observations my stimulant-addled brain wants to make at 1:03am at a boise la quinta after a 17.5 hour travel day

2014-11-23 01:24:18

in oklahoma the trees were dead

2014-11-21 23:38:08

who flowers in death?
leave me your secrets:
carve them on your bark
skin and leak bloody ichor.
when coldness takes your petals down
i'll collect them in my ears and mouth
and make a vomit mosaic
vivid and bright
laid out until there's only
the sweet brown smell of rot.

emergent behavior

2014-11-17 18:42:43

My flesh laid out a scheme for me
Into which my fractured bakelight bones
Do not fit comfortably.

My eyes are peach pits desiccated
And spitting tears of slime and mold
Onto desert hands whence life has vacated.

My mouth is a graveyard tasting of decay:
Sticky bittersweet coating teeth and tongue
Morbidly resisting attempts to brush away.

My feet are burlap bags of broken glass
Stumbling, slicing, and grinding
Their way in circles over yellowed grass.

My body is a metal worm
Stimulated but unfeeling
Waiting for science to confirm.

dreams: wwii goblins, passout startup, shuttle sadness

2014-11-13 15:50:58

(trigger warnings: II and III both deal with violent imagery)


I need to get from Atlanta to San Fransisco for a conference but I forgot to buy a plane ticket. I go to the office of this new startup promising convenient, safe teleportation technology.

Cliched bearded startup men smugly swipe my credit card into their square-enabled ipad and lead me to a half-cylinder large enough for me to stand in. They say to close my eyes and inhale deeply, then I'll be transported (my luggage would be transported seperately).

I do what they say and, sure enough, open my eyes to find myself in their San Fransisco office. My luggage is next to me. I feel kind of woozy. I check my watch and realize it's been several hours since I stepped into the teleporter in Atlanta. I'm late to my conference but happy to have made it at all.

I find out later that the "teleportation" technology is that they gas you to knock you out for hours, then load you with your stuff on a specially chartered cargo plane that flies specific routes between teleportation endpoints. Essentially, they'd converted an amazon-style supply infrastructure to accomodate humans in tight temperature controlled / oxygenated coffins.

This at first offends me with its banality but then I realize it was actually a lot nicer than normal flying.


Some kind of superpower--an AI or an alien race--takes over the earth and subjects all humans to immersive VR experiments. I'm injected into a WWII simulation but something goes wrong with the memory drugs and I am still cognizant of the fact that it's VR.

I find myself thrown into a battle somewhere in the European theater. The Wehrmacht, however, consists solely of short green goblins. I attempt to point out this absurdity as proof of reality being a simulation to my fellow soldiers but they act like I've gone insane because, "of course they are goblins, they're nazis."

The experiment is horrifying and I decide to try and kill myself to end it. I allow myself to be shot and stabbed by goblins but I feel no pain and do not die or even weaken. I realize that no one is dying: soldiers are just getting more and more ragged and bloody but continue to act like nothing is wrong.

I run from the battle and find a cliff so high I can't even see the ground below. I jump off and fall for several minutes, praying for death. I reach the ground and land unscathed on my feet. It's a beach and gray pixellated water laps at the shore. Behind me, goblin soldiers rain screaming from the cliff's edge, thrown by explosions above.


I am living with a married couple who have a child. I do not like this arrangement and intend to move out soon. The couple invites me to the top of our apartment building which is situated in a valley somewhere in Colorado. We hang out, looking at the mountains that tower and loom above the apartment building.

There is an experimental space shuttle doing loops in the sky above us. This is fun to watch, but then it becomes clear it is going to crash into our building. It first slams into a huge antenna array and then impacts the building, puncturing it through the roof. The couple and their child are caught by the shuttle and crushed. I run down the stairs among a mass of hysterical residents. For some reason, most of them are paunchy middle-aged men in business suits. There is destruction and death everywhere as the building collapses.

I manage to escape the building and watch as half of it crumbles behind me. I have a panic attack and lie on the ground shaking and crying. My mom and sister appear and try to console me. They talk me down from my attack and I explain to them that my computer was in there and wasn't backed up and it has all of my memories in it; that without it I'm essentially going to suffer amnesia.

They try to convince me to just let it go. My sister gives me a pink netbook to use and while I really like it, I need my data. It feels like a matter of life and death, as if to lose the memories on my laptop would be to die and born again as some new person. This terrifies me.

I run from my family and push past the fire rescue teams and run through the smoke and rubble and find my laptop. It's been smashed into pieces by a fallen girder. I pray the hard drive is intact and gather the pieces into my arms, crying.

conversation within contractual boundaries

2014-11-09 12:42:41

I got a new job
As a head,
Severed and sitting
At the top of the lighthouse.

I'd love it if
You came to see me, just
Click up the spiral staircase for
Seven screens and, oh

Make sure you got the iron key
By trading the nightcraft amulet
For the bag of gray walnuts to feed
To the many-headed hydra you caught
With the gleaming rainbow flower plucked
From the hair of the principal antagonist
Whom you taunted with the despairing
Sandals you got from the blithering knave
Who was really your undead son
From the future.

They could fire me, though,
If I make it too easy to find
The silver statuette you might need
To get across the flaming gorge. Really,
I don't think it's in the chest behind me,
Nor do I think the lock can be picked
With the metacarpal hidden beneath me.

I didn't care for the other
Players who made it up here,
So I saved my best dialog tree
For you.

o druidess

2014-11-07 00:55:48

take me as you would an oak:
soak my limbs in lavender
and hew them with a golden sickle.
hang my eyes with mistletoe.
pull out my ribs in pieces
and cast lots on green earth
beneath you.

dream of me inside your oxen
bigger than the boughs
that spread above in darkness
masking moonlight and our stars
crossed by iron crossed by bronze
and the falling pattern of bones
torn gently from my hands.

meet me in the bog
beyond time where perceptions murky
swirl slowly touched not by wind
but by staves pushed half
heartedly by the bearded men stuck
there on solid ground.

the death of ritual

2014-11-06 04:14:50

there is a myth that humans don't grow hair.
instead, our skins are bat wings
showing arteries that trace
maps to nowhere.

if all our blood was collected
would it be greater than the ocean?
though we build statues ever higher,
our refuse outstrips
the science we've neglected.

when quiet space we do conquer
what truly have we won?
to Mars though a ship may spring
what internal peace can we sequester?

satellite story

2014-11-04 02:36:08

a mother teaches her daughter the constellations of 2092 and they are all
made by human fists pounding on computer terminals
telling robots how to manifest their needs and desires and cravings
as airless blinking panels that market illusions around our sphere.

and the mother will tell her daughter that the shapes of tonight
won't last, will flicker out and perish into shooting stars
as costs exceed returns and new protocols replace old
and the bacteria of Io continue to stagnate, promising
evolution that never delivers.

and the daughter will grow and see the dying
power, the collapse of the clouded sun,
the day the outlets go dry and the lights fall from the sky
and are replaced by stars who have forgotten us,
and whom we have forgotten.

and the world will see, at least for one night
clouds that part and depart and reveal
the sublime novas unseen for years by flesh
foretelling this and every end
of us.

machine of hours

2014-10-25 16:50:54

From air and æther
I make ghosts
Out of friends.

From the null ache
Of dry lipped eye sore
I make statues crookedly
Staring at the heavens.

From you
I make myself
And all these machines
In between.

a deep rabbit hole with twisty passages all alike, or, a confluence of weird operating system flukes, or, sigh

2014-10-08 23:20:47

Because of reasons I am running Debian on an older smartphone by way of a chroot from Cyanogenmod. This guide is great and I based my installation off of it (thanks!). At first, everything seemed peachy. It all quickly went as rotten as that peach you left out on the counter with the best of intentions but forgot about for a week as I tried to install some Python (3.4) packages using pip and a virtualenv.

This resulted in vague "permission denied" errors even though I was root. The errors were on simple, innocuous looking files. They prevented me from installing any Python code via pip.

I blamed bad Python packages for my weird armel architecture. I reinstalled Debian Wheezy and switched to armhf; no dice. I dist-upgraded in place to Jessie; no luck. I asked a system administrating friend about it. Their immediate suggestion was "something to do with SELinux."

"No," I insisted, "SELinux is totally not installed or enabled in my chrooted Debian. It just cannot be. Look, I checked, it's just not there." In fact, I was wrong: more wrong than the existence of people like weev (okay, not that wrong, but still really wrong).

The stack trace from pip was about os.setxattr. My system administrating friend told me that was likely related ext3 extended attributes. I listened, this time, and researched those on the Internet.

Enter lsattr, which helpfully told me that the various files os.setxattr was failing on had no extended attributes. Clearly, lsattr is a liar, or I was using it wrong. I prefer to think it was the former. I rage-started a python3 REPL in the chroot and began to manually execute the code that shutil.py was running.

Sure enough, the files did have an extended attribute, and shutil.py was trying to preserve the attribute across a file copy (seems like that should be handled by the filesystem with a low level command. It could be called copy or something. [I should not be allowed to design filesystems]). Naturally, the attribute had to do with SELinux. I still, in spite of this kind of obvious evidence, insisted it couldn't be SELinux, but just to be sure I startpaged "android SELinux."

Turns out Android has always run SELinux. Moreover, the Internet quickly confirmed that it could affect a chrooted OS. However, SELinux on Android has always been set to Passive mode. Awesomely, in Android 4.4 the default switched to Enforce mode. What version of Android was my Cyanogenmod running? 4.4. Lesson learned: always listen to friends who adminster systems. Especially listen to these friends if you are a maverick hotshot "code slinger" or "sloc crusher" or "programming prodigy" or "gainfully employed computer programmer" who can't slow down enough to give a damn about important operating system features.

At this point my drinking scotch straight from the bottle went from act of desperation to beautiful swigs of golden, burning victory as I soared through start page results about "android disable selinux" like a majestic, drunken pegasus. Or like Angela Lansbury flying through cyberspace:


(aside: is there fan fiction wherein Angela Merkel wakes up as Jessica Fletcher and is compelled to solve crimes? Think about it).

Finally, after a total of four hours' worth of swearing and drinking, I ran /sbin/setenforce 0 from Android's root shell and all of my problems (actually just this one problem, I still ate too much sriracha and it made my lips go numb) went away.

I was installing Python packages in style, at last. I have no illusion that denizens of the Internet will be knocking down the door to my blog (this door is metaphorical but if my blog was a MUD it could be virtually literal) searching for the answer to this problem, but I am compelled to document it so that it will be useful for the socialist cyberpunk rebels of the year 2043 as they reconstruct the Internet from old, charred router caches after the Corporate Implosion Apocalypse of 2039 and try to run their elite Hacker OS (probably called Sonic at this point) on Hello Kitty Android phones they dug out of the 8th continent which is just a literal landfill that extends from sea level to the ocean floor.

An oceanfill, if you will.

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