I put chicken breasts next to the eggs to thaw and wonder if these eggs were born from the birds whose bodies will become my dinner. I pull out oil from olives that will never become trees and baby bean sprouts who will never know pods of their own.

I make double in case Trevor decides to come down for dinner. I know it’ll matter on how many pills he took, how much he slept today, and if he’s even here. When he vanishes I “run the circuit”, drive from flop house to flop house scanning over the buffet of now familiar faces until I find his.

Each time a little more of him is gone, consumed by a hunger no home cooked meal can sate.

Gnaw marks, like the ones on his old teething ring, appeared when the doctor gave him Tramadol after hurting his shoulder during the Homecoming game. Incisors scars ran up his arms when they moved him to Norco after X-Rays showed a labrum tear. Now I’m losing him, one mouthful at a time, as broken needle teeth pile up next to the burnt spoon on his dresser.

I try to make him unappetizing; season him with love, baste him with therapy, dredge him in rehab. But he was too tasty from the start.

I know the day will come when I’ll run the circuit for the last time. I’ll find him like leftovers; cold, flavorless, forgotten. In those dark hours after the “I’m sorrys” and the “If there’s anything I can dos”, after the hushed whispers of “He should have been a better dad”, it’ll lick its lips and come for me.

I’ll make the perfect dessert.


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G1rl on the Road

If, and this is an astronomically huge if, D1nah makes it through this song without her throaty howl cracking during the third refrain, Fage the drummer owes her $27.39. This is the cost of a soy caramel latte plus interest compounded weekly, the frequency of every gig the band now plays. So far, the wager has been compounded eight times. Fage is confidant that she'll never have to pay up even if, on their five-hundredth gig twenty years from now, cynical, saggy, broken, and bionic, D1nah holds that "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh" in "G1rl on the Road" for its full ten bars because who says lattes will even exist then? Plus, D1nah's a push over.

The audience watches D1nah's lipstick #10 ruby red mouth open like a cave with ancestral winds gushing out, the power of all of the folk singers before and after squeezing her lungs like you would hold a dying child because there's nothing left to lose, and shit, she's done it, just now.

She actually held it.

Fage huffs.

The small crowd in this stuffy, dark, mildewed venue is going insane, arms up, their own mouths open in response, pulsing collectively like one giant vital organ, the band's own heart and soul supplying the nourishment needed to keep coming back. D1nah looks behind her shoulder, a joker's grin stretched beyond her cheeks – Christ, how does one smile encompass an entire room, she'll eat everyone alive – and her iron gaze spears Fage.

The drummer smirks back. D1nah's missed her lead into that extra bit they added to the end, the best part really, because it ties it all together. D1nah's fucked it up again. She's reliable in that way. It's sort of comforting.

Blue Jays and Biscuits

An artist who proclaims she'll never be a sell-out has never had the privilege of having the option. This is what D1nah has always said but this time, looking back at the band bathed in blue light, during an intimate interlude where Carla the guitarist has a solo and D1nah sort of stands there and moves her hips, she thinks they've already sold out on each other.

Fage the drummer is now gone, her replacement one of those sentient boxes, an amalgam of circuits and software that produces the perfect beat. It's – she's – not even a person much less a gender but the band covers the matte silver edges with femininity for comfort. It's fine – she's fine – but D1nah still isn't used to the visual amputation of the absent ten-set drum piece behind her, no chrome glare off the cymbals. There's more room to move around on the stage now even in the smallest of venues but D1nah's here to sing, not gyrate. Still, the crowd screams loudest when she swings that curved cradle that sits on top of her femurs and yes, she's sold out, she decides. Once and for all.

Throwing the mic down, she stalks off the stage. Of course she'll be back – she's gotta eat – but for this set, she's toast.

Rotten Egg

D1nah's performing tonight with something stuffed in the back pocket of her green jeans which is odd because she loathes being tied down on stage with objects. She's said before (to journalists, sure, so it's bound to be hyperbole) that really if it were a different time, a different place, she'd be on stage naked. What's double odd is it's an envelope containing a letter. D1nah, like the rest of the band, has no permanent residence and it's hard to believe she'd keep a post office box.

From this, it's clear someone wanted to find her.

It's exhausting being the front woman in a band. D1nah stares tonight at the audience and accidentally smudges her mascara. A local reporter will write as witness that she was crying on stage which is simply not true. Later, D1nah will smile and thank her many gods with their individual shrines that burn in the band's van and have scorched the shag carpet that these local journalists and rabid groupies from nowheresville are too focused on the stage and not on what's behind the curtain to dig and find out she was hatched from an egg, her real mother one of those giant birds from one of those labs and the back pocket letter tells D1nah her adoptive parents have died.

D1nah will burn the letter immediately after the set. The letter is dated eight months ago. All ties lost, she's been free floating and not even aware of it.

This is her biggest secret, bigger than the drugs and flare ups and occasional self-harm but it's all there for everyone to see if they paid enough attention to her art.

Ironic, then, that she's singing this song, "Rotten Egg." She gnaws a cold sore on the inside of her cheek and tastes her body's brine. She forgets the second verse and the band just has to continue on.

Fight the Homefront

On stage D1nah thinks: I am not your tree. She moves her feet so as not to root. A sidebar feature in a national magazine described the band as "willowy" and in an extended arboreal metaphor, referred to D1nah as "barking."

In a moment of vocal silence as the drumming box does the same solo at the same point in this song without the feeling of angst or breathlessness that Fage used to give it, D1nah realizes maybe "barking" was intended as more canine. As in bitch. As in –

There's a boo from the crowd.


D1nah's missed her cue.

She flicks the audience off and sneers, tossing back heavy hair that makes her neck sweat, a quid pro quo. You want makeup? You get zits. You want hair? You get a greasy curtain.

You want it all?

You get nothing.

A train wreck due to a thousand tiny causes is still a train wreck.

Move Those Sticks (Legs)

D1nah's really hungry, famished she might say, depending on the audience. The whole band is gaunt, depleted. No one has a day job anymore. They play five nights, five towns a week.

They like to clink glasses "to art" in the dark when someone else is buying rounds. But eyes shift, grow wide, then narrow. Soon – how soon is anyone's guess – it will be every man, woman, xi, android, egg hatcher, diploid, and hyperbiome for themselves.

But until then, there are still the fans. And some have money and pay for tickets and merch. Yes, they want (demand) more: backstage passes turn into all night babysitting, exclusive interviews turn intrusive, social media expects (Jokingly? Hard to tell.) your relic social security number, your replacement barcode, your medical history, tattoo cover-ups, and rehab. You're just like us, they coo, but they want to peel you apart just to make sure.

But the band can't stop now. How could they? The band (the music) is everything. OK, the guitarist has been replaced three times and the drummer and now keyboardist are boxes but D1nah, the front woman, the headliner, the one they come to see, is rock solid (when medicated), a creative genius (when drunk and not depressed), is drop dead gorgeous (with shellacked makeup and two surgeries), kind (no, not anymore), a push-over (now she pushes back).

D1nah stands in front of the crowd, houselights low the way she told them. She can't recall her last full meal.

She almost wrote a song called "Beef Jerky" but the title would only get lost to vulgarities. The band is old, for an inclusive bunch. D1nah is proud of that, mostly. Somewhat. A bit.

There isn't even any satisfaction in the fact she lands her ten bar "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh" in that deep cut "G1rl on the Road." Hell, she gives twelve bars, then sixteen. Her lungs are massive, her diaphragm strong, her larynx unstoppable. She gives and gives and gives until her band mates look at each other behind her back, roll their eyes, shrug.

"Diva" is a word tossed around occasionally in the press like a rubber ball; it's fun to play with but you get bored quickly. The "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh" goes on so long the drumming box gets confused (a first in a line of malfunctions that tellingly doesn't end up in replacement) and begins the track for the next song. The keyboard box picks up the signal and off they go, leaving D1nah to howl alone.

Into the last song of the set list, a list so incredibly short these days because no one has an attention span longer than fifteen minutes, ten minutes for art, five minutes for art without sex hidden or promised somewhere in the folds, D1nah finishes her twenty bar hold on a singular note from a song she wrote ten years ago, her longest hold ever. She stands literally breathless and stares out at the crowd as her lungs grab air. Everyone is looking at her, really looking for once. She has their raw attention in the palm of her shaky hand. Her fingers curl over an invisible egg in a delicate clutch then she squeezes her fist closed. She picks up where she left off, jumping headfirst into the very last song like she always does. Like she always will.

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PEOPLE I WISH I WAS by Socrates Adams


He writes a song a day. He keeps a diary next to his bed and every night, without fail, using his guitar, he transcribes thoughts into the book. The tunes are repetitive folk melodies. They are circular, looping reminders of the pattern of his days, weeks, months.

He works as an actor. He attends read-throughs of scripts he likes. The projects he really loves rarely get off the ground. He is a dreamer and dreams of affecting the lives of other people.

He lives alone. He’s tried relationships but they don’t fit with the rest of his life. He hates compromise. Things are good with new lovers and he’s always excited and optimistic. But he knows from experience that he just can’t sync the rhythm of his life with anyone else’s. The beats are always imperfectly syncopated, the footsteps of two novice dancers, struggling to keep time.

He lives in a top floor flat in a trendy suburb of Manchester. From his window, he can see other houses, a corner shop, trees. Children walk up and down the road in the morning and the afternoon, dressed in dark grey suits, with bright green ties.

He plays guitar, he sings. He meets musician friends. They drink together, they talk. He has four good friends. They tease him about being too nice. He isn’t so quick when it comes to making sly comments about his friends. He always laughs when they make sly comments about him.

He wishes he had a dog. He’s almost bought one a few times, but never goes through with it. I’d kill it, he thinks. I wouldn’t exercise it enough. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are naturally timid. They tremble at the sight of other dogs. Some are so timid that they fear the sight of their own shadow.

His shadow sits behind him, watching him write, listening to him sing. His shadow scares him and keeps him safe. When he sleeps, his shadow is there, under his body, feeling him breathe, not letting him inhale too deep, keeping him strange and thin.


She goes for long walks. She enjoys her own thoughts. She doesn’t listen to music, podcasts, YouTube videos, the radio. She loves the nourishment that silence gives.

She lives somewhere in New York. I don’t know the city, so her life is less certain. She doesn’t earn much, so her flat can’t be that nice. Maybe it’s in the Bronx. That seems like a bad neighbourhood. The city is her canvas and she paints herself onto it daily.

She is an artist and a writer. Her work is confessional. People have made denigrating comments about her art in reviews. It’s self-indulgent, they say. She just takes selfies, they say. She’s tried other media, but always returns to photomontage coupled with surreal short fiction.

She drinks and when she does she becomes a liquid creature, oozing between places and moods. She is good-natured until she passes out. She still smokes, despite everything, and asks women for a light outside the bars she likes to visit. The bars are a smear of neon across her young life.

Things seem to happen to her. Muggings, small lottery wins, exciting commissions, falling into water, rows with friends, sex with friends, emails from mysterious people, chance meetings with other artists at the central library, rescuing kittens from cars, swirling love affairs, autumn.

She’s always ready with her phone and she catalogues it all, and then it’s permanent. People will look back on her life and say she truly lived. They will be jealous and I will be one of them.


What a family man, people say about him. He has two children and they are his angels. He makes them sandwiches and sets them up for each day. There is nothing sad about his life. It is an unbroken chain of happy links.

At night, while his children sleep, he watches pornography. His wife is dead. He imagines her watching with him, giving him her blessing. He confesses all his bad thoughts to her. She knows everything he does. She is inhumanly understanding, like a layer of thick, rich honey.

Sometimes I want to die, he thinks. I understand, his wife says to him, across the veil. I would never actually do it, he thinks, fingering the pack of pills. Of course not, my darling, she says.

He still has hobbies although his time is severely limited. He loves woodwork. Before she died, he’d spend hours in the shed, whittling. He made wooden figurines of literary characters for the children and she painted them.  They were a good team. Now though, because he’s alone, there is a certainty and purity to his actions that is tremendously liberating.

He is not a man, he is just a father. He knows how to do it because his dad did it to him. He phones his own dad sometimes, tells him only the good parts of his life. You’re coping well, says the older man. I am OK, says the younger man.

His favourite bird is the seagull. He loves their ugly cries, he feels comforted by their greed, and how reliably they argue with each other. All it takes is one dropped chip to see the birds fight to the death, blood and feathers flung across the pavement.


Being twelve is easy, even if it’s painful, and I long to be almost any twelve-year-old child. Boy or girl, rich or poor, bright or not, in any school, with any teacher. I’d be happy with any parents, within reason.

The child goes to school because it has to. In the evening, it has dinner and does homework. Every night the same: some meat, vegetables, usually canned sweetcorn, a potato.

It collects football cards. It collects Pogs. It has friends it talks to. There’s a tree stump in the middle of the playground the kid sits on every break time. When the stump is wet, the child lays it waterproof coat down on the wood, keeping its bum dry.

The twelve-year-old child thinks big and the weekends are time it has the biggest thoughts. The stars, it thinks, my dad, it thinks, my mum, it thinks, the things I’ve done, it thinks, I wish I was younger, it thinks. The child is sentimental and looks through photographs of its parents’ wedding. I was there, in my mum’s tummy already, the child thinks. It knows this because its mum told it.

The child won’t grow up.


He’s a house DJ in Birmingham. He sleeps with anyone who’ll have him. People come up to him while he’s playing songs and flirt. He flirts back and they talk about the music over the sound of the music.

I love music, he says.

He is a great lover. He spends a lot of time at the gym and while he’s there he thinks constantly about his sexual technique. He reads articles about sex in magazines and considers himself a great expert on sensuality.

He lives with his mother. He has a film projector. He watches action movies from the eighties on the uneven white wall of the living room. His mother never bothers him.

He works out, he trims his nails every other day, he drinks protein milk from an opaque plastic bottle. The plastic tube of the bottle is chunky. He chews the tube sometimes when he’s listening to music for the first time.

At night, he dreams of other people’s lives. Deserts, wide stretches of calm water, toothless grandparents.


She has an active social life. She is elderly, but in good health. She lives in one of the country’s premier retirement homes. There is a choice of three cooked meals for dinner every day. She has a string of romances with men and women at the home.

She has almost no memory. She experiences each moment with a sense of tireless wonder. She dances well, although she doesn’t remember how or when she learnt to.

She moves her weight from one foot to another, beckoning dashing men and charming ladies to spend time with her. Fat diamonds hang under her ears.

Sometimes, when she relaxes in a large, comfortable chair, her body sinks so deep into the cushions that she disappears. Her breath stops, her heart slows, her skin melts into the fibre and she extends her mind to the edges of the world.


He’s the most famous, successful person in the history of time. He is a singer, actor, writer, dancer, father, son, best friend, doctor, human rights lawyer, astronaut, president, prime minister, director, musician, mathematician, celebrity chef, rancher, champion pumpkin carver, example to everyone.

People ring him and ask for advice. He has twenty close friends with whom he maintains healthy, appropriate relationships. He is happily married. Everyone respects him.

The entire world is obsessed with him. People write glowing reviews of everything he does; bowel movements, sneezes, his great works, the way he turns on light switches.

His most treasured possession is a wooden Don Quixote figurine his first-born son bought for him on a school trip to Spain. He shows it to friends. He cries often, happily.

Dust and snow fall on him as he ages, refusing to give up his magnificence. He just won’t die. People form a prayer circle around him and together, in a deep, restful meditation powered by human thought, the secrets of matter, consciousness, and mortality are revealed in all their heart-breaking beauty.

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Long Distance Lover was happy I finally agreed to spend time at his dead mother’s cottage in the middle of nowhere.  I already lived in the middle of nowhere. After making the 850-mile drive to spend a week or two with him at his house in a real town, with real things to do, I dreaded heading out to the place where he longed to retire.  Ahh, her teapot wallpaper in the kitchen. Ooh, the moldy carpet in the living room. Woo, the surprising amount of kitschy lighthouses though we were nowhere near the lake. Then the biggest surprise. His dead mother’s old king-sized bed.  I knew she died at home and hoped it wasn’t on this bed. “I remembered what you said about lubricant,” he said, coaxing me to the bed. The plastic, mostly empty bottle of his dead mother’s corn oil, was awaiting me on the bedside table. I knew this romance would be over long before either of us retired.

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THE FIRST TIME I PERFORMED by Benjamin Niespodziany


The first time I performed in Russia was under the direction of the king. His daughter's best friend's wedding was held in a refurbished factory that once made statues of the great whirling dervishes. I was the third piece of the matryoshka at the wedding, jumping out of a cloud once the song started to play. The fellow who fell after me broke his leg, and the rest of the event was a medical disaster. The king got drunk. We still got paid.


The first time I performed in Penn Station, an overweight man asked me to be his wife. He said he had a basement down the street that was just for me. My top hat grew full of spare change, and an eyeless woman snatched it. She hopped on the next train just as the doors closed and showed me her dead white eyes. The rats fast scurried up my shirt. I ate a napkin, swallowed a receipt. I slept on the floor and dreamed about warmth.


The first time I performed on a beach in Vietnam, I passed out. Woke with nightfall, covered in sunburns. The local entertainers told me to wrap up head to toe in clothing. They wore bandannas over their faces and asked for fast massages. I took off the next week and soaked in aloe vera. Plucked fruit I had never seen from a tree I could hardly reach. I bathed in a cave while the locals prayed about King Kong's promised return. A rude man in my canoe ate my shoes then offered me coffee. I laughed at a three-legged calf. I deserved it. The sunsets were so damn beautiful, less cheap than the noodles.


The first time I performed at the circus, I was a lower-level balancing act. Most of us were hungover, unsober, tip-toeing gracefully into our next sip. I slipped into a spin but caught myself and avoided disaster. No one but the director noticed my error. I was never asked back. As I left, I said farewell to the lion as it ate the trapeze artist's vibrator inside of his cage, a cage nicer than mine.


The first time I performed my last performance was earlier today. The sky was gray, vacant of both sunshine and stars. I was flawlessly processing the Macarena on a tight rope when the opera house caught fire. At first, everyone cheered, thinking it part of the show, but when the song went silent and I properly screamed atop the balance beam, the audience knew it was real. We are all outside now, wrapped in firefighter blankets, watching the building burn, the ash dancing with the already damp sky. It felt like the end of a black and white movie but with fewer cigarettes. I put in my resignation and waited for the curtain to close.

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“Perception of a state is not the state.”

M. John Harrison

A teetering bulb of dread and dream referred to – sometimes, by some – as Wes Boolean walks into a hardware store, his/its synapses scintillating with composite images of saw-teeth and conceptions of disjoining girl-parts.

(Interjection: The “bulb” of the foregone ‘graph isn’t a floating sci-fi brain. It [the bulb] is impounded in the standard ossein case of a bipedal primate “person” = Wes Boolean.

Thing is, the lump of gray mind-goo is the person; i.e., the “person” is a pattern ejaculated out of cerebral media, and so it’s [awkwardly] precise to state that a glob of neurons, glia, and organic miscellany walks into the hardware store.

[Moreover, it’d be less accurate to say, e.g., “Wes Boolean walks into the hardware store.”])

The hardware store, Doblhofer’s Drills ‘N Whatnot, enfolds mallets and monkey wrenches and fitted blades and omnifarious screws nails bolts nuts within a brick tetragon architecturally emblematic of Main Street, USA.

Wes, substrate of vortextual feedback (a.k.a. a “person” [which, tantalizingly, tellingly, probably comes from the Greek prosopa, which means mask]), browses Doblhofer’s dust(insect waste, dirt, husks)-diffused aisles, its timeworn bins and mummified 3-D, with the mien of a mako roving for a soft belly.

person = mask

self = feedback pattern

Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2002 at 11:41:19:

Special orders don't upset us, we have any special cuts of meat of Teri Salsbury that your hungry for.She is primce USDA grade A meat and we are selling choice cuts of her for $1.59 per pound.We have Chuk Roast of Teri SalsburyWe have Ham Hocks of Teri Salsbury

We have breast fillet's of Teri SalsburyWe have prime rib's of Teri SalsburyWe have cunt steak of Teri SalsburyWe have shoulder rounds of Teri Salsbury

Come and get it special orders don't upset us. 

(Interjection: Charles Crumb, artist R. Crumb’s older brother, never got around to reading Kant or Hegel.)

Perceptual impressions are notoriously, platitudinously labile… e.g., a building housing devices parts machines. For most, maybe, this is received sensorially as a structure that stores tools for, e.g., making a cabinet or fixing plumbing or crafting a lazy Susan. For some, like Wes, the same structure is interpreted as a den of murder implements for, e.g., slaking a bloodlust or hacking apart a lazy call girl named Susan.

Let A(x) be an arbitrary formula of the language of F with only one free variable. Then a sentence D can be mechanically constructed such that

F  D ↔ A(D).

It is a beautiful world.

Help you with somethin’?

Deo volente.


Nothing. Let’s see. I’m a burgeoning… Well. I need to, like, break something? And then uh… Well… Disassemble it?



  1. Right. Got it. So you’re lookin’ to do some demolition? For the home? And then some dismantling? For your house?

Close enough.

So this is home not commercial?

You know, rethinking it, I really just have one question.


Dismantling something… err… subsistent.


When cutting up something living or recently made dead –

Like a buck? There’s a Goose Peak outlet over in –

No, no. You have saws. Say for instance you wanted to dismember an antelope.

Dress it?



Would you use an electric – like a buzzsaw or?



Nothin’ like that. Hell. It’d fling bits of flesh and blood everygoddamnwhere. Christ.

Good! Good. See, this is the sort of wisdom I was angling for now.

A nice sharp knife and a hacksaw’s what you need.

Knife. Hacksaw.

Nothin’ electric. Christ, that’d make one helluva mess. The churning teeth you know would spit meat and blood back at ya.

Where’s the aisle with the hammers? I think I need to pick up a nice ball-peen hammer. In addition to.

For any statement A unprovable in a particular formal system F, there are, trivially, other formal systems in which A is provable (take A as an axiom). On the other hand, there is the extremely powerful standard axiom system of Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (denoted as ZF, or, with the axiom of choice, ZFC), which is more than sufficient for the derivation of all ordinary mathematics. Now there are, by Gödel's first theorem, arithmetical truths that are not provable even in ZFC. Proving them would thus require a formal system that incorporates methods going beyond ZFC.

Wes plumbs the depths of the Internet. Tor Browser. Tails OS. Dark Web. He lurks electronically, fishing through the hidden digital murk for vile links and files containing repulsive material. He views heads shotgunned to gushing, sloppy fragments by ISIS weapons. He sees kittens suffocated and roommates dismembered. He watches as a feed reveals a child sadistically molested and abused in a bathtub.

And worse.

Posted by S.C on April 25, 2002 at 23:26:22:

I have frozen male members and human fat candles and soap my slave did a good job and I have a bit extra scraps to if you have a dog or like scraps. 

Posted by Joe Chef on March 22, 2002 at 22:36:11:

I need young female longpigs for live roasts, live butcher, or if you want you can be beheaded or hung before butcher, or how ever you want it, the choice is yours. Applicant requirements are:Be willing!!!!Be between Ages 16-40(the younger the better).Be Physically fit.Be free of communicable deseases.Be able to realize and accept their own fate.Be able to compleatly disappear with no trace except to false locations.Be willing!!!!!

The street appears skewed and, due to some actinic phenomenon of rabid complexity, the streetlights stain the curb and stores and road a preternatural pink, like watery blood or light through a glass of Robitussin DM.

Night in all its protoplasmic enigma.

Wes meanders along Thrill Cherry Rise, the road a clotted municipal gut of liquor stores laundromats bowling alleys tattoo parlors etc. He emphasizes and exaggerates the aimlessness of his gait, to fool the maggots.

It is always possible to pass, purely mechanically, from an expression to its code number, and from a number to the corresponding expression.

Maggots are ubiquitous, pole to pole. They’re basically the not-Wes, the squirming pointless – coils of distorted info convinced they’re “people.” Maggots operate motor vehicles and bake casseroles for church potlucks; maggots rent silent movies and jerk off to streaming Yhivy porn; they spend (unconsciously) most of their days and nights trying to not be maggots. They are thralls to impressions, illusion-addicts, thrashing dumbly in the liquid fray of sentience. Maggots are paradoxes gone kinetic. They are, most categorically, rapacious with a demand and need nature cannot sate.

But, Wes concludes, halting the introspective litany of maggoty definitions, coherence is hostile to vision. So fuck it, if not entirely at least in part.

For any 1-consistent axiomatizable formal system F there are Diophantine equations which have no solutions but cannot be proved in F to have no solutions.

Time shreds itself to quantal bits of chronofractals; inwardly, all becomes a bleeding echo chamber of languor. Life is spawned in delirium and promptly crushed inert by sheer lethargy.

Weltschmerz informs everything.

Murder stimulates.

Wes reads prodigiously, the moon’s bone-colored light glimmering in the sprawl of black sky. He focuses, letting the text sink into himself, the words of On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems amalgamating with Vasili Ivanovich Komaroff’s 33 victims. Slashed throats and bludgeoned craniums; for any set of axioms and inference rules proposed to encapsulate mathematics, either the system must be inconsistent, or there must in fact be some truths of mathematics which could not be deduced from them.

A surge of compulsion, a jolt to see something horrible; brainwave entrainment, the practice of entraining one's brainwaves to a desired frequency. The frequency of death, of maiming, of illusions and lies pouring out, of blood and gore. Wes sweeps the numbers book aside and searches the Net for war atrocities.

He watches Liberian kids in bootleg 2Pac T-shirts cut each other’s hearts out and devour them. He looks at streaming video of machete fights in the Dominican Republic. Rapists beaten with pipes and set on fire by villagers. Crush videos – high heels and fur and small animals squealing.

What differentiates Wes from the larvae: Wes allowed his mind to turn in on itself, utterly. Wes looks around and sees not “humans” but carbon-based snarls. The system of configuration had retroflexed somewhere in the phylogenic trajection. This “turning back” educed tangled webworks of repercussive data that believe they’re “selves” and “individuals” and “identities” and bipolar comptrollers and suicidegirls and Nabokovian novelists and dentists with erectile-dysfunction issues and Spinell-esque pederasts with suburban Oedipal complexes and Jews for Jesus and feminists with erotic cyborg fantasies and Abel Ferrara and Tom Jones and Alexis Dziena and Nixon and Wesley Snipes and Lord Byron and Michael Dudikoff and Shadoe Stevens and Tony Robbins and Ortho Stice and Isidore-Lucien Ducasse and Morarji Desai and Coffin Joe and your mom and Gorbachev and Robert Gordon Orr and Brinke Stevens and Levi-Strauss and this writer and Nicola Sacco and Maurice Sendak and Gilbert Gottfried and whoever owned Orlando’s Mystery Fun House and Zapffe and Russell Edson and Ariel Rebel and MC Ride and Osamu Shimomura and E. LaFave and Vigny and Andrei Tarkovsky and Peter Weller and Derrida and Xenophanes and Mussolini and Emile Zola and Eliphas Levi and Peter Scully and GG Allin and YOU.

Snarls, all.

Where A is a name of a sentence of the object language, and B its translation in the metalanguage. If the metalanguage is identical with the object language, or is an extension of the object language, B is simply A itself, and the T-equivalences are of the form:

True(A) ↔ A.

At the risk of coming off rhapsodic, I’ll say you looked like an inebriated angel stumbling along the sidewalk just now.

I’m not drunk.


Bath salts. And gorilla glue. Or sour diesel. One of the two.


I’m fraying. Eroding.

I’m Wes.

April. Not an angel, unfortunately.

Fortunate for me though. Accounts of encountering angels – ancient accounts – describe it as a terrifying experience. Sublimity’s close to horror, you know.

So what are you into?

Skeletons of DMT and GenX. Bacteriophage 0X174. And orthogonal shadows.

Ha. You’re funny.

In Rome around 1451 AD, a woman, according to more than one written record, was enthralled by a demon. Lilith. The succubus and queen of crib death. The story goes she woke up one morning and knew the demon was inside her. So she swaddled her baby and took it to a bridge, then she threw the infant over the edge into the canal. The instant she dropped the child, the spell broke. The demon fled. And this is what makes the story so horrific: the second she let go of her baby the possession ceased, and she screamed and wailed and killed herself later that same day. Opened her wrists. Have you ever felt possessed, April?

April Brighton has buttery black hair dyed blue in swaths. Her face is model-pretty and her body same. She looks like a garbage angel churned out by some grunge chic fabricator. She wears a Minor Threat T-shirt and a thrift-store skirt, combat boots and fishnets. She exhibits a lot of silver jewelry, rings, a platinum (fake) barbed-wire-necklace thing, and a pierced nostril, the silver stud so tiny it’s barely visible, just a pinhead twinkle in the skin there. April is easygoing and fun and relaxed. But April isn’t a human being. April is just noise adorned in fabric and metal. A maggot. And what Wes does to this thing that calls itself April is, he makes a mess of her/it using various tools bought from Doblhofer’s.  

Posted by charlotte on October 10, 2001 at 11:17:11:

I only just found this site, after being a regualar user of the IRC channel for ages.I love the format, I could be tempted to apply to be livestock myself, as long as I get to be live roasted :)Just wanted to post a post anyway XD

Looking for anyone that would literally like to cut my butt off for eating, I would also like to have my feet and legs cut off, I have always wanted to be eaten since I was a kid and now I'm ready, I'm 27 y.o, nice looking male,very clean d/d free, drk. blonde hair, green eyes, 6ft,200lbs. I would like to be gutted and have a spit put into my anus going through my mouth, I'm looking for serious replies only so no fantasies.I will send you a pix.of me when you respond, you can e-mail me at:


There exists y such that y is the Gödel number of a proof of the formula with Gödel number x, AND there does not exist z smaller than y such that z is the Gödel number of a proof the negation of the formula with Gödel number x.

More formally:

Prov*(x) =def y[PrfF(yx) z < yPrfF(zneg(x)))],

where PrfF(yx) is the more standard proof relation discussed earlier.

(Interjection: By the time Wes Boolean was five years old, he’d already displayed, chronically, two of the three behavioral characteristics outlined in the Macdonald triad. I.e., he set fires constantly and tortured small mammals purchased from pet stores. [Guinea pigs, mostly.] These behaviors were habitual compulsions lacking any sort of credo or rationalization.)

April had her shirt off – no bra – and just as she was about to remove her skirt Wes whacked her with the hammer. An awkward, glancing blow that stunned and shocked, blood slithering down her neck from the gash in her scalp – but nothing potentially fatal. April started screaming and Wes began screaming too, mimicking her, matching her volume. He struck her twice more with the hammer, this time with the claw end, and the second impact caused the split-and-curved side to break through skin and skull and lodge there, stuck in April’s forehead like a new and extreme piece of facial jewelry. Fascinated, Wes stumbled back and admired her: she was still alive and conscious, a hammer stuck in her forehead, some homemade unicorn, a brutal chimera, her shrieking now degraded into a kind of stutter-scream. Wes wished he had an endoscopic gyno-cam to film the wounds in slow-mo, rip off the zygomatic process to reveal the wonders inside: the symphony of neurological dissonance, landscapes of gum tissue and deep muscle geographies that would resemble something Other; optical deformation, maybe, enhanced by software-based filters or Rutt/Etra, that would show in April’s glitching gray matrices the hexagon atop Saturn, observed by ritual and satellite alike. Sharp force trauma to the temporal region: prevailing cartilage, scant bone, composed like a Bach translation of a brain-pogrom only visual, not orchestral.  

Wes tried to wrench the hammer loose from April’s head; her eyes had rolled back in their sockets and twitched repulsively. The hammer wouldn’t detach. Wes as not-Arthur, April’s head as the fabled stone.

Rapturous thoughts and equations blitzed through Wes’s mind-stew: rend the “person,” the body that generates the “persona waves,” and by doing so rend the illusions – the noise of seeming cuts out for fucking good. The inenarrable heaviness of seeming.

For any consistent system F within which a certain amount of elementary arithmetic can be carried out, the consistency of F cannot be proved in F itself.

Do this enough times and you’ll transcend the status of maggot – maybe, perhaps, could be, right?


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We remember the shy teenager who visited aunts and uncles with a novel and a piece of knitting.  The adult in an over-sized sweater, huddled in a corner over a cup of tea.

Though separated by ten years we had similar interests and for a time considered ourselves creative people.

We always meant to collaborate.  What happened?


Especially now I feel you may have insight to offer.  Wisdom from a place unknown to the rest of us.

Thus enclosed find a few ideas.  Feel free to alter them in any way.  Merge your memories. Melt your vision over mine like caramel over an apple.


Our story about a brother and sister.  Begin as children, the brother thirteen, the sister three, sitting in his lap with a book.  Enchanted castles, blue cheerful moons, talking animals, silver stars shining. His eyes on the page, her head tilted to watch him as he reads.

A sense of trust.  A sharing of words and imagination.  Her then soft hand on his knee. Her shaking laughter, curls bouncing, when he mimics the animal sounds.


We must allow ourselves to make brave mistakes.  There will be opportunities for lyricism. There should be a place for deep feeling.


Her heart.  A condition she was born with.  Poor circulation; its inefficiency.  Later this might be a metaphor for other things.

The essay she writes in her single semester at UVM, detested by her sour coven of dormmates.  Her brother tries first to bully her into believing it isn’t any good. We must tell it from her side.  Stress its shimmering quietude. Its common sense and strength.


Sister, while you consider this know also that Uncle Fred and Aunt Josie miss you terribly.  Mother awaits word. She sits near the phone while looking out the kitchen window. Lights a candle; listens for the wind.


In our story perhaps the brother finds for a time a female companion.  Jittery, frail, tongue-tied with strangers, his hands fluttering birds—yet still.  The family at a loss how to explain his good fortune. Sensitive to his sister’s loneliness, when he calls he tries not to sound giddy.

It would be realistic to write a scene after the brother’s companion breaks it off.  The sister is called, a sobbing message left. He mangles and repeats the phrase, But I didn’t do anything wrong.  The words likely unintelligible due to the sobbing, though he’ll never know if his sister listens.  Or if she does whether able to understand.


The sister calls some months later.

“I’m sorry but I can’t be there.  Seeing Mom now makes me crazy. I have to get away.”

“Away” is a series of apartments in towns no further than an hour distant.  “Away” is a bedroom to which she returns after work to read and knit, as a wind rattles the windows.

On long winter nights she masters a variety of stitches.  Cabled, seed, herringbone. Waffled, cross, garter, farrow.  Dreams of the undulating line formed by a succession of purls; knit stitches in mounded V’s.


Little Sister, as you read these understand we’re trying everything.  Mother’s idea to spend time in your favorite places. At the Reading Room in the Prescott Library; on the bench next to the birdbath; along the winding path through mother’s birches where we try not to imagine you as a fallen leaf fading into the forest floor.


The sense of dislocation, a misplacing of years, when the older brother at last visits one of her apartments.  After not having seen or spoken to her. She has called because she needs money. Her building is dark, shabby; the apartment cramped.  Around the living room saucers with crumbs and saucy smears. Empty wine bottles under an end table with cracked legs.

“I’m working again.”

“I’m glad to hear.”

She asks, “Are you still at the office?”


“Do you still hate it?”

He spends at most an hour.  The sister is experiencing various ailments and takes miscellaneous prescriptions.  She wears several sweaters. Her hair is gray at the temples though she is twenty-eight.  The brother’s hair entirely white.

“The blue and white pills are for my heart.  They regulate the pulse.”

“What are the yellow ones for?”


Her skin a pellucid blue the paleness of water-reflected moonlight.

“Do they help?”



Had we known your heart was as serious.  We worried but didn’t know it was worse than suspected.

We swear we would’ve been there to put our arms around you.


Near the end of our story he runs into his sister at an outdoor event.  She wears a paisley blouse and skirt; she is drunk, perhaps high. Hair short, wrists and shoulders tattooed, wearing sunglasses though rain threatens.  Her fingers sketch intangible shapes in the air. She is with an older man with a cane, shawl and silver medallion. He is charming, in fact riveting. The brother knows at once that they are involved.

The man’s handshake is firm.  “Ah, the brother. I’ve heard so much.”

After they part she watches her brother’s bent figure walk away.  “Bye now. See you never.”


Little Sister, we wonder about your modes of communication.  Mother’s clock that mysteriously stops and starts; inexplicable slamming doors; phenomena of other kinds.  We want to believe these are signs.

We can’t be sure the extent of the powers you’ve grown into.  We wonder by what hidden currents you’ll arrive, via what vivid strikes of multi-colored lightning.  Some of us are afraid but we feel sure you’ll make the attempt.


No reason for our story to conclude with her body in bed, limbs splayed, eyelids frozen open, tongue visible between parted lips.  But the family has read that approaching the final moment the dying sometimes experience an enveloping warmth and comfort. An immersion in an embracing light.  Perhaps later the opportunity to reach out for those left behind. Little Sister, please don’t tell us we’ve heard it wrong.




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GENTLY USED by Olivia Holbrook

I sit outside on the hard concrete, feeling the cold seep through the fabric against my thighs, then through my skin, then to my bones. I hold the mug in my hands, they’re shaking. The warmth feels like something distant, warming my palms, making them sweat, while the air numbs my knuckles. And fingers. I see the light in the clouds, reflecting off of something that only my dilated pupils can see. It’s morning. But we’re still here, and I’m still seeing the patterns in the sky that are telling my brain, “you just might not make it to that dentist appointment later, babygirl." He’s passed out on the couch inside. If I force my eyes away from the colors dancing in the sky and look through the glass, I can see his feet dangling off the end, his skin blending with the mahogany wood as my brain keeps the world melting and twisting. I turn back and try to stare up into the sun, trying to take in all of that blinding beautiful light with my eyes that are so black and so tired from seeing what isn’t really there.

We had dropped at midnight, the acrid taste seeping out from under my tongue. For some reason I had expected the paper to melt, I know paper doesn’t melt, but still my throat had been surprised as the little square, sapped of its chemicals, forced its way down. I look at my phone, nine fifty four am. It has been such a long night. I can feel every minute spent shivering, then curled up in bed, our bodies pressed together in the hope that somehow his skin against mine would force our muscles to relax, our jaws to unclench, the shivering to stop. I can feel those minutes like wrinkles embedded into my skin. I spent so much time looking at the skin. The transparent skin stretched tightly over the writhing, pulsing veins running along my palms, now safely hidden away against the hot ceramic inscribed with: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”.

I look down at my shoulder. I see the grittiness of my skin, a tell tale sign that I have been sweating, covering myself in salt and life and God it has been such a long night. My eyes, so tired of seeing, but forced open from the drugs still flowing through my brain, land upon lines. Thin white scars, relics from a time when I had not yet learned how to love myself through the pain.

I think of an old denim jacket, hanging up in a thrift store, the edges frayed, the blue, once dark and saturated with indigo dye, faded to something soft, and just a little patchy. The seams are puckering, curling the edges of the collar, from that time, or all of those times, that someone decided to throw it in the dryer rather than waiting for the thick fabric to air dry, telling themselves that it would just make the jacket softer, no harm done. The kind of jacket that makes you go: “wow, you sure have been loved” which really means: “wow, someone took shit care of you.”

I look down at my shoulder, covered in sweat, and hair, and little, smooth, white lines that cut through the pores, and I feel at once all of the hands that have kneaded their way into my skin down to my bones.

I think of thin brown hands with tapering fingers that reach down to a place untouched and push their way through the delicate pink skin all the way up to my chest where they hold on to my heart, only a little bit too tightly, until they decide they don’t want to anymore. They squeeze before letting go, leaving fingerprints that stay embedded in the flesh to always remind me that these hands no longer want me. I think of fingers with skin like mine, just a little too pale to be beautiful, and nails covered with chipping black paint, running along my neck down to my chest with a gentleness that I have never felt in my life. These hands make me feel like porcelain. I think of hands known by sight but never by touch before now, before we are both a little bit broken.  These hands hit me and I learn that it is not safe to have skin made of porcelain when so many hands don’t know how to hold on to something without breaking it. I think of hands that are golden and covered in an ashy layer of chalk or salt. These hands are wide and strong and dig into the skin that I have turned into clay in the hope that it will not break again. They leave white fingerprints wherever they grab at me, trying to pull me closer without letting me get closer and I see that having skin like clay will only leave me shaped into something by hands that are not my own and I think that this might be worse than breaking.

I am the denim jacket, worn and faded and stretched by too many hands. My body, like all bodies, is used, not in the “you only used me for my body, you asshole” type of way, but in the way that makes old denim jackets so much more comfortable than new ones. I laugh as I look at the mug in my hands. How silly to suggest we could ever do anything in the bodies we are given other than to try to find ourselves.

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Instead of buying a new costume for Kelso, our 7-year-old Aussie/Collie mix, we repurposed an easy one from years before, and strapped a small rubber jockey to his harness. All of the puppy parents at the doggy daycare costume party kept referring to Kelso as a jockey, although technically he was the horse in the horse and jockey relationship, but still I failed to correct them, not wanting to be the asshole who insists the green guy with the bolts in his neck is actually “Frankenstein’s Monster,” not Frankenstein. There were no fewer than three dogs dressed like Wonder Woman, and one as Robin (Batman’s young ward). Diego the Chihuahua was a piñata, Nigel the Corgi was a sushi roll, and Gladys the Leonberger, who was only 8 months old and already nearing 100 pounds, required no costume. The party was professionally catered. We ate sliders, potato salad, hand cut potato chips, and Chicago style hot dogs, and I discreetly shared my scraps with Kelso. There was not one but two live DJs, both of them dressed in flashy evening clubwear - one with a silver fedora - and they switched tracks as each dog was called to the stage. For Manny the Miniature Poodle, who was dressed like Beetlejuice and accompanied by his mother, who was either dressed like Winona Ryder’s character or just an aging goth, the DJ played “Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte. For Goose the Australian Shepherd, who was dressed like a werewolf, they played “Werewolves of London.” And when the DJ couldn’t find a suitable track to match the dog/costume combination, they played “Who Let the Dogs Out,” the innocuous Baja Men hit. The costume contest was judged by three local “celebrities,” one of which was the owner of a bakery (for humans), who wore a full Scooby-Doo costume. Most of the contest entrants won a prize, and even those who didn’t, such as Kelso, received a complimentary bag of treats. From start to finish, the entire event was little more than two hours long, and being the grand soiree that it was, almost no one shat on the floor.

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SHARP PAIN by Andrew Ciaccio

You can get by just fine being dull. You can actually do very well for yourself.

My husband was an accountant in suburban Oklahoma at an office above an Applebee’s. He made six figures and drank from a coffee mug with Mount Rushmore engraved on it. He did this every day for 20-some years. Then on a snowy Tuesday, standing at the microwave in his windswept khakis, watching his leftover casserole go round-and-round, he lost his edge. Out the window, kids skated on a makeshift ice rink in the strip mall parking lot. The casserole boiled over then exploded as he walked out of the building, leaving the dead hum of fluorescents behind.

I was in the kitchen chopping onions for goulash when he walked in and took the knife out of my hand. He threw it in a 50-gallon black trash bag where it clanked against the other serrated knives already at the bottom. He moved down the granite counter, throwing in a butcher knife and paring knife. “Anything sharp has to go,” he said tossing in a peeler. I sat down at the table with tears in my eyes. “Damn onions!” he shouted back, disappearing into the garage with the bag slung over his shoulder.

He emptied the fishing hooks from his tackle box. He tossed in drill bits, needle nose pliers and a putty knife from his workbench. He dismantled the lawn mower and bagged the blades. Then up the stairs to my office. He riffled through my desk, took out a pair of scissors and emptied the stapler. He examined two pencils, threw the sharpest one in. He moved through dressers and drawers, shelves and crawl spaces. When he came to the last closet at the end of the hallway, he stopped. I watched the blood drain from his face like he’d been cut lengthwise. Out of a plastic bin, he brought up a pair of little pink ice skates. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. The blades went out of focus as the sharp realization of what was really lost came clear.

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