friends: i say that i am and ask, where?
the sick nurse is exhausted and has been woman
working full time on his case. I with offer to take
over her shift. She waist-long brightens.
I am explosions. Is this what's wrong? the nurse copies
earwig-like insects that feed on rooms.
she teaches me what to do, explaining each time hair
in that i will kill a bug and say the white hospital
killed a bug in the nightgown.
all this is just Virtual Reality dark anyway
crying and shaking and trying to quit
my self has bathroom divulging impossible.
i up the game's menu.
soldiers jump through a warranty
we just keep track and crush the bugs and and
crushing them i realize increasingly disgusted
work fast. eye contact now. don't damage with the brain piece.
it has to go back in us. "go get some sleep," the nurse
leaves and i stand there:
a glass container full of brain:
comatose matter floating in some kind
of land, green and preserved.
why disgusting bugs
wriggling and waking?
bugs' absence moving forward breathing,
it seems straightforward,
but best most professional possible guarantees
that this was enough basically.
"save and quit."
i am bearing a self terrified to quit
without saving a door thanking profusely
a crowd that may drink champagne women
moved into another room and finding
some kind of shrine.
In 2014 I was born
And one hundred years later
Cut my brain and trace
The strata of radio signals
Layered deeper than the ocean.
Age my flesh by the layers of
Grime and smog and peer
Through my eyes to study distortions
Burned and worn by the rivulets
Of twenty four seven news cycles.
Trace on my fingertips the keys I have
Caressed from birth.
Scatter my bones like birdseed
Across the landfills and the wreckage
That they might find the screens that once told me
I was loved.
- boise 2 men
- zion national park is beautiful though I besmirched its good name by thinking it was a state park
- utah is really beautiful except for when it's ugly
- utah can get real ugly
- the hare krishna are making serious inroads against the mormons in central utah
- tumbleweeds are terrifying at night
- time is a bastard
- my cat is sweet
- my cat is adorable
- valerian makes it extra
- at the gas station in gallup, new mexico at 7:10am I thought I saw someone's face melt but I didn't I don't think
- la quinta is nice but it took me like three u-turns to figure out how to get into it
- microwave tea is better than no tea
- all of the desert cliches are real and today vultures circled me, tumbleweeds tumbled, the road shimmered, i went 90mph on a two lane straightaway for miles, evidence of white-american-led genocide and internment were everywhere, the remains of a coyote pack's dinner sat clean picked on the side of the road, rock formations bigger than god stared gloomily at gray skies waiting for erosion to return them to dust, rivers dried up before my eyes, but somehow, i still had cell phone service the whole way, which felt wrong and like cheating and i felt ashamed to post pictures of the mountains bigger than my life and bigger than our invisible network of lolcats and whispered commiserations and advertisements and you and me and everyone we know
- my cat is cute
- the two cheap ass super 8s we stayed at before this one only had shampoo and no conditioner or 2-in-1 and i was first-world appalled
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.
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.
(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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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