More than two. Less than one.

Ghostly invisibility is a matter of the ghost’s excess of visibility. Of an opacity beyond that of rocks, the specter is all too visible for the eye so accustomed to the light that it thinks the dark its opposite. The ghost is both-ways excluded from the field of vision for being too alien for the untrained and because, once seen, it is deemed too scary to be permitted in the view. The uneducated will try to exorcise demons and the dead, thinking them the same, when it is common sense that only living things require this kind of measure.

Following our publication of Parasol: Zones and the current investment in curating and editing Parasol 6 (with a focus on the works of Carlos Castaneda and Shamanism), we are now officially opening a call for submissions for our 7th issue “Parasol: Ghosts”.

This issue will be entirely curated and edited by the AF Collective (and invited honorary members, at the journal’s discretion). It will continue to experiment with form and variations on the title theme, but now with an added political investment, making this the first volume of the journal to tackle heavy-handed issues head-on, a first experiment of an experimental journal focusing on experimental writing. As long as it stays pertinent to the aesthetics of the CEO, which involve an intrinsic investment in plutonically-charged works capable of changing the very fabric of said aesthetics without entirely disintegrating it in the process, we are open to it and, hopefully, itching to be opened even more by it. Under the Collective’s direction particularly, we expect to be taken less as a platform and more as a terminal relay. Keep that in mind if “messy” and “collaborative” and “symbiosis” and “reciprocal interchange” are not keywords that activate a deep-rooted interest that drives your writing. And if joining a collective is not something of interest, you are already of the AF.

We are starting from a point of shared interest in decolonial theory and practices, as well as seeking to incorporate a more graphic aspect to the journal (artworks and hybrid pieces welcomed, as well as music if it can be integrated without overall loss of quality and cohesion). But not only do we welcome challenges to this initial interest as we also seek to provoke dissenting voices, so, for example, if you think decolonial theory focusing on ghosts is dumb, prove it to us, we challenge you. We ache to lose, just once, please pin us down and explain what ghosts are or are not, but do it following an Idea of Evil. Put your dead people inside our hollow receptacles, send us your lost ones and psychotic limit experiences that insist on becoming specters, send us your late gradma and let’s haunt others together. Teach us what they whisper to you and we are sure to make it turn to sorcery together.

As always, no restrictions regarding format and genre. No word limit (neither maximum nor minimum). The only true requirement is that it vibes with the dictations of the project itself as it comes alive and that most of the text itself is written in English (which you’re free and more than welcome to break entirely while pushing its limits). We accept new and already published work as well as translations. Submissions will be accepted until September 20, 2022 (till midnight Brazilian time). Send full manuscripts, pitch ideas and queries to ceo47@outlook.com. If this spikes your interest but you’re not sure what we are about or if your ideas/project really fit in with the CEO or this particular special issue, feel free to email alienfetus@outlook.com to discuss these and other pertinent issues in a openly conversational manner free of formalities (or simply hit me up in the DMs @AFCollective1, open to anyone — even the ones caring enough to point out the grammatical errors in this very post, we love and appreciate you, too).

A brief and unpretentious dive into the Castañeda/Lynch connection through the show Twin Peaks and the book The Eagle’s Gift (the last one before Carlitos’ descent/capture). The key non-thesis of the speculation thus: David Lynch, finding himself in a similar condition as Carlos Castañeda, fighting assimilation of his vision by Hollywood, produced, more specifically with The Return, a critique of the descent in-itself, sketching a diagram of his own escape (which Carlos himself failed to perform). If Lynch ever read Castañeda is beyond the point. Here are fragments of conversations held at the CEO.

I wonder if we could think of Judy (Jowday), that is represented by the beloved “Owl Peaks” symbol as the dark side/counterpart of the Eagle (or really just the nightly aspect of the Eagle, for what is an owl if not an eagle one sees at night). If we assume Jowday is a manifestation tied to the Black Lodge, it seems to be the case. Even more because, in this book particularly, and its transition to the next, Carlitos fails (like our beloved agent Cooper) and is captured (as is expressed in the mythos of his own cult always torn and in constant war from within).

“We are luminous beings, we are better than that”, the motto La Gorda keeps repeating to Carlitos each time he starts worrying or wimping too much, the one thing she supposedly kept on repeating as she tried to “save” Carlitos from the jaws of the jaguar, fits very well with the White Lodge’s ‘residents’ true face:

Or at least Laura’s (since she is luminescence and good herself)

Laura truly is the Twin Peaks equivalent of the infamous Nagual woman: a prodigious, luminous being that got snatched too early in her life and exhausted her potential by the suffering her captors imposed on her, into and onto, for the very teleological motif that is the production of garmonbozia. And they did it all, the Black Lodge’s rogues, to feed on this secreted creamed corn. It sounds too much like the story of the beautiful forgotten Nagual woman. By the end of Twin Peaks (The Return), everything in one timeline is corrected and Laura’s corpse even disappears as if either she never existed there or was saved (I think she was erased from that timeline and jumped, only unwillingly via Coop — who thought he was doing good by that, when in fact he was only reviving her death and so prolonging her suffering, pain and sorrow, much like Carlitos and Carol Tiggs joining the cult). If more pain and sorrow, that is, garmonbozia, is the result of Coop’s failure to fix his heart, and said creamed corn comes from a continually doubled Laura, doesn’t this mean he is worse than BOB? Upgraded BOB, in fact, that feed us the garmonbozia while reciprocally being fed by our need to hear that lovely scream.

The Nagual/TonalRight/Left side quadratic polarity is also very reminiscent, to me, of Coop’s multi-self:

BOB-Coop (or Doppelganger, The Lovers Reverse and The Magician Reverse),

Homo hermaphroditus masculinus, failed

Dougie Jones (or Tulpa, The Lovers Upright and The Fool sideways),

The golden ball, the core of the tulpa, expands until finally disappearing from the screen. The true shape of humans according to Don Juan. This one is artificial, however, a golem, and upon expansion to determine the totality of oneself, it vanishes and the tulpa ceases.

‘Original’ Coop (or The Fool Upright and The Magician Upright),

The Fool’s Magic Trick

the guy Coop snatches the body by the end (or The Fool Reverse and The Hanged Man Reverse).

Relationship with Carlos Castañeda (or Carlitos, for the “fictional” character), following the diagram of the Seer:

Courtesy of Ken Eagle Feather

Tulpa/Dougie: fake double, Carlitos’ right side that forgot his Naguality.

Trapped in the Sphere of Direct Knowledge, devoid of access to the Sphere of Self-reflective Worlds.

BOB-Coop/Doppelganger: fake nagual, Coop’s and Carlitos’ snatched left side that does not remember but that still subsists due to power-momentum (Bad-Coop managed to contain BOB, still inside him, for 25 years). Its destruction is the rejoining of the left and right sides and Coop/Carlitos put back together.

Trapped in the Sphere of Self-reflective Worlds (like BOB), devoid of access to the Sphere of Direct Knowledge.

Original Coop: the Tonal, Carlitos before the split performed by Don Juan and Don Genaro.

Composed by and composing of the gra-tree-like structure, the hero’s journey proper is the dissolution of this harmony via the scission/split between spheres, resulting in the Doppelganger effect where communication is made difficult and an antagonist projected/manifested.

‘Spirit’ Coop/Coop of the end/Coop snatching the body of the guy at the end: Coop failed to remember and rejoin what was split properly, just as Carlitos, and his Naguality then, instead of entering the third world like his masters, jumped back into the island of the Tonal to snatch the body of another person (by invading another’s dream, other TV show). He indulged to the very end and became like BOB, a vampiric specter, only by the end we got to finally see the world from BOB’s perspective, or an upgraded version of a rogue of the Grey Lodge, the in-between that is the failure of proper conjunction. We are invading the automaton carcass that is “Cooper” in the same way he is invading people from another dream, supposedly our dream. It is, instead of a mutualistic symbiosis, a reciprocal parasitism (where the audience may find some enjoyment in the confusion, and Coop find some purpose in continuity as we feed him energy to continue his task of failing to do the good he wants).

Lost in the Third Field of the Unknowable (3), and in fact the avatar for such. He finally did it, but failed in doing it properly.

If Lynch would comment on the later activities of CC, I think he would say something along these lines, that he “didn’t fix his heart — but he did not die either”.

The house of the spirit (Cooper), now as pure electricity, the synthetic fire that walks as you. Cooper achieved immortality in the perpetual act of drifting at the speed of light without control. A proper cosmic neuron, which is sadly not a person anymore. Not even a character now, he is the stuff of dreams, a symbol. He opened Pandora’s box from the inside and became hope. Our hope.

But there are things worse than dying, as the Naguals would say.

25 years on and Laura is still (back?) inside her mother, in the worst way

Carlitos Cooper continues to refuse to die, like the fabled Hope of the myth, their leftover residue just symbols now. The dreamer vs. dream debate is over, nobody is the dreamer, there is only nightmare.

Meanwhile…

Final shot of the series, before the lights go out.

by Charles J. March III

During helter-skeltering-in-sequestered-place, my habitual ritual is to start the day by humbly hitting my knees and peoples’ elbows after rolling out of my Aztec zeitgeist bedrock alter with the weight of the world domination on my shoulders like a sober, disciplined, Celebrate Recovery social manipulated media scrolling/meditating/levitating myopic monk troll and blind eye faith pray with ties that bind us (handcuffs) rebellion bound to happen hands that shake with invisible peace be with you office holding service industry friends and cult wrists that are religiously purified by obscure moonshine sanitizer (until they crack and bleed the blood and human sacrifice antibody of the Washing of the Feet CHAZ commune Christ) in OCD compliance observance of local protocols to the COVID-19 deities for divinitory solidarity and for a new Afrofuturistic (my corona hair will continue to grow until the first cure for the virus of racism happens, or at least until the second coming of the supply chained shorn and slaughtered herd immunity Lamb) heaven & hypocrite oath earth, while I pledge my non-pilgrimage allegiance to the crumbling flag day, light left in the wake candles for our burning down business funeral pyre country, and attend mass graves during this quantum physics, electron-rich inner life election year, because The Black Mamba mattered. It’s kind of like planting eco-friendly LSA-debased morning glory fear seeds (organic, of course). 

I then call (I think they blocked my contact with black magic) out to any unemployment officers who will hear me, and tell them to deploy doomsday DoorDash outsider deliverances so they can help me spice up my isolated Beef Lo Mein liminal into something beautiful breakfast routine life made with Mrs. Mother Dash Earth Day sweet & sour doughboy hydroxychloroquine animals who breathed fresh intubation convent air and reclaimed the world during poutine famine quarantine, as I stretch out on my lazy boy because my sunrise yoga class is non-essential to good health.

This process reminds me of when I used to loot for capital prior to calling my heroin dealers, and the subsequent cooking up then shooting up ritual that followed. I guess it helped me to maintain some semblance of daily order, and at almost times, population control, in keeping with humanity’s trend towards tricyclic plagues.

By now I’d be turning Mexican lady-like paranoid meth head cleaning freak tricks for my new formal preternatural roommates who be out at work or with the proselytizing protesters, as a form of whorish reciprocation for them going to the store while I stay-at-home and subsist off their scraps, because I don’t go out anymore. I suppose I took the role of my dog who had to be put to sacrificial death on Easter, while the solemn oracle masquerading carnival world gift exchanged stimulus check eggs ceremoniously impregnated with sanctity sickness. A true betwixt & between dog & pony show song & dance piece of birds of paradise lost law & order cosmic pandemic performance art. A seasonal consecration procession in the obligatory playground where fasting street medics harvest neo/pseudo supposed to be over by summer of light pink festering love flavored welcome to the anti-structure machine SpaceX vaccines.

Someone please give me my last surreal rites already, because the passage of garage doors of perception time has become meaningless.

Charles J. March III is an asexual, neurodivergent Navy hospital corpsman veteran who is currently trying to live an eclectic life with an interesting array of recovering creatures in Orange County, CA. His various works have appeared in or are forthcoming from Evergreen Review, Atlas Obscura, Litro, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, Lalitamba, 3:AM Magazine, Ink Sweat & Tears, Fleas on the Dog, Dink Press/Problématique, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Recusant, Taco Bell Quarterly, Storm Cellar, Terror House Press, Horror Sleaze Trash, Harbinger Asylum, Madness Muse Press, Maudlin House, Misery Tourism, BlazeVOX, Blood Tree Literature (prize), The Babel Tower Notice Board, Bareknuckle Poet, Anti-Heroin Chic, Synchronized Chaos, The Beatnik Cowboy, Points in Case, Expat Press, Stinkwaves, Young Ravens Literary Review, The Writing Disorder, Literary Orphans, Otoliths, Oddball Magazine, et al. Links to his pieces can be found on LinkedIn and SoundCloud.

by T.W. Selvey

Those who can’t, teach. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Or forget how to repeat it. Wiping memory doesn’t wipe history. I’m here to teach, because I can’t. The LAPD tech wizards have memory stick wands and the forehead on sale at Best Buy is equipped with five USBs. Is that enough? The mouse is wireless, so control is unimpeded, however. One click does the job like one savior does the saving. Before the dawn of electricity and mobile persecution pods. Before the plug was pulled. Before oxygen tubes had softly blown in the last oxygen, the last breath as a figure read Fukuyama in a convalescent bed. Before the beginning of the decade, in the first century, or in the last century or this century. The global empire named Figure trudged along, sweeping up countries into a dusty corner pile. But now, global civilization faces a dissatisfied cataclysm, which is unapologetically hungover, grouchy, and unmotivated.

Norms, democracies, wars, nation-states, and the 20th century ridicule cataclysm, the young destroyer corrupted by pubescence. It’s unprecedented. Rulers and demagogues laugh and laugh, believing their own brain stew propaganda, since private prisonsunder the aegis of global enterprise gathered all oppositional politics into a gulag. The freedom to make money is the only freedom that counts. The climate sours. The populace tastes bad, like imitation Chanel, but mobs keep getting devoured by the thousands anyway.

Criticize if you want but the wait staff are blameless. The wait staff threaten. No more water. Doilies are nicotine stained but liminal. The back burner kept the sidelined issue warm, but it’s time to starve. Destabilization complains. The Secretary of State said it’s a good time to invade us. Air strikes were called in because all the insurgents were gathered in the streets, making it easy to end the domestic dispute. The theorists celebrated the decentering. Flattering, I know. The cataclysm might breakdown in plentitude, when the crisis intended austerity, falling wages, and escape tunneling. Not going to engage the tormenter on Facebook since problems exist and intersect in me, a socially aware paradigm that’s intersecting a shitty old syntagma called ‘me’ again.

Frank talk coming from a hotdog, a hot-god, a hog rod. I was trying to say ‘rot-god’ but the censors are genetic now, but in quotes means I don’t mean it. Sex privatization became the rage and the new investment instruments were binary chromosomes, which pleased Evangelicals, eukaryotic and dualistic down to their lexical cells. A hodgepodge of greedy men yanking and touching stagnating gonads. What is the opposite of a death spiral? Welfare check on the cataclysm.

Cataclysm reemerged from hiding, and begrudgingly agreed to render society into lard and tallow. Much more useable now, and, it pays. The robots’ severance package included blood depletion and free VHS copies of Robocop, each driving a Ford in a sprawling fleet, a line of individuals engaging in solo mass production to revive the cancelled Taurus. Industrious, he became a factory, a cyborg coughing up sulfur and coal mines, usurping dioxide, cross-legged, exploiting ant and beetle labor, a stretched forearm skin canopy draped over machinic cock output. Sit down, focus, and fix the annihilation, before it withers and retreats. Since 1979, Bretton Woods has been logged and razed. The reflecting pool is a hollowing cataclysm. Take 1 cup of this year and flush it away.

Hold up for a second. Who’s ‘he,’ because I assumed briefly it was Robocop. (Robocopy.) No, but any ‘he’ will do. Move on.

The organization came up with a competing ideology based on ruining self through rapid self-preservation. DNA tablets. Tubs of de-aging, anti-wrinkle cream erased millions of faces. The earlier part of the year had a resurgence. I got my face back. A face on my lower back, a tattoo of a clock. I owe everything to time, this time. Very basic economics lesson, bitch: Capitalism does not run fast in one direction or treadmill in one place! Sidetracks and loops beset the course, which is angular, uphill or hitting the front tire on a gutter and spinning around on the back tire, the hood dented by an asteroid or an operative defenestrated from heaven or from a ghostly Twin Tower. Speed is not fast. Boredom beget orgies. Stop here and fuck. Fuck stop signs. The entanglement of the roots with the mycorrhizae is a chance to inject drugs, but they were rented. Rent to own drugs. An underground drug dungeon, the American dream. Bank of America dealt me an FHA-backed bank loan. It’s my dream. Wake me up. Tacky, kitsch morals tacked on the intensified exploitation. Slowdowns more than inconvenience the system. Glue and tar streets, alleyways, and the sidewalks, since the system will rear up and jump on dry surfaces. Since 1979, the unfettered market and greed was celebrated and individualism was heralded as rewarding, more so than collective action and union solidarity. But in fact, the right-wing ascendancy in politics turned individuals into pigs on a spit. Trunks of individuals. Turned. Tender. Obesity dripping extra-large pizza, gut fat eagerly dripping on the fire. Lowered pay to them by buckets because they were in a pit. Bragging about being a major ad recipient, getting all the best ads at maximum speed and in every dimension while you pay to work in a mental factory, bored, slow, and out of this month’s data allowance. Fast phone runs 500 apps. That’s not fast. That’s revolutionary technology, a great opportunity, cataclysm, a chance to catch us unguarded, as there is no factory reset. Feed is out of order and I don’t know what the fuck is happening today, as if today happened in this timeline, a microprocessor clock speed that is slowing at a slowing rate. The chronology adapts, accelerating backwards, backing into a repair bay, where I say it’s time to change the transmission fluid for an extortionary amount but shoving the credit card in my back pocket, actually I cut the brakes. Actually, I committed theft, caught time, a time trap, and drove off a cliff, mashing the forgetful pedal, the pedal forgetting to contact the absentee brakes, the absentminded brakes listening instead to a memory loss track set on repeat, the fire ball on the embankment, exploding me, stopped on repeat.

by Evan Isoline

The rosy tigers mutated under your fingernails. (This is probably my favorite photo.) Mimicry. A few of the tigers are just clones of other tigers. (Click to enlarge.) 


Of my blood-colored wheatfield when I hold out your fingernails. The sunlight is too much for your eyes and you are not alone. Your eyes will never be too much for me. A mere mite, a blighter of a blab, is what I would offer in lieu of a reckoning. We are not yet at the level of the dead and I am not a dead man. My balaclava is an emblem of the dying. Their sum is a symbol. Where is nobody? 


(Click to enlarge. Click the face of a tiger to see more detail.) Where is the one within and the one outside and its sound? The grasslands are jacinthe in your grasp, where everything is different from everywhere else, where your own little dream is brook-fed and teeming. I would tell you that everything has been done, but I would be an imp of the first rank, a reasting renaissance is what I would breed. The sound of the grass is enough. 


Your fingernails are clogged with light, baetyl stones of a new order, and the teeth of the sirens grind for art’s murder, but not yet. (Click.) The tiger’s face is an empty white mask of what is not. The sun is an example of how to perceive such things without knowing them. I am nothing if not an unidentifiable symbol. Garish as the tiger is. What somebody is beyond speculation? Your bullfighter sweat and so forth. It was a ghost thing. You leave my skin on a faraway hill, as I stammer, oh so happy, a fool in the stage light. (Click image for more detail.) 


I was familiar with two things. This place is without an architect. The second thing is that you had already made me a copy of myself. I cannot speak for the mountains I left in the desert, where my parents are watching birds with strange eyes. The way that we are not our bodies. The tigers through the holes of a ski mask make you forget about the emptiness. There are tigers in the trees. You mouth the word “fire.” Your picture is a dalliance, of the sort that has not a blush or a blench, of what might be in a way not worth seeing. (Click to expand.) 


Nobody here is waiting for the other tigers to evolve. You are already an avatar for a different you. (Click image to open in new tab.) The tigers have feathers in their mouths, but this cannot be taken as proof of a connection to the sky. You shake your head, fraught with pang, point toward the spikelets of foxtail, needlegrass and brome, you make the sign of a rectangle, in the air with a finger. We stared at the clouds that had gushed out or met amorphosed. Each omnipotence is a solitary duet between the sky and itself. (Drag the edge of the frame to adjust image size.) 


There was something familiar about the image. Medieval ghosted tigers, phantasied, decorated, captive until transferred to the new host. Do not expect them to be shunted to a pool of goo. Endosymbiotic rift, a slurp that equates them to stars running through my fingers. (What you click will tell you what you were looking at.) The image had a function outside of itself: it was a map of unconnected places. Antipodes. Not an object that is seen, but a subject that sees. I go back to the niches to repeat a bitter remorse. Grapefruit sweat and so forth. The white tiger on the right has been painted red to resemble the blood of the sun. The tiger to the left is an homage to your love. 

You make the sign of a triangle, which I see as a sail or a wing. A boat is an object in pre-phonological perception: a sight-word. So is a plane. But I know what you mean. The tigers of the droning sea, you think, they do not go near the surface. You would daftly dare to swim them up, just for a look at the sky. The white sky gralloched for the same reason you pleaded the sea to a truce, the bamboos of a broken arpeggio, also palindromes of the moon, fed your carpals with a thunder that flayed the clones of the tigers, more gaunt now, as the image becomes less a representation of the sun and more a mirror of my own rage. 


Where peonies grow wild, the grey peonies sown to your nailbeds, the linden trees and their branches, encuticled. They are so much more, like you, a monasticism, than little beasts made of clay, in the mangrove swamps you call the stage. (Click for higher definition.) Gravity-truth or allegoric. The mince of this once plucky saint all twee and frown. How you muck up, bring ruin to undue dominance, slip to surliness. I don’t like a foretaste of masks. (This picture mocks the way I associate the word “mask” with the idea of masks.) The tiger’s face as a cynical rhizomatic wombland and it’s here. My memories as a blazing cyberlag, a vandalized temple to nature. 


(Open tab incognito, click, click, click.) The heliotropes and pyroclastic borages remember why they are trounced upon, the calliope hummingbirds you call in, each had a name. Why is a word a man? You remarked apropos of an answer, and through the mask you are always oratorically nude. The image is less associated with a sound than with a silence. The image of your dream, this theatre of plenitude and the lolling moorlands where you hide, or were you entranced by a graceless glow? No, flatteries like this, be damned, treasures of hurt, such as I cannot say, as drunk as a swan on white water, this Moloch’s mastery of miniatures—a mighty insectile burden!


(Click. Click. Quite satisfied with the double-click.) The white swan in the mouth of the tiger, the tiger painted black, the two in a circle, the cloned suns I had been too afraid to touch, that are, when they were the bribe for hate, loose swarms of lineages withering, after your abracadabra, waiting at chakra-points of my blank frame, cruel biomes, where the tigers flood in. (Click the maw to open.) The antithesis of semiotics, I suppose, is your picture, skulled in the throat of the tiger, kiss, kissed, by a wide-open spigot of ants. My own implications. The lust and fear of “why?” Why is darling. 

Even in the chaos, there is a number-zombie (letter), which is called Becoming. Autoflowering. Ditto dandelion and begonia. (Click the “x” in the tab to close the window. Force quit if window won’t close.) Remove the mask. The image wasn’t rosier than the cinders leaking up in the dark. The wet-winged tiger split this misanthropic breed from its old god. All your brooms were broken. Floating in the zeitgeist. The image approaches a thaumaturgical theatre. It was the day before, and suddenly it was gone, like a dream. Sunlight on a windowsill. Sunlight in your eyes. I’m a sign, they think, shifting up, back, subvocalizing. The most kind of jaw-dropper quill. Red of acetylene. Numb threads were woven along. Their sum was arbitrary. There isn’t a number lower than infinity.