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{Wednesday, May 31, 2006}

Your future, organ maker

by Fred 10:51 AM

{Monday, May 29, 2006}

I screamed into the void, but,
being a void,
it didn't scream back.
It didn't do anything.
It wasn't even there.
All it was, was a lack,
a nothing, a zero,
the empty, the antithesis of being.
I think you can tell why I took to screaming.
If you scream into a void,
where does your voice go?
Does it fill up that lack,
take its place?
I know what you're thinking,
but it's not like an echo chamber.
Even that is a place.
Even that really is.
The lonely halls and vacant corridors that you imagine
Are not a void,
but a place
just waiting to be filled.
A void, by its nature a vacuum,
by definition nothing at all,
cannot be filled.
Just as true darkness is the absence of light
and not just a spot
where the light doesn't shine,
so too is a void
the absence of space,
the non-being of matter,
not just a hole in a place but the very definition of hole:
the apotheosis of nothing.
So I screamed,
and the void,
being a void,
might as well not have been there at all.

by Fred 11:59 PM

Screaming into the Void

by MisterNihil 11:06 PM

{Saturday, May 27, 2006}

You Got to Green that Goddamn Grass

by MisterNihil 10:33 PM

{Thursday, May 25, 2006}

I looked over the horizon.
I saw the clouds, gathering. There was rain in those clouds, lord willing, but the sun might have to drink it up before the ground could call loud enough to bring it down.
The cows stood, unsure of what to do. Their keeper could not help them and the look in his face made it obvious even to them that he had no idea who could. The water refused to fall.
Wild wheat grew up the bank of the dry stock pond. The last, sickly four inches of water made mud out of the black clay soil, so good for growing scrub and grasses, so bad for coaxing cows out of the ground. The sunrise had suggested it had scraped by rain in some distant harbor, and maybe it could bring him around, if the invitation was open and there weren't going to be too many people. 'Rain, you know, isn't a social creature, by nature,' the clouds said, 'and we wouldn't want him around if he's not going to be kept entertained.'
How do you extend the invitation to rain? How do you say, without seeming desperate, 'yeah, bring him around, we've got plenty of cheese for everybody, and there's a girl here who says she's always wanted to meet rain?' How do you communicate such human pathos to an inhuman personafication in your own head?
How do you explain to the rain that the girl is your little girl, and that the rain she wants to see could save her life? Hell, anything could save her life, which is the Doctor's way of saying nothing can.
The cows glare at the sky, unable to wax wroth at it, and I look at the horizon, hoping against hope for a miracle that won't help.

by MisterNihil 11:25 PM

I think it was a cowboy song.

by Fred 7:08 PM

{Wednesday, May 24, 2006}

I'm gonna roll my baby into a ball
and put her next to me in the car
and blow this town.

We're gonna run south 'til it's north,
run down til we see the swamp,
see the far side of New Orleans

Leave the desert for swamps,
leave home for new days,
run circles around the sun,
put heaven on the end of a stick
and smack the devil on the side of his head.

Me and my baby, we're gonna outrun the clouds,
we're gonna leave the sun in our dust,
and play out the rest of the day
until all that's left is



by MisterNihil 12:57 PM

I'm gonna roll my baby into a ball
and put her next to me in the car
and blow this town.

We're gonna run south 'til it's north,
run down til we see the swamp,
see the far side of New Orleans

Leave the desert for swamps,
leave home for new days,
run circles around the sun,
put heaven on the end of a stick
and smack the devil on the side of his head.

Me and my baby, we're gonna outrun the clouds,
we're gonna leave the sun in our dust,
and play out the rest of the day
until all that's left is



by MisterNihil 12:57 PM

The tallest man in the room looks angrily at the rest of the partygoers. He walked in angry and has remained so. The young lady with whom he came is flirting shamelessly with an ugly man in a frock coat. The dip he brought remains untouched.
He turns to his left and begins to mutter quietly.
He comes around slowly, "mmrgh, mmlrgh, mnnlrgh, mnlrghff, mnlrghfffss, mmmrrhffss, mmmmhssss, mmssssss, ssssssss, sssnnrghx nhrlq'grth'thptp."
A swelling in his throat grows. His eyes roll back in his head, and he begins to disgorge a long, black shape. The head of the adder emerges from between his teeth, and the impossibly long snake pours out and onto the ground. The head touches the floor before the tail has cleared his mouth.
The rest of the partygoers began screaming as the snake moved between them, nipping at their heels. Where its mouth opened, a green fluid dripped to the carpet, making hissing holes where it landed.
It managed to bite a man nearby, who dropped to the floor and convulsed. His skin took on a black sheen, and began to form scales. His legs elongated, and one fell cleanly off, onto the floor. His arms fell off, and his body stretched until it was nearly fifteen feet long. His head shrunk and took in a diamond shape. He began to hiss, and slither along the floor, nipping at the rest of the guests.
The tallest man in the room glared at his date, grabbed his hat and headed out to the car.

by MisterNihil 12:25 PM


by MisterNihil 12:24 PM

{Tuesday, May 23, 2006}

The files showed, there was no change in his condition. He'd been in a hospital bed for three months, comatose and unchanging. He breathed, food was piped into his body, he expelled waste, and the sun rose and set 97 times in all, from the day he was admitted to the hospital to today.
He'd been checked in by his mother. She said he'd been eating things he found in the attic, and she'd found him on the couch, clutching his stomach and groaning, with a piece of pink insulation foam hanging out of the corner of his mouth. She rushed him to the hospital. He closed his eyes on the trip over and has not opened them again for 97 days.
His mother visited him twice in that time. She sat with him for three full days at the beginning, and three full days, two weeks later. She said she couldn't bare to look at him there.
The doctors pumped his stomach and found nothing. He'd said to his mother that he'd been eating things, but nothing turned up, either in the pump or on the x-ray which was performed later. The piece of insulation hanging out of his mouth was the only evidence he'd done anything stupid whatsoever.
For the first week of his residence in the hospital, the word prank made its uncomfortable way through the staff, whispered nurse to doctor to orderly to intern to reception to patient. Nobody could figure out what kind of prank this could be, but everyone had the feeling that something had been put over on them. Most of them were waiting for him to jump up and have a good laugh, even just to break the tension.
But, as the files showed, he remained unchanged. His breath was steadily regulated by machine. The sun rose and set, and he remained unmoving.

by MisterNihil 11:37 PM

I don't know about you, but words are pissing me off. They never mean exactly what you want them to mean. They do their own thing, or worse, do nothing at all. They hide on you. What word should I put here? Who knows? The words themselves aren't going to tell you. When it works, it works, and the mysteries of the universe are revealed in the proper placement of words. But most of the time, I'd say 99.99% of the time, nothing's revealed. No words, much less any meaning, much less any deep and true mysteries of the universe. The words, they don't come. They sit, wherever it is that words sit. Where do words sit? Word heaven? Writer's hell? It doesn't matter because they're not there, they're not on the page, bestowing meaning, offering insight, delighting, captivating, ordering themselves with precision and poise and dear god this is hard. Words. This is worthless. This isn't going anywhere. I recognize that. I know. I understand. These particular words in this particular order -- nobody wants to read them. Nobody will find meaning in them. Nobody's universe is opening up for them. Mine sure isn't. I'm putting words down because I'm hoping, I don't know why, that eventually the right words will come out, a meaning will suggest itself, a starting point, a breaking place, a thing, a word, a way. Don't read this. If you've started, if you've made it this far, stop. I'm writing just to keep my hands busy, trying to keep my mind not busy, working but not worrying about the work that won't come. Does this make any sense? I don't think so. Stop reading. Words fall from the sky like falling things, like sky things, like thing things. Thing thing thing. See how lame this is? See how awful the words can be to me? They're torturing me. I know what I want to say. But I don't know how to say it. Or maybe it's the other way around. Or maybe I don't know either and I'm just fooling myself. A smart man, a man with at least some modicum of pride, would delete this when he was done. What am I saying? A smart man wouldn't have gotten this far. He'd know how to corral the words. Even if not the right words, the right-enough words. That's always been my problem. I can't settle on the right-enough words. I can't settle on telling the story, even if I tell it badly. I want to be able to do that. I want to tell stories badly, if it only means that I manage to finish one. Damn it. Thing. Like a writer thing with a thing typer thing and the word thing that thinged thing the thinger things. Thing thing thing, thing thing! Smarts, pride -- these went out the window the moment I sat down and decided just to type, just to type, just to write and hope the words would come. I want to write and I don't know how to get past the moment that I've already written and I'm worried that I may never get past it and that I may have nothing in me but a supply of beginnings and that even those may be finite and flawed. I feel the words clogging my veins, or whatever it is that I want to describe. Building a wall? Breaking my brain? The image eludes me. The words taunt and tease and disappear. Stuck in inertia. (Tie it together, good man.) Not really grooving on but knowing that's the only way to ride it through. Can't stop inertia; have to ride it through.

by Fred 8:20 PM

grooving on inertia

by Fred 8:18 PM

{Friday, May 19, 2006}

The kids were running around the table, yelling about Cheerios. Well, to be honest, they were running around the table, yelling the word Cheerios. His eight-year-old, Lisa, was chanting "CHEERY," and four-year-old Bobby was following with "OHS!"
He sat in the vortex of swirling children, sipping his coffee and reading the headlines of the Statesman. Bobby slipped, but only missed one chorus. CHEERY! OHS! He sipped his coffee again, and absently patted Lisa's head as she passed by him. She dipped to the right, and shouted again.
He wondered idly why the dog hadn't come in. He'd heard the damn thing barking in the back yard on and off all night. It had finally shut up around four in the morning, but the neighbor dog had started in. It had, at least, shut up quickly.
"Alright, kids, alright. You're finished with your Cheerios. Let's get our shoes on and get moving."
"Noooooo! Daddydaddydaddydaddydaddy"
He rounded them toward the pile of shoes by the front door, and helped tiny feet into miniscule shoes. They grabbed backpacks and lunch bags, a suitcase and a gym bag, and headed out for the car. He strapped Bobby into the back and Lisa into the front, and started out.
He drove down his street, then turned left onto the main street off of which the two others branched, making a neighborhood like a lopsided moth. To him it had always seemed like an upper- and lower-case D standing back to back, dD.
This morning, Lisa demanded that her window be open. He acquiesced (Why not?) There was a smell, like ozone, in the air, and something else. Something in it set his teeth on edge. He blamed the lovely summer morning sun, not yet deadly, but with evil in its stare.

by MisterNihil 3:55 PM

Tired of waiting. Picking a nonsense word off the list.

by MisterNihil 3:53 PM

{Thursday, May 18, 2006}

He rides the cry of the locust across the treeline, searching out the smells of the city. He's left a thousand cities like this one, and he knows what to look for.
Here it is. A single street, short, with two side streets looping off of it, making a single closed neighborhood. It makes a shape like a lopsided figure eight, a fiddler butterfly. Two lessers have been hiding in backyards of houses on the western side-street. They are giggling as he drops behind them, and their screams give him satisfaction as he seizes them.
They beg for mercy, to be allowed to run away. He devours them hungrily with a gleeful cackle at his own immortality.
He then sprays for most of a mile around.
this place is mine
He grins a toothy grin and settles in, ready for the work to begin in earnest.

by MisterNihil 10:00 PM

The Glass Jaw Syndrome

by MisterNihil 9:57 PM

{Wednesday, May 17, 2006}

The down from the cottonwood tree fell slowly across the lawn, blown by invisible winds with inscrutable motives. The garrison of bushes under the windowsill grasped for the fluff, but this one found parole and continued its jaunt undeterred.
The grass' growth was encouraged by enough rain and what would be a stifling heat for any but this tropical grass, which suffered in even the mildest of local winters, and it reached hungrily up to a sky that poured nutrition happily down onto its gratefully sucking worshipers.
A cicada cried from a tree nearby, rising and falling languidly, calling in the evening and hailing the slow death of another day. Clouds on the horizon crowded as if for a better view of the cottonwood tree in full bloom, and the sidewalk baking silently, and the spoor of July in Texas.

by MisterNihil 11:59 PM

Feigning Sleep

by MisterNihil 11:20 PM

{Tuesday, May 16, 2006}

Sprinkler System Joys

by Fred 8:42 AM


<blockquote class="topic">your topic</blockquote>