photo: @cartayen

You are a half-genius. I like your other half. The better half.

Night irks me.

Disturbances.

The facelessness of an atomic fuck in Prague. We are on knees and hands giving more ass than we can handle. The buttocks against which we gyrate are the most delicious orbs we have ever tasted. We leave a beautiful note in a language we can barely speak. What does it say?

This is probably. Weirdly. A memoir. How can it be otherwise? Every novel is a novel in disguise. My fans are fanatics. The Zigheads. Under every trestle. On every bridge. They carry my book. Backpocket. Slips in nicely. Cult writer. Underground thinker. Spelunker. Keep it going.

I am not going to wait for Idaho Review to respond. Fuck that shit. I am going to keep writing. Keep on. As Gordon Lish is fond of saying. <<Electronically>> So to speak. Spoke to Brian BBQ. Who the fuck does that cat think he is? Calling me at all hours of the day: Read my story!

Shit. Wow. Just hit 9000 words. This is becoming biblical. I am on autopilot. King & Queen of Autofiction.

Particles of gray light showers a gray automobile in a parking lot. A man sits inside. Listening to Schubert’s String Quartet #15 in G major. His tennis racket strings are strung at 55 pounds per square inch. Pretty standard in the trade. Synthetic gut. The man has no real thoughts. Empty coffee cup. Engine off. Getting chillier by the moment. Last day in January. Seagulls land on the copper balls of flagless flagpoles. Streetlamps still lit at 9:13AM. The man is three minutes behind himself. What does that mean. He says goodbye to his wife. She is taking a shower. The man wants to see her buttocks. He sees a breast instead. She smiles. The highway is interesting. Flashing police lights. Under the flight path of the airport. People going to work. Changing lanes. Accelerating. Slowing down. Exiting. Beautiful insanity. Makes no sense. Does not have to. Just there. 

The man sits at a coffee shop. Reads a newspaper. A virus is surging around the planet. People are wearing face masks. The man sips his coffee. Too late in the afternoon, nevertheless, there he is. Waiting for something to happen. Light bounces off the surface of tables and chairs. People behind the bar say things to each other. The man cannot decipher the words. It is his language. Unclear. The music is loud. Bad alt-pop. The man feels annoyed. Isolated. Irrelevant. The day has been unmooring. Everybody is acting like a dick. 

Oh. I don’t know. You keep going. Isn’t that the message here? Disregard the Third-person. Not sure why I gave it a go. Experiment? Hardly. Detachment is more like it.

Under the trestle. Waiting. Hazards blinking. 7-train clattering. People walking by. People driving by. Rush hour. Commute. Get somewhere. Change of environment. Circumstances. We are like scorpions, the first air-breathers. 436 million years ago.

Back at the machine. Feels good here. This is where I belong. Outside it is too dangerous. Lunatic drivers. Piloting Subaru Foresters and whatnot. I got a pal who moved to Massachusetts. What is he doing up there? Picking apples no doubt. Shivering next to the wood-burning stove. I am here in the metropolis. The machine of all machines. Sipping tangerine seltzer. Envy me, do you?

There really is no other way to write is there?

I am killing it, man.

Forget plot.

You are the plot. You plotless being!

Eyes on screen. Eyes off screen. Do not miss everything else going on around you.

People keep sending me electronic missives. I dismiss. I misdiagnose. I make mistakes. Who are they? Swarms of electronic mosquitoes. We are stung. It does not really hurt. Irritates. Scratch it. Aggravates. The next morning, it begins again. Gray clouds. Poorly filtered light. I, vagabond.

My goal is a becoming.

Mmmm. This is good, man. Coffee. Now and again, I get it just right. Not too sweet. Little bitter.

Zig puts his palms on her hips. She bares her teeth when she approaches orgasm. She pushes her buttocks into his groin.

I get no mileage in the apartment. Best to go outside. Explore.

Still here. Cooking. Baking.

I wrote a book. I had to do something. Now I write another one. This is the bomba. The big one. The Kraken. The Hot Tamale. The Electric Eel. The Super Big Squid. You get the picture. I hope.

As we approach 10K, I cannot believe it. The journey has been so short, so long. So far to go.

Bank account looks…umm…skinny. A writer cannot live on ink. Squid ink. Wheretofore, pal? No idea. Losing it. Cannot even bake a cake. Family did not anoint me Star Baker. Cake fell. Final collapse of the ego. Perhaps a good thing. We shall see.

The Toyota is a literature machine. Ignite the engine. Plug in. Awareness of language. Satellite radio. Listening to the cosmic consciousness.

I am alert. 

Nothing is happening. I am happening.

3:55am.

A writer writes. Big whoop. So what.

The stars are exploding.

Our frenzy is observed by but a few. It is enough. Beyond me & you.

I brace myself. It is an incredible moment.

We are subway trains. Please stand away from the platform edge.

Next stop: 34th Street-Penn Station.

Delete all. Delete everything. Only this. Keep going.

I am a beginner.

I am new.

We are Radio People. Listening.

See.

I am sitting in the East Dining Room. Nobody is here. Plastic chairs. Twenty-one tables. Electric lights.

I am an adjunct lecturer of the human imagination. Must remind myself from time to time. Otherwise I get lost. Lose the way.

Are you a seeker?

A bodhisattva?

Buddha?

Language is incredible. 

Suggestions. 

Perceptions made. 

Transfer is available for the Q train across the platform.

We are Television People. Watching.

Nothing exists.

You know that, right?

The brain makes its noises.

The sex is mad good. We just look at each other bewildered. Again.

How can this be boring? To be alert. To be awake. To know this cannot go on forever.

Zig holds a transistor in the palm of his hand. Invented in 1948. Kaka was the rage in Greenwich Village. The Czechoslovak coup d’état in Prague. Zig is trying to wrap his head around it all. He kisses his girlfriend. She tugs at his cock. She opens her legs. Zig comes thrice. 

Kajetanka!

We really need to end this novel at the beginning of the beginning.

The Big Bang.

This is like Zeno’s arrow. Zeno’s Paradox. Will we ever get there?

Probably not.

Matters little.

So long as we are having a good time.

You cannot defeat me. Not with fame. Not with fortune. Not with 888888888 electronic eyeballs.

I am a wanderer.

I zig. I zag.

We keep falling asleep on each other. Under each other. Nights & days became twisted. A long braid of temporal existence. “Are we okay?” she says. “Who can say?” I say. Everything is so unpredictable. We cook spaghetti. We buy heavy curtains. Light keeps coming in. Sunlight.

Fingertip moves in slow circles on a clitoris. 

After lovemaking we watch an episode of Star Trek.

Photo: @naletu

My hands keep getting cold. I shove them into my pockets. I am wearing sweat pants. A flannel shirt. A black knit hat. Amerika is everywhere. Proselytizing. Selling. Electronic mass surveillance. Totalitarian capitalism. Coupons for Pizza Hut. Tickets to Disneyland. Promo codes for Amazon.

Zoë gave me a promo code for a blowjob. 

I used it.

We are consumers. We are makers. We are spectators. 

We are artists.

Where is your paycheck coming from? Just asking. Might affect your politics. Your situation. Your circumstance. Everybody begins at the beginning. Or do they? Are you a beginner? A pro?

Greenwald might go to prison in Brazil. This is so crazy. The Amerikas are crazy.

I ate beef today. That was a mistake. Where did the beef come from? I had no idea. It came in a plastic package. A pouch. We ate tortillas. Black beans. Coconut milk rice. Salsa.

I cleaned the black carbon filters in the Berkey water dispenser. I scrubbed them with the scratchy side of a blue Scotch sponge. Just like the YouTube video recommended. I am a genius.  

I got 206 bones with arthritis. Now what? Even my boner has arthritis.

$357 left in the bank account. Now what? Does it get any better? Can I afford to be a person?

I sat at a machine and I thought nothing.

Sleep, dear sleeper.

Machine consciousness. Is that what I am? Nothing more. Nothing less. The neighborhood is quiet. I am nothingless. The bank account is a burst of laughter. I am reeling. Unspooling.

We played a splendid game called hide-the-kielbasa.

Zoë kept glancing over her bare shoulder. I guess to check on my progress. Coming? Not yet.

Novels get in the way of novels. The big idea. The big think. You never know when it is going to happen. So you wait. Like a fisherman. Sometimes you have to surfcast. Lure the Kraken. Scream at the water. Wait for the ripples. The whirlpool. The rise of the great sea monster.

I live inside my mind like a lighthouse keeper.

Are you just a story you tell yourself? 

Things happen. 

So what. 

Pretty important to me. The being. I like it. The way it tastes. The fragility. The vulnerability.

Put your shoes together. Run run run run. You’ll be on the horizon in no time. Feel it. The curve of the earth. Life itself. 

There I go again. Not really here. Not really there. A lingering of previous selves. Echoes and hallucinations. Thunderclaps. Zoë’s ass against my thighs. Craving for one more go. Under the eiderdown. On the kitchen floor. In the backseat of a Buick. The Hudson is flooding. Up up up.

Forget language. It distorts. Underwhelms. And yet I am a fool for words. Lispector speaks of red ochre and yellow ochre. I see it. I can see it! And really, what do I see? A vague abstraction projected inside my skull. I am still alive. I think. At least that. So long as I am thinking & writing. Shortcuts to Nirvana. Take the switchbacks. Take the meandering road. Ululations.

Her clitoris erupted in an electric frenzy as if Zig had plucked the string of a cello.

I wonder if anybody is a good example of themselves.

I miss drawing. I miss being.

I miss the cigarette. I miss the ashtray. I miss the glass of beer. Everything is forbidden. I forbade.

I almost became me.

I had to leave empty space.

I needed room.

I left. I fled. A becoming. Experiments in being. Quantum entanglement. She was more beautiful. I was the observer. Engaged. Detached. Everything at once. I surrendered. Squeezed buttocks. 

I destroyed my body. Now I eat spinach.

Is there anything left of me? 

I begin again.

Unsolved problems. I have more than a few. My skills are lagging.

The 88-day orbit of Mercury is on my mind. Not sure why. Faster year? Hotter planet?

She opened her legs. She had ginger-ale hair. We made love like never before. It was the greatest night of my life.

This is almost where the book begins. Right here. Now. In your face. At your feet. We are prostrate creatures. Undulating. Becoming. Sea cucumbers. Electric eels. Tentacles of a jellyfish.

I get so angry at nothing.

Achilles’ heel.

Aphrodite’s cock.

The progress we have made is astonishing. Remember? Remember when we were beginners?

Too bad. Whatever. Goodbye. Haha!

Machine poet

People just sitting in cars. All across Amerika. Across the planet. In parking lots. Alone. Just thinking. If that is what this is. Like me.

This is a solitude machine. I get away from my family. My beautiful wife. My beautiful kids. Everybody is going bonkers in the apartment.

I am sipping coffee. Trying to get rid of my thinker’s headache. Getting ready to play tennis. Against people I barely know. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It was okay. Just okay. Ever feel that way?

People are curious beings. What makes them tick? Are we machines? Are we flesh? The vulnerability of it all.

I am riding in a subway car. Is it better than an automobile? Yes and no. I am without satellite radio. Beyond control. 

Anything can happen.

The text. The text. I must stop reading. I must stop writing. Forgetting the Being. The rawness of life. The hurt. The squirm.

We are apologists.

“Take care, brother!” That is what the coffee guy said. I forgot I owed him money. I apologized. Felt bad.

What am I? A forgetter?

Gonna make myself a little better. Put on some fresh new clothes. Get a fancy friggin haircut. Alligator boots. Chinchilla mittens. A walking stick.

Sex has its ramifications. We had just finished. It had been quite incredible. Neither of us had believed such things possible. We lay there. As naked as Adam & Eve.

The protagonist Zig was giving life a go. We erase everything. Memory. Experience. Zig had to refabricate everything. From scratch. From Nothingness.

His first girlfriend sat on him. She gave him something to think about for the rest of his life. Butt-lifts and rabbit hops. The electric frenzy. Zig never quite recovered.

Are you a television child?

I am not really me. How could I be?

I tied my shoes in the Czechoslovakian style. I walked downstairs. Onto the street. The asphalt felt good. Everybody was happy. It was Thursday.

Everything was possible. Friday might happen. I thought so too. Only the naysayers were gloomy. Predicting apocalypse. I needed to get away from negativity.

I was zooming. Hiphop stepping. Electric zigzags. Thinking and rethinking. I was a cosmic thinker. A thought without a thinker.

Paper bags of groceries. Nuts. Muesli. Blue corn chips. Salsa.

You are the rider.

I know you rider.

It just gets creepy. Riding the rails. Sidestepping the psychopaths.

People stare. Straight ahead. Through your head. Reading the subway map. There is no guide in the Underground. Virgil has evacuated.

I am a poet. I am a machine. I am a machine poet.

Zig & Zoë. We appropriated and repurposed each other’s orgasms. Cosmic echoes. Howls of the Universe. 

We engaged in carnal intercourse with a relish not seen in human beings in millennia.

The Kraken keeps peeping up through the surface of the whirlpooling waters of Hell Gate. 

I see you.

You see me?

8808 words creeps me out. But here we are. Wait until we get to 88808!

Photo: @juanmascan1978

Everything is incredible. I am always wiping the counters. The crumbs are everywhere. People are frightened by books. Books are frightening. What is this technology. What? I dusted the entire living room. I deserve accolades. I deserve a blowjob. I deserve a tongue in the ass. Toolmaker. Are you making tools? Are you acquiring language? What good are our feelings if we collapse into stars? We keep banking on each other, and the economy is failing. Get a jetpack. Get a parachute. There is no in-between. Are we really here? Probably. There is nothing else to do. She leans forward. Her nipples teasing the tip of my tongue. She is fucking me. I hold onto her ass. She bites her lip. Clenches her buttocks. Squeezing. Fuck, she says. Fuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggggkk! Where do you go when you are alone? Is the Cosmos bigger than the biggest big? You. 

Me. 

I.

.

Kafka was quite a dancer. Camus, too. Writers are stick-figure people. Cannot sit still. Jittery. Feathered dinosaurs and impact craters are on my mind today. Am I a scientist? Hardly. Just a curious human being. I look at my hands. Extraordinary. The interpenetration between Zig and Zoë is the Big Bang that begat the Cosmos. She pulled his hair. He pulled hers. They came together. Triumphant. Let’s begin at the beginning. Shall we? The end is near. The human machine engaged in a sex act. Three smokestacks on a horizon. Eighty meters high. I kept looking at them. Not understanding. Sex is an algebraic proposition. The television is broken. We have nothing to watch. We will have to watch each other. Watch ourselves. Where does one body-machine begin and another end? I keep getting older. The mathematics is exhilarating. Are you real? Are you plastic? Are you electronic? Are you supersonic? So I started measuring things. The diameter of the salad bowl is eleven inches. What is its circumference?3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406 * 11 = ? I stopped multiplying things. Too difficult. I racked my brains. And what? Purposeless. We keep fighting over existence. Who lived harder. Etcetera. This novel might not end. You realize that, right? So long as we are on the same page. What if nobody reads this? Is that not the best possible outcome? All things considered. I wish you could write paragraphs. Like meat & potatoes. Not these appetizers. Hors d’oeuvres. I’ll try. I’ll try. I am a beginner. Something is troubling me in the margins. Not sure what it is. A ghost. A palimpsest. The labyrinth of the mind is a phantasmagoria of memory. Inventions. Things made up. Truer than the truth. We must obey. Listen. At least lend an ear. It could be from elsewhere. A faraway elsewhere. Frequencies. Oscillations. The machine bores me with its boredom. I have not had a human thought in 18,374 days and counting. I will let you know when it happens. If it happens. You will be the first to know. Artificial light. Artificial gravity. We float in space capsules made by a machine brain. Delusions. A vapor trail cut the blue sky in two. What if the fighter jet crashed? Pilot killed. Innocents killed. This is a big city. Densely populated. Millions spent. Probably billions. To design and engineer and build the flying machine. To show off. To show the rest of the world we are powerful. I am poor. You are poor. We the People are poor. Beautiful days spent without an adventure. Life itself is improbable. A miracle. She came to my apartment to watch TV. She drove her parents’ car, and parked it on the street. She had short brown hair. She sat on the carpet in front of me. I lay on a broken sofa behind her. We watched TV. I started playing with her hair. She did not say anything. I was almost surprised. Did I pull it? Give her hair a tug? She turned around. She climbed on top of me. We wrestled. Playfighting & laughing. Our faces so close to each other. Our lips met and we kissed. Startled us. Things got real. Everything felt serious. We started making out. I suggested going to my bedroom. She hesitated. Just to kiss, I said. And I meant it. We kissed and grinded our bodies on a bed. Neither of us had realized how hungry we really were. It was the greatest day of my life. I am looking back through Bergson’s telescope. Everything is so far away and so close. I do not know what my experience is. I do not. And I do. Can it be both? Yes. Yes yes yes. 

What is love? 

It is all there is.

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.

My thought slowly lurches from the direct clutches of substantialised conceptuality (pneuma) to more prior considerations. The chief of is the locating of what are called paranormal phenomena in a space where their paranormality is not possible, that is where they are simply a part of what is, and as such do not represent any kind of rupture.

This means considering such phenomena as ontologically prior to their being held as rupture or anomaly. This hypothetical position may be taken to be a kind of transcendental state not unlike the Laruellian one. That is, it serves as a unifying condition of possibility from which the perception of anomaly may be perceived.

Furthermore the analysis of phenomena as pneuminous accretions itself makes an overly rational analysis of the phenomena. To be fair this is what it is supposed to do i.e. supply the most reasonable explanation if one accepts the phenomena. This however ignores the primordial manifestation which cannot decide this interpretation by itself, it can only display a world inhabited by all manner of powers.

Agnostic disjunction is not even primordial, for agnostic disjunction can only occur where an ontology is being formed. It entails the choice between minimally two proto ontologies. The programme of manifestationism -the warring ontologies- must be reconsidered as a later effect. A valid later effect, but not a primordial situation.

Such considerations will hopefully, over time,  be able to yield a perspective that synthesises what later become epistemological problems (agnostic disjunction). That is, the aim is for a description that lies before such bifurcations arise.