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Darker Songs for Darker Souls

(viewed 4319 times)
That's me in the corner. That's me in that spot. Losing all my souls. Trying to beat up the boss. And I don't know if I can do it. Oh no I've said too much. But can't explain enough. I thought that I saw you dying. I thought that I saw bloodstains. I think I thought I saw you try. But that was just a game. That was just a game. Try, cry, why try. That was just a game. Just a game. Just a game, game.

Posted by jc1000000

14th Mar 2014, 07:54   comments (0)

New York State of Mind

(viewed 941 times)
Grabbing "cawfee" I overheard a young dude chatting to an old dude.

Young dude: "Every time I answer the phone, you hang up. I answer the phone, you hang up. I answer the phone. You hang up. Answer the phone. Hang up."

Old dude: "Yeah? That's funny 'cos every time, I hang up; you answer the phone."

Posted by jc1000000

2nd Nov 2013, 17:38   comments (1)


(viewed 1199 times)
At first I thought it was me that was gone. So strange - from familiar
smells and minor irritations to this, this, black tear in the fabric.
I was so positive it was me that for a time I just sat around waiting
for you to sort everything. Your things made me so angry; leaving the
toothpaste lid off and that greasy glass of water by the bed; for days
it sat there, you didn't do a thing.

I got angry because I hadn't got to see you get upset. I sat around
unsure what to do, waiting for you react. How can it be you that's
dead when all this is happening to me.

It did hit me though, such a queasy de ja vu and

"Oh God, Oh No, Not

And they never said that thing about how I probably wouldn't have felt
a thing.

I did die, I feel like I died. I am sure I died.

And so we ate egg sandwiches all floppy and sad. The appropriate thing
to be is for everyone to be sad, But then the supposed closure after
the ceremony, a slammed door ? that's it, it's over, it's ok, back to
normality; slightly tipsy conversations about loft conversions in a
venue suitable for weddings, bah mitvahs' funerals. But not me, because
it is over now, it was over with one formal sounding knock at the door
and the stairs were falling away underneath my feet.

And now I don't have anything to talk to. It's ok if you've got a
grave, a place for casual conversion, I could gently scold you whilst
picking the moss... off your workclothes. I could push my fingers into
the gold lettering, exploring the surface of the new you. I could lean
against you and tell you about my day, joke that you never really
responded much anyway.

But we scattered you. You're supposed to be everywhere now, but you
can't talk to 'everywhere' on a park bench, or in the supermarket,
it's too conspicuous, people would think you're mad. You can't bicker
with yourself over too much time squeezing the vegetables. I can't
call your old number, can't delete it either. So many more
conversations to have and nowhere to have them.

The stars are dead aren't they? Capture them on celluloid but they're
still gone. I form my hand into an 'ok' sign and, holding it up I look
through the telescope onto our little island, peeping through the
aperture onto glossy moments together. But the scenes just repeat,
become worn. Slowly fade. You are the star, the fleck in the marble,
on a shelf too high, a world too far away. All I can do is remember you.

Posted by beth

28th May 2012, 16:42   comments (9)

'O Fish, art thou constant to the old covenant?'

(viewed 1730 times)
"Return, and we return. Keep faith, and so do we."

Prior to the exploits of Gilgamesh, all of the best advisers for civil or civic affairs washed up on the shores of the sea. Mermen, maybe. Maybe just lost fishermen. According to the old reliefs, perhaps just bearded guys in fish-cloaks. Evacuees from the demise of Atlantis. Wise old catfish from the East who learned to breathe and walk like people. Children of Dagon.

Tell me, O Fish. Why ... why civil service? Did you lose a bet? Is this penance? Or is it just natural experience -- the massed knowledge of the schools, of the colonial life of medusae and coelenterates, of the micro-ecosystems of the thermal vents, the design and operation of the cityscapes that were the first encapsulated cells, the aggregation of those cells together into cooperating eukaryotic multicellular life, the invention and perfection of the me that are the scripts for division of labor on the tissue level, for resolution of disputes over resources, for the destruction of traitors and the punishment of the disobedient? Is that what you brought to Akkadia?

Tell me, O Fish. Are there any more sages, or are you spent?

We have nothing but counterfeits now, wearing suits of sharkskin and boots made from stingray leather, teaching how to deceive and betray and gorge and slaughter and how to get away with it all. Pull their teeth and more teeth grow to join the ranks. Is this the new script, the new me, the new DNA of the new ruling class? Or are they predators or parasites or traitors?

O Fish, art thou constant to the old covenant? If I give you a gift, will you take our shark-men and replace them with a new sage? Or will the shark-men, cut into chum, be a suitable gift on its own?

"Return, and we return. Keep faith, and so do we."


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

28th Apr 2012, 21:26   | tags:comments (6)

Porno Dog

(viewed 3152 times)
As a child, I have cowered under the covers as the moon cast a swarm of
serpentine shadows on my sheets.

As a teen, I've dreamt of being bitten by eels. Awake, walking the forests,
I have stopped with a start to see a bronze legless reptile cross my path.

And as a man, I have stood stony still with a python coiling around my
neck. Once, on new year's eve, at the stroke of midnight, the pit of my
stomach squirmed as I put my lips directly to a bottle of Vietnamese wine
with a hooded cobra in it (upon which I temporarily lost my mind imagining
I had imbibed the curse of the Medusa).

Yet none have caused me to quake as much as that there bobitted trouser

Posted by jc1000000

3rd Feb 2012, 16:23   comments (1)


(viewed 1484 times)
There's always been a tendency to escalation in the animal kingdom -- well, all of the kingdoms really, since the animal kingdom is itself an escalation from gangs of protists ganging up on other gangs of protists -- but on the scale we can all see without a microscope, we can still see examples, even over the course of a human lifetime. Traditionally it's been longer claws and fangs, better armor, more sophisticated venoms, tighter knots in the white and gray matter, more elaborate protocols for friend/foe recognition and courtship, use of sharper and harder tools.... But there's always been the potential for that sideways leap to a different order of existence altogether.

The first time I saw a scorpion carrying a pistol was in 1983. I had been rescued from a stint as a prisoner of war, held by the armies of the Nine-Banded in the Chihuahuan Desert in the Zacatecas region, by a pair of gray-haired lesbians armed with farmer's spades. Old Scorpius never really had a name, but like any unique individual, he never needed one. When you are the only one of your kind, your entire being is your name. I had never been that rare. The old lesbians never even asked me my name. They called me Juan Carlos, which is what they called both their mule and their donkey, and I never saw fit to argue. They were the ones with the spades. Apparently spades trump clubs.

Old Scorpius was a force of nature. In particular, he was gravity. When he walked through a room, he warped the orbits of everyone else with his strangeness. Words you were sending across a table to a friend would veer off in his direction and slingshot away outside beyond the flapping blankets that served as poor doors for keeping out the dust, beyond the trellises of flowering vines and morning glories, and into the orange skies. When he was in the room, watches and clocks took longer between ticks. The closer he was, the more time slowed.

Tiny as he was, he could barely hold his revolver aloft. It was enormous in his trembling left pincer. But he would finish his mescal, walk beneath the wind-bothered blanket door, and go out and down the path where he would build a fire to melt lead to cast for his bullets. Leftover lead he would let drip into a pan of water to erupt into crumbling spontaneous sculptures as it suddenly solidified. He would save the blobs to show to the old lesbians and they would interpret the shapes for him, looking for omens and divinations.

I stayed with the women as their third beast of burden, in gratitude for my rescue. I stayed until the winter came, and then headed east through Nuevo Leon toward the coast. Before I left, I asked Old Scorpius to loan me a bullet to melt for my own divination. He did so, with grace, and even without the help of the old women, I could see that the shape was that of a fish. A fish with legs. When I spun it into the air, it had landed pointing east.

So I walked to the coast, and when I got there, I waded out into the gulf and kept on walking.


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

30th Jul 2011, 05:11   | tags:comments (4)


(viewed 1696 times)
I miss the magic, from when bridges were rickety things that swayed in the wind, held up by twisted hemp and every last ounce of latent psychokinetic wishcraft of the one single person under which it could be hoped to hold up at any particular time. I miss the creaking tension in -- well, I mentioned the ropes, but mostly in the fraying nerves of the crossers as they tried to decide whether it was safer to creep across and not cause too much bouncing or break into a full-tilt run the sooner to get off the damned thing, just in case it wasn't a matter of remaining strength in what passed for the structure, but merely a matter of time.

The magic was in the fear, and in the mastery of that fear. Fear was the guardian of the bridge, regardless of what the guardian was called or what form it took. The troll under the bridge was -- still is -- nearly arbitrary. More often than not, the troll is the spirit of the last life that the bridge had claimed. A spirit that would only be released when the bridge claimed another life.

The kicker is that this bridge claims a hundred thousand lives every day.

This is the bridge at 125th Street and Broadway, in Harlem. It doesn't cross a river, though I can clearly see one from here. The churning, roiling mass of death this bridge lofts over is, well, Harlem. And not even the worst parts. I can see the Cotton Club from here. The Fairway outdoor market. Chunks of the creeping mass of Columbia University. A couple of seminaries. The huge cathedral that is the Riverside Church. Some uninspired housing towers.

Morningside Park is obscured, but I hear it's nice.

The bridge erupts from underneath Seminary Row and plunges back underground at 135th Street. Or vice versa. Encapsulated people, completely saturated in unmastered fear -- I can smell it raining down -- get a brief taste of sunlight here from inside their safe metal subway cars, and the next sky they'll see headed north is what used to be farmland up at Dyckman, sixty-five blocks away. If they're headed south, they won't see the sky again at all until they emerge blinking from the tunnels via whatever exit they find. Or maybe not ever.

It's perfectly possible to never breathe open air if you live in the right place and work in the right place. You can live the entirety of your life underhill, in the realm of goblins and fairies. In the afterlife. Stinking of fear.

I'm the last troll of 125th Street and Broadway, hung up on a technicality. I live under this bridge, feeding off of the charity of passersby. But I am aboveground in this little valley, under the sky, in the elements, feeling rain and snow, breathing open air. Alive. Every day, alive.

Zipping all along the bridge, just passing through paradoxically overhead, are the spirits that live underground, work underground, eat and play and work and screw underground, that swear to me and to themselves that they are the ones that are alive. That somehow, charmingly, I am the monster. The troll under the bridge.

Persephone walks by here all the time, dropping off change and sometimes some passable restaurant leftovers. Or the odd half-pack of cigarettes she found in the park with the cherry trees in it. Ask her. She knows the difference.


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

21st Jul 2011, 04:19   | tags:comments (4)

Creatures Made of Fire and Light

(viewed 1880 times)
They say that the djinn are beings like you and me, except made from a smokeless flame instead of mud. It seems unfair that the same legends go on to say that they can take the form of any man or animal. Djinn could be anyone. Any creature. But I guess they'd be warm to the touch and burn, consuming you, when handled.

The same legends say that angels are creatures made of light. Are they blackbody incandescent, covering a range of frequencies in a bell curve? Can they be refracted into a rainbow? Reflected and bent out of true by spacetime-warping gravity? Can they be single-frequency emissions, polarized, phase-locked and coherent by a long journey, cavity- or diode-emitted like lasers? Can they be made of meter-long radio wavelengths? Do they start their lives as gamma ray bursts? Can they be eaten by plants or turned into electricity by solar panels?

But djinn. The name means "hidden". The wisest man on earth had thousands of djinn slaves, both laborers and white-collar advisors, scholars and heavy-lifters, all organized in ranks and columns. Were they hidden then? Or were they just a tribe of nomads that lived in the deep desert surrounded by dust, protected by dust devils, blanketed and incubated from sun-heated dust by sirocco winds that masked their mirage-rippled comings and goings?

Across a narrow alley, creatures made of fire and light perch on a brick wall and peer in my window, not disguised as anything. If there's dust to hide behind, it's accreted to the glass of my own window. They sit on the wall and creep across the bricks like flies or geckos, but in the abstract, lacking any animal characteristics, moving, but motivation ... hidden.

Despite the old wise king's example, trafficking in the hidden is frowned upon as sorcery, sacrificing too much of oneself to learn secrets that give one advantage over others. Is every form of research sorcery? Lost sleep, lost time, lost meals, lost blood, lost hope, lost love sacrificed in search of an answer, hopefully an answer one can put to use. Is ignorance so treasured because it keeps us all equal? Or because it keeps dead King Solomon's seat secure? Or because it protects one from loss?

The creatures of fire and light dim, dim some more, and now they are hidden.


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

16th May 2011, 03:40   | tags:comments (2)
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