T.W. Selvey 日 23/01/2021 · admin No comments


People from the future are stupid. They must know what happened. Not to lecture, but countless misconceptions always arise when the subject tiringly turns back to time. To summarize the position of the post-quantal school of psycho-physicists: it could be said that time slices, and time is also a slice. When the subject turns to time, making a slice, a piece gets lopped off, like cutting off a fingertip while dicing vegetables, it’s self-inflicted. Juice and widely quoted proclamations chopped up in dozens of dead languages wet the butcher’s apron with runny antimatter, the yolk of origins. Try to repair the parts and recreate the whole, but it’s an exercise that’s both cosmic and futile. I meant to say comic and futile. The future is not a place, as if, upon departing, a senile mode of transportation simply ambles along a path, forgetting events while they’re occurring, as the passengers watch their home era recede into the distance. No, the future unrolls if it goes back. The universe is the highest grade fiberoptic line we could afford on our veteran discount, but time reverts to analog VHS tape when idiots mash buttons on the controller’s controls. The rich try anyway, believing that time travel is an affordable way to take advantage of monetary inflation. “The past is so cheap!” is their way of thinking, dumping trillions into pre-paid debit cards that are unusable in Periclean Greece or in Han dynasty China or in Tutankhamen Egypt or in Zuckerbergian America.

Who is the controller? Never mind that, time. It’s not about that. For edification’s sake, ‘about’ is an autocratic preposition, overbearing and haughty, never ‘about’ itself and always it’s a gunpoint targeting nouns, a Smith and Wesson .357 drilling into the temple of all things that want to be left alone. ‘About’ strongarms its way through a heterogeneous rabble, clambers up to the floodlit stage, and declares words must be about something. The word made a scab on a twitching wart, the word sexualized into subconscious condom scum, the word that has to flash its nude, dangling modifiers in front of an unreceptive audience, preferably as their eyes are glued to a screen, the epoxy forever binding retinal pixels to really cool, ad-free content.

What this is about is the never-ending Figure, the voluminous nothingness that chomps around my feet as they’re dangling from the bed, exposed to its monstrous, toothless gum fondling. Figure is the lead actor showing up late to a rescheduled dress rehearsal, where I’m pretending that I’m the undifferentiated substance I’m pretending to write up in Figure as if I were something else. What the fuck does that mean? Never mind that.

What should be clear already, but to be explicit: Figure is not a visitor from the future. The year is not important. The future, its jerky movement an imploded causality staggering around like a drunk, is an exciting period of time when time has no right to seize up, organize or order a stepwise process, buy a new Gregorian calendar, or force historical figures into erotic escapades…The figure is Figure, non-historic and perpetual. Figure with a capital F. Watching years bounce around the geodesic amplifier, they are thrown at my jiggly head but I dodge the balloon-like packages, transcendent soap bubbles filled with extinct birds aggressively swarming lice-ridden soldiers starving in the Russian snow, as a personal computer in the Parthenon dials up a slow connection to a chubby Visigoth couple pissing hot sauce and shrieking in a darkened L.A. underground garage. Figure gathers eons with magnetic sorcery, spellbinding me in a grade school experiment. Boiling over too soon. Teacher assigns a grade: F. F for failure and F for Figure. If I had hundreds of thousands of years, I’d be rich, too, collecting zeitgeists like they were teddy bears and hugging them, comforted and sleepy in a zeitgeist harem. Years on, years flip by on index cards, numbered and I put them out of order so could I fall outside, gliding on rented, pay-per-millennium Icarus wings, weather beaten and shabby, never getting more than 10 million feet off the swollen ground.

People from the future are stupid. They must know what happened. But they don’t. This is a meticulous explanation of what’s happening, sliced down to a fractional nanosecond.

In medias res, Figure travels to a canister. Two more of Figure empty me into the canister. I turn into others. I eat others as pure desire. Quite a stunt. Figure is momentarily amended with hands. Figure quickly shoots me in the back of the head. Figure gave me parents before I was born, but they were dead on arrival, unpronounceable names on forged certificates at a hospital. Hacking into others. Figure won’t let me use test subjects to test subjectivity. Figure is momentarily amended with hands. Figure quickly shoots me in the back of the head. I’m only experimenting, researching motor functions and pain, coming up with inexplicable reactions. I manage to animate and reanimate.

Figure assumes a realistic identity for once. But it’s too late. Others sneak by hidden cameras upon advice I fabricated on how to find me. Others cannot find a room full of Figure, because there was never a room. I conspired with others. Telling Figure that I’m testing subjectivity, Figure is momentarily amended with hands. Figure quickly shoots me in the back of the head. I’m alive and deactivate. What again is Figure? Don’t ask. Too complex. It’s like a complex, rife with pulsating vents, holding areas that are meant to hold area, and parked lots. Get in me, shelter. Suit up. Figure seems to regard me as an unreal possibility, or at least an ignored banality, an unacknowledged substratum under others, a week-long pattern of hostile events by place, time, and person in an epidemiological study. Others and I do not have to exist, and nonexistence results in a world. There is no way to make sense. I want out.

Figure possessed. Figure then opens up and dispossesses in the shapes taken by the opening, dispossessed by the opening shapes, cropped further inward from the frizzed edges. That should answer the question from earlier.

Asking no one: What does it take to be internally motivated? I’m bereft of material possessions because there isn’t material for possessions. Entertainment is little remembered. Power is in deficit, but power is not equivalent to a role in domination/subservience pairing. There isn’t pairing, and so no comfort, either. I’m reading about the internally motivated and how they found reward in the experience of flow in assignments, relationships, sustenance, withdrawn and dissociative episodes, self-directed threats and manipulation, immersion in denial, a vitality where loneliness is nothing but a zone of energetic hypomania. To be internally motivated, there must be motivation, such as panic and spite. To be internally motivated, there should be a defined institution and matching bureaucratic metadata, all condensed and zip filed as subjectivity.

Internal motivation is throwing up a stomach, the combustible lining laced with sparks and gasoline. That sounds wrong. Sounding wrong is more than ethical, it’s the very premise of mechanics and locomotion, the internal drivers. The script running internal motivation is predicated on an internal space, separation in space, like a comma and a new clause. To be internally motivated, I would need to be inside, as an inside to another inside.

Figure is momentarily amended with cylinders and six-fingered handguns. So tired of this shit. Figure quickly shoots me in the back of the head. Multiple heads. Front to back. Bullets take turns. Easier to penetrate and come back later, penetrating deeper next time, going a little further, before stepping aside for a turn. Something similar goes on for longer than the current regime’s archives remember. The feedback spits up. Scrolling a little more and it says “so tired of this shit.” What a coincidence!

Bullets run down the inner thigh like sperm. Counting them. 357 million. Their ballistic motility is 357 feet per second. Sopping, white like enamel, the vinyl gains muscle, pure wet weight. Sperm runs down the back of my head like bullets. Counting them. 357 million. Their ballistic motility is 357 feet per second. Released in batches. Nervously secreting a .357 magnum. Ricochets are commonplace in ducts, nothing to worry about at this stage, but the nurse keeps checking.

The ejaculation is unstoppable, penetrating car hulls. The six-cylinder vesicle fires on carloads of husked bodies, filling the body husks, their cervical buckets by the carload, thereby disabling organic wholes. Epithelial tissues are critically wounded. Pink collagen bundles try to cushion fluid sacs. Disabling critical people, lab grown biomaterials, who can’t help but ooze around in buckets, fructose-rich and bored. I want to burst.

Bullets aren’t competitive but some are better at mobility than others, leaving no trace or tracks as they navigate the fallopian void. Reloading loads, carloads of husked, jacketed bodies inserted one at a time in dilated cylinders, pink collagen yields to the slightest touch. Slit-ready erections, metal jacketed, slid in one at a time. Think of a gelatin salad, spermatozoan metal suspended in the middle.

The prostrate is malfunctioning, the earlier reports stated, but later it turned out the thing was destroyed, presumably, because there was a hollow case. The shooting had to be reshot. The colorized film was inauthentic, greenish and alien. The film had been planted. The white color is due to a kinetic bulbourethral gland releasing lipids and a burning hot cartridge of acid phosphatase. Shockwaves cause epithelial tissue destruction in excess of what was caused by the direct hit. Erection declines normally once a mass shooting concludes.

The open circular discharging end. It’s boxed mucus, but ersatz, probably defective and less yellow than the top shelf brand. The muzzle pee slit was clogged. Couldn’t shoot, again. The muzzle pulsates and sperm backtrack, seeking primeval origins. Primeval organs. Compulsively picking at the brass crust because I didn’t grow over and form the correct interpretation; the healing was left incomplete. A wait and see approach. My job is to farm imitation blood, farming imitation blood in the darkest hour. The neighboring farm had rows of clomiphene citrate, ginned on wartime fervor. Take one for the team, the leader cajoles an empty room during the broadcast. Population decline is a serious treat, or large-scale suicide threat, depending on my drug of choice. Ensconced in an armchair, armchair critiquing/valorizing the decline of Western civilization, a sperm daub that makes its way down the inner thigh and pools on to the seat of the black vinyl.

“Don’t end your life with a preposition.” – A billboard twenty miles long spells out this injunction with words made up of my family, thousands of long-lost fathers and cousins fifty times removed, all of them smiling knowingly, like they’ve been waiting for me. Nothing stops them from simultaneously turning to look down towards me, except the glue that holds them to the sign pulls their skin. Their skin, stringy like melty cheese, stretches effortlessly. Some sloughs off. I have a handful. I ate most of my arm before the rotted beams snapped and the whole structure fell on me.

Multiple heads over time should just be one head at a time, if time is thoughtful, if time is assembled correctly and the toluene dried. Time is not on my side, however. Figure quickly shoots me in the back of the head.

Multiple heads.

Fuck time. Fuck anti-time, the antidepressant deep time, a romanticized dreamtime, an omnidirectional time scraping out rhizome nerve endings. Fuck genetic time, the replicating specimens, the uncanny valley zones, the artificial intelligence infiltrating threads in the fabric of time, a warp drive anesthetic killing clock time. Fuck rusted to death nanotech apparatuses building miniature engineered colonies in time, functional in Transact-SQL and deterministic as a shell shocked cybernetic basket case, abstinent and not fucking nondeterministic time, the endless fatalist, a non-orgasmic fabulist, a phenomenological fascist, aspirating vomit and drowning in myths where time is contagious and cyclical, protozoic and predatory. Fuck cliched historical time, the time that accrues interest and enriches mummified billionaires, dead and fucking money, the incestuous progeny perpetuating money. Fuck the dull edged paisley pattern fractals halting in a medium strength dose of a drugged time because it’s taking too much time to wear off.

People from the future are stupid. They must know what happened. Look around, people. I’m the wasted future, a continent-sized fossil effigy of everything compacted together, circling a gaping wound in the ground and giggling while going down the drain of immateriality. The future unrolled, the prophesies backfired and didn’t come true, so I’m the lone Figure standing here reconstructing a total disaster for posterity’s sake because time is a dumb shit tourist that forgot its camera. Take a picture, asshole, it will last longer, sure, but unlike time, I will never end.


Recently, T.W. Selvey’s work has appeared in The Babel Tower Notice BoardLigeia MagazineThe Pi ReviewFeraltalking about strawberries all of the time, and petrichor. T.W. tweets sporadically @docu_dement, and is the proud curator of a haphazardly curated blog, www.documentdement.com.