Karina Bush 日 04/07/2023 · admin No comments

DIONYSUS IN DIGITAL (EXCERPT)

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.

Jonah Howell 日 11/06/2023 · admin No comments

LOVE SICKNESS: THE JANE DEE STORY

October 15, New York—Three patients have now been placed into negative-pressure quarantine units at Mount Sinai hospital following infection with a mysterious new illness. Two further patients have checked into SUNY’s Downstate Teaching Hospital in Brooklyn with similarly bizarre symptoms. The CDC has yet to release a public announcement regarding the outbreak, but a whistle-blower reports panic at the agency’s Washington, D.C. headquarters as new case-reports flood in from hospitals around the northeast.

Caused by a novel pathogen most similar to a virus, the syndrome responds to no approved medication and spreads via unknown mechanisms. Before this morning, experts thought the pathogen had emerged from prehistory, released from melting permafrost. However, a woman named Jane Dee has submitted a manifesto that claims she herself invented the disease in an ad hoc laboratory in her Hell’s Kitchen loft.

Her strangely-phrased letter to the Times belies a deranged mind; but she claims that, if we publish her manifesto, entitled “Love Sickness,” she will send the CDC and Johns Hopkins University the chemical formula and manufacturing instructions for a vaccine against her creation. She has further demanded that, in all future reporting, we refer to her vaccine as an “enochulation,” but she refuses to clarify this requested misspelling.

Ms. Dee, according to her own letter, was a high-ranking virologist for WHO and lecturer at Cornell’s Weill School of Medicine before, in late 2019, she abruptly quit both positions after overhearing what she calls “disturbingly cold hypotheticals” through a locked conference-room door at the WHO’s Manhattan office. Since then, she writes, she has “occupied herself with the grand question of HOW TO PREVENT those “”hypotheticals”” from becoming reality.”

The disease Ms. Dee claims to have invented presents, at first, with chills, oddly viscous sweat, heightened libido, and a distinct feeling that the infected’s skin is stretching. Anyone expressing any such symptoms, especially in Kings, Orange, and Queens counties, is encouraged to contact emergency medical personnel immediately. The duration and severity of the disease are not yet known.

Anna Krivolapova 日 30/05/2023 · admin No comments

FITZCARRALDO, SEPTYCH SHOCK, AND THE CENTRAL ARTERY FROM BOSTON TO GERASENES

Distracted by orange barrels on the highway,
I creased my suit and taunted velocity,
I wanted to fill them with ink, but instead,
I stole copper from the jungle
To wiretap your head.

Scrying with my eyelids, pressed down like the pagans,
Neon cathedrals swam red in my vessels,
When they left me with nothing but sunburn and questions,
I studied the seismic shifts of your neck bones—

Silent, your neck will tighten a fist,
The neck is the knot where they tie off the fish,
It’s all in the flick of a teenage wrist,
Swishing in plastic,
Home from the carnival,
Two fish in the backseat,
Darting like irises.

David Kuhnlein 日 26/05/2023 · admin No comments

THE WAITRESS (EXCERPT FROM DIE CLOSER TO ME)

Olivia possessed a chic frustration with her inability to impact humankind, or Süskind-kind, for that matter. She kept secrets instead. One was that she would quit smoking soon. Too many of her arteries had been condemned. Those that hadn’t would be finished off by factory smog. Süskind’s dry season came through like a knotted stent. The wind was stabby, bus stop to café. “Need more ice,” she whined to Carlos, partitioned in the kitchen. She would not stop wearing tight pants, even if they sent the wrong message, because of their comfort and compression. At some point she stopped turning to face the men who pinched her. Classically heart-shaped cheeks curving to the palm of another passerby. Even Carlos positioned himself so their bodies touched. The side of his head brushed her bust. He forgot what he was pretending to reach for. She pictured his whole visage as round contaminant.

Her black bib, waitress outfit, and other service-industry adornments toggled on and off over her head like a neon “Jackpot” sign. Being a halfway-decent blonde by men’s throbbingly low standards was reason enough to swap clothes after getting tipped out. A hopeless romantic shuffling between the ghetto’s shadows and soft spotlighting, she considered taking her own life. The knowledge that men desired cripples fortified her even more. Two years after the collision, she was riding buses instead of bikes, warming to her discombobulated leg and its ungodly pangs. She knew promiscuity deluded one’s spiritual self. The oil-slick wing she clutched at night was lathered with human stench. Laying herself bare before a beloved (whomever), she felt born on the shore where life first slithered free.

Slouched in plastic seating, she massaged her left knee until her hands went numb. Yellow pullcords slapped the dirty windows. She positioned her temple against the pane, each whack lulling her further to sleep. Cash she’d made throughout the day sat at the bottom of her string bag, big bills at the top. In this low light, their green glowed. Crisp bills reminded her of her friends, so pristine they looked fake, overtaking beauty for something wordless, more of a blunder. No creases, folds, marks, wet off the press, warm and womblike. The room-temperature world beckoned, then fizzled. Eyes fixed on the oblong mirror above the bus driver’s head, Olivia obscured her face with the seat in front of her and tucked a bill into her mouth. She folded it hamburger-style and let it melt like a giant sheet of LSD, the ink slowly fading, turning her tongue blue. Outside, the sky whizzed by, trees cheering, their leaves shooting straight up like confetti. Olivia chewed, swallowed, shut her eyes.

Her neighborhood resembled an overturned litter box, a shit cascade. The cul-de-sac stank like twist-tied fecal matter. “Every cripple to their smothered cat,” she thought. The freeway was a dumping ground. The weed-whipped, sludgy ravine etched out the face of the block. She blinked the houses gone, leaving only the brown vines that coated them. People walked on air, dry-humping clumped bedding. Ghosts came to mean something to Olivia. People rebranded currency with a value in and of itself. The billfold was a remnant of palms. Rich people didn’t tip, because they were too close to the top to stop. They wouldn’t be shaken awake before the wet dream was over.

Olivia wasn’t convinced there was any separation between the way things were and what they were destined to become. “If only madness could be caught like a cold!” she thought. Men’s mouths opened in the toilet beneath her, a color-changing ink she distributed across their lips. The linen bills she ate absorbed well. The watermark spiced it up. Water in the toilet swirled blue then red as she flushed. She had never been the centerpiece of someone else’s life. She wished for celestial love, not window dressing, but the whole planet was disabled.

Ryan Kelley 日 18/05/2023 · admin No comments

NESTING GRIND

They’ve left the biomic behind and slipped back into routinespun daymass, where the otaku gathered look to her like watchers, Shenmuezens lured here by secret signal to check out what she’s up to. The dregs are fading into lowmid lux, dying with last coughs of stray vagrants and food stall paved over with chain matter. The local feed is an influx of stuff from other areas. Statdates on which shows are on-trend, which ones accrue you culture death.

She’s reading this transmission from a world lost to her when Seriana nudges her. “We shouldn’t stay in one place,” the girlroid says, eyes of violet faded pale in the neon fire that now strafes them, auras breaking rainbow bursts like splashes of flame across their backdrop. Bled in with the feeds are the ad copy, the holowaif or hus algo-picked to align with your mood hue. You would watch them, she thinks, and the one you zenpressed for would be in it for a sliver of time and space. They drift within the throngs and glitch into Seriana’s prometh field, which catches them, caught midshift between characters in monster trip splicings, an instant before they see they’re made and blip off to find otaku more in the mood.

Then there’s the merch ads, showing up even this low to the dregs. These dissemble pixel by pixel, collapse into clouds of butterflies, take wing and swarm as holofauna somewhere else.

So she’d had to chill for a second to focus on a single thing. To stay with it past the patterns all meshing, coalescing and disintegrating before her.

“Where are we going?” Elise says.