Sunday, April 18, 2010


they steered down the caste iron stairway arriving at the dodecahedron, shining black as black, in the center of the lobby. synthetic weeds piled-up and fell around the base. A desperate space probe machine gun religion jutting up through the floor. A cheap Lecorbusier ripoff determined to grip onto a a once promising dream once again. The structure interacted with telekinetic smugness, displaying a holographic representation of the two people staring at it. In the mirror, miss charlotte sat on hroderbert's lap. They were in the bedroom. Upstairs. He gripped her around the waist. She placed her hand lightly on the side of his face, dragging her thumb lingeringly behind. “Where do you want to be kissed?” she asked. “Imperfectly,” he said. Hrodebert turned to miss charlotte. She continued to stare into the mirror as she increased her filter and the image faded. She turned toward him and smiled. “a favor?” hrodebert wondered. “does she know how it feels? The lonely frustration. The jitter to connect.” he looked at her curiously, and she turned to face toward the exit. “c'mon,” she said, navigating her liquid black-toned limbs toward the door. They exited into the mirror-world street. Cars lined the thoroughfare, windows smashed, glass shining on the ground. Some cars were gutted and used as sleeping quarters. Others laid charred like wounded buffalo killed for game. The carpacolypse never did quite occur. Replacement sewer tunnels, halted above ground in the midst of construction, provided luxury caves for some of the people in east hollywood. This was y territory. The madness of circuitry had broke and was replaced only with wreckage, rust, more broken pieces. After some time hooked on y, it became nearly impossible to clean-up the shards. The mind became too fractured, inveterate.

“where are we going?” hrodebert asked.

“i'm following you,” she said.

“what? You're connected. You know the dimensions of the landscape...”

“i've been following you all along.”

“let's get a drink.”

they walked down the street. Out of a refuge pile situated on the kerb, trotted a tiny man in a bowler's hat. He had the look of an anime character with a thin, slightly curved mustache and toy doll tony dark eyes that flourished inimitably. as hrodebert and miss charlotte passed, he took his hat off and commenced a sweeping salutory gesture. Miss charlotte laughed and waved. Hrodebert walked past, and in a delayed gesture, bowed to the man swing band style. they continued on. human forms hung by rope from the rooftops of abandoned buildings – art pranks. Graffiti murals and apocalyptic utterances decorated the interiors of disused shops – EXIST. DO YOU NOT know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own
1 Corinthians 6:19



Two bearded men sputtered from an alley and rounded the corner. one fiddled with a monocle – the broken crest of an interface washed to the refuge frontier. It was a real find. “i say, will we not monkey the farcle or for that matter brew some tea. It's the afternoon of the perfect wooden table in the year of the great wide. This will not be tolerated.” said the unmonocled man, his houndstooth coat rippling in wind gusts. “don't play unfluorescent with me,” said the other. They whisked off shoulder to shoulder, the unmocoled man's ruddy face disappearing like a 90's era auto taillight.

“this place is riddled with h,” said miss charlotte.

“it's the only way to live here. This is the end.” said hrodebert.

Far down the thoroughfare, a smokestack and two old factories could be seen. Moss was creeping around the base of the building. Vines sloped all around the facade, and a rash of brush encircled the two concrete and steel structures. Feral buildings of east la. They walked down the street saying nothing, prepared for whatever sort of goofs or kicks the street threw their way. They passed a rotting filling station to their right, and took in the fragrance of gasoline and leaves. “i always did love that scent,” said miss charlotte. Hrodebert said nothing but smiled gently. They strode carefully together, admiring the hollowed out cafes and bike shops. The defunct convenience stores and check cashers. There were some bonfires tending to huddled bodies in the rabble. mechanical cctv camera gulls circled trash heaps – televisions, mannequins, broken glass, spinning motors. As they approached the feral buildings, a whooping and hollering could be heard. The anachronistic outline of savages from an old school textbook, or possibly from an 80's era cartoon, fuzzed to life. Long-haired reurbaners, some bearded, some not, were gathering beige objects out of barrels. They placed the bounty on an elongated television built table and diced them up.

“howdy,” said hrodebert.

“howdy, man,” said the one with stacks of bracelets – circuitry, old wires, and twisted metal, too – his long hair was tied back, a smiled glowed through his beard, and it extended out toward twinkling blue eyes.

“what are ya all getting into it?” asked, hrodebert.

“huh?” asked the savage.

“what's the good news, brother?”

“oh. We're about to celebrate. You're just in time. Please come join us.”

“i'm hrodebert, by the way,” he said outstreching his hand. “and thanks, but we probably should get going.”

“thad. It's a pleasure. No, i insist upon your company. we're feasting tonite. You must stay.”

hrodebert introduced miss charlotte, who interjected: “we've nowhere to go right now. If it's not a burden...”

“of course not. Please do Join us.”

they walked over to two dreadlocked rastafarians picking what appeared to be potatoes out of two white plastic barrels.

“hail i,” they said turning around to greet the visitors.

“greetings,” hrodebert and miss charlotte said.

“we don't get many visitors, and you have come on a grand day – the day of our feast.” said one of the rastas.

“thank you,” said miss charlotte who introduced herself and hrodebert.

The male's name turned out to be freddie. He was of average height, and His sinewy but lean muscular arms deftly removed the vegetables as if he was in an unearthly trance. He smiled often and so did ashanti, who's glowing white teeth made you smile with joy in return. Ashanti handed miss charlotte a marijuana stick. “here. Smoke this.” miss charlotte passed around the tea. Hrodebert inhaled, and He felt the smoke flower through the sensors in his upper respiratory system. He didn't know whether his faraway soul, if it could be called a soul, would respond to the drug. Freddie and ashanti continued to transfer the potatoes to the television table. Goldstar, samsung and toshiba labels protruded into sight from the table as someone in black jeans, t-shirt and boots silently cut the potatoes. To the right, a fire began to flicker in a pit. Three Strange characters dressed in white polycarbon material tended to the fire while two figures in salvaged military apparel carried wood from the debris of the neighborhood.

“can we do anything to help?” hrodebert asked.

“you're here, right? You are helping.”

“there must be something...” said miss charlotte.

“i'll introduce you to the rest of the family. Come.”

they began walking over to the others. Hrodebert looked up at the dilapidated building and began feeling a mysterious shroud envelop his consciousness. He noticed herbs sprouting from reclaimed glass jars in the windows of the buildings, and his mind floated to thoughts of a grapevine in the valley. That very moment he wanted to implore miss charlotte – spill his uncanny dream to her - to join him in his imagination: “forget your customs; forget your rituals; lose your religion; i don't know you from eve, dig? You're woman. I'm man. Let's stay together in the red dust of god's cradle beneath a fiery sun while clinging to the terminal grape vine.” he looked over at her and was struck, for the first time he could remember, at such a look of placid contentment as she stared straight ahead in what could only be surmised as a moment of clear apophenia. the three marched lockstep, and hrodebert's mind fragmented and blurred. They reached the two eurasians who were dressed in white monomer showercurtains, and upon closer inspection, cubist designs with a hanson sheen could be seen on the showercurtains. They wore boots reminiscent of 20th century anti-gravity moonwalkers. They were very focused on the cooking of the food. Freddie startled the two as he attempted introductions. “hail i. We've visitors, mon.” They all made greetings and spoke in spacey tones though their inflections sounded genuine and kind. The girl called photonia brushed her posh bobbed hair behind her ear and stirred the simmering contents of the industrial tin cauldron.

“where are you coming from?” asked simon, his countenance morphing into quizzical wonderment in this attempt at small talk.

“we were staying at the motel yonder.” hrodebert said and pointed back in the direction of the motel.

“the tinsel town estuary?” photonia questioned with a sound that floated somewhere between disdain and amusement.

“we were visiting a friend,” miss charlotte said. “We're coming from new york.”

“i was thinking you do not look the part. Irie. We are so happy to have you, however.”

“we're thrilled to be here,” said miss charlotte. “how can we help?”

the third beshowercurtained girl walked over with her hands full of disrepaired wood. Her red hair flowed over the shower curtain like chthonic tentacles, and she was followed by two girlboys, one draped in a u.s. Military dress raincoat, the other in an h2o parka unzipped to show a pale green sheet beneath it. More introductions.

“i'll never remember all these names.” said hrodebert.

“give it time. You're home now,” said freddie.

Hrodebert looked up at the too-big sky and scanned the horizon. Beyond the two buildings, a field of yellowing grass and weeds rolled in one huge bulge of land toward another building situated on a parellel street. In back of the building a field of marijuana crops sprouted haywire from the earth.

“that's where we feast, my friends,” freddie said, noticing hrodebert's surveying gaze.

The girlboys walked to the warehouse and took out a stack of chrome platters. Ashanti also strode over with a big smile, pearly teeth shining in halogen beauty, and took one of the platters. Photonia scooped the contents of the cauldron onto the platter, and ashanti made her way to the far building. Freddie and the rest did likewise, and hrodebert and miss charlotte followed suit.

As they strode peacefully across the disused valley, hrodebert turned to miss charlotte and casually asked if she was connected.

“i haven't even thought about it,” she said. “This is so lovely.”

the field formed a sort of quadrangle, and they trudged over the soft grass as if it was the penultimate treat for the joints of their soft machines in motion.

“how do you feel?” miss charlotte asked hrodebert.

“pretty good,” he said.

“really?” she asked surprised, expecting a certain level of consternation due to his lack of an outlet.

“i don't know how, but i feel pretty high.”

“you're whole,” she said with wonderment.

He smiled and quipped, “we're never broken.”

they came upon the stately ruins of an episcopal church built largely of stone in neogothic style. Thick undergrowth crept its way up the bleak walls of the church, and rotting grey trees framed the structure in such a sense of gloom as to rain soot across the dark tarmac of the jewelhead. The heavens that shot through the shattered stained glass redeemed the despair somehow by twisting macabre mysteries into renewal of the sublime. The discarded house of worship opened itself to new subjective superstitions, stranger roots had grown.

“take a look at the beach, mon,” freddie said pointing to a feral water garden where the holy ghost of toads could be heard praying beneath a setting sun.

“it's gorgeous,” said miss charlotte.

They entered through the parlor one by one as freddie held the door open. A musty stench of ancient art hung in the air. Each footstep multiplied itself in acoustic arrangements, cascading off the walls as they walked through the parlor and entered into the transept. A wooden banquet table supported by sawhorses was situated just outside the center of the room. One of the girlboys lit a match and and began to light the four wax candles distributed on the table. The transept showered luminescence and the flames brightness pounced upon the shaggy crimson carpet, which steeped its way to a plateau leading to the sanctuary. Strewn across the carpet sat cages, some of bamboo. Some were intricately designed baroque cages. Others were east indian influenced and decorated with candy wrapper collages and turrets. There were medieval castles constructed of plastic and one looked singular in its stone make-up. These were cast about in such chaos as to give the impression of a sort of freedom and archaeological wonderment.

The group took seats on planks supported by cinder blocks on each side of the table, and photonia urged everyone to dig in. Hrodebert and miss charlotte picked up the chopsticks beside the fine china plates, and grabbed chunks of potato, radish and onion. The food was decidedly hot, and freddie and ashanti could be heard praising jah for the meal.

“everyone waits for that one sacred bird,” hrodebert said to miss charlotte.

She glanced over at the cages, toggled into the beyond, and saw images of digital meadowlarks. She gasped.

The group ravished the food ruthlessly as the girl in black who'd been chopping vegetables on the television sets arrived. She carried a chalice filled with what appeared to be rolled pot.

“oh, guests!” she shouted upon noticing hrodebert and miss charlotte. “i had no idea! How grand!”

“erasia, meet hrodebert and miss charlotte,” simon said.

“how do you do?”

“so glad you could join us for the feast. It's not everyday we get such special guests, you know.”

“thank you,” said miss charlotte and hrodebert appreciatively.

They continued to pile their plates with the vegetables and filled their hunger with the harvest.

“if you don't mind if i ask, do you happen to have an outlet to the beyond?” hrodebert asked between bites.

“my friend, its all around us,” said ashanti.

“but... i, i toggled and saw birds, unique, colorful birds, some with monkey heads, others with serpent tails in the cages.”

some shook their heads. One of the boygirls hadn't lifted a head from the plate. “those are monkeywrenchers, dear. Technofetishists fighting to bring electricity and vain images to our peaceful land.”

“where do they come from and what do they want?” asked hrodebert.

“they want to destroy our harmony, become the substance of our nightmares.' who knows? The berserkers smash the circuitry and the technofiles reconnect. It never ends,” said clarence 13x.

“you don't want the power?” miss charlotte asked incredulously.

“for what?” snarled one of the girlboys. “we have so much here. There's no need for it.”

“but there's so much y use around,” miss charlotte said.

“y y y,” said simon. “why question y? The berserkers manufacture it and hang with the people in the neighborhood who are doused in y. it's very peaceful.”

“i don't know. I don't mean to be impertinent but it seems like such a waste.”

everyone at the table chuckled amusedly.

“we are the waste possibilities,” said photonia. “we don't answer to nobody. We don't owe nobody nothing.” the conviction in her eyes looked charming. Her hair threatened to throw a net of liminal desire over her lashes.

“we've found the secret garden,” interjected simon. “... and we've tamed it. You haven't touched your water, by the way. It's been sand-filtered, infused with rose petal extract. It's lovely. Don't be shy.”

miss charlotte and hrodebert washed down their food with the sweet water, and the last of the morsels were picked off the platters. Erasia took a couple tea sticks from the chalice and passed them around the table.

“I want to show you something,” freddie said to the guests as he rounded the deteriorating organ and entered the sanctuary. Hrodebert and miss charlotte followed behind in a smoky haze of iridescence. They entered the sanctuary and were struck by a sculpture of machinery, wires, industrial refuge, mold injected toys, all the effluvia of pop americana. The sculpture was staggeringly intricate. A space vessel of some kind tearing away from a church mounted on steel sprockets and rubber. There were gobs of human faces fleeing the church in plasma form, arms and hands desperately reaching for the space vessel. The three dimensional sculpture was comprised of such a heady mishmash of styles and materials so as to project a future world that mirrored a past world, swinging out to a new world of grotesque beauty, possibly buried somewhere in the center of the earth, waiting to be discovered by another subterranean klimm.

“who created that?” miss charlotte asked clarence 13x.

“I've spent countless years on it. My hope is that somebody, someday will happen upon it, and ask themselves in mystical wonder, “who are the ancient ones? This is not earthly.”

“it's breathtaking,” hrodebert said as he approached the sculpture. He leaned his hand on a pedestal to the right as he kneeled down to inspect the rococo detail, and his hand brushed across a large parchment leather bound volume with an embossed emblem on the spine. Hrodebert rose and picked up the book. In raised black lettering on the loosening spine read, phaidon mirabillibus. He opened it gently and scanned the text. it was a lost quarto gothic, sprung to life through the rubble of indeterminate dust. A small history of another universe with all its algebra and spices and oceans and precious metals. Some interplanetary civilization, which had long been buried through the haste of efficiency of time and metamathematical demystification, tiptoeing silently through the fissures of a collective imagination so as not to leave a trace.

As Clarence 13x advanced toward the book the overhead halogens flickered to life. Miss charlotte and hrodebert looked up, then turned to clarence 13x.

“we'll go outside now,” he said.

They met the others outside. Small gusts of wind warred with the parched yellow grass, and the sky hung with a dark mezzotint.

“the berserkers will come out soon all quaffed, dissolute, lobbing petrol bombs at the vital nodes of all this reformed circuitry,” said ashanti.

One of the boygirls cut in, “the vain conceit of this techno-madness will be scaled down to pretty accessories – ring-around-the-rosie.”

“and the question of why we are playing is never answered, and nobody cares - we all fall down and get back up. Come. Let's go to bed,” ashanti continued.

They all skirted the marijuana field and a tent-like structure of polyvinyl chloride pipes supporting a roof of cardboard came into view on the other side of the crops. Screeching tires and tired gear grinding emanated in the distance.

“yes, let's sleep now. Tomorrow we feast,” freddie said.

The troupe walked to the portico of the makeshift encampment, which was constructed of polyvinyl chloride pipes, cardboard, and a tarpaulin. The tarp was fastened on top of the cardboard, though the frayed and battered edges of the cardboard were exposed to the elements. An old kerosene lamp hung between a few scattered rocking chairs of homestead quaintness. The girlboys lounged in the grass outside the portico, and clarence 13x, ashanti, and the gang took seats in the rocking chairs or on the ground. Hrodebert spread out on the grass, and freddie, who sat on the ground, offered a rocking chair to miss charlotte. She thanked him and sat down. Clarence 13x picked up a mandolin from beside the rocking chair and began strumming. Ashanti hummed to the tune, and stroboscopic flashes could be seen in the distance. It was beautiful. Nobody talked. Intrapsychic wormholes were being dug from the atmospheric music. far-off surges and sparks festooned the horizon, intermingling with the music to form a secret animal language. One alien wavelength. Hrodebert watched the electrically wired currents pop and fizzle over the pavement. The girlboys writhed in the grass in free-love forms. After a few songs, the group began to file into the tent. Sheet metal and drywall sectioned off compartments inside the tent where the interlocutors slept. Sufi. Some paired off and retired to their respective compartments. Photonia advised miss charlotte and hrodebert they were to stay with her. Photonia and miss charlotte followed the others through the open hallway, crouching slightly as they moved through the space. Miss charlotte looked back at hrodebert who was still sitting in the grass.

“i'll head in in a bit,” he whispered.

“you should come,” she shot back.

“in a little while. I'm smitten with the view right now,” he said.

A geometric diagram of industrial angles quantified the sky. He looked beyond the field, beyond the dueling blades of grass and watched the halogens flicker off downward of th' pitch. The others had settled into sleeping bags, and after watching the process of dashing lightbulbs, hrodebert stood up and walked back toward the church. His mind was in a haphazard way, not content with the illusory prospect of his host body feigning sleep. He walked, arms and hands outstretched as if on a balance bean, only to feel the night air rush against his input sensors. He escaped the moon and reentered the church through the parlor. The overhead halogens cast an extraplanetary glow over the church, and the building took on strange new shadows in the electric haze.

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