Dec 2, 2012

Holiday

On this day of peace and love
I call on you to gather up
your hopes and dreams, your secret wish,
your long-lost friend, your long-sought kiss:
to take these wants and take these needs,
to gather them with all due speed
and burn them
until their ashes float in the breeze and the crumbling corpse they leave behind is indistinguishable from the logs and charcoal you used to start the fire. And watch as your dearest wishes scatter to the ends of the earth, leaving behind
you.

Sep 25, 2012

Lost

From the top it looks like the man is just a point. It looks like the trench is just a road. It looks like the world is flat and everything has lost its substance.

The shadows, on the other hand.

From the bottom it looks like the man is a giant. It looks like the trench is an insurmountable gorge. It looks like the world consists entirely of the man and the trench.

The sky is so vast as to be impossible to see.

From the back it looks like the man is held by a single string in the middle of his spine. It looks like the trench goes on forever. It looks like the world will flood you at any second.

The tracks are three inches deep.

From the front it looks like the man might still be alive. It looks like he has come a great distance. It looks like he cannot even see you.

The coat on his back as familiar as a shell.

He says "I have been here before."

He says "What did I do last time?"

He says "I will get there soon."

He says "I have been here before.'

The plastic bag filled with plastic bags filled with plastic bottles rips a quarter of an inch. The brown translucence with red script shifts and the light is the most beautiful thing.

He is going forward.

He says "I will get there soon."

The shadows, on the other hand, are already here.

Another quarter of an inch. There is no shift. There is no light. It is, somehow, more beautiful.

He is stopped.

He says "What did I do last time?"

The sky is so dark as to be impossible to see.

The bag goes. The man collecting his plastic bags filled with plastic bottles puts them in a plastic bag. It is nauseating.

He is going forward.

He says "Am I lost?"

The tracks are three inches long.

He says "I have been here before."

Sep 23, 2012

Today I Tried To Remember My Failings

It was hard to write down what I said.
It was hard to understand why I said it.
It was hard to remember the things I did.

I've completely forgotten the things I should have done.

It was easy to place you in time.
It was easy to remember when we used to talk.
It was easy to think you're better off now.

I've almost forgotten your name.

I need to apologize.

I can't help thinking it's a cry for forgiveness.
I can't help thinking you've forgotten all about it.
I can't help thinking it's as selfish as everything else.

Maybe I didn't know what I was doing.
Maybe I didn't mean it.
Maybe you didn't notice.

I'm sorry.

Sep 22, 2012

On Mountains

It is very hard to climb to the top of a mountain.
It is easy to come back down.

It is very hard to climb to the top of another mountain.

Sep 6, 2012

The Adventures of Infant the Prophet

And Infant came down from the mountains, having fasted and prayed for forty days and forty nights, and spoke to the gathered crowd.

"What you want, you have to find for yourself."

And, lo, he ate.

And Infant went back up to the mountains, to fast and pray for forty days and forty nights, and the crowd dispersed.

Aug 22, 2012

A Prologue


Call him whatever.
He spends all day sitting.
He doesn't appear to eat.
He doesn't appear to poop.
He doesn't appear to notice when he is covered in ants, when it is pouring rain, when it is 104 degrees.
Zoom out.

He is in the middle of a copse. Strong and varied trees surround him in a fractally-circular pattern. You know. The kind that appears in nature. The kind that an entire branch of art attempts to reproduce through the random application of dots to paper. The kind that screams out to you, "This happened by seeds falling off trees!"
It is strange to see so many different kinds of trees in one space. Normal groves have a limited number of different species that are optimal survivors for that particular ecosystem. Normal groves do not have an incredible variety of trees of different heights, circumferences, leaf shape, branch size, flowers, fruits, acorns, pinecones. Normal groves do not extend around a single point in a vaguely radial area for 100 meters and end abruptly. Normal groves may or may not fill you with an inexplicable but palpable feeling that life is good. Not your life, not this life, just life. It's good.
Outside of the grove is not as good, so I won't describe it.
Zoom in.

He is breathing.
You can tell this because his diaphragm expands and contracts. You can tell this because he is still alive. Maybe you can tell this by the way that the grasses around him move or maybe you are just imagining it. This style of observation can do that to a person. Like if you watch a candle flame in church for long enough you can start to believe that the movements of the wind and the growth of the fire are related intricately, complexly, and intimately to your own breath. You can begin to see that when you catch your breath the flame dies down, only to reach into the heavens when you fill once again. And in the same way your breath is dependent on the candle. When the wick catches up to the wax and sputters, you spasm in your seat and hope no one noticed you controlling this flame and this flame controlling you. Luckily, no one pays attention to anything in church.
Maybe this time, though.
Maybe his breath actually is connected to the grass around him.
Zoom in.

Wait a minute. Is he not on the ground?
He is floating above the ground. No, wait. Yes. Wait. David Blaine did this, so it's probably just an angle trick.
Circle.

Ok, so maybe he's shifting as we rotate. Or. Maybe. He's floating?
Zoom out.

Shh.

Are his eyes open? Oh yes, oh most definitely yes, oh they are open, oh man. Ok. It's ok. We already knew he was alive so what's the difference if his eyes are open or not what is he looking at? His eyes aren't moving. They're not moving at all. He's not blinking. It's ok though, he's not looking at the camera. He probably won't even know what it is. I mean, look at him, he's just a child.
A floating child.
Ok, let's get out of here, let's get out, get out.
Rapid retreat and ascent.

Status report? Good. Good.

Where's the grove?

Aug 16, 2012

It turns out this is the size of fiction that I can write


I need you to understand this: I could never live without you.

I've taken to wearing short-sleeved shirts again. It wasn't as bothersome as it could have been. People are used to the scars these days. I know when I was in high school that people would have taken notice, because they did. I didn't really mind the judging. I mean, high school is being judged. That's kind of the whole point. And I fucking loved the people who couldn't even look at me. But the fucking assholes who wanted to help me. I had a new mark everytime someone looked me in the eyes and whispered "are you ok?" But these days giving yourself scars is cool. It's in. Everyone who's anyone has been forced to take personality-destroyers (or at least turn a nice profit on them). I like it. I like that everyone knows that you're fucking trapped in there, in your body and the only reasonable thing to do is to keep track. Keep track of all the days where you thought to yourself "I'd kill myself if I wasn't worried that those crazy fucks are right and there IS an afterlife" or where you couldn't even think and you just started scratching because your skin was still there and you couldn't stop because if you stopped then you'd have to come up with some other thing to do, some way to just live and fuck that, fuck that shit, fuck fuck fuck fuck it. It's funny, isn't it? That it used to be the thing that you just suck up the fact that life is meaningless and you trudge on and you beat your kids in the privacy of your own home and they goddamn deserved it, how else were they going to learn how to grow up into the sort of person who beats the shit out of children, how will they ever learn? And now we've gone fucking soft and we've just admitted it: there is no point. There's nothing out there, and, more importantly, there's nothing in here. And it's so hard to believe because there is SO MUCH in here, it's just constant there's no way to avoid it you just fucking ARE and who could possibly come up with something worse than that. I mean that's the entire point of prison, right? You break the rules and they fucking say to you "You are the worst human being in existence. Your punishment is to continue to fucking exist."

Jan 19, 2012

Leaving San Francisco

Hello, you people!

I am leaving San Francisco tomorrow.

I am going home to Bethesda, for now.

Then, I will be moving again (hopefully to Brooklyn).

Just thought I should officialize it.

-Stephen