“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

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

“A MATTER OF TASTE” by MATT LEE

Through the bulletproof glass, I gave the man my order: two-piece fried chicken with a biscuit, the cheapest item on the menu.

I pushed a few wrinkled dollars into the tiny slit at the bottom of the window and the cashier took it without saying a word.  He rang the order into a beaten register then disappeared to the back.

Stepping aside, I leaned against the wall, which was sticky with grease.  I scanned the adjacent wall, studying the various framed photographs and certificates, old write-ups from long defunct magazines, advertisements promoting the latest and greatest chicken-based consumables.  I had not eaten all day.

One photo in particular caught my attention:  A famous rapper wearing the same emblazoned uniform as the man who had just taken my order.

It seemed the famous rapper had grown up in the surrounding projects, grim and ancient hi-rise block apartments, row after row of cheap brown buildings where the dealers sheltered from the hawkish gaze of the mobile police watchtowers that were posted on every street corner. Continue reading

“TROPISMES” by MIKE KLEINE

The anthropologist appeared in late July, when the sky was still a cornflower blue & the earth rumblings had stopped. He ate escargots & spoke of published books & of academic lyfe & provided instruction on how to become a better person.

The anthropologist also did this thing with his h&s.

He drank whiskey & smoked Djarum Blacks & said things like, “White Cube is something new & wondrous that will never happen again.” The anthropologist would pause & then continue, “Because we are in an important moment in time right now, where limitations & regulations cannot affect the kind of world-changing work we are doing, literally, the sky is the limit.”

After that, the earth rumblings would come back for a little bit, but with less frequency. At night, the anthropologist would recite poetry & sleep by the pond & play guitar & spend the better part of his days photographing plant lyfe & investigating rock formations near & around the White Cube construxion site.

But not once did the anthropologist take a picture of White Cube or anything around White Cube. Continue reading

“ASCENDENCY” by __________

‘I think ill go w/ the boneless’

Brendan let out his characteristic half-ironically forced mirthful/spoiled child smile. ben was livid. Buffalo wild wings offers its wings in two forms: boneless and ‘normal’(?), the ‘boneless wings’ being basically nuggs. Ben thought the normal wings were clearly the correct choice, chicken is pretty gross in general, what with being selectively bred to be unable to walk/experience lifelong inflammatory rotator cuff agony via outsized pectoral hypertrophy, processed in rural Mississippi by a 5’1 honduran man of deep mayan peasant extraction, a mammalian maize weevil with repetitive stress injuries, but nuggs are so obviously un-’food’ like, almost deliberately nostalgic in their artificiality, their very ‘extrudedness’ harkening back to a golden age of junkfood when ‘better living through plastics’ wasnt yet a cliched dystop-ism. Ben thought about saying something like that to his friend but instead he decided to call him a fucking faggot.

Brendan’s aforementioned smile morphed into an exaggerated grimace, losing none of its strained smugness. The fine lines on his forehead became more obvious. Brendan was severely balding – nw3 with definite crown thinning. A few grey hairs sprouted conspicuously from his unkempt ‘side burns’ (if you could call them that). Nasiolabal folds were becoming noticeable in even flattering lighting, and his undereyes were baggy and weathered. Norwoodcel, facecel, telomereshorteningcel – he was 23 years old. The rest of his friends laughed. A few of them also called brendan a faggot. Another couple defended the boneless wings. Continue reading

“SIDEWALK PENTAGRAMS” by JAMES NULICK

We only leave the house late at night and wear hoodies when we do go out so none of our neighbors will notice as our numbers diminish.* The house I live in is small and dark, a four bedroom ranch, desert cookie cutter, windows aluminum foiled against the heat. A small yard with a few anonymous plants and two saguaros watered by a drip system I never see, and dying twin palms on either side of the cracked, oil stained driveway. All the windows are dark except the slivered window near the door, illuminated by a small orange light glowing through the curtains. I’m on my Free Agent Chronik, a smooth three hundred dollar ride in matte black. I follow behind Mouse, Peanut and Baby J as we push ourselves through the dark abandoned streets. The asphalt is singing under my tires, a constant low hum that reminds me of an air conditioner. Mouse pivots his butt and kicks his rear tire out and to the right, splashing gutter water on a car sitting in someone’s drive. He’s in front so he’s directing traffic. The houses on the block are all dark, save for a few frightened porch lights. I hover above the seat and work my legs, two pistons whirring above the crank as we roll toward the unknown. We cross the street, cut through a break in the median, headed for a convenience store on 23rd Avenue, on asphalt, crossing sidewalks, passing under streetlights, gliding along the smooth concrete slab, propping our bikes against the glass wall of the store, our wheels silent as Mouse opens the door on a startled clerk. Continue reading

“ARBUCKLE DREEN” by ETHAN GATHY

“But whatever might be my opinion of friendship, to mention only the pleasure that it procured me, of a quality so mediocre as to be something half-way between physical exhaustion and mental boredom, there is no brew so deadly that it cannot at certain moments become precious and invigorating by giving us just the stimulus that was necessary, the warmth that we cannot generate ourselves.”

— Marcel Proust, A la recherché du temps perdu

 

 

 

─ Thank you for cuhling Whurlld Spice this is Anu Singh speaking how may I hulp you?

─ Rrrm yes, do you take fiery curry shits when you shit?

─ Axcuse me, sir, I am naht sure what you are meaning?

─ I mean don’t it burn your asshole and all?

─ Ai do nuht  dhink you are being kind, sir. Why do you cuhll?

─ Because I’m milking a goat and all that’s come out–

─ No! I duhnt want to know.

─ And all that’s coming out is boiled eggs and thread spools and I just wanted your help.

─ Dhat is nuht possible; do nuht try to pull on my leg. I am hanging up dhe phone. Good. Day.

*click*

─ Okay you have a good one now, ya hear?

Jessie put the phone down and let out a cackle that had more consonants than vowels and more dissonance than assonance. He looked at his two accomplices with a toddler’s grin, his mangy jowls upturned and his teeth gleaming like electricity. Continue reading

“WASHINGTON SPRING” by @MCRUMPS

On a cold rainy spring Saturday evening the defense secretary rode in a convoy of black SUVs from the pentagon to Georgetown. His wrinkled face looked out the tinted raindripping windows to the bright green blossoming trees in Arlington cemetery, the soil fertile with the nutrients from the collective rot of thousands of heroes. The sun was setting over the skyscrapers of Rosslyn. The rays of sunlight gave the words “Raytheon” and “BAE Systems” a heavenly glow of anticipation from the tops of the glass towers. A rainbow had been visible earlier.

Blaring sirens from the front of the convoy parted traffic for the important passenger as they crossed the Key Bridge. Tourists in shorts and raincoats gawked at the convoy from the sidewalk, wondering what important dignitaries were inside the mysterious, serious SUVs. Perhaps some of them even guessed correctly. The convoy soon turned off M Street and drove up the darker and narrower streets of Georgetown, brightly shady under the nubile leaves of spring in the fading light. They drove up to an inconspicuous townhouse building in the Federal style architecture of the neighborhood, partially hidden by a large garden stinking fresh in the cool rain.  Continue reading

“EYES BRIGHT DEAD” by ANDREW NOVAK

The small brown dog drags itself across the dirt floor, sniffing upward at the wet basement air.

“Here, Scobie,” Lee says, bending down to pour water from a plastic pitcher into a ceramic cereal bowl. “Here you go.”

The dog inches forward on his belly. He sniffs at the water, laps it up with his tongue.

Lee pats the top of the dog’s head.

“Good. Good boy.”

The room grows slightly darker. Lee turns to the small window on the uppermost part of the opposite wall. Two small faces peer in. Boys. Neighbors. Continue reading

“THE RETARD” by W.T.

Hello,

Instead of composing a short personal essay on my qualifications in attending your technical school, I will reproduce a narrative involving troubles of my health and complications relating thereof with the United States Government.

I suffer from a congenital illness. My mother hands me my medication from the hall. I reside in the water closet, which is also a storeroom, on a hammock just below the transom. The moonlight reveals suspended dust particles above me, and their spiral motion hypnotizes me to sleep. As I said, I suffer from a congenital illness. My body attacks itself in times of stress, and my blood is wont to thicken, the lipids stick and amplify viscosity. That is to say, I am slow. My mother knew I had this illness from a young age, it was simply my illness, we all have some kind of illness, she would often say, I took this for granted. As I made my way through the educational system, I was often forced to produce identification, to fill out documents, to designate my illness. At first, and for some time, I used my proper name, and I was often asked, was this perhaps the doctor or scientist who discovered this illness? And I would say no, that is my name, it is my illness. Continue reading