Saturday, February 12, 2005

 

A Tragic End to Two Fine Upstanding Young Men


Bill (above) and Doug (below) go down.


Friday, February 11, 2005

 

The Antisemantotron

Ha, The poor saps have taken the bait. Soon, they will be completely wrapped in my Antisemantotron. Everything will be meaningless. The literary and print archives of the world will be mine to control, to warp and whack as I please. No anthology will be safe! Bwaa-haaha-haha! No speech will be safe, unless they bow down to me!

Who are you talking to?

The universe, stupid. That’s what we do.

We?

I can tell you aren’t certified.

Certified?

Stop asking questions based on snippets of what I say.

Or?

Or I’ll fucking KISS you!

Kiss?

Arrrgghh! I meant, “kill.” I will KISS you. Shit.

What’s going on there?

You mean “here.” There.

Uh-oh. Why is this crow hopping around the room with a live cockroach on its head?


 

Tied In--

Hey Bill?

Yeah?

I feel, I dunno--strange.

I've felt better myself.

My stomach's all tied up in--I dunno, something.

Yeah, I know what you mean. Some kinda blockage, or lump, or--hitch.

Hitch?

Twist.

Yeah, that's it. A twist. Over and through. Pulled tight. But it's--

It's what?

No, it's--the opposite of--

The opposite of what?

I don't know. Whatever it is, it's the opposite of--

And it's spreading.

Yeah. It's out about to here on my forearms. Down to here on my calves.

I think it's seeping into us.

Seeping?

Leaching. Like through some kind of semantic membrane.

Yeah, maybe. Which means that before long--

We'll be completely tied in--

Yeah.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

 

Is-y Bodies

There’s something wrong with the transcripts of the inaugural speech, dammit.

What? I don’t see anything.

Look at this. Where I put in “…we have a place, all of us, in a long story—a story we continue, but whose end we will not see,” it now reads “an end we will see over and over again.”

So? That speech is over. Archived. Forget about it.

I’m just saying. All of the notness has been removed from the speech. Look here. Where I put in “…and though our nation has sometimes halted, and sometimes delayed, we must follow no other course,” it now says "we can follow any course we damn well please, meandering like a stream across the hills.”

All the notness is gone?

Yep.

Printer error. Someone over at publications screwing around. Don’t worry about it. The official text is fine.

They’re all like this.

All of them?

Yep. It’s as if, well, someone was creating a new heaven and earth in the text. Replacing notness with isness.

Odd you should say that.

What?

“Isness.” We got a phone call on the secure line this morning. Caller claimed to be a CIA rhetorician.

Yeah, and—?

Said the latest buzz they’re picking up in secure rhetoric circles is the slogan “The Business of America is Isness.”

Hmmm.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

 

Odor from Chaos

Where are we?

In the beginning, I think. Nothingness.

I got it! Say something.

I thought I was.

No, I mean, out loud.

How? It’s impossible in here. Down here. Up here. Whatever.

Ow! Hey! What’d ya hit me for, asshole?

I heard that. Wow, look.

It’s a planet. A big marble.

Earth?

I dunno. It’s awfully dark and void.

Let’s go down there. I think I see water, and I’m thirsty.

Is this water?

Dunno. It’s too dark.

Wish there was some light. Hey! Whaddya know? Where’d that light come from?

Dunno. A big light bulb when you said that? Mighty accommodating. But look, over there. It’s still dark. Almost like, almost like—

The light was divided from the darkness by some kind of, well, divider. Like a dressing curtain.

More like a foam cubicle. So, what’s this?

It’s water. But it’s all over. It’s like, spilling into the darkness and the light.

What we need here is a firmament.

Another divider?

Sure, why not? Divide the water from the water.

Why does all of this sound familiar?

It sounds familiar to you?

Yeah, kind of. Like I heard of someone doing this before.

I don’t know. It all just seemed like the thing to do at the time to me.

What's next?

It'd be nice to stand someplace that isn't wet. And what are we going to call all this stuff?


Monday, February 07, 2005

 

Not

Doug and Bill plummeted for what seemed to be days. It was exactly like church, except without the sermon, liturgy, choir, organ music, parishioners, pews, walls, floor, ceiling, stained-glass windows, sunlight, or dust motes.

That is, they assumed they were plummeting. As they could neither see nor feel their bodies or anything they might be rushing past, or even the displacement of air as they rushed past it, it was as if they had simply ceased to be.

Once Doug heard the tinkle of an ice-cream truck's song. But it dopplered past at several times the speed of a speeding locomotive.

When at last they came to rest, the only discernible difference from their plummeting was that they felt constrained and somehow uneasy. It was rather like being delirious and thinking you have to vomit and then having nothing come up.

They had plopped down square in the middle of the abstract essence of notness in the sentence "George W. Bush was not impeached in 2005," pronounced in rueful hindsight with so little emphasis on the word "not" that it was practically a "wasn't."