Squawk

The dirge played through too few teeth, a stale, sputtering whisper of a song as they hauled off the last of them. Splashes, squirts as they hit the mud until the bodies were piled up higher than sound. Their moldering bones would be their only testament. The last men strong enough to kill and to dig graves and to squeak out a few meaningless syllables would find themselves, in the morning as the air warmed, unable to keep their skins about their skulls.

The birds overhead were silent. There was nothing to communicate. They would feast and fuck on bloated bellies until the raisin-eyed chicks chirped impatiently and unknowingly in the nests of hair and mourning rags. But no more would men walk, hear, or think that, perhaps, these new beaks were singing for them.

Alien Bre(ed)athing Card

Listen, you’re not getting off this ship without me, one way or the other. You signed up for this trip. You dotted and dangled I’s and such. And they didn’t tell you about the License to Breathe? Well, fuck you for not reading right. That’s the scam, baby. This trip might be free, but the air ain’t. At least not down on Earth. Sounded exotic, eh? All those fleshy bipeds, driving exoskeletons full of liquid fire around the crushed stone. Trees as tall as monoliths. Real nice.

Look, don’t give me this sob story shit. You aren’t welcome down  there. The air don’t care who the fuck you are. Without your LB suctioned to your flap, your bug eyes’ll explode after a few minutes. But I got you. Don’t worry, my man. I can hook you up. I happen to be a Independent Licensing Agent. I know, I know, you’ve heard to never, ever get tangle up with us, but what choice do you have? I can get air into your lungs. That’s it, that’s what its all about.

See, payment comes later. You know that. Once you establish yourself and find a host womb and such, then you can start breeding your little baby brain slugs or whatever your case is and we’ll only take 15 of the first hundred, just like it outlines in Form 584 that you filled out for your License to Impregnate. Why you looking at me that way, partner? Don’t tell me you don’t have a LI either.

Shit, you’re lucky I’m here.

Mainline the Mentor

Eventually, they take your dendrites and pull them loose of the bulbous, salted and sparking meat-product of your brain and pull them even tighter now that they’ve got them and start to build upon them with blood and protein and microscopic steel particles until you’re walking around with exo-nerves waving in the air on a blustery late winter day like a tree caught in a gale, only the gale is derisive breath and laughter at the audacity of someone wearing their nervous system outside of their skull before Walpurgis Nacht.

And you hear them, feel them, and interpret them, wondering why they would take the time to transform you if all they were going to do was tell you how damn silly you are for their bad timing.

Every Ass a King

A long, dead river crumbles corpses into the sea, flows from my rat upholstered throne upon which I sit, masticating ancient Doublemint flavors, thinking on what was and what can no longer be.

The royal family, my family, all tugged out each others’ organs sometime ago during the War of I Want More Things, their eyes white with atomic fire. Silk and human skin fell in sheets upon the cold kitchen floor. Even the servants’ souls fell out and were left to rot in the halls. No reaper came. He had never been hired and angels don’t often come knocking unannounced. Especially not at this house.

Only I am left and my energy only flows because of a bad habit of mine of looking a bit sideways at life. Like this throne, for instance. Soon the cats will come and they will bring the dogs who will bring more humans to serve me. Until then, I will chew my gum and try to keep my hands out of the fire.

Prismatic Rendered Fat Tube

Every human can smoke a cop’s drugs and see gods and yet they had them lined up to meet him like Santa on a Monday at the mall when the workers are working and the students are working and the mothers are working and the only one not doing shit is Liza, the girl behind the make-up counter in the department store 40 feet behind Santa, 567 feet behind God, and not very happy for either of those two.

I mean, one is a drunken phony and the other gets pissed on.

She’d much rather do nothing. And no one needed make up now that camera’s self-edited blemishes and it became illegal to transmit a real human face across the internet. But sometimes the mortician would place an order, so she still had a job. She’d last longer than God, that was for sure. Santa seemed to be a fighter, however.

 

 

Kaleidoscopic Brain Vomit

“Welcome to the future.”

He held up what appeared to be a bullet.

“Don’t look too quickly, now. What you see may appear to be a number of things, but what this is…is a spaceship. And a timeship. And a voidship.”

I squinted, trying not to see a bullet.

“You see, how this work, now, is that this little miracle is sped up a thousand times the speed of man and shoved into the part of your brain that does your astral traveling. This is not a physical part of your brain, of course, and this ship is barely physical itself. You may see a variety of things when I hold this up, but know, now, that what you see is but a small aspect of the true nature of my invention. Let me demonstrate.”

He took the supposed ship and place it in a very real, very definite pistol.

“This is the accelerator tube.”

I cringed when he put the gun to his head, and shit in my shorts when he laughed and, instead, pointed the gun at me and fired. But he was right. I had not seen all of the aspects of his invention, only the little metal bit that destroyed my brain. The larger enigma remained, such as where did I go? And how am I still typing?

 

We Line Up

I could barely hear for the sound of hooves screaming against glass, an entire herd of sheep put into a transparent wrecking ball and slammed against the side of the building in which I spent my time tapping plastic. Over the crumbling, over the slaughter, I could barely make out my manager, standing on his over-desk in full military dress, face fitted with a air filter and blood purifier, talking into the back of a robot’s head. The robot, in turn, shot flames into the air to get our attention and shrieked:

“This is not the end. Please go back to your desks. This is simply part of the job. You do not get breaks simply because one of the Land Lords decided to amuse himself with carnage. Please, turn on Relaxation Hood 1, wait 10 seconds, and place your head underneath said Hood. And continue to type. This is not a drill. Nor is this an excuse for idleness.”

I enjoyed the Relaxation Hood and how it made me feel, like nothing around me was going to shit. Just a nice, dark place to tap on my plastic and think of other things, quiet and small things. They say you could die under the Hood through a series of images that brought on both nirvana and death. This didn’t sound so bad. I hoped the Land Lord stole enough money to buy a new glass wrecking ball and a new herd of sheep. I hope I can go under the Hood every time the absurd turns to horror.

One day, however,

Jimmy sold salted worms at a day camp for children whose parents were too religious to put up with their shit all summer long. They stood there in knee-length, anti-sexual blue shorts (knees sweating and tempting the breeze to tickle them and confuse their loins) waiting for Jimmy to dig around in his dirty, plastic bag for his latest catch.

Every other time, he had taken a dozen or so night crawlers (big fuckers fit for a back road bait shop) and covered them in salt in order form a paste before molding them into some edifying shape. He brought out crosses and moons, pentacles and unicorns, holy virgins and sacrificial doves.

The adults knew. He knew they new. It didn’t stop him. And they never interrupted. There was an angel smiling through Jimmy’s eyes, they would say to each other, the kind of angel that knows things and takes blood for milk. So they let him play at his morbid sculpting, knowing that most of the children would be taken for imaginative liars when they returned from camp and told their parents.

One day, however, Jimmy dragged three bags from this cabin and set them on the big rock by the sewer.

“Hey, what are the other bags for?” asked Michael, a braggart and bully.

“Well, my brothers and sisters,” began Jimmy, “there is a poison in this land. It takes God’s creatures, great and small, and turns them against one another, tooth against flesh. And I deem to purge it. I have been foraging all summer for the ingredients to this sacred balm.”

“How ya gonna do that, weirdo? You can’t even kick a ball!” asked Sally, a complainer and snitch.

Jimmy held his hands in front of him, “It is not I that will anything.”

“Get on with it! Lunch is almost ready,” said Tom, a glutton and sadist.

Jimmy took two of the bags and up ended them. From out fell stones of various size and shapes. A few quart crystals blinked in the sun. Jimmy began to hum as he took the third bag in his hands. The piles of rocks at his side began to give off a heat so great that the front row of spectators were forced back by it. Jimmy continued to hum as he pulled from the final bag a worm the size of a tree branch, which wrapped around his arm with a sucking slurp. His humming turned to chanting, words none of the children knew, and the worm unfurled until it stood straight and towered over the screaming crowd. From its belly, a crevice began to unzip and out stepped Jimmy, now with blue skin and yellow eyes, with six arms all clutching knives, skulls, and satanic wands.

He stood for a moment, breathing in the humid summer air. And when he spoke, he said:

“See? Don’t you feel better now?”

Indeed they did not.

 

Veins like Sentences

They want the story to be human: filled with blood, dried lips, mucus-summoning coughs, blind spots, assumptions, whispered threats and screaming pain when a fire gets near. They want a story to pick lint from its pubes with whiskey on its breath and piss into cold toilet water before the sun back-lights the dark, grey sky into a shade of silver like bullets being poured from teeth in a barn as the wind and wolves howl. They want a man to cry over doughnuts and a woman to bleed from her fists, smiling. They want me to make a golem of words and set it out in the hills one night to see if it finds its way home.

I know it won’t. It will find its way to your window, and it won’t be as human as they want. Something will have interfered, filled its head with alien memories, given it dog tongue and lizard tooth, told it about candy without giving it a taste. Try to write me a human and what comes out has too many eyes, not enough skin. Voice like a radio tuned to a local station in the middle of a gas attack. Try to write me a human and all that pulls itself from the word-slime is hunger and asshole meat.

Spear Ration

Sat carving sticks. Long ones. Straight as can be and cured for a while in the air and light. I thought better than to think while doing it. The pit at the edge of the clearing led only one way and the bottom felt spongy the one time I fell and saw their faces. Gaunt faces, eighteen drug-addled eyes. They sat breathing on their fungoid chairs, waiting to be taken back to the old place with silvery days and red wine water. They wouldn’t tell me why they had held on so long in this dead, dirty place, but I could tell right away what they needed: hyper-atomic brains and spears to throw into them. They hid in the pit, overwhelmed and unarmed by choice. Really, they were just bored with the glut of options.

No one wants a muse that can’t stab out your thoughts and replace them with thick, boiling poetry. So I sat, carving sticks, hoping they’d know where to find sharp enough rocks to turn into spearheads. And enough glowing brains to impale despite the darkness.