Automatic writing while thinking about a recent hospital stay...
Expedition One: Atrophied arms behind locked gates. He hates boats, more specifically he hates drowning. Or the idea of it anyway. “How are you feeling?” I hate ocean voyages. I’ve done all the research. Your qualifications outclass every other anthropologist in this choking weed of an institution. The billowy, albino pockets of throbbing jelly seemed directionless, content to flow and bobble in the calm gangrenous water. The afterglow morning of Thorazine and Seroquel. Nodding into his breakfast. “We detected no head or fins or appendages of any note. It was not preposterous anymore. Then the Captain went blitzkrieg and beat his wife to death. She never saw it organized or heard the Captain’s gasp. The speakeasies, the Charleston, Herbert Hoover. Rafts and submarines. They found the Captain scratching at his face with bloody, studied fingernails while his wife was a crumpled hump in the clean, unfair corner - sweet and thick with the perfumed invitation of assigned putrefaction. Amid crackling thunder and screaming seas the First Mate, Luke, heard a torrent of voices at his lonely door. “I’ve checked and re-checked the data.” I’d have saved myself a modicum of trouble if only I’d realized that the shawls were made of flames.
The old man burst into the pub, his haggard face twisted with truncated dreams like a worm cut in two. His voice had perished, stolen by grim ordeal. He used dyslexic telepathy to tell the others, “Down was I Porter’s Cove was me. A box netted I. A wooden box long. Rusted was the lock shut and barnacles to wood clung the soft waterlogged. Right at it real close looked I and lettering seen I across the top. It said,Expedition Two: One thick black cord stretches from the muscled mouth of a naked woman carrying the loss of a dual mastectomy and into the charcoal eyesocket of a promiscuous horticulturist named Helen Epperbaum. The cord is frayed and stings the air with short sizzling bursts of white gnats erupting from the shadows of an area like a risk to your own health. A burro a child a burro a child leaps into a shallow black splash thrumming with gasping electric currents and like eels squirming on a slow current of razor blades, fluid fills his gasping utterances. “Here, let me take this out of your mouth.” He tucked his money into his pocket. “Eskimos are everywhere these days,” Luke tells me. They sit around worn ghost-laden tables, casting polished whale bones as if they were new galaxies, boisterously shouting with each arctic sledge that approaches. Jhinook pounds his mittened fist on the haunted table and scowls with innate and created heat. A man tells a joke about vaginas made of snow and an icicle penis. The other men laugh with glaring toothless smiles, rolling their whiskey eyes, happy here, chewing whale blubber like unruly gum. He sweeps up the ivory dice again and tosses them with his whole chronic personality on the ledge. The notched bones say clearly:
Three: Television repairmen with broken legs hobble and crawl for ninety miles on a desolate road unpaved and void. The drought patiently dries the swamp, brackish waters steaming into amnesia. Frogs commit quick suicide by flopping in front of the blurs on the harsh waves of screeches and sunburn. The forest is cluttered with dead forest. Branches and leaves conflict everywhere; the forest is cannibalizing itself, spelling out the sad agony of its collapse with dry hieroglyphics. “He did not turn in his report in a timely manner. He put forth minimum effort.” Repetitive, bereft of insight. High expectations turned to seagull specks in a Goethe landfill. The advanced architecture of a palsied dwarf in a closed bowling alley - the lanes filled with dying buzzards - the only light bleeds from the pinball machines and the cigarette ends of the smoking bowling team. “When’re ye gonna git thet ol’ radio workin’?” Parts are expensive and small and incomprehensible. I can’t fix it. It isn’t safe here. Gray globules of space matter itch like pink insulation on his sweater neck. It starts to rain unrefined memories. Memories of
Expedition Four: She bounced on the bed and I watched her black hair flop and wave with the mute surprise of gravity. She beckoned me with black gloves, pouched out her eyeballs with foggy, noncommittal intent. “Y’wanna fuck me, Horse?” she said. There was no promise in the question. There wasn’t even a question in the question. It was one big Grade-A ape between us - a gorilla where my libido used to be. A catatonic come-on. Where her legs united oozed a tumorous wall of cancer-hardened cervix. Penetration impossible for the moment. But her hands- thin, smooth, graceful, casting dancing shadows on the ceiling as she bounced. God her hands were as lovely as a war-torn ballet. Too lovely to look at. Men went mad at the sight of her nude cuticles. She positioned her hands for maximum effect. She acted out Custer’s Last Stand with lithe, gliding shadow puppets. The bed stretched away like an earthquake under a field and she kicked off her wooden shoes and they landed like an obituary on the bottomless floor. “Hey! Y’wanna horse me, Fuck?” And then she waggled out her obscene pink tongue; it stretched out so far I could see the roots. I thought of the panicked spasms of a gasping, land-stranded fish. That’s what her tongue looked like. She threw back her head in mock orgasmic revelry. Rain patted the glass with stained fingertips. Let me in.
“Let me out!”
Luke is trapped in a suicide cell with the Captain. They stand at the mirror, both staring at the other’s unfamiliar reflection. None of the reflections look like each other - individuality lost in the fractal mix - they didn’t blink until the Captain opened his mouth and black viscous liquid oozed from between his swollen lips.
“What the fuck, mate...”
“Gblo ahead. Shbloot,” he sputtered through a mouthful of black bile.
Expedition Five: She says, “I’m sorry I got blood on your new jacket. It’s this damn Stigmata...” A forgetful hotel clerk once saved my life. The lawn was a dense expanse of lost laundry and nothing to eat - Every fifteen minutes they take attendance - whether you’re sleeping or eating or talking or reading or what - every fifteen minutes. The worried old gods with bleeding ulcers dribble divine tea into the open mouths of rabidly anxious baboons. Or so they tell me. A bottle of bloated, sated, ancient mosquitoes sits on a mink shelf; each insect contains volumes of historical DNA from the rule of Caligula - it’s right next to my bankrupt ambition and my bleeding caecum into a teacup - the aging prostitute rubs fresh blackberries against her dry bloodless lips - the illusion of youth, even children want it. I used to play in a stream of ruby carnivorous sewage dyed with the red of raging infection - a slug river of noisome pollution. That was before the dull tools and sharp glass and the constant pillow of pain in my unlikely head. The revolution will be led by dead plankton. The obese American sits in a hay-strewn basement that smells of opium smoke and urine, licking dried blood from a dead cat banquet. It is a low, bell-ringing formaldehyde night and the only radiance in the cellar comes from a pale luminous worm that sits squirming and glowing like a sack of expanding wet grain in the cobweb corner. The American belches and scratches his hairy nodules. A fight breaks out on the next floor – again – “I did seven years in federal prison! I ain’t afraid of you!” The monuments in Washington are built on the backs of a thousand sneering nostrils. The American lifts his gout-inflamed leg and brings it down on a pile of bones that were never connected to anything. They shatter and clatter on the lunar surface forever. And Jesus Christ, on deformed loan from a hymen-colliding Passion Play will fill your Christmas stocking with thorns and nails and blood-soaked desert sand and Charles Laughton expels nitrous oxide from his groaning fat man’s colon while a vast choir of microcephalic children sings of -“Roads and toads, AIDS and tirades, of apes and rapes and lonely seascapes, transfusions, ablutions, addictions and fictions and roses and Moses and noses, afflictions.
Syphilis, chrysalis, rotor and you.
Tuberculosis, gnosis and seminal glue.
Microchips, radar-blips and Art Linkletter too!”
Only two of us applaud.
Black rabies shaped like the alien genitals of all six sexes. Leave it to the morning group meeting to explore the stifling awkwardness of
Expedition Six: Tell
“Tell me how
“Tell me how to jump daddy!”
“But I wanna...”
“Sit down I said!”
She plopped to the floor like a lynching victim cut from an angry limb. He crossed the room and began shaving.
“Daddy’s too busy to play right now.”
She wanted to say something.
Meanwhile, the TELL Clown jumped out from the cracks in the floor and grinned at her. Daddy was oblivious to the Clown’s presence. The clown bobbed its fat head and gurgled a high motorboat sound, “Brgblrrgblrgglb rehrgdblngbrr...!!!”
She flinched and gasped. Daddy turned around. “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
The TELL Clown turned and thumbed his big red nose, giving daddy an enthusiastic, caustic raspberry.
She tried to scream but her voice was gone, it was blood and gristle swirling down the drain with daddy’s hair and shaving cream.