Roots of the Occulted

“Wanna join my club?”
“Well what kind of club is it anyway?”
“It don’t matter. It’ll just be you and me and whoever else wants to join. But my mama’s basement can only hold about 13 of us and I only got 7 chairs, so I guess we’ll have to cut it off at some point or I’ll get myself whipped.”
“Are we whipping each other in this club? I don’t know about that. Maybe I should wear a heavier jacket if we’re doing stuff like that. I have to change for gym and they’ll see the marks and call my pa.”
“No, no, no. You don’t understand at all. It’ll be a good club. Where we can come up with secrets and keep them from everybody else. And then when we have enough secrets, we can start selling memberships and just sit around taking money. Then someone else can run it and we’ll just collect the cash. And they can come up with their own secrets.”
“What if they start keeping secrets from us?”
“Well, I suppose they will. But as long as we get the money, who cares?”
“I want to whip them if they keep secrets.”
“You won’t want to. They’ll stop coming and then we won’t get any money.”
“What if you start keeping secrets from me? What if we get a hundred dollars and you only give me twenty of it? Then I’ll want to whip you.”
“I should have never said nothing about no whipping.”
“That will just be a secret between us then.”
“I don’t know if I want to start a club with you anymore.”

Billy clenched his jaw and undid his belt, saying:

“Well, you can’t quit when things are just starting to go our way.”

To Be Touched with Love’s Last Finger

Her face was a like a star burning out and falling into the ocean of a poisonous planet. She peeked from the upstairs window and I caught a glimpse, one brief vision, and the shadows of her eyes burnt into mine forever. I began beating the hedges with a sword and they bled and I gathered this violent ichor into the golden bowl I had brought for her mother and set it upon her doorstep. Dogs, rats, cardinals, humans, cats and lizards: I gathered these from the neighboring yards and set to painting them with the blood, demanding, “Twirl, fiends, twirl!” knowing that they would never twirl hard enough to pull her from her bedroom and into my arms.

Her father appeared, dressed in silver, smoking a pipe from which purple fumes floated into the sky. The smoke formed his words and his words spelled, “Duty before Honor.” My sword found his lungs (first the left, then the right) and the smoke that spilled out was as black as grave water. His screams set off a car alarm a few houses down. And yet, she did not appear to me, though she must have heard the racket I had dedicated to her velvet ears. Her father’s head came off nicely and with it I knocked upon the door. Impatient, I knocked again. A third time I knocked and this time rudely and at length.

Her mother, an ancient crone with fish eyes and a formless tail where her legs should have been, opened the door with an umbrella, which she pointed at me as if it were a gun. “This is a gun,” she proclaimed, and opened its canopy menacingly. Her bad luck came immediately in the form of my sword with which I cut from her her hands. The umbrella, no longer a gun if it ever were, fell to the carpet. She did not bleed, but merely stood staring, mouth agape, stunned that I would be so up front about my desires. I pointed my sword at her heart and motioned her towards the cellar.

When she had retreated into the sub-levels, I began my ascent of the stairs. For five days I climbed, through desert and jungle, over rock strewn ridges and icy crevasses, until I came at last to her door. A hastily made paper valentine’s card with her name on it stuck proudly to the door, reading, “Be mine FOREVER” and signed with a traitorous script, “Jeff”. My bowels slid from me and to the floor as I ripped into myself, hoping only that Jeff was worthy of her, and that he might be able to afford to hire someone to clean my corpse from her vestibule.

Unpack the Idol

It came time to unpack her bag. She had sat for hours now in the room in every comfortable position (her favorite being on a pine straight wooden chair with her legs crossed beneath her, back rigid.) She had smelled every corner (ammonia, cedar, lemon extract, human skin), listened to the walls and baseboards and the immobile ceiling fan hung with dust (the creaking of the joints of the old building, the sagging of its flesh, the squeaking of distant vermin.) Tasted her fingers after running them under the lip of the mattress (sweat, dog saliva, blood, cat dander, semen, snake tongue.)

Her bag lay open on the floor, inconveniently blocking both the front door and the door to the bathroom, not to mention both closet doors. Her clothes were neatly rumpled within; a book of ancient weapons had slid around, upsetting things during the commute. She could put the clothes on the hangers. She could lay the book on the desk. She could zip her bag up and shove it in the closet, out of the way.

But she won’t.

She wants them to trip, to fall, and to know what she was reading when they find her and to think of it as they sing her old songs. She would have them touch her clothes and get her smell on their hands and chests so that her ghost can find its way back from the edge of the black river and touch their spines in the night. And she will see them on their faces from behind her death mask, in accidental worship.

The Consolation of Psychoactive Alien Secretions

“Contact in 23 seconds-”
“Pardon me, sir. But they’ve already boarded,” the crew member said and raised his left hand into a ray of foreign sunlight. The nails had become dirt and delicate fiddleheads began to uncurl in the shower of photons. The captain of the voidship Eris cocked his head to the side, disbelieving.
“But…my calculations…ha ha…thrust…ha ha…” The crew member could not help but join in the captain’s laughter as he wiggled his fingers and watched the ferns thereof unfurl and dance in the artificial gravity.
“Marvelous,” the captain said as he watched. Out of the corner of his eye, the stars went black. “Oh fuck!”
The ship hit the side of a massive membrane at full speed, stretching it like snot from a frozen child, becoming encapsulated.
“Enough of your conjurers tricks, man! To your station.”
“But sir. I am the contact. What this ship has become entangled by is nothing but the discharge of my memories.”
“Explain yourself! And fire the main thrusters! We’ll pop this motherfucker like a bee in a balloon!”
“Sir, if you would only listen. What we are engulfed by is immaterial. It is the discharge of human memories that I have been invited to leak into the void. You see, my brain is becoming as an acorn and my limbs grow wooden and supple. There is nothing you or your thrusters can do but wait as I fill my cabin with soil and take root. As soon as my transformation is complete, the ship will be free to go about its business.”
“I won’t let them take you! I never lose a man!”
“Sir, I am no longer a man. And I go willingly. The alien, who I trust, has decided that my most useful form, my true form, is that of some horrific plant amalgamation. The only way out of this, I’m afraid, is through patience.”
The captain took a deep breath. “How long? How long must we wait?”
“Well, it should only take a week for me to produce enough dirt to take root in. After that, my human memories should start to diffuse. It may be another month before the ship is completely free, however. I’m sorry captain. I know this has been a long journey for all of us. But we’ve done it! Contact!”
“Fucking symbiotic plant aliens,” the captain murmured.
“If it’s any consolation, sir, my piss should turn hallucinogenic in but a few more days.”
The captain smiled and took his hand off of his ray gun.

He Lives Without Scraping

A little boy lives in my mouth. It is not a novel concept. I’ve heard stories from others. He eats popcorn kernels and candy that I get stuck in my teeth. A few bits of chicken from time to time. His diet is the sticky bits of my diet He shits in the hole where my back molar used to be, but cleans it regularly with a piece of hair that I almost swallowed once (his only possession.) He does not give me psychic visions and he does not shine anything. Not my teeth. Not my even tongue (although a shiny tongue would set me up for success in this world of fools.) He does not scream when I swallow him.

I own my mouth. It is a space that I claim. The little boy, though born of speech vibrations and half-formed sentences and mumbled prayers, is not of me anymore than the ideas filtering through my brain can be said to be of me, anymore than any of our thoughts can said to be our own and separate from the gibbering cloud of Over-Thoughts in which our minds swim.

I keep the little boy around to remind me that we are all inhabitants of someone’s mouth.

High Bovinity

The cow of Dharma stood on 7 legs, clinging to the side of the rock with hooves more suited to the grassy plains below, chewing its meaty cud. Despite the thin air, the bright sun, and the cold breeze, the cow had not moved anything but its mouth all morning. Clambering around the ridge above and below, the cow’s hosts went about their goats’ dance (hopping, hooting, licking piss off of rocks, staring silently into the sun with black eyes).

It did not belong, but it had been invited expressly by the Mother of All Goats, who now lazed inside of the stone mansion, smoking marijuana and eating cherries from a human skull. The cow had been invited in, but refused. Opulence made the cow nervous, especially in the face of desolation.

“Oh but come now and enjoy yourself. You have been such a busy cow, crawling through the cosmic muck, reforming this universe by your own will, watching the fires of the night heat the factories of tomorrow’s existence. Come. Have a cherry. Relax. You are a guest in this place,” said the Mother of All Goats as a four humans bathed her rich, ebony fur and gently brought her to yet another orgasm. “It is our time. The hoof shall replace the monkey hand, just as those fools dared write in the last age.”

The cow of Dharma paid no heed to the goat’s temptation. It had climbed from the fields to these high hills to test itself. And now it stood, and the test was not over. To give in now, to bathe itself in drugs and sweets and fleshly pleasures, would be to undo every hard step up the mountain. There was no rest. There was no shelter. The journey would not end here. The journey would never end.


I remember screaming and whisky drinking as the hour came upon us. Another tick of the sun, another moon to hail and to wonder about (space rock ark ship lizard hive mad mother birthed by ripping. A piece of Earth projected into the void to forever turn and help us climb into our own heads.)

This the time of new beginnings and here I am with the same brain. Fuck. I suppose I shall use it, clunky as it is. Familiar ruts lead to mud after a while. Gotta build streets and crush beneath them the life that made this place interesting in the first place. New paths, though difficult to blaze, add structure to this slop world I’ve created with my perceptions. False interpretations taken as golden rules have turned this wilderness of ideas into an office building of filed and collated take-for-granteds.

And how would you wipe the slate clean without losing who you are? What rocks are there to cling to when set adrift in the void? Is that the goal, to get Out? To float silently has never been the point. After all, I’m still on Earth. So I set fire to the village I’ve been living in the last few years and the mud becomes hard like concrete and the streets we vowed to never pave come up from the ground. Now I have to move on, to take to the wilds for a while and see what there is to see down the dark, dank ways. In the least, with my wanderings I entertain the angels who often become so bored with me that they doubt their own flimsy existence so still have they become.

It’s time to build the saucer myself and stop waiting for lights in the sky.