|poetry #2||the cyberpunk prophecies|
|noise music #1||dreaded object|
|noise music #2||precious snout|
<- prev chilling in the hotline webring next ->
touch my back. write your name in looping cursive with your finger tips with a blue ball point with a splintered stick carve it with a paring knife trace it with a velvet glove clean it with ten grit burn it in with a soldering iron. burrow into the small of my back and curl around my spine, to hug it when it tenses.
more of the robot baggage carts had become denizens of the net. they drink from the silver palm assembled in orbit. their memories are biochemical and their nervous systems, partial to the shock of your generation. down the red wallpaper, the jasmine smelled like musk and junkies and prostitutes: the comet of your disaster.
i stared and he smiled. from his belly extended shafts of light, yet he looked mundane, with delicate features and thinning hair. he gathered up the trailing wire. the data was neatly filed on the net since papyrus was perishable. behind the wheel, moral questions run together like gunfire.
2014-01-07 12:16:48 I am at a family gathering around christmas. Several aunts, an uncle, and my (in actuality, late) grandfather are there. It is somewhat the future. I have a newish smartphone and am taking selfies with my family. I notice something strange; in the photos, everyone (my aunts and I) looks a little different. Our skin is more glowing, or less-wrinkled, or generally younger-looking. Our hair is less gray. In my dream I realize I am lucky to be around my grandfather. He does not understand selfies but I convince him to get in some with me and an aunt. I keep taking pictures but his head will never appear in them. Just an empty collar. My aunt and I are there but have the strange airbrushed look. I get curious and start googling for this symptom. It turns out that the camera software on my Facegooglebook smartphone is "airbrush only" in which, for each human in a given photo, facebook scours the internet for every single picture of that human and constructs an "idealized" version of their head. This is considered a feature or improvement. Since my grandfather has only ever been old on the internet Facebook decided it was best to just leave his old, wrinkled face out. I get furious and start writing blog posts about how awful this is. I rant about Facebook's ageism and how it enables a culture of self-hatred and terrible body-esteem. I realize that it's too late and that all software is proprietary and that things can never change.
I am in a meeting on the 18th floor of the Equitable building in downtown atlanta. The meeting is very boring. I am there with A___. The sound of whistling missiles interrupts us and we see explosions all over downtown. North Korean armies are parachuting (Red Dawn style) all over. A___ and I flee into the men's bathroom and climb up into the ceiling to hide; A___ has a rifle. We listen as soldiers bust into the 18th floor and begin arresting/shooting everyone. An armored and armed female soldier kicks in the bathroom door and starts checking the stalls. We probably should have stayed hidden but A___ attempts to shoot the soldier through the ceiling. It is a near miss and a terrifying fight ensues. We win. We prepare to try and work our way through the building via the duct network but I need to urinate. I climb down and use the toilet and several soldiers hear me and burst in. A___ flees as I'm taken into custody (I did not blame him). I'm marched in front of a high-ranking and wealthy older North Korean couple who are sitting down to a very traditional Korean meal. They're about to decide which labor camp to send me to when I ask if they're eating kimchi and say that it smells delicious. The couple is delighted that I know anything about Korean anything and they tell the guards to leave and invite me to eat with them. I begin an in depth conversation with the husband about how rad dictatorships are and how awful America has become. We agree that in principle democracy sounds nice but at the end of the day it takes good ol' fascism to keep citizens/countries in line. I become carried away with the act and start going on about how three things ruin every republic: assholes, alcoholics, and stupid people (I was just making shit up at this point). Suddenly the husband and wife become very quiet. I realize that their son is, in fact, a stupid person (he looks like a teen-age Kim Jong Un and is sitting in the corner playing gameboy with a vacant look). The mother bursts into tears and runs out of the room. The father slowly begins to tell me about how seriously they take stupidity. That he loves his son even though is is stupid. The mother comes back and offers me dessert but the father says no, it's time to send him to his labor assignment. I'm marched out of the building and into the streets. They are crumbling and on fire. There are corpses everywhere. I march in a column of prisoners for blocks and blocks, miles and miles. I pass by a little cafe the soldiers set up; A___ is sitting there hidden in a tattered hooded robe sipping coffee keeping and eye on things. Eventually I'm pushed down into a filthy basement. The floor is covered in wires: USB, ethernet, some exposed copper. There are bare motherboards on every surface and VR rigs scattered about. I'm force-fed a drug that messes with time and makes it appear to go by much faster. It turns out our "labor" is to strap into the VR rigs and gold-farm in WoW 20 hours/day for the rest of our lives. We are fed through a tube.
i am watching a documentary about mass grave pits. the pits have been excavated with a large cylindrical hole straight down their center and a camera on a robot arm thing is slowly traveling up and down the walls of the hole revealing a cross section of the grave. the soil is thick with bog people corpses. among the rot there are occasional aspects of life; they seem to have been planted by the film makers. these are little clusters of rich purple berries, nests with little baby birds, bright fl and bustling insect colonies. there is voice over narration but it is just mumbles. the voice morphs from vaguely female to vaguely male and back but is always unintelligible. the dream simply went on like this.
i'm abducted by small furby-like aliens who wish to dissect me / understand humans. they take me far from earth. i manage to escape when the ship lands. we land in this highly advanced akira style city. the furbies dispatch this big robot to get me. it is a cross between a tng season 2 borg and the robots from Castle in the Sky. i flee through this complicated and convoluted network of military/tech tunnels. wires and tubes everywhere. i see a number of terrible / horrifying experiments as i try to find my way to the surface. i find another human but it's a scientist in the employ of the furbies. he is going to turn me in. the robot catches up and fires some little marble towards me; i shove the scientist in the way and jump through a door, slamming it. i look back into the room through a window and see the scientist fall to his knees crying and shaking and howling. i can hear him and he is divulging everything he is ashamed of, every regret of his life, everything sad that has ever happened to him, everything that had ever made him cry. he sobs harder and harder and finally hangs himself with some tubing he rips from the ceiling. the robot watched all of this. i could hear radio chatter coming from the robot about how this was a "useful test" of the weapon even if the scientist died. i fled some more and the dream ended with me shooting an RPG at the robot during a speedboat chase and then hitting it with a katana made of stone.
I strap myself into a virtual reality rig and start a game. It is supposedly a period game involving conspiratorial victorians but the game is soon hijacked by a vindictive AI. The AI identifies as female but I cannot determine why she is out to get me. The game morphs and I find myself in a futuristic hospital (perhaps late 21st century). I am in the ICU. My friend, J_____, is in a cryogenic stabilization unit. It is early in the morning: perhaps 3 or 4 AM. There is a harried nurse. She greets me and wonders if I am one of J_____'s friends. I say that I am and ask what's wrong. The nurse explains that J_____ became infected with "brain bugs," fat, earwig-like insects that feed on gray matter. He was quickly put into cryogenic storage to halt the bugs' progress and now the only recourse is to periodically lobotomize him with a laser cutter, cleanse that section of brain, and then re-integrate the brain piece free of insects. The nurse is exhausted and has been working full time on his case. I offer to take over her shift. She brightens and teaches me what to do, explaining that each time I kill a bug I have to fill out a "warranty" form that says the hospital killed the bug in the best, most professional way possible and guarantees this bug's absence moving forward. It seems straightforward enough. The nurse brings me a glass container full of brain matter floating in some kind of green preservative. I can see the disgusting bugs waking up and wriggling around. "Work fast, now. And don't damage the brain piece. It has to go back in. I'm going to go get some sleep." The nurse leaves and I stand there with heavy tweezers, picking out the bugs and crushing them. I decide to just keep track of how many I kill and then fill out all the warranty forms in one go at the end. J_____'s wife A____ comes in, delighted to see that I'm there. She offers me food and drink and thanks me profusely while I crush bugs. I'm getting increasingly disgusted and horrified by the process and soon cannot take it anymore. I recall that this is all just VR anyway and try to quit. I bring up the game's menu but the AI taunts me, fuzzing out the UI and making it impossible to choose "Save & Quit." I am terrified to quit without saving my progress because even in the virtual world I do not want my friend's condition to regress. I turn the bug squashing over to A____ and begin to explore the hospital, seeking out the AI so that I may defeat her and save my progress. I instead run into a crowd of corpulent, monopoly-looking businessmen all trying to shove themselves through an archway into a garden so that they may drink champagne together. I am just as disgusted by the businessmen as I was the bugs and wake up annoyed.
after dinner we went to a lovecraft museum. we broke into the basement. it consisted of several rooms that were copies of the upstairs rooms of my late grandfather's house. in one room was a sick woman with waist-long black hair in a white nightgown. she was breathing but basically comatose and wouldn't make eye-contact with us. the door was opened and we thought we were found out by the head of the household but it was a dark golem of some kind bearing a platter; the golem proceeded to spoon some kind of slop into the comatose woman's mouth. we moved on to another room and found some kind of shrine. it was set up kind of church-like with scattered folding chairs facing a blank wall. the wall adjacent had a long shelf with scale models of Ngranek (a great mountain) and a dark tower of sorts. we sat and the head of the house came down. he seemed pleased that we were there for "worship". the ritual began; a dark ambient drone filled the room and the blank walls started lighting up with strange monochrome maps of eastern europe and pictures of shambling, hairy black things. the small model of Ngranek replicated itself and grew larger, the walls broke away and we were suspended in shitty brown folding chairs over the great peak. a torrent of skulls rained down from the sky and we were back in the basement and everything was normal again. the dude left and we walked out a door to the outside where it was raining and gray. i think it was portland.
we make our way to an office party held at my apartment. unfortunately a coworker has a serious grudge on me and learned sorcery. he used it to turn the floor of my apartment into a portal to a particularly raging/shark-filled area of ocean. the floor was an illusion and if you stepped unaware you'd drown or be eaten. all of the party guests showed up and got trapped on a few precious squares of non-transformed linoleum. we had to gingerly dip fingers "into" linoleum squares to figure out which were oceanic. we construct a boat out of furniture and most of us make it to the kitchen. the party starts there, where it is safe, as the unlucky ones who slipped and fell are ripped apart by sharks. i weep because lots of my books were lost in the ocean.
i am a hopped up space marine with a giant rifle thing and power armor of some kind. I'm one of few remaining on a space station where Alien-style aliens (but more insect like) have taken over. when we die, some service on the station wraps a forcefield around our body and buries us in some organic wastematter to be reborn. a flaw in the facility forces me out of the waste-womb early and i don't get suited into power armor or receive a weapon. i am terrified and tip toe around the station. my former space marine bravado has been replaced by a whimpering fear. i come upon a workshop. it does not contain humans. rather, i find that the aliens have merged with the ship's robotic facilities to produce humanoid, semi-organic androids. one is busy operating on a still fully organic member of their race. behind it is another who looks mean. he has a bucket like head and looks kind of like the interrogator room droid from return of the jedi. i watch him gently slide his hand in and out of a force field produced by the ship; i realize they've figured out how to penetrate them. my realization that we will all soon die prevents me from moving. the mean looking android sees me and picks up a glowing blue cudgel; it looks like a beer bottle but is clearly a weapon of some kind. he slowly marches towards me. he knows i am frail and weak and cannot escape. i had to force myself awake as he slowly stepped towards me brandishing the cudgel.