Once Were the Fowls Full of Human

He came walking up, raving about bird sandwiches, about how he’d walked all this way because “the shiny-eyed fuckers” couldn’t tell one lake from another. They’d put him down all the way out in Boone county and he’d not a bite to eat all damn day.

We hadn’t see Teddy Two-Knuckles since he’d set up a “human versus one hundred mallards” night at J.J. Jolly J’s. They said he’d been approached by a couple of guys afterward with an extra dimension to their movement, sporting webbed shoes and gorgeous headdresses.

This wasn’t the sort of town where you went asking questions. Answers crawled from the sewers, fell from the sky like toilet ice. So we ask much explaining out of Teddy this time, even though he smelled as if he’d been sitting in pond scum smoking jet fuel. We let him in, of course, let him sit on a leaky wooden chair and offered him coffee and marijuana. He refused both.

“Bird sandwich. I need cannibalism right now. The only thing that will do.”

“But Teddy, you ain’t no bird.”

The cracks in his head formed from the inside. Instead of answering, he fused his mouth together with melted skin and let the pecking turn to quacking as his brain emerged beak first, wet with skull drippings.

“I ain’t I ain’t I ain’t,” proclaimed the newborn duckling as it fell to the ground by gently rolling down Teddy’s slumped corpse.

“Who ate all the bread?” came the question from the kitchen. The duckling watched as I drew my bread knife from its scabbard.

All of these questions in the air and none of the answers.

Paleothanatology

“Come back in. You’ll catch Death out there.”

I stood on the deck of the iron cruise ship, counting rust sprites and trying to slow my vision enough to see the secret of their industry. The overseer of my play group had allowed me one ibogaine soda pop as an afternoon pick me up, even though my mother had told me I was becoming a different person, a bit changed every time I drank one. The raspberry syrup covered the bitterness well.

My overseer had offered me watermelon flavored ibogaine soda pop once and I nearly lost the brain from my skull so active was my rage. “Have you ever tasted watermelon?” I had screamed and he had replied, “No. Only watermelon soda pop.”

I forgave his ignorance as he forgave my tantrum.

“Billy! Now! You’ll catch Death out there!”

I almost caught a rust sprite resting, but the moment my eye flickered slantwise, she was away and once again moving at vision blurring speed. The sprites did not fear Death. Perhaps they were too fast for him. Yet, my mother implied that it was I that would take Death into a net or a jar, or perhaps my hands if I were brave in that moment. Death was my prey then and mother knew it. I had been searching for meaning among the beauty of the rust sprites, but I had been on the journey all along; not just the cruise my mother had so patiently saved for, but the journey to put Death on display.

That was it then. When I left kindergarten, I would become a paleothanatologist by trade and learn the history and current whereabouts of Death and how to care for him or her while in captivity.

Perhaps I would find many Deaths. A nice breeding pair.

The wind moved over the ship in salted gusts. My mother’s hand fell on my shoulder and I jumped.

“Come inside. Right now,” she looked into my lidless eyes, dirty blonde eyes. “You’ve had soda before bed again, haven’t you? I am going to have to have a chat with little miss priss down at the daycare. This is supposed to be my vacation. Now I’ve got to deal with this.”

“I will dream now, mother. I will dream whether I sleep or not.”

Hark! A Fellow

I saw him shambling down from the trail above, hook fisted and terror-eyed. Had never seen a man dressed such: not out here, not this high up. He had a golden suit, not of metal, but a linen suit that sparkled in the sun. His conservative black tie hung loose on his neck, like he’d out run a hangman. His boots were some sort of mollusk, but also boasted very obvious rockets.

In his left hand, a book. In his right hand, a gun.

So I raised my stick in front of me and shouted, “Yoohoo!”

His face exploded into a grin; he dropped to his knees as he shouted, “Bless my dirty ass, a human! You have no idea how long I’ve waited to meet one of you.” He looked human himself and I stood confused. “Oh, don’t worry about this form, I didn’t possess anyone. I simply run on interesting times and am composed of a thousand thousand sentient mirrors. Mirrors so intricate they can see behind the blood that carries your thoughts to your brain. Don’t be frightened! This form is simply what your mind most needs to see right now. You must have been extremely bored. I normally appear as a kind old friend from Anytown.”

“Well, you don’t seem to be having a good go of it. Why were you out here searching for humans?”

“You see, I thought humans were wild animals that lurked on mountain tops, searching for birds to sacrifice to their devil god. But that’s why you are such a miracle! You’re here to help! Here, let me just shoot you in the brains with this psyche-teleportation ray and record your consciousness in this here book of mine, and you can be on your way!”

“No thanks. I can show you a way back to town, but no thanks on the brain ray. I’m good. Follow me if you want. I’m heading back.”

I never felt anything, and the man didn’t follow, but whose to say whether or not I’m just walking through a book at this point, body in some ravine, living just to be studied by weirdos.

At Them Crossroads

They were building a gigantic cross out of fried chicken bones out by the big church out on 71 (south of somewhere or the other) and Calvin couldn’t quite understand what they were using to keep it from toppling over with so many human arms dangling from the damned thing. They’d probably grease him up and let him sit in the hot sun as inspiration if they’d ever heard him refer to the thing as damned (and there was some rumor that the purpose of the project was to collect the thoughts of unbelievers,) but he’d made it this close and no one came to meet him, friendly or otherwise.

He’d go a another mile closer to the damned thing if he could, having spied a good clearing in a local trailer park that would be perfect for his counter-project. His would be pure, however. His hands would be the only hands allowed to place the tacos, one by one, until there grew a satanic ziggurat to dwarf their monument to slavery. And he would stand, high heirophant and sacred architect, and his secret glue would be human blood and the semen of flawless bulls and everyone will know for he shall inform them.

Watch Now and Fuck (Oh, the Comet!)

Most people can’t get past the first word of the phrase Suicide Cult without thinking about depressed, lonely, deluded assholes dressing like angels and tearing apart their insides with sugar-berry strychnine punch. They forget about those of us that know what the fuck we’re doing here.

It isn’t like they say. We didn’t drink the punch unwittingly, masturbate in a circle while holding lightning rods, or even listen to a sermon about how the comet was coming to save us all. Those of us who made it to the final level didn’t need any of that shit. We only drank the poison because our bodies were so pure that our blood was already venom and poison was like a mild narcotic and it tickled your belly just right. Our eyes were already on the comet, and I mean that literally. We plucked them out and shot a whole bag of them out of a space cannon. As a present to the comet, yes, but also so that we could see the icy castles we would be living in for the next few centuries. Know where to put the couch and such. You know.

And we made it, you fucking unbelievers. Throw our bodies in the ocean like you do your trash, Earth-shackled slaves. We ride the void and eat shaved ice for breakfast. We haunt eternity. We’ll be back for more of you and and ready to meat party in spirit form.

Time Toilet of the 11th Dimensional Ape God

They took gray molding from the side of the sky and began to form an ark ship. Leaves fell loudly in its hull as it took shape and I stopped ripping snorts of powdered ant long enough to mock them:

“You’ll never make it to Frag Iron Asteroid Waiting Station with a bullshit, hippie ark like that. Where are the death rays? The bionic plague rats? The spikes and fire and tornadoes? I ain’t going nowhere. You guys are crazy.”

God’s asshole sat in the sky like a dirty moon, waiting to shit thunderous venom onto Earth, and these clowns were trying to escape. I knew better. Might as well take your whuppings where you’re comfortable. The void would destroy the minds of these weak willed, life worshipping perverts.

And the celestial asshole in the sky comes to everywhere somewhen.

BloomB

But maybe I said yes and then no one came to that darkened hall where we sat like two dolls with no hands to manipulate ourselves maybe just a voice between us and maybe they thawed our brains too quickly and no I said no when they painted his eyes shut and maybe this fat cock of a chisel can free us yes by blinding one eye to rub out the other and maybe lightning will fly sideways through us and no one will say yes I can tell that dust from that no but maybe we will be one in the gutters when they flush us away maybe

Sit sat, set down

Sat stumped, wind down my legs. Birds coded hallucinations in intricate song, one tweeting sideways while another ate bugs to scales unknown to earth ears. What, sweat like black blood wipes clear? I thought I’d cut my pineal gland out with a sharpened deer antler earlier to help me sleep, but I must have missed and lobotomized myself. No matter. The stump knows gravity, I know the stump. This is why I come here to these wet woods. Beauty wrapped in death linens, mind gone with the morning rain. When they find me, my hands will have rotted off from exposed prayers to the dark unknown green beyond the edge of my failing vision.

My only hope is that a family of birds make love in my chest to keep my heart company.