why would a man come to my house and ask to borrow my child?
—–they have machines in them which are designed to erase the mind – – – –— – –– —–she never had a mind to erase – – – –— – –– —she’s not interested in anything —— – – — –– —she liked the color blue ——— –– – – ——everything on her body is blue – – – –– —– —which can’t go (her body) – –– –– —— – – —she’ll lie down in the tub and put the stopper in. she lets the water flow up by her ankles ——- –– – – – —she’s so submissive and stubborn she just looks at you – –– —— — – – —–those few opinions —– — –– – – —and about pain —– — –– — – – –she wants to spend her life doing nothing –– —— —- – – —the thing i still love doing with my time – – – –– ——- —–being —— – – –– –reading novels — –– — – – —— —i read only the coldest most impersonal novels – – ——– –– —the novels which coolly say this happened then that happened then that happened —– —- –– – –
Found a chunk of text in an old journal. Made some elisions and came up with a spooky bit of family poetry. Had a really hard time formatting the poem on wordpress, particularly the full justification combined with having the correct line breaks. If anyone has suggestions I’d love to hear them.
mostly unhappy characters
straighten out the keyboard
straighten out the laptop
straighten out the soft gradient, lounging across the wall
the light which pierces all raw material
like a snail’s
note: new movie annihilation drags up the fifth and final installment of george bernard shaw’s metabiological pentateuch back to methuselah. shaw posits a final evolutionary step for humans in the distant future, wherein the passage from fetus through adolescence to adulthood takes only a few hours: after a single afternoon’s brief, sweet social flings we pass, singly, into the wilderness, where we obsess with our own minds, mutating strange new physical forms to reflect our evolving mental states
john carpenter’s the thing proposes an alien life form on the level of a collective intelligence of networked individual cells, which take over and annihilate individuals of other species, in this act gaining the ability to replicate their form. so your dog might be not your dog but a thing and the thing is waiting to pass on its annihilating virus so that it can, in killing you, learn your form, and take it over
and in octavia butler’s adulthood rites she imagines an advanced lifeform which can explore and rewrite its own dna migrating from planet to planet, merging with and learning from the genetics of other species, and, like a soul gaining knowledge in each successive incarnation, advances toward its own idea of perfection with each new merging
this dream of mutational self-determinism, of literal metaphysicality, is also a nightmare . . . our ultimate existential vulnerability, we’ve learned, might be in our foundation, our weaving, our threads . . . the casting-off of the hangdog corpus to better reflect our mental, perhaps our digital, potential, increases liquidity but offers obverse nightmares . . .
production and reduction
the bits of me which are me
are combined with the bits which are not
earnest ear, sincere fear
with ersatz youth and shadow simulacrum,
the bits that are and the bits that are not. there are:
some of me;
not of me;
we move into our sweet meat locker. turn out the lights.
i am at darkness.
what happens, when one:
opens one’s eyes to a tree one hasn’t seen, in a forest one hasn’t entered?
loses a body part?
is invested with a generative machine which pumps out new parts to displace the old?
is pumping out new organs and limbs at an astonishing pace?
i pump them out, i pump them out, and i attract one or another with them.
some come to me, some run from me, some i run towards.
i am always producing new organs and limbs, now,
and am an alarming shape. a condition, to be sure,
but no doctor can treat it, no doctor wants to. alarming?
maybe, but not to them:
this is the truth, they say,
sitting on the edge of my bed, tired and smirking, making cat’s cradle and mr. spider, this is What We Are.
they gaze philosophically into a corner,
as these pop out my navel: kabobs, ground beef.
it could be worse. you could be running out.
brick paths we cross you
by soothing soil roiling as
philly lumbers oceanward.
i look into a void and
say: god damn you! i sneeze
into a void. nothing comes
back. everything comes back. i
sneeze into my face.