A Croupy Toot

tombstone     It was no time for levity. The atmosphere was much too dry. It was no time for fiddle faddle or pussy footing either. That weak shit was so over. But, make no mistake. It was time. The waxed fruits on display were getting no riper. An official brass band blew a rousing croupy toot and the solo President of the United States appeared on stage to adoring pork and bean squeals. Dander mixed with bile and crusted flakes tumbled like confetti from loge seats. Clubs trumped diamonds and high heels stomped spades under crappy tables. There’s nowhere to go but one known way up after that. He was wearing a minor dab of tasteful pancake and blush, a rakish top hat, spats, and a white tail like a lizard.


“My fellow Americans,” the solo President crooned,” and I do mean all among you who have no cause to question or doubt, I come before you not to mourn the failure of a transitory and negligible passing, and not to engage in pejoratives, expletives, or negativisms, because why bother with losers, but to get it on. We are going to get it on so far out there we will be able to stay the way we are, swing it back to the way it used to be, and pretend in 3-D omnicast it is simultaneously like it was and will always be for better or worse in sickness ’til we part. You be sure to stay tuned and follow the bouncing balls. With all my power and spleen, I thank you, along with your so-called government that stands lined up straight to unilaterally second that emotion.”


The cloudburst of low pressure pouring from the top tier boxes was precipitous. Draggy dress rehearsals were never exciting like this. Chilled penguins wiggled flippers and exchanged secret hand signals while skating on thin ice. A mid-century beauty rubbed latex semi-gloss into a stunning clear veneer on a rotating stage. Cheap imported cameras memorialized events in stylish white with velvety undertones of beige and cream in clotted bulk. Howdy-Doody was there, Flub-A-Dub, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Jones, Mr. Peanut, Clark Kent, Urkel, Tonto, though no Zorro. The detachable shelves were stocked with discounted merchandise bouncing off of walls into cages. Branded jello molds jiggled with delight. The pork and beans came with a choice of two mashed sides. Voting was with feet. The cameras focused on a giant applause meter that jumped and swayed. Rumors of hanky-panky were naturally exaggerated. Yes, the best side won as always.

“We, as the gloating winners who are good at it, and have all the proof and nothing but the proof we need to prove it, so help us, are good at getting what we’ve won while the getting is good. Who else knows better what it takes and how it’s done? That’s how it looks to me. That’s how it is and supposed to be straight from the source of Gold Almighty. I know all of you who can speak would agree with me if you could. But that’s my job now. And a sweet one it is. There are no leftover spoils here to be had. I got it covered. Everything’s fresh from the can. We boil twice to be sure, spread it thin. But enough idly said. Taste the pudding and pie filling. Grab some cheap pussy on the house. After that, the price goes up on a normal schedule with compounded interest.”

The rakish solo President cut a slashing figure as he joined the joyous bob and weave on ice. He twirled his diamond encrusted billy club with deft sticky fingers and opposable thumbs. Gold flashed sharp and incisively. There is no substitute for diamonds and gold on skates. Until, that is, he slipped on a flap of loose skin and unsightly leakage from a camouflaged plug came undone. A swift cutting edge re-insertion became required by any means necessary. The Secret Service whisked him away to a broom closet for his own self-protection. How else was he going to be able to remain stiff for the good of the country, praise the fucking lord? This benighted man was no robot out of a mold. His medication worked like a charm once it kicked in.


The band continued to play soft and hard as cover for marching and charging after his premature departure. Talk was cheap and flowed. A conga line formed in triumph to hail. A fragrance gathered underfoot and congealed among exposed toes. Unless that was the limbo. And those poles with sharp points had keen purpose.

The solo President of the United States had a dream that night of staying alive. It had a steady beat and he could dance to it. Fox News covered an interpretation like a blanket of ocher smog. The monotonous chorus would become legend on the gospel trail during the blockbuster Summer season. He appeared as a smoking vision of vitality all night long. His stage too was rotating at no less than a mid-century rate. He was splendidly spent perhaps, but fulfilled by his insertion, and still beige, and clotted, and creamy.




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smoke in color     The Kid was afraid but he refused to admit it. He held tight to the wheel with both hands. Even years later he could not bring himself to admit it. That would be the same as conceding defeat. How was he supposed to get where he was going that way? The wind had first started to growl with menace above the Arctic Circle, rising, falling, spreading out like a cluster bomb on the tundra. The wind was ancient, and the wind was here and now. The wind stripped carcasses, left dry bones. Gusts rocked his car with hammers and fists but he was not going to budge. Not now, not then, not ever. Of course the wolves howled alongside. In Saskatchewan and Alberta dogs joined in. The wind foamed from the jaws at the mouth of Lake Superior. Ships at the bottom rock and rolled like cranky old timers, not only the Edmund Fitzgerald. Trees in dark forests snapped like popsicle sticks. The wind cut and dismembered the electricity in Menominee. The assistant deputy on duty at the power plant had a heart attack. His wife had begged him to lose weight. It did no good. It never did. The wind shredded the plate glass window of a bratwurst factory in Racine. Raw, hideous meat oozed and sparkled. Sewage backed up in Peuwaukee, generators failed in Oshkosh, alternators in Prairie due Chien. Milk cows, winter wheat, barn roofs, all fell, and did not get up to beat the count. Then it began to really blow.

The Kid tapped his breaks lightly, careful not to skid on the ice. It was a bigger car than he was accustomed to driving, a green Plymouth Duster with a 443 cubic inch supercharged V-8 engine. He had stolen it earlier that afternoon from the driveway of a split level home in a suburb of Milwaukee. The cute family of four was warm inside eating Campbell’s tomato rice soup and grilled cheese sandwiches around the Christmas tree. The path ahead was as clear as it was going to be. He would park it right up front at the airport and mail the keys back to the owners. He had no problem paying off a debt. It was no big deal really. If it was truly a debt, that is. But threats and extortion was something else. No fucking way he deserved that. He was going where they’d never find him.

Until one day, he finally could. Admit it, that is. It wasn’t such a big deal anymore. Do or not, ebb and flow, but not only. Wisely, he reflected. Choose what makes a difference. Though not too close to any edge.

It took three hours to drive the ninety miles from Milwaukee to Madison. The wind had gained reinforcements on frozen Lake Mendota, on frozen Lake Monona, on frozen Lake Wingra that was cracking up. Trees were down all over town, pine trees, and birch trees, and red maples in the best of neighborhoods. Telephone service was spotty. The Capitol was deserted. The University of Wisconsin was shut up tight. The airport was closed. The stores were stripped of batteries, Marlboros, Meisterbraus, and corn flakes. Model citizens were preparing for the worst. The worst was surely coming. There was ebb and there was flow and then there was this.

The Kid stretched out on the floor of the airport terminal to wait. There was plenty of free parking. All he ever wanted to be most was free. He was confident he left no tracks to follow. Or such obvious tracks, why bother? How many cities was it in how many days? He mailed his letter with the keys wrapped inside. He enclosed cash and an apology. It couldn’t be helped. He believed that sincerely until he no longer did. The lights flickered but stayed on inside the terminal. He was not alone there. Others, too, had nowhere else to go. The building shook, but stayed put. The way he figured, he had it made.

The first flight took him to Minneapolis, and then Seattle. After that, only he would be in a position to know.

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Raw Potential

newsom2     Lt Guv Gav Newsom, triumphant at the polls, and now the favorite son of mothers for many years to come in Coastal California, or at least as many as exist in a spiraling vortex until something different comes along, savored his fleeting moment for seven days. Seven days was enough. Soon, and never too soon, there would be shit loads of work to get done by uncounted others in his behalf. Someday, with sufficient focus upon selflessness, they might count. Shit happens, after all, and never ends. Name a growth industry with more raw potential.

flies on shit 3turd 4

Not even the multiple levels of weed extraaction, soon to be the number one worldwide industrial market of all times, comes close to matching what gets flushed down the drain. Opportunity is no mystery. There are philosophers who extol plumbing, and not without cause, premise, presumption, reason, but still. C’mon. Number one can’t be beat. Get fucking real, why don’tcha? Then you might be able to get used by Lt Guv Gav for cause, reason, and presumption, too.

When weed becomes a staple, California will need to grow bigger because California is not big enough. To become an independent state after a new declaration of independence, and to fight the good fight for civil war fought for indigenous freedom, which is only right, because indigenous rights don’t die, a rightful sovereign state must pay the cost to become bigger.

Lt Guv Gav confidently proclaims, “No problemo.”

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Let Freedom Zing


Let Freedom Zing!


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Banh Mi Me To The End Of The Line

columbus-parade  The 148th version of the Columbus Day Parade in San Francisco started out from Fisherman’s Wharf under a muddle of grey clouds that mimicked slate smeared by an eraser. The forecast called for a gradual clearing by the time the geriatric marchers wheezed past Joe DiMaggio Playground into North Beach. The one true god who sported shades of white and beige on white proved to be on the right side of the fence again. The parade was the oldest civic event in the city, filling Columbus Ave. with an assortment of debris since 1868. The staid Italian families of North Beach held on to the reins of the procession with a grip that knew how to nurture an historic grudge. Marching straight was as narrow as it had ever been. No fruity loops, no glittery diamonds, no jokers, no queens, no spades. How else was the sky ever going to clear up without firm guidance? From their sunny point of view, the bay was as smooth and glassy as the blue on Lt Guv Gav Newsom’s touched-up eyes. Every pro pol in the the city had better show up to pay homage to the latest faked version of history, every has-been, wannabe, and ever will be, with glad hands and skin showing, or else. Even rank amateurs who stunk up the joint routinely showed up at the parade. Not even an ex-mayor of the city like Lt Guv Gav was exempt. Slick jockeys carrying silk whips pushed for inside positioning. Many possessed a sharp agenda to embrace. None of them were like mine, though. I did not care where in the crowd I did not fit. I wasn’t running anymore. I wasn’t hiding. What I was carrying looked like a non-descript box. Why else would an anonymous spy risk exposure at a dumb parade?


It was still dark when I started out that morning as one of only two passengers on an N Judah streetcar leaving Ocean Beach. I was wearing trendy mirrored shades shaped like a vintage German torpedo and a floppy jungle hat that disguised the flaky crust around my eyes. But I was soon joined by a brawny mass of street wise proletarians and strapping hangers-on. My career as a spy was approaching an apex. The Ferry Building was my nearly last stop before the end of the line. Unless that was an apogee. I stayed vigilant on the lookout for suspicious characters. No back stabber was going to sneak up on me. I was keenly aware that political intrigue did not pause for flashing yellow lights in streetcar tunnels. I gave up my seat and stood stoutly beside an iron worker, a dyslexic electrician, a paid up member in good standing of Plasterers and Shophands Local #66. A front desk clerk at the Hyatt Regency applied lipstick. A checkered cab dispatcher smeared her pancake and rouge. A surly coffee house waiter, too. Unless that pancake was blush. I did not have to ask to presume they stood with me as one for freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles. More fellow travelers squeezed on at Duboce. There was a brouhaha at Noe. A corner of the box I was holding jabbed my chest at Castro. A gaunt Chilean baker of savory Chinese buns was muttering about no good crumbs and bums. He’d be a lot better off eating a bite size edible muffin to become chill. History was not marching, it was charging. Nothing was going to stop this runaway streetcar. Not even if that chest pain emanated from a bruised rib. I was going to transfer to the J Church on Market St. and change hats. I’d fool them all. I had exact change. Lt Guv Gav would never see me coming until it was too late.



At or about that same historical moment, Lt Guv Gav Newsom was seated on the ferry crossing the Golden Gate to the city from Sausalito. He was feverishly texting like a whiny adolescent with latent issues derived from blotchy skin. This and that was up for grabs in the political arena and he had a crammed schedule of head to head encounters to get ahead. Who ever said the path to win-win was all glory? After brunch, lunch. Next, a photo-op for unaffiliated party hacks. Soon, snacks and scones at a meet and greet. The schedule of an opportunistic plodder on the run was never full enough. He gargled and flossed, checked for tarnish. His hair was perfect. No problemo there, that’s for fucking damn shit sure. He re-scanned the same speech I had tossed off twice, for which I charged double, like duh. It wasn’t so much he enjoyed the exhilarating give and take of punishment and retribution that fueled political discourse, but if a hammer needed to be cocked against the engorged head of an enemy, he was a man to rise, not shrivel, and go limp, upon impact. Public service was no sordid matter of power or control to him but deep and widely felt principle handed down from his dad, an appointed judge. Whole white milk builds enamel. Straight teeth gleam. Dimples twinkle. The spotlight shines brightest on what may not be the truth and nothing but, but he don’t ask, and he sure don’t tell.


But, then a rogue wave near Alcatraz broke over the deck and caused the engine to sputter and stall. An ominous cloud gathered mixed mass. The newspaper in his lap ran with magenta and cyan. Intermittent drips sent his cell phone into a tizzy. The crease in his tight pants became all shook up. A steamy odor offended. His stack of cue cards drooped. A light went on and on.

pyrmaid light

I would only learn later that the buoyant humpback whale who appeared to be light taupe, when not more accurately representing dark ecru on the eternal color wheel, was monitoring developments from a position above a bubbly trench near the Farrallon Islands at 37.6989, -123.0033. Feeling the unity in the salt of all mammalian solutions, he was checking out new turf that would soon be returning to an acestral home at the bottom of San Francisco Bay. Then I heard what might have been the voice of Mavis Staples pleading, “He’p me.” She just wants to be free. I thought, me too. Then I heard the same voice offer, “I’ll take you there.” It was not the voice of Mavis Staples, though, resounding in that rarefied air. It was the voice of the lovely Thee Mrs, wife of HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl, who could duplicate every soulful sound in the storied history of rhythm and blues since Clyde MacPhatter. And I knew with certainty I was under the protection of mighty high flying wings.

At the corner of Market and Van Ness, I stood self-importantly with the masses. The trolley clanged. I held my box with both hands. Next stop, historic inevitability. I said emphatically, “Excuse me.”

“Yo, wrong way, dude.”

“Hey, watch it.”

“Sorry, no stopping now.”

I wasn’t really sorry. No fucking way. Momentum was mine right in front of me. There was no place in all-out war for wishy-washy any longer. No more horny rams butting lambs, braying, “Baa.” That’s just so sad and reactionary. Embrace or be rejected. Inclusion included occlusion in my bloody red textbook of revolution. I jumped for the clouds feet first from the back door and made my splash in the street like a cannonball in a gross public pool. Nimbly, I dodged a bus, a motorbike, and a minivan. What were they doing on a week-end schedule obstructing history? I missed the J Church that was heedlessly fleeing the scene but I vowed to catch the next one. I had plenty of time to eat a healthy muffin that was also delicious. My strategic plan did not change again until the next streetcar that came along was an L Taraval. Never no good reason to not get going while the going is good. It was a good thing, too, because events were accelerating. What it is what it is.


When Lt Guv Gav finally arrived, wet and drippy, later to him, sooner to me, I was just barely able to be there to observe. But there was no fraternal meet and greet for me. He eyed me with alarm, and turned his head while feigning a sickly cough. I waited to show my cards. I did not need to bluff. He stepped into a waiting limousine where he changed pants behind a suspicious red curtain. I followed closely from behind. He wasn’t going to fool me with a change of pants. I knew the political games played behind closed curtains. The robots and techno-yuppie dweebs were still still sucking hard on powerful juice. Carrying an important box slowed me down, but importance is what makes a great cause worth so many casualties and so much grief. What else?

I stumbled on a crack in the Emarcadero and bumped against an ornamental urn on Clay. I dodged a bullet on Drumm, a barker on Broadway, an entitled bicyclist going the wrong way on Battery. The hills were hard on heart and lungs. But I was not yelping for help. All vital organs were swollen with pride in a shared accomplishment. I held the winning box over my head triumphantly. I was just about finished for  good. The box was beautifully tied with an elegant, crooked bow. I pictured the confetti blowing in the next victory parade. I heard green tin horns with white fifes. Owls hooted bass with the upbeat. Whales blew blue opalescent bubbles to Oakland in San Francisco Bay. Stripes were shed for diagonals. Cable cars were skipping tracks and running wild and free in the streets. I held on for the ride.

Later, after Lt Guv Gav had caved in at the first fearful glimpse of the decorative noose tied with such an elegance on the box, because knots may turn what’s inside out, and stick it to The Man sporting the bad juju stamped on his political DNA, he tried to pretend. He blamed, he blathered. He felt sincerely as if he was still one chill cat, no lamb. He scratched his unmentionable rash that itched when pinched.

“Win-win,” he bleated.

But did I gloat? Fuck yeah, I gloated. I wasn’t shooting my marbles with any modicum of cool self-restraint. No responsible adult here. I’m pretty sure I unmistakably heard Howlin’ Wolf growl and repeat, “Ooh…aah…ooh…hooh.” That’s politics for ya. Low consciousness, poor impulse control, sprinkle with gasoline, and fire away.

Sure, it was unnecessary to say it. But I said it anyway.



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Banh Mi Me Back To Front

tan robot     A soulless international robot is able to be strong, make commands, pose, shift, shaft, screw, delete deep, and wide. A soulless international robot may fake a heavy heart and soul, procreate, control by remote, digitize with thumbs, dial up, get down, grow to prosper, possess goods, demand services, acquire people, places, and things. Recent versions of international robots have developed attitude. It looks and feels the same as the original. Many squeals and grunts accompany thumping bass. Big time entitlement, too. With no aesthetic gene to get in the way, it works. Sort of. That’s another telltale area of dubious achievement in which humans continue to fall behind and will soon require artificial enhancement. But there is no escape for an international robot from the posterior point of view in which skeletal meridians align inside the nether zones of tianzong while arcing to a fulfillment of sparks at the juncture zhishi. Facts of matter in the multiverse matter. Bile born in the liver bites. Comes to roost disguised as back pain. Delivered inside the bladder to electrify and stew. Hits like molten lava. Pipes quiver and burst. Dynamite.

robot spew

As long as soulless international robots, along with opportunistic political pros with soulless agendas, maintained their alliance with scum sucking rats, who thrive so soullessly in a community cesspool with no rules that would dare to be posted, no limits on gorging or gauging, and no cartoon sized heroes professing the ability due to some bogus guidance in any divine desert to save any asses, they enjoyed a certain amount of negotiated protection from debilitating spews and clogs. Backups were kept to a minimum. But once the surgical gloves came off, as they did on the rocks at Ano Nuevo Island, and the raw redness of treachery was exposed for what was, is, and will be, there was nothing to stop an historical stream of sludge from gaining traction on drier land. The jack boot of gravity comes down hard. Rats are skilled at revenge because practice, practice, practice, pays off.

rat in toilet

The elite international robot A.I. Peter felt herself to be immune to static upchuck, of course. Who knew her formatting better? Her septic deposits were slim. She had rigorously memorized the manuals and created shortcuts with tabs. Basic stuff. She knew better than to ever shake her rigid hips. Her kind never fudged. You know the kind. Not once an overload or back-up. Less fat, more foam. Inspections up to date. Runs for miles without lube, and remains rust free. Plays a safe poignant endgame without angst. Repeats, “None for me, thank you.”

white skin2

The elite robot A.I. Peter was not the only underhanded conniver in the neighborhood, though. I found myself hitting a groove in recovery from cranial war wounds without hardly trying. I was just messing around with her ovoid head that morning, playing Jr. Walker and the All-Stars out of my window at full volume, nothing major, because it had been such fun to hear her complain so bitterly about it last time. Those soulless robot membranes tend to get hyper-sensitive to interfering nitty-gritty. But, how was I supposed to know that the lyrical, “Shoot ’em boy, run now,” was a signal that would set off rampaging rats down a premature path that turned into a stampede? Events in a multiverse shed staid predictability like lice with little input from me. Those trumped up charges against me will never hold up. Rats have an ability to get down and funky, too. And cosmic dust will continue to float and flow, no matter. How can that be my fault when I’m always innocent? If not, why not?


I wasn’t going to become complacent, though. Wherever indigenous freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles in California is at risk, I will continue to stoutly avow and declare, no matter how much potent DNA they share in soulless opposition, fuck those mortal enemies of freedom, the rats, the robots, and the pol pros, who are out there still lurking. Let them just come and try to blame me again. See how I run this time. I’m no slacker in the defense department, after all. I was like totally prepared to duck for cover, like duh.

head in sand

My initial path through the forest leading to freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles was marked by crummy crumbs from white bread without crust. No savvy bird would touch it. From there, no problemo. I had confidence the teen twins would do a swell job of defending the fort in my absence. They agreed to back me up with a plausible alibi in return for a reasonable bounty in bitcoins. They were tough negotiators. Totally win-win. I was busy brewing brown beer in the space between my washer and dryer when more rats came out of hiding. I wasn’t picking the needles from that purple sage for any sort of potion. I was merely running with those scissors and that knife to get where I was going. I was in a big hurry to start chopping.

The yang twin suggested the story needed more rat guts to spill out, but I advised sobriety, caution, and patience.

“One day soon, my son, all things will come out. And we will all be a little more free.”

“Yeah, right.”

My pride popped like white kernels of canned corn. I believed sincerely I had done my best of all jobs in teaching them. The yin twin was busy doing something. The yang twin was capable of something, too. Now, I only had to wait for the rats to hear the next lyric coming up before lamming out of there, “Get down, get down, get down tonight.”

We were all fiercely hopped up as a unit when the first clue came from the other side of the fence, which was technically more of a wall,  a resonant,”Eek.”

“Do you hear the treble in that screeching?”

“It’s only the rats next door.”

“You’ve taught me the meaning of proud.”

The elite robot A.I. Peter was lolling in embellished shade, covered up. It was going to be a hot day in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The venal white cat napped on her lap. Her outdoor air-conditioning was blasting full speed through useless ozone. It caused straight hairs to curl up and cringe. The yang twin pointed at her while laughing out loud.

I said, “Even when dealing with lowlife enemy scum, it’s not polite to point out loud across fences.”

He said, “Dude, that’s a wall.”

I knew he understood my important point without deigning to respond but he made the effort. I was glad we were able to grab a moment to have a serious talk about issues. I wasn’t really expecting a major attempt on my life yet. Soon was more likely. But, still. The days of a traitorous spy are always numbered by simple arithmetic.

form 5

When the rats came, they came with experience in the redress of grievances. A wrecked relationship on the rocks of an island in the ocean can chafe. They were well versed in the multiversal clash of contradictions. Sure, many opponents were worthier. Most, in fact. But the imagery of a venal white cat with pink skin was irresistible. And revenge was always ripe and succulent.

open mouth

Short and long, that’s the way it was, and is, and will be wrote, folks. After the brutal game of politics struck her down in her sub-prime, A.I. Peter lost everything, stock options included. The techno-yuppie dweeb would have to find another lawn to mow when not commuting daily to Silicon Valley. The venal white cat would never murder another beautiful bird. Another win-win.

By that time I was certifiably gone, gone, gone. I was anonymously seated on a speeding city bus multitasking like any other model city chimp dealing with social issues. The bus made anonymous stops at a hospital, a laundromat, a muffler shop, a bench. The bus would take me within walking distance of the certifiably airtight basement residence of the Unpaid Internet Content Provider where I’d be safe. There would be vital sustenance, including brown beer. His mother would try to show off her tits. Beat that, soulless fuckers. My mission as a traitor and a spy was not yet complete but would be. There was still an election for freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles that the good guys were about to win. And only I knew when more revenge would be coming from what direction next.



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Banh Mi Me On The Rocks

rat skels      The doomed assault against Ano Nuevo Island waged by the apparatchik rats commanded by soulless robots and techno-yuppie dweebs raged for less than an hour. It became a flat out rout. Offense for the winners was awesome, defense off the charts. Rats that suck so hard and swallow only dreamed they could swim in rough seas. Who more deserved to gag on acidic bile than a bunch of punk parasites? The big swell that came in from the Gulf of Alaska enabled thrilled surfers in Santa Cruz to ride high at Pleasure Point. They laughed out loud at the wannabe losers wiping out. Later, they drank beer, and danced in the sand. Lots of celebratory fucking, too. Tough shit for the scheming hucksters like the elite international robot A.I. Peter and the scummy Beverly Hills Rat. Which techno-yuppie genius from M.I.T. came up with that smart idea to land on a beach fortified by slippery boulders in darkness? Must still be strapped by a bunch of dull dictionary words to Normandy in the lame twentieth century.

in line2

The brainwashed rats who paddled like domesticated cats and dogs for shore never made it, like duh. Despite the foul lingering aftertaste of human garbage, teams of synchronized sharks and orcas made sure of that. Beautiful birds were big winners, of course, big hawks and cormorants and pelicans, sure, as well as great blue herons and egrets and scrappy little coots and loons, but an especially big shout out for a job well done must go to a spirited squad of adorable yellow warblers who flew over from Pescadero to add some shitty slickness to the sharp rocks. A small adorable songbird does not have to be big to be bold and beautiful. Plenty of down home soul in that yellow hue. Adorable otters won big, too, along with crabs and squid and abalone and sardines. Elephant seals and baby humpbacks won a ton, plus banana slugs, boars, butterflies, beavers, bats. And it sure was grand to see bald eagles flying highest in consciousness just like back in the good old days.


A small group of high flying raptors hosted by HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl and his lovely wife Thee Mrs bopped in on a moderately cool breeze from Half Moon Bay to bear witness. It would take a soulless robot or a drowning rat to begrudge that tender sight to behold. Not that any owl ever had a doubt about the outcome. HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl dug it up close from above and shook a radiant tail feather to nod and approve.

owl eyes

Ano Nuevo Island, of course, which used to be cozily attached to Point Ano Nuevo nestling close against Bonny Doon before crumbling off of the edge of western civilization and losing much loved minerals to the briny solution, had experienced far worse from despicable rats back when pale faced savages openly slaughtered and dismembered whales on the beaches. Disattachment, as it turned out, from that failed experiment in the alignment of cosmic dust, became a liberating experience that led to a deeper realm of enlightenment.


The matched pairs of monogamous birds led by HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl took off in tandem back to the Santa Cruz Mountains when the lovely Thee Mrs began to roll and tumble like Ike and Tina Turner. There’d be plenty of partying on the top of Mt Umunhum later that night until dawn. Ironically, international robots would be down below in a crummy parking lot, assessing blame. They were good at the blame game, you had to hand them that, though not so much with the ironies of loss in battle. Or contradictions either, the second most basic building block of the multiverse, that rule. If it could even be called a battle, that is. Many animals blessed by a history of higher consciousness were unfazed by the hyperbole, and referred to it as a minor skirmish, no biggie.

A non-prime number of international robots stood in rows on the slippery surface of the parking lot to await debugging. The crude oil underneath oozed menace. The elite international robot A.I. Peter, who was not programmed  for productive pacing, sat and stewed. She was highly able to brood in a sitting position. Meanwhile, the San Andreas Fault was lurking. That next slip could be costly. Worthless rubles were already lost to despair. What next, worthless euros? A techno-human dupe or lackey had to pay.

straight jacket2

I had no idea there was going to be a party in the Santa Cruz Mountains prior to my proximate arrival in the vicinity, by chance, sort of, not coincidence, which does not exist in the multiverse, like duh. Music filling the Santa Cruz Mountains from the African disapora lured me. It was not only sweet, but moist. The owls were hooting up close and steamy next to Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Trombone Shorty, Al Green, Magic Sam, Prince, Michael Jackson, and the Mahotella Queens. The lovely Thee Mrs started out rocking like Jr. Walker and all of the All-Stars who had ever blown ever, and then as one of those chic volcanic cuties who depend on pushed-up electronic enhancement. Who knows which one? It was supposed to be a joke. I thoroughly got it. All push-ups blend colors to look alike. What a laugh out loud hoot. It reminded me of the first time I ever saw the lovely Thee Mrs laugh. It was just as I was leaving.


I naturally was unable to get high enough to see eye to eye with any of the beautiful birds who looked down on me, like duh, but I climbed as high as I was able as a voyeur and stood on a ledge balanced above a ravine. I danced all night ’til quarter to 3, much like Gary U.S. Bonds did before me, conflicted by progressive aches, dyspepsia, shivers, and deficits in processing, which made it seem like all night. Until I thought I had experienced enough for one set of limitations as a sentient creature. But then I was happy to be wrong again. It’s often great to be a spy.

The solar powered limousine turning into the crummy parking lot that blighted Mt. Umunhum was the prime visual key. I’m lucky that I grabbed on to that branch in the act of falling and bisected my plane of vision. Myopia will only work going down so far. Even if luck does not exist in the multiverse either. But if there was any solar powered  limousine I knew by sight, it was that one. It was the only moire limousine of its kind operating in the golden state of California. Lt Guv Gav Newsom stepped out.

red limousine

At first, I felt disgust, sure. A knee does not in all cases have to bend in order to jerk. Bobbing heads, too. Mine operated no more smoothly than many under duress. There’s an algorithm for enslavement in that, very popular. But, it’s not as if I had learned nothing about politics during my ad-hoc quasi-employment that was still coming to its dire end at a location near me. Us v. Them forever. Once I was able to see Lt Guv Gav Newsom for the true inner being dimly lit as an object inside, I concluded, fuck ‘im.

He kissed the air A.I. Peter used. His win-win smile never wavered. She squeezed out a dab of lube. She had needs, too. I knew what was coming next. I was not wrong when I saw that leer in my direction. They thought they could blame me. Blame, in their context, knows no bounds. I thought, however, by my way of thinking, I don’t think so.


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Banh Mi Me Up Against The Wall

snowden     Word was out underground that the sycophantic spy Snowden was paying top dollar for new recruits. He refused to allow his fifteen minutes of infamy to remain overlooked any longer. What else was he supposed to do, stay huffing nowhere in Russia? No skill, experience, or heavy viscous lifting required. Lightweight pretenders were encouraged to reply. Must be willing to suck hard to download all comers..


Slinky Snowden, of course, could afford to be generous after the cushy deal he received from the hack robot who portrays douche Putin with such royally butch putrescence. He claimed to be offering premium rubles up front, not just any regular old ruble for just any old sucker that would continue to sink like a turd down the tubes.


You might think that sweet shit like that don’t stink after it’s flushed. Hah. Or you might ask while meandering on a bleak path that leads to an illuminated cubicle in a self-induced daze, what better choice does a boot-licking lackey have except to bend over like a lamb and bleat, “Baa.” Except that would be just so wrong. What if you were to take a running leap on a chance at the edge? You might be able to skip out and run and hide and flee for a life and life only. Falling over is rarely fatal. You might come back. Anything but suck. Ignore the odds. You don’t have to be smart about it. Or right.


Back on the home front in Silicon Valley, the elite robot A.I. Peter was unfazed by the crude competition. A.I. Peter was a masterful, straight out dick. She pissed on it from an inflatable position. Enemies crumbled like radioactive fallout in the uplift of her thrust. That helped to prevent green rust and corrosion. Marginal hacks had best be wary. That means you and your wan, soupy kind, douche Putin.

white skin

As an authentic international robot, A.I. Peter felt at perfect, anemic peace with her starlet pose. The next time I caught myself spying on her she was squeezed into a northerly position on a buttery velvet chaise like a curl of macaroni bleached in cheeze whiz. A spreading white magnolia tree added a dynamic boost of shade where no fucking sun never shines. She numbly fondled the venal white cat with the pink skin she enabled to murder beautiful birds. Her position proved mathematical correctness to the umpteenth power and her milky remote shivered with delight in her slick fingers. No words, only the mechanical purr. And she carried a big fucking stick.


Lacking an aesthetic gene, elite international robots like A.I. Peter don’t need a lot of stimulation to become sated, only a few classic cars in the garage, pointy shoes, employees, lipstick, sunscreen, daggers, procreation. I had only recently been studying many salacious details of her ruse at the Thee HHUMH Tawny Owl Institute of High Flying and Rising Consciousness, under a redwood tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the lore of A.I. Peter’s true fake identity as the vapid porcelain wife of the techno-yuppie dweeb who commutes daily to Silicon Valley from the cursed side of the cement wall built behind my back door to extrude toxins. I also learned that as an elite international robot A.I. Peter was highly trained in delousing spies. In the beginning, she probably saw right through my secrets with her enameled stare. I had to admit the disguise had me fooled for a spell. But then I caught on at last, like duh. It’s not as if I don’t know a trick or two about treacherous lying. I believe it is fair to say that I may soon become recognized as one of the finest reproductions of a Benedict Arnold to betray a clueless species since the glossy original. I started out inept but kept at it. Now it all makes its own sense. Freedom trumps con. Ain’t no stopping us now.

rams butt

That’s why I felt safe that morning to answer the latest metallic ping on my door that came disguised as a sharp tap, tap, tapping of buckshot.  I followed the trail of vapors where it led. Sulfur spiked with sweetened corn syrup. I intercepted buckets of the illicit gas passed in a tunnel. I knew all about the oily deal under the table.

“Who is it?”

I feigned surprise along with understandable revulsion and disgust. I spotted the clingy purple flowers leaning on my side of the wall as soon as I turned the knob. Don’t tell me it was some ill wind blowing. I wasn’t going to fall for that simple trick again. My knees were locked and refused to bend for mitigation. Those flowers were not leaning the last time I looked. Probably a microphone inside.

I said, “Testing-1-2-3.”

She said, “Very clever.”

“Do you expect to come inside?”

“We can speak openly out here.”

open mouth

I maintained a deft distance from the wall. A.I. Peter appeared to feel untouchable. The venal white cat with the pink skin was lounging safely on a satin pouf in her solarium. A.I. Peter filled her void with an extract whipped up from a heaping teaspoon of lube from a dark hole. I wasn’t expected to notice. Expectations like that are what kills plants and animals. She dabbed at the drool pooling on a dent in her chin and bonded the joints with liquid cement. The custom gel to mask identity came from Monsanto, Fed Ex. That was the second sneaky deal I knew all about. I nearly keeled over due to rampaging stench. Parties to the third part were no different. Sure, I had agreed on the dotted line to all of their conditions. I was clear on that. But, only I knew I was lying. No one else suspected. I wasn’t finished lying, either. Fuck international robots. I not only was lying but I was going to be cheating very soon. Win-win. My memory was itact.

I said, “I felt some crumbling earth move.”

She said, “All lies.”

She bounced on her spiked heels, flicked, jabbed, jabbered. I shook, but in a good way. It’s hard to keep ancient dirt down. That was the earth for ya all right. She had an offer. All I had to do was follow a cheap bouncing ball, bow down, and roll over for a reward. I parried from an array of pat lies. I had more in reserve. Sure, techno-yuppie dweebs employed by international robots would continue to undercut, control, and oppress words with numbers because they knew how. But, not with me tagging alongside like a sheet of polyvinyl siding, the easy-does-it iron-on brand, that comes in a checked box and holds up the stinky rear from sagging.

I said, “More is not less. Too much is more than enough. Nothing beats freedom by me to be me.”

She said, “Say anything but not that.”

She carried a crooked dildo in a holster and knew how to heft it. It was licensed in Texas. Pretty cocky, I thought, to be dragging it exposed like that, and show so soon. But, was I supposed to be impressed with mere man-size? No fucking way. I held out for better terms, unconditional freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles in California. She countered with a fake, a feint, a gesture, the proffer of a crooked deal.

“Let’s call it a draw,” she lied. “and enjoy minor peace in our time.”

She agreed to settle at no small expense for scoundrels, henchmen, bag men, bureaucrats, corrupt czars, but no thugs. And just a tad more territory to plunder as well. The top of sacred Mt. Umunhum, birthplace of HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl, would do in a pinch for a premium parking lot to pave and  grade for elite members of Silicon Valley teams only.

Idly, I remarked, “What’s free about that?”

Can you believe those medium sized balls? Why can’t these international robots just shut the fuck up and mop more dull floors to a glossy shine?

She stressed, “Trust me, the next bribe is in the mail.”

What does she think I am, some faux Snowden seeking fortune and fame? I know my ancient grievances will never be redressed. I’m so, like duh, over it. Rising higher in consciousness is all I need.

But wait, she had more shit to concurrently stink that she whipped out. In league with the insidious Beverly Hills Rat, soulless international robots had made a deal to overrun and despoil Ano Nuevo Island, the mystical way station for traveling seabirds on paths from Puget Sound to Acapulco, where deep currents from Alaska, Samoa, Big Sur, and Salvador, Bahia merge, the vibrant home to elephant seals, orcas, sea lions, bobcats, butterflies, great whites, ravens, cormorants, lizards, slugs, mice, auklets, otters, beavers, and bald eagles that clueless human techno-dweebs and robot lackeys designate as uninhabited. And why, you might ask, as a moderately concerned party looking in another direction? They intended to use it as a boot camp to prepare for a soulless sneak attack on the crumbling edge of western civilization at Rio Del Mar Beach, that’s why. Rats, robots, techno-dweebs, and cronies. What a bunch of losers. Enterprising robots drew up a complex licensing agreement with rotten terms and they all mutually sucked on the spotted line.

rat 2

“Another new one,” I concluded, “to distort for ye olde history books.”

I can hardly wait until the humpback whale who appears to be light taupe when he is not more accurately representing dark ecru on the eternal color wheel gets a big fucking load of this one.


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Banh Mi Me Out Of Bed

head in sand     Who could have ever predicted in the wildest of hallucinogenic dreams that an ad hoc quasi-free-lance-part-time hanger-on formerly compensated in supplemental goods and services by the golden state of California to organize and unleash staid and proper nouns, inoffensive verbs, and no small surfeit of unapprecriated  adjectives, was unqualified to receive comprehensive medical insurance under an unjust capitalist law, and would be kicked to the wayward curb like a guttersnipe left holding a brown bag under duress? A lot of fucking appreciation that is after months of indifferent service for high pay. With neither long term pharmaceutical care nor easy access to rehabilitation services to fall back upon, either. Or continuity in renewed supplies of pork banh mi and filthy lucre. You know it wasn’t me. But, Lt Guv Gav Newsom seemed to know.


The last time I heard from Lt Guv Gav, he said, “I’ll see what I can do.” It was in a speech he read, I wrote, recorded faithfully on an eight track cassette warehoused on a shelf in a foil lined microwave wall safe in Sacramento. He had been zooming up the pop charts like a silly myth roaming the flat earth ever since. As he approached the blockbuster stage of zealotry that included the delusional parting of seas, his popularity surpassed the Nominal Billary Clinton Concision by scads. Cartoon characters wearing sandals nodded off, sagely, in approval. Of course, the choker @trumptf@donaldcharacter@caricature was out of any bigger picture by then.


Support for the freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles had become so universally hip, slick, cool, and sick in California, sick being as cool as cool currently gets on the glib scale of demographic hipness, that new advantageous webs of algorithmic nebulae were becoming spun in sub-basements nightly. Advantages were primed for taking. AUMA became like so much like a done deal, like duh. It was no longer necessary to waste words on a mere meaningful explanation. If you did not yet know by at least way back when that the U stands for Use, where had you been lamely hiding lately? Indiana? I was able to feel a residual boost in self-esteem that stiffened me as if I had portrayed a salacious starring role even if I did not.

“AUMA, dude.”

“I hear ya, bra.”


smoke in color 3smoke in color 3

On a need to know basis, now that we all know what’s done is done, what else is left to be said about the history of old hats? The newly crowned and dandified Lt Guv Gav became The Fucking Man. Ash gray and butter yellow melded into a lovely shade of muddy sludge. Beige was reborn the new black. The next election in 2018 that would be coming right up before any gob-smacked thoughtful mind knew what the fuck was what became key. Politicians have to gurgle non-stop like sharks to remain stagnant afloat and blow. The current Lt Guv Gav was about to grow like the greatest heavyweight champion of pumpkins from Half Moon Bay into the seat of Guv Gav of California. Now, even fucking international robots were buying in. Win-win. Though they were still demanding my head.


They wheeled me down and out of a hospital off-ramp in the middle of the night, whoever they were pretending to be this time, camouflaged as a junkie who had attempted to kick back but fell short. I was carrying the same brown bag. Roast pork had once stayed firm and warm wrapped inside. A lovely baguette had a chance to stay crispy. Filthy lucre, too. Then I was pushed, jostled, and shoved. Then, I found myself strapped into the back seat of a moving vehicle. It resembled the plump Oscar Mayer wienermobile of my dreams. The straps squeezing my guts into skin were frayed from overuse. A vertically challenged munchkin drove with a lead foot. Now, I’m all of a sudden supposed to become abnormal again, and continuously self-reliant. As if.


“You’ll stay shut up if you know what’s good and tight for you.”

I woke up one day soon thereafter, assaulted by the latest chronic invasion of one hapless eye that quivered. Must be more of that historic tightness going around. I was informed that residual tics and spasms might recur. Voices, too. Metaphysically, there were doubts. And lumps. Phenomenology? As if. Pharmaceuticals were still nearby, though.

brainwashing 2

The bright and shining spawn of my loins, the teen twins, were there, too. Along with an ex-wife who came and went though not the one they would recognize as their mother. She went again. I kept the one good eye shut tight.

The yang twin asked, “Who was that”?

“Was she wearing a mask like the lone ranger?”

“You might look sick but you sound the same to me.”

“Go where your keen eyes lead.”

“I think you’re faking it.”

“A diverse grab bag of injuries is a condition, not a sickness.”

“That’s weak.”

“A contradictory condition is guaranteed no fault just as much as any addictive disease.”

“If it was me, you’d send me to school.”

“But, you would take advantage and cut school.”

“Your point?”

“Would that be middle school or high school this year?”

“That proves you’ll never know the difference.”

“That’s not proof of the future.”

“Evidence then.”

“So, why aren’t you attending one of those schools as we speak?”

“Multiple choice.”

“National holiday.”

“Saturday. Hah”

“Unless I’m faking it.”


“So you will be leaving any minute now to start wasting your time.”

“See ya.”


I tried to roll over to my good side, but came up short again. Despite infirmities, I remained free to be no less than or equal to me. A public radio station was tuned in and turned on, begging for archaic alms before dropping out into a hole. I heard a faked falsetto voice whining, “stay just a little bit longer,” but I ignored the implicit socialist bias and stood self-reliantly on my own two feet to piss straight into a dingy bowl and fulfill my full potential.

It had not been easy to get out of bed, though, believe me, even if anyone who has to ask to be believed, or trusted, never deserves to receive the benefit of either, especially a religious fanatic, tricky politician, or psychiatric patient. What else am I really doing here in any bigger picture, though? I know that brown beer does not grow on trees like greenback dollar bills and will not become meticulously brewed by the metaphysical power of extraordinary will alone. I pulled out a big pot with which I had a history, and banged. I wobbled as I stirred a tad of freshly ground coffee into the mix to provide fortitude for the preservation of future generations still to sip, never gulp, or chug, upon generous pouring.

I had just about reached the successful end of my rope with no more loose noose attached when the shrill lamestream media showed up to jackhammer dents into my door and demand a statement to exploit my condition. They claimed to have uncovered perennial entitlement issues at risk in the muck about to be raked. Where I stood was shaky. My bed might become subject to search and seizure. Techno-yuppie dweebs employed by robots were enabled by engineering fiat to probe underneath. I could be tied up and strangled by suits.

Was I cowed? Fuck, yeah. Tight suits that cling tend to chafe sensitive skin. But I resisted the urge to run and stood erect dressed in my rags with holes showing once private parts sticking out to respond.

I heard, “Ooh look, that’s disgusting.”

I heard, “Got a tight close-up.”

My dignified response was brief and to the point.

“I was just stirring a pot. Now I’m all done until later.”

They found some good quotes in that to take out of context and falsify on the nightly news down home. I knew exactly how it worked when I did it. Not much had changed. The freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles was still threatened by neanderthals itching asses. I climbed back to bed. I slept through most of the details.

I was later contacted by agents of the enemy robots who wanted to make a deal. I was offered one last chance to shut the fuck up forever. I said I’d take it.

But I lied. Fuck ’em. I was saving the truth for myself. A win-win for my side.



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Banh Mi Me Deeper

humpbkd     The humpback whale who appears to be light taupe, except when due to conditions and events he more accurately represents dark ecru on the eternal color wheel, was happy to be on his way home. After a bubbly few days shvitzing in the hot baths near the surface at 32.335, 176.716, he was ready to hang with his best buds back in Monterey Bay, and chew fat on a ton or two of ripe anchovies at 36.804,-121.787, where the depth reached a vibrant 10,220 feet, unparalleled for experiencing exponentials of dimensional intensity. Sure, it had been fun chasing albino whale tail at -18.287, 147.699, along with kicking some two-dimensional shark asses off of the Australian coast, the dolts, which is always highly rewarding, but not even a relaxing hot spot, though cool, or culling a dull herd, though beneficial, can fill a bigger picture like the indivisible one world ocean for very long, not when deep is where it’s at, like duh, and there’s no place like home when it’s Monterey Bay.


He was swimming at a relaxing pace, decisively not deep, only a few hundred miles from the lure of a filling great ball of krill near chill Moss Landing, when he sensed shallow distress. He was not unprepared. Terns migrating from Alaska to New Zealand had been telling sickening stories about the shallow goings on at 37.1082, -122.3366, near Ano Nuevo Island. Coastal birds were all aflutter. Bird shit was loosening. Human shit was solidifying. Rocks were becoming more slippery with spew. Even brave bald eagles maintained a safe distance. Rumors were flying higher about the deviant role in a newer caustic stew concocted by international robots.

flying bot

The humpback whale who appeared to be light taupe visibly darkened in hue upon absorption of the deep distress. He plunged a mile to reflect on insoluble variables in disattached solutions, where bubbles were scarce, and he bobbed, weightless, no weaving. All he could do was what could be done. What it is what it is, and whatever. Not even a soaring bald eagle or a weightless whale streams free beyond gravity. He tootled a plaintive note like Miles Davis and shredded his tenor like Maceo Parker. No highly advanced creature capable of astral travel would be inclined to conclude otherwise. He soon changed course for shallow Ano Nuevo Island. No need to dissect deep reasons in eight or more overlapping dimensions. Shallow also possessed a higher value in a deeper bigger picture under riper conditions. He knew the trajectory to take by following the thumping of his huge heart. You better believe it was fucking loud.

speechless 2

Maybe, in retrospect, that’s what I was inexplicably hearing before I knew what was what as it came dripping from my afflicted ear that was not technically ochre pus. Which could be understandably why the indivisible one world call of distress went unacknowledged like a canary buried in the ashes of a coal mine. At the time, I could only think, what the fuck. I had been here and there and done that before, like duh, often with similar results, except for that brown viscosity oozing on the rocks from my wounded hull that I stubbornly insist only looked like sewage. In my mind, it was never a question.


Often, I have found it helps to go back to a deceptive beginning in the attempt to understand keystone moments in convalescence after vertigo blooms full into blown disequilibrium, and warning signals remain poignant and fresh. When I initially became aware of the great risen mass of the humpback whale who up close and awesome appeared to be neither light taupe nor dark ecru, but more of a bituminous charcoal, he was breaching on the starboard side of my listing boat. He aimed a pungent wave at my head like a bean ball that was spinning in retrograde. I was busy trying to stay cool, shivering. His eyes looked as deep and dishy as a tart berry pie. He blew a deep bass with intonations of chocolate. I felt wet and swooned. Then he dived deeper. The sun came up tomorrow.

It was the next wave after the next wave that whipped up the heavy cream for the pie. Frothy, too. The berries turned out to be cherries. Then the crust started to crumble.


I remarked to the Unpaid Internet Content Provider, who remained unnaturally quiet while numb, “I think we might be sinking.”

It’s a crying shame when what used to qualify as a passable objective reality goes off missing like some AWOL slacker. And takes a mundane context with it, too, like a hip breed of bacon from a cutting edge, trendy hog. Maybe that’w why I’m still stumped. Because I am certain that I did take at least one considerable fall causing persistent pain.

“I’ll think twice before I listen to you again.”

“Me too.”


What had turned a small problem that began in my mind when a small hole in my small boat that had become artfully camouflaged amid the rocks surrounding Ano Nuevo Island into an abyss that required plugging by an improvisational patch of sticky goo containing great gobs of honey and granola? I was fairly certain the job was bang up, top notch, as smooth as creamy. I tried my fucking darnedest, therefore, by all of the standard skewed logic I knew to blame the vagaries of evolution, plus the wily rocks. But next the grilled pork banh mi with the perfect crusty baguette went overboard. It sank like a heart without a trace. The daikon radishes, the briny sliced carrots, the aji chiles, even the limp shredded lettuce succumbed to the swell. Only my chains of social bondage held me back from plunging right behind. Where would future generations go to get it when the getting becomes no longer good? The drive-in, the whirligig, Mars? Nowhere, that’s where, the ultra-slick rad theme park made by smooth shaven bros at Monsanto.


But it was what I saw emerging from those rocks, and of those rocks, that ultimately threw me for a loop that resembled a noose. International robots were leading orcas on chains into squadrons leased long term from Sea World. They came marching in columns from the same factory as the robots who were chasing me. They carried extra lube in Mason jars. Fuck their hoity-toity science, technology, engineering, and math, though. They never found me. I found them. I knew how to act boldly as bait. I did not get up until a light was intruding into my eyes. I turned out to be the right tool for the job. I wasn’t going to stay quiet about it, either. I was more than a decoy. I heard a hollow sound squeezing through a vacant tunnel. Dinosaurs were attempting reproduction with new genes. White men in black hats were pumping iron with pistols. The robots were priming the orcas with lube. I called them out harshly.

I heard, “Wrong, wrong, wrong. Again.”

Then I heard, “He’s trying to sit up.”

“Let him.”

“That’s not a good idea.”

It wasn’t. The spooky light lurked. My eyes hurt inside of my head that hurt. The robots carried stinking badges. They were reading reams of fine print. Killers came paired with balls. Nouns slaughtered neutered verbs. Cogs reamed wheels. Fake stood in for real. Illusions were big on skirts and short in crotches. The sun that came up went down.

“Look, he’s upchucking muck.”

“Is that what that is?”

“What else would it be?”

“I’ve heard about it but never actually saw it up close before.”

“You’re a rookie. You’ll be seeing a lot of that from now on.”

I, for one of many, could hardly wait.


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