Derek Fisher 日 04/09/2023 · admin No comments


To be excised. What it says on the wall beside the bed. Where you’re from this wouldn’t matter but that was ages ago. That was. You’re out of bed before you have a breath to think on it. Wood carvings lathed, waxed, polished, shorn to pieces. To be excised. What it says, written on the mirror

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

Do I have a voice

In another life I had a job, a wife, a kid, maybe two. I can’t remember. An effect of the noxious, dizzying deliriating stuff. The gulf of air. Smells like acid. Perception worlds apart. Invasive vinegar cloud. The spoiled rotten world turned inwards. Gangrene fingernail removed and then forced into his mouth. Someone told me I wrote a book. It must have been a book about nothing because I don’t remember a fucking shit. The elevator rings. 143rd floor. It will have to wait. Sulphur rains again

A book about the finest of fine things this luxurious system of systems has to offer

Soiled underwear. I can’t get up off my floor. The effects are powerful. I cannot move. No one talks about it. You wake up nowhere near your bed. Blood beside your mouth as opposed to drool. Wake up coughing. Purplish vomit mixed in with blood. You shake your head and everything falls out. Eyes don’t work. Every day takes a day from which to recover

A day after a day after a day

A tea selection that ranges in the hundreds

Stripped walls with millions of insects crawling through them, carving tunnels

The effect of dislocation

Looking down from the glass the city fades into a dark regime of shroud, inorganic grime, ingrown thunder. Everyone shits and pisses themselves all the time. Shrug your shoulders and move on. Lightning strikes the sides of the building, cerebral events occur, flashes in my eyes, a head that feels like it doesn’t belong to me or anyone unwilling to endure whatever this is. Phosphorus. You are forced to forget and remember events. Chemicals in the clouds that make the always lightning look a certain way. Blue. Dark, rapturous blue light. Turns my face bright candy medicinal. Everything the blue of a certain loneliness, unavoidable inverted glows. A cabin on a hill in a winter dusk, a single candle from within lighting the tiny fragment of outside. What a fantasy that could be. Another time

There was a time when they tossed people from the roof for political dissent those days are mostly over now mostly. They have much more efficient processes

Where is a man to get his kicks

They said it would ruin our skin they said it would harshen our throats they were forthcoming about the delirium and mania. They never said shit about memory loss

If you focus on one aspect, one panel of the exquisitely hand-etched wood, the floor begins to move. Twitching antennae. Is this a place of leisure or a work of art

A sink full of cockroaches. They crawl on top of one another, shapeshifting viscous auburn mountain. I’ve got to get my head right first, then clean these fuckers out, flush these demons back down to hell. Maybe I should boil some water. Where is my kettle. It is on the stove. But my stove isn’t there anymore. Someone reclaimed it. Kids from the street, government coalition agency, one of possibly 400 different line ministries, anonymous people. It’s starting to become the case that there is no difference. I need to look out the window. I can see the building from my building. Everyone can. It is the dominant structure in our blackened sky

Transhumanist rusted blade limb removal advocacy. Better than the alternative

The name changes all the time some people refer to it as apex bar they don’t capitalize but I heard someone else say that’s not a real name some people just started calling it that it’s just the bar, the bar, the space

The space please take me to the space

Some people have been known to refer to it as cloud bar. The space with no name. The inside. The underground, even though it’s on the 20th floor. That part I’ve certainly gotten figured out. The closet. The woodwork

I am trying to remember my wife’s face. My kids’ faces. Why am I convinced I even had kids

You could ask around, looking for a way in. Speak to the people you know, if you’re particularly connected to the scene. But realistically, this will get you nowhere

It depends what you choose to publish. This will get you inside a bureau office, plugs on your head, tubes in your urethra and asshole. You’ll come out if you’re unlucky, parts missing. Or they just disappear you and repurpose your liver and sphincter muscles and some of the bones, the less dusty ones, if you’re an arthritic fuck like me, like all of us, another effect of the stuff.
Please lord dear lord deliver me from the stuff. Please lord dear lord save us all with your precious stuff

Rotting earth. Desiccated worn soil. Wormed urethral tunnel. Yellowish archways. Premature severed eavestrough. Blood trickling down the outer stucco. A gang leader named Capsol used to take victims, the captured children or cousins of rivals, and cut their heads and limbs off on the roof, lob the things over the edge like bowling balls, let the blood course down the walls, let the pieces break apart and paint the road on impact

He was struck by lightning

A road made of blood is nothing to get worked up about

He was a regular there. Probably how he found himself joying in blood-soaked sacraments on the roof. Rest in piece. One amorphous splattered piece

Liquid and solid

A swimming pool filled with oversteeped black tea in which the swans live. It gives the restaurant a dual air of refinement and grime

Seagulls divebomb the concrete. Squirrels eat themselves, each other. The raccoons have all left

I wake up in a closet not mine my hands aren’t tied but there’s evidence that they were at some point, red scabbed lines cut into my wrists, irritation, stinking infection, dried blood. My face feels damaged, bulbs of fluid and bruised bone calcify around my eyes, my legs show purple welts the shape of fists. Puddles of dried fluid on the carpet. I wrench the closet door open and fall out. I try to remember what happened, but nothing comes. Syrupy cold vomit. There’s no making it to the bathroom. I don’t even know where it is. I don’t know whose house I’m in. My skin is dried and cracked. My skull is hemorrhaging. My eyes bleed. My tears are made of blood. I walk into the street. There’s no sun anymore

She takes me in the elevator and it doesn’t work. Stuck. Grounded. You’ll have to try again next time

We go on a date. We arrive at a concert. We spend most of our time backstage. She knows the promoters. She does cocaine with the opening band. We see the performance from the stage. My view is blocked by the two people in front of me and a column of speakers that feels twenty thousand feet high. There’s an announcement near the end of the show that the venue has been purchased and will be set on fire, torched, burned to the ground. The evacuation is less urgent than you’d think. Globs of spit form in my mouth. She rubs my leg, stands in front of me. Grabbing for anything fleshy. The announcement continues. Her hand is on my cock. I think she might be trying to touch someone else. We haven’t spoken much. All our homes are on fire. All those who try to forge their own coalitions will be hacked to death. Drowned in boiling oil. Set on display. The crowd cheers. The band disbands, live on stage. They always hated each other. Worlds come together and come apart. Like this, like this night, like every night

In my stand-in for a memory one of my kids has a missing face

Brunch is in a cute café there are four of us three girls and me I don’t know anyone they all seem to like me even though I’m relatively quiet and they are all on the aggressive side generally speaking they all have quite a way of speaking as a group in that they don’t need to jockey for attention they all flow together the way they speak there’s a cohesion to it all and quiet me is just along for the ride forcing down some runny eggs and some waffles and an impressive yogurt and eggplant dip that they served with house made feta bread they all slurp back mimosas and espresso martinis faster than me so I compensate by ordering many shots of espresso maybe a dozen in total there is an arrest made on the street outside the café no one inside seems to notice or care except me I notice I care I watch it all occur he is beaten with lead sticks the girls snap their fingers in front of me they all want my attention I toss back an espresso shot but miss my mouth and spill all over my white shirt haha they are all horrified for me they ask for club soda I say not to worry and pour some salt they’re screaming for club soda the man outside manages to get up and tries to scramble away he is immediately shot

It’s impossible to know where you are, where you’re going, where you’ll end up. But not where you’ve been. That we can document

For my birthday they bought me four whores who fucked and sucked me dry. Three of them were registered with the organization. One was not. She disappeared shortly after and was never heard from again. One of the other ones told me. I ran into her on the street last week on that day when it was raining heavy ash. I think it was Wednesday. Doesn’t matter

I ask the girls if they’ve ever actually been to the bar. They laugh. Yeah right. I think I ask this after the shooting. I can’t remember

Is this gonna upset your wife?

What I’ve heard is the only music they play in there is a kind of jazz that’s almost impossible to listen to for more than a few minutes at a time, because of the temporal disruption it causes. Sounds like my kind of thing. Concussive speed, directions changing all the time, the unrelenting feeling of screams in the background, an elevator being dismantled and ripped apart in a matter of seconds, caught on a loop

A rumor persists that somewhere in the bar, buried away, there’s some kind of cage of prison or tank filled with things it shouldn’t be filled with

Something about a drink made from a fermented brew they grow there, on site. Something about it that can do things to you. Strange things

She makes me a cocktail. It is as cold as the driest ice. My lips freeze. Reminds of being subjected to the elements at a young age, my earliest memories, the sun, the sky a white blue, a distant past. I taste birch, fir, balsam wood. Another time. My nose hairs freeze together. My tongue sticks to my zipper. I attempt to flick it away and it doesn’t move. Dreamlike panic. Adrenaline-fueled super human strength forces my tongue off the metal, removes a layer of flesh from the underside of my adolescent togue. A dream of days of cold

Oh those wonderful days when it could get cold

Human eye, removed and dehydrated in salt, shrunk and sucked out into a raisin

You can’t tell them apart

I have to find a new place to live because my house has been absorbed by the company. Taken over bludgeoned by workers with sledgehammers stripped apart pulled to the ground. A friend has helped me find this apartment in this crumbling building. It’s not ideal but it’ll have to do. I’ve heard of worse. I only saw a couple bugs when I moved in. Only heard some mild yelling. Drills. Music

I can’t find my dog

A rumor circulates of a father who murders his children and spouse with a kitchen knife, whose crime is met by the organization with a shrug, because he donates the bodies

Just gimme a beer, I say

You spend a whole lot of energy trying to make it work, trying to make a nice flavor out of disgusting things

The building brings about a feeling of shiver-inducing fear, sublime radio terror, the endness of things caught behind the mountain, stone faced unyielding slab, thousands of beacons of black, turned off, the thing in the distance, every distance, from every angle

I don’t own a dog. Do I

From my window the encroaching cloud looks like a beast the size of something not meant to be perceived by the human eye. These are what the clouds look like now. This is the new material of the sky. If we eliminate our carbon footprint it will be replaced by the imprint of celestial bodies rendering themselves resident to our inhospitable atmosphere out of sheer spite they will laugh at us in their blue purple skins they will terrorize us with our coma mornings our concussive realities I’ve heard one option is sleeping with your head inside a special steel box I’ve heard one option is death

This one kid who they’d heard was a barback there, they yanked out all his fingernails until they realized they had the wrong kid. He worked at some other secret joint, one they didn’t need special intel to find. They raided it, shot everyone inside, repurposed it in a matter of a few hours. The kid is a sequence of calculations, a fraction of a molecule of atmospheric chemical


Derek Fisher is a writer from Toronto, with work published in Fugitives & Futurists, X-R-A-Y, Maudlin House, Heavy Feather ReviewWigleafThe Harvard AdvocateAtlas and Alice, and more. Night Life is his first novel, out this fall through Posthuman Magazine. To see more of his writing, visit