
everynight I call your name
everynight I burn
everynight I fall again
everynight I burn
scream the animal scream
everynight I burn
dream the crow-black dream
everynight I burn
scream the animal scream
everynight I burn
dream the crow-black dream..."
--SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-- State of unBeing is copyrighted (c) 1994 by Kilgore Trout and Apocalypse Culture Publications. All rights are reserved to cover, format, editorials, and all incidental material. All individual items are copyrighted (c) 1994 by the individual author, unless otherwise stated. This file may be disseminated without restriction for nonprofit purposes so long as it is preserved complete and unmodified. Quotes and ideas not already in the public domain may be freely used so long as due recognition is provided. State of unBeing is available at the following places: iSiS UNVEiLED 512.930.5259 14.4 (Home of SoB) THE LiONS' DEN 512.259.9546 24oo ftp to io.com /pub/SoB Submissions may also be sent to Kilgore Trout at <email@example.com>. Thank you. --SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB--