“I am a nuisance / I am a pest / When it comes to the worst / I am the best / I am the reason / You can’t reply / Cause the answer you’d give / I would deny” – Naii Chatak, Whoreticulture
Edward did not believe the anti-narrative. It was hogwash. Yet something about the novelty of it all appealed to his mustard and puce-green intelligence as it fed into a crude notion about timelessness he’d earlier toyed with and discarded, so he decided to investigate further. He comforted himself in the knowledge that this was comforting.
Suddenly, there was joy in birdsong and the approach of Spring. He squirted a lemon onto a dish of plaice, fell on the couch and surveilled his reading materials…
The Rules of Literature
The first is always lie, never tell the truth.
The second, never write from experience, memory, fantasy or theory.
Thirdly, avoid reading anyone else’s literary works unless you first receive a personal invitation.
Fourth, plagiarise your own writings ceaselessly.
Five, Always write by hand with a pen on paper.
Six, Always use computers and software and type to write (it’s quicker).
7. Remember “creative writing” is no such thing.
8: Delight the reader by alienating and implicating them at once, as if they were a character in your dreams.
9 – Remember, your reader is at once your collaborator, your friend and mortal enemy.
Tenthly, treat the manufacture of literature as if it were a criminal act.
11. Abandon all regressive and progressive literary tropes and clichés.
12. Abandon the notion of yourself as an author.
Bla, bla, bla, etc., etc.
The scene was almost identical to that scene in the movie where PORTER is eating lunch at his place of work before the murder, except it was in a different kind of building.
Night had begun to never end. There was a pall in the atmosphere, a vapid anxiety. Neuroses had settled in beside delusional fantasies. The blinds were drawn to keep out the moon. E shivered.
A steaming lull in the proceedings fell over him, a suspension of his usual concerns about work, errands, family and personal matters. He put down the literary tome and reached for his chrome device.
The destruction of the conventions of the automatised programmes was over and above the will.
The populace of the town were slowly becoming entranced, everyone quietly sitting with one other or alone, their eyes dead in their skulls. They looked like discarded, broken puppets, zombie-clowns of an esteemed, apocalyptic, sci-fi Bruegel as they rose up in unison towards the municipal hall, shuffling to gather in disorderly queues.
Once a few thousand inhabitants of the abject place had settled, all stood before the municipal hall in the town square and adjoining streets. Twenty or so of them walked into the building. Some time passed and as the crowd waited outside with blank faces, all hypnotised by an unseen, malevolent force, the twenty or so re-emerged from behind the door. A podium was set up for one of the few, a man in a navy-blue suit who read an announcement from a scroll.
“This town is now officially a ghost town. The Council has declared the town and surrounding area officially secure against all terror threats. This is for our benefit. It will save us all money and our jobs and relieve us of many of the stresses and strains of modern life imposed by the outside world. Thank you and good luck!”
The zombie-clowns all turned around and marched back away from the town square. They continued doing what they had been doing before the strange gathering had taken place, only their mode of expression and actions were as if they had been heavily sedated.
Yet the town continued to function. As time went by, day after day, the post office, the garage, the supermarket, school, etc., went about their usual business, yet people spoke like inhuman, unsmiling ghost-robots, slowly and with no melody in their voices. Even normally pleasurable, ordinary activities such as going to the cinema or a restaurant, drinking alcohol or engaging in sexual relations occurred almost wordlessly and automatically, without emotion or thought.
Their movements were slowed to such an extent that mostly everyone neglected to shower or change their clothes, yet still they were able to function to carry out their daily tasks. It was as if the populace had become senile, servile computers partially on the blink.
As a witness to this event, E was able to say he had observed it and could record it (which is how this incident became known to me), but the question as to who or what was responsible remained unanswered. E was one out of only four known persons who had escaped the dreadful hypnosis, and each had different opinions about how the strange event had occurred.
E’s neighbour claimed the water supply had been poisoned by the secret police. Another guy E met in the street after the crowd had left the municipal hall was a lawyer. He had a theory about a political faction using previously unheard of social media tactics informed by scientific research into the manipulation of human consciousness. The third was a woman E met outside the hall who had seemingly broken the trance (under which she described having entered a state of dumb contentment in which her capacity for self-reflection and independent thought was erased and replaced by an overpowering, incessant blind obeisance to she knew not what) whose idea was that an invisible energy from outer space had somehow been released into the atmosphere. Although the others had their merits, it was this last theory E favoured the most. E and the woman whose name was May together elaborated upon her original suspicion and deduced that a rift had been made in the very fabric of the space-time continuum. Waking life had been invaded by the forces of the un-dead, souls who had not yet departed from the realm of the living.
As the woman named May pointed out, the temperature had become humid and the sky had taken on an oddly greyish hue. Cloud formations had formed into peculiarly thin strands. An intermittent hum was abroad. E and May began to fall in love.
What evil had befallen the town?
It was easy to navigate the streets if Jasper, Joshua, May and E didn’t laugh or speak or move too quickly or loudly or draw attention to themselves. So, as Jasper, Joshua, May and E attempted to get to the bottom of it all via whatever methods they could find to uncover and relieve the town of whatever had infiltrated the minds and bodies of the poor humble townsfolk, Jasper tried to find out where the secret police might have set up headquarters, Joshua started hacking into the databases of certain political factions which he suspected had been involved in sinister illegal experiments in mind control, while May and E looked up at the sky with a powerful telescope.
How many clues could there be to find before the puzzle was solved?
Slowly, very slowly, it turned out each of their absurd theories had been correct.
A poisonous and lukewarm substance had been sprayed from miles above the earth, affecting the temperature, filling the air and entering the water supply, falling on the ground as it seeped into the atmosphere of the town and the bodies and brains of the townsfolk.
An almost imperceptible poison, not of earth or human tech, but a saliva had been sprayed from the mouth of some giant, grotesque, invisible, super-terrestrial flying insect, an alien abomination from another planet which had been contacted via the mixed forces of social media tactics of the secret police to manipulate consciousness drawn up into a satellite above the earth driven by a military unit under orders of a shady political elite which had harnessed the necessary sci-fi tech to rip open the fabric of the space-time continuum and reach the planet of the insect, lure it away and closer to the earth to direct it above the town for the evil elite’s amusement. One of the effects of the insect’s saliva was its strange power to draw from the graveyard the souls of the relatives of the populace to crowd out their minds with dead thoughts. The secret political faction known as the Committee of Security and Terror (COST) had targeted the town as a preliminary experimental testing ground for future global domination. The townsfolk had been zombified to satisfy the COST’s lust for power. The only way to defeat them was to fight fire with fire, etc….
E switched off the CineMatrix, took a sip from his glass of infra-red Beaujolais and began to masturbate furiously over a picture of Emily Dickinson. He would finally write that poem.
Belladonna sat at her desk with a sense of cohesion. Being a fictional character meant she was able to see the events of her life as a phantasmagorical magic show. She pondered its insignificance amid an entanglement of status-hungry, educated threads of the futile methodologies of the arts of craftiness, inconsequential measurements of décor and furnishings that exacted a gossipy, stainless-steel sharpness, impervious to nothing more than meaning.
Superfluous phantasms flew over the encampment.
B knew she had reached the zenith of despair, sickness, greed and infection. Now was the chance to be rid of a multitude of sins. She attended a church the following Sunday and requested a meeting with the priest, Father Doyle, but was told he had been transferred to another church. In actual fact, he had left the church and opened a restaurant in the Seychelles with one of his infatuated parishioners, laughing all the way to the bank.
Imperialist degenerates who built the nation had constructed another futile construct to confound and astound and to oppress, but no psycho-social fact or reality ever held power, much less the manufacture of the symbology of power that was merely the result of analogical techniques stolen from the Hermetic Co-ordinator.
Analogical thought came into stark relief. No-one who justified it could ever leave it. Paranoia was the more underrated and superior art. All the promises broken would only ever be made again.
Carrying more than their fair share on their backs was enough to make the rabbits run, the halos glow, the taps to drip, the voices in the distance to fade into blackness.
One of the Co-ordinator’s jobs was to help focus and re-shape the appropriate patterns of colonial intent and expression at any given moment. The Co-ordinator would direct invasive impulses from the heart and soul of a given matter or situation towards emotion and feeling, expressed or unexpressed, and translate them into the different languages of action and inaction.
At the same time, the Co-ordinator would inadvertently leave room for the unknown, co-operate with and steer it spontaneously towards the blasphemous and irrational imagination, restoring it to the primal schemata of “things”. A clever deployment of the Co-ordinator’s function meant imperialist scum rose to the top only to find they had to pay for their crimes.
Meanwhile, Nas was picking his way through the remains of his bagel. Under the scorn of the sun he stared out towards the burning rocks and wept. The parched earth coughed up diamonds fashioned into trinkets. Why? He cried. He’d had enough of grappling with the falsehoods of the human contest, its beasts burdened with once-were superstitions.
He entered the map drawn by his own hand, and not to be curtailed by despair and wanton lust in the long-standing fervour of his stigmata, N spoke a lingo in which words took on alter-egos, like barristers hallucinating in a pulpit, chanting knowledge gained by the cool, hard observation of fictions partially determined by the way in which words and sentences would disappear and re-appear as anti-symbols against the unethical transactions of transnational corporations.
It came to this: N in patterned silk was caressed in the throes of love under the sign of signs. He moved his hands across the dessert, a confection of harmonics in the soft, iron dew of counterfeits softly murmuring under his tongue. No impostor could implore or pull back or sway the host, the one who inhabited the form of N, his eye: no camera trick, no shifting sands of time, no mortal mechanism.
And when the lovemaking was complete the people rejoiced. For it had been written in the book of books. No gender could engender itself unless they dared to read the book. They could not penetrate or engulf it or leave it alone, not by stealth or intent which none possessed. Only by permission of the Black Heart.
Not to be confused with the Heart of Darkness, the Black Heart was loyal and true to all yet veiled itself behind itself. Deadlier than darkness, more abysmal, more violent and fantastical, the Black Heart sought goodness by the appeal to shadows, so they would draw an outline against fear of the dark light of death.
The Black Heart, immobile, its deadliness encompassed all in the mystery of annihilation. The Black Heart was an impenetrable, imponderable barrier against all comprehension. It removed attempts to decipher meaning or motive and served as a shield against the ignorance of curiosity and a warning for those who would try to realise forms of communication or seek to understand information.
The Black Heart did not cause or emit pain, but there was no-one alive who could encounter it without recoiling in confusion and bewilderment, forcing them into an abyss of their own making. Their only choice was to run from their own hearts and all hearts and seek solace in actions, words, interactions and reactions, like automatons on autopilot.
Consequently, they would associate with subconscious drivel, as if comfort could be found in repetition of the indolent satisfaction of a non-entity. They may at first have sought out the Black Heart to find relief in knowing it, but in so doing futility overcame the living ones and they regressed to that infantile state peculiar to the brainwashed. And if they were clever enough to come to know it, they began to hate all love, which was the beginning of love.
The only ones who could reveal the Black Heart at the root of all matter and spirit were those who created it in the first place. The Black Heart was made to attract, absorb and transform light into darkness and back again by the re-co-ordination of prima materia. Otherwise it served as destruction of un-love.
What is a miracle but a yes to the Black Heart?
“Thanks for the lovely evening last night. I enjoyed the telepathy. X”.