the woman that can speak to ducks

“You cluck and they’ll cluck back,” a woman whispers in my ear. She’s been teaching herself to speak with fowl, mainly chickens and ducks. Everyone regards her as mad, of which she definitely seems — her hair is ragged and face gaunt. She wears a long grey trench coat and spends most of the time in the filthy street outside my work making strange noises. Come to think of it, she’s always there, no matter what time of day I pass. There’s a good chance she doesn’t sleep. She does have one thing working against the popular theory that she is insane, however, and that is that the fowl do talk back. That can’t be denied.
That same day she whispered those words in my ear I witnessed her speaking with the severed head of a duck. Its skin was iridescent, without feathers. And despite its dismembered state it was indeed clucking back at the old woman. It’s funny I say “old” when I refer to her . . . because she isn’t in fact old; she seems old, no, she seems ancient, but she is probably younger than me.
Anyways, she picks up this iridescent quacking duck head by its long neck, and I can see large fangs in its mouth. They look like the fangs of a rattlesnake. She’s unconcerned with them. So unconcerned that she begins petting them with her index finger, slowly gliding it over the white fangs. The duck seems to be charmed by the sensation and its eyes begin to roll around in its head. As they do so I notice a speck of green peeking through the white of its cornea; which, at an opportune moment, the woman pinches with her dirty nails and out slithers a long worm. I pick it up to get a closer look. The worm has a human face. My face.

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to open a door

Starring up, I can see the new watchtower through the trees. It looks fancy and new — all red, cubist and modern. A vast improvement over the old one — which looks like a shitty tree fort, barely off the ground. This new one must be akin to ten stories up. I don’t even see a ladder.
I was attacked three times in that old crappy lookout. In fact, that’s why I haven’t been around. That last attack made me lose a year of my life to a hospital bed. I’m glad to get back to work though. But seriously, how do I get up there?

Huh? What the? …how did I get up here? And why am I staring at myself? My brother, Bobby, is up here too. He talking to me — the other me. They’re going over some procedure, turning a bunch of knobs and dials.

“Excuse me, but how exactly do we get down if our presence is needed on the ground?” I ask the two of them.
“We can’t tell you exactly. The passageway is opened differently every time,” the other me says.
“Passageway?”
“Yeah . . . watch.”

Just then a small, hollow dead tree sprouts out of the floor. For some unknown reason I reach for it and snap it clean and hand it to myself. And then, to my bewilderment, the secondary me begins masturbating himself with it. I’m so disoriented by the spectacle that I try not to watch. I close my eyes to see if I can feel anything — as if maybe the sensation would travel through him into me — but there is none. When I open my eyes I see an abnormally massive amount of cum shoot from the trunk of the dead tree, but the other me isn’t at the other end. And when I refocus my attention on the dead tree, it vanishes. I tilt my head and look around the corner; there, a pinkish white crocodilian beast is writhing on the floor. Bobby squats down and lifts its right side to reveal a large set of soft, fatty lips that appear to extend along its entire stomach. Without hesitation he dives under the beast and squirms himself between the lips. They slither shut, he’s gone.
I’m back (the other “I” that is), I smirk at myself, and then proceed to pry the monster up by the leg and dive into the slimy lips. I vanish, and Bobby then wriggles out.

That’s how it’s done . . . that’s how you get down. Although it will never happen in quite the same way — or even in a way that remotely resemble what I just explained to you. But that’s how it’s done. Just in case you ever need to know. . . .

i am a space needle

I’m the operator of a cable car that travels between six planets in the deeper realms of outer-space. Out the triangular windows are various celestial sights that would undoubtedly mesmerize my waking-self but don’t phase my dreaming-self in the least. It’s all routine to me.
Today we’re traveling at a ridiculously high speed — way faster than usual. Emily is sitting across from me. I can sense that she is nervous. I glance around the car and realize that everyone is overtaken with a silent fright — and they are all looking to me for some sort of guidance. The car is a bit rundown and could use a paint job — the green pleather seats are torn and a good few of the lights are dim or flickering. As I’m glancing around the car it dawns on me (in a rather causal way, might I add) that we will all die in this car and, in fact, be dead within the next few minutes. The cables have snapped, and we are plummeting through space at an incomprehensible speed — a speed, that alone, will destroy this steel car and our ripe bodies within it.
I knew something was different about today. What am I talking about?! I’ve been working this job too long. There is no “today”. I haven’t lived a solid “day” in years . . . or a night for that matter. Life, for me, exists in perpetual motion. I have no star to call “Sun”, and I’m not even oriented by the billions that surround me. This car is routed on cables. The steering wheel in my hands is just for show. My presence here is a joke.
I decided it’s better to keep a straight face. No one needs to know about our fate. They will only freak out and begin to scream. And Emily? …why worry her? …to what avail? No, I’ll keep quite. Smile around, and send her a wink. We will all be stardust soon enough….
Suddenly, my ears begin to tingle and then sting. And then a single, insistent, and ever-sharpening pain shoots through my skull. The sharpest I have ever felt. I look around . . . everyone is cupping their ears with their hands . . . mouths agape. My eyes widen, mouth drops open. Am I screaming? Are they screaming? We all seem to be screaming. It feels like I’m screaming. The pain between my ears is so acute that, even though it is deathly silent, it is the loudest, most terrible thing I have ever heard. My consciousness, and entire life, have been swallowed by the searing pain — and I vanish into the empty soundless space.

I awaken in my room, it’s 1am, and I have the worst earache I have ever had.

The fiona, spun sangria, and the warehouse party house

The bar as I sat with a glass of whiskey in my hand was a pale oak sheen, and there were bottles lined up, and tins of tincture powders like a drugstore. I was not ready for what happened. I had already been at a feast, and outdoor garden picnic, an indoor corridor twice met, a crowded bar where I met an old friend, and Michel was there in all contexts mostly speaking cryptic close words, in a huge warehouse while I was wrapped in red silk. He said the number nine, and merged into the couch, with green hair. The warehouse and the party, the quiet scenes in the corridors, and now this; Fiona.

The first thing I noticed was the thing she wore on her hand. I heard her speak and glanced only twenty degrees to my left. She had an orange webbing with blue pale jewels woven into the sunset macrame. It instantly imbued her with an energy. “I didn’t want to sit here without saying anything she said.” and this was a caveat and a ruse, because as I turned toward her, she began.

The device she had in her other hand was a spinning liquid dispenser made of bronze with two holes releasing amber and chartreuse liquid. SHe was spinning it’s ellipse-shape and  alcohol was somewhat falling into the tumbler in front of her. I had to back away slightly because it was falling on the floor. THis did not stop her! I glanced behind me and an entire chorus of men in suits were singing a song in gaelic.”FIOONA, CE!!!” THis is how I knew her name was FIona. THey clearly were singing for her in the sort of swelling chant  which erupted accompanied by unknown drums. This fueled her motion. I grasped my whiskey.Joe was there. He started to help the spinning liquid machine Fiona wielded. Others held a huge tub with rinds and fruit suspended in the liquid sangria. I realized the liquor fest had begun. Fiona was the spirit, the song, the drink. It was invoked. This had promise, but then I awakened.

Earlier I entered the bar upstairs in the lightness. As I was walking through the dim corridor to arrive, Michel met me. He put his arms around me in a hug. It was familiar, and instantly too much to be embraced alone by anyone but Joe. He came with me into the bar, like a shadow to my right. I felt odd to be with him going into this wild packed room. A woman began telling me a story and Michel slipped off. I could not listen to the rest of the story because Beth, my childhood friend was there. This time with her little sister Laura, all grown up, and her husband and new baby which he carried. Beth showed me a program from some event she had gone to. While we weren’t in Germany as far as I could tell, one of the programs was called, “Looking toward the Panzer’s” It cost 2,800 for the trip. I scanned the document which was a receipt as well, with my careful intensity reserved for Scorpio’s private curiosities. I saw that they had indeed paid the $2,800 for the Panzer trip. I embarrassed myself by telling her I noticed that they had paid for it and since I knew she had gone to Germany after high school, I let her tell me…”Actually, we’re going tomorrow!”  I couldn’t believe it. I have been studying Huertgenwald’s famous  1944 campaign. As I slip off to find Joe, there is no sign of him. I return to the dark corridor with it’s slate grey berber carpet and sloping inset lights like an aquarium, He is standing in his leather jacket and dark jeans in a wide stance at the bottom of a ramp. I wrap my arms around him. “I’ve been looking for you, ” He said, “I’ve been looking for YOU.” I say.

“What have you been up to ?” I ask. We go outside to where there is a circle of burned grass. He sort of trails of as if this is explanatory in and of itself.

Earlier in the warehouse he’d sat next to me after Michel dissipated and I had felt the soft closeness as I turned up toward Joe’s face and smiled just for him. The couch seemed hung 20 feet above the floor and we watched a woman come in with big placards of wood with a white veneer and tarot -like images. Her task was to paint something on them and bring them back to the vendor she’d worked things out with. It turned out to be Eliza Urtiaga. SHe did a wide plie and did not screech as she often does, nor giggle, which was a relief. Old wooden tracks seemed to be taking someone away in punishment animatronically with a puppet jaw. This room was mostly empty. I wondered if I ought to be making more contacts with the people in the village.

Garden party, money in the rice…

&~~

Prologue: As I was cooking breakfast, I recalled the most important thing which was a vision that came to me between sleep and wakening. A man called “the rock” was shown driving…HE HAD THE SECRET. He looked like my great uncle pete, Carl L. Peterson the II in a photo I saw of him in the seventies on a hike(perhaps when he took on the APpalachian)

What he knew was this:  It was a brain. It was an object in the shape of a brain that flashed to me. The thing about it was…it was his. He had his own brain. He got to make solid thoughts in his own brain. He formed them. They were in corruptibly his own because he knew how to put them there and how to keep them there. It is an oubliette of one’s own mind that is required. Go inward and form your own brain theoretically, abstractly, and then actually. 

 

 

purple jelly monsters

I’m in clearing in the middle of a rolling thick forest. It’s dark. A fairly large community of people started living here ever since a Black Magician put a spell over the land. We live in trailers and eat whatever we can scavenge. There is a political science club that holds classes on political theory — I am in this club — and we are currently studying for a national test that will award a monetary scholarship to those who score in the top 5 percent. I couldn’t care less, but I’m still kept up at night trying to solve annoying practice test questions. The teachers of this preparatory class are my former high school professors — I know they don’t like me very much.
Life in the forest has a very cinematic quality to it. Everything feels predetermined, as if at any moment someone much larger will hit an otherworldly fast-forward or rewind button. Tension is running high through the community. Word is out that the Black Magician will be up to something particularly sinister this evening (and this is the night before the big test on political theory!).
The ground begins to tremble and the surrounding trees are swaying frantically, though the sky is nursing no wind. Over the treetops an enormous glowing purple mountain begins to amass . . .  no, not a mountain . . . .   It has eyes! And a dreadfully large mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth! A giant beast is approaching! It’s body is a bit translucent through a hazy purple hue, with stout arms and legs protruding from its robust round figure.
As it enters the clearing I can see that it is at least thirty trees tall. Almost immediately it explodes into hundreds of large jelly balls . . . and then those balls explode into thousands of smaller one. This multiplication of itself happens about four more times until the earth is covered in millions of balls the size of a human hand. Deep dimples form in the balls, two of which fill in with mean glaring eyes, and one which hollows out into a sharp hungry hole. I have a gun that shoots lightening. I take aim and fire, but my weapon is useless against the ravished jelly beasts. My childhood friend (Joe) drive up in a cardboard bus. He is going to save the day (or at least that is the sentiment that his arrival elicits). About thirty people dressed in white assemble against side of the bus — they form a wall, three people high, standing on top of each others’ shoulders. Suddenly a massive saw blade begins slicing through the bus, and it passes smoothly through the bodies of the people whose white clothes are now red with blood. They collapse into a withering pile of limbs and heads. The monsters are hypnotized by the spectacle, and quickly begin to gorge themselves on the human offering. After being hypnotized, myself, for a few moments over the feasting monsters, I make my way to a quite trailer at the edge of the village. I have to inquire about a particularly difficult question that I’m nervous is going to be on the test in the morning.
Freakin’ test! Do I really need to take it? I hate these kinds of tests!

Black dogs market teeth escape shoes

I was cleaning out a desk and I had a sneaking suspicion it had old food. I lifted a layer of papers and there was old bologna slices of pepperoni and rancid white shredded cheese. It stank. I cleaned it all away. Yuck!  I came around to the desk and there was a woman offering me her husband’s teeth. She was striding somewhere on the second level so I met someone familiar but not quite sure it was Michel. He seems to fit the essence of the person though. He offered me the teeth explaining how they could file the ridges down. They looked too big for my mouth. I took them, and as I walked away I wondered how I would get from where I was to the appointment in Philadelphia on the 11th. There was somewhere south I had to go too. I thought momentarily of the time I used to drive up and down the eastern seaboard in my $50 dollar car. Then I would drive six hours alone, or thirteen, on a whim.  But now this would be difficult.

I took the teeth.

I was at the table with the scientists when I asked a question that they were egotistically proud they had studied but not concerned with disseminating it, or discussing it. It was a pretty woman who had studied ethnopaleobotany I think. I didn’t get any information from her. I was down in the cement ally ways with the kids and the animals. A gorilla plucked a child who was being hurt up over the gate like a bag of trash. He wanted to speak to a man. I went down further into the ally. Black dogs barked all around me. I tried to reason with them, talking to them. I knew I had to get out of there.

Up in an office there was a travolta president. There was a handsome man in a suit who wanted to see me. There was an elevator you could press worn buttons on. They were pearlized and not lit up. I read CHILE and VIETNAM and I picked Chile not really expecting to be there when I pressed the button. Still everyone walking down the corridor was speaking Spanish. I turned around to go back to the elevator.

My escape from the black dogs I was running to a brown box and turning a right hand key and a latch opened and I drove away.

At the edge of the city Daniel Grafton was there and he gave me a long hug. It was sunrise.”Welcome to Baltimore,” I said. I parked in the middle of the road. But then I moved the car flush against a building and was unpacking. A hand reached through the gap between the building and the car for my bag. I couldn’t go back, I was cut off from the road, from the moment just before. Victoria Burkhardt was there. I asked if I could keep her black shoes. Sexy, Slinky Style she said or some other Es alteration. They were four inch heels with gold circles going up the side. I would never wear something like that.

A hand was rubbing mine softly…it was Joseph waking me up.