Saturday, May 15, 2021

This, here

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. 

I'm sorry. 

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

Turning back

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

Paroxysms of sincerity

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. 

Jan? 

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

The Begging Rajah

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. 


Passion of Ilyn

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

Mthyuh, Tray of Ashes

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

Charnel nest

A charnel nest sometimes grows around the entire top of a chank as fresh bones are added, wet. They dry while lashed to the rest of the structure with the sinews of the worshipers' bodies from which they came.

Off course

They've chosen an open volcanic meadow in which to relax and reflect: a topless Chamatilly on a jet-black carpet woven by the Virgins; and Jan on her elbows, matching flaps of her wing tissue loudly snapping and billowing above like castle flags.
 
You see Jan in our culture we say that life is not only ours to feel and act as we see fit, but also to be custodians of the franchise. Duty, honor, sure, come into play. But I prefer to see the responsibility as owed to a future self, one who might suffer needlessly without my sustained devotion. Don't keep track of time, but keep feeding the Mthyuh every day. She is life just as we all are life. 
 
I miss my husband.

And you should surely go to him as soon as you have come to terms with the risks that will mean for the both of you. There, I am like a tethered freak who dances for rice. There, Mthyuh Protection Society have become complicit with Pharmsupply to round up our sisters to dissect and disperse and corruption. You'll always be watching your back. So go there, as soon as you have allowed for the possibility that your brain will be splayed open in an incubator and that your body will be thrashed by trees and slammed into chanksides, that Remote Tissue Decisioning will turn you into a great big toy for all the teenage sons of all the ministers in High Chank. 

I can try Hopinaskipinna. Or I'll make a nest for Jan and me and bring him whatever he needs. 

Of course you can. Of course you would. Or all of it will veer off course. 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Sixty times I circled

sixty times i circled
casualties mounting
watched from every angle

my sisters' teeth were flashing
in blood and spittle
history was attacking

virgins stood on balconies
sharing the dread
of my own abilities



by Jan