Yawning Abyss

They sat in the middle of the field, leaned against a fallen tree, vapor rising from their somnambulators.

Their eyes were gone under their shades. They had traded them to the grinning birds as a bribe, not knowing that their beaks were formed that way when the hurricane ripped them from the wind.

The grins never stopped, but they could no longer tell. They walked now in circles, widdershins, and pointed their snoring noses upright. They would see now with dream rods and nightmare cones. The sky and the ground equated.

The field crawled with life, but their boots kept it from them. Their ears were stuffed with cattails. They did not want to awaken. They did not want to sense the grins still on the beaks of the birds that took their vision.

They would walk in circles until they dug graves with their steps. Softly, they would lie down and let the sun suck the blood from their backs. Berries would grow in their corpse dirt and the birds would eat these as well, unsated.

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.”

Lunar Obsolescence

Her voice echoed down the barrel of the shotgun and got thrown to the treetops when she fired it, hollering. The sky staggered, nearly dropped the moon into the lake outside of town where Lacey kept guard over camping grounds. Nearly dropped it right at her feet. Instead it recovered, kept the moon in orbit, and slid behind the horizon where Lacey’s buckshot couldn’t go.

“Damn.” She spit a baby carrot into a coffee can full of detritus.

Unless.

Unless she bought the shell a ticket on a one way bullet train to Kyoto, one of the Ocean Treaders with the really nice legs sticking out the bottom. They’d kick you off if you whistled at them beauties, but her shell didn’t have any lips (she’d made sure of that.)

Well shit, she couldn’t just sit there and wait for the money for the train ticket to fall in her lake. She’d have to grow her shell a brother, take it to the bank, kill herself a money man and catch his golden blood in a siphon bag.

She’d have to move quickly or that sky would be back with a new moon and none of her growings would work no way.

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.

Call Down a Gutter Snack

Golly I’m hungry! he thought and there it came, rolling down the gutter, oblong like a cow’s heart. A red, moistened apple with a big, green worm sticking right out of it like in the funny papers. An engorged reproduction organ of the tree at the top of the hill, thrown down the street by wind, sun and gravity, full of life sustaining sugar. He stopped to pick it up and that worm just about jumped down his throat. He caught it and held it up away from his face where it wiggled in the cool air. He’d never seen a worm like that, all eyes and teeth. Barely any slime. The apple looked great. Quite a treat for such a rude and impossible worm.

“If you aren’t careful, I’ll bite your head right off, worm!” He grasped the worm between two fingers and was surprised to hear the worms thoughts echo his own.

Return to the Hole

Holy shit, the Internet! Did you see my bony horns poking through your collective lawns yester’eve’morn? The rains came and the dirt fell away and my bones grew flesh, sparked to life by the sun’s radiation. I think. Either that or someone has been rebuilding me methodically and just finally hit me with life-nourishing lightning.

I think my brain might have even slithered its way back into Central Command Skull. No longer a corpse in the garden, I have returned, unpromised and uninvited. I’ve cut my toenails and even found my dancing shoes hanging from a wire. If you can’t dance while you write, then what’s the use, eh?

Worry not, sexy strangers and otherwho’s. I am still here, sliding ever so slowly into the poisoned river, but never letting the fish arms reach me where it counts. Lately, my focus has turned to larger things, longer things, things which I hope to reveal once I can find the damn keys what that witch made invisible when I used her familiar as a condiment dispenser.

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.

Words, Once Slime

Get the words in your brain. Understanding is an illusion of reason. Pull out metaphors with a backhoe, relate this to that to that to this: no matter. No bother. Get the words in your brain. Allow them access to your neural biology. Listen to them grow. For what, why? No reason, no bother.

Get the words in your brain and you might just stop worrying about whether or not you grok the text. It is unimportant. We don’t read the Great Old Weirdos to be treated like soap opera victims. Finnegans Wake is only propaganda for your own nervous flag. Get the words in your head and let them ramble about, setting up temples and tents where they will. Let their children fuck on beaches of brain blood and squish out mutations. No matter. No bother.

Just get the words in your brain and they will take care of the meat ship from here on out.