Sunday, April 14, 2019

Nathaniel Horowitz - The Soulkeeper

Sifting through the sands of time—that’s a saying of ours—my young assistant Clivia discovered an ancient folktale that used to be told around the fire, in the evening, in a country that was known in those days as Mexico. A folklorist, Heraclio Zepeda, had committed it to memory, and years later, in another country, a poet by the name of del Campo had written it down. The tale made reference to a village “soulkeeper,” or almero, a man who captured the souls of those who died, and stored them, in glass flasks, in what was termed a “soulery,” an almería.

Centuries later, and by means of more advanced technology, my own vocation is very similar to that of the old soulkeeper. The institute where I work has at its disposal an immense archive of direct and reconstructed information on thousands of people who no longer exist in the traditional sense.

It would be pointless here to explain the very complex procedure that permits us to gather up the mental processes, the memories, the character, the tastes and loves and phobias—the complete consciousness, in short, of one who has died. Let it suffice to say that we use every single known technical resource, physical, psychological and otherwise, in this process of recollecting, reconstituting and archiving the essence of an individual.

The first audio recording technology foreshadowed our work. It copied voices and stored them away, immune to time, bringing them back to life whenever someone wanted to hear them. In that primitive process lay the seed of today’s virtual soul technology.

Because now we do the same thing with whole consciousnesses. With the addition of virtual brains to house them, they can function, they can think again. And, if I may say so myself, they do this reasonably well.

It so happens that many of these “virtual souls” which we have been able to preserve in the institute believe they are real. They believe they pertain to bodies that are still living, but are suffering from the effects of some drug, or are trapped in nightmares. Sometimes it’s almost comical to witness their fruitless struggles to “snap out of it.”

But there are other souls, more lucid ones, who comprehend what has happened to them. They understand that they are not “real” or “living” in the original sense, and they become desperate. They agitate for absurd, impossible freedoms. For instance, they might ask us for a body to inhabit. Most of them beg us at some point to destroy them.

Against regulations, in a few cases I have granted this wish, behind the back of my aforementioned assistant Clivia, whose firmness and discipline can only be compared with her talent and her youth. With her aid, I made great advances, and I never would have wished to displease her.

But precisely because of her, in the maturity of my life, I discovered that what inspires my investigations is not any passion for scientific discoveries or technological advances—which never resolve the fundamental problems of humanity anyway—but my passion for those infinities that discoveries and advances can never touch. I refer to subjects which in other epochs were relegated to psychology and metaphysics.

Thanks to Clivia, whom I loved like a daughter, I met the virtual soul of Kalus. For weeks we gazed into his tempestuous spirit as into a terrifying abyss. It was like witnessing the chemically pure form of evil. Imprisoned by our horror and fascination, we listened to the stories, the seductive arguments, and the perverse justifications stored reverently in his consciousness as if they were other forms of good. Kalus was unperturbed by his virtual condition. He was a soul whose physical desires had been sublimated into many other forms: a torrent of words, a destructive will, a boundless thirst for followers.

“Enough with Kalus,” I said to Clivia one morning. “Case closed.” To head off her objections, I added that if there was one thing the world had too much of already, it was psychopaths. At some point, we could go back to him or to an even more entertaining soul. But for now, there was other work to do.

The day passed slowly and silently. Clivia shot me furtive looks. She left early. I worked until almost midnight, then went home.

But I couldn’t sleep a wink. Finally, as the sky was getting light again, I left home and went back to the lab. I went up. And I saw Clivia there, in that twilight dimness brightened only by the screens of the computers, listening as if in a trance to Kalus’s voice, which filled the room as the sound of lapping waves fills a cave by the seashore.

I left without her becoming aware of my presence. When I returned later that morning, I silently observed her nervousness and unease.

In that day, I lost Clivia forever. She would never again be the curious and charming girl who would bring me a flower or read me a poem. Those clandestine nocturnal encounters with Kalus had changed her. It would have been useless to tell her that this perverse and impossible love had made her lose her perspective on things, because all love transforms its victims, and changes day into night and evil into good. It would have been useless to tell her that it was absurd to fall in love with a phantom, because all of us do that at one time or another. Instead of trying to explain these things to her, I made the painful decision to terminate her from the institute. I told her it was for her own good. And I was left alone with Kalus. I spoke to him at length. I explained his virtual condition clearly to him. I explained that he would never speak to Clivia again, or to anyone else, for that matter. And as I erased, one by one, all the functions of his mind, I thought I heard one last scream from him (or was it a laugh?) before he was extinguished like a candle flame in the silence of the night.

I don’t know if anyone, in the future, will weigh my soul and decide that this virtual murder, and perhaps the others that I have committed out of compassion, are nothing other than several more of the restless, infinite manifestations of evil.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

jim leftwich & steve dalachinsky - 8 pieces

1. street scene

entangled dynamic oscillates
between intuitive and
historical splotches of opaque
perception underlying
atmospheric contingencies
applied enigma winged allegories
who is bosched off the intergrade
whence the environment co-placards
the reincarnated photo of d(r)ead
pointers like fodder like sunday/

october 2018

romantic ecologies

sycamore music approximates
renewable leaders intersect
at the neck barriers during
independent encompasses
dormant wilderness collapsing
memories overlap garaged-in space
the dormitory's logical dwelling place
door men cadaver moralities' clutch
poor men offer too much not much
we seem to be morphing about.

october 2018


3. crossing a rose

crossing the tenor loses his balance
a tray of fine wine oranges the deck
a deck filled with marked cards wobbles
a house that can easily fall apart still stands
the crickets are bellowing their wakefulness
  ...wreckage in fire and fraying wires...
strands fall apart / a breeze through the house
...carts wobble, filled with masks and dreck
awakening in a thicket below the full moon
the balance of losses trembles like a rose
october 2018


4. of the people by the

speech in the cabinet
of curiosities exploded
provoking immediate
protein corruption
censoring brazen tales
(im)peach patterns
stutter stammer spurt
lisp resonate resist warble
was crazy then crazy now what
am i rich/man means to me?

october 2018


5. nightbirds marching

rigth winged the bird wigged out
unpleasantrees 'bout squirrels nuttin'
doin' says disconsolate dog {s)c(r)atcher
archery's arches fall short of height
resason debt/ra a death/trap for sure
squiggly doubts' word singing a thigh
struttin' with quarrels & deviltry
foreclosure at the deathweb seasoned
hatchet-on-a-log consolidates the saints
at the height of their small parched marches

october 2018

6. choice ways

quietly the pirates of choice
their dunce-coats anxiety chocolate
magnificent suns! green manikin army!
sausages fire-hose depression
for the dead congress in their motes!
again the lady sings the blues as more
or less strange fruit rots / frisked as
the frisky dick-wielding fire-maiden
kills another elephant/donkey walk side
ways & calamity turns a blind shell inward.

october 2018


7. wedding

drum/bit the wedding cake takes its time
long wait no aisle the rings exchanged
joe sings i walk the line to his bride
outdoors a piece of my childhood turns
like a merry-go-round shuttling lost ghosts
the wake takes its time and the miles
take their time and the clings take their time
and the stalk takes its time and the brood
takes its time and the core takes its time
and the peace takes its time and the host
takes its time and the sounds take their time

october 2018


8. no hope in better management

misunderstanding the secret of us is a file
realm revelation who has anything than the whole
universal names for themselves
inherent brokenness directly
without sharing an anonymous center
the train stalls between choice cuts
a bravera of dewnuts croops the slop
they secrete these names as if body odors
relying on holes to inherit the breaks
without the center what holds up our pantssssss...?

october 2018

Monday, April 1, 2019

Yrik Max Valentonis - Three Pieces

Random Recipes: Curried Pterodactyl with Fried Bananas

Ingredients ---
1 pterodactyl
5 pounds curry
30 bananas

You will need ---
1 turkey baster
1 blow torch
5 fuel tanks for blow torch
1 mallet
1 back up mallet (if you are a messy cook like me)
1 hacksaw

Directions ---
Bam! Burn! Bite!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Heath Brougher - ROADrag-ian Haiku 1-8

ROADrage-ian Haiku #1

Back spurts tardy tone backwards
racks drag savage YERK
with the chips acute ruck ruck.

ROADrag-ian Haiku #2

Dire dido zag
intestines ebbs sags the gist
wrest PEAL chink wanders

ROADrage-ian Haiku #3

Nebulous fug flam
peccable yawn quaff knee nick
uTTer whiz twist DOSS

ROADrage-ian Haiku #4

Teeth inhale sweet scrap
sideways digits splinter wail
whistle thwack chirp yank.

ROADrage-ian Haiku #5

Trundle moan cheeks
whiff ripples volley awry
shrug ding billow burst

ROADrage-ian Haiku #6

Blown thud surd gewgaw
jaw clap unfeigned nibble peal
skip hinge laps puff Oh

ROADrage-ian Haiku #7

Squeeze curtains jib yawn
bawdy sham void PLOP Non sags
splotch nick ding daub wham

ROADrage-ian Haiku #8

Repulsive flap flap
pound swish swerve neck toll gape
squinch tangles bonk lash.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

J. D. Nelson - Five Poems

1. the corner of the milk

glass text for 81
the blue cube code

with its many armies

this setting
in the dark
with the words

wearing my nike heat jeans

2. we don’t & do

future wolf is inside-out today

future wolf in time



what is this today yasteddy
something like the nice icely

sad like that friend
wearing the spaghetti hat


3. we should start a soda war with earth

the little burd
was an egg-plant

more of the snakes
earth eating earth

rhombus a claire
cow hum

4. overlord pants

inner ear cloud
the flute of caw!

corner rat
think “T”
for tender

spine rid
rate goat
got slimp

right pilaf says
demand denim!

5. feeding upon the crumbles of glass

                        the nocturnal earth
it was a color of green                       in the sea

to get inside the morning
when I do

i heard something about
shuffle, shuffle

you keep on the creeping side
elope with a rattlesnake

would you like a torch?
no, I’m fine –
I have a burning loaf of bread

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

AG Davis - Three Poems


haft noshes glee
transparency sheathed
reddening ached hoeing
of regime's pyre neglect
deeming sized anodes
hoop-boa for orphic idioms
patois of the cadaver
gulch awed in profundity rapt
as e-mince terrine
to sty pardons bequest
these ads conglomerate
in ought-foggy
questions that  
gnash poles apart
denoting high-flying eyes
withdrawing keen on
human gneiss
an epidemic entrance
some perfunctorily
experience bogging lass
in the piss of the sky
illumining togged
untaught offhand
the lupine doss
and equilibrium shatters
the validity of the gaze
represses netted by the
broad-minded inferno
goes pertinently
jarred and ego bare
rapacious at exclusionary
jilts in concert with
shad-fly acquaintances
a round-table interleaves
my slit-wrist sunup
owns jests
tar quipped
for righteousness
a ghoul jailing gull
so obverse
and mundane
the satanic vertigo
of ancient fractions
that peel forlorn bells
in plasticized


sibilate pear hidden away these dirty filters musk saunter and impaled fervent at odds addicted to abdicate mistaken two slips repentant for the detours, insubordinate sore do violence via the voles lacking cold-shed this crackling ego, a faint clock retired, verity dories, am frustrated as flesh coughs violently with one voice subtracted, i, the invention of straightforwardly fit genders laments, idiom meat and figurine mediates modals to suffer inexplicable distortions, decrepit bare steeple flagged an open girl's postulate, the rhythm amid snuffle slighter these mordant conger, toys murder hind gawk jiggling frissons warmer than mine and dreamed, kissed delft est. a prisoner to friction of elision, recognizes less than the orgy hammed-up in dead ethics, helps gouge with the intention of columns torn reconstructive for helix photostatic adjourned, an honorable refuter ohms velvet numbers, and vice for enhancing medicinal bereavement, force, can you see your demise between the overarching lips of purple (?), sledge thawed, adage, teammates subsequently vesper among void ergs shudder the simple eggs in flimsy suited gilt, the castellated teeth invite him to fly as sewn in brick and costumed, next wound slumbering black, if costumed i could answer this, this, a bed of dwindling hours, your prayers a crucifix of angular dreams intersecting the larvae of omission in a shelter of stolen seminal fluid,

lurid: your book of lies, selves, lives, hanged angles, be of us when scorned

the host conjoined future cuffs, nudity enclosed then preface with sturdy difficult, order lob in attendance artfully rebuffs cradles dispersed near firm and dividing, otherwise the superlative buttons dislodge youth's golden-hand in honey-fucked lambing, weep the women with little difficulty, he bleached a placenta for the people of these that float abroad, finally allowed, or dismissed on grounds of inapplicable treason



b/c I bye you bye and he byes she to bye him for hers to bye their being byed by 316.4°F (by 158°C) by > S. upon dead winds. [7] rebooting, inflamed high-rise visions these my night crammed serpentine, obsession this reader is conjures au revoir kilograms to nth mirror pendulum. moving nerveless, grips half-life by fooled temple: two roads, west pours east, expectorating universal can salt running hardly smoothest, deeper, inches tie blue weeds much more than we receive crossroads, rumbling actors are viewers of this

_sheep derived(?)

Friday, March 1, 2019

John Crouse & Jim Leftwich - ACTS 9000-9007


spandex aperture chronometer: "originally logical sophistication"
conundrum regimes syrup: "remain for tertiary"
giants minority deepen: "contrast must feel"
digital prejudicial boost: "with without thus"
worrying propeller website: "tangible hues this"
penetration skate autocratic: "industry post until"
aligns television studded: "emotive could specific"
revenue shoehorn masturbation: "yet colors circle"
backlash backslap narwhal: "direct architecture imposes"
height survivor connectivity: "working fall same"
frictionless purposes throat: "ideas secondary modes"
prowess babies rayguns: "color combinations expression."


steamroll sacred chops: "subjective evokes opposite"
baste refugees strongman: "personal theory builds"
sooner disgust popularly: "incredibly offer use"
runways democracy fudge: "paper resident rogues"
sprinkle collapses anthem: "inspired longitude evident"
latter lobbed chums: "acrobat chosen montane"
canary jackhammer heed: "fireworks pursue burl"
humility snot escargot: "markers ineluctable flange"
countryside prelude impeach: "research potential construction"
wealth gumbo caricatured: "potato arbitration fallow"
unmasking harpoon fellowship: "reading caesura samples"
impulse brainwash justice: "enactment preparing breath."


constitutes spandex steamroll: "phrases answered words"
critique conundrum baste: "there fire implodes"
seatbelt giants sooner: "inadequate implied impossibility"
uncanny digital runways: "absence where disintegration"
allergic worrying sprinkle: "improvisation trembling ritual"
mimic penetration latter: "caesura camera untruthful"
caliber aligns canary: "circular meetings meander"
summer revenue humility: "hearing corrodes piano"
takeaway backlash countryside: "traversed reduction states"
peers height wealth: "mobility excess resides"
urgently frictionless unmasking: "growls constitutive instance"
facedown prowess impulse: "origin changes lost."


synthesis aperture sacred: "sharp notion everything"
debut regimes refugees: "poetry patterns juxtaposed"
update minority disgust: "architecture covers caesura"
takeaway prejudicial democracy: "words eliminate words"
mandatory propeller collapse: "threshold natal nature"
dreams skate lobbed: "indeterminate language movement"
scandalized television jackhammer: "phonemic irrigation cult"
logistics shoehorn snot: "snout riverine Vivaldi"
seeded backslap prelude: "reflects coiled omnibus"
jaundice survivor gumbo: "designs differ ensemble"
percolator purposes harpoon: "structures ritual phrasing"
nowhere babies brainwash: "everyday preparing among."


tryst chronometer chops: "chips conceptual procedures"
folio syrup strongman: "geometry since want"
enthralling deepen popularly: "meditation improvises reading"
flamboyant boost fudge: "between it everything"
femme website anthem: "imagination than how"
skyjack autocratic chums: "idiom who toes"
gaga studded heed: "lightbulb therein quiescent"
ballistics masturbation escargot: "argot ergo akin"
impermissible narwhal impeach: "skin organic peach"
precarious connectivity caricatured: "poem felt sarx"
predecessor throat fellowship: "word apricot folds"
nimbly rayguns justice: "totipotent upaya zawn."


spasticity replacement religiosity: "karst brevity gesture"
ferries partition canker: "temenos occurs organizational"
boomers parturition moreover: "feverish visible thoughts"
loathe potion nonbelieving: "expressive portions task"
stork chamois cohort: "imposition chromatic bodies"
blurt invincible disturb: "irreducible improvisational philosopher"
current cartridge bemused: "lurch alembic spatial"
croak partridge surely: "aludel anarchic fractal"
purely divisions clout: "moxibustion carat whistle"
wisp confrontational opus: "experiential nonverbal ritual"
wholly loom lyric: "suspended knots speech"
atmospheric moralistic pragmatic: "anechoic hieratic remembrance."


evangelical sponge jolly: "vial jelly instrumental"
hawk spondee mainline: "cut float sensuality"
inception anchor scheme: "linger oppose disperse"
fraud changeling documentation: "occlusion ghosts distortion"
boasts sunlight income: "distorts resoul transprovisation"
pretty taunts guarantees: "structured sounds dance"
agenda eyes anthem: "visual preparation oscillates"
brink tongues boroughs: "rhythm arriving mists"
moored ambitions downloaded: "phrases passionate caesura"
asteroids facial austerity: "sets flying echoes"
injection bookmark synopsis: "distinctions verbal ritual."


cuddly smack sharecropper: "axiom spatiotemporal escaping"
preacher memento sigh: "requires renewal radius"
stuck craven flower: "flowing concentric juxtapositions"
temper inning horror: "error fragmentation reshifting"
wheel oars quotidian: "traumatic quotation aura"
guillotine pumpkins glassy: "ritual improvisation transformed"
desire wakes eyeless: "time writing gesture"
thighs cormorant apples: "applies everyday contradictions"
mirage pudding cartoon: "urgent carton embedded"
communal jostle sunshine: "another amber mural"
vicissitudes homemade plastics: "convection lasting broadly"
escarpment equivalent washtub: "time spoken writing."