How can a naked man run past curfew the streets without living?

Category: experimental literacy

little death

i told Corbett that he was old
and his face split
was reamed
by realising the wrinkles that hung off it
to say ’no’
he shook his dreary udders
from which no more wisdom poured
and pronounced ‘i am dry now’
with a surgical flourish

at sixteen i took up despair
and wondered from which nook in my shoulders
i could see my genius flow

i picked a country off a map
‘Nebraska’ was a good, strong name
for a nation with a beard and orange hills
i would save the people there
there was no better start to conquest
for i could see its end already
nations clamouring for the touch of my hands
mother teresa died in my bed
i wept and shuddered and
poked my head under thick covers
as i roamed about the streets
and felt a rhythm of vast aloneness
syncopate my bucking hips
i drooled cyanide into my pillowcase
from resistances dotted past Europe and Russia
i kissed sartre in the frigid french air
joined tongues with Einstein
shared St Helena’s with Napoleon
pushed Hitler off a cliff
his face shining from under my floor ball stick

i have awoken with my hands strapped to my sides
in a white room sprayed with antiseptic
after tearing the skin off my kneecaps
for i could not stand the regular pattern
of little scratched dots there
yesterday Corbett told me
i had never been to France
or Prague
had stabbed a friend with a toothpick
he told me he would not strangle me
and covered me with a grey blanket that fell in puddles
i could not straighten with my bound hands

but someday
when i can
i will write his name in a little red book
and beside it,
“is old”
and he shall fall to the ground in the same agony
that carved insides out of a scalpel-wielding me

Corbett told me that i was mad.


This evening i tilted my skull towards the sky and saw a Michelangelo’s sunset covering the expanse i know as sky – swept off the urbane bus and phlegm-specked windows i suddenly become aware of a deep, throbbing desire to believe in something bigger than myself – to see that there would be a god absolute enough to have patented this beauty or churned it out in a colour factory with an audience of captivated humans with their manmade reason to have witnessed – and then i look down at the blue duffel stuffed between my legs, and the stale, pale, smell of sweat gracing an air hemmed in by many skins – and hear the children asking fantasy questions – “mummy, if you could be anywhere now, where would you be?” – and energetically i laugh myself off like a puerile joke.

atlas weeping

Admit – is freedom supposed to be a chore? Suddenly i am able to understand the plight of atlas – i must answer for everything, have done everything, have been thrust into the world conscious and only too possessed of my own faculties. There are deaths continents away that i want to fold up under, tuck my feet up on a couch, miles above the floor when the blackness spills from distant sky into a discrete night in the bedroom. You, too, must pay for every second wasted as you grieved over the biological convergence that swaddled you into existence, and the bright outrage takes precious illogical seconds you cannot answer for. The world is beating on about you in within its silly incomprehensible law. No human scribe can read reason into the absurdity of our race, to which the angry, foolish, individual is the key – the man who distract himself with jobs, sex, and other people. This tribe has concocted its own reason – sketched crude parodies onto papyrus held beside the sun, turned and stared point-blank into the monstrous rim of eclipses, cried at seeing death, a more distant death like the starvees in Uganda that could not be more pure of bereavement – and yet they are. You are hugging everyone selfishly, egotistically to your chest, may believe that when one world ends all the others go marching on in the same invincible ignorance. But your life is not like the others – the phenomenal world is a dirty and threatening loan-shark, and to add humiliation to despair we cannot describe it in languages it has not already given us – rogues and thieves and highwaymen. Now you are kneeling upon a red carpet with a stake in your arms, and you remember that you have been nothing but an attempt by a species in the quest permanence and beyond that, a dark intelligible void. You place the stake onto the floor and slowly lower your heart into its sweet, weeping embrace.
The function of explanation at y=laziness yields a negative value of x.

at the mill with slaves

I concede – would rather be named 14763 than a silly unpronounceable thing of romanised ‘asiatic language’. And really, i would rather not be named at all. I would like to be raised with fifty million other cherubs in a petri dish, produced by whirring machinery or rows of birthmothers strapped to daises in a clean production line, timed screams, timed labour, babies popping like popcorn to a cosmic manmade rhythm. I should be crammed with organic logic – i would be breathed into life from a first body – the first  achiever of everything, i the machine evaluated every five minutes, battery checks and math. I would like to be stencilled into a character, well-oiled, the flesh concession to a world carved from itself – the brain turned against and into tiny metal canisters, transistors and lawful jetpacks. Bad faith will become the natural state, everything will be told what to do, we will relinquish ourselves and be incapable of fear or dysphoria, we will have no choices to pretend to make, or even lives to live – for this beautiful earth is too sublime to be life. We should pass into objects and out of objects, never having lived and never really dead, stark chance combinations, manufactured atomic algorithms, random, real.
Bravely, I aimed at utopia. And missed.

Now i know you – the dogma has faded from your face and you fall into my lap, a nude flap of flesh colour.

hello, amygdala

Hello, Amygdala. Do you see out of my tiny cut-out windows that strange and foreign man across the table? He is speaking, his lips are glistening and gnashing furiously into the shape of words, and when the occasional violent sound is called for, the tip of a viper tongue spittles out from between the gouged-out insides of the mouth and spits effluent into the air. When he is not shovelling food into his mouth he is excavating these words – all the way from Sakhalin that smoke-puffing incarceration from the other side of alimentary land. Suddenly i realise that he is hollow, and his actions transform – his mouth engorges in aggressive ripples and cradles slowly the contents of his stomach as they are brought out, dilated, under the light. The intestines are a trouble to unfold, but the vapid negroid bones fold obediently under the lap of a bloody, clumpy mass and now the whole system is herculean, pumping machinery – whistling with angry air socketed from one end of Person to the other, and still his hands march smoothly on, impaling himself furiously onto spoons and spoons of risotto, cream sauce whisked into the gale and ejaculated like albino mice just seconds after – the whole thing a sick diorama, clockwork.
Excuse me – I am pregnant with cherubs and wish to vomit them out into the world.

gristle sea

Disgust is clawing a battered way from my backpack of ribs even me as i fix my smooth, rolling gaze at her round, proud face. She glares sunnily back at me, inflated by everything she has ever said or done in her life, and her pimples wink like little metropolises in the sunlight. It is a casual disgust that rises at any hour – even as my eyes float over her kneecaps – that seem to be floating in hard lumps of cold fat, and the vast expanse of her body, bag smug over the right shoulder. There is a hand trickling up the front of my throat and the fingers are gnawing steadily at every deep intestinal duct, milking bile into my eyes as the fibre of my spine rustles in a shared misery. She is splayed like a debauched roman cow, gorged on wine and roast, a huge ham which, upon ingestion, emits matted phlegm-coated betrayal – strange, as though i had mistaken her for another of the little people – the chronic tossers, dependants, that i abandon and have been thoroughly abandoned by.
It is a casual, cruel disgust that rises at any hour and at all things.

the flat affect

A molecule off a tickertape counter must have graced Clemenceau Avenue on the fifth of January, two-thousand and fifteen, for as a bus pulled into a stop, its doddery air-conditioning pipe leaked water clandestinely onto the road, drops running together as the bus slowed to let loose its beeping brood into a stock of villas opposite – and now morphing into a third black stripe gracing the two yellows (parking, forbidden) on the grey tarmac – and now it has left, is picking up speed and streaking away from the poor sweat-sodden businessman with overflowing breath, vacuum gusting air that waves his tie good-bye over his shoulder, while the poor man, vanquished, stares at the growing blanks between the punctiform splashes, vivisected upon his lost road.
I confess – I have been walking out and giving the foul cough to the lambs that fled past on the street.

holy oestrogen moon

Dear year, give me slow death. The minutes are fresh, and smell of the magnified dew of an exponential new day – the time to make new things beside a world that celebrates this break. I know that i am a first man, that i have crawled out of the water and am now glaring at the proud orange sky above. I also know that i am alone – that i turned back and bit my mother to death upon birth, and now walk this world alone, my sight piercing through the sentient patterns of skin-bags plodding past me in times square and central park. Friend, i may speak to you in intelligible words, but how selfish you are – because you demand that i believe you more than the beautiful little doll-like friends that i have dreamt up for myself. They are perfectly manicured, up to their eyebrows and smell so refreshingly of lucky strike, and celebrate poetry in stolen boats off staten island coast, while you are coarsely emotional and too legal. I should believe them more than i do you. And here, abandoned on these new shining sands, i am inflamed by a new exciting wonder of having a new world spread out before me – thinning under my eyes, a landscape glitching and loading, into the forms of pinched trees and blue magma rock. Here is a huge serrated pie crust, and i shall breathe, like an angry baker at the task of furious bread, into this new world new life.
I am in It, and hence cannot read it off as blind optimism – it paints my vision in psychedelic colours too beautiful to question or be surreal.

part two – a recalcitrant disorder

Unfortunately no such thing happened. It was most ridiculous – almost against my will i swerved again, dodging him almost artfully after i crossed his path as he walked to the other side of the pool table. I had gotten, almost, right under his feet, and i am sad to say that he would have dodged me if only i had stayed strong upon my path for a second longer, instead of skipping away under his wolfish, knightly steps like a sheep forced into the dip. My recovery from failure this time was much shorter – it was just five minutes before i tried again, and even after that i ran from under his foot. I should not know if he was noticing me at all, for his face gave no hint of recognition, and for some reason this was worse than vile annoyance, or even anger. I seethed in the corner, a failed man. I could have hopped across the room on one leg, smashing the glass lanterns with my bare hands if i were not so afraid of upsetting somebody. I was left, alone, uNnoticed, submitting myself to the demon and control – not even talked to, not even shouted at. No fists were brandished at me, for no man brandishes fists at a dog. No, only kicks are good enough for dogs, and this branded entirely the superiority of the first man upon my heart. I shook from containing fury absolute, but i shook silently.

I tried again. I tried ten more times, but every time, just as he would either have dodged my lips -already preparing to lodge that gobble of spit at his face- or crashed solidly into my step, i would skid to the side and act his royal escort, letting him pass. And with each walk across the table he took, he was getting more and more florid, drunk to his toes along with his band of pool partners, until finally, on what must have been a break after my fiftieth try, he came crashing solidly into the coat-hanger, which feel upon me, upon which contact i left my meditative spot on the wall, turned, and spat right into his right eye with a great hacking cough. And then the beasts were set upon me.

I should not be surprised if i should somehow been raped in the ensuring struggle, counting even time for removing my layers and bringing a man (hopefully the first) to completion. As i find myself now, bruised and sore everywhere, i can hope safely that that is what happened. For five minutes i was proud of having aroused those five burly men into a full-fledged fistfight. To think that i was not below their notice, that i had made myself into a man, was brave, had erased my cowardice completely – it was a new world. For ten minutes i was immensely proud of dragging myself, from the compost heap where i was dumped, back to my slovenly cold-water apartment – I had felt up my warm and quivering biceps, with which the fat under quivered alongside, and seemed to have shrunk of a sudden. For fifteen minutes i managed to forget the accident that begun the violence – and the man precisely who started it. But the sick pride died after two-thirds of an hour, and now thirty minutes have passed and my gut is stone.

Brothers, you see before you a man betrayed. The world was a trick. There was no carp in my entrails, no demon in the first place. If there was it had solidified firmly by now, no more chalky fear but a solid, grainy tumour – undislodgeable. It calls me to reliving the wild disgrace – imagining man pushing coat-hanger falling down upon me – and that fatal spit. I cannot forgive myself, brothers. I think again of the poor, poor men whom i coaxed into violence, but most of all i think of myself – that strangely my assault seems empty and flightless, that i smoked them for pure pettiness, that i had to make them my voodoos in a quest to be strong. But i realise now – i am terrible in fistfights, and they renew nothing of the spice of life. I am even sicker now of the faint pride i felt at myself, can recollect it like a stranger’s dream, cannot believe i posses the same glands and nails as the heavy-set drunkard who gave like a coward to his demons an an hour ago. And because of this i am so ashamed, and for it was my fault i feel rockets of anger strapped to my feet – i owe nothing to that man whom i insulted and was pulverised by, that he failed as a compassionate brother of the human race, failed me even, was obliged to wipe the spit cleanly off his face and call his drunk companions to heel and, with a gentlemanly bow, apologise for having ignored by attempts to stagger into him, for insulting my faith and my pride. He had dropped instantly from knight to beggar – and now i feel my kidneys getting better, the foul blood of cowardice should have been bled out of them by now, i feel a strong thing stirring in my stomach, with simian faces and feline claws that stroke lines straight up my spine – i am refreshed, i am a new man, there is my coat on the coat-hanger, and there is a handy bottle of drink, and now i will leave this grubby apartment and find my friend the beggar, and his friends, and i shall remove his head, and crash into his fat soul a thousand times before i raise him to the guillotine, and if he should have scrammed – no matter, for there are other pubs, and other men, and i know, somehow, in my heart of hearts, that should i not step out of cowardice and insult my fellow men, i should be imprisoned all my life, ruled unfit to walk the streets, pure doggish fear, flesh.
First part can be read at https://nuchsty.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/part-one-faux-pas/ – please read to understand. This shameful tale ends probably here.