I Am The Lord High Proprioceptor

I was dead inside and I didn’t know it. I was all shrivelled up inside of myself like a scrawny grey homunculus and yet for me this was normal. I never knew any different – I had never felt the cool breeze on my face, or the warm sunshine on my skin. I didn’t know these things. I didn’t know any things because I was shrivelled up deep down inside of myself. I was dry – very dry – a thing of leather and stringy, knotty sinews, a thing with dull button-like eyes and a grey wizened face. I knew nothing of life, I knew nothing of anything. Life had gone one way and I had gone the other, but I never knew it. I was trying to crawl, I was a crawling thing.

 

“Where is life taking us?” I boomed out heartily, my orange hair standing out in great clumps from my over-sized head. My unnaturally loud voice made the cutlery in the cutlery drawer rattle and everyone turned around to look at me. I was waving the striped flag of my clan madly and blowing with all my might on my great brass horn. I was the Cosmic Clown. I was the Janitor of the Sacred Space. I was the Flaming Mouth of Khaos. I was the Iconoclast. I was the Lord High Proprioceptor. I was the One Who Sits in the Corner, Rocking To and Fro, Laughing with Unseemly Abandon. I was the Rule-Breaker. I was the Sailor on the Seas of Fate…

 

Conscious of making a spectacle of myself, I sat down again and did my best to make myself look inconspicuous. I tried to merge with my surroundings. I knew that I’d overstepped the mark and didn’t want to attract the wrong sort of attention. I feared very much that I might have done so. Alarm bells went off somewhere in some adjoining room. Hazard lights were flashing on all of the cars in the car park. Black impenetrable clouds were crowding in on the horizon. An ominous silence prevailed – even the birds in the trees had stopped singing. It was as if the world itself was waiting with bated breath, to see what would happen next. I’d put a foot wrong there and no mistake, it occurred to me ruefully. If only I could go back in time with my blackboard rubber and erase what I just done.

 

There is a drug you can take out here in the lawless wastelands of the Algol system that gives you the experience of being a human being back on Terra during the time of the Great Corporations, when everything was all about buying your identity straight off a supermarket shelf and adverts would crawl up your nostrils to lay their eggs there. The eggs hatch out into larval life-forms which crawl into your brain and influence your brand loyalty. This was all perfectly legal and protected by law. Generations of humans lived and died in servitude to commercial interests. You wake up in the morning to commute obediently to work, caught up in the grey early morning traffic. You are tired and hung over from the fast food you unwisely ate late the previous night, and you have nothing to look forward to more of the same.

 

There are messages on the car radio telling you about new products that you are obliged to buy. These products are guaranteed to dramatically improve the quality of your life. The traffic moves with unbearable slowness. Adverts are crawling up your nose and into your ears. They are driven by their programmed need to lay their eggs – after they have done this they will die. Eventually you will arrive at work and perform meaningless tasks until it is time for you to go home again. This is a banned experience on all civilized worlds and yet out here in the lawless wastelands of the Algol system no pleasure, however perverse, however contrary to nature, will be denied you…

 

 

Art: untitled, by meltdownn

 

 

 

 

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Time Is Anxiety

What sort of flavour does reality have, I wondered. What would the taste of it be like? What kind of texture would it have? These are some of the questions that were going through my mind. I was very curious to know about reality – what kind of a thing would it turn out to be? This is such a tricky thing to think about – what are the guidelines after all? Perhaps – I find myself thinking – there is something else like reality that would give us a clue as to what exactly to expect? Something to go on, at least, so that we wouldn’t be totally in the dark. Would that be asking for too much? If it happened to be the case that there was some kind of partial analogue of reality floating around somewhere then that would help a lot. How is anyone supposed to just charge ahead blindly and get all tangled up in reality without knowing what to expect? It seems unfair, somehow. I was trying to turn the negative into a positive. I was trying to think of some kind of positive, life-affirming thought to make me feel better about my situation. It’s good to have to spend a little time every day engaging in some kind of life-affirming thoughts, I told myself. Perhaps thinking about how good it is to think life-affirming thoughts is itself a life-affirming thought? That seemed like a fair enough assumption. That seemed to make sense to me – in a kind of a way, at least. Everything seemed to make sense to me in a kind of a way – anything could make sense, if you looked at it in the right way. But then again the other side of the coin was that it wouldn’t if you didn’t. It wouldn’t mean shit-all. That could be worrying, if you could be bothered to worry about that kind of thing, which I for one am not! Life’s complicated enough anyway, if you ask me. I was searching for a thought that would help me to feel better about my situation but nothing came to hand. I searched and I searched but there was nothing there. I searched high and low, I looked in all the cupboards but the cupboards were bare. I couldn’t come up with a single life-affirming thought and this was a problem. I have to find a life-affirming thought, I thought, but this in itself wasn’t a life-affirming thought. It was the wrong type of thought entirely. How did that make you feel, you might ask, in all your innocence? What does it feel like when you go desperately searching for some kind of a positive thought, any kind of positive thought, and you just can’t find any? Well, I reply carefully, after giving the matter due consideration – it feels like fucking shit, what you expect? The point is that time is anxiety. Time is anxiety time is anxiety time is time is time is anxiety. Time is anxiety and all tasks become the same task, and I know you know very well just what exactly that task is! And please don’t waste my time by pretending that you don’t…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Source Hero

The first line of my next poem was to be, ‘I’m an Open Source Hero, I’m the Big-Headed Zero,’ but it never happened. It was not to be. I tried to threaten the world into submission by waving my semiconscious automatisms at it. My robotic reflexes. Take that you bastard I said, only I didn’t really say it. But that’s what I meant, on an unconscious level. That was the gist. Get a load of my unconscious automatisms and see how you like that. Yeah – not so clever now, are you reality? That’s what I was unconsciously saying to reality, trying to put it in its place. Triumphantly, I did my little dance. The dance I always do. The little dance I do when I think that I have triumphed over reality. My little dance. Doing my little dance. My victory dance. Watch out, watch out! I’m going to shake my automatisms at you. Heh, heh, heh… Gonna wave my goddamn robotic reflexes at you, gonna vomit my stinking semi-digested somnambulisms all over you. Fuck yeah. How you gonna respond to that, huh? What are you gonna do now? That’s got you cornered, nowhere to turn to, nowhere else to go. See how you like those apples, I crow, jumping up and down whilst thumbing my nose. Doing my little dance. Capering about the place like one of Satan’s imps. Fuck you asshole. Only I’d got it all wrong of course – it was me that was cornered. It was me that had nowhere else to turn. I had cornered myself and now there was no way out. If you go down that road far enough you’ll run out of the one thing you really need, someone once told me, but I wasn’t listening. When do I ever listen? I’m too busy shaking my automatisms at people. You’ll run out of the one thing that really matters. Then you’ll be up a gum tree without a paddle! Go down that road and you’ll be sorry my friend. You’ll shed tears of scalding vinegar. Your spirit will dry up within you and you choke yourself on sawdust. You will be coughing up bits of yourself all over the place. Coughing up big wet globs of automatic behaviour as you go. Spitting them at people. Hawking them up. Vomiting them up. Making pathetic little grasping motions at life all the while. Making vestigial little clutching movements at the goodness. Doing your little dance, doing your little dance. Giving everyone the finger. ‘How you doing buddy’, says the voice in my head. ‘How’s that working out for you?’ I was an Open Source Hero but I’d run out of steam…

 

 

 

Art – Moebius. Taken from: The Art Of Moebius / iamag.co

 

 

 

My Head Was Full Of Machine Talk

It’s a great thing to be free from the old personality robot, I said, after a while. I’d been sitting there contemplating life for the last half hour or so. Such a great thing to get away from the rotten old personality mechanism, I said to myself. It was a matter of wonderment to me. You’re the gimp no more. No more the gimp. You can kick sand in the face of your detractors. You can laugh at your own thoughts as they scurry around the labyrinth of your machine mind. The personality robot is so rotten I said, suddenly overcome by the purest loathing for it. I knew it for what it was. I had its number. It might look friendly enough, I told my imaginary audience. It might look harmless enough, but don’t let that fool you. Lions and tigers are nothing compared to the old personality robot. The worst they can do is eat you. Or maim you perhaps. Or eat bits of you. Choice bits.  Here comes the old personality robot walking down the street. Look at him lumbering along – he’s as stupid as the day is long. He’s as blank as they come, he’s blankness personified, but he’ll tell you otherwise. He’ll fill your head with the most outrageous bullshit you’ve ever heard in your life and never blink an eye. He’ll tell you black is white. That’s what the old personality robot is like. You can see him walking down the corridor towards you – he’s moving fast, like a shadow in a dream, and the next thing is that he is you, and you are him, and there’s only the one of you! And now you are in a different world, you’re in the twilight realm where everyone’s out to get you, where hidden eyes are always watching. The only way to protect yourself in the twilight realm is to be more vicious than anyone else and if you can’t be more vicious than anyone else then you have to be good at hiding or good at running. Or perhaps good at pretending to be something else, something that isn’t you. My head was full of machine talk – chattering, chattering, chattering. This is normal I told myself – this is what it means to be a human being. You can talk to the machines and the machines can talk to you. Because you both speak the same language. I can hear the church bell ringing – it’s 6 o’clock. The sound of the bell brings me out of my dream. My long, long dream. How long was it? If you want to follow your dreams then you have to make sure that you stay asleep. Someone told me that. I read it in a book. I learned it in an online seminar. A little bird told me. The dreams are coming thick and fast now. They are like great waves – each one crashes into me with irresistible force. I can feel my legs going from under me. Each wave hits me harder than the last. Someone told me that if you someone told me that you can laugh at your own thoughts as they scurry scurry around the labyrinth of your machine mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Anger And Frustration

Who am I and how did I lose myself, I asked. Who am I and what had I let myself become, I asked myself. Angrily, I grabbed the remote off the table and changed the channel. I’d been watching myself on TV, watching the details of my own life unfolding on the screen. As if it wasn’t me at all, as if it were someone else. I was angry and I didn’t know why. I was eaten up by anger and frustration but I didn’t know what the problem was. I was angry and defeated but I didn’t know where it was all coming from. Nothing made sense any more but the truth was that it never did.

 

I was being run by the system as a bogus shell corporation but then the shit hit the fan. Details had been leaked and now everybody knew about me. You could watch them all talking about me on TV. The special ombudsman had been appointed; a report had been commissioned. There were going to go public about it because it had become too big. It had become the biggest thing in the world and now everyone was talking about it. It had all been a front for the system but now the shit was going to hit the fan. The story had got too big and it had to break. Angrily, I seized the remote from the table and tried to change the channel. I was angry and confused and I didn’t know what I was doing anymore.

 

I existed as a kind of made-up homunculus in my own imagination. I was my own fantasy. I was trying to meet the necessary standards but now the word had gone out and everyone knew what had happened. The cat had gotten too big for the bag and then someone had said something. I had existed as a homunculus in my own imagination but I never knew it – I thought it really was me. I thought everything was normal. I thought I had a handle on things and that standards were being met. I never knew that it was all a front for the system but by then it was too late. The news had got out and now it was on all the channels.

 

People had gone out in the streets to talk about it. It had become a very big issue and something had to be done. The proper authorities had to be notified. When things got this big there was nothing anyone could do about it. Even the dogs in the street knew. They knew that things had gone too far. The secret had gotten out and the shit was about to hit the fan. What had I let myself become, I asked myself? Was I in my own fantasy? Had I taken my eye off the ball? Had there been developments when I hadn’t been looking? Had things gone too far? I felt angry but I didn’t know why. Something had happened, but I didn’t know what it was.

 

 

 

 

 

Fragments

The small broken things had set up a chirping in my mind, sometimes in unison, sometimes not. There were lots of them – thousands and thousands and thousands of them. I called them the ‘fragments’ because that’s what they were – fragments. Lots and lots of fragments. They were the broken fragments of who I used to be.

 

This is a kind of autobiography, by the way. I’m trying to write an autobiography and this seems as good a place to start as any – with the old fragments. We’ll start with them and we’ll end with them too. I think of the fragments of who I used to be as being like some kind of space rubble – perhaps two moons crashed together long ago, disintegrating both. Smashing them up completely so that now there is nothing to this vast field of debris, this endless ring of rubble spinning pointlessly in space – a testament to some ancient catastrophe that nobody cares about any more.

 

Its not physical rubble but the mental variety that I’m talking about here though. It’s what’s left of my personality. These little mental fragments spinning en masse in their millions like Saturn’s rings, setting up this ceaseless pointless chirping. There is no sense in it at all. There’s no sense in the noise they make – it’s a mockery of sense, that’s the whole point of it. It’s something broken and that’s all there is to it. It’s as simple as that.

 

An interesting point that is very clear to me is that nothing ‘unbroken’ can never come out of these fragments, no matter what is done with them, no matter what noises they make. They can’t be recombined in any meaningful way – not ever. What’s terminally broken can never give rise to ‘the unbroken’. A thousand crazy voices can never come together to make sense, not if they had all eternity in which to do so.

 

It’s not like the monkeys and the typewriters, in other words. You know what they say about monkeys and typewriters, about how if you give them long enough they will eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Not so for the fragments – they could never type out any sense no matter how long you give them. They’ll never come up with anything. They just scream and scream in their frighteningly senseless way. Or chirp and chirp, if that’s how you hear it.

 

Someone once told me that we’re on a long road with no turning back. It’s a song – the lyrics to some kind of ambient-type track. It occurred to me then that at this point on the road there is no turning back but there’s also no going forward either. It’s like walking along on the surface of the moon – after it got totally pulverised into space rubble.

 

You don’t move on from this, it occurred to me. That’s the whole point. You just don’t. There’s nowhere to go from here. But I don’t want you to think that I’m being unduly morose here – or that I’m indulging myself by painting as dark a picture as I possibly can. That’s not it at all. I’m not being morose. The point is, you see, that that old personality of mine was never that great anyway, even at its best! I know it sounds wrong to say this but that’s just the way it is. That’s just the truth of the matter. Why be coy about it? Why be squeamish about saying it? I don’t know what good having that personality ever did for me – it was just something I had to carry around with me everywhere I went because I didn’t know what else to do with it.

 

The big problem is that you get all sentimental about it and fall into thinking about all of the good times you had with good old personality of yours. How great it was. How wonderful it was. That nostalgia thing always cuts in, doesn’t it? Take it from me – none of that nostalgia shit is true. It’s pure moonshine. It’s a kind of hallucination. It was never great, it was never wonderful, so just don’t go there…

 

Sometimes the fragments sing away like a field full of fat brown crickets, resonating endlessly together in a perfectly senseless way. At other times they contrive to sound like random snatches of conversation, almost making sense but not quite.  And every now and again they shout my name at me, ever and over again. That’s a bit of a joke really – what do I want with a name, anyway? What good is a name to me now? It’s all just attachment really, that’s all it is. Just pure dumb pointless attachment, nothing more…

 

 

 

 

The Poetry Of Life

I am trapped in the shiny new ego, a lovely shiny new ego. I’m trapped in a lovely shiny new super-duper ego and it is as stupid as the day is long! Its stupidity is truly infinite – its resilience to the truth is legendary. It has an immunity to good sense that none can comprehend… ‘None can escape me, for I am the flea that leaps,’ I began to declaim suddenly, in full dramatic mode, but then lapsed back immediately into morose and moody silence. I was trying, as best as I could, to see something likeable about myself, but I couldn’t. A great weariness had descended upon me. ‘What a thing this is,’ I lamented to myself (because no one else would listen to me), ‘how is it even possible that such a situation could exist?’ This struck me as being a bizarre incongruity. How is it possible to be a being without anything good about them at all, to be a creature that is bad in every respect, and be painfully aware of the fact, and yet still have to live in the world and create some sort of life for oneself? To be unaccepted by the world, rejected by the world, seen as abhorrent by the world, and yet still however have no other option but to live in that very same world (because – after all – there was no other)? This was a bit of a philosophical puzzle for me, and I had little enough appetite for such things. Philosophical puzzles, that is. I was sitting in Starbucks drinking an Americano and nibbling listlessly on a cinnamon swirl. Has the joy going out of my life, I wondered? Viral pseudo-realities were proliferating quietly under the table but I ignored them. I was looking for the poetry in the moment but it eluded me. I knew well that there was poetry in every moment – that is something of an axiom in my book. If one agrees that there is such thing as a basic axiom with regard to ‘life in general’, which you may not do. The basic axiom that I’m talking about is here is the one that states that it is totally and utterly impossible to escape from the intrinsic poetry of life, no matter how hard we try to, no much how much much we want to. We could attempt this feat of course, and it is in this way that we create for ourselves the ongoing drama of life, the ins and outs of it, the ups and downs of it, the thrills and spills of it. We are bound to fail in the end of course and this very failure is part of the poetry that we are trying so hard to escape. It’s a superlative flourish of poetry, it occurred to me. A staggering flourish. How remarkable and ironic it is that our all-out attempts to escape from the intrinsic poetry of life ends up creating (quite involuntarily of course!) the most rarefied poetry of all! That in itself constitutes a reformulation of the basic axiom that I have just mentioned; we could say – in other words – that the attempt to escape the poetry of life is in some strange way the best poetry of all…