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  • - * 13 DOORS OF X* *Meeah Williams* The Barking Cat Press * 2015 Brooklyn, NY * Seattle, WA copyright 2015 Meeah Williams/The Barking Cat...

Monday, November 30, 2015


=Geisha in the City of Death=

Okay, then, so now I'm Mrs. Havemeier, whoever in hell that is, Neena thought. There doesn't seem to be much point in denying it, or denying anything, when I’m in possession of so few of the facts, and, besides, who knows for sure, who's to say, maybe I am Mrs. Havemeier, after all?

Did it make sense, for that matter, to object to the bone-saw whirring and whistling, inching close and ever closer to her hairline, sounding like a plague of locusts sweeping ominously across the plains, the spinning bit now so close as to be almost tickling before it touched the thin line of what was now no more than a five-o'clock shadow on an otherwise polished head of closely-shaven stubble?

To struggle, to cry for help, to claim this was all some variety of incomprehensible mistake, a miscarriage of justice (ha!)—even to simply inquire, mistake or not, what this was all about—would it have been to any purpose whatsoever, or would it just have been a waste of the proverbial precious breath she didn't seem to be breathing anymore?

Movement, too, as in run away, was far beyond her now, mobility and volition a thing of the distant past, like the Etruscans; her body had that cold, numb, dumb, and alabaster feel like it does when you're nothing more than a giant head made of Easter Island stone, or when all the blood has been drained from your circulatory system, and replaced with what feels like several canisters-worth of dry ice.

Hannah, meanwhile, she of the sideways chunk of bleu cheese head (remember?), having donned a dark-lensed pair of protective goggles is intent upon her work. She traces a fine line around the naked, gleaming, ghostly bluish cranium, inscribing thereupon a pretty incision around its circumference, it’s latitude perfectly corresponding with that of the Tropic of Cancer on a globe of the earth, or is it Capricorn that we’re thinking of? Either way, up goes the lid scant moments later and out comes what looks like scoop after heaping scoop of over-stewed plums, gray, skinless, pitted, a fruit for no seasons, pithy and fibrous, with a lot of what seem to Neena now to be utterly useless cogitations (knowledge, memory, speech, etc.) still a-tremble throughout.

Food of the gods it is, if mixed with peyote buttons and sage, roasted in a clay oven over a creosote fire, with a last-minute dash of tumeric added according to taste. Bon appetit! But that's all further along the assembly line; this isn't a cookbook for crissakes, not at the moment, anyway, so let's get on with it, shall we?

Good evening, Madame, let me help you with your wrap. From shoulder to shoulder and straight down the front, your jumpsuit is unzipped and out you step. Check your skin right here at the door, no ifs-ands-or-buts about it.

My what a lovely pelt, so soft, so supple. Irish is it? Scottish? Mixed with a little Indochine? Ah yes, I see! What a marvelous creature that must have been; endangered, are they? No wonder! Ah well, the best always are now, aren’t they.

A ticket? Oh no need to bother with that. You won't be needing a coat anymore, not here, these climes are tropic, after all; but, you're chattering with cold, you say? Blushing modest, then, are we? Not to worry, you'll get used to it, I assure you. Everyone does. Get used to it, I mean. 

As you watch them ladling out the internal slop, you think 
“I can't live without that, can I?” Stuff that's always hidden, and thank god for that. Yuck! If we saw what kept us going who'd have the guts to keep on going? Born between the piss and the shit, who said that, Saint Augustine? Come to think of it, didn't Leonardo, who saw everything, caution us against seeing too much? It'd put us off our feed, he warned (the face of a cherub above the bristling bleeding cunt; the most lithesome lovely form no more in fact than a colon packed with shit), it would chill our desire, cure us of the human race, and be the extinction of us all to see what it really was we loved, what beauty scarce concealed, that's what he implied.

“By the way,” you ask, “just what the hell does that chunk you just took out do? Egads, it really looks important!

And yet, Neena thought, I'm still here, even with all I've already lost, still alive; well, if not alive exactly, then alive inexactly, conscious, let's say, or conscious of hallucinating, or hallucinating I'm conscious, which is a form of consciousness, isn't it? Okay, at least I'm still thinking, after a fashion; there’s brain activity, of which I’m aware, that doesn’t seem deniable, and that’s something, no? And if Descartes were even a little bit right, that means “I am;” fine, let's not glorify what I've been doing as thinking, I’ll concede you that much—I’m reflecting, then, reacting, commenting, opining—musing, certainly—idly viewing, babbling, no less than that, like a spectator in the amphitheater above my own autopsy; you have to give me that much. You have to. I insist. I’ll accept no less.

You might, having seen her (or I) standing there so calmly at the window, like a reflection, like a ghost, with hands clasped behind her (my) back, have taken her (me) for a hardened veteran of these grisly sights, how professional, detached, and depersonalized I seem, a med student, maybe, or a homicide detective (Don't dare suggest it! Suggest what? That she is herself Inspector Thoth, the interrogator who persecutes her. I wouldn’t dare. Oh yes you would! Whatever makes you say that? I see you smirking…). She watches without emotion as the coroner plunders the victim for clues to murder or disease, whatever finished off that poor gal laid out and open down there on the table under the harsh lights, that poor soul left without a goddamn secret in the world.

Meanwhile, Mr. Butchie does the occasional prancing breeze-by. Limp-wristed, lisping, he’s attended by attendants, suggesting a suggestion with regard to the work in progress, a little more here, a little less there, a Renaissance master in his workshop of anonymous apprentices. Suddenly, he leans in every now and again, when nothing, no absolutely nothing, but the master's personal touch will do. A little dab, a little do, a smudge, a shadow, a signature schmear, a touch so light it doesn't touch at all, yet even so, this imperceptible brush of nothing, this ghostly stroke of genius, makes all the difference, makes art of artifice, silk from sows' ears, and separates a masterpiece from all that's not—it is a gift that Mr. Butchie shares with all the (under)world but only for a fee that would make your toes curl.

And they pay, oh how they pay!

Many are the imitators but none can outdo what he can do and he and everyone on this side of the dirt knows it. He is a master of decay and de-creation and he shares his genius like the plague; in other words, he can't help himself, it comes out automatically, compulsively, it overflows from him, and would continue to do so even if he weren’t paid a dime, but it’s best to pay the piper, to give the artist his due, for you wouldn’t want to be caught standing on his dark side, the victim of his left-hand work. Oh no. You wouldn’t want to find yourself the canvas prepped for a work of sheer malignant Mr. Butchie spite, oh god (if He didn’t exist we’d have to invent Him for just this reason) forbid!

Read the complete novel here:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

=cloud writing=

=Geisha in the City of Death=

“Come in, come in!” Mr. Butchie squealed, flapping about excitedly in his voluminous leather aprons, looking like some unknown variety of ghastly, black-skinned featherless albatross, flightless, of course, but somehow all the more dramatically ubiquitous for that. “Oh gosh you're so horridly late! We'd nearly given you up entirely for lost! Well, almost entirely. Take a seat, hurry hurry, you see we haven't given it away, not yet, we've kept your reservation open just in case. Just in case! Sit sit, and we'll get started right away! Right away! [He claps his pale and pudgy hands excitedly like a six-year-old girl before a pink-frosted cake with seven candles.] Hannah! Hannah! Oh gosh where the devil is that girl whenever it is you need her? Hannah! Chop-chop. Yoo-hoo! Peek-a-boo! [he trills and yodels] come out come out wherever you are! [He hoots and whistles, good lord he is a sight to see.] We need prep here right away and double-quick oh dear hurry hurry hurreeee!”

This is Mr. Butchie in his rarified element; whether it's late or not, Tuesday or Friday, busy or barren, everything is a crisis. This is the Mr. Butchie, homicidal make-up artist par excellence, effete aesthetician to the dead-and-buried; the cold stars and colder starlets of history's greatest snuff films all bear witness before the frozen eyes of eternity to the magic artistry of his necropolitan flair.

Mr. Butchie with his own behind-the-scenes face stitched together piece-meal, the cured skin a glossy, pitted orange-yellow-brown, kicked round like a pigskin Sunday. The hairpiece of tinsel, the outsized shades, the silver star-topped magic wand, the trail of sprinkled fairydust—all trademarks of the man; did we say “man?” Good grief, cross-sexed creepy alien ghoul would be closer to the mark and still not begin to describe it.

Beauty hurts, it's true and this place is proof positive of that, outfitted as it is, namely, like an abattoir, all hooks and harnesses and freezer cases full of trust-us-you-don't-want-to-know. The tools of the craft are laid out for the practiced hand; the clamps and pincers, the needles and extractors, the scalpels and hole-punches, the wires in every possible gauge, all of it silver, sharp, and gleaming. The saws, the drills, the terrible old swift pliers—each of these Mr. Butchie wields like a maestro, a Michelangelo of corpses. And where nothing else will do, he digs right in, and uses his webbed eleven fingers!

All around him the lucky “customers” wait a-decomposing, each of them, as in that stale old joke, having died to get in. Some hanging from their cervical vertebrae, others lying on stainless steel autopsy tables in various stages of contortion and decay; some sitting stiffly upright in expectant rigor mortis wearing a protective cape; others already split open down the center and peeled back like husks of silky corn exposing all their dirty secrets; there is no modesty here; and all of them waiting waiting waiting with the characteristic patience of the dead for the grace of the master's febrile touch.

Two of these special clients, one on either side of her, sit in different stages of dissection. To Neena's left, a disemboweled blonde awaits further unspeakable ministrations; while on her right, a Bollywood cutie gazes back in sleepy appreciation of her headless corpse from the shelf beneath the three-way mirror. In that same mirror, Neena sees herself staring at herself, wide-eyed, her gaping mouth twisting, her face in a rictus of terror, like someone staring through a windshield seconds before the inevitable high-speed head-on crash.

Recognition of her own face only steals upon her slowly and when it does it arrives with a shock for she is now sans teeth as well as hair; when had they taken them? What have they done with them? Her dear old chompers. Are they going to give them back?

Neena hears the whir of a mechanism and then the chair in which she sits tips back and a girl with a face like a sideways chunk of blue cheese stands above her holding a small whirring herringbone bone-saw and asks, “And how are we today, Mrs. Havermeier?”

Read the complete novel here:

='Pataphysical Chocoroons=

The first thing you want to do 
is to separate the egg whites 
from two eggs.
The yolks can go to hell.

You want to whisk these egg-whites up
into a kind of meringue.

The secret to doing this correctly
is three-fold.
1. The eggs should be room temperature. 
2. The bowl must be clean & dry.
3. You must pray to Baal.

Stand there with a hand-mixer set to high
staring blank-faced into empty space
insulated by white noise
for five or six minutes
until the egg-whites turn to a thick foam.
It'll happen. 
You just have to have faith.
And follow the 3-fold path above.

Once your prayers have been answered,
set the oven to 325.

In a separate bowl mix together
1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup of baking Truvia
1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder

Slowly add the dry ingredients to your bowl
of stiffened egg-whites
until everything is moist & sticking together.

Place a piece of parchment paper
on a cookie sheet.

With an ice-cream scoop gouge out an ice-cream
scoop sized ball of chocolate-coconut muck.
Plop this onto the parchment paper. 
Repeat until the bowl is empty.

Slide the cookie sheet into the oven.
Do something for 15 minutes.
15 minutes later your 'pataphysical chocoroons
will be ready.

Remove them carefully from the parchment paper.

Because I've been making them without any
oil, they can be pretty crumbly. If you don't
want them so crumbly, add a tablespoon or two
of oil, preferably coconut oil, but plain
old vegetable oil will do.

=100 pieces of garbage=

=100 pieces of garbage=

Saturday, November 28, 2015

=Burroughs 3x3=

=Geisha in the City of Death=

It occurred to Neena there and thenabouts that she was traversing the neural byways of a diseased mind. If not her own mind, then the mind of someone she’d somehow stumbled into. Someone whose brooding fantasies formed a kind of Sadean paradise of horrors, a metropolis malignant whose avenues multiplied at a rate beyond the craft of any cartographer to manipulate, novelist to organize, or law enforcement agency to control—a fabulated, unbalanced city of a sick and, perhaps, even hallucinating brain. Here ultra-violent sexual nightmares proliferated in a medusan tangle of blind alleys and at the end of each twisted thoroughfare awaited a sacrificial slaying.

Perhaps, she was trapped inside the mind of a serial killer, cast in the role of idealized victim, the “star” of two dozen or so compulsively elaborated fantasies whose orgasmic climax was always the mathematical equivalent of murder. There were times, it seemed, as if a certain half-familiar scenario would abruptly dead-end, as if construction in that direction had suddenly encountered some unsatisfactory and unforeseen condition, some impossible obstacle to completion that not even dream-logic could overcome, and this deflating failure of the imagination, this mental coital interruptus had dictated that another, more promising detour be chosen instead.

Or, perhaps, he’d simply cum.

She began to seriously consider that there was, in fact, no minotaur at the center of this festering maze, no ultimate bristling horror to confront or escape, but, perhaps, something even worse, an endless series of penultimate horrors, as if the aggregate, the entire wormy-squirmy and multiplying mass, taken whole, without conclusion or destination, yes, as if the non-act, the very limbo of being hopelessly lost minus map or clue were in itself the minotaur to which barefoot and bedecked with flowers like a bride she’d been bequeathed to be devoured by uncertainty from within forever.

At this point, let us note, Neena felt a paralyzing dread of turning her anointed head, of looking back at the old woman who, up to now, was pushing her wheelchair through this infernal hospice of the damned, for it seemed to her that something even worse were propelling her through these ice-cold corridors than a cackling, mad, undead and cancer-ridden crone and the fact that she couldn’t imagine what that might be not only functioned “as if it were” a paralyzing agent but, literally, in actual fact, was the cause of a catastrophic trauma of the relevant vertebrae that made turning her head impossible, that rendered such paralysis a reality. You might say it was an injury such as one might suffer by hurtling through the windscreen that normally separated us from the surrounding landscape, serving as a necessary barrier between the so-called imaginary and the so-called real.

Perhaps, and, indeed, we might as well consider all the possibilities inasmuch as we still have the time (and, ironically, while awaiting the execution of a death-sentence, one seems to have all the time in the world, close to an eternity, the mind moves so fast; certainly, one has  all the time necessary, which is much the same thing as eternity, relatively speaking, when all is said and done; but is it ever? Done, we mean.), that there is no one pushing the wheelchair at all; perhaps it is self-propelled or remote-controlled; perhaps it is fueled by Neena’s own fear and apprehension, her panic and hysteria, which properly harnessed, provide an alternate source of energy, inexhaustible as the fear of death. Entire nations running on the terror of its citizenry…think about it, is it really so far-fetched, after what we’ve seen, considering what we know already?

But we digress, and yet, if truth be told (the truth? We chuckle, shake our heads, and wash our hands. Send in the next prisoner, please…), we will continue to digress, for what else is there but digressions and, all the moreso, when there’s nothing properly to digress from?

Read the complete novel here:

Friday, November 27, 2015

=2 mini collages=

=Geisha in the City of Death=

Speaking of which, (and were we, were we really?), the sealed envelope containing the next day's top-secret shooting script arrives by undercover courier and Neena, who finds all this on-pain-of-death-hush-hush-for-your eyes-only confidential rigmarole rather ridiculous—it is only a movie after all, isn't it?—takes it to the chaise. There, curling up on the imitation (real) white rhinoceros leather, a chilled glass of pallid wine in her hand, dressed in a hotel bathrobe with its indecipherable gold crest and a matching white towel wrapped in a tall turban atop her head, she opens what now appears to be a diplomatic pouch.

This pouch is sealed with the vaguely ominous and official-looking seal of some government agency or other (she doesn't recognize either the agency or the government, recognizes nothing about it at all except that the supposedly identifying insignia embossed on the envelope’s expensive vellum is identical to the crest on her bathrobe.)

Is she in Dubai? Lately so many of these kinds of things seem to be happening there.

Inside is a sheaf of papers which she now pulls out to find that they are covered, from top to bottom, from first to last, in what appears to be a kind of sigil code which, to make things even more complicated, has been written over another code, the two (or even three together) somehow forming a symbiotic whole, a paralytic palimpsest, an autistic hieroglyphic.

What is she to make of it, this acephalous alphabet? How is she to speak these lines, or is she? Is it all some kind of joke, a prank pulled on her by her co-star, the campy old B-movie actor who plays the paramilitary inquisitor, this unpleasant fellow with the cold eyes and tight, dry, flaking skin a.k.a. The Interrogator, and lately, also known as Mr. Thoth, with whom Neena, unfortunately, seems to share most of her speaking scenes? The director, too, is a suspect in these shenanigans. She hasn’t seen any evidence of him since shooting began, which begs the question, has it begun?

He’s a recluse with a sociopathic God-complex, a real “wack-job,” if the rumors and scandal sheets contain even the thinnest shred of truth, who stages and films for his own titillation his bizarre sexual hang-ups to the widespread acclaim of cowed critics who fear they might be missing something. He’s legendary for the innovative, unnatural, immoral, even technically criminal methods he devises to motivate his actors. Yes, the more she considers the possibility, he could just as easily be lurking behind the vague but ever-growing unease that Neena has felt since her first night in this luxury hotel room which may or may not be part of the film. From the start she’s suspected that these overly opulent accommodations, fit for a prime minister or secretary of state, are bugged with hidden microphones and under the constant surveillance of many-chambered kaleidoscopic camera eyes that pivot, noiselessly, chameleon-like, to catch even the slightest movement of everything from every angle.

To be so closely observed, simply to believe you’re being so closely observed even if you’re not, is exhausting. Eventually the lifting of a pen becomes an ordeal, a crisis of self-consciousness. Neena finds herself having to relearn everything, even the simplest actions, like a stroke victim. How does one cough, for instance, brush one's hair, use a spoon? Orgasm? --forget it, rather ask her to build a rocket to the moon!

“That's why they call it acting darling,” says the director, Oz-like, from somewhere or other, paraphrasing, without attribution, the great demon, Sir Laurence Olivier.

Well, it's true. It's all faked. Simply answering the door for the bellhop (“It’s room service, ma’am), or, should we say the enemy agent (rapist, satanic priest, etc.) disguised as the bell-hop who arrives at her door on cue, is a journey of a thousand steps, literally. The relatively insignificant scene is shot over and over so many times it becomes transparent. Walking from the couch to the door is like crossing the Sahara, a journey of numberless illusory oases. Even after a thousand steps, Neena never quite gets to her destination. She exists, if she exists, like a character in an allegorical paradox of Zeno’s. So it must be only in her imagination when she finds herself at the door, opens it, and sees the old woman with the wheelchair waiting and thereby knows it’s time.

Time for what?

There’s only one way to find out.

She sits down in the wheelchair, not bound (it’s not necessary), but not unbound either (also unnecessary), if that can possibly be clear to anyone (it can’t be, so let’s not bother to elaborate).

So then, back to the point (which would be what, exactly?). 

Wheeled, then, in such an impossibly unclear and inexplicable manner, Neena is witness to the sights you aren’t ever meant to see: the furry sexed, the two-tongued girl, the digitally-enhanced young bodies whose sockets provide the infinite pleasure only promised by pornography and advertising. These pleasures, delivered via coaxial umbilical, are generated by a new generation of artificially intelligent bio-machine, a high-tech hybrid of computer science and advanced sex-toys technology. It’s the sort of product you might expect to be dreamed up by a brilliant, erotomanic surgeon with a psychopathic sexual imagination, unlimited financial backing, and absolutely no ethics or legal accountability whatsoever.

“What, then, might the possibilities be, the mathematical combinations of pleasure, if the body had a dozen, two dozen, three or more dozen entrances?”

“Interesting doctor. What exactly do you mean?”

He had his own ideas—his own fantasies—of course. But what did the doctor mean, what was medically feasible, or, even more titillating, unfeasible?
“A cunt, a rectum, a mouth. Why need we stop there? Nature lacks an essential element in our quest for pleasure: a dirty mind. We needn’t be so limited! One might provide ports of departure for points of destination across the oceanic virtually anywhere, virtually everywhere! A New World of Pleasure! Straight through the nipple, for instance—thereby effectively melding both the oral and the genital stage. Turn the nipple into a functioning anus and you’ve captured the Holy Fucking Freudian Grail, the Holy Trinity of Pleasure! For those beyond all that, perfectly adjusted and bored by the usual sexual pathologies and dysfunctions, we can core out glory holes in the crook of the elbow or behind a knee. Straight into the lower vertebrae of the spine, for instance, conjoining the most primitive and brutish preference for rear entry with the neural electro buzz of futuristic deep-galaxy intercourse.

“Less philosophical, let’s say feet are your thing. Why be forced to crook your head around to see your darling’s adorable pedicure while having intercourse? Or be forced to picture her succulent little piggies in your  mind’s eye to trigger your orgasm? Fuck them directly! A nicely puckered aperture on a delicately arched instep or implanted on the vulnerable Achilles heel will do very nicely. You could slip your cock directly into a size five—not the shoe, but the foot itself!—as neatly as if putting on a sock. When you’re ready to pop your wad, instruct your paramour to flex her toes, and there you are, cumming in her tootsie like gangbusters!

“For the spiritually-inclined intellectual, it might be a puckered multi-petaled rose in the middle of the forehead. The mystic third-eye, the myth of the unicorn—suddenly all that nonsense makes perfect scientific sense. These myths may well have had their origin in such yearnings. Why not? Now we have the technology to make such myths a reality. A new sort of anus drilled straight into the base of the skull of even the most witless bimbo allows us to penetrate straight into the cerebellum and thus the medulla oblongata where the most autonomous functions reside. Who says you don’t appreciate her for her mind? Now you can assure her that you do in perfect sincerity and with a straight face. Pure jungle sex! Right and left hemispheres. Mammalian and reptile brains experienced at once. You bathe your pecker in both her thoughts and feelings, her dreams and fears. It’s up to you. Think braingasm!

“I’m just theorizing out loud here, unofficially, you understand. Haven’t we enough skyscrapers, strip malls, and Taj Mahals? Enough electric salad mixers and snow-blowers and non-stick frying pans? We have now the rare opportunity to turn the attention and imagination of our generation’s most talented and inventive minds to the science and art of sexual engineering, allowing them to turn loose upon the world their heretofore suppressed erotic fancies.

“A sexual city of the future awaits us. It’s on the horizon ready to be erected. And, already in anticipation, our erections point the way. Up, up, up! The sky is the limit! Our next orgasm knows no boundaries! To the old notion of body as temple we propose a new and complementary concept: the body as whorehouse!”

Read the complete novel here:

=Hermann Goring=

Naturally the common people don't want war. Why should some poor slob risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back in one piece? That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


=Geisha in the City of Death=

“Wake up wake up wake up,” Neena hears this mantra repeated, close to her ear, as someone shakes her, jostles her, but without any real urgency at all; it’s a hushed voice that speaks, more like a subliminal suggestion than an actual alarm. “Wake up darling,” the electronic voice coaxes, repeats, a voice half-familiar, which is to say, at the same time half-unfamiliar, repeating with the aforementioned lack of any urgency it’s message “wake up wake up,” a sing-song drone, sounding almost bored with its own lie, telling us what we most of all would like to hear, “wake up, wake up my darling, it was all just a bad dream.”

And Neena wakes, in spite of herself, wakes from one lie to another lie via a lie, her body returning from the exploration of some distant planet, a heavenly body sending messages via satellite in a semaphore that she doesn’t understand.

It is, of course, her husband, the chief interrogator who wakes her, who peeps over the railing of her crib, did I say “crib,” oops! I meant coffin, double-oops! I didn’t say “coffin” did I, you must think I’m crazy, her bed, I meant her bed, of course, that is what I meant to say, her bed, it goes without saying, (bed, bed, B-E-D, duh-uh) the protective railing of her…hospital bed, yes, that’s what it is, and his face wears the special kindness, the maternal masculinity of a saint, not the locust-munching, fire-spewing doomsday desert kind of saint who stinks and rages, his inflamed and filthy flesh alive with lice and shuddering with revulsion, but the gentle, mild sort that birds hop up to fearlessly, the garden variety of saint upon whose sackcloth shoulders the most timid of birds trust to perch, hopping into sexless laps to peck the crumbs of kindness from a smooth and holy hand.

“What happened,” Neena asks, sensibly enough, who wouldn’t, under the same circumstances, ask the exact same or similar question? There’s no fault there. But who does she think is going to give her an honest answer, who does she think will know if she doesn’t herself?

“What happened?”

“Where am I?”

“What have they done to me?”

Imagine it were you in attendance upon her awakening. What could you possibly say by way of an explanation?

The Chief Interrogator, (did we mention his name is Thoth? Of course, we must have. Is it the truth? Well, that is the name he gave us and we’re just passing it on) waves these questions away like allergenic phlox floating in the warm breeze of a summer day; after all, as Chief Interrogator, answering questions isn’t exactly in his job description; it’s none of his affair, quite frankly. You might just say it’s really not his thing; no, it’s not his half of the equation; others do it so much better, and he knows it. He’s a man of a certain modesty, Mr. Thoth. He knows well enough to stick to what he’s good at, to keep working to his strength. The knowing smile, the bland reassurance, the false promise—these are his strong points, his stock in trade, his specialized skill-set. The growled threats, the ominous innuendo, the thrown chair and the rubber truncheon—these are his tools, the implements of his office. The cinderblock room, the chilled air, the too-bright light--this is his milieu and his natural habitat. The broken innocent, babbling stooge, and the forced confession are the highlights on his resume.

A man who loves the truth, loves it so much no word of it ever leaves his mouth; a black hole of veracity, a voracious consumer of confession, the truth is sucked deep inside him and where it goes from there no one knows, no one ever sees hide nor hair of it again, not a whisper of it, not a rumor. One day, or so it is postulated, once and for all, all the truth in the universe will vanish to that place we presume exists on the other side of Mr. Thoth, if it hasn’t already. In the meantime he’ll keep asking the questions, thank you very much, and you’ll keep answering them, questions to which there are no right answers anymore, because he already has them all. From now on, only lies, outright lies, exist.

“No, don’t look,” he admonishes lightly, but firmly, as Neena makes to lift the covers off her supine body in order to see what the damages may be.

“Don’t look,” he repeats, “there’s no need to look, there never is, there’s nothing ever under there to see,” he says, “and if there is, I assure you, it won’t be to your liking.”

But Neena isn’t listening to his sage advice; she’s paying no heed to his words of warning. Who can blame her? Who would listen, under the circumstances? She has a right to peek. It is, after all, her body. Well, at least in theory, at least for the time being

Peeping under the covers she sees the thick wadded pad, the rusty-crusty bloom of that awful flower planted on the spot of unspeakable violation, it’s even worst than she feared, it’s even more radical than anything they prepared her for, and who would have thought that possible? There is no point in even answering the question, what question would that be, well, any question, actually; no wonder he told her not to look, not to ask, no answer would suffice, no explanation sufficient to explain anything. Instead the old lady with the wheelchair arrives and says things like “Tut-tut now,” and “there there,” and “pull yourself together dear it’s not so very bad as all that after all; it can always be worse, believe me, you should see me below the waist, and besides, you’re going to be discharged. Have you any idea how many people would die to be in your shoes right now, heh-heh?”

But they are not shoes that Neena wears; they are the burning carbuncles of stigmata that grace her insteps. In each hand she palms a dragon-guarded magic ruby of a wound. She feels as light as air, as if she might defy gravity itself and float spontaneously up to heaven. Her mortifications have rewarded her (is “rewarded” the right word, for crissakes?) with the necessary coins of passage—but is it passage into or out of hell?

Read the complete novel here:

=A Thanksgiving Day Prayer from William S. Burroughs=

To John Dillinger and hope he is still alive.

Thanksgiving Day November 28 1986

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin leaving the carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,

To vulgarize and to falsify until the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin’ lawmen, feelin’ their notches.

For decent church-goin’ women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces.

Thanks for “Kill a Queer for Christ” stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where nobody’s allowed to mind their own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the memories—all right let’s see your arms!

You always were a headache and you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.

Listen to WSB give his thanks here:

=100 pieces of garbage=

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

=2 paintings on envelope=

I'm not interested in imposing my vision or my interpretation on anyone. That would just be another form of fascism. It's impossible, anyway. Everyone misunderstands what you're saying no matter how painstaking your effort to be understood. To hell with it! Let everyone come to their own conclusions. It's inevitable. And it's better that way. I want my work to be a starting off place for whoever happens upon it. After that, let everyone go their own separate directions. I'll continue to go mine. I don't need an audience. When you carve your initials into a tree you don't stand around waiting for someone to come by and see it.  
—Alessandra Pandi

=Geisha in the City of Death=

This way, folks, this way, please. That’s it, follow right along, no lingering before the exhibits, please. Catalogs will be available for purchase in the gift shop at the end of your tour. That's it, thank you very much, let us proceed, then, shall we?

The preceding diorama is one of countless others, innumerable in the sense that additional ones are being constructed all the time, each illustrating a new discovery in the compendium of research collected, compiled, and catalogued by that preeminent psychosexual archaeologist, secret police interrogator, serial killer, museum curator, surgeon, and god-only-knows-what-else who, up to now--and from now on--we've been pleased (as we've no choice but to be) to identify in our narrative (inasmuch as our so-called “narrative” narrates anything whatsoever) as "Mr. Thoth."

Each heretofore undreamed of variation of sexual fantasy unearthed, coaxed, coerced, induced, deduced--well, take your pick--by the esteemed Mr. Thoth is thus represented here in this wonderfully intricate maze of disturbingly lifelike tableaux for the education and illumination (and, in some cases, let it be admitted, the lubricious titillation) of visitors such as yourselves. Endless hallways of such exhibits, a vast and labyrinthine network not unlike the inextricable (and inexplicable) knot of a large tree's root system, a kind of psychic world oak of humanity's sexual psychopathology, impossible to uproot, is laid out here, far beneath both ground and consciousness, as museum, symptom, and scene of the crime--all three and all at the same time!

Quite a feat of inhuman engineering, don’tcha think?

On the wall beside each sickeningly lifelike diorama is a descriptive plaque, which, at the touch of a button, offers in over seventeen-hundred-and-seventeen different languages (including the dead and extraterrestrial tongues), Mr. Thoth's illuminating ruminations upon the visual banquet set before your disbelieving eyes. These spicy meditations add an interpretive depth and personal dimension to the displays that would otherwise be simply indigestible theoretical sexoterica.  What’s more, these extemporaneous oral essays are being updated and expanded in real-time even as Mr. Thoth continues to ruminate, which he does, let us assure you, constantly, compulsively, like a cow on a cud.

With incomparable art and technological artifice, the characters appear to move and speak as if they were, in fact, still alive, and, thus, they seem to suffer the same cruel sufferings again and again, lending the facility a certain similarity, we must admit, to commonly held notions of Hell.

So be it. We make no apologies. Even if we did, they'd fall on dead ears. Ha ha...did we say "dead"? Ah-hem. We meant "deaf," quite obviously.

Come now, step lively. Don’t mind a mere slip of the tongue. But do be careful not to let your foot slip on that slick patch. You wouldn't want to break a leg at this point. We'd have to leave you behind for the wolves. It would be a real shame for you to fall prey to the wolves having already come this far. After all, we are very nearly done with our tour. If you squint real hard you can just make out the exit up ahead.

Read the complete novel here:

=100 pieces of garbage=

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

=altered book cover=

I wake up from a dream I can't remember. I retain only a single clue about the subject of this dream. It's this thought, which keeps repeating itself as I lie quietly, staring at the ceiling: I need to read Oblomov.

Later, at breakfast, my husband sips his coffee and says, apropos of nothing that came beforehand, "Maybe we'll take a drive to the German deli today. I'll pick up some more bacon. Then I'll take you over to Topos. Would you like that?"

"Yes. I always like going there."

Topos is a used bookstore/cafe located on the corner of Woodward and Putnam in a residential section of Ridgewood, Queens. I know, from past visits that they have a well-preserved used copy of the Yale University edition of Oblomov on sale for seven dollars. I can see its exact place on the wall of shelves as clearly as I can see the coffee pot sitting before me at the center of the table.

(view from the windshield heading towards Topos Bookstore)

The section of Ridgewood where both the German deli and Topos Bookstore/Cafe are located is always a busy area. Today, it seems even more busy than usual. We've already gotten the bacon and now we're on Woodward Avenue. We're circling and circling the block looking for a place to park. "It's okay," I say, "we can come back a different time." My husband is annoyed but determined. On our third pass around the block, he swoops into a tight, illegal spot right beside a fire hydrant. "You go in. I'll wait here. I don't need any more books right now anyway. I've got plenty to read. But you take your time. No rush." "I won't be long," I say. 

I stop briefly inside the door of the bookstore; it's where they keep the poetry. I scan the titles but really I'm just getting my bearings. Then, as if I'd just risen from bed, as if my bed were in this very bookshop and I was stumbling out of it under direction of the first thought of the day, I head straight to the place on the shelf in the fiction section where I know I'll find it: Oblomov. 

I don't question, as I've done on past visits, whether I should buy the book or not. I bring it to the counter where a woman prepares the sale. At the same time, a tall man steps up with his own purchase. He points to the copy of Oblomov on the counter and says to the bookseller, including me in his enthusiasm, "Hey, that's the copy I sold you guys a few months ago." There is a moment of silence during which we all marvel at this coincidence. No one seems to know what else to say. I think of two things I might say: 

1. (jokingly) Now I'll know who to blame for any stains I find inside.

2. (only half-jokingly) Hey you should sign your name inside.

Fortunately, I don't say either of these things. I don't say anything at all. I just continue to stand there, smiling, as we all do, until the woman behind the counter asks me if I need a bag. "No thank you," I say. In fact, its one of those rare instances where everyone has the good judgment not to say anything further. A perfect moment of synchronicity is thereby preserved, instead of it being turned into just another stupid and awkward social moment. 

Excerpt from Oblomov:

(1 pound of Blackforest bacon purchased the same day.)

=Geisha in the City of Death=

“The worst part is that this isn't even the worst part, that the worst part is still to come. The blows, you see, are excruciating in themselves, but invariably, (barring a lucky strike--lucky, that is, for me--which, unluckily--for me--is never struck), they are for the greater part wildly inaccurate, more painful, perhaps, for their wildness and their inaccuracy, thunking as they do across my shins, glancing off my kneecaps, clipping my ankles. They cause pain, in other words, but they do not lead to the quick and efficient end of my life (=suffering).

“The game doesn't engage everyone's interest, nor hold it, at least not initially—two or three take it up, abandon it, then two or three more, another and another, joined by four or five, losing a few here and there who drift off to the bar or bathroom or whatnot. Sometimes, for a time, at least, the game is neglected altogether; inevitably, though, someone weaves drunkenly up to where I’m crucified, takes up the bat, and without even bothering with the blindfold that supposedly provides the challenge, rears back and takes a wild hack.


“The party goes on, advances, contracts, takes on a life of its own, as parties do, amoeba-like, dividing and reuniting again. There's my ex, oh Christ, it's true, there she is, I can't believe Cyn invited her, but here she comes, blindfolded, grinning, the aluminum baseball bat in an awkward two-fisted grip. Her chopping blow catches me in the groin, the backswing lands square on the nail driven through my right instep--I go icy cold with pain, blinded by a brick wall of white light. Her lover comes up behind her, wraps his arms around her waist, guiding her through a swing or two.

“The blows that follow land without a great deal more accuracy, but they provoke a good deal more amusement—and pain. At last, oh thank god at last, the coup de grace is delivered; it's her new lover who takes the bat, removes his sports coat, and takes what is recognizable to anyone, even those unfamiliar with the sport, as an ‘expert stance.’ A crowd materializes out of thin air, like ants around a fallen chunk of cherry popsicle (it’s easy to forget that even Aristotle believed in spontaneous generation).

“Tall and athletic, still broad-shouldered and muscular despite growing a potbelly, an ex-ballplayer who years ago played in the minor leagues of one professional team or other (the St. Louis Cardinals? the Cleveland Indians?), he won't be cheated, so he cheats, determined to play the hero for his honey. I catch his eye from beneath the blindfold he's managed to partially slip to the side as he strides purposely and unerringly forward, takes up that expert stance I’ve already mentioned, first from the right side and then from the left –he’s a switch-hitter! The years haven’t eroded the beauty of his fluid and level swing; age and a few extra inches around the middle haven’t thrown off his timing. He measures me up just right and catches me on the sweet-spot (an inch above each knee), a pair of homeruns for sure, going, going…see ya! He wins the big game, my ex throws herself ecstatically into his arms ("my hero! she cries"), and the crowd, as they say, goes wild.

“Meanwhile, I sag down, pitifully, fatally, on broken legs, never to rise again for breath (or anything else); my head drops dumbly to my chest and through fluttering false eyelashes I see my pink bikini-style panties rapidly darken as my bladder empties and I wonder, am I actually pissing blood?

“Standing on hand, monitoring my progress (Progress? Can you really call it that? Sure! Why not? Fine...progress then) is the surgeon with his stethoscope and scalpel, his cooler of dry ice. Nothing here will go to waste; after all, a human body is a treasure chest of invaluables--an iconic senator dying of nephritis, the aging rock star with the pickled liver, the clogged and rotted heart of the cutthroat venture capitalist-turned-philanthropist at the eleventh hour, but, alas, too late. Who said money can't buy everything? It can buy whatever you can afford. It can buy you a second life; it can buy you a cure for death.

“Already, unable to wait, and because it makes for better theater than carving up a corpse, the surgeon has worked the urine-soaked panties over my hips and down my smooth thighs. He performs a makeshift orchiectomy, that's castration to you laymen out there, slitting my scrotum open down the middle (my what?! My scrotum!? How did that get there?!), reaching inside and prying out my testicles (my what? My testicles?! Hey, what gives? Surely you jest!), cutting the cords and nerves and whatnot, his latex fingers slick with blood and unexpressed semen. There's some impotent Russian bazillionaire somewhere in the Urals who's convinced that a ground and dried concoction including such illicit ingredients harvested fresh from the source makes Viagra seem like taking baby aspirin for a brain tumor.

“Corneas, hair, teeth, not to mention lungs, the pancreas, and adrenal glands, the skull cracked open, that jellied meat a delicacy, the pituitary rare as a four-leaf clover, bones have uses too, damn it's all good, and when the body is empty so long as there are recognizable orifices and a certain quantity of meat remains a necrophiliac can be found somewhere who'll pay to fuck it, a cannibal to eat it, and when that's gone there are master tattooists around the world who’d kill for a skin as pale and smooth as mine to stretch and ink with secret grimoires; rich collectors are paying fortunes even as we speak (so to speak) to secure such precious canvases for the unimaginable collections of the darkest galleries in the most secret of private museums. 

“Cyn will make a bundle on my carcass alone, not to mention from the proceeds of the film she's paid a photographer to shoot of my torture and butchering. She’ll net enough to never have to work again, even if her film career doesn't pan out the way she plans, and knowing her, with that short attention span, addictive personality, and alarming tendency to self-destructive dissolution, it surely won't. Well, at least she'll be able to have that child she always wanted and that's not cheap without a womb and all, but what can science not do if it has a mind to do--and a full enough a word, nothing!

“They'll implant the brat in her tummy, or thereabouts, like a virgin birth, a child of no man (and, in this case) no woman born, a propitious and unprecedented pseudo-event. It's always been a dream of hers, motherhood, that is, the ultimate fantasy, to be a big-bellied, big-titted, transsexual earth mother with a Munchausen fetish--it's nice to be able to help a dream come true, although I have to admit I wish it hadn't cost me quite so much. Speaking of which, why haven't I lost consciousness by now, haven't I suffered enough, why does this horrible moment seem frozen, like it's going on forever? If only I could wake up, if I could just wake up for five seconds, maybe, just maybe, I could die once and for all at long last and be done with this nightmare (=life), is that too fucking much to ask?

Read the complete novel here:

Monday, November 23, 2015

=envelope art=

=Geisha in the City of Death=

“So just imagine this,” says the catwalk-thin cutie, trembling all over from head-to-toe, her blue lips blood-flecked, blood-glittered, blood-dusted, and her large painted eyes coquettishly a-flutter: “My lover informs me that she's planned a surprise dinner party--a surprise to me, anyway, a sort of debutante's death-ball, is how she puts it, my coming-out’ party. She says this with an ominous, secret little smirk that only strikes me as ominous and secret in retrospect, when the secret is no longer any secret, plenty ominous, and way too late to escape.

“In the meantime, I mindlessly fret and flit about debating what to wear; in the end, of course, it's not important, because the plan doesn't require me to wear much, but I don't know that yet--it's all part of the fun, their fun, to keep me blissfully ignorant, in a state of perpetual pre-orgasmic suspense. I've managed only to don a sexy little half-bra and ruffled panties when the injection kicks in, the curtain goes up, the show begins; half-blinded, I struggle to slip into a pair of thigh-high stockings, clumsily getting the seams straight, costing myself valuable seconds. It's when I bend forward to buckle the strappy stiletto sandal to my ankle that the inky black fingers of whatever illegal cocktail of drugs that's been surreptitiously introduced into my bloodstream slides over my brain like a mutant octopus, smudging up and squishing out the last of my consciousness. Thereupon I tumble forward in slow-motion to the polished hardwood floor like a soft little pillow at my mistress's booted feet.

“For half the party--my own party, mind you!--I'm just not with it; drugged dopey, I stare through glazed eyes at a lot of people I don't know, or half-know, or, worst of all, know all too well, these emissaries from the past and present intermixed, like in a dream set in a place I don't recognize and have never been before, but familiar all the same, an archetypal banquet hall, maybe, the kind they use for weddings or mitzvahs, bar or bat, and I'm still in my underwear and I'm seemingly hovering just above the crowd (Why just look at them down there, having such a good time at my expense!).

“God, I'm so loopy, and it's a good thing, too, since I'm starting to understand that, as unreal as it all seems, as surreal as it looks to my own eyes which are only inches away from my open palm, my head having flopped lazily to the side at the prompting of a dull, faraway pain, like the flicker of distant lightning or the faint drums of a still far-off marching band, I see the impossible: the fact that I'm nailed to a wooden cross erected in the middle of this milling gathering, crucified here like nothing so much as an incidental conversation piece!

“Well, maybe not so incidental…

“But, then, certainly not so important either; this isn't my party, after all, as it turns out, but hers, my pre-op transsexual mistress in her ultra-glam gold lame evening gown, an ex-male bodybuilder turned glamour-puss film star, or something of the sort, well, you know what I mean, not exactly a film star, per se, but...wait…

“Ssshhh…listen...they are mingling, chatting, sipping cocktails and noshing on catered hors d oeuvres and hozzie-whatzies, every so often throwing a glance my way, curious, bored, chuckling at my precarious plight—‘whose is that freakthing anyway?’ To which comes the ubiquitous response ‘Cyn's little girlfriend.’ The retort to which invariably is some variation of ‘Oh...(laughing)...Jesus...I didn't recognize...well, I'll be damned they've finally gone and done it then...well, good for Cyn; she deserves the way, have you seen the first rushes yet? Dynamite stuff for low-budget porn…’

“And so it goes, the small-talk people make, even at funerals, the chitchat they generate clustered around sickbeds, and deathbeds, the pointless albeit essential buzz they doubtless made on the walk to and from the crematoriums, the firing-squads, the death marches, et al....

“Tears have meanwhile dried in my thickly-applied make-up, so thickly-applied, in fact, that it's like a mask of sludge, so thick, to be precise, it's like my face is under an inch of mud; why, I wonder? Why--this heavy-handed, intentionally inexpert job? It's theatrical make-up, that's why, corpse make-up, that's what I suddenly realize, puddinged on the way they prepare the dead, or the slow dancing actress portraying an archetype of death on stage, her face emotionless, unblemished, vacant--serene, by which I mean to say, soulless, un-transcendent in every sense...does that make sense? Yes, there is no other conclusion to draw. I've made up my mind. I have been made-up like this because in everyone's mind I am, in fact, already dead.

“I whimper. My bowels, as the Bible has so often and so eloquently put it, have turned to water.

“An older man, sipping a Cosmopolitan, perhaps (I'm no Mr. Boston!) puffing a cigar, appraises me meditatively, almost appreciatively, but nonetheless with blank unseeing eyes, preoccupied, as if he were thinking of something else entirely (which, quite naturally, he is), which would mean he wasn't appraising me at all, now wouldn't it? Note to self: For crissakes you're not the goddamned center of the universe, you fucking egomaniac, you! He was merely looking, absently, in my general direction because I am absent.  Occasionally someone (is it Cyn?) quiets my groans by thrusting a sponge between my teeth; it's soaked, I think, with a lemon-flavored tranquilizer laced with diuretics and laxatives; the older man gets bored, resurfaces from his private meditation, gets tapped on the shoulder, knocks the ash off his cigar and extinguishes it, off-handedly, against the inside of my left thigh, and so it goes.

“My ribcage, exposed below my pink polka-dot halter (yes, I'm now wearing a polka-dot pink halter and pink short-shorts, don't ask me how this is possible) is slashed (for effect, non-lethally, Cyn assures me; she looks so radiant!) and my taut tummy is stretched (and similarly slashed with what look to be some sort of Mayan hieroglyphics) between my prominent hipbones, navel pierced, of course, with a dangling rhinestone trinket of vaguely religious significance, ironically postmodern, of course.

“A party game has started up, seemingly spontaneously, as these things so often do, with the abrupt and incongruous appearance of an aluminum baseball bat—‘Break the Pansy's Legs’ this unfortunate game seems to be called. Is that, ultimately, what this is really all about? Someone has tacked a sheet of paper above my head with the words "Impotent Fag" scrawled across in pink block letters, and so, now that all's prepared, let the game begin!

“I guess you could say that the general idea of the contest resembles (more than anything else I can think of at the moment) a sort of cross between pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and beating a piƱata. Someone takes up the bat, they blindfold him or her, turn them rapidly around two or three times, and face them in the general direction of my crucified body. Then they give him or her a shove forward and the hilarity ensues!

“Staggering towards me, bat-on-shoulder to the accompaniment of encouraging cheers, hoots and laughter, to spirited and shouted instructions (left, right, no left, left, left, now right, that's it, a little bit forward, not so much, almost, almost, right, yes...stop right there... Stop!…SWING! SWING!). Each participant eventually arrives in the approximate vicinity of my cross, at the foot of it, I mean, and, with all their might, takes an awkward, off-balance hack, the idea being to break the bones in my legs so that, no longer able to support my weight, unable to relieve the pressure on my nailed wrists and feet, my diaphragm will collapse, my lungs fill with fluid, eventually cease to function altogether and, in exhaustion and agony, lapsing into shock, I'll suffocate and expire, which is generally the way the crucified of all centuries eventually met their deaths.

“And nothing more than this is the goal of the game, this is how the winner is determined. Who'll be the one to succeed in breaking my legbones so that I croak. That person is the lucky champion! Can you imagine? What kind of people are these, anyway? What kind of world is this that they inhabit? How did I end up among them?

“And that’s not even the worst part, the most humiliating part. Shall I tell you the worst part?”

“No, please don’t. I’ve heard enough…”

Read the complete novel here: