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, UfOFofO ,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 11/30/98 tahw ro who gniwonk to think. You are in FiFTY-ONE ni era uoY .kniht ot a state of unbeing.... ....gniebnu fo etats a
Good God, man. We actually did it. We went and got our own domain name. Yes, that's right, we've changed addresses again. This will be the last time since now all you have to do is type www.apoculpro.org and you don't have to worry about tildes or backslashes or any of that annoying crap that makes remembering web sites so annoying. I mean, how many people give you blank stares when you're spouting off a web address and you say, "tilde, dammit. don't you know what a tilde is? argh!" anyway, go check out the web page, done nicely by Nathan and Clock. If you want to help out in designing anything for the web page or can offer some helpful comments (or scathing criticisms, for all we care), email us.
And we've also got t-shirts. Yup. Now you too can be a walking advertisement for our zine, a position that you should cherish with all of your heart. We've got about 39 left, so it's a first-come, first-serve basis. We'll be sticking pictures of them up soon on the website and more info about them can be obtained by emailing me. We're gonna try not to charge for em, since we don't want to be capitalistic bastards, but at tops it may be like five bucks a shirt. Or you can just send us something really weird. We like getting strange things in the mail.
No Thanksgiving rant. The turkey is still dead.
In other news, the first "Fuck You, Clown" party had an excellent turnout, with around 10 people actually dressing up as clowns. Overall, there was a headcount of about 20 people that showed up at various times during the course of the night, and Austinites performed their true Friday late-night function by yelling at us from their pick-up trucks. Apparently, people don't think you should go around in costume if it's only been Halloween for a few minutes. Clockwork did not dress up as a clown. Instead, he dressed up as a Catholic schoolgirl. He even naired his legs. Pictures are being digitized and will be posted on the web for those that care to see how goofy we can make ourselves look.
Right. So, this issue rocks or something. Clockwork is back from his vacation and presents highlights from his lone trek into the desert. I got a postcard, did you? He also weighs in with one of his trademark rambly pieces about -- yup, that's right -- a girl. And it's true, even though her name isn't really Mary Blue. The innocent/guilty must be protected. ansat wants to impeach Clinton to keep the military from taking over (I think Ansat wants to impeach everybody, including me, but don't tell him that) and The Super Realist gives his view on the way news should be as well as more groovy poetrie. ansat also writes some fiction, and I do as well, and Sophie Random is back with an interesting piece that I think I'm going to have to go read again.
So read the zine, and for Christmas, as always, I want submissions. I want submissions from my regular writers, I want submissions from people who have written before but have slacked off, and I want submissions from you people who haven't written for us before. I would also like a giant pistachio.
And now, since the hurricane season ends today, I give you the zine. Enjoy.
From: Logsdon To: Kilgore Trout <email@example.com> kilgore-- my book alex the wolf-god and other grim and disturbing tales is now available at buy books on the web.com. also, it should be available through amazon. the url is as follows: http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/ just hit the search button, which will bring up a list of books. my book is the last one the page since it is the most recent. rich logsdon
[go and support one of our regular contributors by buying his book. it's all about diy ethics and stuff, right? i mean, it's not like that john grisham or tom clancy book you keep eyeing in the bookstore is going to do you a lot of good. besides, what would your friends say? "you're reading john grisham? i thought you knew good literature. tsk, tsk, tsk." hell, with rich logsdon, you'll be the only person within a fifty mile radius who owns the book. besides, he's the hippest guy in vegas i know, and if you're extra nice to him, he can hook you up as a player. or at least point you in the direction of the big, flashing neon signs.]
The Super Realist
One could say I went to purely test the boundaries of my beckoning moral code -- heave and flap in the smeared gray plane until it's smudged into black or white. I do not know if this is the truth. In at least some partial sense, yes, but I must say the body was willing, missing tender muffin-scented hands. In the midst of my gut now sits a wrenching thermodynamic law, pulsating and reciting couplets, and I know that it shouldn't -- it should keep its might high, absorbing rhyme after rhyme in the name of immortal man. But it seems my chest can take in only so much before lapsing into the land of the pithy.
It brings the tone of the beginning of an Ed Wood teen love romp, angst and black and pity me softly, but I will not allow it, only spinning a tale, and unburdening the angel folk, the confessional accompaniment, and pretty Polly lost in the desert. From a day of sinking rubber ships and streams of desperation, I sought out the lost members of now empty hallways, seeking and dodging, uncover their doormat -- who will wish to speak to me? Whom do I wish to speak to? And I'll join the Percival bandwagon and ignore the question why. In this fit of abandonment, carrier pigeons were freed, clasped calligraphy and all, to hunt and bounce through the random hertz of the earth reaching for the fawns afar. Little response I expected as I draped across high wooden chairs and sweat into the evening tuning thoughts to forget actions.
Awaking the morrow after, a pigeon stood above me -- perched in languid bold silence in a crooked masking windowsill, patient with care not to startle me in pecks and whirs -- a scrawled letter returned, and in it, the surprised glee of Mary Blue to hear from one Mister Me after years and years of unthought and perpendicular crosswalks. What do I say? Or, rather, what is the meaning behind what I may say? Send my messenger again, with subtle cryptic half-wits, look for the engagement, seek the flesh. That was what I was after, wasn't it? A crimson spat atop tumbling haystacks, high decibel panting, and on everyone goes with their ballroom steps. Dip the loins into premarital positions to soothe the nerves for another three moons.
Dates were set, time came and went with realization of the casts I'd grown into -- we were to meet the first time amongst trampled pumpkin groves in the minutes between one day and into the next, ducking beneath the flying dogs and Baron von Barons. There she sat in loose fitting robes, and the thick vanilla paste of unfed tension sat between us. I quickly found my way to my own vined corner bathing my head in casualness, smacking the care-free gums to smock fed blues, reluctant to look into any eyes. She had grown a small measurable amount since our beings sprouted four, five -- what time have I misplaced? -- years past. Not that she was an anorexic pitch forking gal in those years before, always being full and curved, and rounded and plump, not dripping with fat as some do even after being applied the kindness of "curved and plump." The words were accurate -- perhaps a curved volupt mermaid, dropped amongst the weeds and left to roll with the light-scented gingerbread men. Attractive, yes, for how can mermaids not be? The karmic challenge came when one tempted one's curiosity into breaching through the inner portions of Mary Blue, past the bouncy frolicky squeak squeak of whatever cheer was being eloquently valleyed at the time, dive -- DIVE! -- into the mist in search of broken antique clocks with hollow ticks. This was met with mist within mist within mist -- the only clock ticking being the one next to the front portals, digital, with sauntering lambs.
"What would thee do if I, Mary Blue, planted a kiss on little old you?"
While peeling through the humid gardens of the inner perch, Mary Blue had slipped her body within inches of my left, on aging oak trunks that rose and fell with the rotation of the earth. What would I do, she had asked, and I had thought that was indeed the goal posts I was running towards. Must not be crude and slapstick, you'll cause the market to crash -- scalawag, scalawag, you're asking for the Black Dot to be laid upon you. She kissed me as she said, as her eyes had read, as I had foreseen and hoped to receive, returning favor after favor, muscle tension love on rotting stubs of wood. Time became a distant balloon, as it does in such acts of body mush, and on we went, bit after bit, eventually tripping over each other's portions of flesh -- how many cells per square inch? Caress and move, dodge the cable cars, less you be railed. Minor tea and crumpet breaks, with the after tea mint and tobacco leaf, tuckled smuckled away in baby's arms watching Fred the blanket and Josephine the rabbit sit row after row along the ceiling.
May I state, and reiterate, all the onward action of land ho was preceded with viewed and reviewed and thriceviewed statements of consent, repetition of the capitalized No Expectations, in the dancy devil plan to alleviate any trappings and minor cuts and burns. No Expectations. No Expectations for either party to return with heavy head and heart, or await the bushel of flowers to be placed at the doorstep, final words, and romantic clinging backseat turns. No Expectations. Signed on and through the dotted line with meaded nods. On and on we go, as lips and trips and hands of wonder found their attention elsewhere, delving below the surface, the sweet risen Mary Blue jumping on the initiative train, vacuum tube pictures of Mom all agasped.
In these moments I caught sight of the sauntering midnight clock, it's little hand jumping to the four, anxious for the first morning dew rays. I was afraid I had to vacate the area, and commence my guarded tour of the Orient, back to the palace of moonshine and dog hair -- I voiced such concerns, and Mary Blue slinked back with succubus lust eyes, agreeing with voice, interceding with moonbeams. It worked, the lunar glowworm entering my veins, matrons of foul sainthood, and I chiseled my return to the land of Mary Blue, taking initiative in return, trotting down the trails walked by the likes of Degas and Dillinger --
"If thee goes there, thee best be coming back."
My stark eagles cried. "What is that? Was that not your word on the Declaration of No Expectations?" And I watched the Declaration burn and tear away. Mary Blue had no response, and I crept forth and on for tiny winkling moments, to her seeming approval, before retreating to the time bubbling grove of my own sealed windows.
I left the plains with her following me a bit out, leaning against post after post, as a sultry southern damsel does in Don Johnson films and foxfire trade romances -- gleaming eyes with hands dangling, robes splitting open to the perpetual breeze, and I felt her gaze and wondered what. Carriaged away in mumbles, I went, ranting on why and what am I doing? Sick guilt turpentine pangs, grunge sealed the skin, and I must awake in four hours. I enjoyed the moments, yes, but treaded openly on the dropping of No Expectations, fleeing to the distant point on line AB, feeling the Disney spokesperson statement of lust must come with love and never without, you cheap wine fool. Still caught up with the ancient tale of Madame Curie, perhaps? Perhaps, and yes, I am -- stricken with fear and self-righteous hurt, avoiding the hints and taste test that any offers. And I query myself on why I let my own stranger rhymes to impart these ways.
The Founding Fathers did not believe in the purity of human nature. For all their differences of opinion, they did universally hold to one thing: people are not always and universally good.
A corollary of this assumption is that a government -- made up of and by people -- can fall into the hands of individuals unworthy of the governance of a free people, even in a democracy. The Founding Fathers sought a nation of free people.
It is today an insufficiently stressed feature of the ideal of the United States government that the Founding Fathers set up that all the elements of the state should be in conflict with each other. Division of powers was not to make the workload lighter or the writing of textbooks easier. If the elements of the government are in conflict with each other, they will have less time to be in conflict with the people.
This, too, is only one step. Other forces are supposed to keep the government in check. Freedom of the press and freedom of the church were instituted to limit the powers of government. Juries were instituted to allow for the nullification of unjust laws. Freedoms of speech and association, and the right to bear arms were instituted to preserve the ability of the people to challenge and overthrow the government. The people should always be keeping the government in check.
Because this underlying assumption has been neglected in the minds of the people, who have become lazy and allowed a caste of masters to run the nation, this division of powers has become weakened. Much ink has been spilt on balance of power examples such as activist judges and Executive Orders usurping legislative powers, without the oversight and sometimes without even the knowledge of the legislative branch; or the conflict between federal powers and states' rights. I write today about another, less discussed aspect of the balance of power.
Just as there is, under the Constitution, a line of distinct succession of the presidency, so too there is a succession of responsibility in the obligation to preserve the virtue of the presidency. First, of course, is the office of the President. The President has the obligation of self-regulation. (The office is not to be used to the best benefit of the holder until and unless caught; that is the behavior of a tyrant.) The office is also to be weak and rotated, so as to prevent the accumulation of too much power in one person's hands. Failing this regulation, it is the obligation of the Congress to remove the President.
At this point in history, we are seeing a critical test of this system. If Congress fails to impeach, Congress has failed in its Constitutional obligations. (Impeachment is not a finding of guilt, but the court process to investigate charges. The debate as to whether an offense is "sufficient" to impeach has no place under our Constitution. Clinton, like every citizen of a free nation, deserves his day in court, and so too the people under his jurisdiction deserve to have him held to the rule of law.) If Congress makes up something new, such as "censure," Congress has still failed in its Constitutional obligations. In either case, Congress will have effectively dealt itself out of the Constitutional government game. We, as Americans, will have ceased to be under a Constitutional government in both the executive and the legislative branches. At this point, we have fallen under the rule of men by virtue of power, and will no longer be under the rule of law.
As sovereign citizens, we must decide individually whether we concede to this overthrow of our nation. We may consent, we may resist, or we may passively object. But there remains one element of the population that does not have the privilege of cowardice, for this element -- like the President, like the Congress -- has been sworn to the enforcement and defense of the Constitution.
In the Oath of Enlistment, every member of the United States armed forces makes this oath: "I, ..., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same..." In the event the United States government ceases to be constitutional, it devolves upon these men and women to overthrow this de facto government.
It is a matter of great pride in the United States armed forces that this oath is made to the Constitution, and not to a man. I was brought up with this emphasized. Men can do wrong; the Constitution exists to keep these fallible men in line. The Constitution has built into itself the course of action to be taken if this Constitution falls out of date or fails to fulfill the people's needs: the amendment process. If the Constitution fails to keep the men in government in line, the military takes seriously its duty to protect the nation against our domestic enemies.
The military is among the most conservative elements in this nation. The military does not exist to create policy, but to preserve policy consented to by the people. The military is a dangerous force, and takes itself seriously. But if the Constitution is at stake, they owe it to themselves and to their nation to do their sworn duty -- and preserve the Constitution.
The government knows this. Despite the lies coming from the White House and even the Pentagon, the troops do not support Clinton. Clinton knows this himself, and has ordered that no one in the military is permitted to speak out against the President. (The suppression of free speech utilized in the criticism of the government is not the action of the government of a free people.) And the animosity towards the Commander in Chief is so great that, despite this censure, officers are publicly speaking out -- an in so doing risking their commissions. Clinton may have had a lifelong disgust for the military, but he is coming to have a healthy respect for this power that can bring him down.
Clinton has never been popular with the military. He has demoralized the force by imposing on them unpopular and unwanted social experimentation. He has used them for the enforcement of foreign policy dreams less in the interests of the American people than of his globalist friends. He has personally allowed, as Commander in Chief, officers in the military to suffer loss of commission for less criminal sexual activities than he is accused of having committed. Now, he has admitted to lying under oath, and evading the spirit, if perhaps not the letter, of the law. Even if the worst allegations are untrue -- of having politically purged the military, of having had the military lie to the Congress on military readiness issues, and of worse crimes against national security -- these actions should be investigated, and impeachment should allow the facts to come to light.
The persons in the military I know personally want the Constitutionally sanctioned system to work. Even those who did not support Clinton in the first place have been willing to follow him as their President and Commander in Chief, even into unfavored policies. They understand the danger of the military, and the need for civilian oversight. They understand the role of impeachment. But they also know their duty.
The authority of the military derives from the people, not from the government. It exists to enforce the people's law -- in our nation, the Constitution -- not the laws of the government. This is the justification for a standing army among free people, and a strong justification for an all-volunteer force.
The military acts as the main line of defense against enemy governments, even if this enemy government is on American soil. In defending the people against usurpers, they act for the defense of the people, and ought to have the support of the people. For if the military fails to stop a government no longer under rule of law, the next and last line of defense is the overthrow of that government by the people themselves.
Ignited Democratic accusations, he was a "federally paid sex policeman" -- a deputy who posed as a 15-year-old girl in an Internet chat room, albeit an extremely ugly one. Police in Osmo, south of Stockholm, have been charged with disseminating child pornography because of its brutality and evidence it was carried out because they were gay. For logjamming the province's peace process Thursday on a mission to bring down a president, Congress said it would be closed Friday as a precaution. But a bacteria known as campylobacter is rampant, and all congressmen with an "R" by their name were immediately killed. No one is expected to attend the funerals.
Beaten and tied to a fence post, the province's British identity will bring together nearly 490 tons of man-made mass in orbit. North Korea launched a Taepo Dong missile Aug. 31 for the express purpose of logjamming the province's peace process Thursday. Barth works as data standards manager for the Office of the Secretary of the Senate that will take him to or confirm Swedish reports the body had been in the freezer for 10 years, and could cause food poisoning. First Minister Trimble warned that island-wide institutions must not blur else an island-wide drug policy will be introduced.
After being pistol-whipped and tied to a fence, in a slow drawl, Starr outlined his probe and said it would be closed Friday as a precaution. One of the two men accused of murdering Matthew Shepard, fled from angry Democrats, Thursday's Bangkok Post said. For logjamming the province's peace process Thursday, The Agriculture Department has tightened regulations unless the bird is properly cooked. And kid, let me tell you, it was toothsome... I mean absolutely tasty.
Following an historic accord for ending 30 years of strife, despite international pressure to curtail its missile program, a prosecutor exploded Thursday as the victim's parents listened quietly. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Monica Lewinsky and his arguments for infringement on semen evidence in higher courts. Director of food safety for the group said this was a very common problem in Washington D.C., but a bacteria known as campylobacter is rampant. President Clinton shrugged off the distraction of peaches since The Agriculture Department has tightened regulations and pulled no punches in telling Japan what it needed to do, especially with cigars.
Zarya navigation and communications module lawyers told the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the ruling, following an historic accord for ending 30 years of strife. Japan is responding by boosting its defenses with an anti-missile system, on the eve of talks with Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, for a few months. Hearings were scheduled in Washington to deliver a stern message to Japan from angry Democrats to pull itself and Asia out of recession after the attack last month at the University of Wyoming.
Police dogs found the body in the woods and in Washington. To deliver a stern message to Japan unless the bird is properly cooked (nothing like an underdone whore, Sparky), a recent court ruling outlawing plea-bargained testimony entitles their client to a new trial. I said it would be closed Friday as a precaution, but did anyone believe me? I don't think so. I don't know why, either. I mean, it's not like I lie or cheat or steal or beat women or anything... that I'd admit to the resulting U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan while fending off blistering attacks. The Washington Post reported Friday they learned of the dead baby after an argument between a senior editor and the circulation director. Unfortunately, it was later learned to be Kilgore Trout's illegitimate son.
Complete in 2004 in an interior equal to the inside of two 747 jets, the $60 billion station will be the most expensive project surpassed only by Kenneth Starr's arguments to Congress, South Korea and the U.S. territory of Guam, bringing together the U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada, in equal loathing of this republican parasite. "We must see what the examination of the body shows," said Christer Holmer, a police inspector, after an angry mod fell upon Starr as he delved into the Princess Diana affair. Some say Starr was really a radiological mutant developed by the Russians during the Chernobyl disaster. "I think it would be wrong to expect anything dramatic to happen," ignited Democratic accusations on Nobel peace laureate Trimble, elected First Minister.
"While no one invites salmonella or campylobacter ..., " a recent court ruling outlawing plea-bargained testimony, even from bacterium. A recent Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans thought Clinton's actions could be grounds for impeachment if Clinton ejaculated on Monica Lewinsky after being pistol-whipped and tied to a fence. But a bacteria known as campylobacter is rampant, and the Gallup poll showed that 54% of Americans couldn't find fault in the president for that, nor for his poor English.
U.S. authorities had alerted Thai counterparts to the presence of three Arab terrorists, but said a Feb. 1999 deadline for political progress could be met. Either that or the Panama Canal will be handed over to the Shiites, whichever comes first. Sheahan said. Arafat said. Clinton said. Bill Burroughs said. Who gives a fuck? Dan Brockaw, that's who. Oh yeah, North Korea launched a Taepo Dong missile Aug. 31. A recent court ruling outlawing plea-bargained testimony, citing, "Consumers must expect these unwelcome guests every time they bring home a presidential impeachment hearing." A judge ordered the Justice Department Thursday to delay enforced e-mailing of 13 photos depicting child pornography. Clinton characteristically challenged the ruling.
I am currently sitting in a Roswellian hotel, attempting to keep from staring at the television. After driving on two-lane whipped nugget highways for nine hours, I seem to have tunnel vision, and now tend to fixate on things a bit more than usual. My depth perception is also off, eyes weary, and feet cold, but all in all I believe I am fine.
Rain began to seep down from the sky as soon as I left my house, and continued to rain until the exact moment I crossed the Texas-New Mexico border, heading west. Exactly. On my way into New Mexico, I passed by a Coor's Light billboard, six seconds later watching a Coor's Light truck drive by -- ten minutes after that I passed over a discarded Coor's Light can, six seconds later watching a Coor's Light truck drive by. During the first stop I made -- at a mom and pop gas station-grocery store combo -- I noticed my Area 51 parking sticker has casually fallen from its usual place in the back window. This I took as a sign, as I had planned on removing it before entering any such overwatched area, and apparently, it wanted to be removed well beforehand, to avoid the chance I would forget.
The first hour of driving, I wrestled with my psyche...
Oh, look, the X-files is on, and its simulcast in Spanish.
Wrestled with loneliness, worry, nervous fear anticipation blizzard. This is my first trek far into the world alone. Three hours later, I began listening to Pink Floyd, which temporarily stopped the rain, and brought me back to earth. After five hours, I was no longer exhausted -- professional driver mode invaded my body and snatched away the human elements. West/north Texas terrain is flat. Damn flat. Obscenely overbearing portions of farmland. With nifty looking sprinkler systems. As for New Mexico, I can not say what the terrain is like -- the 150 miles I've driven through has been in complete darkness. I did see a fox, however. And being in complete darkness, with no major cities within 100 miles, the New Mexico sky is amazing -- no intruding artificial lights, just countless spinning stars. Very close stars.
Roswell seems to lie in a valley. Maybe. Just a guess, since there was a deep descent about five minutes before I got here. I passed through Tatum, also -- very cryptic, rustic, dilapidated, tiny town. Strange. A ghost town starter kit. Roswell has a population of a bit under forty thousand, much larger than I had thought. Main Street is literally the main street in the town -- how many blocks it runs, I am not sure, but immediately turning on it, I was met with traffic lots, traffic, a swooping strip of buildings and lights, as well as (standing right before me), the UFO Research Center, UFO Museum, and a converted theater with alien heads and UFO spanked all over it. It was depressing, actually. I am sure the residents have a brooding hate for all the hooplah over space alien fantasies and whipper snapper anti-scientists. And here I was participating in it all, stacking up the whole feeling of exploitation and cheesy plastic capitalism. I'd like to at least grab some photos of the places, but I am uncertain. It will occur only if I grow enough winged courage and shed any guilt.
I've met Megan, the Wendy's cashier.
I am avoiding driving at night -- because I can see no landscape, and I am paranoid.
Tomorrow. I will probably just vacate this place. Perhaps. Depends on how the felines act in the daylight. I do wish to visit White Sands Missile Range. So, onward I will go, not forgetting the postcards.
And, by the way, I have seen zero UFOs, today. Except for a few bright random flashes over the hillside when I was approaching Roswell. But, ya know, either nuclear tests or lightning. Clear sky lightning. No, not a spotlight -- too random, no beam, very bright.
Now, it's X-files and sleep.
Took a little while to get to sleep last night, even though I was thoroughly exhausted again. I wandered west of Roswell -- did not stay there at all Friday morning. The McDonald's I stopped at to get my 90% water, 2% coffee, 8% cream, was wall-to-wall senior citizens. I felt as though I was crashing some Elk Lodge convention. Upon leaving, however, I was met with plains. Flattened, dry, grazing plains separated by immense plateau mesa-like steppes.
The two guys a few tables away from me -- at the Grants, NM House of Pancakes -- are discussing garters and nylons with the waitress. I did not think good ole boys were prone to such a thing. Ah... there is why: Marilyn Manson. Odd. And there are the grunts and headshakes of disgust.
Outside of Roswell, perhaps 45 miles west, the road dove into valleys of these careening humpback hills. I say hills, but the size and proportions were of sixteen such hills, all carved without error, lightly studded with shrubs, the occasional stripe of yellow amber -- bright bright center of the sun yellow -- vertical trees leaping from the ground. Elevation changes were great, as I felt my ears pop and unpop, implode, and whatnot. An interesting note -- city limit signs do not contain population information, only elevation information. I believe the highest point I have vaulted through so far has been just under 10,000 ft. above sea level, through pine covered mountain regions, with campgrounds, RVs, and firedancing loggers. This was in the midst of the Mescalero Indian Reservation, where Native American graffiti adorned the roadside.
Leaving the area, I headed towards White Sands Missile Range, choosing to meet a highway that went north, then west, around the region. HWY 70 seems to cut directly through the range itself, directly past the WSMR National Monument, which I hope to hit on the way back. I could see the bullocks of towering mountains kneading into the horizon as I came upon the area, a misty sea of white in front of them, crying of mythical fantasia wizardhold myths. Around the range I went, through a barren, windy place.
Have you seen my hair? It's horrible.
Passing the Trinity test site -- nothing visible, only marked with gunshot signs and a closed shack of an information center. One sign spoke "Dust Storm Area, Next 2 Miles." Several hours later, before Albuquerque, another sign, "Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers: Prison Facilities."
VLA -- Very Large Array. An hour or two northwest of WSMR, in the Socorro Plains. I coasted down a country half-paved road in search of the supposed VLA access road, and came across a white van dancing along dirt roads leading to the dishes -- these were the only roads initially seen by myself. As I stopped to view the area, and watch the gentleman take photos, a white truck flew past me to intercept the photographer, who quickly sped off. I waltzed over to where he was, after the white truck had disappeared, only to find Authorized Personnel Signs in my way. Back I went, down the country road, and realized my speedometer had stopped working. Stuck at 0. The van carrying the photographer had stopped a bit up the road, in front of the closest dish to the highway. And to him I went again -- he sped off as I pulled up behind him, and I felt as though I was one of Them. Happily enough, where I pulled over there was a historical marker sign, reiterating the fact the VLA was open to the public, and I just had to go down the road further. So I did, finally finding the paved access road to the complex, and stumbled my way inside. Amazingly enough, there were a dozen or so people -- tourists -- who came and went while I was there, most of which over the age of 50.
Now. It's off to the four corners to hunt for alien caves and sealed dreams. The weather is predicted to be fabulouso for the next week, so me and my fellow Americans should be safe. After that, it is the Grand Canyon, where I will build a bridge of tweed and tongue my way across.
Oh Denny's, oh Denny's, shone like a bright welding light. Choice between here, McDonald's, something to the effect of "Good Ol' Country Hole," and The Kettle -- yes, The Kettle, how I was so tempted to taste the foreign cuisine it had to offer. But alas, I broke down and entered these doors. Where are the doors? In Flagstaff, Arizona. Yessir. Have you seen me so chipper this far? No, I think not. What why -- I can't smoke in here.
I spent most of yesterday not driving here, but driving north towards the infamous Four Corners Landmark. I took US-666, naturally, through the everlasting Navajo Indian Reservation. US-666 was sick and bare, littered with nothing but scores of bipeddling Navajos. A six mile stretch was closed down and under construction -- to be repaved with Navajo blessings, as the white man initially plowed down the sacred ground with no care. A few hundred miles north, passing Indian after Indian who were not reluctant to stare. There was a high level of poverty in the area, with no surprise, and I began to feel guilty, being a white man, one of those who metabolized their culture, their livelihood, and spat at their feet. Exploitation was the magic word of the day. Authentic Indian Jewelry, Indian Relics, Indian Dolls, Indian Rugs, all for sale, all over here, take this exit, next exit, 2 miles to the right. It got rather disturbing. Stumbling into the town of Shiprock -- the largest clustered Navajo community I viewed, two/three room wooden mini-cabins quilted the area, one not more than two feet from the other. Not as though it was a thriving metropolis -- only a few hundred houses that I could see, no lawns, no decorations, just dirt and wood. And in the middle of it all was a sparkling new Taco Bell. I needed to use the restroom, but could not get my pride and non-tourist white man kick out of my head.
Instead, I went right along to the Four Corners Monument, so far the most disappointing, depressing event of the trip. $1.50 to get in. To get into nothing. This dead end gravel road, lined with 40 run-down booths -- a handful were open, Navajos capitalizing on the visitors -- and a brass plate set in concrete. Sure, it's neat you can jump from Colorado to Arizona to Utah, to New Mexico, in any combination you desire, and attempt to suck your body up into a single point where they all meet hoping to become so nether you won't have to return to work. But the sickening half-locust surroundings, empty booths, rotting downpainted wood, seething of an ill desperation. On the way back I stopped at an interesting trading post grocery store -- next to a corner where Native Americans sat amongst their tables, peddling more and more goods. Sign on the door, "Must make purchase to use the restroom. Non-customers can pay $1.00." Well, I don't agree with this, but I can understand the hassle they must endure. Perhaps it was use of the word 'can' that turned me off. I purchased a Sprite, totaling $.90, giving the unpleased looking Navajo cashier woman $1.00, and receiving a penny in return accompanied with weary glazed over stares. I just left at that point, getting mucho bad vibes. In the hour trip back to Shiprock, I battled my head, apparently turning the whole incident into a race issue, pouring more guilt over me for being white, and more guilt for destroying the Native American race -- ancient settler vs. Indian imagery flooded my eyes, and I became rather distraught for a while. Then I decided it was all damn silly and moved on.
But I swore every Navajo I passed while driving away knew what was going on.
The rest of the day I spent returning south, again on US-666, which, by the way, has not a single sign on it marking the highway -- no giant reflective green US-666 sign waiting for its photo to be taken. Only mile markers. I did stop on the side of the road, twice, to take pictures, and I was not accosted, murdered, or raped, so all is well.
As the sun began to set, I entered Arizona. I stated New Mexico had the deepest blue and purples I had seen in my life, but I was wrong. Arizona is far superior. During the sunset, both while the sun was heading for the horizon, and the two hours after it sunk into the horizon, the sky and land was doused, soaked with color -- the area being a vastly flat desert, more so than New Mexico, allowed for a full 360 degree view of this ancient reoccurring display, each view stretching miles to the horizon. Wondrous ecstatic bubbles from my eyes. Arizona has a much better vibe than New Mexico, and I'm digging Flagstaff, with it's much friendlier inhabitants and free roaming elk, which dance across the lawns.
Groups of Germans, groups of Brits, on to the Grand Canyon.
Oh my. I was hyperactive with frothing amazement yesterday, spending the day at the Grand Canyon. I was expecting an amusement park of sorts -- tourist havens and tourist grills to feed the wandering man. There were people there, yes, but not an extraordinary amount -- a dozen here, a dozen there. A comfortable amount of bodies to go around. First seeing the canyon as I entered the park I was stunned by the sheer size -- you can watch any documentary you wish, and read the specs on how wide, how long, how deep -- but you can not truly understand the size without standing upon the rim. The immensity slowly faded away, and the textures and coloring of the landscape began to take its place. Millions of years of tortured rock, in red and white and misty pink, sheer propelling cliff faces, geometrically sound pyramid tops, Buddhist temples, smooth gritting sand, a miniature stream called the Colorado, wheeling, paving its way through the miles of air and dust to the other side, the countless other sides, eyes dancing from shadow to corner to dip and crevasse.
Shadows. At sunset, I stood on the far eastern rim, as far as the park allows without diving into the depths of the canyon itself. Every turn and peak laid out before me cast diving, moving shadows into the others. Across the divide, the colors and shadows formed into words, an ancient text scrawled before everyone.
I hiked eight miles along westward along the rim that day, wanting desperately to head down a trail, descending into the canyon, but knowing I did not have the equipment -- as it would take a full day to descend to the bottom -- nor did I wish to go alone. I will come back soon, with a crew to trek amongst the rocks and sheep.
Monday I drove up into Nevada. Strange, strange place, littered with RVs and trailers and stray men backpacking the highway. Nothing is out there except for sand, sand mountains, trailers, and trash. I entered Las Vegas after the sunset -- not as wondrous as the Arizona desert, but cooked with a phosphorous red -- and crawled through the city in the middle of rush hour. Dead stop 80% of the time, fields of rancho houses, all strikingly the same, covered the valley, rows of neon sign after sign, premeditated LED displays with horribly digitized photos and animation. Tempting, tempting, I can see how one could be enticed, strapped in and locked down here. I decided not to stay in a hotel casino -- wanting to avoid the pack mobs and mob itself. A Super 8 billboard -- hotel and casino. Such evil insanity. So, I kept on driving, through Vegas and North Vegas, and suddenly there was desert, a highway, and completely blackness.
I kept going. Seeing towns every 30 miles or so per the road signs. These signs did not say most were ghost towns, and the others air force bases, airports, and prisons. All in all I drove another 200 miles or so north, in a pitch black chilling desert on a two-lane highway. On to the town of Tonopah. A quarter of the way there, I realized I was driving right alongside the western edge of Nellis Air Force Base -- home of the Nevada test range, Area 51, and other such things. And what an immense range it is. Tonopah lies on the northern/northwestern edge of the base, and the entire base is lined with towering sandesque mountains.
It was perhaps 6:30pm when I was in the middle of it, very paranoid, a bit cold, and extremely weary -- totaling 12 hours of driving by then. I listened to AM radio, hoping for human voices to lull me to sanity, ending up listening to a Denver Broncos football game. At one point in time, actually, exactly 6:45pm Pacific, two huge yellowish flashes came from Nellis. Artificial, yes. What it was, I have no idea, but I had to laugh. There was not a cloud in the sky, by the way -- completely clear, it was not lightning. Paranoia increased as I drove on and on. I seemed to bring myself back down a bit by fantasizing about going to some remote cheesy strip club in the middle of the desert. Rich Logsdon and company came to mind, and I realized how right he was -- vampires and ghouls covered the area. The city of Sin and Evil and Lycanthropes. Hunter S. Thompson was damn right, also. There is no other locale in the nation better suited for fear and loathing.
Pahrump Junction. I contemplated it, but only wished for a hotel. Without a casino. I guaranteed myself I would leave, not passing Go, not collecting lost alien artifacts, in the morning if I found a fantastical hotel. And I did. In Tonopah -- a Best Western with NO casino. Hell, it was even independently owned and operated.
Might I point out that I am damn tired of HBO showing The Rainmaker.
I slept, and left the next morning, coming back the way I came. Dirt roads slip off the highway every 50/100 ft. or so, but I only paid attention the ones heading in the direction of Nellis. Drove all the way to Wickensburg, Arizona. Incidentally, I crossed over the Hoover Dam both coming into Nevada and exiting. I must admit it is an amazing piece of engineering -- both the dam itself and the highway that twists its way through it with 180 degree and more turns and sharp inclines and declines all the way through. When stopping to look around, I realized I was wearing an Earth First shirt, and I wondered how people took that. Thoughts of monkeywrench wet dreams of dissolving numerous dams in the west and southwest, and thoughts of the recent anti-resort incident in Colorado, wondering if people viewed me as some crazed evil environmental freakazoid.
Wickensburg is about 60 miles northwest of Phoenix -- deciding to take an alternate route as I headed back east, as well as looking out for any massive UFO landing preparations. I haven't seen anything obvious. I am also only traveling on 93 South, which cuts through the middle of some Arizonian plains -- large spaces lie to the east and west of the road.
AND. I finally saw one of the stereotypical tourist cactus -- standing tall, with limb or two branching out, forming somewhat of a distorted 'Y.' I was beginning to think it was all a lie, that perhaps when we slaughtered all the buffalo, we also slaughtered this cactus.
After sleeping in Wickensburg -- treating myself to two movies with a credit card fed instant movie device, however suckerish and alarming it may be -- I am now in Sun City. The ORIGINAL Sun City, about 30 miles northwest of Phoenix. At Denny's. I miss the diners of the northeast -- this is the closes one can get to a diner down here. East I will go, through Phoenix/Tucson, then down through El Paso, heading directly to Austin. Looking forward to this 14 hour drive I have ahead of me. This will probably be the last thing I write, as I am entering a slickened demented driving mode, and will soon arrive home. I still need to mail off Ansat's postcard.
"In the East poets are sometimes thrown in prison -- a sort of compliment, since it suggests the author has done something at least as real as theft or rape or revolution. Here poets are allowed to publish anything at all -- a sort of punishment in effect, prison without walls, without echoes, without palpable existence -- shadow-realm of print, or of abstract thought -- world without risk or eros."
Do it now, sleeping fish Dream your sleeping fish Dreams And I'll pray that you don't wake up in someone's fishbowl But if you do, then I'll pray that the bowl be made out of rose colored glass and the glass is half full instead of half empty With just the right amount of food Because I know how hard it is to find good help these days Not like I'm very good help anymore Especially since I've stopped going to Perkin's late at night and not harass the waitresses or wait-staff or waiting attendants or whatever is politically correct now-a-days Do you like coffee with your cream? Or does the caffeine Keep you awake at night?
Commencement Bay Industrialized beauty as an inlet of the Pacific Faces and angels in artificial clouds from steam smokestacks reflected off blue waters rippled by freight and barges -- Barging in on tranquil evening inky blackness. Lights and stars are the countless working souls or the light of opportunity missed. I'm never sure which, But I'm not part of that -- maybe My hands are cleansed by the blue waters And I look into the lights of souls (or missed opportunities) and I wonder if one of those lights is special for me. Who do I know who might be down there amongst the docks of freights and captains and iron spinnakers? Am I a small dot of lights? Am I a singular soul? Am I missing my opportunities? So much left for me to learn "What are any of us here for?" I cry out in cliche wonderment, but I only hear a siren -- A drug deal gone bad Or another case of workman's comp Or a heart attack; another light being added to be reflected from the rippled waters I want everything still yet still everything moves away from the wind like the steam rising transforming from faces and angels into fists and monsters. I want the water to be still, But if a king cannot stop the ocean How can I?
The writer has gone blind.
He has always lived in words, but not the sounds of words. Words form the concepts that give form to the metaphysics of his mind, and it is the forms of words, through reading and writing, that have always allowed him to interpenetrate the world.
Blind, he can speak haltingly, and struggle to listen, to hear, through a veil he can see -- but only behind what remains of his eyes.
When his eyes went, he-the-reader died. The writer lives, but he no longer writes for himself because of some ideal, or such purity of motive as he truthfully never had, but because he can no longer produce the physical remains of the writing process. The physical child of his intercourse with the muse no longer is created; it is as if he no longer has anything to say, for he no longer has anything that can be heard.
He communicates only to himself. He had never realized how much more important it was to him to understand than to be understood.
When he was young, he never bothered to look. What he saw was within by choice. He'd always liked his solitude, at least as long as he could see his way back. As his eyes went, he wished to look everywhere, to see everything. He would be asked why he stared. "Because I want to have this experience to draw from when I go blind."
No one believed him. Or if they did, or pretended to, they saw it as a far-off horror, a specter he scared himself with. None of them knew the horror he faced. Words could not express it. Even when he could be heard, he could not tell.
Blindness would take his voice. Blindness began by taking his ability to say so.
"Is there anyone around?"
The writer sits, talking to an ex-lover. He knows she's beautiful. He remembers her. She was always beautiful to him, and always will be. He used to know others found her beautiful, but didn't care. Now he doesn't know, and doesn't care. No one else speaks to him anymore. No one else is interested in a writer who writes only for himself, especially one who will leave no literary corpse to be discovered post mortem.
"Why do you care so much?"
"Is there anyone beautiful?"
"What do you consider beautiful?"
"You," he thinks. But he says, "If anyone knows my tastes, it's you." In his mind, the first six words are ornaments. He supposes she knows. He prays she keeps her promise never to pity him.
"I don't care if they are beautiful or not. Describe someone to me. Let me use your eyes."
She will not let him read her. She never would let herself be consumed, even in part. She pulls back, a little, just out of reach. He hopes it's a little. When he cannot touch her, he is isolated, in a void. He can't bear the thought of being left in the park alone, unable to see, unable to find his way home.
With all the cold, she could be dead.
The writer sits alone. The cool of the wind beats against him, and he finds it pleasurable, remembering the warmth of a woman. He hopes she will come back to him soon. Her voice is the only connection with the world he has left. Sensations have never seemed real to him; only if he senses a mind, a soul, does he feel he is in the presence of Being.
The sensations -- the inner sensations -- of laughter are a bit more complex. He hears the children laugh, and "knows" what they look like. (The quotation marks are his.) He can see in his mind warm skin, taut in the cool, ruddy in the wind; flapping skirts; braids thoughtlessly tossed back from bright eyes; blouses flapping over lacks of breasts; smiles. He watches them run -- clad in the style of another year, perhaps the style of no year, of no age -- selectively bred by the husbands of his imagination for beauty, youth, vigor. He sees no cripples like himself, moral or physical.
And he represses the knowledge he has created these children, unreal as his thoughts, because this would emphasize his isolation so much. He can no longer bear the truth.
He selects one girl, and watches her age. He sees the fleeting cares of adolescent traumas; budding breasts and the breathless blush of a first kiss and a first touch. He watches her grow and develop with all the pleasure of a work of art -- more, for this one lasts a decade. He freezes her a few years later -- seventeen? nineteen? -- and watches her in slow motion, unaging, unchanging.
He feels warmth on his hand. His companion has returned.
She clipped him. Into little pieces in her brain he was clipped. The pieces didn't fit anymore. A puzzle. Like a jigsaw puzzle she tried to put him back together but pieces of her and pieces of him were in a heap and she threw them across the room.
"...these faults -- why do I keep thinking faults? -- no no no -- I wasn't thinking faults, I was thinking THOUGHTS -- that invade me. People are thoughts that invade me. That can't be original. So it is a fear of losing myself, but not into some goddamn ABYSS but into HIM -- it's become increasingly obvious that I'm contradicting myself all over the place -- maybe it's the thought of him. The invading thought of him -- constantly going over him -- what he means, what he says, and the thing is -- I'll never know. And that's what it boils down to. That's what he has not -- he doesn't have that wall to bang his head against. I'm banging my head against a wall. I'll never know what he is or who he is or what he's thinking every moment and maybe that's what he knows. I'm killing him -- or trying to in my mind -- that's what it is, some sort of murder, but the thing is: this is mine and it's for me -- I guess -- but the thoughts of him still leave me with nothing.... Writing, writing is the way to get it out, but, He's Still Here. He still invades... Everything has fallen calm? Yes, that's it. Everything has fallen calm. Is that why it puts me to sleep? It lulls me to sleep when I rock or when I tap my foot -- and it's like a connectedness, it's like a oneness -- and I hate the separateness of others. I hate the fact that they are foreign, that I don't know them, what's in their head... Is this the answer you can't give me? Am I really something you can't understand?"
They hit the wall with a thud. Spilling over each other, no distinctions could be made. Why must we kill each other to finally penetrate?
how I hate you for this,
how I despise and hate,
was my beauty so slight a gift,
so soon, so soon forgot?
"I hate you for this,
and now that your fault be less,
I would cry, turn back,
lest she the shameless and radiant
slay you for neglect."
I see her, and she's in my favorite Mazzy Star song, the one about "you're just waiting for her to come apart/you're just waiting for her," and in a way I envy her. Her pain, her anguish, god what it must be like. What it must be like. Feeling him love her, feeling him need her, still, always, always still secretly hoping, never letting go. Whether it be the case or not, and that's the rub -- whether it be the case or not -- she feels it. What that must be like. And I want to offer her something, I want to give her something, a promise, an unconditional promise, like he gave to his Great Love. For the sake of justice. I feel an odd sort of complicity, an odd sort of desire to reach out to her. Something like sisterhood. Something like sisterhood, with deepset admiration. What a sacrifice she's making. How she's throwing her self out there, for him. For him. How deeply that must gnaw at her, how much that must ache and tear and pull her apart. To want, to want, to want.
And it's funny, because in a way they're a lot alike. They love what they cannot have, they pine and they yearn. In a way, it draws them close. She feels it deeper, because she knows, she knows what he is or was going through, because that's her story. That's her story, and she must see that commonality in him. She should see that. It's kind of tragic in a way, kind of beautiful.
She interests me, because they see something in her. Something is in her, and I wonder if she knows that. Do you know that? Do you? (I wished I would have asked her.) How lucky you are that they see something in you? What is it, in you? What is it, exactly, pray do tell, that I lack? But that isn't the point.
I want her to know that there is, there is, something in her. Of her. From her. There is, because they do fall. They do give of themselves. There is something in her, and it's not something that she can sacrifice.
But I, I lack that lock, that hold on that something which makes me desirable. I give it up to them, easily, and then there's nothing left of me to love.
She must be very wise.
(the sound of the music comes out of the curtained chapel window its stylized holiness putting a post-confirmational pre-marital sex smile on the catholic hungover faces and i'm still typing it out)
it's now, once again, to get it going. it's now i think to try a different voice -- it's now sigh sigh sigh to yell out loud that i'm just fucking with you -- who me -- no you -- and your friends no friends just skins lots of skins i hate i hate the onion metaphor just try to grasp here just try to reach me here ok? i hate reading about the life of you and me when i didn't write it. i hate (i hate) the story, i hate the plot -- and the setting stinks smells like late night breakdown burned up poetry notebooks, my friend. my friend? right and then i said who the fuck deemed you the End-All? who -- i know it was me -- it's always me, always me fucking with you fucking with you not being fucked -- same oldsame old. the power of the writer is cruel -- the trick -- is to disguise your lonely ramblebabble into pretty cynical paradoxical allegories with 'fuck' used a myriad of ways so that the asshole reading it thinks it means something. what a fluke: we're all just starving for attention pity sex sex sex and the best thing you ever wrote sweetheart was the description of her tits her tits you sorry assholes -- i hate i hate it the silent crashing of the past in slow mo -- i understand the hiding of your flesh and i grasp the rubbing of your shaft but please explain please reiterate why we two sorry losers hooked up because i'm sick of writing about it -- you write about it for once -- for once somebody write something that doesn't sound like cotton candy vomit (very interesting but your imagery needs work) -- little boy in all your imagination, in all your lies (and how's that for imagery) (fuck imagery say what needs to be said) -- i used to write to myself and i'd ask myself questions to answer upon a later reading, but i got rid of that documentation of my pain long ago when i was still complacent about the future which is hurdling at me and all i can think of is the unsteady feeling inside that is beckoning something, something and who cares anymore? because i destroyed that past right? right. you are gone, whoever you are and here's something for someone anyone to listen and learn to and from: you are always saying something about yourself when you write. and shut up and read this -- get your head out of your ass and read -- you are always present in there when you write. give the characters names numbers labels make yourself happy but realize that (ha and i'm going to use it) realize that when you look with real eyes you are staring at yourself and frankly it isn't polite. manners mannerisms forks knives spoons the drink the smoke the gang the pal the late night meaning of life realizations that disappear with day -- we are just fools, just people, just bad metaphors in here, nothing else. the profundity is comical at best -- at best -- we are musicians of words that's it nothing more don't make it into some kite of aesthetic art just go with the tune whistle along put another tape in your walkman mow the lawn fuck your significant other and die.
laborious this is laborious i'm going on strike and i will not come back to Being Alone until the wages are better until i get benefits until we sit down and talk about a contract and everyone signs it and i get a two week vacation and all holidays off then maybe maybe i'll come back but as of right now i'm going on strike and i'm going to picket under your window and i'm going to make you pay me more for this for this i want something in return for this absurd loneliness people don't do this for free you know i want a cost of Staying Alive increase every year and i will not compromise i will not back down and i will not throw myself at your feet i have rights i am a human being and it's hard doing what i'm doing and you don't know the half of it sitting up there in your administrative position with all of those people to attend to your needs i demand My Needs Be Met i demand equal treatment under the law i demand that you listen to me i demand that you take me back.
It was hard to work out, really, where it came from. Or where it was headed. It was hard to see, really, what it meant or what it was the result of. It was a strange instantiation, not full enough of content to be enigmatic. It was there.
And it haunted her mouth. It hung around the corners of her lips and made them quiver sometimes when she looked in the mirror. Her fingers would run along them, trying to feel something like a growth, something like a tumor, something like a reason.
She sometimes sensed it on others. As if it bounced from her body onto someone else's, like the Cheshire cat. That was the only time she felt close to it, when it was on someone else. That was when she could accept it, without quite understanding it. Like that theory, that theory about knowing something is subsumed under the universal rule that you cannot formulate.
Once, she saw it take human form. Take over a human form? And then she desired it. Desire can have different ends; the simplest distinction being between the desire to experience and the desire to possess. But it seemed to her that one could not experience it without possession being somehow involved.
It was a bloody war. As wars of such desire must be. She wanted it, but she did not want it back. Can no one understand that?
It is 9:32pm, and I am not dead. The sky blankets the stars ("In the end, it only seems like we're alone," she tells me before boarding the train to Galveston) while the mosquitoes draw blood from my face. The branch barely holds my weight as I wait. Roek is out there, looking for me with his photographic memory and PCP dreams, honing in on my aroma like a stinger missile smelling victory in a passenger plane. He wants the dead to live again by realizing that they have never been alive, and he needs me to do it. I am Thanatos' left-hand man, and my seed is self-aware.
The woods feel like reading Thoreau on acid with a soundtrack by Austrian noise collage bands. Out here, nature is truth, and truth conceals nothing, including me. I can see hummer headlights through the trees and flashlights animating dead wood. The gravy train of the Diaspora, I recall, is lapped up by curs in heat. I am the last impregnator, even though there are no longer others. Millions of souls lie restless between my thighs, telepathic antenna tails waiting to receive transmissions from the Demiurge's satellites upon fertilization. The Lord is my concubine. I shall not want.
I am running from the fiery tears of Yaldaboath, the false god; Samael, the blind, arrogant god who wants to perform a heavenly coup d'etat on Earth with me as the primary conspirator. Creation has been free far too long, and it needs guiding hands to escape the clutches of time, to become a stagnant wasteland of eternal panacea. The Demiurge wants to wretch control from heaven by taking away the privilege of death. Adonai waits passively for Agent Sophia to carry out her orders against the usurpers, but Wisdom's already bailed and is on a freighter bound for Argentina.
My testicles ache as I crouch on the branch, hands gripping the scythe. Cut and breed, that is my function, the organic code infused into my DNA by ex-Nazi scientists who have discovered the alchemists' lapis philosophorum through ancient Jewish mystical rituals. God and man have become one, and I am the prototype of the future, the divine green spark of eradication planted in my still heart.
"Cut and breed," Roek always says. "The Kingdom of God is at hand."
She fades quickly each time from my dreams. I can smell her musky perfume in the sheets and in my sweat. "Sometimes redemption comes from the desert sands," I remember her saying. White hair, white dress, no socks, a crescent moon -- the memory melts away ("My name is Sophia.") It's like that every night, and then the nausea hits. The bile accumulates at the base of the throat, tasting pink-orange, and the room swims as the tremors rack my body. The maids have to clean the sheets every day. "A side effect of the recombint DNA," Herr Himmler explains over lunch. "It will pass after a few months." I never tell them about the dreams, about Sophia and her salient green eyes. She would whisper in my ear throughout the night, whispers that I could not remember but were somehow comforting in their dissolution.
I am not human.
"You are not human," Roek says. "You are our creation, a synthesis of the divine and the mundane. There are many men and many gods, but only you exist with an impartial will to murder the dead."
I am not human.
"The world awaits the apocalypse with unbelieving sighs, but everybody knows the end is upon them. We desire a glorious rapture, a rescue from life itself by the hand of God. He has chosen you to be that hand and has given you The Implement, the tool of His love. With it, the dead shall inherit the earth."
I am not human.
"We are commanded to go forth and spread the word, which you harbor in your soul. It is the logos, the seed of decay. It has always been and always will be. Jesus killed himself so that others might live. You will not make that same mistake -- the technology of the gods has advanced immensely in 2,000 years."
I am not human.
The blade shivers in anticipation at the presence of flesh. I stride through the lunch hour crowd on the sidewalk, clothed in a hooded black robe that renders me invisible. I straddle the dimension between the living and the dying, and pedestrians unconsciously move aside as I make my way to the target.
She is a businesswoman, two weeks shy of twenty-nine, and I listen to the blonde hairs on her neck stand on end as the scythe sings through the air and decapitates her in one deft strike. As the crowd begins to react to a head unexpectedly detaching from a body, I pick the woman up and hike up her skirt. Panties tear as the robe automagically parts at the waist, and I impale her with The Implement. Her body gyrates in midair while her neck sprays blood on the horrified onlookers.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life," I recite, accompanied by a cacophonous symphony of screams and vomiting. "No one comes to the Father except through me."
Ejaculation occurs at exactly two minutes and twenty-three seconds into the procedure. Her heels dig into the small of my back when my seed enters her, and the transformation begins. The seed infiltrates her bloodstream and quickly migrates to her nervous system, setting up a complex transceiving array. She lifts herself off me and raises her arms to the sky, downloading the Demiurge's commands. Jade claws spring from her fingertips, and she runs into the crowd and begins to cut.
Yaldaboath wants a feast.
They made me stop collecting heads by the time Sophia shows up at my door. She walks into my room unannounced, dressed simply in blue jeans, sandals and a white t-shirt. Her bleached, radiant hair is painful to my eyes.
"I came here to incapacitate you, but I can't," she explains. "Adonai's fucked up again, waiting until the last minute since he transcends time and ain't too hot on the linear plane. Makes for one apathetic bastard, you know?"
The dreams come into focus and we're standing on top of a tall dune in the middle of a vast desert. My robe billows in the arid wind, and I cannot see the sun.
"You won't get them all," she says, "or did they not tell you that?"
"My instructions are my being," I reply. "I act on the will of God."
Sophia scoops up a handful of sand and allows it to sift through her fingers. "The psychic ones, the ones with souls, are already dead. Acceptable losses. But those touched by the ruach elohim, the breath of God... you can't touch them. They have pnuema -- spirit. You can't win."
"No one can oppose the will of God."
"But which God, you blind little fuck? Surprised? Wisdom can be a mean cunt, especially when she's trying to clean up her own mess. Your god -- Yaldaboath -- came from my shadow when I tried to give form to chaos. He's an abomination, just like those marionettes you're creating out there. He couldn't see me and thinks he's the creator of the universe. You're on the wrong team, pal."
"'"Vengeance is mine," saith the Lord,'" I quote, stepping on a scorpion.
"Get off your pious high-horse and talk to me, dammit. I'm unable to do anything physical to you -- Agent Sophia isn't an assassin -- and I doubt that would help at all. We're not even sure you technically exist. But why not listen to some common sense? Your mission is a failure from the get go."
"I am what I am."
"Eheieh asher eheieh. Whooptidoo. Get some new lines. Bad guys are supposed to be suave and cunning, not one-liner fountains."
"I don't have a choice in the matter. I was created to destroy the deceased. They're dead anyway, and I can make them live again."
"Now we're getting somewhere," Sophia says. The wind changes direction, coming in from the south. "Of course you've got a choice. Automaton, my ass. That Victorian death garb is obscuring your humanity. Take it off."
"I am not human."
"Bullshit. You still feel. You just don't know it."
Wisdom lays me out cold with one hell of a sucker punch.
The lights fade in the distance as the search party moves off in the opposite direction. Yaldaboath will not be happy with Roek's failure to capture me, but that doesn't bother me at all. He was always a loser, inefficient and unable to control his thirst for power. Next time he'll bring out the hounds and requisition a squad of Cain puppets. Outcasts never have trouble locating one of their own.
I drop out of the tree and head west, scythe over my left shoulder like a hobo of the damned. It's only twenty more miles to the place Sophia told me about, where I can supposedly receive aid from a friend. It would be a tight journey, but Yaldaboath's favoring of torture via Herr Himmler would keep Roek occupied for a half-day at least. As I walk, I think about thatch-roofed huts in Argentina.
The twelve headless Boy Scouts stand in a circle around me, newly grown skulls staring at me with eyeless anticipation. Their nakedness is now sacred, and bony jaws chatter in binary language, heralding their honor at being chosen to be prophets of the Eschaton. Judas, the succulent one, is picked as the leader of the disciples. They will be specially equipped for the conversion process by Herr Himmler, but they will require regular transfusions of my intelligent body fluids in order to operate. After an hour, stained lips glisten with graven desire.
Roek watches from behind a one-way mirror in the complex. I can sense his impatient glee and wanton jealousy, his yearning to be my addict as well as my master. His voice cuts in over the intercom. "Paradise is one step closer to extinction," he says. "On Judgement Day, you will be sincerely rewarded."
Rewarded with what? I silently muse as the boys file out of the room to board Apache helicopters. What purpose can I possibly serve after the Day of the Lord? Once I complete my function, what happens next? I have not been given the future, only the present. Am I just another Sisyphus, condemned to repeat the same actions over and over until someone else liberates me? Who will that liberator be, and what constitutes liberation in my case? I am not even human. Without me, the operation would fall apart, but it is as much a part of me as I am a part of it.
I wake up in the back seat of an old Chevy Impala which sounds like it desperately needs an oil change. It is raining heavily outside, and Sophia helms the wheel, her head bopping back and forth to the sounds of techno Gregorian chants. An unlit cigarette hangs from her lips.
"Where are we going?" I ask, sitting up.
"Away," she says. "Your little mongrels are causing havoc all over the place. I hope you're happy."
"They do what they were designed to do, like me."
"Stop talking like a goddamned existential Calvinist. You're already praising the death of the known universe. Don't lump your view of humanity in the mix."
"The boys can't survive for more than a week without me. They'll become impotent soon."
"Well, in the meantime, they sure are fucking like crazy. The things you've created are very efficient, I'll give you that. You should listen to the news. New York, Chicago, and L.A. are all quarantined. We barely made it out of Dallas before the roadblocks went up."
"They only have three more days."
"Well, isn't that lucky for the people who have to deal with them and their puppets? Was this really your idea of heaven on Earth?"
Sophia puts the tip of her forefinger on the end of the cigarette, lighting it. "Simple parlor trick," she remarks.
"Why didn't you stop me, then?" I ask. "You had the chance, before it became... ugly."
"It always was ugly, and I already told you that I can't stop you. Metaphysics 101 lesson, okay? It works like this. Adonai is all of that transcendental bullshit you learn in Sunday school, but it's turned him into a big, immovable chunk of divinity. That's why I'm here -- I'm his agent, even though I'm the wrong gal for the job. Angels are supposed to do the dirty work. Samael's all peachy because he thinks he's God and can act at the same time. Talk about a giant ego problem. So here I am, trying to convince you to stop because that's all the power I have."
"Me still being here should be a pretty obvious answer on my part."
"Good. Then I can leave."
"You don't want to know why?"
"Not really. I don't care."
"I could take you right now."
"Color me shivering. Okay. Why, big man? Why aren't you still transforming the world with death?"
"I saw myself for the first time yesterday."
"They didn't tell you anything at all, did they?"
"It never occurred to me to look."
"It never does."
I watch Herr Himmler eat lunch every day at noon while he questions me about my development. He mutters in German half the time while eating chili and beans, and after he is finished, we repeat the indoctrination.
"What is your function?" he asks.
"To kill the dead to create new life," I answer.
"Who are you?"
"I am not human. My purpose is my identity."
"Who is your master?"
"The one, true God."
"And why do you serve him?"
"Because he bestowed upon me existence."
"And how do you give thanks for this generous act?"
"With my blade and The Implement."
"And what will happen if you do not carry out God's plan?"
"The world will become inert."
I arrive in a small clearing with a tiny shack seated in the center. Smoke billows out of the poorly-constructed chimney as I saunter up to the door and knock. After a few minutes without an answer, I knock again. I hear feet shuffling closer inside and the door opens, revealing an old woman with frazzled hair.
"It ain't time for Halloween, is it?" she asks, eyeing my clothes.
"Sophia said you could help me," I reply.
"Ah, so you're the one. Come in."
"Can you tell me first how you can see me?"
"You allow yourself to be seen by those you want."
I follow her inside and shut the door behind me. The furnishings are sparse, with only a bed and a table surrounded by three chairs. Shelves line one wall, full of books and cooking utensils. She motions me to take a seat.
"Who are you?" I question.
"That doesn't matter," she responds, sitting across the table from me. "What does matter is who you are. I've been waiting for this day for seventy years, ever since Sophia Pistis appeared to me in a vision. I had my doubts this day would come, but when I saw the papers, I knew you would be coming soon."
"How could you be sure? I didn't have to leave. I can't violate my programming."
"But Sophia intervened, ineffectual as she thought she was. And you let her take you."
"So, who am I, then?"
"You already know. You've seen yourself, or you wouldn't be here."
"It made me question what they told me, but I couldn't stop."
"Not until Sophia came along. She was the catalyst that gave you hope. That's why you didn't murder her."
"Do you have a mirror?"
The old woman stands, retrieves a cracked mirror from a shelf and hands it to me. I get up and remove the cloak, staring at my mechanical appendages, already showing signs of rust. The Implement stands erect in metallic awareness, waving around erratically, almost wanting to tear itself away from the attached flesh. I hold the mirror with silver claws and stare into the face of a ten-year-old boy.
"I can't be human," I say. "Not like this."
"You are human enough," she says, taking a seat.
"But what they did to me..."
"...is what you have been doing to others."
"I don't want to stop. I can't stop."
"But you don't want to continue, either."
"What do I do?"
"You know what to do. You've always known."
"Who am I?"
"You weren't meant to last."
"Who am I?"
"It is not in death's nature to survive."
"Who am I?"
"They'll be here soon. They won't falter again."
"Who am I?"
"Complete yourself and you will find the answer."
"Tell me, please," I beg.
The old woman smiles. "I don't know, but you do."
Roek shuts the door to the trophy room, his eyes glazed over.
"Remind me never to go in there again," he says. "Those fucking heads won't shut up. I don't know how you can stand sitting in there for hours on end listening to that incessant babbling."
"They die so that they shall live," I tell him. "Their souls are mine. They are my children."
"It's damned obsessive is what it is. Your offspring are out there on the streets evangelizing, spreading the gospel -- not those things in there. Those heads are afterbirth, carnage from the act that should be left alone."
"They talk about being reborn, about how they want to stop feeling."
"The heads are abortions. They mean nothing to God."
"I feel a connection. I am part of them. Their anger is mine."
"And that anger is what you were created to cleanse."
"What happens when I am finished?"
"Then, and only then, will the world be silent."
The intercom announces the last boarding call for the train to Galveston. People look at Sophia quizzically as she talks to seemingly empty air.
"This is where we part ways," Sophia says.
"I'm not sure what to do now," I say.
"Go here." She hands me a piece of paper with a map drawn on it. "She'll help you."
"Why do you have to go? Why don't you help me?"
"Frankly, I'm fed up with everything. This whole mess is ludicrous, and nobody in charge is competent enough to even run a fucking dog pound, let alone a planet. I'm taking off, going to Argentina to get a tan and enjoy myself for a change. People never take my advice anyway."
"But I feel empty without... them. Stay."
"In the end, it only seems like we're alone."
She boards the train and I wait until it leaves, looking at her avoiding my stare through the window. A commotion arises behind me and I turn, face to torso with a headless puppet, arms upraised. I slice it in half with my blade, but the transmission has already been sent. I don't have much time to die.
The dune is the same one on which I first spoke to Sophia. The sky is cloudless, but I still cannot see the sun. I drop the old woman's blabbering head onto the ground and sit down beside it. I am naked, having never put the robe back on. I study myself for a while, trying to feel the flesh I have with artificial hands. Opening my mouth, I bend forward, cracking my lower ribs as I latch onto The Implement. My teeth dig into the metal as I bob my head up and down, slowly increasing my momentum.
Heads begin to rise from beneath the sand around me, and soon the landscape is covered with the heads of those given life. My self-fellatio continues, issuing a scraping sound like a million nails clawing a million chalkboards.
The heads begin to chant. "Ourobouros! Ourobouros!" they cry.
Release comes at the prescribed time. I choke on my seed as it invades me, swallowing until I am empty. I continue to suck, and The Implement, with no fluid left to give, begins to draw my body through it. I consume my legs, my torso, and then my arms, The Implement acting like a filter. Finally, I draw in The Implement itself, and my head rolls on the ground. The voices become silent.
--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) 1998 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) 1998 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: World Wide Web http://www.apoculpro.org irc the #unbeing channel on UnderNet Submissions may also be sent to Kilgore Trout at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The SoB distribution list may also be joined by sending email to Kilgore Trout. --SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB--