Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I Have a Problem... I'm a Cannibal

A generation and a half
Force fed tragedy
Desolation festers beneath the shiny surface
Corupting the host(s)
Maddned by madness
Bound and submissive
Youth lies ripe for the taking
In a world (more or) less troubled

A lust for death sets in as flesh and bone fracture
Christ on a digital cross
Laid bare by the tools of His sinners (with each gnawing pain)
Releasing  a spray of visceral dread
To be consumed #trending
To be... eaten
#againandagainandagainandagain




Notes; The following was partially inspired by Stanley Dean Baker. A real life cannibal and feature of some true crime documentary series I've been wasting my time with lately. A fascinating read for anyone who may be interested https://gizmodo.com/the-heart-eating-hippie-who-admitted-i-am-a-cannibal-1724667829

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Traintracks

The barge passed, the draw bridge bending to the will of its gears, swung into place and I jolted back to reality by the grinding of the train and the scratchy sound of the intercom suddenly and without warning woke up... well as woke as anyone fresh out of detox could be...  

Week old sweat had stitched itself into the fabric of my DNA, I reeked of chemicals that reeked of piss. The junk had waged a costly war on my body. A good nights rest being one of the many casualties. The fact that I'd been able to doze off (somewhere around Iowa I think?) without the help of Big Pharma was shocking. This... was recovery.

"Folks we will now be resuming our route to Kansas City. 15 miles til our next scheduled stop in Acres Square. This will be our last stop until we reach our destination. If ya need to smoke or stretch your legs... this'll have to do.

"Fuck," I muttered under my breath. 

"Six hours between cigarettes."

Addict thinking is what the professionals call it. Always scheming, planning ahead. Trying (and failing) to save a few crumbs for the next morning. Passing your time making your way through an endless list of a dope-men (or women, hell even transwomen if we're getting all PC about it. I once did a stint in my local behavioral health unit with a lovely transwoman who used to shoot meth and talk to aliens... getting off topic. Moving on); who refuse to operate by the laws of conventional time and punctuality. The types who will always "be there in 20 minuets man. 30 tops.

"All aboard," the stern female attendant yelled.

I stomped out what was lift of my cigarette and left Acres Square behind.

I hadn't planned on going to Kansas. I hadn't really planned on traveling anywhere without my usual crutch, but plans like most other things often find themselves subject to change.

"So what now?" M asked. Putting on a strong face as she clutched my capped needle in her hand. Her still-lit cigarette dwindling away in the ashtray with each passing second.

"I don't know... A change of scenery might be in order."

"What? Like... rehab again?"

"Yeah..."

"You know what that means then... You promised it wouldn't get this bad again. You promised you could control it."

"I know. Bit off more than I could chew with that one..."

M's hand grasped mine... Dim lights were almost as good at subduing the colors of emotions as dope. Subtle twitches in the face, tears welling in the eyes become less real when half lights in your apartment complex are burnt out.

"Just... just get better."

"Is this seat taken?"

I turned and faced a short black woman who looked to be well into her 70's wearing more layers of clothes than I'd thought possible.

"Uh, no go for it."

"You may call me Ms. Pearson." She said before tossing her bags on the floor and taking a sip of overpriced bottled water.

"Okay Ms. Pearson. Where ya headed?" I asked trying to be polite.

"Ohio."

"What's the occasion."

"My son's wake... Only 34 when the Lord took him."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"Thank you... You know, when you get to be my age. Death becomes more... familiar. It don't get any easier mind you but it does become more familiar. I just never thought I'd see the day... No mama should ever have to bury her child.

"What was his name?" I (despite feeling like utter shit) asked. Genuinely intrigued.

"Trey. I take some solace in that he grew up to be a good man. Kind... He was always kind. Hard working... He gave me 2 grand-babies. I... made this for his youngest."

Ms. Pearson dug through her overstuffed purse for what seemed like far too long before she found what she was looking for. A plastic baby doll. Missing an eye and draped in the ugliest crocheted wardrobe I'd ever laid eyes on. At that moment, a reflex something long forgotten possessed me. I grabbed the stupid thing and started sobbing. Ms. Pearson put her arm on my shoulder and hung her head. Here I was having a real human moment after countless years of trying to rid myself of them. Fuck me... I guess this is recovery.

“Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there's something inside us that's so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won't be able to stand looking at it. But it's when we're willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.”  - Hubert Selby Jr.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Yours Truly Discusses Addiction and the Creative Process on Mics Uncut.

My feature on Mics Uncut a web-series focused on up and coming artists aiming their work at tackling big issues in an effort to change the social landscape. Check it out and show some love for the underground. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw7jziV9ZHk&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Glass

Time flows through the clefts of your form
A reflection black as anti-matter
Concealed by the elegant cracks of a mirror

Starved of endorphins
Its tortured visage carves my flesh
Into its willing sacrifice
With each embrace
Blood meets bliss

And the world
Is a little more than what it once was
Brighter in some spots
Darker in others
Til your jagged image hemorrhages out of every pore

Wrapped in gore-soaked rags and
Emboldened by devotion
I await your siren's song with each new day
In a casket bearing your mirage



Saturday, January 6, 2018

Distant


 The faint glow of a computer monitor illuminated Jake's room. The corpses of discarded envelops sent from the far reaches of the Dark Net littered his floor. The paper ghosts Fent pills, etizolam, methamphetamine hydrochloride and various others (all tested at 85-95% purity) all stood watch, crowded together in the ambiance of awkward silence, all cued to the symphony of a life breaking down;


(4:33 is a three-movement-composition by American experimental composer John Cage. It was composed in 1952, for any instrument or combination of instruments, and the score instructs the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s) during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements. The piece consists of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as "four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence." The title of the piece refers to the total length in minutes and seconds of a given performance, 4′33″ being the total length of the first public performance... this may seem tangential but the silence.


 The fucking silence... is quite relevant to this tale. Anyway...)


"Whose there? Who the FUCK are you?!?" Jake yelled at his door.


"It's Sera.. please. Please open your door so we can talk."


"I do not consent to search or seizure of my person or property."


Jake said, echoing his mantra. One of the only things to binding him to some semblance or normalcy after "the voices" had made themselves known.


Another pharma-ball (a small dose of fent plus methamph) and another obscure benzo-derivative taken as a sacrament to stay one step ahead of the paranoia... or was it paranoia. No way to tell at this point. The situation was rather (for lack of a better term) nuanced. This had been day 4 going on day 5. Now, the only reality was slavish consumption tinged with a dose of irrational fear.


"Heh, irrational." Jake said (whoa responding to my narrative. Nice 4th wall break if I do say so myself)


"Rationale hasn't done much for me lately. Rationale is subservience to the whims of a police state founded on dead morals." He said again. Lighting a cigarette after sucking back the drip from whatever concoction he'd snorted methamph and... other stuff. Oh well.


I don't remember where I was when this was happening but I do remember having shut my phone off. Social interaction was never my strong suit. The few friends I had were batshit insane and at the time, drinking myself into a stupor... getting lost in some hedonism of my own, seemed like a better time than dealing with any "drama."  The message he'd left was scratchy sounding. Conspiracy theories about some sex trafficking ring, references to Camus and his thoughts on suicide and, towards the end what sounded an awful lot like a door being broken down . A couple fortnights later, Jake was out of the hospital.


"Holy shit man are you okay?" My own voice probably sounding a little scratchy over the phone.


"Yeah, I'm good..."


"I... I'm sorry."


Jesus, I'm sorry? 20 some odd years of seeking out dark places and I still have no clue what to say.


"It's alright. I'm a lot better. The new meds help."


After finishing what remained of my beer and offering a few more platitudes of encouragement, I eventually said goodbye followed with a;


"Hit me up whenever."


It all seemed... fake at least on my end. The rest of it. The chaos and uncertainty. The feelings of hope and a new lease on life. The tears (both hysterical and joyful at various points on the timeline of the last 2 months) shed by his family, strangers to me but all too real. I decided against calling my plug and shut off my overhead light before whispering;


"I'm glad you're alive man. I hope the new meds really are working. I... I wish I could have been there. I wish I never would have helped you cop your first pill. Shit... seems like a lifetime ago...I wish I could have been better too. "

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Training Camp for Gods

The following is a highly stylized "trip report." Thew in some links to further reading material for exposition/shits and grins.

"Ding!" rang the caustic sound of the microwave. I'd (for whatever reason) decided to fix some Mac n' Cheese during the come up but that all became a distant memory as all of the 600 and some odd milligrams of DXM hit me.
"Holy shiiiiiiiiiiiiit." My voice rang out. Warped beyond any form of recognition it stretched on into a vast abyss. Some sort of Lovecraftian Macroverse that was coming more and more into view as the drugs took hold.
I looked around. Surrounded by the forms of the: "the unmanifested 'Father,' the semi-manifested 'Mother' and the Universe, which is the third Logos of our Brahmâ,

(https://blavatskytheosophy.com/understanding-the-logos/ It's worth noting that I, your humble narrator, had already been down the rabbit hole which is The Secret Doctrine before knocking back the gel-caps. This... whatever it was... It's always hard to tell when you're caught up in the moment, added a palpable fear to the whole thing. It was exhilarating because it was real and that scared the shit out of whatever remained of my rational mind).

I stared down at my new body and felt a surge of power at the base of my spine (akin to Kundalini...another interesting topic if you're so inclined; 

(http://www.bluelight.org/vb/archive/index.php/t-729642.html) shoot through me.
"I... I know everything. I am everything. Thing... thing... thing thing..." Was all I was able to muster at first.
(the inevitable) "I am God" came seconds later.

A voice that was like my own but didn't belong to the meat. Rang out to me. It came from somewhere else and hit my psyche like a fatal car accident.
Some time passed and I soon felt the hand of another entity upon my waist and ("touching" me in the  same way that it didn't exactly speak. There was no mathematical harmony to any of it. Expressions devoid of Syntax. The primal shit that William Burroughs warned us about. It picked me up and attached me to the flesh interface. From my pod, I stared out. A nearly infinite Cartesian plane surrounded me filled to the brim with other gods in other pods.
"I... am ready." I said closing my eyes and breathing in.
I came to in the middle of my kitchen. An oven mitt in one hand and a wash towel in he other. What a way to spend an afternoon.

Fin. 

Somewhere update and Requiem for a Dopeman (my 50th post)!

This is a story I wrote a while back which while fictional is based on someone I knew. Originally my plan was to feature this in an anthology (working title of Somewhere; Tales from a Strungout  Suburbanite). A project which has slowly been coming together for the past year and a half or so (maybe more?) but this one is much more experimental and quite different tonally. As a caveat, I should also mention that it contains some transgressive subject matter pertaining to race... this is not intended to offend or be, edgy or "anti PC" (at least in the way that term is thrown away nowadays) for the sake of it but was rather a personal challenge to myself to "paint with different strokes" if you will.

As for the anthology/book/novella thing, I'm finally getting close to having enough material to throw something  together. Inspiration has waxed and waned I also don't like to sit still for too long and dislike the idea of being tied to a single genre. In any case, I'd like to offer my thanks to the various people and obscure online communities who've offered their interest and support over the past year. Cheers  to a happy 2018 :)


I. Requiem for a Dope Man (the first installment)
 

Boo J woke up to the sound of Lupe Fiasco’s Words I Never Said, blaring through the tinny speakers of his I-Phone.

“Aye P what up boy?”

“Eh not shit man. Kickin it with this white boy. Dude’s lookin for some a dat Hey-Ron shit. You good?”

“Hey-Ron? Nah man I don’t fuck wit it.”

“Shiiit nigga. That’s where the real paypa’s at. Kids can’t get enough a dat shit.”

“That’s no joke man. My people back in Chi town droppin like flies off dat skag… Brotha’s, white boys Mexicans. I’m seeein dat shit on the news e’rey day. It’s bad dope an it’s all bad…shit’s notin to fuck wit, an you know I don’t play.”

“Aight nigga, maybe next time. Peace.”

Click.

Boo J showered, splashed on some cologne and grabbed his back pack. An ounce of AK-47 (vacuum sealed) and his music theory/appreciation textbooks sat side by side coalescing in a place of dying memories and identity crisis.

“Boy, I swear you always gonna have one foot in da grave in this town…. When you gonna outta here and pull yo self up?”

She coughed. Her eyes closed. Boo J left his mother’s small, dusty bedroom behind. The room he’d shared with his four sisters. The bed that he’d crawled underneath of, to check for monsters more times than he could count. The floor where he’d held his mother’s head as she sobbed. The closet where he hid his family when his old man was on a drunk... Terminal cancer, two words that nobody ever wants to hear, especially after you’ve just retired from a life of toiling away at some shit laundry mat in a shit neighborhood… Boo J swallowed the lump in his throat and headed to the bus stop.

“Today we’ll be covering the circle of fifths, quite the interesting concept when you think about it. You see, the fifth note of every scale introduces one more sharp or flat depending on how you look at it, note than the previous scale. So, if we start with C major which as we all know contains only whole tones. We play up to the fifth note G, which uses the same shape, but in order to keep the same modality, requires us to play the…”

“Uh, F#.”

“Yes, very good Brian.”

“Uh, it’s Boo. You uh… you can call me Boo, Ms. Stevens.”

“That’s Dr. Stevens to you Boo… but in any case, well done. Somebody’s been cracking their book,” Dr. Stevens said with a smile.

“What I find fascinating about the circle of fifths is that it can be applied to many things outside the realm of music. Like people for instance. Human behavior and all that it entails. If you think of scales as people and the shifting nature of keys as circumstance, it can really get you thinking. Fundamentally, we are all the same. We all breathe and smile and cry…We all follow a path of sorts. Just like the C major scale, but just one simple deviation from that path, such as, well for the sake of the metaphor, adding a sharp or a flat can drastically alter the sound and create something entirely new.”

Boo J sat in his car coated in silence. No music, no sparks from his Bob Marely lighter or coughing fits from the blunt behind his ear.  Nothing but the long trains of thought that come from those in-accessible moments of clarity. Something that can’t quite be understood working its way into the back channels of grey matter soaked sensory inputs. Eventually, Boo headed back to his humble abode on East Mayberry Ave, right behind the ruins of the Apollo schoolhouse. As the night passed away in a haze of smoke etched silhouettes, a company of ghosts, coming and going, motivated by the promise of marijuana and whatever else they could grab. Boo kept reflecting on the events of the day as the film-screen of the status quo played in front of him. After being stuck in the loop for a while

“Yo Tre, you ever wonder why we stay in the game? Why we gotta do the shit that we do? Ya know…” AV took his series of puffs from the lit blunt filling the room with its essence, (the ritual of the Dope Game, as Boo had always called it).

“Weird ass Boo. Gotta love him but that nigga be on some otha shit.” AV thought to himself.

“Shit man, a real nigga’s gotta be on his grind. It’s survival. I mean shit, it’s a fuckin jungle out there man. You see any a those fortune 500 hundred mothafuckers offerin me a job? Hell no…we gotta do us man. All that otha shit is what it is.”

Tre, realizing that the weed was thoroughly cashed out dropped his roach into an old PBR can and exhaled.

“What you think about all a dat shit Boo? You gotta have an answer… All a yo weird ass philosophizin and shit.”

Still lost in his thoughts, Boo for an undisclosed amount of time (maybe to add depth to his character or something but anyway), remained silent.

“I got nothin man. One a those things out there that we got no control of. Tre’s right I guess…it is what it is.”


II. Somewhere Beneath the Sunshine.


Jason woke up in a cold sweat. The culprit being one mother-fucker of a using dream combined with the first signals of the harvest.

“The microbes that hide inside of the heroin keep me feeling…normal. But if I don’t let them feed, or if I forget to make my offerings to them. They start stealing my organs. Just little pieces here and there but the longer it goes on the worse it gets… My spleen is almost gone. It’s down to 30 maybe even 20% these days.”

Jason saw the look in his mother’s eyes behind the plexi-glass window of his room at the Mount Vernon mental health institution. Things had gotten better sense he’d left the hospital but there were still good days and bad days...

“Jesus, fuck,” he screamed knocking his copy of Naked Lunch to the floor while frantically rummaging through his nightstand.

“No, no, no, no, no!”

He was out of dope. Not a crumb in sight. Defeated, Jason rolled over and clutched his withdrawal pillow (the huge body pillow that never gets washed, its sole purpose being to absorb the putrid effects of junk-sickness).

After shooting one too many a cocktail of experimental amphetamines, angel dust and whatever else was lying around, Jason had been forced to switch to heroin (and the occasional temazepam). It was the only thing that gave him some relief from the voices. There were too many to count but some stuck out more than others.

“Smash head! Break teeth. Cut body.”

An odd mix of Swahili buried underneath the sound that people make after chugging a bottle or two of cough syrup, the voice of an animal.

“I can’t do this again. Not again…” Jason sobbed.

He kept a tight hold of the withdrawal pillow, burying his face in the toxic-waste of days past.


III: The Phone Call


“Hello,” I said (groggily) after being rudely awakened from my excursion to Oxy-land.

“I’m in some serious fuckin shit man!”

“Wha… What’s up?” I said in between nods.

“Fuckin Jason man. He’s dead. My biggest plug for K-pins and he’s fuckin dead!”

“Jesus…”

“Ricky was silent.

“So… so I mean that’s shitty and all but uh… I mean it’s not like you need the money or anything. Besides wasn’t Jason a little… you know off?”

“Yeah, yeah he was but he literally had an unlimited supply of pills for dirt cheap. I uh, I guess you could say I took advantage of that… So I have these girls that, well shit man I’m gonna put it bluntly, they let me fuck em for dope. They’re all dope whores and I get my dope, the dope I uh, exchange with them from Moon see and…”

My heart literally skipped a beat. Moon from what I could gather, was one of the most vicious people alive. An enforcer for the Barrio Syndicate (the closest thing to the cartel we had around here), rumor had it that one of his favorite hobbies was to break into people’s houses and stab them to death in their sleep… He’d done countless stretches in county a drug bust here an armed robbery there, but never anything beyond that. He always seemed pop up on the streets a month or so later.  He was bad news in every sense of the word.

“And he fronts it to me as long as I can get him his K-pins… this is not gonna end well for me man. How in the hell is he gonna get his shit now? This is gonna be a time of war man. Straight up Macedonia in this bitch... Jesus I’m fucked. Sweet, sweet Jesus…”

Ricky, (as per usual) was strung out on speed, (Moon was a resourceful guy to say the least. He’d be able to find more pharmaceuticals). I tried my best to talk him out of his delusions of grandeur and offered to share some of my Oxy to help with the crash je would inevitably be experiencing soon. But regardless, a person, scratch that, a person I knew was dead… this should have been a wale up call, but that’s enough of my existential woes for today… this story isn’t about me.


IV: A literary device used as a catalyst to the story’s climax…Spoiler alert


Jamal, parked outside of his plugs house, sat in his car smoking a cigarette. It would be an understatement to say that he had mixed feelings about what he was doing. His cousin had warned him about… well, everything; the crazy needle-freaks that sold bad dope to unwary street kids, but an offer like this was too good to pass up. Jamal wasn’t doing it to get high. Sure he’d have to sample the product but this was about more than the instant gratification. He was coming up in the game quick. If he kept at it, he’d have make something of himself before summer.

“Love gona get us out the ghetto.”

Words from an old song whispered sweet nothings between Jamal’s ear canals, were interrupted by the slamming of a screen door and a set of approaching footsteps.

“Aye man, you don’t look so good.”

“Yeah, I don’t feel to fuckin good either,” Jason said, lighting a cigarette of his own.

“The microbes and… well that’s not really important.”

“You good on that tweak shit bro? I got yo Hey-Ron, some guy named Moon got me some fire.” Jamal asked after an awkward pause.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Here... I think it’s called Snow Leopard. It’s a wild, wild ride man. I can’t shoot it anymore because of the voices and the harvest and all that, but you should be okay. You look like a smart kid…You love the Lord don’t ya?”

“Uh, yeah… Thanks man.”

Jamal weighed the product after getting back to his safe house.

“Damn Jim tha’sa solid quarta. You lookin at 7 grand fo nothing but a dub of H shiiit.”

T sat back and cracked his knuckles after tearing the cellophane off a fresh pack of Newports.

“So uh, we gonna get down on this shit or what?”

“I dunno man. Dude was sketched out like a mothafucker. Sides I ain’t no junkie.”

“You gotta take a taste nigga… It’s just a part a da business and we business men.”

Jamal looked down at the pile of off-white powder in front of him and let out a sigh.

“Aight man. Let’s blow.”


V: Requiem for a Dope Man; Part Deuce


“Brian Roach?”

“Yeah, this is Boo, I mean uh Brian. What up?”

“My name is Dr. Arnold Sanders, calling from St. Francis Medical. It’s uh… I’m calling regarding your cousin Jamal Nathaniel. You were listed as his emergency contact …we’re going to need you to come by as soon as you can to answer a few questions.”

“Bad dope… Just like you always be sayin man. Nutin but trouble when a nigga starts fuckin round wit that powda.”

Later that day, AV passed a joint to Boo J who (for obvious reasons) sharply declined.

“What you gonna do man? I mean dude killed him… well he didn’t really, might as well have though…” AV said breaking the silence after finishing his smoke session (déjà vu).

Boo J didn’t answer him.

“One deviation from that path can drastically alter the sound…”

“I know the dude who’s slingin that shit. Lives over on the North side. I guess he got schizophrenia or somethin.”

Brian Roach had never fired a gun before. He’d seen enough of that growing up but there’s a first time for everything… They say that when the drugs fade away the mind meets itself. All the tangled, glass embedded ends of neurons penetrating into dark ambitions with nothing to numb the pain of it all. Once the drugs leave the demons come out to play.

“Are you hear to make the voices stop?”

Boo J sat on the curb. A fresh coat of blood splatter mixed with the veil of sweat and tears. He could hear sirens in the distance and knew it was time. The still warm-to-the-touch barrel pressed against his left temple, Boo’s hand shook under the weight of a bullet.

“Doe Ray Me Fa So La Tee Doe”

He sang in between sobs.

“Drop your weapon. Put your hands up and drop your fucking weapon.”

“We’re all on a path of sorts… just like the C major scale.”