“CHAOS KNIGHT BOTSURAKU GAIDEN” by M.L. CHEZAKKU

Chaos Knight lost balance in a backward contortion to red ovals, slipping onto the electrified floor of the Twister room fretted with brutalist ridges and crowned by observation balconies where sat mandarins in white face paint looking on glumly as bone spasm knives threw him into boomerang posture, as if his abdomen were trying to escape, and the lightly singing blue fabric of his sweat-lacquered elastane bodysuit sucked into the shape of his open mouth gasping for air. He relaxed. There was a malfunction, excess punishment. Tampering? Maybe. He had many enemies. Med coats wheeled in the gurney and hauled him off through successive UFO ceiling lights, rumbling of tile in duet with the squeak of an ungreased wheel scoring the dawning horror that he could not feel anything below his clavicle. Beyond touched-up photographs of his pearly whites and profile, a rag from which little capital could be wrung, the PR team assured him he was useless, done for, washed up. Something like weeping came over him and he booed loudly, not knowing what noise was acceptable. He was deferred to therapy, physical and interrogative, then to his wife and children, but they left him, and having no other recourse he gave himself up to government testing. Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN

Out of Sink

 

soldiers in tandem
stone statues in parks
mushroom visions from the company
test tube
and we needed a new sink
but the guy at the Rona said
it would be weeks before they had
any sinks, that he had placed the order
but things took time
and then he started talking to us
about faucets,
showed us many long gold ones
that looked like a woman’s shoe,
but we didn’t need faucets
we did not even require nice weather
as we drove back home in the rain,
an empty school bus tailgating us
the whole way. Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by COWBOY ROLAND

on an older tv you can feel static if your face is close enough

 

i watch Scrubs and think “doctors are incredible”
doctors keep our hearts beating, doctors are stressed out

i watch Scrubs to learn tv doctors think life is inherently meaningless
i eat food i don’t like and think life is inherently meaningless

doctors exist because people don’t really want to die yet
i exist because i don’t really want to die yet either

let me try again
let me express something close to you
so you hear, i think
i deleted this line because of fear
a tv doctor’s actions have no real consequence Continue reading

“AVARIZIA” by SPIGOT

Bright lines of shining white packaging fire their logos at you in the new cornucopia.

Your clothes are crumpled and you feel them on your skin rustling like brillo pads. It’s uncomfortable to wear clothes, and being in the light makes you feel aware of your face which you picture at once in your mind’s eye: It looks tired. People are cavernous insects with stains hanging over them; they stain the shining white hallways of package elysium and remind you of your own face. You feel uncomfortable and your cock shrivels. They all look at you without eyes, the moment you stop looking.

The shopping lights shine through a colonnade of water bottles, producing a series of predictably differentiated repetitions of globular light on the upper end. You wish you could drink the image itself, and you visualize it passing through you without taste; the essence of plastic.

You can’t feel yourself moving through the aisles – goods parade past, bright carnival colours exploding in mind’s eye and uninterrupted by desolate interlopers. Nothing gets between you and the goods, fascinating you, talking to you, all the efforts of dozens of marketing minds distilled into a package bright shining with perfect proportions and flickering character. You see the work that went into each one and give each one a prayer of attention, a moment’s silent benediction. You’ve never once handled a trolley – you come here to watch, packages sending silent cacophony across the aisles. You look at the labels, imagine them meaningless: hieroglyphs of desire. You have never apologized. Continue reading

“RED-SHIFT” by RYAN SILVA

Down It went — direct, sans demur — descending as if determined by doubtless deities. On the palace’s poolside patio, a picked selection of patrons puckering lips on Perrier spritzers perused the parabola of the projectile dematerialize into the pink horizon point.  Murmurs manifested throughout the mansion as the missile disappeared from view. The reaction of the soiree’s host, M. de Kuhn, was a simple stretch of his supremely ambivalent expression into a subtle smirk.

I had the opportunity to watch the whole affair from the patio’s private mezzanine. The gasps, the booster’s disappearance into the desert scrub, and the angular, severe face belonging to the angular, severe body of M. Martin de Kuhn, whose eyes were squarely laid upon me in his dashing dinner suit.

“Did you want to visit Cyrene tomorrow?” He asked, lifting an eyebrow.

I reeled at the suggestion rather reflexively, but I did my best to remember the advice of my editor, Tony Bactria of Wire — “go anywhere he wants to go, agree to anything he wants you to agree to.”

Wire is Silicon Valley’s premiere tech magazine. Prior to this, I was a one-time contributor. Now I’ve got the fancy title of “Guest Editor”. A month ago, I had written an article of sorts on my own personal blog called “40 Years of Vaporwave 2009-2049” that one of Bactria’s associate editors, Mara Wesley, enjoyed and syndicated on their entertainment sub-vertical, ArtWire. The site traffic app recorded 3516 hits. ArtWire averages 750,000 hits a day. It appeared on Election Day, when no one on the country is reading musical sub-genre retrospectives. I had been jobless that month. Continue reading

TWO POEMS by ZAN DE PARRY

 

Container Day

 

I have a box big enough to make love in.
It touches the ceiling.
It was slapping in the wind in the yard of the neighbor,
The Duchess of Delights.
What is it about this box, about big boxes?
I get in and see. She knocks softly on the door—

I thought they’d mention the lump on your neck at the haircut.
I thought it a much less robust consequence of diet.

She takes me to Lollies—
for being so tired,
for dealing with so much.

I walk into the bathroom.
In the mirror a friend’s face painted like a yellow cat. This is how I does it:
a room for the hole I puts my head in and the hole my head comes out of. Continue reading

“LANDFILL” by *_*__ *___*__ *_

The unnamed village lay in a wide shining circle of sheet metal shacks and engineless trucks all blackened by fingertips prodding for balance and coppery blistered with rust bark-like and eating. Beneath floor and feet is spread a bleached desert of gritty pallor and collapsed white stone and concrete; all is colorless save for the glass and mirror shards that hold gilded day-shimmer and the pollen-colored dust laying as a veil on all unmoving things and the flaking sheets of blood that cut their color into dry wind like would sere crumbled roses. White-dusted faces peer from smeared windows. Packs of feral adolescents throw sediment at unflinching gulls. Skeletons with faces of black gorges glare. The dead lay as bones picked smooth as river stones and crushed under child feet. All other movement is windblown.

In the scant distance, the eleven loose-packed mounds tower over all things. They are built up daily by the stout planes that fly low; planes that, with a cacophonous hydraulic release like some great mechanical sucking, unlock their bellies and rain down great wet shining clumps of trash collected from that somber hungry city to the west. The planes go small then gone, doors dangling, salting spare salt-hued land in sparsest color.

The low sun turns the mounds to blushing copper and flushed out by cooling dimness the people emerge from bare shelter. In the soundless slow-motion of hungry aching strain, the gaunt and bearded fling together little mountains of tires and bags and soft paper in the image of the great giving larger ones and they are all set aflame. Then when the fire is high and eating and its mephitic black haze clouds the deep blue dusky sky and befogs the moon and the day’s last planes drop their final tumbling loads the men start their climb. Continue reading

FROM ANALECTS: ABYSS SEQUENCE by R

Actus Impurus

The Abyss was a map of its digressions from its essence, an infinitely broken chain of its being, a labyrinthine passage from its right path, a misshapen and impossible sphere that contained itself within its all-embracing circumference, alongside a dim image of its centre in the distance.

 

Cosmological Argument for the Existence of the Abyss

The Abyss, a thing of seemingly absolute complexity and infinite contradiction, was that of which nothing more confusing could be imagined, and from which our slightly less confusing and contradictory existence must thus have descended.

 

Contraphatic

Analogies of the Abyss are true only in their imperfection in illustrating the Abyss, for only that which is false to coherence is true to Abyss, and thus it is only by misleading and deceiving that this sentence can be true to the Abyss.

 

Tunc motu vitae suae intellectivae in se descriptum reperit quod quaerit

The Abyss, which was absolute imprecision itself (or at least so in language, in which it was almost always described imprecisely), baptised the mind in immeasurability itself when the mind delved into measuring Abyssal things, and then emerged from itself somewhere in the imprecise distance.

 

Abyssinia

A peculiar feature of Abyssinia is its tendency to make minds marginal in their imagination of its landscapes: to make the mind an incongruous caravan in its visualizations of Abyssinia. Continue reading