Friday, September 17, 2021
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Friday, September 3, 2021
but my night is over
and it won't be getting better
reminds me of the time
i made out with a man
who turned seedy and spent
i'd like time to
be there to make you
want to get to more time
by no means will i
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Saturday, July 31, 2021
- Just hold the item(s) in your hand and walk out the door with it/them, purposeful but unhurried. Then if stopped, say, "Wow, I guess I spaced out. I want to buy this/these, but I also wanted to compare the price over at [name of other store at mall]."
- If you must flame while in a hooptie, keep hands well below the dash.
- If you are trying to get back more shiny coins, choose a teller who seems to be flirting with you.
- If you have a lighter in your pocket, and there's another one on the table, use the one on the table, and then put it in your pocket. You now have two lighters.
- Get the shiny coins up front, but make sure his purse is close by in case he wants to add items or go off menu.
- Press a dab of his pre-cum between your thumb and forefinger. If it's tacky, use a condom. If it's stringy, you're good!
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
places on maps
view from grave
view from above
view from a passing conveyance
torque of somnolents
stranded in time
able yet not able
about the bed
stark light black curtains
form of eating
ring of saturn
Monday, June 21, 2021
Yes, I used to contemptualize everything
like the bitter, curmudgeonly professors at
the beginning of my career. They filled the
smoking lounge with grievances and
plotting, derisive cackling in their blur of
fear. But for some the failure has been a
tenderizer, the corrosive beating toward a
climax of surrender. Is what I'm hearing.
Monday, June 14, 2021
Monday, May 31, 2021
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Saturday, May 15, 2021
The shiv will put you into a nightmare you can wake up from as opposed to no-shiv, which you can never wake up from.
I'm on no-shiv.
Don't sweat it. I was born that way.
Is that what you were. Born.
Yeah my mom
I know. Her name is Jan Jansdaad.
Was. But you're right, we're all Jans.
I wish I knew more exactly how I came to be. The mode of arrival, that is, not conception.
Whether you came out of a lab dish or a lightning bolt
I am still coming from there
Either way you are this, here.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
The last rings of sun, with the moon surrendering backward on its rocker: it's a scary light in which to lose your dog. Only the tiny desert vichos can hear Ilyn whistling for Shab.
Showing up unapologetically late, Shab seems happy to back the cart right up to Ilyn's charred and bloody heap near the decomposed granite pit he's crawled out of.
Shab gets a kinky cord of hemp wrapped in his teeth and pulls, and the door on the back of the cart falls off.
Ilyn then has to figure out how to get into the cart with the least amount of pain. After all, he is not a martyr.
A quiet darkness surrounds the pair except for just beneath Shab's hooded forehead, where his eyes are lending just enough red light to see the flecks of cement dust in the air. They would turn all the way back around to the sun again before they'd even find their trail.
Monday, May 10, 2021
Jan Jansdaad is driving along and thinking what if I lost this hooptie. What if anything happened to it at all. We'd be on our way to the next lower rung of economic class hell...
Wait a minute. I'm back. All the while La Chama must have been leading me towards a hole to The Crack. She knew I'd have to return, at least for a moment, just to see. I see I've been to pharmsupply-- I've got a live bag of hopinaskippina. I'm headed home, for whomever I find there. But what about my daughter-- will she take my place? I just wish we could be all together and safe with descent health insurance.
Then there is a prick near the dew claw. Lloyd? You're drawing my blood.
Not at all, Mrs. Jansdaad. I'm just cuddling here next to you while you nap.
I know, Mom. He's from pharmsupply just like daddy said.
Now wait just a minute, ladies.
You're only here to steal our genes and spy.
Oh I'd say it's been quite a lot more than that. I can take you back. Get you reformatted. You'll be an in-between type, like La Chama. Small enough to fit in human structures. Strong enough to
To power one of your slave K's with my brain, as your slave.
It's not like that anymore. We're finding new ways to
To use our natural bodily processes for the greater appetite. Our suffering is inconsequential.
Ok, you know what, you guys? I am getting really sick and tired of walking around with a completely open heart to each of you as persons, and you know I kind of feel like that Begging Rajah, with so much, so much to give, and... no hands. You just scheme to cover up or push your strong identities. What about my purpose? Who am I?
Both Mrs. Jansdaad and Lloyd avert their eyes and tighten their lips. One concept they can agree on is the adorability of Jan and her paroxysms of sincerity.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
You say that Ilyn is Shab's "new" master. Who is the old one?
You might have noticed that on Shab's back is an empty saddle made of the finest mantua. It was the seat of the Giving Rajah who became the Begging Rajah but is now the Perpetually Sobbing Rajah. He was so giving of his riches that he even tried to feed gems carved as lady bugs to a living monster poinsettia, which of course bit off his hands. For a while, the raja tried begging from the back of his formerly proud and now ashamed dog, Shab, but it was no use. Shab's eyes only began to glow red with the shame of his master's indiscretion.
Finally the begging rajah was able to give up begging and live here in this place of death and peace and learned to take on sorrow as his only sustenance. If you look over there in the shadow near the gate, you can see him holding himself up in his grief and sobbing against the stones, having just seen Shab wander off once more with the cart and the redundant saddle.
With La Chama off to help Mrs. Jansdaad find herself, Jan and Lloyd find themselves wandering across the stained plaza the morning after Night of Shiv Days. There are two kinds of stains between the cobblestones: the blood of zealots, and the purplish marks left by the shiv left by the K's. Some flekes have scraped it up and made shiny coins selling it; others go on to sell their stories of being scarred by it.
Lloyd and Jan enter a random alley which becomes an artery that leads them out of the town center and into the Graveyard of Gay Guys. They buy some sausages of vicho and tubes of vine from a vendor and rest against an ancient tree.
Soon, there is a groaning squeak, and then a thud. And then again, and again. Uninterrupted in their chewing, they watch a dog and an open cart pass into their line of sight, headed for the far stone gate leading out to the countryside.
It's Shab, says Jan matter of factly, with her new sense of knowledge. That cart he's pulling is thought to have been constructed before the invention of the wheel. It's rotors are hewn square, so they buck upward at the corners and lurch forward coming down on the straight parts. Shab seems to pull it effortlessly, his feet barely touching the ground, if at all. He'll wander in that wasteland until he sees Ilyn surfacing through the rocky scrabble. Dogs think anything that moves must be alive, and if it's alive it must be food or a savior, and that's how he finds Ilyn every time. Shab finds Ilyn and then pulls him along in the cart, which, in all its heaving and jangling, is the only rest that his master will get until the next ascent, the same ascent, to Karihr-Kesh.
It's reassuring in a way, says Lloyd. Ilyn seems to suck up a lot of the pain around here. Is that what he's for?
It might be an unintended effect of his passion, answers Jan.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Ilyn sprints past his single-file train of devotees on the jagged trail up chank to Karihr-Kesh, the sacred springed platform jutting out over Mthyuh's hot mouth.
Standing at the edge of the Kesh, Ilyn drops his robes and bells and marigold garlands until he is strikingly naked and white-grey because of the scars. His skin is scars upon scars from head to feet. Only the brilliant red hair can break through the gnarled scar surfaces and stand out against the blackened rock faces.
His hair and cement-white bottoms of his feet are all the eye can see until he seems to be consumed in the black crustiness of the lava below. The devotees crack rocks together and blow into stone pipes and sing.
Monday, May 3, 2021
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Some of them are just hoping for the best.
Chama is looking out at the sunset behind the Mthyuh Town Hall Plaza, crowded shoulder-to shoulder with rubber-wearing, umbrella-holding flekes. The tureens are full to brimming over, the broth coming to a simmer.
They show up thinking maybe their lives will change or they will have a really good time or they will end up doing scar tours at shiv temples for cash or dead in pieces in a filthy charnel nest. Since there's no time, the only way you can move forward is to shove action in a direction.
Jan and Lloyd are Chamatilly's guests. They have all the upper chambers of Mthyuh Town Hall. There are shiv boxes and vine and small snacks of fruits and vichos.
I told your mother, Jan, that I would look after you and Lloyd. She's trying to figure out her destiny, you know?
I do know because lately all I can see is her face when I close my eyes. It is painfully expressive.
They're coming. Lloyd can see the tiny K-shaped figures in stack formation from a starting point somewhere in the sun. There's not yet any thumping of their tymbal apparatus, but already their lung music of high, tinny strings and echoey vocals is reaching the crowd.
As the sky darkens, it is a silent crowd-- no roaring, cheering, or chants. In their black garb, they sound more like a vigil. The beasts are growing bigger as they draw near. La Chama, Jan, and Lloyd are standing at ancient glory holes carved into the stone walls to safely view the event.
Jan might have been a little miffed to miss a chance to turn heads in a crowd, but tonight she felt her full voyeuristic morbo bubble to her surfaces.
La Chama selects saves six virgins from Mthyuh's mouth until they change, and they are then set free.
The virgins are sequestered into six stone chambers and develop tymbal structures between their thumbs and forefingers. They communicate only through the common mirror and by the clacking sounds when they are asleep. Some compare it to the sound of woodpeckers.
Their solemn attendants are the Vikkies, who are mostly trans-women but also cisgender performance artists. The Vikkies are permanently named according to the most glamorous World capital or other point of interest adjacent to their chapter. Present International Chair: Vikki Madrid.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Pinging sounds of much hammering of metal on stone.
Central Mthyuh Chank, the turnaround cleared of all traffic.
Shiv tureens are the size of swimming pools, a little smaller than K nests. Raised on blocks just above eye level,the three festival bowls are being filled with a locally sourced vegetative broth. Below, there are thickly stacked coal and flammables.
Jan and Lloyd are strolling like tourists, but wobblier, having to take in not just a change of existential dimension but also an unfamiliar region and ways.
LLOYD: This is all freaking me out. I don't know if I can handle it.
JAN: It's Shiv Days. But it's real is all. It's not a myth here.
LLOYD: No. I mean everything.
JAN: Maybe we'll go home, or maybe it'll be better here. You better buck up. It's all an amazing adventure, and it's our lives.
Every storefront has been scaffolded out past the sidewalk and barred like a jail to allow for jumping in and out of danger.
I get it that we share cultural and historic roots with these people but it's hard for me to imagine actually fitting in and being accepted.
The ancient totalitarian clock tower chimes random hours. Some say there is an algorithm.
How do you know all of this?
She's my mother, and she's developing hyper-archetypal knowledge. I read her facial expressions, but very deeply to the point of pure language, which is actually more accurate than any tongue.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
and then there's the guy across the street
between me to the east and Jan on the corner there
like he's ushering his bitches through a man canyon
he turns all purple round about sunset
the nice wife and their scary female pit
are never permitted to get a word in
"Until you come back, alls I can do is keep track."
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
The young men follow the fleke slaves this way and that along the switchback trails leading up to Karir Kesh at the mouth of la Mthyuh, and their climb is made lighter remembering Ilyn's strange song.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Well. Here we are.
Yes. Honestly I don't know what to do.
Thank you for your honesty. It's that this doesn't happen. I've never met sticky progeny. How did you get through The Crack.
I didn't do anything. Maybe Braino was tracking me.
That's likely due to how we share some Braino, sister.
I met Peg.
And now me. It's herstoric.
What is the meaning of my life?
You'll have plenty of time to figure it out if you play your cards right.
I like sitting and writing poetry at my kitchen table.
Well, you're a monster now.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Sunday, April 18, 2021
There are no bats in this story.
Well you sure look like one! [Other young men giggle or twitch their hands.]
Go on. Feed the flower, child.
He doesn't wanna do it! [The young man stands up. There are no longer feet on the coffee table.] Give me that coin!
The young man, a solid bio-engineering grad school candidate, tries to get up from the filthy sofa, but he is knocked back down as if by a sonic boom.
Suddenly, there is disco.
Reptily's hackles rise atop her head to full height, translucent like tough, thin slabs of bacon shocked with blue.
The faces of Jan's daughter Jan and her boyfriend Lloyd can be seen peeking through the outside window to the chamber of the Mthyuh First House. Behind them, the ankles and three-clawed feet of Mrs. Jansdaad have stopped, steaming in the dust, and the music, except for the highest and most soulful of the voices, has faded completely.
The young men may or may not not have believed in the Monster Poinsettia, but they all know what a K looks, sounds and smells like, even from miles away. Now there is one that appears to be waiting patiently outside their door.
Take me, Chama. I am your slave. I pray that Mthyuh eats me first.
One by one, the young men fall to their knees around the Spanish-revival coffee table, repeating the chant, holding tight to the rings of black wrought iron letting their tears, snot, and drool rest on its glass top now instead of their shoes.
Soon the five young men can be seen obediently following the Chama's five fleke slaves up into the jungle and this way and that in a line along the switchback trail that crosses the hill to Mthyuh Chank. The one on the end has been tasked with carrying the poinsettia, which he holds at arms length and with great exertion as far away as he can from his face.
Greetings of welcome my travelers, fresh through The Crack. Welcome to Mthyuh First House. Your moment of arrival couldn't have been more auspicious. I would invite you in, but... [Chama steps further outside, cranes her neck back and blinks awkwardly to parse Mrs. Jansdaad's hideous face from a blinding sky of bright, silvery clouds.]
Since Jan's been gone, new Jans have moved in next door. They are hesitant to let their kids come near me, as they should be, when our backyard activities intersect, as they do and will. I think at first they regretted that I'm a single man with no wife to watch me and no kids to play with their kids. I tried to gain their trust with greetings, offers, and small concessions so that they'd at least relax and appreciate me as a good neighbor. They did leave a key with me when they went off to Dubbaberah Chank for six weeks. The kids have noticeably grown since they left, and I've just told their mother so. Now I find they'll be moving to Dubbaberah soon.
The neighbors in back have exposed a vile and disrespectful streak. Am I a magnet for sociopaths? Never again will I enter into a dispute with a non-property-owner girlfriend of a property-owner neighbor. Always speak with the property owner about property issues. Typically, a young female Jan will make up for her feelings of insecurity about not being on any legal license or deed by entering into property disputes on behalf of the romantic partner, a sort of second-best to an engagement ring. I don't know what a male non-owner romantic partner would do in that situation because I have not encountered it.
The other next-door neighbors are flekes, and they give life to our dead end on the park. It's impossible to tell who lives there and who's just visiting, who's related to whom, where this dog or that dog went and how he got replaced by another backyard dog. The father died. I'd seen him with his head in his hands on his front stoop one day, the day after his front window had been busted out with a rock.
All my life I looked at the other end of our street as the bad part, and now I've brought all of that here, he says, wiping his face.
I haven't noticed anything else, was my answer.
Yesterday I ran into the new owner, the ex-wife, as I was coming back with Lala from a walk. Her dogs were barking at my dog, whom I'd just let off her leash, through the fence.
What's all the commotion out here, boys? She shouts coming out the back screen door.
Lala is just showing everyone who's boss around here, I explained.
Oh, dog stuff, she concluded, going back inside.
Yeah! Haha, I replied.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Five students at High Chank U who went to the same high school together are sitting around on filthy sofas.
Common chamber rules Mthyuh First House put your damn feet on the damn furniture.
Yeah! [Most of group places their immaculate athletic footwear atop a long, wrought iron, olde-Spanish-mission style coffee table with a precarious glass top.]
Say has anyone seen that guy Ilyn remember?
Ahhhaha. Out of sight, out of mind.
What a freak that guy was-- with all the rings, right?
Yeah Rings of Ilyn we'd sing.
And the teeth necklace. He drilled holes when they extracted his teeth.
When I think of what we did to that pervert.
Don't you feel sorry for him though.
Totally, you think I'm a dick?
That's why you do shit like we did to a guy it's to wake them the fuck up.
Wow brother you are caring truly now.
ENTER Reptily and a potted plant. Four slaves follow in line behind her and take positions against the circumference of the chamber.
Shit that looks like La Chama.
No it's her bitch self Reptily. [Whispering] Her hackles are up.
Yes it's me. I am Reptily. You are strong. You'll be among my proud slaves. You will have many wives, and your children will feed our Mthyuh. This is the Mthyuh First House?
Ya but we are just staying here while we are in school.
Tell me this. Who believes in the Monster Poinsettia.
Hah it's a myth.
I don't know-- I saw a guy once and
Fine. Your friend says it's a myth. I'll tell you what. If he wants to prove to me that this flower in this pot is not the Monster Poinsettia, then I, too, am a myth, and he will not be my slave.
He's not really my friend, he's...
What do you say. Come here.
Do it. Just do this. She's right. We should just kick her ass. There's no real Chama.
The young man stands and walks around the coffee table close enough to smell Reptily.
Don't swoon now. Be a man. Have you got a shiny coin?
Most of the young men check their pockets for shiny coins just in case.
Now give it as alms to the flower. Right there into the seedy part. Go on. It's only a myth.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Lloyd... It seems like the only time when you are not verbal is during sexual activity, in which case I wouldn't actually mind.
Mrs. Jansdaad farts.
When they wake up, they are going through The Crack.
When Jan's daughter Jan looks up, she can see Lloyd's foot only. But that foot, shod and pant cuffed, is all that she can see anywhere besides herself.
Both Lloyd and Jan feel the peristaltic waves, inside themselves and all around them; they can watch the undulations against their clothing and feel it on their faces and the backs of their legs.
Jan hears a voice.
Oh really? Well you didn't even go to high school-- it was more like low school.
Oh my god Jan can you hear me
Yes. Very funny.
I think we're going through The Crack now.
Uh-huh, baby. You're the brilliant one.
They say The Crack is home to a billion holes. Pilgrims, daredevils, and lost hikers alike will never be able to predict when and where they will come out.
The Community College of Cement's entire Chang K. Chang Chank campus is dark except for a few pools of security lighting-- and the strong yellow bug lamp which illuminates the Crack Door Event area. Jan's mom Jan Jansdaad's steaming underwing fat flap is all that's keeping Jan and Lloyd from falling hundreds of feet into the parking lot below.
Jan lands as close as she can to the bug light, which is there for the air conditioning unit attached to the bookstore next to temporary mobile classrooms B-D. Most campus employees, students and visitors walk around the air conditioning unit instead of trying to duck under it, which could cause them to end up in sudden Crack-related peristaltic shock (SCRPS), and besides now being invisible, their associates quickly begin to forget they ever existed. In this respect, SCRPS can affect an entire community from one instance only.
Lloyd is trying to keep up with Jan and her mom. As the odd group rushes across the moonlit baseball fields, plumes of white chalk dust spray from below Mrs. Jansdaad's three-clawed feet. And then they have crossed a short span of black top, and then they have reached The Crack.
They might sound a little like disco when they're running, but when they stop there's nothing but funk, says Lloyd.
Sunday, April 4, 2021
Lloyd has been awake for a just few moments without moving from the tangle of sleeping bags a Scouts of Mthyuh brigade had donated to the clothing drive bin that the beast had lifted from its cement moorings and dumped here in its cliff nest.
He fears that if he moves he will lose the beautiful light scent of jasmine? Monster poinsettia? It's very early in spring yet, and how would flowers grow this high up against a rock? He even imagines he can follow light, pensive plucking on a mandolin.
Then young Jan, sweet Jan, is walking toward him in gentle rays of light, with the massive and hideous silhouette of her mother resting behind her against the moon and clouds. The beast's subsiding breaths after flight create the lilting music as her lungs contract with a melodic metal popping perhaps more similar to a steel guitar.
In this new place, with his confidence dashed for once, Lloyd sees Jan's daughter Jan anew. He is prostrate and broken; she represents a future, a woman who can change his life for once, powerful in a sleeveless chintz chrysanthemum-print frock, even while barefoot and picking her way toward him through the soft debris.
He waits until she has climbed up beside him in the heap of torn, shiny viscose lining, fluffy polyfill and plastic zippers, her red-dark face only inches from his own.
Shush. [She places a finger across his lips.] Just listen. And breathe.
He draws in another chestful of her cologne, which is Dire Cricket, by Pharmsupply.
I'm here to take you away. It's... you know that's my mother, right?
Lloyd nods, slack-mouthed.
Well she never wanted to hurt you. Only that you'd understand. To stop being such a shit.
Lloyd stares up into Jan's shadowed eyes, at the impossible sparkling there.
She wants... and it's not really up for discussion, you know? She wants to take us through The Crack.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
As the sun begins to lower behind the peak of Chang K. Chang Chank, Jan senses an awakening in the Injured Entity bay next door. They are separated on that side by several feet of ancient volcanic rock, through which a ceremonial glory hole had been drilled and through which they now whisper with the backs of their tongues, as only female K's can do.
If we speak with our minds they can track it.
Are you ok?
I will be. Flekke attack. Asshole.
You are an inspiration not to kill.
What do you mean.
I mean you could have killed the flekke.
Well he may become my son-in-law, so...
Ah right. I have kids too.
Wait are you
Yes, tiny baby. I am that old. You can call me
Peg. You are litterly painted in shiv temples. They sing a song about you. She
Had three kids when she went with the winds. I know.
I don't know what to say.
We live forever I guess.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Thursday, March 25, 2021
K farts are so voluminous and dense that they can leave streaks in the sky that are barely distinguishable from wispy purplish clouds in a sunset. They are potent enough and in a way that can make mammals lose consciousness momentarily or even slip into a light coma.
It is through the implementation of one such bioaerosol release that Jan is able to resecure her cliff nest by disabling Lloyd Bentbridge long enough to confiscate his weaponry, hurl it into the void, and get him locked into a leafy, teepee-like structure before he wakes.
As she folds her wings across her feet to rest, Jan feels as though she is being watched. It's not long before Lloyd's mother, Lady Brentridge, appears with a fizzling shower of sparks and stands before a gaping, fogged-up hole in the cliff face.
Their speech is echoey and through the mind only.
Lady Brentridge: He's my son. How dare you?
Jan: He was trying to own my family.
Lady Brentridge [after a pause]: He was always trouble. Thank you for not eating him.
Jan: Now you're making me sick.
Lady Brentridge: You're sick? Twenty-one years. Think of that!
Jan: I swallow rocks to help me digest meat.
Lady Brentridge: Let's focus. What is it that you want?
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Feeling tired, Lloyd lays his head down in a gaggle of bras and closes his eyes.
Lloyd: Now I could be anywhere, in bed. I wish I could wake up. I can't look anymore. God it's a gorgeous view, but far too terrifying. Some perspectives are meant to be set aside only for those who choose them. I could understand if I were a mouse, but come on it's a different level of consciousness.
Lloyd's mother, Lady Brentridge de Modena Chank, appears in an impressive burst of optics.
Lady Brentridge: Son why did you take my name.
Lloyd: Because you have a title, and dad was a... where are you?
Lady Brentridge: I've been waiting all this time for you to reach a certain altitude else I cannot get through the Filter of Loathing.
Lloyd: So the dead can... Mother?
Lady Brentridge: Yes, love.
Lloyd: Can you save me?
Lady Brentridge: No, darling.
Lady Brentridge: Don't speak. You've got to act fast. As soon as you wake up from this nap, fashion a weapon from the wood in the nest. Look for maybe some scrap metal for a blade. You'll have the element of surprise when she gets back. Good luck, my little lord.
Oh, and uh, by the way I just wanted you to know that while my intention always was to guide and protect, and to do that with my heart full of love, at the same time, however, I was paying so much attention to my role that, well, I recognize that during some moments I neglected to respond to the nitty-gritty contents of your life in a lucid or humane manner.
Now when you're ready, go for the eyes first.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
A gothic doorway beneath crossed brass spears. The keystone is chiseled with a curving notice: POLICE STATION.
Jan had left the top to her sweater set on the back of her office chair, so she now has a mylar blanket as a shawl. Jan's dad is trying his best to get his voice heard through the ancient glory hole in the stone door of the precinct.
Mr. Jansdaad: We'd like to report an abduction!
Suddenly, a speaker crackles to life. You don't have to yell, sir we are fully miked now. From what you say, this sounds like a K event, and I'm sure you know we can't and don't investigate or prosecute K events. But we'll send out a hooptie. Mr. Brentridge's estate will be reimbursed for any damage to the cave structure if indeed a K event is confirmed.
Both Jan and her dad sigh deeply and walk quickly in each other's arms across the stone pavement and out of the armored courtyard, back to the bustling lunchtime street. They turn and stand back together against a wall.
Jan: I don't think she'd kill him.
Jan's dad: I hope not, sweetheart. But that's her choice now, isn't it?
Lloyd is violently shaken awake in time to see the cause of the shaking: the taloned feet, the size of small automobiles, having pushed free from the nest, pointing backward and curling majestically. The feet have all but disappeared into the distant hazy clouds above the cliff when a tiny K shape comes into focus, soaring purposefully through the mists.
Lloyd: God, no.
Mrs. Jansdaad has done a brilliant job with her first construction. She has carefully chose the trunks and major branches of young smooth-barked laurel trees, still pale yellow and gummy to the core. There must have been an entire grove of them nearby to create a structure with roughly the same footage, yet more depth, than a large built-in backyard pool. As for the downy padding, she has obviously raided a child's party and emptied the colorful contents of a plastic ball pit into the bottom layer. On top of that were perhaps the contents of several Mthyuh Preservation Society clothing drive dumpsters. Then packing peanuts, shredded bamboo fencing.
Monday, March 15, 2021
Door trimmed with a rose trellis. Brass plaque on door: LAW OFFICES
Lloyd Brentridge, Esquire, was always dressed in at least one part of a suit and often had the shirt open to a dark, furry chaos.
Lloyd doesn't actually work for Pharmsupply, and Mr. Jansdaad has already gathered that it is all bullshit when he nevertheless shows up at Law Offices as promised, trembling.
Mr. Jansdaad: Jan!
Jan Jansdaad: Daddy!
After a silent moment, Jan explains that she's working for Lloyd now as the receptionist. Also a fact that her dad has already gathered. It is the way she said it that is chilling and familiar. As if under a spell, and not in a good way.
Jan: He will see you now.
Jan's Dad: Thank you honey.
Open the deeper, inner door. Where Lord and Lloyd will either blend or clash.
Lloyd: Shut the door behind you.
Jan: I've brought in the records you requested.
Lloyd: You see your daughter is now under my auspices.
Lloyd: You probably know I'm not Pharmsupply, that it's all bullshit.
Lloyd: Yet you came anyway. You haven't even taken a seat because I haven't offered you one.
Lloyd: Don't speak. Your wife is turning into a K, isn't she? You don't have to say a word. She missed the second shingles vaccine and she seroconverted. She has to have had a disposition, and I think you know some history on that. Mrs. Jan Jansdaad is not just any old Jan Jansdaad. She had a history before she met you and she has one now. And that history has been as repressed as it is mysteriously irrepressible, like ecriture feminine. A code only a genetic member could translate or inscribe.
Lloyd starts abruptly, as if he has just heard a hilarious noise behind him.
Lloyd: What is that. What is that Jan. Do you
Jan: It's disco.
Lloyd: Don't you think I know what it is? Why? Why, Jan?
The thumping and whirring become louder: Mrs. Jansdaad's now gigantic foot pads and breath become louder: the dreaded disco-like sound of a K on the ground.
The glass in the window crashes impressively, but all Mrs. Jansdaad can fit through it is the very tips of her beak bones, which she can barely get open wide enough. But she is hungry.
Because Lloyd Brentridge has his fingers in his ears, Jan's tongue is able to restrain his arms and squeeze around his neck at the same time.
Mr. Jansdaad [arms outstretched]: Oh, Lord!
Jan and her dad Jan Jansdaad then stand very still as they watch their mother and wife suck Lloyd, their sadistic lover and bully crush, by the neck through the window and then high up into the air in a single, otherworldly burst of power. Father and daughter alone began to look around them there in the breezy office, medical records still floating leaf like to the floor.
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Jan: You didn't even ask if you could come in.
Lloyd: We just ate with your parents. I don't have to ask you anymore.
Jan [letting go of his tie]: Lloyd you know I feel very strongly for you but sometimes you scare me a little.
Lloyd is feeling tired and sits on the sofa. Jan comes back with two beers and joins him.
Jan: I think it hits me in a primeval place when you try and order me around or raise your voice to my dad, but it might be just genes or hormones and not good decisionmaking.
Lloyd [to the ceiling, as he rests his neck]: What if you didn't have to make any decisions.
Jan [in a fetal position next to him without touching]: I don't think I would like it at all. [She scoots over and rests her head in Lloyd Brentridge's lap.] But then, that's your choice, isn't it?
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Jan and her complicated date Lloyd Brentridge join Jan's parents for stonecakes and vine at the dining room table. Jan sits next to her mother helping to poke through clumps caught in her swollen and keratinous gum line. Mrs. Jansdaad swallows infrequently but with large gulps that are visible in her neck as they go down her throat.
Lloyd: Mrs. Jansdaad it's lovely to see you recovering. Your husband has done an admirable job at the griddle in your place.
Mrs. Jansdaad lowers her face in Lloyd's direction, exposing a small parietal eye in her scalp. She stares, unblinking.
Lloyd: May I help you clear the table, Jan?
Mr. Jansdaad, jumping up: Why yes, why... please grab that syrup.
Lloyd and Mr. Jansdaad find themselves alone in the kitchen. Jan turns around and finds Mr. Brentridge standing there, very close to him. There are just a few inches between them and not much room to maneuver there between the countertop and the fridge.
Jan: Oh. Sorry Lloyd. Just let me
Lloyd does not move. He is staring into Mr. Jansdaad's eyes. Jan Jansdaad looks back at him without letting out a breath.
Jan: Is there
Lloyd: Shh. I just want one thing. And that's the truth.
Jan can hear his daughter setting out dessert dishes from the glass cabinet as well as his wife's pebbly cough from the other room.
Lloyd's voice is hushed and stern, and his breath is hot.
Lloyd: That's quite a case of shingles you have going on in there.
Jan: Yes, it's just-- Pharmsupply wouldn't cover the
Lloyd: Don't say Pharmsupply to me. I work for Pharmsupply. I am their agent in Dubbahberah Chank.
Jan: I'll get you the records. She had a preexisting inclination. But you're dating my
Lloyd takes Jan's wrist and squeezes it tight. Jan loses control of his fingers and drops a vine glass on the floor.
Lloyd: Don't you ever say your daughter's name to me again. Unless you are ready to take her place.
Jan: She doesn't know anything. Don't worry. She
Lloyd [squeezing Jan's wrist harder, and twisting]: I need samples of her Mrs. Jansdaad's pyncofibers. By tomorrow morning. In my law office.
Jan [straining]: Yes. I'll get the pyncos. Whatever you want. My daughter is a good person. I won't... I won't say her name.
Lloyd, tucking in his shirt and stepping back into the dining room: Jan, get in there and help your father would you. With the cleanup. And then we'll go.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Jan: The edges of your thoughts are so sharp I just want to grab a file and sand them off. Maybe by our being together
Lord Bentbridge: No, it's not like that-- isn't it more of a woman's function to
Jan: Look the man-woman dichotomy can really be an albatross when you
Lord Bentbridge: I know but you seem to think that this is about you and me, but
Jan: Well this, here, at the moment-- I only see you and me here.
Lord Bentbridge: Overall I would be going through this in a vacuum I think
Jan: You know better than to think that
Lord Bentbridge: There was a couple with their two babies on the sidewalk this afternoon when it was so gloomy right before sunset. Wind was howling. Twigs were flying. One of the babies started a weird hooting cry and then the other an identical cry. It created a sort of audio hellscape.
Jan: This is what I mean; you see you
[ENTER MRS. JANSDAAD]
Mrs. Jansdaad: Why Mr. Jansdaad curled up on the rug before the fire.
Mr. Jansdaad: How you got in here without making the floors creak
Mrs. Jansdaad: Engrossed entertaining another imaginary friend I see.
Mr. Jansdaad: Ha! I thought I might entice you for
Mrs. Jansdaad: If I can get over there without rearranging the furniture
Mr. Jansdaad: How's your tooth.
Mrs. Jansdaad: It's coming out but that's good because I never had a tooth that size before, did I. And the crown is coming down, do you see? Feel here.
Jan took Jan's hand and pressed it against her forehead, which was slowly regaining it's previous shape.
Mr. Jansdaad: They say you'll be stronger afterward. Because you went through it.
Jan Jansdaad looked into her husband's eyes blankly, like a reptile.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Jan arrives home with scales covering 98% of her body, unable to even get the key out of her purse much less use it in the lock. Her fingers were claws.
We should never have mingled with their species.
She kicks the door by way of knocking, gouging it with her toe claws. For Jan, as he opens the door, the sight of his wife at first presents as deja vous. Then horror, then caring.
Oh baby look at you please come in... [looks at door] What...?
I should have paid cash for Hopinaskipina. It's not as painful as they say.
God you look like the Daughter of La Chama. Let me hide my shiny coins!
Heh that's cute Jan. How am I going to make dinner.
You're so old fashioned. Let me do it for once.
[Jan sighs and shakes her head, which causes the sounds of knuckles popping.]
tonight a crust forms around me, a
fluttering, gummy placenta
the muscles are locked from
last night i was trying to drive a
car on a building ledge
i was steering pretty well
they say never go to sleep afraid
or stay awake either
the body will win you over
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Why, Lord Bentbridge? Why have you come at such a late hour. Come now sir, come right in. You're getting wet.
Lord Bentbridge, with a tip of his hat and apologetic smile, steps across the threshold, adding in so doing a beleaguered flourish of his half-cape. Jansdaad my friend. My presence here is as puzzling to me as it is to you.
I hope it's bad I mean I hope it's not bad news.
Fear not, only my wife out late again, and I thought why not pop over to Jan's place for some of that excellent sherry, which I suspect he might be enjoying already on his own!
Come Lord, lean on the mantle with me and raise a glass. [They walk over to the mantle, where there are glasses and sherry.]
I say puzzling because
Yes, why do you say puzzling?
Well, let's not be dour. Cheers to you!
Suddenly, the door opens.
Jan? I'm home with... who's here?
Well you've got your arm up on that mantle like an orator, as if you're entertaining.
[Putting away groceries, yelling from the kitchen.] Say have you heard from Jan?
Jan our daughter?
Who else? Your father is dead darling.
You know how many Jans it could be.
Well have you heard from her? Pharmsupply won't pay out for shingles.
You mean Hopinaskipina? That's the most annoying commercial.
She's been hanging around with that sadistic lawyer. You should call.
Do you mean Lloyd? Lloyd Bentley.
Yes, he's an esquire.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Jan liked watching a little tv in the afternoon, or rather she didn't like it, but she was hypnotized by it when her husband Jan had it on, which was most of the time, because it soothed his nerves. She kept it on mute when he wasn't in the room, but then he'd start to notice there was something off, and he'd come back and take the mute off, and that would inevitably be when they were having commercials. The commercials were even more transfixing because of their special audio qualities, which had been outlawed for a while, and then they just seemed to creep back in. The volume and frequency alterations were probably still illegal, but someone was lying about it. Then it would take years of legislation or court processes to get them to stop doing it again even though it never stopped being illegal, and it never stopped being wrong. Only lying had stopped being wrong. The acceptance of and mass participation in lying and religion was the most brilliant social phenomenon of the moment.
Jan would be out in the hooptie to pick up a prescription, and she'd try to read or imagine the faces of the other drivers. The ones in the nicer cars seemed to be gloating. They'd have a wry smile. The guys in the elevated trucks and campers were smiling too, but it was a mean smile. Minorities in crappy cars often seemed pissed off or trying really hard, squinting, to get around. They would be getting tailgated by a guy in a jacked-up 450 with a mean smile. Jan imagined how she looked to other drivers. I look like a freak. I look like a birth defective person with a caved-in head and a flabby, skinny white neck who is trying to cover it all up with a big fluffy beret, a cowl sweater, and giant over-the-glasses sunglasses. I give them all a target to look down on, except the minorities, who don't seem to be paying attention.
The pharmpro is grotesquely obese. His eyes are enormous behind thick glasses. Do you know if Pharmsupply covers the Hopinaskipina vaccine. Let him check. Not. Ok. Rather, it isn't okay, but is it this poor man's fault? Wouldn't shingles itself be much more costly? Not if you die. Right. Shit I am speaking aloud. It's just a thought experiment, doctor, says Jan. I mean pharmpro. I know you don't run the health system. Jan remembers back to her days with the pharmpro boyfriend. I know what they do to get shiv for themselves and how they cover it up. This man has a generous smile. What does he make, 120? 150k? I want what he's having. Jan gives the pharmacist a little wink. That behavior and lots else is why, in her personal opinion, she can only be regarded as total freak material.
The riots at the Mthyuh Preservation Society were on the radio. I should have been there. Had I known, were I more well connected. Of course I know we can't live without the Filter of Loathing. But it's all we have to unfocus on. It's a symbol of our systemic bastardization from society, whatever that is now. They could use a few good old fashioned fleke oaths to start getting their stewardship straight. But most are bought off by Pharmsupply blah blah. It would be fun just to get out. Next time the filter is down I will try and get in with radicals. Maybe even Jan would come along. Who am I kidding. How would I make him stonecakes in the hooptie. They are his life. Baby we've got to get to Highchank and stand up for the original shiv. They have stonecakes. Might work.
Then the chant, with another not infrequent para-informational MPS interruption came on. The chant is accompanied by a distillation of all the free world's favorite music remastered to praise La Chama. Apply brake now. Stop in the moment. All future days are at the state's discretion. I am entitled to the following poisons and schedules. It was annoying how they read the schedules like circus barkers, in thrilling growls and whispers.