Archive | September, 2012

Serial Library passage Sept 22

22 Sep

It was what they liked to call a ninety-nine cent variation, but Justice refused to let it colour his day. He continued on, looking for the little nanite that would change his life. What fell out of the air most days was mechanical. It happened unexpectedly, and only because… yes, there was no denying it… it was destined to happen. Yet there was no way to predict what would happen. The air would happen. The air would always happen. But the air took on a different intensity each day, a different density in the moment, a different dimension altogether whenever you foolishly presumed to look away. But all that changed the day Justice first began to see in colour. But he only saw in colour sometimes. Sometimes he didn’t see at all. And, despite appearances to the contrary, when Justice couldn’t see the air on a given day, no one could see the air on that day, and they all just sat in their various ships, waiting for orders to lift off.

The nanites were a species of love. They were in fact, nothing but love. Nestled within themselves, they counted only themselves. They counted the stars, too, that was true, but they also counted their interior nubs. They were modules, but they were also contained within soft-sown fields you could interact with, like magnetic fields, and other types of fields you could just barely see on the horizon, but only to a certain degree, and then you were left on your own, standing by the perimeter fence, waiting like an idiot to be drowned… the runt of the litter. But also waiting to be welcomed. But mostly no one ever felt very welcomed around that part of the country.

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Serial Library passage Sept 12

12 Sep

She wandered across the tectonic plates of the store she minded with the Russian lady. They were all Russian. They spoke English well enough. The night fell, and they sat silently in the light from the flashing neon OPEN sign. They sorted pills and looked into each other’s eyes, till there was nothing left to do but love each other with gentle touches, eyes alight with the touch of love upon flesh and the waning hope of another day of wandering. If the tectonic plates fell in, they would sell their souls to understand what had stood beneath them all this time, supporting their every endeavour without ever revealing, or reveling in what they had.

Serial Library passage Sept 7

7 Sep

At Maria Shchuka Branch, where only God can make a difference, I heard the music again. People tend to get excited. My big guy takes control when the lights go out. Relationships get cultivated. He fucks other women. I know. I don’t know if this should be a bad thing. When I stand on the round brown hill on the other side of my life and look over the vast rolling land at the sun’s rays fingering the horizon, I have to wonder. Might wreck a book tonight. Or free a life. It all depends. It’s all possible. It never ends. Life is a book. Life of a book. Life in a book. Life. Books. Which will it be, my Scottish prick.

You knew that wasn’t gonna be so good
because it was stupid.
Too perfect.
Leave me alone.
Don’t you see?
Here I am.

Look: I don’t pretend to understand anything. I don’t pretend to know why you have gone away. I only pretend that you are coming back.

Serial Library passage Sept 6

7 Sep

“Ricky Jervais is a name,” said Femur. “Sure. Of course. I get that. I can see that. But that’s not how you spell it. It’s only a name. It isn’t spelled at all. Ricky Jervais is a pod of letters standing in front of a man, or a boy, or even a girl maybe.”

When I was first brought to this place, this terrible place of worship, the sea ran fast, the river crossed over, and death was a rumour I’d heard only once. Now everything was imminent and the breath of the world enveloped me in its hoary halitosis.

Sea is death. Death is river crossing over and losing itself, losing its character as river, entering the big black lack of light that is a giant body of water such as the sea.

A pod of love fell upon them that winter and, whumpf! Wham! Warm air hovering over them. Warm loving air that spread out around them like disease, like the lower part of the body wasted away, like the lower part of a nuclear holocaust, the part we never pay much attention to, the part of the nuclear cloud that spreads out around the base of the mushroom and crushes everything sideways, like cars and people and buildings and pets and potted plants and everything flying sideways like trying to escape from your own most recently exhaled breath. It can’t be done. You can’t do it.

“We made a kind of pact,” Septum explained. “The beach wept. We turned south.”

There was resilience in Femur’s voice, and acceptance, and solidarity, and silence.

“I don’t believe that love grows stronger with time,” said Femur. “I believe that love springs out at unexpected moments and when it is gone it leaves nothing behind.” The ice was thawing. “You would think,” said Septum, “that your life begins in the moment you are born. But you would be wrong.”

“It is your fallen face that shows most obviously who you are and what you are trying to be,” said Femur. Septum leaned on the table despondently. She slunk her head into her arms and cradled herself urgently till she felt warm and safe again. “It makes you vulnerable to theft, murder and all the bad things that happen at the bottom end of a movie,” said Femur, “or a book. It is the place where we run out of imagination, so that all we can do now is create another explosion of death among our characters. Our characters are our friends, our only friends, yet we kill them ceaselessly. How could anyone care any less? How could anyone show less care than we do now as we put our characters to death?”

The dinner was on the table, steam rising. It looked far too hot to eat. It was pasta. Steamy pasta. “It looks too hot to eat,” said Femur. “Just come to the table,” said Septum.

Septum stands at the big bay window behind Femur’s desk and looks out at the city, watching time scrabble across the sky like a crab walking crosswise toward an unknown destination. We hope for a friend. We hope. But what the crab has in its head will never be understood. What Septum is thinking is something only she can understand, and even she is having trouble.

Serial Library passage Sept 4

4 Sep

When the last student emerged from the classroom and set out to cross the great divide, Filman looked on helplessly. Mrs. Dovegal held the frying pan above the sink and looked out the kitchen window. What was Filman doing now? she wondered. The fry pan hung just above the sands of the world. Suds dusted the top of the dishwater below Mrs. Dovegal’s hands. Mrs. Dovegal could not see Filman’s face, just his hair being tugged and tossed by the wind. It’s pretty windy, Mrs. Dovegal mumbled into the slice of air that sat before her like a wall. Maybe Filman is watching the wind. But you can’t see wind. He’s watching what runs overtop of the wind: the wishes, the thistles, the small sticks that tumble from trees and scatter into the distance with no concern for order. Mrs. Dovegal looked down at the dishwater and tried to see what was in there in the sink below the surface.

Serial Library passage Sept 2

2 Sep

Men in yellow hardhats enter the garden at seven o’clock. The sun is coming up. There are rocks already everywhere. In the garden, the men in yellow hardhats stand for something among men who hardly move. They breathe. They easily breathe their steaming breath which stands before them ragged and about to fade, small thought bubbles in forgotten comic books in wood frame houses on the edge of a city that’s got no need for wood frame houses anymore.

We rose above the rest of what lay below us like god’s boots treading across the heavens. We were treading. Like little boats with teensy pinpoint holes setting the pattern for what comes next. As we tread water, we are treading wither we have already descended unto thee, oh my glorious day.

Their seed had polluted me. It had been a long day. The Midland Central drew nearer until finally the melodrama was over.

I met somebody who reminded me of something. I am not sure what we can be reminded of when we are reminded of something by someone we have seen, but it seems to me that whatever it is we are reminded of is the same every time as what we are always reminded of whenever we are reminded by somebody of something. I think I have spent enough time talking about this now, but there is the nagging feeling that there should somehow be more. There should somehow always be more, but more is just another emptiness that fills me. It fills me with dread. It is an emptiness like the space at the top of the drain when the water is draining and it forms a tiny whirlpool and the space in the centre of that whirlpool is exactly equivalent to the dread that fills the space of emptiness I feel when I feel always like there ought to be more. I am oddly happy when I understand again for the umpteenth time that there needs to be more.

I am only happy being reminded of one thing, but I don’t know what that one thing is… I don’t think I could tell you – I don’t believe I have the capacity to excavate – the thing that things remind me of when I am being reminded of something.

Her book was bent to her bosom. She resisted the urge to arch. She arced, a flame travelling up, then stopping, then surging, stopping, eventually settling, shimmering, dying.

What I first thought was a place of worship was actually my foot.