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.