Tuesday, March 9, 2010
a hiss as this escapes me, foul breath tubercular. a regular night. a spin in the den of monstrous neglect. oh, the sweating chill of an evening in Death's company, hungry shadows and gallows thought, hyped up on Eternity and burning to take a great big crunching bite.
I sense the singularity, a cold totality concentrated down to absolute zero; it is there at the beginning/end, a hushed moment lasting as long as a secret, oblivion/om, a calm before the familiar storm of universal exhale. Trembling instant where Heaven is defined. How consuming. Every barrier forgotten. One.
A wonderful scary.
I get metaphysical when the fixes aren't applied, a side comes out that spouts a hopeful plenty. I put myself into dream, inwardly escaping, probing plasma brilliant with a trillion suns, ideal abstract holy flowing golden beyond belief.
(We shall all be there.)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I PROMISE (not that anyone particularly cares) to finish the Frank story in the next few weeks to a month. I've known how it ends all along (though it may go somehwere else and surprise even me (that's the best kind of writing IMO)) and that's part of what made it so easy to stop writing and focus on fatherhood. When I 'know' an ending, it becomes tedious to write it, it loses the sense of adventure that makes writing fun.
In the mean time, you can check out some blogs if posted elseswhere (myspace.com/killerwit). Some random poems and movie revies and maybe a rant as well.
I really appreciate everyone that's read and commented on previous entries. There is more coming down the chute. Maybe nothing good but, hey, the Internet is 90% useless garbage anyway and I must contribute!
See you rascals soon. -------------K
Monday, December 22, 2008
He vaguely recalled drawing them, but thought it had been part of the bad dream. He started up the coffee maker and stared at Frank. Who? Joshua thought. Isn't that what you call him? And.... it was. And.... some coffee would be good. He never should have bought those beers. Alcohol was the downfall of most of the people Joshua had been close to throughout his life, himself included. It was just plain stupid. He couldn't even remember why he'd broken the vow to himself and tied one on. As he pondered this, he absent-mindedly began to thumbtack the eye drawings to the wall around the slightly damaged centerpiece.
A fugue. That's what Joshua decided had happened, which really didn't shed light upon last night's events, but made it romantic and, so, bearable. The coffee maker burbled at him and pulled him from these thoughts. He added milk and sugar before slurping in the warm elixir. It was delicious and hot. So, of course, he burnt his tongue. This is only worth noting because it was at that instant, as the scalding brew slid down his protesting esophagus, that he thought of the perfect ending to his story.
The revelation swooped in out of nowhere, as they are accustomed to, and he stepped to his typewriter with tears still swelling in his eyes from the hot coffee. Before now, he had been trying to end the story on an high note, trying to ultimately solve all of the problems in his terrible vision of the future. But now Joshua realized what was most awful about the place he wrote of: there was no ending. The worst trait a dystopia has is that there is no pulling out of the nosedive, that humanity is doomed to the gloom, that hope was abandoned long ago and control handed over with a bow.
Joshua, clearly pleased with himself, tapped out the last line of his story so he could use it as inspiration to finish its middle: It was the worst of times.
A way to sum up the whole tale and a tip of the hat to an English master at the same time. Joshua plucked the page from the typewriter and used a magnet to hang it on the fridge, where he could see it while writing. Already more plot elements were bubbling up within him, but, noticing the time displayed on the microwave in digital red, he chugged his cooled coffee. He hardly felt any hangover at all now. Joshua actually felt good. That is, until he noticed movement in the tiny shadow high up on the wall, the one cast by the ridge poking from a water damaged drawing, the one cast by Frank's nose.
Frank was shaking his head back in forth in the drawing with just his nose beyond the paper's plane, a sharp, gray shark fin cutting in unnatural directions. "You woke me up with that typing noise," Frank said and Joshua wondered how a dream ever became real. "It is kind of a mystery," Frank said, "but I figure water, like that from the upstairs leak, is the stuff of life and you, my friend, have one hell of a fertile imagination. You like that explanation?" Like a cliche, Joshua dropped his mug to shatter at his feet as he stared, agape, at surreal animation invading his reality. "Don't be so surprised," Frank added, "I can read your mind because I am you."
"No," Joshua barked. "You. Are. Not."
"Well," Frank said, pulling himself out into the real world so that he could raise both of his hands, palm out, in a placating gesture. "I suppose my claim isn't entirely true. I am a certain aspect of you that has been magnified, without distortion. From my vantage point, I've been purified. Still, I am you in many ways. When you made me, you gave me the haircut you've worn since high school. More importantly, haven't you noticed? I have your voice."
"You have my voice," Joshua said and, indeed, it seemed an echo.
"And," Frank said, "our DNA is identical, since your my only parent. Hell, we even have the same fingerprints."
"That's imposs-," Joshua began but realized the absurdity of the statement quickly. None of this was possible. Yet here he was, stone sober, talking to a creature that viewed him as creator and traitor simultaneously. Joshua bit his burnt tongue hard to make sure.
"Oh," Frank said, "This is no dream. Quite the opposite actually, but enough chit chat. It's time for you to take a shower and go to work. The worst part about not having a phone is not being able to call into to work. Am I right, Josh? You don't have to answer, but, when you get back, you're going to put '2095' away until that year comes and your going to draw. Your going to draw until your fingers are raw."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Ten hours later, when he got home, he immediately took off his uniform and hung it up, good for another wear or two yet. Still in his underwear, he plodded to the fridge for a soda. He stopped dead in his tracks. Finally, Joshua saw the progressive mutation of his picture. An involuntary curse hissed through his teeth. The eyes were still following him, now slightly convex and completely three-dimsensional. Joshua knew that was beyond natural phenomena, not a weird side-effect of water damage. This was physically impossible. The bust issuing from his wall was made of more than one sheet of paper. There was too much surface area. Then he blinked and, once again, the picture was correct, slightly warped, crinkled at two edges. Joshua remained motionless and managed not to scream.
During Joshua's childhood, his father had gone crazy on three seperate occassions. The schizophrenia had lain dormant until his father was well into his twenties before manifesting. Joshua had always feared that he carried the gene, that one day he would go off of the deep end and never find his way back. Now he wondered, as he collapsed into his chair in front of the typerwriter, if this was the beginning, if this was the initial disconnect.
He wasn't hungry anymore. He really wanted a drink. In fact, it was all that he could think about now that he'd considered it. Just tonight. Just one. After hastily dressing, he risked a walk down to the corner story and used a bit of his grocery money to buy two quarts of the cheapest swill to be found. He could steal some bread from the workplace tomorrow. The walk back wasn't long but he killed half a beer by the time he was back in his chair. The minute lag between thought and action felt good to him, a familiar distortion. By the time he was screwing the cap off of the second quart, he was itching to write on his story. He fed a fresh sheet into the Smith-Corona and punched out words rapidly without pause. He channelled Kerouac. He wrote so fast, the 'e' quit sticking.
Quickly coming to the end of the page, he urgently began to replace it. In the silent aftermath of the rat-tat-tating, Joshua heard a voice that had already been talking for a moment. "....no point in going on. Your characters are two-dimensional. Plus, you don't have an ending." Joshua looked up and to his right, to where the monochrome hulk hung. The imaginary man was jutting from the wall again, facing him, and the mouth was moving. "Were you even listening to me?" it said.
"Oh what the fuck!" Joshua screamed. "No! I can't lose it here, alone, in this neighborhood where no one will call for help!" He took deep breaths but couldn't stop crying. "This isn't real," he said. "I shouldn't have drank the beers." He kept repeating that last bit in a whisper.
"Sure, Joshua," the drawing said in a conversational tone, "your wife left you because of your drinking problem. And, yes, you lost a decent job due to your drinking problem. But, believe me, this, what your seeing right now, it was coming regardless of what else you did as long as you were still writing that damn story."
"Wh-wh-what?!?" Joshua sputtered, shrill laughter edging into the question. "What are you talking about?" Joshua looked down into his lap, shaking his head. "You're not even real." He exhaled slowly and looked up. The figure was still there, foggy eyes locked on him, into and through him.
"I am real," the head said, mouth working to show square blocks of white teeth. "You made me six months ago in the middle of one of your drawing jags, when you had really hit your stride with the brush. I've watched you ever since, watched you gradually shift over to writing more, drawing less. Two weeks now without a drawing!" It's gray face was ever calm, but the voice seethed with anger. After a brief, composing pause, it continued, "I am real. I am. My name, the one you gave me but have forgotten, is Frank."
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The part of town where hard-looking women walk the streets well past the witching hour. The part of town where everyone is used to the occasional staccato of gunfire at three in the afternoon. The part of town where you can buy fried foods and hard liquor at the same store. That's the part of town where rent is the cheapest. That's where you can find a one-room apartment, ten by fifteen feet, with an attached closet slash full bathroom for $300 a month plus utilities. That's the type of apartment Joshua had.
He had moved there after his divorce, which he had taken kind of hard. Soon after it happened, he lost his job with the Postal Service for drinking on the job. During that whole fiasco, with his savings becoming extinct, he had found the shithole that he now called home. He had managed to quit drinking altogether, mainly becaue he couldn't afford any alcohol, and got a job stocking at a grocery store within walking distance. He had a car but the tank was perpetually empty.
Joshua hadn't been able to salvage much after his fall from grace. He had a twin mattress and box spring, no frame, in one corner of the room. There was a microwave that his friend had given him on the counter. An ancient manual typewriter was perched on the "dining table" which was really just half a table with the legless end bolted to the wall. And that was it really. No DVD player. No TV even. No phone. Sure, there were other things, magnets on the provided fridge, a couple of lumpy pillows on the flopbed, but nothing else of material worth. Unless, that is, one takes into account Joshua's creative output.
He had wallpapered his cramped quarters, from floor to ceiling, with ink drawings and pages of words. It was hard to say which there were more of. He had liked to write and draw when he was a teenager, but he had fallen in love, gotten a drone job, kept up with the Joneses, and his childhood desires had fallen to the wayside. Still, Joshua had always done his best work when he felt like crap and life had been given him a lot of inspiration lately.
He went to work. He went home. He sat down at his dining table and made stuff up until he was too tired to continue. Then he went to sleep and got up to go to work. That was his schedule for a little under a year now. He pounded out mostly sci-fi on that Smith-Corona on which the 'e', of all letters, stuck. Or, he'd use a plastic, neon green, watercolor brush and solutions of India ink in various concentrations to make pictures. He'd paint on the same paper he used to type on. He hung them up when no more words would fit or after they dried. He created his own little world with his own little worlds.
One day, Joshua came home to find that his upstair neighbor's water bed had busted, causing water to run through the ceiling down one of his walls. Luckily, the water mostly avoided the carpet and puddled on the linoleum in front of the fridge. A large swath of his creations had been damaged in the process. Cursing, ignoring the puddle for the time being, he began to pull the multi-colored thumbtacks out of the wall. Delicately, he peeled the affected sheets off one by one. As he did, one of them in particular jumped out at him.
It was one of the ink drawings and it was a gloomy scene. In the background, the sky was a swirling mass of gray hues with thick black streaks veining throughout. The suggestion of shadowy hills and a lone, lifeless tree reaching up to the sky. In the foreground, visible from the chest up, a ghost-faced brute in his gray leather jacket with the collar flipped up, white undershirt visible beneath. An abstract badboy with hooked nose and a black flattop pushing up from a widow's peak. Thick lips set in the narrow range between smile and grimace. And empty eyes, unblinking, maybe half-blind, set below dark eyebrows, eyes that seemed to follow you, watching Joshua as he moved about the room.
Even though it had given him the heebie-jeebies for awhile when he first hung it, he was glad that it was relatively unscathed by the flood. Water had only run down it in one spot, a small streak which terminated at the nose. The hooked nose in the drawing now seemed to be slightly embossed from the water damage. Liking that effect, he put it aside, atop the fridge, and cleared away the rest of the wet pictures and prose. After mopping up, he stared at the newly created blank spot on the wall. It would certainly have to be filled. But, for now, he grabbed the picture from atop the fridge. With the water fast drying, the figure's nose looked even more three-dimensional, the paper buckling so that it stuck out nearly half an inch. He took that picture and put it in the middle of the void that had been created.
Afterwards, he microwaved himself dinner and sat at the typewriter, adding sentences to his short story between bites of salisbury steak. Well, it had started as a short story but was fast becoming something more. He was a full twenty pages in with no end in sight. It was called '2095', in homage to Orwell, and dealt with a dystopian future where the government was called The Love. And there was this drug called Bandy Z that was enlightening people through voluntary near-death experience. And there were these creatures called Mindhummers which explained schizophrenia. It was hard to explain because, really, Joshua didn't know exactly what it was yet. He just felt compelled to explore that world further and further.
He wrote for five hours straight, leaving half of his tv dinner forgotten and recongealing. He wrote ten pages and, from that, salvage two that he was really pleased with. Back aching from an extended period hunched over, he dropped to his bed and pushed the clothing from his body. Sleep crept over him quickly. As he drifted ever deeper into himself, slipping into the limbo between consciousness and dream, he thought he heard a whisper in his room, someone grumbling, "...draw..." every few seconds. But Joshua was exhausted past curiousity and well into oblivion.
During the night, a residual pocket of water seeped down the wall, soaking the image of the loner in his wasteland once again. The face ballooned out even more.
Friday, November 28, 2008
"Don't gawk. Move along," the cop commanded through his armor's speaker box. The static robbed the words of any understandable sound, but he was already swinging his billy-stun in a wide arc into a growing crowd. A few people already lay unconscious on the sidewalk near the cop, their pockets being rifled by hobos and businessmen.
"This'll make a good paperweight with an edge sanded into it," one man in a suit said to a crony while trying to pop the glass eye from the socket of one of the cop's knockouts.
"Try to get the real one out, too," the crony suggested and offered the suit an unfolded paperclip.
"Are you kidding me?" the suit said, standing up and brushing his knees, spherical trophy in hand. "Blood's impossible to get out of a suit like this. Trust me, I know."
Man sitting lazily at his desk. Thirty-something. Fleshtech cosmetic job for sure with transparent strips running up either side of his neck, the pumping of his jugulars visible along with the constant tug-of-war of his neck muscles as he talks. "So, do you think you can handle the job?" he asks.
"What? I'm sorry," says the man sitting across from him. "I was preoccupied by your tie."
"Oh, this?" Thirty-something says looking down at it. It was transparent, like most of his throat, and filled with sand. Also inside, a small colony of ants was building a tunnel system. "My daughter got it for me. You feed them through this little zipper up here."
"First time I've seen one of those. Must be new," the other man said. "But, about that job, the answer is yes. I think I can kill as long as I don't see their faces."
A club kid coated her body in silver grease paint before going to the downtown hotspot. She put it on thick, at least a quarter of an inch on most parts of her body and on the bikini she had donned before this grand adventure. She ran it through her hair. She used it as eyeshadow, foundation, and lipstick. Then the girl left her apartment for the evening, departing for her late-night haunt, Tech Noir. Her car's upholstery and steering wheel were smeared silver along the way.
Once there, she was greeted by the other regulars, though they were anything but regular. In pink feather boas, Bruce Lee sunglasses, Mohawks high, and dripping with the latest Nanowear, they greeted her. Hugging, every one of them took some of her silver costume with them. In the gyrating, finely-intoxicated crowd, those who had touched the silver angel brushed against other partygoers, passing her essence further yet.
And she danced with them, bass thick in the air urging young muscles to twitch, thrashing about passionately, the club kid, hot beneath her dazzling coating, let sweat run down her body in shiny rivulets. Some of the sweat flew off of her undulating body in starbursts, showering those around her, speckling their hair and clothes. The rest landed on the cement floor at her bare feet to be tracked across the dance floor by the crowd's hearty celebration of the moment.
Some time later, she held her arms up above her head to spin in circles under flashing screens of binary code. It was then she noticed her normal flesh tone showing through her bodypaint. Then, as she looked closer at her fellow merrymakers, she saw the silver everywhere, something that had been on her body, now on someone else and dancing in the club's colored lasers.
For a second, she imagined it as love.
Then she imagined it as an idea.
Then she thought of it as a virus.
Then she realized that was how everything spread outward from an origin, how everything overlapped and was connected in the act of becoming one.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Now is a pretty good time to mention that I take medication. This medication helps to alleviate any distress I might experience as paranoia. Oh, the intricate, paranoid episodes where every random occurrence is the next logical step in a plan to kill me. Or drive me crazy. Or fill-in-the-blank. So why Mister Higgins lays a head trip like this on me is beyond my understanding. I suppose that he doesn't know about me. Maybe he had been on vacation on New Year's Eve at the turn of the century. That was when I tore down my house with my bare hands because I thought we were going to lose control of the robots.
And that's just crazytalk.
So, I try to make the smart move and respond, "Okay, I won't think about it." And I walk away. As I'm picking up The Paper, Mister Higgins shouts, "Ever been told to not do something that you'd only thought of doing?" I ignore him and go back into my house. I needed some coffee in a bad way at this point.
An hour later, it's still eating at me. Why does this guy, a guy that I don't know from Adam really, say such a thing to me? To me?!? Someone whose already proven susceptible to madness in the past! Then, following its natural tendency, my mind turns upon itself. I begin to question my reality. Had I hallucinated my exchange with Mister Higgins? After going off the deep end, one begins to lose faith in one's senses.
I ask my wife if I've been taking my meds. Puzzled, she checks the records and tells me that I have. Then, of course, she asks if something is wrong. I tell her what had been said. Then I tell her that I might have imagined it, but she shushes me. "Once you start down that path," she says, "nothing can be real anymore." Next thing I know, she is marching me across the street and rapping on Mister Higgins' door.
My poor wife. I'm sure you could hear her screams a mile away when that door opened.
Mister Higgins is a sight, some ghoul belched up by satanic ritual. A scarlet streak oozes down the right side of his neck and into his white t-shirt. The left side of his body is slack, the arm there dangles like an unmanned puppet. His right arm is bloody from the hand to beyond his elbow. There's a chunk of flesh missing from his right hand which continues to bleed freely, pooling on his welcome mat. "Hello," he croaks. But there's nothing to say, no need to ask him any questions, not as his one functioning eye jumps back and forth between me and my wife, not as the right part of his mouth twists up into a knowing smile and the left part remains beyond control. He is for sure the mental one and not me.
As if to reinforce this fact, Mister Higgins shuffles to turn around, exposing a meaty crater the size of a softball behind his right ear. Then he shuffles back around to face us and says in his half-dead voice, "I have a secret now."
My wife was still screaming hysterically when I tapped my relay and pinged Emergency to scramble. I told them that Mister Higgins had dug out both his cred chip and his Brain. They informed me that a mobile medteam had already been dispatched a few minutes ago.
I couldn't believe he had done it. Those were the two devices that made life so hassle-free these days. How do you buy anything without a chip? How do you call an ambulance without a Brain?!? Still, my fingers lingered behind my right ear on my Brain, same spot as Mister Higgins', as I wondered if my wife's screams had caused someone else to notify Emergency before I could or if someone somewhere had read my thoughts and taken the necessary actions.
But that's just crazytalk.
What I'm really trying to say is that you just never can tell about somebody. Mister Higgins seemed like a fellow on the straight and narrow. Two kids. Pleasant wife. Government job. I suppose that doesn't mean a thing these days. Times are changing and you have to be ready for anything in the 22nd century.
- Fort Worth, Texas, United States
i am soft darkness, blurring 'round the edges, i never leave a light on when i leave the room, cosuming everything i touch, how could so much nothing weigh me down? i found solace catatonic, twisting me in damp sheets, compleletly cured of nightmare and living endless dream.