They take you in the elevator only this time they tell you you’re going to the 20th floor. I don’t pretend not to know what they mean; I don’t pretend anything this time, I take I my pill and stay silent. The whole ride is an exercise in disbelief. I’ve been told before. Granted access. Smiling faces in the subway are a thing of the past. The lightning-whipped roof of the building reaches well above the threshold of any high-rise in the city or any city. The surrounding sky turns purple at dusk, an effect of the chemicals pumped into the thermosphere every night to add to this unmeasurable determination to reduce the heat. We are all living in a system of overload. I miss a delicious bite or two. How many times did I say I don’t want to do this anymore? A few times. A few times ago, not last time but a few times ago, an arranged woman with alien-face lavish blonde hair a pink little dress big big hair a feather boa the white kind rubbed and grinded her ass into the man she was with, the suit wearing guy, short, though he was handsome. She licked her fingers and closed her eyes and danced. Feet glued to the floor. Hips in-tranced. You all stood flanking me. They got off on the 20th floor. We kept going up. From the outside this building is drab beige grey worn down rotting a carcass a filtered version of the thing. An impossible beacon. A city sculpted out of desert nothing. Someone hung themself on the 46th floor. You insisted last time she gave him a sloppy blow job right there in the elevator when it was much fuller. I assure you I don’t remember anything like that
and that’s what he feels; first in his fingertips, and then in his whole palm when he presses it flat to the ground; the stirring of the dead; not in the sense that things are stirring around them; insects devouring the corpses, damp soil collapsing the caskets; nothing like that; and not in a supernatural sense either; a city of reanimated bodies milling around, a city of the dead beneath the crust of the earth; not like that either; more like the dead never really died, not all the way; like the force with which they lived their lives has continued after their death, the follow-through and resonance of the same motion; and that’s what he can feel humming in the earth beneath him; and he can feel it now in the air around him; and he wanders around touching a tree, a tombstone, and the hum is there too; and if he stands very still and concentrates very intently he can feel the hum of the dead within his own body; not just the dead nearby but the dead everywhere; the lives of millions of dead running through him and running through everything and running through everyone; the dead incorporated all into one body and forming a giant engine which powers the existence of the world; which means that death had to be in the world even before anything existed, before anyone had actually died; death a giant machine sitting at the heart of the universe, empty forever and waiting forever for its first tenants; not in any other universe, any other dimension, any other spiritual plane; but at the same time not exactly in this one either; not exactly; more like it’s something that exists more in the future than in the present; a place he will reach one day but not yet; and even the dead aren’t all the way there yet; and that’s where the heat of the sun comes from, that’s what fuels the action of gravity, the impossibly fast passage of the dead towards a place reserved only for them…
I’m sick to my stomach. I’m writing these words and I’m sick to my stomach, but I keep writing, and I’m writing about greed and jealousy and corruption and my sadness over lost loves, relationships that should have worked out and made me and Girlfriend happy forever but didn’t because I fucked‑up. I was selfish and wanted every girl in the world at once, and wanted to fuck every woman I looked at through my windshield, because I’m so full of the sex‑as‑material bullshit of the culture that makes me want glossy images of Girls—when all the time the most beautiful, sweet, loving Girlfriend in the world was on the car seat next to me. And she was my little Girl, and she was my little baby, and she was my sweet little darling baby Girl that I held in my arms all night long, and I held her little head in my arms and I held her little round ass in my hands all night, and fucked her again in the morning. She was good to me. She just wanted to love me and be good to me, but I fucked‑up the whole thing because I’m so fucked‑up in my head and I’ll probably never have a wife because even though I know what I do is stupid and fucked‑up I’ll never stop because I can’t help it, that’s the way my Mom and Dad and the Catholic Church made me, I guess. I don’t know. Is there a shrink in the house?
Blush pistils of twenty fragrant futilitarians
scour lofty suicides with stabbed halos
as pearls the pimply puss of sea, so
the cherried nouveau thirsts for gust.
Bulbous stigma of skirt sheathing silence
dew deviant curvature of skull’s delight; blossom
the stench sweet as strychnine still
and lurches style in hunger shirked.
Razor-backed filament of nature’s virtuous foe
gore starlit taunt by being born, simply so.
She-haunches reign, they sprinkle south
to finger beds in pollinated relief.
With stolen stoma, hip flask and carboned santoku
we revel as the harpsichordist plucks his sinew.
You see plants of a thousand forms. The cascading light. Everything is fertile and interconnected. Everything is physical and beating. Everything is a living matrix of cells. A fleshy, steaming mesh.
The trees and the plants bow to you.
They are spewing their perfumes of jasmine and resin and bay and pine.
You see a beautiful clearing.
I want you to lie down on the earth.