Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A terrific little Book

Letterhead: Vaguely Labial
[Stockton Tunnel, Next Realm]

My one and only Collision/Stolichnaya/Sayonara/Zholtok,

I received your manuscript, Bloodied Fangs Shattered by Mine Iron Fist: A Esse Zholtok joint, and suddenly my hand is covered in sperm, or something concomitant (I cringe to think what), and since then I have put up for sale almost Everything: space maps, pentimento, virgins. On account of these changes, the three of us wrote some poems, which we enclose, and also the business card of a good dentist. You have the most beautiful fonts, and use them to lick my eyes, which I blink furiously, as I have never been very Visual. Publication, naturally, is out of the question. But just in case, how much money do you have? I loved you and only you in that movie. I want you to write your next book without clothes on. What is the longest answer you can think of? I still collect things like Economic Underdevelopment, Exploited Masses, and Extraordinary New Conditions. Don’t have your flows when you come to the Realm next, or I’ll compel you to a second spectacle of my inspirational sestinas.

Your Agent


“Drill Me, The Drain is Full of Hair”
“The Difference Between My Whole Tongue & You”
“Did You Remember to Flush?”

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'll get you, I mean it

We might could (r)amble back up into The Future for a smidge, check in on ol' Collision. Seems the 'bag's been busy, underneath our radar, Going Thru Changes.

Tanned, rustic and uneasy under new firmament, the big fella bestrides the narrow Bay Area streets like an awkward, oft'-unhappy clod. But he's trying, in his limited way--hittin' those bricks, pressing some flesh, and continuing this late attempt to revise himself by swapping the surround. (Early returns suggest he's slumped into a rut anew, a sort of Slough of Despond retailored for the aggressively faithless. Hey, you try keeping your chin up with a belief structure characterized in the main by acceptance of limitation and scepticism re: transcendance.)

Anyways, he's a little down the moment, but yeahsure he'll befine. This is neither the hour for surrender nor an excuse for dilly-dallying!

He blew the core of his savings on a (fairly) shiny El Camino, which he can neither insure nor fuel. Nor, frightfully, can he aver its utility in tracking down that noted blogger.


The TT hunch on their haunches, gazing into a cauldron:

He jerks his head over to each side, sharply, to feel the pops before shoving chin to chest and heaving his shoulders downward. Working his jaw a bit, his lips purse to deposit a large amoeba of chew spit to the side of his boots.

This man stands to the side of a McMansion's door, an hour before dawn. It's chilly--there's dew everywhere--but he stands still, now, in a hooded sweatshirt over a woolen flannel, both with sleeves cut off. (Under those, where we can't see, is an old Iron Maiden shirt, arm-holes deeply cut.) His loins are girded with black fatigues, rolled above scarred jump boots. Part grunt, part sigh as he thrusts his hands into the hoody's marsupial pocket, pats...something, and squares himself before the door.

Splinters heave and groan as he strains each muscle and thew to make it through on the third kick.

Three kicks through a rich bitch's oak door makes a lot of noise, which is why a house apparently asleep a moment ago now disgorges three Irish Wolfhounds and two quick-stepping dudes in black suits. All five of them have studded collars of a strangely pale leather. The bipeds cradle, as they rush, sleek, stylish submachine guns, nicely complementing their sunglasses. The dogs brandish massive teeth and their sturdy frames, seemingly hewn from from something equally horse and bear.

Zholtok guesses wrong and goes first for the dogs, slide-stepping diagonally forward, dropping low and meeting the lead dog shoulder-to-shoulder. Anybody's guess whether the big man's plans might've worked, because the suits choose this moment to open fire, killing the two massive hounds nearest Zholtok. The suits are pretty good--short, controlled bursts--but they're too close together, as they discover when Zholtok takes them both down by hefting the nearest dog-corpse before him and rushing them both.

Right boot stomps hard on one man's throat as his left hand snatches a clip knife from his back pocket, then opens the blade; Zholtok sinks to a knee and shoves the blade into the second suit's eye, all in two or three barely-broken motions, and totally without looking.

Grates "Nice shoes, faggots." (Which isn't fair--they're vintage Air Force Ones, in excellent condition. Also the men's sexual habits really aren't relevant.) He hurtles up the stairs, the knife dripping viscously in his paw.

"What the fuck is this about?"

"Esse Zholtol, vampire hunter. Moderately popular series after the turn of the century. Pulp novels with strangely philosophical underpinnings...according to the back of the book, anyway."

"Hunh. Looks like Collision learns how to plot, and how to finish off a project!"

His deadly cargo joggles in its pouch, and doom surges toward the non-woman waiting regally upstairs.

"Well, most of the plots are pretty basic, and pretty recognizable, if you know Collision's tastes in fiction. He pretends that recycling that stuff is like 'sampling' and gave all these interviews about plagiarism as literary technique and all that shit, but I like genre fiction, and it's hard to see the guy as anything other than cynical, campy, patronizing, and full of shit."

"Strong words!"

"I'm a strong woman. I'll say this--his premise is pretty good. World's pretty recognizable, but there's a breed of vampires. This guy, Arturs Sandis "S.A." Zholtok doesn't know about any of this until one night he gets too drunk and under a BART bridge, he's attacked. Now, vampires are tough critters--generally, an average 'sucker should be able to overpower between five and ten humans. So it's odd that S.A. fends one off, no worse for wear despite having been taken in his cups.

The world reels around him, and he finds himself in a cave, near a pool of bubbling...something. Something that glows (greenish and eldritch, duh) and hums (lowly, like the rapid beating of a house-sized heart). Still he's got a weakly-twitching vamp by the neck. Gravity and the laws of visual perspective are both hella odd in that cavern.

The pool starts talking. It explains that its task, since the 'lutionary appearance of humankind, has been to usher souls from failed bodies into some sort of Next Realm, about which vanishingly little is said, but it's presented as a good thing, all in all. Pool goes on: vampires, with the thing where they feed on bloodsouls, prevent souls from attaining this transit. Over time, this has gotten to be a Big Deal, as the flow has slowed, and the pool is starving."

"This sounds vaguely familiar."

"Yeah, guy's a hack. So the pool tells SA that he can get powered-up and Go Forth to Kill Vampires, freeing their stolen bloodsoul-food to attain that Next Realm. Zholtok digs the program, learns the necessary ritual, and is On His Way.

The kinda cool part is the contrast between Zholtok and the vamps. Vamps tend to be stereotypical rich Euro-trash types--"

"Elites as parasites?"

"Totes. An' ol' SA, he's this huge shitkicker white-trash loser prick. Who essentially preys on vamps in the proportion in which they prey on humans."

"So he's a match for five or ten of them?"

"Yup. So the vamps are cheesed off, cuz not only is this guy kicking the shit out of them, but he's just tacky."

"Sounds awful."

"Well, the guy watched a lot of tv."

never get off the boat

While talking about small numbers of hard men on large boats, it is important not to be taken as talking about that wide world; I do not establish some correspondence, I reject Plato's manuvers--the making large of the small, the whole putting-things-in-caves bit. I don't want any thinking about 'oh, things happen on this boat like they do in the world'. No. Things in the world. Happen. Like they do on the boat.

People like to have sex. If you bring together a bunch of people together, in the absence of people they'd perhaps rather ordinarily be sexing up, sex is still going to be happening. But not on the Carpet-Bag! And not because of any authorial squeamishness, either...believe me, I got pig-friggin' reams of slash about Sayonara and Trelawney, and I'm looking for a likely-enough slot in the structure to feature same; it's just that aboard ship, the circumspect and shy aspects of their personalities wax. About the closest they come is a Wide berth around the bathrooms and the sack time, in order to offer masturbation with both maximum discretion and plausible deniability. On both sides.


You get, right, that there's no running water aboard the Spouter-Inn? Such bathing as happens involves the clean ashes of a dung fire, but in the main it's just two unyoung men well-adapted to the grime regime and its requirements. Contributes to a not-unpleasing bandity sort of a look, and an absolute rebuke to those childhood photos featuring sweater-vests.


Problem with history, or anyways "history", is how most folks still buy this notion progress. Most history is sort of a cod history, a bluffer's guide, and like all ideologies, history's just a handle bolted onto the world so's life can be made intelligible enough to bear. There's this paradox--you look at each individual things as it passes through time, and sure looks like that thing gets worse. 9 things outta 10, 'nyway.

So how overall are people thinking things (in gen'ral, as a (w)hole) is getting better?

The particular thing at hand what degraded over time is this tune Collision's humming (pretty well) as he assembles for his agent the manuscript for Bloodied Fangs Shattered by Mine Iron Fist: A Esse Zholtok joint. The tune used to be a delightful shanty once sung by Billy Trelawney--now the only words Collision "knows" are the chorus, which he renders as:
"I like my testicles
hey hey hey
I like my testicles" (& so on...)


An Original POEM
by that noted blogger...

To my pupil, Otis,

I take leave of my life.
My footsteps carry me
like clouds upon wind,
drifting in the pale light of the dawning day...
I go in search of adventure.

A poet who don't know it.


Four (4) books published under pseudonyms, determined to have been written by members of the Thorn Triad by that noted blogger:
Be the Girl All Guys Want
Understanding Men
Pick up Hot Women Nightly



The escape artist is anti-christian; maybe supra-xian. Xns posit enduring this world and recieving (maybe) a greater reward in a different world, later. Transcendance with time. Escape artists posit transcending right now--poof! No more chains! Here I am--here. It's me. (Not a soul, not an angel.) And I'm existing my ass off in this world of yours with its locks and its chains, but totally on my own mother-jumping terms.

You want to understand the trick?


Chains and locks can be escaped. That's the trick.

(The real trick is from their side: the claim that the locks, fences, clubs, chains and whatever are what has the power in this world.)


Dressing For Adventure:
Now, then, always &c

Men of a certain cast form relationships of various kinds with mere objects, you'd be surprised. Chris Collision spends a great deal of pleasant time wearing Ben Davis work pants--despite disliking their look*--in large measure because:
With zero effort You Can put the following things in the pockets without really bulging or sagging or looking like a jack-ass:

Front Left:

Cellular Telephone

Steel Ring for Pantleg (to keep unsnagg'd from Bike Chain)

Front Right:


.mp3 Player; earbud headphones

Marks-A-Lot marker

Benchmade knife

Back Left:


Can of Chewing Tobacco

Keys (multifarious)

Back Right:


And scattered around, according to whim, maybe a bike's front light, a pair of riding gloves, some cash, etc.

Nor is it uncommon for Collision to mount carrying pouches upon his leather belt, with a multitool, maybe a flashlight. And naturally he'd disdain leaving the house without his large bike bag--known to the ancient Enthusiasts of the Inscrutable as a Bag of Tricks.

Beat Sayonara girds his loins with a similar amount, though modulo the better part of a century's difference in the nature of the tools. No multitool nor clip knife for Charles, but a fixed-blade knife at his belt and a buck-knife in his pocket. Ansible key. The proverbial ass pocket of whiskey, married with a flask of straight gin. Couple stubs of pencil, sheafs of paper.

It would occur to neither man to carry any condom.

Don't infer that the obvious organizational challenge in/of change has much to do with why these men tend to strap on their trousers and keep them on, baby. Their own home oppositional subcultures positively value dirtiness, and a certain degree of simplicity: while both men retain vast quantities of information frozen into various media, otherwise their respective belongings'd fit comfortably in a hatchback.

*The cut is okay, baggy but stiff enough to avoid shapelessness; the fabric pills horribly after each laundering, unlike the similar Dickies brand, but the big problem is the line of the front pockets, which sports a curve Collision finds simultaneously fruity and vaguely labial.

**Another of Collision's staunchest brand loyalties. Stronger even than Adidas or Sega. Like unto Nintendo or Coca-Cola (Diet).

***Stolichnaya favors leather(n) pants, so pockets aren't really his thing. His Adventure Gear leans toward cunning little boxes stashed in the folds of his poety, piratic(al) shirts and bulky leather(n) belts with integrated pockets. The boxes thing he picked up in Japan, reining in ronin, freelancing for sundry constabularies; the belt thing is why he's known in certain circles as the Father of the Fanny Pack.

He also has little pockets in his hat and in some of his gaily-patterned scarves. Scarfs? Scarves.


between Charles Stolichnaya and Rose [sic] Selavy

"Yrs is a bachelor's position."

"Come again?"

"You have any kids?"


"See? Invest in the future, only then roll back unto me with your valentines to risk & uncertainty. You claim to fight the o'erweeningly powerful? You yrselves have a lot of power...which you (would) oppose to ours, which seeks only to protect everybody. Including the absolutely powerless, those you neither know nor care about. Those you'd abandon to their own."

"Protect? Or control?"

"One needs must control those who know not what they do."

"Prett' much ever'body, by yr lahts..."

(Stolichnaya has a sharpish drawl--a tall corn twang, vowels curving and cutting like a scimitar--on occasion. Tired, or dead drunk, sometimes for effect.)

"I would take away yr car keys. I would lock you in the rumpus room to keep you from driving drunk. I will repress the irresponsible for the favor of the vulnerable..."


Stolichnaya uses an ancient incantation, taught him by O-Brien some years back--
"what makes a bullet fly in a straight line?
why are people so unkind?"

His mind thus opened to the living information of the universe, he's immedately buffeted by a couple inconsequential recent facts:
Isn't it a little early for the pipe?
Did you learn your lesson?

But he's on his way to What He Wants to Know.


Back in the Day, Charles Stolichnaya came up as a jack-ass. He never did get down with the safety--his allegiance lay with the ordinary until well after his death. (Bike riders are always on the bleeding edge of Dressing for Adventure.) His enthusiasm for the velocipede drew him, with a kind of lugubrious inexorability, into the Enthusiasts of the Inscrutable and their Big Doings. Never mind exactly how, cowboy.

Probably Collision won't get to traipse a similar path. Poor fucker.


A Scene: Collision attempts to Help Billy Trelawney Fix their Gainly Airship.

"Geet the fuuck away from my lug-nuts with those pliers, Sayonara."


[from an interview with Chris Collision in 2022, months before he shot himself]

"Here's the deal, sparklehorse--vampires are real. And these books are barely ficdtion. I gussy 'em up a little, foreground the pussy and the punching, but Esse is me, the vampires are that noted blogger."


"Nevermind. Lemme explain a different way. I carried this around in my wallet for 13 years."

SF Chronicle, 3jun2008, B2.

"One case that intrigued authorities involved a prostitution ring that specialized in underage girls and allegedly catered to influential civic leaders.

Garnier was one of the officers assigned to do surveillance of the brothel on the edge of the Mission District."

(Garnier was shot, off-duty, but an AMT .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol, once in the temple, once in the right side.)

"These underagers? Permanently underage, if you get my drift. They preyed on those 'civic leaders' to secure their own power and wealth. Garnier shot two of the vamps the night of the famous raid, and was killed for it by an Internal Affairs officer, herself a vampire. And everybody knows it!"

"How come you're not targeted for exposing this?"

"Who says I haven't been? Like I said, tho', Esse's me...and we're a couple robust hombres."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

for Mister Miracle

"Why are you trying to watch Houdini performances?"

One nice thing about having a living Mister of Mastery like Flynn O-Brien around--you'll have a hyper-hacked ansible around, allowing you to cast your receptions thru time and space alike. Hard work, controlling and focussing, but then controlling and focussing one's attention is always pretty tough. Billy Trelawney has interrupted the singing of a shanty# to ask Charles Stolichnaya a question.

"Cuz I don't get it."

"Stage magics?"

"Naw, that makes sense, that hunger to see the world behind the world,* a struggle towards the transcendent 'n' 'nexplicable. What I don't get is this escape artist nonsense."$

"What's not to get?"

"...the appeal?"

"Don't most follks feel...chained, restrained, trapped? Are not most people truly confined in this history they inhabit and inherit but surely never chose? These little men and women--chickens and pigeons--herded about with fence and club, constrained to think the way a savagely few demand they think...dozens of iron prisons gerrymandered and always already refortified..."

"So they're tacitly responding to the metaphor, hn?"

"Yah. Explains the appeal of this stuff to (only) the masses. Rich folk neither need nor want their worlds mystified/enriched...they know how things work, they see their place clearly, and they're fine with it. And they don't like the escape metaphor either, for obvious reasons."

"Prolly, yeah, they'd prefer to continue to weigh like a nightmare on the bodies and brains of the living."

"Prolly. Not to change the subject, Beat, but if yer done watching the Tube..."


"Potatoes has intercepted some of the TT's communiques, plucked direct from the--"

"Luminiferous ether. Gotcha."

"Mostly--again--about milk...and moustaches."

"A potent totem, Jew. We best step lively 'til Mars, and e'en there, our backs best not remain unwatched...but then, you do know more'n yr share, eh?"+

Trelawney merely grunts an acknowledgement, attending in the main to his cigar. "What you think? Consult with Potatoes, try an' figger what the sororal order of sinister oddities's up to?"

O-Brien, who dislikes being bothered at home, has already dispatched a...dispatch, sorta a bluffer's guide to TT messages and their characteristic eldritch imagery. It goes like so.

'Milk is pretty xparent: a product made by a body that another body may grow. Physical analog of soul. May actually carry, xmit soul, as electricity may carry a message, or as stone might carry magnetism. Tied for importance with lesser blood and semen; more important than tears, or sweat, or any production of lung. Probably less important than greater blood. Or lensed breath.

Moustaches are the greatest symbol yet discovered for authority. Think on cops, firemen, politicians, performers in the erotic theatre. 'Nuff said.

Possibilites of combination? Fucking...spooky, lads. I mention only a few spacklings of potential.

Think on the nature of an authority rooted in soul-food. What resistance might we muster? Beware any mug sporting such a 'stache. I fear the new whiteness of Fu Manchu's eponymous face-fuzz may reflect his co-optation by the TT. --Leave that fucker to me.

All collocations entail simultaneous combination, as above, and contradiction, so below. Clearly, we must exploit and thrive upon the clash between healthy, nurtured souls and the nature of authority, so anathema thereto. Our keyword of resistance must be:
No Gods; No Masters; No Dairy.

#Shanty goes like so:
I walked the sands of time, and I loved and lost
They give their bodies to two time whores
They gambled every thing they got
A greedy mind cut out the cards

They even loved with another man's wife
They even loved her with other men
They've also drank a lot of wine
Some men have even had a good time

My life is natural, hey, hey, hey
My life is natural, I said, I said, I said
My life is natural, whoa, whoa, whoa
My life is natural
Maybe tomorrow a change in the life
Of the man in the street's gonna come
Maybe tomorrow--hope it's tomorrow

You got the sands of time and got 'em high
They've done their best to wreck their mind
Instead of joke they told a lie
They started wars so men could die now

To try to suss out what is evil
And what is good will take a mind wiser than mine
To start to setting the world to right
Is gonna take another Christ now

My life is natural, hey, hey, hey
My life is natural, I said, I said, I said
My life is natural, whoa, whoa, whoa
My life is natural
Maybe tomorrow a change in the life
Of the man in the streets gonna come
Maybe tomorrow--hope it's tomorrow

My life is natural, hey, hey, hey
My life is natural, I said, I said, I said
My life is natural, whoa, whoa, whoa
My life is natural, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
My life is natural, hey, hey, hey
My life is natural, I said, I said, I said
My life is natural, whoa, whoa, whoa
My life is natural

*Talking cars, train stations to magical ghettoes, streets where cats all fly...

$Also he doesn't get the urge to 'understand the trick'. By constitution and long experience, Stolichnaya loves to know just that it's magic.

+Billy Trelawney, years before, had bestrode the canals--and annals--of Mars, negotiating that rough-hewn frontier with panache and a deft violence discussed there to this day. It's an oral tradition: the only written record details only the aftermath of that period, when Throckmorton= had retired to open a tavern. He wholly inexplicably had written a moderately-popular memoir: The Barrooms of Barsoom: How the Toughest Cop on Mars Retired and Opened a Saloon.

Which Stolichnaya thinks is just a terrific little book.

=As he was then known.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tableau Vivant, a letter

The letter, most often read in the kitchen, is archived along with six sleeves of cheesecloth shaped into effigies of the EI: three are Collision/Stolichnaya/Sayonara (only one of whom looks black), followed by Trelawney, Brofather Flynn "Potatoes" O-Brien, and one unsigned. This letter is usually cataloged under "Privates" or "Puppets" or "Pocket-sized poems," but has been misplaced under "Passions" for many many reasons.

Postcard: damask tablecloth
[Space, August 1933]

My beloved Mutt,

We all arrive safely by dream. This morning we took our podiums to a point on the map that faces Earth, and declared things. I wore a scrap of damask tablecloth, a flask inscribed TT, and a diabolical grin which would recall, I believe, the grins of 1924 and 1925, when we were continuously milky, and often in front of that fireplace less than civilized. It did not take long for Stolichnaya and Trelawney to catch wind, and mistake us for party members, and bring us onto the deck where we danced and replicated animal delight. In our guest quarters we were given seven squares of cheesecloth to “study” for tomorrow’s activism. I enclose six here for the archive, all but one, which I retain in my privates for housekeeping. I have replaced the contents of every EI flask with milk, and hope to report new mustaches soon.

All my stiff love,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Trudy Einstein is a blue-eyed brunette--striking!!

Trelawney communes with the EI's alcoholic theologian, Brofather Flynn "Potatoes" O-Brien. The Kalamazoo Jew has some time to kill, waiting on Charles Stolichnaya (AKA BEAT SAYONARA) to emerge from his cluttered quarters, wardrobe freshly primped. (The man invariably Dresses For Adventure, and it takes him like forever to get his pants-cargo transferred and distributed, should he change his trousers.) Trelawney and Potatoes have been contentedly occupied in speculations as to the meaning of the word "caul", Trelawney puffing on a foul stogie, Potatoes equally smoke-cowled, in his modestly-appointed Santa Destroy cottage. Around O-Brien's left wrist is a bracelet of indifferently braided rats' tails; around his right ankle is a length of bike chain. His familiars lurk about the room--his hawk Pretension, the dove Sulky, a couple snakes, his large, fragrant coop for his cockfighting...cocks.

Trelawney hasn't told anybody about the aftereffects of the Sun War. His bones now frankly resonate with energy. They thrum. He now exists as a sort capacitor for Emotional Inertia, and the man once known as the irasciblest Enthusiast of them all is, now, tragically, a cynic and overuser of commas. Incapable of committment, investment-averse, he nevertheless has fixed the airship.

"Flynn, would you drop in on my wife? You know how she worries."

Stolichnaya emerges from his stateroom to a pint-sized fanfare issuing forth from his phonograph. Resplendent in brown, his creaky leathers smell of coffee roasting and three-in-one oil. Banners flutter gaily in the breeze. Potatoes utters a benediction, idly stroking one of his razored cocks.

Trelawney primes the electro-chemical diesels; there is a failsafe such that they mayan't be started unless the tribal flag of the Enthusiasts' been hoisted. Thus, Stolichnaya has clipped a rope to his belt, and is prancing about the deck, shadow-boxing whilst humming along to a popular record of the day. The rope yanks the flag up up up, by means of a pulley.

The diesels, like Trelawney's skeleton, thrum with the power of history and science. From his many-pocketed belt, Stolichnaya (deftly) produces (with a practiced flourish) a scrap of tablecloth. "Jew, I hope yer a-feelin' curious, 'boy!"

Trelawney displays an ironic grin. A jarring look on a simian mug.

Stolichnaya's disconcerted, but loves Trelawney 'way too much to press the issue. Therefore it's no way a selfish nor ignorant act that Stolichnaya forges ahead. A self-made showboat, it's no feat at all to go through the motions of total absorbtion in his plan while the main of his mind worries at the new character traits of his friend. "We've simply got to get out frumunda those six probing eyes of the Thorn Triad! Never can we pursue this plane's effable mysteries whilst we scuttle about, progress visible to prying unfond eyes!" Is it simply the depression of victory, the martial equivalent of orgasm's sadness? Bad news from home? Poor diet and little sleep? (Swap meets, sticky green, and bad traffic.) "However! From their base on the dark side of the moon, they can use the lunar body as!--a!--lens! Therefore! They and any companions they may have attained(1) can monitor anything/everything they wish on this green-girdled, storm-adorned globe. Whom I adore(2)." Will he forgive me? Too often in our dealings with the Triad, I've either ignored him or used him simply to further my own goals. Friend...I will make this up to you. "And that! Is why! We depart...for MARS!"

Trelawney grins again, less unsettlingly this time, slaps the vertical throttle to MAX. The ungainly craft lifts implausibly quickly. The Enthusiasts produce iron flasks from beneath their bulky leathern garments and toast one another silently(3) before Trelawney applies Zippo flame again to cheroot.

Once in the vaccuum of SPACE, the propeller-noise will cease, and Sayonara plans to force some old-fashion bro-time with Trelawney: phonograph and plenty of libations.

The Enthusiast of the Inscrutable formerly known as "Chris Collision" is actually named Charles Stolichnaya. His nickname is Beat Sayonara. He's still black, and Latvian, though. Apologies for the sort of authorial laziness that left him named after the author and one of his pseudonyms. I hope no confusion resulted.

He's probably not aware of that noted blogger. He feels a little rejected by the TT, after their battle, and like most spurned men, he's of the opinion that the scorning parties are prolly sluts, a little. And he wonders why he doesn't do better with the ladies.

He thinks essentially in parallels, both structural and sonic. Makes him prolix, but at least you can't hardly miss what he's on about.

The noise on the craft is epic and wholly unconducive for conversation. Trelawney's flask contains cheap brandy; Stolichnaya's, gin. An only child, he hates to share. The flasks are Enthusiast standard issue, personalized via inscription.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A time-travel romance: Paradox by the dashboard light!

It's always now, but not everything happens all at once. The following events do all take place at the same time.(1)

In River City, year 2XXX, Chris Collision wafts thru a Goodwill thrift store. He's drunk in the afternoon, shopping before work. His headphones blare hideous racket. He lives in a warehouse, and generally declines to interact with those others who live there. He's reaching out to grasp a used jigsaw puzzle. Later--already happening, but not exactly happening now--he'll stiffly sit crosslegged on a concrete floor, 2 walls, 2 sheets hung as curtain-walls, in low light, and he'll assemble the bulk of the puzzle.

As he reaches for the shelf, it's the 30s, and 1 of the Roses of the Thorn Triad struggles with her locket. Half-lavish, partly opulent, this room of her own. Her roll-top desk is TITS. Somewhat pretentiously, she will write only with a fountain pen carved from the feather of a Space Eagle she has hersef caught. (Tiny pin-feathers speckle her mouth area like a scraggly beard of poultry offal.) Ink is blood and ash. She spits in it now and again, to put the means of production in their place.

Her goal for the night is to write that noted blogger. Her sisters fume elsewhere in the palatial manor. Outside of Paris, Collision reads to his friend Trelawney a postcard sent him by Gertrude Einstein:

digging a way
the moments that make up a dull day
fritter and waste the hours
in an offhanded way
dicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown
waiting for someone
(or something)
to show you the way

Trelawney wonders why all the second person? B/c she loves those imperatives, Jew, she surely do.

2 Roses fume, still. Constancy not exactly their strong suit, nevertheless do they feel not a little blown off & fucked over by their compatriot's obsession. They polish slivers of bone, and glue them cunningly. They, the slivers, form savage tips for crossbow bolts filling quivers on the quarterdeck of their ornithopter. Keys to the doors of the afterlife, motherfucker.

Collision is talking to a stripper named Beruit. He uncasually drops the phrase "sad satisfaction". She rolls her eyes and grabs her vast heels, looking for all the world like a giant, closed W. Before he does his puzzle, he'll fuck his fist for a quiet half-hour, picturing not Beruit sexually, but domestically. They get coffee and read the paper, he defends her at the bar, they watch afternoon tv stoned on the couch. Then he comes on her face.

The writing Rows-3, incidentally, looks much like Beruit, only with facial tattoos and more of a Stevie Nicks fashion sense. Trelawney stacks dominoes idly, mulling in his mulish way how to deliver his Fetich Flechettes. Modified blowgun, he thinks. Powered by defensively-maintained misconceptions.

Because there's no tradition of artistic perspective on the moon, the noted blogger can bust forth frothy from Rows-3's locket fully fullsized. Without visual contradiction. As in many endeavours romantikal, upon the attainment, the blogger and Rows-3 are flushed with a complex, multifaceted loathing. Both are phlegmatic sorts, though, real dance-with-who-brung-ya types, and their long history has surely bound them together more thoroughly than mere affection-might might could. Collision doesn't figure in this, any of this. He's sorta color. Filigree, distraction. Plus you write what you can while you try to learn how to write what you must.

Trelawney learnt to harness the nigh-limitless power of pigheaded futility early on. He's married to a woman he patently doesn't deserve. As often happens, she's addicted primarily to his shortcomings. She literally needs him to be simultaneously distant and needy. All 3 Roses are voiced by Tress MacNeille, behind the curtain. This is only a fraction of the reason this writer adores them.

Collision finds strange fulfillment in the process of assembling a likely-faulty puzzle. I'M TALKING ABOUT MAKING ART PIECES! PLEASE GET IT! UNDERSTAND, LOVE ME!

Collision bends to his task: replying to Gertrude Einstein. Unaware that he's simultaneously boring a coked-out, damaged stripper. He's ripping off Pynchon, stranded in a farm outside Paris, waiting for Trelawney to stop mooning over new techniques in confusion. And fixing the fucking airship already. (He's HAD IT with this pomo literary horseshit and craves a return to fev'rish lurid escapade! Plus his plus-fours really make him feel like a tool.) He thumbs the cheek of his chrome-plated guardian angel and wishes he could pull off wistful, or anyways winsome. Win some, loose the dogs of war.

Collision retires as Rows-3 and the noted blogger go to brace the other Roses. Meanwhile, Collision continues to plagiarize. Trelawney puts the dominoes back; their dots map exactly the structure of this story. The other Roses, unfairly marginalized this time around, quietly admit they kinda like the way the blogger twirls his mustache.

Collision pops in another plug of chew. This is a puppet show, but he got neither from Foster Wallace, nor Pynchon, nor the writer of Riddley Walker.

Collision's reply to Gertrude Einstein:

game, set, 'match'
A knotty, clotted nap. Weird scenes inside the goldmine. Tip the beret, twirl the mustache, adjust the champ paunch. Another mascot for minor failure. Caught on the cot (not homophones) amidst more mediocre dreams.

Mainly. Unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Walter Benjamin’s Mustache, a letter

The letter, most often cataloged under “Walter Benjamin’s Mustache,” is secretly archived in the Autobiography of Rows Selavy.


Postcard: doronicum handlebar
[Paris, late June/early July, 1933]

My beautiful thorny triad,

Here’s one of the mustaches. I have wrapped it in milk, and put it on the mouth of every child in Paris. I’ll send the other when I have news of you and Collision and the Inscrutable. Your last letter, in which you describe Trelawney's difficult labor, brought me private pleasure. We last heard of the ‘thopter’s miraculous manifestation seven Saturdays ago. Can you please send more recent news? My memories of TT, the animal parts, the kinky grooming, come back to me as a Jack-in-a-box, the fastest bar of our song, after endless winding. We all develop smudges. Even the mustache grows a mustache in your absence. Please send me three doses of the cure as soon you receive WBM. The children haven’t washed their mouths since March. I remain,

yes yrs frvr
R. Mutt*

The mustache appeared in Brussels eight months later, worn, along with a new style of animal delight, by the ubiquity in the upper classes.

*The noted blogger concedes it germane that Our Mutt, who here signs himself as R. Mutt, did not obtain the legal right to change his name until after the Beloved War, eleven years after TT returned from the South Seas.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Sun War! --Forward! To the MOON!

Set the scene(1): it's a tuesday night in 1931. In the balmy air of the South Seas, the deadly, battle-equipped 'thopter of the deadly, battle-equipped Thorn Triad banks, lurks, wafts. (TT, pronounced "tut tut" or "tsk tsk".) Unbeknownst to the kelp nor plankton below, the TT await(s) merely the rising of the full moon. Under its second-order light, third-power thinking--aloft in the night's brisk breeze--will blot!--out!--the!--sun! Anyway, that's the plan.

But! Hark to that choppy thrumming. Such an eldritch pulsation could--and does--only belong to the potent thirty-three-cylinder chemo-diesel motors bolted madcap to the dirigible of those noted questers...the Enthusiasts of the Inscrutable!! Billy "Kalamazoo Jewboy" Trelawney (nee Throckmorton) squints, oddly, thru his pilot's goggles, joggling levers and spinning the two great wheels controlling the ungainly craft. Collision perches magnificently at the bow of the airship, lensing the gorgeous ornithopter ahead, above. Slamming closed his kaptain's spyglass, he bellows.

"Not far off, now, my kinky kike! Clap open the chemo-diesels' throttle, whilst I try an' bring online the electro-lone generators!"

Trelawney complies. Collision hitches at his jodhpurs and clambers toward the gravidish underbelly of his beloved conveyance. Using a combination of spanner, hex key(2) and cheat sheet, his tetra-starred left hand manages to fire the generators, hanging from a spar, boots and wang waving in the wind. (With his poet's acumen and his engineer's emotional cast, he's decided to void his bladder 'pon the briny deep even while he works.)

He then repairs to his cabin to ease himself and contemplate a wardrobe change. A jaunty flapping white shirt proves Just the Thing, an' he doth not resist leaving open to the midriff, exposing a brawn of white flesh and dark tattoos.

Trelawney, as usual, manages most of the craft's operational heavy lifting. He's hyper-hacked the electro-lone generators into the new-fashioned Emotional Inertia Field Actuator Device (EIFAD, pronounced "eye-fad"). The airship, being possessed of a seriously stunning degree of Emotional Inertia, lurches into a hurtle, at the cost of any discernible subtlety. As a semi-intended consequence, there is now No Backing Down. There's an event on the horizon, and the hand-crafted Inevitability Gauges (IG) are totally redlined.(3)

Therefore, the Thorn Triad's mystical senses, uh, sense the approach of the Enthusiasts of the Inscrutable! The TT mobilize(s) for pitched battle! This, natch, takes the form of the three of 'm taking to their tasteful deck, spread out, facing inward, bare arms outstretched an' like diaphanous gowns and eerie wagglings the order of the day.

Under the hoarse supervision of the unkempt, cigar-munching Kalamazoo Jewboy, Collision activates the Emotional Inertia Cannon (EIC, pronounced "ike"). A strangely inward WHOOSH attends the initial volley, which proves as withering as a mother's sullen withdrawal. The TT's 'thopter's wings tatter.

The TT--who, incidentally, would literally Never Dream of calling themselves this--deploy much magic. Rose's eyes,
covered with the dead skin of another, Reach Out and Touch the pursuing craft.(4) The effect is like being molested by a shadow cloud. Trelawney slumps. Overwhelmed. Conveniently for the narrative, his prone form lies 'cross the power coupling which, uh, couples the EIFAD to--with?--the EIC.

Collision, oblivious, unleashes another torrent of a-energy. That which is only potentially power floods the unmute frame of the hapful Kalamazoo Jewboy. An event sure to have Consequence of Moment on down the road.(5)

Collision's barrage rends asunder the bonds of friendship 'tween the Thorn Triad. Renders them sundered. Their familial ties only remain. Rows-3 determines the figure in her locket must now be written into existence. She decides to move to the moon, and as for the noted blogger? She'll write him when she gets there. (Thus will she complete her entree into being--having been herself invoked, and provoked, by the blogger she seeks now to create. Rereading those kinda gross passages from the Symposium would clarify matters here, prolly.)

Rows, ever alert to the turn of the tide an' blow o' the wind, growls "Let me slip into something relatively spiritual.". Time passes. The ornithopter lists, abused; the airship remains at a hurtle, shambolically.

Rows steps onto the deck. Tan Rose's touching eyes flap creepily. Rows-3 doesn't wanna know from this shit, and slides out of read/write focus in a structurally appropriate parallel to Trelawney's fall. (See...She'll Be Back. And all like that.) Rows is wearing black tights, white deck shoes, and a concert t stolen from an ex-boyfriend. A big belt, gold hoops cocked over her full hips.

"Collision!" she keens. "Stay your hand! Hold! Let us (inc.) depart this battle in our several ways! No more seek we (exc.) to dark the sun. An' you allow our retreat, we all, us three, will bugger off to the Moon, on errands which need not confront you."(6) You know that song? "Ain't to proud to beg"? Rows doesn't--it's fucking 1931, remember?--but if she knew it, she'd hate it. She's WAY too proud to beg. And if Collision doesn't back the fuck down, she's gonna get to a degree of anger usually reserved for boyfriends who take your sister's side.

Collision, an enthusiast, is intrigued. His imperfectly-absorbed Warrior's Code is unclear on this point. He offers a gracious shrug, an effect offset by an unconscious adjustment of the half-hard 'neath his jodhpurs. "Have it your way." "Bitch." he adds, wholly unacceptably. The ornithopter sways, exactly like a moth pursuing the moon. Collision bends to attend Trelawney, currently glowing with an actively unpleasant grey featuring yellowish tinges and fringes. Not at all unlike this writer's irises.

Stay tuned! For more episodic semi-fiction, composed in a nigh-epistolic manner!

(1) It's not infrequently desirable to allow one's enemies to define one. You appear then in a high-contrast way, with intriguing misapprehensions and odd attributions your own cohort'd never cognize.

(2) Hewn, the both of them, from the living rock of an iridescent meteorite.

(3) IGs made by Kathy Collision during:
(a) her tryst with Jonias Spicer;
(b) her reverse-steampunk phase.

(4) Don't make me spell it out.

(5) "The road" here standing-for 'the future' in a metonymy for a journey, where "journey" is related to 'a series of events' as either a metonym or a metaphor, depending on the level of granularity of your analysis. I'm in love.

(6) Rows deliberately mispronounces "concern" as "confront" for obscure reasons.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Zen and the art of the mixed message

Chris Collision comprises a collocation of niche vices. Back left pocket chew can ring attests to this. Four stars adorn the fingers of his left hand, that he may leering declaim "Four-star fingerbang Right Here, bay-bee!!" He's business cards. Of an evening, he'll take to the boulevard to hawk homemade tshirts reading "Every father is a motherfucker."

A lumpish, beary man; yet does he pull trim (now and again). He shan't refrain from slipping into singing a shanty's refrain, and despite their long acquaintance, you noted blogger, he's 'most No Idea who Rose Selavy might be. Hark!

Collision (upon noting a misunderstanding potentially leading to a conflict, attempts a Joak): Hey, can I help it if I'm the most interesting person I've ever met?

Selavy (characteristically gratuitous with the flatness of her affect and the lightness of her tone): Chris. You're the only person you've ever met.

He seemed to be thinking to the third power

On a Tuesday in 1931 Rows claims to have spent the night in her ornithopter. A tear in its wing took on the shape of another Rose, who was much more tan (much more, for Rows this close to the sun took on the pitiful shade of a mouthful of pear), and whose eyes against the wind wore the most exquisite black leather gloves. The noted blogger submitted the aforementioned questions to Tan Rows, but in the form of a third Rows, who printed off a nude photograph of himself, and hung it around their necks like a charm. Even though Rose could not see the picture through her leather gloves, she touched it softly during the interrogation. The noted blogger about this was aroused to think to the third power, surmising to Roses in a subsequent interview: “Where will you go in the ornithopter? Do you have your passport? Give my regards to Collision?” Rows, Tan Rose, and Rows-3 stalled, until the noted blogger winked at them a magical number of times, and disappeared into something relatively spiritual. For years after, until around 1935, a plea to “write me when you get there” was heard pinging in all of Roses new poems. The noted blogger can be seen from the vantage point of Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 2PM, dressing the nude picture of Roses in words that made sense to mostpeople.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

[from] Roiling the Nite 'Way (a musical for several persons)

[band vamping jauntily]

Collision: If I remember correct, when we met, you sported supported a pencil mustache, and you went by the name Ross Cellabee.
Rose: You don't. Viz., remember correct. Sic.

[band kicks in jazzily]

C: I was trawling, late of the merchant marine--
R: I was drawling, mate to a purging regime.
R & C (firmly): Let's stall the whole thing, boss!

[band backs off]

C: Aw, come off of it. You were building orreries that life under the full moon...that the Hamptons.
R: Me? Or the orreries?
C: Don't be ornery. You learned me the difference b'tween flowery talk and the distant instance(s) built into longing for the brambles.
R: Are you drunk?
C: Naturally.
R: Setting you straight would go something like this.

[band strikes up again, insistent]

R: I had just begun to learn
that my own attempts to earn
a living--in civill service...
would hardly last a year
now let me bend your ear
with its inherent contradictions
C: You were not civil nor did you service--
R: The talk was drivel and the acts were worthless!
C: Hating peons writing poems
is no way to be of use
R: I was pressed into the position
depressed if you want the truth...

[the dance over, they face one another, 2 arms lengths between 'em]

R: I was not civil
C: Their talk was drivel!
R: I did no service
C: Those acts are worthless
R & C: Let's stall the whole thing, boss!

[nice fanfare, curtain, band wheezes]

R (offstage): Wanna see a neat design for an ornithopter?

An iconoclastic debut

The noted blogger had the serendipity to find a blog dated 1923 debuting a personality called Chris Collision. Collision, it seems, recalled his introduction to the in medias sneeze Rows Selavy, writing "If I remember correct, when we met she had a pencil mustache, and was calling himself Ross Cellabee, to which Rows replied, 'You do not. Viz., remember correct. Sic.'" The mustache, also known as Our Mutt, had no comment until 1925, where in one of his famous interviews he erased not only himself, but Rows, who was much relieved as she had developed a pesky allergy to lead. The role of Collision in this happy end becomes clear in later blogs, when Collision discovers a cure for Rows and Mutt. But this is not their story. It is the story of the noted blogger.