my name is siobhán and i write things.
this is where those things go. my twitter is @llwydd (clickable)
my name is siobhán and i write things.
this is where those things go. my twitter is @llwydd (clickable)
1975 in the headlight building on First (an ugly castle). At the same time a chemical plant in Siberia explodes and the prototype for a miniature replica of the Hearst Castle burns to the ground and border skirmishes in Indochina kill scores while you’re sat there just staring at your fucking hands in the parking lot of the headlight building on First. Your hands that are covered in little wounds and burns because you wash them forty-eight times a day (twenty a cylinder) and let the water singe the edges of your skin so that when you rub your face with the front of your knuckles they scratch you like jagged wood. This liminal obsession draws you out of your conscious awareness and brings you from the place in your mind where you know that you’re in the headlight building (the first one, not the second nor the third) into the newer, shinier place in your mind where your hands are the center of the universe, and everything revolves around them. And for a moment, this is true. Farmers in Afghanistan can see your fucking hands. And they hate them.
1. atheist patriot
2. caked-on spiral staircase makeup
3. laughing impotence
4. burning chariots in zion
5. cascading failure
6. immediate resonance
7. lost imam in the gates of eternity
8. the one who was always there
9. the one who never was;
10. holographic ambiance
11. simulated glory
12. simulated pain;
13. feigning insomniacs
14. rightful impersonation
15. cold sky; bare earth
16. cold eyes; bare flesh
17. wicked doctors
18. king runs with scissors of the mccullough plantation
19. almond farms that alone catch fire in the middle of the night
20. sitting together in a garden, reading the diary of anne frank
21. sitting together in the garden, reading a diary of anne frank
22. no duplicates!
23. competition disaster
24. whoever saw me saw God
25. worried harriet
26. aircraft carriers
27. the last city at the start of the other
28. my ancient Sarzedas
29. adopted fairytale
30. an old Acosta bridge that sank
31. purgatorial walgreens
32. the baron that carries a stick at midnight
33. men screaming into a revolving door
34. longing fate!
35. spam emails from the evangelist
36. sunken seas in the garden of eden
37. broken korean
38. broken english
39. fate in two
40. hands without fathers, hands without mothers
41. outside a cotton doorway
42. in the land between two lands between
43. chapters; endless story
44. a grifter welcomed into the broth
45. headrest to the end of time
46. a book which sees the hills
47. the hills that see only in books
48. a Cocteau Twins song that doesn’t sound
49. introduced to a spirit beyond
50. sandra, mother of mary
51. without sleep, without spirit, without love, without heart
52. singing bagpipes into the ether
54. the Devil wears marble countertops
55. rushing from the start
56. hallways that don’t stop
57. hallways that always stop
58. hallways that frequently stop
59. (train tracks)
60. (crossing signals)
61. (little sirens, little bells)
62. Listerine hairfloss
63. “it’s words that aren’t real”
64. the translatess spurned
65. snakes in the pond
66. snakes over the pond
67. brooks without homes
68. zones without memory
69. cold storage
70. meat lockers
71. a really good punk band (oxymoron)
72. high school townhomes
73. without demeter
74. forbidden damascus
75. et. al.; the like
76. counting in reverse
77. counting in infinity
78. counting fate
dilaudid... sinking into the ceiling
running in shapeless formation
your careful heart and my careless soul,
my accidental evil and your pure character
when i ran away i didn't look back
i didn't want to see
brown eyes looked so good in pale sunlight cast into the room through the trees, our time was fleeting, always fleeting, a minute here a minute there, then i slip away, then i slipped away, writing my name in red marker all over the bathroom mirror laughing so sweet and fresh, caught in each other's hair, no vision, no recognition, no fantasy, no reality
a busy intersection where everyone's upset but us, heavy stares in our direction but we don't care, i'm on the way and i'm decadent, i can't find her, i can't see her face but i can feel her in the air, woven tapestry, the shitty hotel sheets, in a dream I saw her and she slipped away, and she slips away from me again and i'm in the waves crashing all around me sinking and her hand reaches out to grab me but i let go
and her parents knew about me, and they wanted the best, and they were so proud of us, and their suspicion was finally wavering, and they knew best, and they were right, and they are right, and i slip away, and i slipped away, and i decay, remorseless ambivalent slime regressing into a sewer i built for myself, not alone and not afraid but aware and cold towards the pain i gave her
Come back to me. I know you will. Come back to me. I know you will. Some day, you will. You have no other choice. I was the first, and I will always be. I am the last, and I will always be. I know I make mistakes, and I know I killed something within you that once was beautiful. I know I wilted every rose. But things will get better. I ruined your life: that's okay. I know it happened. They say the first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem. So here I go: I cannot stop hurting people.
Everyone I hurt has come back to me in some way. It's like cruel fate. And I don't want it to be that way. I know that everyone is much better off without me. A few people never came back... their lives are better without me. And that's okay. Honestly, it's better for them. It's better they live independent of me and find their own fate. Because I always hurt people. Everyone who's ever known me has been hurt by me in some way. That's okay. It's normal. In fact, the fabric of society is built on this. Little fibers woven in and out and sewn appendages that crease and burn into the fold and wither away like they were never born. A body made entirely of these gentle, weak fabrics. That's me: that's who I am. I will always be these fibers, and I will never change. Nothing will ever let me: I am always bound to the condition I am in and this condition is always hinged on the suffering of others. It's not that I want others to suffer nor do I in any conscious way make it possible, much less make it happen: but every mistake, every crack I step on on the sidewalk, kills the happy spirit living within someone, everything falling apart and into ruin at the lightest touch.
But it's okay. Maybe someday, I'll be shot. That would be justice, right? For I was born a sinew, and a sinew I shall ever be: please, to my dearest God, make me stop me from being the creature I have become. September 3, 2020
Criss-cross-applesauce on the roof of a tall building with my eyes closed. Not on the edge, but not far from it. From where I am the city smells great. There aren't any of the fumes that typically pollute and offend fragile senses. But it's not going to last. By tomorrow this building will be gone, and so will so many others... a quiet calm sets in as the realization washes over you without sticking, without staining, without hurting the flesh. Nothing is wrong: everything is together, as it should be, like pieces of a puzzle yet solved.
You were someone's daughter. You know that now: someone, somewhere down the line, gave birth to you. In fact, you know their name. But you don't want to say it. And from where I am the city smells great. It's all right. I'll be waiting here. When you decide to come home.
She expected more of you. She thought very highly of you. She told everyone she knew about you. You let her down. You know that now. So do I: I know that just as much as you do, and it stings me, and all my wounds, just the same as it stings you and all yours. She was someone's daughter, too. She made sure you knew that, even at the time. She told everyone about you. She bragged about you. And what happened? Where did that spirit of yours go? Where did that person's daughter?
She went and left, you think. But it wasn't like that. You went and left. Up and left, too. You trampled on her just as you trampled on everyone that did it to you. I hope that you will find peace one day, but I am not optimistic. It takes a lot of faith and strength to be optimistic in times of darkness or, like now, times of utter disappointment and failure, total resignment. And I can't muster either.
I hate you. I hope you know that. I hate you. I hope you find peace, but I hate you. I tried to cut you out of my life twice. It didn't work either time, and now you're bound to me, the way an unwanted child is stuck to the parent who can't stand the offspring's presence. I tried to cut you out, and everything that you represent, but I failed. Just like you failed, I failed too. And now I'm at the top of this building looking down on you at the bottom. I don't want to join you. In fact, I feel quite good up here. But I hope you know how it looks from my place in the sky. August 29, 2020
Every town looks the same. And every place I see has things I know would mean a lot to me if they ever did. If I grew up there. If I spent time there. And I know that these things, just like those that helped me get through the psychosomatic insolvencies of my life, will be gone in time. Every place that has ever been loved is gone, and every place that is still loved is going: that is the cruel fate of history. I wonder if it's my fault: would it still play out this way if it weren't for my presence?
Either way, my being here isn't helping at all. A helicopter's hovering overhead, and it will rain in some months: I feel like I'm in Purgatory. Some kind of suffering... well, I pick up the pieces, and I try again. I put my bike back together. It's still sitting in the middle of the road by the time I get on it and ride back home. Someone on a park bench threatens to kill me with a shard of glass on the way, but I don't give them my time. "You're worth more than failure," I remember a school counselor telling me once. If only. Yeah, if only. If only they could see me now, right? August 28, 2020
Stolen castles alight in dark waters. A creeping sensation and an image. A pharmacy in a place known to me, but everything else is gone. Someone banging on the window of the front entrance, hurling threatening obscenities at those inside, but I can't stop walking to the door. Magnetic and that's it. Four walls and all sides are taken up by cashier lines: there is nothing to buy here, but you can't leave without paying. An older woman is screaming, clutching her purse, as a man clamors for it. The door is so close to me; it is nighttime. I do not leave. Had I known... maybe things will be different next time. August 26, 2020
Dark holes on the ground. In one direction, two. In another, four. I can't see anymore, my eyes are too old and clouded, as if seeing them has progressed my age by the thousands. I feel, somewhere in my heart and so deeply I cannot describe it coherently, that I am alone.
If one travels in any direction too long, they come back to the same place. Everything here is circular, and if you let them know they're afraid, the figure will never change shape. Accidentally entombed and forever lost. He who walks blind will perish. August 25, 2020
One of the best urban legends is the urban legend of the urban legend of the sailor in Venice who lost his mind and went on a boat-fueled killing spree, running over poor children in the canals with his gondola. According to the folktale, this was a popular story passed around in the slums of Paris in the latter half of the eighteenth century, but if you ask a man there today if he knows what happened, he’ll shake his head (or) look at you like you were pearls before swine.
I keep having the same dream over and over and over in which the plane I’m flying on to nowhere in particular goes down in the Adriatic Sea even though the plane didn’t start off anywhere near the Adriatic Sea nor somewhere that could access it. All hands are lost. Nobody on the plane seems too concerned.
(That dream is a fiction but what if it wasn’t one. Who knows and who would tell me the difference? You could invent all sorts of dreams and nobody would be the wiser. Fictional dreams. I wonder: if you write them enough, will you start actually having them? Scene: Writing down another story on a table made of ivory in an adobe manor, another dream perhaps. Suddenly, the artist begins to drift off… or does it happen gradually? )
The doctor speaks in euphemisms. Though he knew well that the job would entail brutal truths and painful disclosures, he’d never quite been able to confront the reality of it. So, in a desperate bid to keep others from confronting their “realities of it”, he keeps them in the dark. And it’s not out of malice or ignorance. It’s out of what brought him into the profession to begin with: altruism. He keeps telling them there’s nothing wrong, but Sharon’s got a tumor the size of a baseball growing in her right torso (“it’s psychosomatic”) and that goiter on Joseph’s foot is just an outcropping of an overactive sex life (“it’ll pass with time”), and so on and so forth.
Whispering winds under that highway bridge. a girl that saw my face and never looked back
About 15 different ways my life could have gone if it didn’t go the way it did now: I could be a doctor or a journalist or I could be running from the cops somewhere in a Taurus on a highway where the road is dark brown and there’s no sunlight
2. The way she looked at me I’ll never forget. Oh I was only young but something still felt.
What if the cuyahoga river was replaced with a constant iv drip of adderall to every citizen of the state of Ohio I think that would work out just fine maybe the people would get some work done and they would have some time to get together and be friends and not to tear each other’s hearts out of their chests still living thumping and beating like they were always when the clock’s on and world peace and Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali remember that guy well he’s a quack just fill the river with Adderall send me on my way and then I can get my fix and go down to the river with no excuse just when I want to and not have the freaks down at the park pull me into a van and beat the shit out of me twenty times a day, sometimes maybe I wish that the way things are was not the way they were but they are the way they are now so I don’t see too much a point nor a need in the sense of complaining if you catch my drift, oh well that’s alright sugar but they won’t even see the highway for the rails you know what I mean yeah I know what you mean man but I tell you I saw something fucked up underneath that overpass oh yeah which one the one on Bakersfield Boulevard but that road doesn’t exist yeah it does I can show you on a map but there aren’t any maps anymore they had a cartographer in the sinai and he lost his mind running around 86 89 98 some year around there running around in the field waiting for the men in the big suits to come pick him up but they never came, and so I say just fill the suitcases with adderall and the river and let the waves replace with the monday windows and the way a cold office feels when it’s a cold office of the state like a school detention room and not some other room it’s always coldest when it’s that cold fluorescent lighting so if you get me my adderall I’ll be on my way and I’ll forgive all the sins in the world if you just fill my cup up with some of that stuff but I know it won’t never be that way again and I know the songs aren’t ever gonna sound the same but in the moment I might as well run em dry and watch em bleed that’s what I always say and that’s what she says too yeah well just fill the river up with Adderall let it happen and let it be and I’ll tell you the way the Sundays shine
A car fire tire fire wild fire’s burning again at the city edge gallows of the moral city folk running in circles perfect Penitence crying to some God Sun God who’s on his-her knees kissing rat soil for a sip of perfect lovely varnish come off the WD-40 backs of an Econolodge brand composite, a praying girl’s got nothing to go for her but the beads ‘round the ropes ‘round ‘r neck,
ravenous river overflowing now like a dry mouth plucked out its place in the firing line and filled quick with a fire hose ‘til the freeways rivers tinged Solomon and
red, burning red, all sides and faces covered in this red sheen caked on winter-time sheen chancellor’s request whatever he says goes and fits and the cap right on the way it should be.
Man women of scriptures know all the tests and signs they confirm this is it this is the final stand at this hitch the state will no longer exist no more hollywood no more vine no more sacramento sundays no more wet dream silicon valley head-space marshalls police officers that know what they are talking about and the world is in a circle with hands clasped all the leaders chanting in unison Hooray Hooray they sing as the final gate is finally opened the water rushes the seas overflow the cities run red baghdad colossal and all regret erased inhaled suffocated choked loved whispered demonstrated imbibed a fake german man standing next to you is bumping your shoulder asking for another glimpse at the fireworks display for it’s a real fine show and everything’s just dandy and you left the stove on but who cares the stove is all on every stove every carpet burning no ark no noah the Land Without God realized to absence.
a single picture, and in it, a thousand images flashing before the place behind my eyes, a thousand memories, a thousand places lost to dust and time, in the annals. if only they still existed somewhere in time - if only sheer will could bring them to fruition again, but no, nothing is ever again as it was in that time, I am not who I was, no return, no recovery.
hot weather adventure landing football on TV first coast news mathews bridge arlington old graveyard house backyard bike rides (sunset) 800 towns 800 places 800 faces smiles of people who changed places that changed times that changed turned pages left open closed unread empty vacant hollow reasoning all these memories, all these places are in you, somewhere, not lost, never lost, they slip into fog and ages burn away at the corners, you are a vagrant shuffling along in your hollow mind, not the keeper of lost secrets.
the songs still play but they don't sound the same. everything is tainted red and beige and not crystalline by what happened to you - the worm of the idea, jokes you used to make, things you didn't realize, things you wished you realized, things that would have stopped things from becoming what they became
friends who wouldn't who don't recognize you anymore and they wouldn't even if they cared so you don't even try and you don't see them when you go back, but that's how it is sometimes, that's how it's supposed to be and it's cruel but it's the way that hours go by and then days and weeks and years and things like bridges and lapping waves and digging into the dirt at ortega park trying to get to the river and the way on the rocks you could see things watches trinkets car parts all float through the tiny waves —the way things like that crumble until you need them the least and then they all come back with such intimidating frequency and with such intimidating power that it's like a new world is born in your hands, right before your eyes, then turned and torn apart like it was nothing, like it was never anything, even though those things that meant so little to you then and mean so much to you now are forever a part of you they feel like last vestiges of a dying spirit, like a love that's being lost, the recognition of your future's amnesia: you will only get older.
all these meaningless little frames, not full memories, not even full glimpses into the past, just these little bullshit frames, single breaths, split seconds in which everything was everything — you can't see the forest for the trees, not even in its infancy. and just look at what it's doing to you.. do you know what would happen if you went back there? it would shatter all these precious, beautiful illusions, these little vague delusions that your life as it was back then is preserved in any form in the present, as if everything even the AP gas station by the 2005 house, isn't fully gone, isn't demolished or dilapidated or with new management or whatever it is. you know, those people don't exist anymore..
you're naked, you're alone, you're weak, and you're cold, and your friends back then are no shelter to you now. discard those remnants, cut the algae from the mold. the transition from velvet effects and purple sedition to the moonlight is never easy, the moonlight of a reality that doesn't care about the way you feel about it or the ties you have to those jewelry store moment even less so, but if we think without hope and know without person that these things are the way they became not by your right, not by your action, and not by your deed, we can overcome them, we can walk into new meadows and know that the gardens are all empty without leaves.
Standing up top, there might be a swift, cool breeze blowing your hair around, but don’t listen to it. Be listless, unafraid. Somewhere, over the hills, there’s a house party, and they’re all cheering for you.
I’m in a derelict flotsam, floating out in the North Sea. I’m listless, unafraid. You’re with me, too, and we’re both laughing. Smiling, too. Another flotsam passes us. Doorways, small elevators.. how did our directions bring us here?
Self-effaced in the hallway, waiting for class to begin - I’m uncomfortable, and it shows. All I want is to be the main character in someone’s life. It doesn’t have to be mine, I just want to matter.
A light snow comes down outside, but not here.
Paranoia and fear has its first birth in the beautiful, then the grotesque, until there is that darkness. And it is through that darkness alone that it comes manifest, yes, but it is mostly lack, it is mostly error. The error of others. The error of myself. We are all children in larger games.
Jobs decay and I am no stranger to unemployment. Time comes, too, and so does land, and space, and air. We breathe, we shit, we fuck, and we die, just machines.
(in memory of the gulag machinist)
And where machines used to air their hymns,
and leave them out to dry in the bitter cold,
or cut lullabies, like a lathe, into the snow
there now lies only silence,
In a sense, this building demanded punishment;
it demanded resolute force without restraint,
for it enslaved many a man of good heart.
Alas, I meet not this catharis;
neither justice nor guilt washes over me.
When I look into myself,
when I see the fruits of my labour,
there now lies only silence.
The last time he went to Phoenix he burned his two bare feet on the sidewalk or the driveway, but he doesn't remember which one.
He smells like car exhaust and one day when he's driving to work his car will burst into flames and everyone inside the car will disappear, and nobody knows why this is so.
When he was young he was institutionalized (his parents' wishes) after seeing a suicide on television. He was left distraught at the sight of it and he spent a few summer holidays in the French Hospital which is not actually French but was built in the 80's and named after an old parking lot that was called French Gardens that has now fallen into the fog.
College in Germany bored him and he found the Marxist electives especially dreadful. At some point he'd gone so long without leaving his dorm that his professors stopped checking to see if he was in attendance. At that point, it all fell apart.
Losing track of the time, I don't even know what day of the week it is. I haven't been cognizant of that for probably seven weeks now. This is where the string section starts, building up to the crescendo. Like coarse silk, I weave in and out of being and non-being, though I don't think I'll ever know the sorrows of purgatory. A few days ago withdrawals and little sleep made out of me a mess, and I fueled my waking hours on that day with daytime television and simulated errand-running to such an intense and depressing point that now even the thought of that time, and the thought of what I was doing in that moment, sets me back a few minutes on my (seemingly neverending, at this point) quest against the nightmare state I spend all of my conscious energy to fight against: derealization, depersonalization, and dissociation. That may not be purgatory in the purest sense, but it's certainly not living, it's somewhere in-between the highest joys of life and the most alienating - not sad, just disturbing- pits of unreality.
Please, make it stop. Some part of me is supposed to have died by now, I'm sure. My room is a mess. I'm becoming less connected to reality as time passes into the sun and I, too, am falling int othat sun. Part of me is crumbling, like cake, into shade. Television and Multitopia, man. I can't wait until I'm shot 900 times in the head.
An enamored silence,
from the whispering faces
in that place beyond the sun
and before the moon
One moment again and then,
a cigarette strikes the cold ground
however far the distance
"It’s all sinking into ether. The girl was once really intelligent, you know. In fact, I saw her take a sudoku table and she did it up in twenty seconds."
"That is such bull-shit. You never saw her do fucking anything, man."
"I only need to answer to myself what it is that I saw."
burning city - to wait passengers
in moral retri;ution incarnate
to welcome cascades & river presence of emotive &
highly welcome peace treaty& send to light of the keen
failures sent downstream
unwelcome--spider casts a web on which
carnival gallows bleed bright LED carnations
(the literature withheld seeking only to bring to light
dreams) kingdom told of “kingdom cold” and-
whatever it seems
He stinks rotten, like burning flesh. The layers of filth caked onto his face do not crumble or fall when he is throttled, and his expression does not move, the quiet his mind and his vagrancy unwavering. However far from home and estranged from reality he may be, he bleeds with earnest comfort, and whatever shallow heaven brought him peace in his past is still with him as a lonely shadow. In Los Angeles, where he lived for a period of his life he cannot recall with any pleasure, there are fires burning on all sides as howling winds strip the hills of their pride, and another blow to the ribs knocks him to the ground. Still, though, his expression does not change.
I know somewhere in my absent heart that this is Jacksonville somewhere and sometime ago but it’s just roads that seep and whisper and on which the real cars of strangers glide over sans problèmes but present us endless troubles into which we coast without rhythm. I know somewhere else in there that I’m in the back seat but if I look ahead I can see forever as long as the sky lets me in all directions like an innocent observer. Yet one look at the strange woman sat beside me and the look of pure terror frozen on her opal face tells me what I already guessed about and there’s a jealous rage emanating from the black forest of open perdition that goes on in all endless directions like cardboard dunes - the floorboards of a tinted savannah. And I turn my head back again, slowly (it doesn’t move easy) and look ahead of me despite all voices and all all-points-bulletins instructing me the opposite. And it meets me for the first time, the asphalt and concrete cobwebs we’re trapped going ninety in for the rest of days, coasting down hills and into low valleys and up to narrow peaks and down again, are somewhere I know and somewhere I’ve been many times, even though it is and looks nothing of the sort. I can and do identify it with cool certainty and some other me will realize that the real place has girders and beams and trusses in real castle-shapes that were painted to support teams which no longer exist, but there’s no time to truly sit and reflect on this because after what feels like hours we finally fly into the black noon sky and hang up there in suspension for a quarter of an endless second as fog envelopes us in the aerosol mist.
The next and only thing I remember with clarity is our plunge into the depths of a murky temperature-less river beset on all sides by mystic dread in the form of rusting machines and docks half-sunken into the fluid darkness and there are dolphins and snakes and dark wet hands clawing at me and swinging open the door and closing it again and by the time my mouth opens to scream the windows shatter open and disappear and water rushes in and fills my mouth first and my lungs next and I tear my nails out of their beds and whatever person once filled my shell is gone and it’s only when the asphyxiation really begins and there’s no more space to fill with that wicked liquid that I come back to something half-real or at least posing as such and find myself not on that bridge but staring ahead at it and seeing the thing in itself just sitting there as if laughing at my insipid weakness and I start to laugh too and everyone’s laughing and the title card flies across velvet into the end releasing us into horse latitudes and burning vessels in all sides and ways.
Tears streaming down the thing's face, vicious tears, angry, screaming tears, follow course. Unintentional steel, they said, a complete accident. And it was unavoidable at the time. For if we'd only known, we would have been able to do so much more — but hindsight is always 20/20 even with both eyes clamped shut and a hemostat jammed down into an open cavity, and the men in charge here would have someone to answer to when they realized the sheer gravity of their malevolent mistake. And it became no question about their intentions — their intentions were worthless. The best-laid plans of those awful men still lent themselves to pain, to malice, to greed and to avarice. Who cares what they wanted to do? What they did is still apparent here, burnt into unlucky flesh and sunk deep into festered wounds like salt in an open vein.
An eternal nightmare loop where a beautiful woman and her kids die and her husband too, in one wing she starts by getting food. She comes back in and there’s milk n told on the ground. She gets obscenely angry. At the end all are disemboweled. We decide to fix it by defeating he loop. We do the killing avoiding being attacked ourselves. Alm are dead -5 the endwe can speak to them. We saw a lot n we
Her welcome. And she comes back
To real life’
Key West is a little island in Florida and the southernmost continually-populated settlement of the contiguous and technical United States. It barely exists; a tourist industry propped up on splintered boards is the only thing keeping the island known to the rest of the country, but this suffices well enough, and so the streets of this little hamlet are more often than not packed with tourists, both from the state and abroad, buying little trinkets and complaining about sand in their shoes. It is in some way parallel to Saint Augustine though geography stands as difference. And so when I found myself in the center of the town one day, a particularly hot and miserable Caribbean day, I was overcome with a dread so intense that it could have beaten heatstroke to the punch of killing me if it tried. I looked around in all directions to get my wits, but every time I turned my head the image flashed within it of that burning house, that house of blue somewhere in Georgia or Kansas where someone, someone for sure, that I knew was burning the midnight oil to bring house home another night, and the shattering of glass, and a door that didn't shut while a harpsichord hummed weak motel reveries in the background. And so often the wandering mind is silenced by the other. I remember that I hit the road once, and it was sometime before or after the house, but I couldn't place it concretely. I saw old meadows in someone's periphery, I saw a rocking chair with an old man in it who couldn't turn his head too well to see the baptism of his own grandson's first-born and some weak and quivering applause that sent the child flying out of one hand into the next. And I saw milk, oranges, tea by the gallon, oil by the drop, a baker's list, and a town in some country far from here or there, some old tradition, some old band. Everyone's so happy, everyone's so excited, and they're so glad you're here, oh but if only you could remember your name again, if you could call it out or scream it down the pews or let someone — the man with the wind-chimes in hand, perhaps — carry it for you, stow it in a bouquet of roses or something, if only you could let that happen, if you could say something to let it run its course, if you could, if only you could.
beads of sweat glistening on the cop's spray-tanned skin as one round, then two, is fired from his department-issue pistol, searing across three lanes of traffic and entering, in two different spots, the body of the accused
beneath the effluent screen a pandora's box opens unsheathing a carnivorous "pattern array" of mechanic, ionized bodies. from within the gyre a maritime Kessler effect. A beckoning, feeding but not breathing, neo-heart calling us into the shadows..."beyond that overglow where the moment goes." Part of me, and I don't know which part, was saying to the other constituent bodies within me, 'leave, leave, leave'. But I couldn't. And this dream repeats forever. It has happened a thousand times, in a thousand different worlds, within a thousand different consciousnesses, endless experiments on dark halation in the dimension of pain, all cardinal motifs in the orchestra of another being's forgotten sin. By the time the priest or the minister says these words you'll have forgotten your own self-conscience. And self-esteem will be rebound in you, with all these anxieties and fears incestuous puppets in tiny hand-manicured gardens behind basins of sublime supremacy... right? There's some kind of map opening and closing repeatedly, somewhere within you, right now, and I wish you could see the look on your face and on everyone's face together (the shared colossus) when we attain this level of extreme focus, a dysgenic realization (always thinking in terms of 'this' and never in terms of 'that', like a self-referential machine engaging in cannibalistic autosex in all its diodes) that four days have passed and are passing during this metabolic dream-sequence — tattered satin, biological nematodes (roundworms) festering in open season on open season in the geolithic marginal body.
I was in some kind of small van that functioned as a bus with her (a total stranger I've seen several times in dreams); she sat behind me and her boyfriend was the driver. her boyfriend pulls into the garage of his own house/apartment and he gets out cuz he wants to start yelling at his father and I ask him what he's doing and he says that he's gonna attack me, too, once he's done with his father. And he does this because he thinks that we're stuck there but his girlfriend, I turn to her and say what the fuck is going on, and she says that this is something normal for him and that she's leaving him right now and she can get us out of there, and so we are — she didn't say that she's leaving him, just that she's leaving the building — and she gets us out of there and we're running through the streets and we're looking for anything, anywhere. And we find some place and we start talking, and we start holding hands and playing with each other's hair and talking. Then we go to dinner later and my actual girlfriend is there and I tell her I really like her. the new girl. And then my current girlfriend [inaudible]. (The rest of this is inaudible as I start falling asleep.)
I had another dream that night, and lot of the first part of the second dream is really hazy but there's a point in the dream where I'm in a hospital, and it's a very big multi-story hospital, but for some reason the patient levels were near the bottom and the exit was on the bottom floor. The exit was on the first floor, as well as the entrance, and all the other floors — two other floors below the exit/entrance floor — and the patient floors were on the 2nd floor, and there was, I think, a foot doctor (or whatever you call it) on the 4th and then a something doctor on the 5th. Anyway. I'm on the sixth floor. I forget what the sixth floor is but I think it's a store or something to that effect; I'm trying to get down to the first floor to exit the building. And there's a lot of people in the elevator and we're trying to go down. Then we're going down and I notice there are these three woman-like people all with different appendages and sexual characteristics and they're paranoid and they don't want anyone to get on because they're patients, and they're very gross. And we start to have an orgy. On the elevator. And they're panicked. They lock the doors. I'm taking it from all three of them. And it's great. But then we go down. And we get off. This old man who looks like Wilford Brimley or some other caricature gets on, and he of course doesn't want anybody to get on. So when we get to the second floor he lets everybody off, but then when people try to get on, with an extreme, terrifying urgency, he slams on the "Close door" button. We're going down to the basement, a bit further. And he panics. We finally get up to the first floor and it's almost like a submarine with the lighting. Lots of metal, gray, dark green, blue. Military people everywhere. I step outside and it's like Soviet block housing in all directions. It's pissing rain, as well. And I start to run. I make it to this outdoor area. Bunch of kids talking about synchtube and killing people, very detailed discussions, and they're very angry and they wanna start killing and dismembering people. And I get to this place, that looks like the road that goes past all the port and docks and shit in Ortega (the side street that goes from Ortega to Chamblin's, behind Publix in Avondale). Big sitting area, kinda wet, wooden, bunch of gross looking grotesque "not right" old people walking around. One of them is walking aorund talking, and I try to avoid him. One of them is sitting in his chair and his face is turned backwards, completely hairless on all sides, a faceless animal.
[this is just a transcription of a voice message i left myself at 7am before falling back asleep, i added some small details for clarity but nothing else really. also, i will have updates on why i was gone in a few days probably]
had a dream last night where I was outside of a bathroom complex in China. The weather was very cloudly; it wasn't day, and it wasn't night. There was a dog in a section of grass (my mind "tagged" it as grass but it was mostly just dirt). He was very excited. Looked like a shiba inu. I looked at him and he started jumping in place, back and forth. This made the ground dip and bounce up, like it was a net he was jumping on, or a trampoline. And then I squatted to say hi to the dog and pet him and these two guys gave me a look (I didn't see them but I could sense it) and I realized the dog was a stray and that I could get sick from it. So I decided to go to the bathroom to wash my hands. You had to walk through a chainlink fence with a gate to get to the bathroom building. When I opened the gate a giant, grey dog, like a Weimaraner, comes up to me and barks something. I don't know how, but I somewhat understood what he said. I somehow communicate (without moving, making any noise or anything) that I need to go to the bathroom and he walks towards the women's bathroom and "points" with his paw. I say no, in English, and he goes back to the Men's bathroom and opens the door with his paw, somehow (it's one of those circular doorknobs, idk how he did that). He walks inside, points to the area which the urinals are in, and makes a weird human-like bark noise. The tiles are pool water teal and there's fluorescent lighting inside, it's awful. When I start to piss, for some reason I start singing the American national anthem to myself. I can feel a mean glare that pierces through the wall of the building and cuts straight into me, from outside. It's those two guys. They're upset.
For whatever reason all those bubblegum kpop songs I like sound really eerie today. It probably has something related to my dreams. I've found that in the last couple of years distinguishing dreams and reality is simultaneously easier and harder. It's easier in that I can now realize that it was just a dream, but it's harder in that distinguishing what parts of the dream were just a dream and what parts weren't is a newfound challenge.
It came to pass, a while after I wrote that, that all music would sound that way. All music would come across disjointed and alien, like music heard in the midst of a surreal dream. Events, too. In the midst of Iran basically declaring war on the United States and all that, even if by proxy. 'It's all so tiresome'... and I find myself getting sicker and sicker by the day of the rat-race which the people of this country find themselves in, even unknowingly, even those passing through limboid states of unemployment and listless emotional and social vagrance like I do.
I read the manga Memories of Emanon today and it was great stuff. Made me cry a fair bit, of course. It felt too much like dreams I've had. Dreams are starting to become the most influential thing in my life. In the absence of any real life, I find myself drifting more and more into dreams, becoming an active participant of them, becoming the weaver of my own mental curtains. I no longer really see myself becoming any kind of social animal. I don't think I have the social gene that most normal people have. I certainly have the romantic, dependent, sentimental genes... but the social one, the one that necessitates friendships, is not there. I have the ones I need digitally, and as pathetic as it sounds, this is all I need.
But I also notice that I've developed shortcomings in writing. Without any real social experience to base my characters on, my ability to write good fiction is completely annihilated. I can only rely on characters who are as antisocial as myself, for the most part, or socially withdrawn romantics and optimists. I had a vision today, an idea for a story: a man witnessing, at the end of his own horizon, the love of his life, there bathing herself amidst the rocks calf-deep in the waters at a black-sand beach somewhere on the Pacific Coast, realizing the fulfillment of his life's servile dream is the celebration of his love for this woman... and not, despite the circumstance, taking the charge, but rather willing their love together. Mentally taking the dream or idea he has of their love, which rests beyond his horizon, and willing it to existence. Making it real from thought alone. But of course, it is a challenge to write something like that, and with my current stresses, I don't know if I could take on something so emotionally intense and straining (draining? perhaps the right word here).
My connection with reality is becoming more and more a reflection of the ideas I have run through in my dreams than a real relationship with the material world. I am much more content just experiencing things ephemeral and never to be attained than I am chasing vainly some kind of modest waking satisfaction. And yet, in the love I found this year, I've found great comfort and satisfaction. I've felt what it was I dreamt about for so long. And my connection is still so strained... with the world. I have her, but I have nothing, nor body, else. I am completely my own traveller through this waking fantasy. I have a partner to enjoy the pleasantry of it with. I have someone with whom I can say I've found joy.
And I'm about to go to China again. Within around 6 hours, probably less, I'll be waiting to pick up my visa. Assuming everything is right, I'll be fine and I'll get to leave on Tuesday. But assuming there's any kind of problem, I'll throw myself off the side of my metaphysical spirit-bridge, or something. I don't know what I'll do, speaking truthfully. I haven't really accounted for that possibility. But getting to go there affirms my being in some weird way. It really allows myself to exist and think of myself in concrete terms. It confirms and validates the experience I have been desiring for so long. It allows me to be free within my own mind and away from all these anxieties and struggles mentally that I have had to deal with since I was a child.
And on the other hand, I cannot help but feel that this, as well, is some kind of impermanence. It feels all around too real to be something I'm feeling. And the more I catch myself being drawn into the real world, the world of social reality and the world of people and things, the more I long to disconnect from it. And yet I cannot survive without any social contact for too long (my record is around 4 months). I am not yet even twenty. I have to find some balance in this liminality before I go completely insane.
I love her so much. I just want to exist, too.
It is attractive to think of the possibility of an altered course of history in which pollution did not turn into the eternal condition of our reality. But is it realistic?
Due to the way that pollution and the decline of nature has become cemented in the social consciousness and memory of the entire global civilization maybe excluding those who are truly disconnected from the rest of it, like those Sentinelese, it is highly difficult to imagine a world wherein the unstoppable course of history and the development of modern civilizations did not result in the precarious situation which we have foun dourselves in presently. The end result of capitalism especially on a global scale is the proliferation of ruin and the destruction of societies considered 'tertiary' to the powers that live isolated in their own cultural bubble (wherein their only enemies are those on the far opposite reaches of the world and total global harmony relies on economic liberalism as the common, standard rule of global regimes, rather than an option or possibility.
Capitalism is not the only criminal in the case of pollution on a global scale, but they set the precedent, they dominated the globe and set the standard that must be met. In order for communist societies, embattled by embargos, restrictions, issues relating to safe and free international trade among common-minded individuals, and the blackmailing or direct military "democratization" of communist countries by the capitalist regimes that seek to lose money from what is generally the standard course of a communist country's immediate demands and decisions (the nationalization of a company's assets and the installation of a distributionist system, as the most prominent examples), to compete with capitalist countries and secure welfare and economic security for its people, they must make extreme ideological sacrifices (China and perestroika) and/or succumb to the quotas imposed by Western governments. Imperialism must not always take place on the geopolitical plane with direct pieces being moved into direct places. It can indeed take place completely covertly through global trade agreements and the enforcement of trade embargoes. These are why Pyongyang and the countries of the Soviet Bloc are so polluted and racked with economic, social, and environmental issues of grave concern. They were held hostage by a world that cared not about their people, but the ideology and profit that was at risk in the furthering of a people-centric ideology. (To summarize my rambling: capitalism set the stage and made the demands. To meet these demands is the only way that a communist country will be permitted by the capitalist internationalists to have a piece on the global board.)
There's a section of Cairo that the expats and English speakers nickname "Garbage City". One of the most beautiful and ancient cities in the world. What many would consider one of the original "cradles" of civilization. And yet, in the middle of it, in fact in one of the few Christian enclaves of the city, there's a slum wherein the levels of pure filth and pollution are so high that people can make a living entirely off of handling and disposing of garbage. Something about that is so haunting.
Truly the tides of modern society are 'a-changing. But societies that lack the resources to adequately adapt to the material conditions of the rest of the "advanced" world stay behind in some kind of purgatory. A limbo. These countries generally develop quite well and become the most industrious and 'advanced' in their region, but at an insanely high human cost. They rush for the development that the Western countries have obtained through the exploitation and abuse of the Third World, ignoring the rampant inequality and social stratification which typically plagues these societies (places like Egypt, India, Indonesia, Thailand, even the 'clean' Emirates, Kuwait, and so on).
The issues in America are not totally distant from the situations that the aforementioned countries find themselves in. Even in larger, centralized (as opposed to daily, systemic, etc.) catastrophic failures like the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig and the subsequent oil spill (which did extreme damage to the impoverished coastal parts of the U.S. that line the Gulf of Mexico, like Louisiana's southern parishes and fishing communities in southern Mississippi or Texas), the issues stem from the same place. The cutting of all possible corners with the intent of achieving the same successful results attained by those who were only able to get there through the brutal exploitation of labor in avoidance of the corner-cutting process. A society cannot advance completely, even if it can do so in every aesthetic sense, if the profit-incentive issues are not curbed.
And despite my socialist leanings I will say that this does not mean that socialism is the only way to achieve a society which values the worker and sees it less as an asset and more of a human being (although it is, essentially); European countries have largely, at least in the last twenty years of total anthropoceniac change (in which the entire world transformed with the same impact of the Industrial Revolution in maybe half the time, if not less), been able to avoid these chains of horrible disasters at the hands of negligent businessmen and office workers. This is also likely why, aside from their general passivity in the program, the European countries involved with the CIA's extraordinary rendition program were able to avoid the same fate as the United States -- they were not operating the program because they realized, fundamentally, that the stress of it was placed all on the backs of two men with shoddy backgrounds and various intellectual and scientific shortcomings that would have come off as red flags to literally anyone but those suits from a country where the race is to get information and heads as fast as possible, without regard or necessary concern for the lives that will be spent in the process or the risk involved.
The countries that exist as arcane remnants of bygone empires like Egypt and Mongolia are vestigal and in order to 'catch up' with those countries that came about in completely different and altogether post-human ways they have had to accelerate their own abandonment of the human image and the general empathy that must, of course, go with the acceleration of a human society in order for it to function properly and ensure a general level of welfare for its citizens. And now that we are in the age beyond the post-human, beyond the first Industrial Revolution when the human being shifted from the auxiliary, yet still uniquely 'human', worker to the asset or capital unit (which can be automatically and fluidly assigned a monetary worth or value that is truly arbitrary and not connected to his or her actual work or the fruits of their labor), even those countries like America that came about in those unique and privileged circumstances will have to accomodate an age that has forgotten how to feel about its own people.
Going into 2020 it must be remembered, also, that the first quarter of the new millenium is already almost over, and yet the entire world has shifted at a rate which, arguably, is equal to that of hundreds of years in the not-so-distant past. We must not go recklessly or without true precaution into the danger of this new world. In order to preserve not only ourselves but the legacy we will leave behind (and that's not even getting into the situation of the lives of our children, indebted to the natural world as its slaves given the damage we have done to it), the image which we will remain as beyond our deaths, it is of the utmost necessity to imagine and plan for the most disastrous and brutal futures possible.