Somewhere in the world death is wrapped in permafrost, unable to force decay—a place much farther south from here that exists in light, or darkness, in perpetuity. We will go and live like a core: store information to be pulled up and categorized at a later date, a chilled microchip kept cold enough to function—never melting—existing in threads between the ice. The years—count them periodically, try—recall the past in separate windows. Nuzzle your young. Feed the tundra your milk. Live off only the fat between your bones. There will be Spring or there will be death. A space between the loam where our colors can blend in full.
Do you think you would personify the role of the administrator? Tough out there man. I dreamt I went to buy a bucket hat but forgot my wallet. When I got back to the apartment the whole place was a wilderness covered in meat. If the trees would only stop throwing flowers at me I’d feel fine. This year everyone wrote novels. This was the year they blew up the moon—the one no one predicted. Clock me in Will. Clock me in Tim. Clock me in Sara. Clock me in Chad. Clock me in Paula. Clock me in Chris. Clock me in I’m running late. I’m late to the picnic. I’m a little short. I’m a little too little. I’m late. I’m running on. Empty a bucket on the street. I’m too little coming up late. He’ll be with you shortly, shortly. He’ll be with you shortly. He’ll be with you shortly. He’ll be late he’s running late but I get paid to just show up / I’m the Admin of a website / They basically pay me / I sit here in my / They basically pay me just to show up / I’m the Admin of a website / I get paid just to show up / I’m paid to just show up / I’m the paid Admin of a website / Just to show up I get paid / I’m the Admin / I’m paid just / I’m the Admin / I get paid just to throw up / Every day I show up I get paid / It’s great because they pay you just to show up. I’m the Admin of a website and I basically just sit here and they pay me just to show up. Since I started working for them they’ve paid me just to show up about double now than when I started. Since I started out as Admin they’ve paid me almost double over a year, which is pretty good. I’m paid just enough to keep up with rent. As Admin I’m basically paid to keep things up with the site. I’ve been Admin since they began. Since they started paying providers to offer their services and the site really took off. I remember right when they hired me their stocks skyrocketed. A major merger had fallen through and just when we were out of money an investor shows up and overnight boom! the stock jumps 20 percent. I work as an Admin for a website that quantifies medical data. It’s a rather small company but I get paid well and half the time I’m just sitting around anyway. I keep to myself usually. There are one or two people in the office I like but mostly just empty suits. I’ve been there for three years and I’m getting hungry again. I think to myself for a change, “Maybe it’s time for a change.” But it’s a lot of work to move cross-country. That’s where I’d go. Somewhere cross-country. I’ll be late again this morning, but Steve said he’d clock me in.
Always remember, only you can kill yourself—own that shit and wear it like a moniker, then back to the place where the pits make the morning. I like some people like some people like some people. I like some people like some fucking people like some people. Some fucking shoe-shine people like some people. The way they fill the air around themselves makes me wanna puke. Ass-tunnel mobsters. Fucking no-village shit heads. Cut the crust off their sandwiches. Shoot the blacks in the street, they say. Spilled a bit of jelly on my shirt. Line up, march this way, now walk backwards and line up again. Do as I say. Do as I say. Those people. Those sick breadcrust for the birds with disease I’d say. You peopled too much in our cities so we sent away. I’d say what I felt but it’d make you crooked. I’d say what I felt but too many too many fuckpoets trying’ to be GQ. Give an inch, take a mile to walk in sets of shoes filled with nails. Watching them work gives you such an erection I bet. Fuck you, dig my diatribe. Dig a shallow soil and set yourself rare. Conquer your fears by Cola. Kill your feels by conquering. Stick a golden ladle up your ass and go fuck a hole in the ground. I’ve seen a lot of films, I bet more than you brother!
[SMOKING IN BED WHILE ON OXYGEN]
I walked in on Johnny one day and noticed him sitting on the floor in an awkward position; legs in the air; a strange look on his face. Beside him lay a chair that’d been kicked over and a knotted sheet. I walked in on Johnny once and he had just finished emptying out a can of gasoline in his room. He was lying on his bed flicking a lighter that refused to produce a flame. I walked in on Johnny one day with a gun in his mouth; when he pulled the trigger, it just clicked. He looked up at me, almost laughing, and said, “Forgot to load it.” Johnny was never allowed to drive. He walked around with a pocket full of plastic forks and a handful of shoelaces saying, “Take them away from me, please.” Johnny was a lover and a coward, so afraid of life he couldn’t die. He’d died already; punched in the gut fear puked his punk right out of him, like the Swedish meatballs at IKEA. The future is filled with IKEAs and Germans apologizing for the holocaust. Can you believe it?
“THE FUTURE IS NOW NOT SO IN THE FUTURE THAT IT’S JUST A SMALL FUTURE AWAY, SO EVERYTHING SEEMS SO REAL BUT SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT,” said the sign above the door leading into Johnny Suicide’s room. His motto—all of ours really—when we realized everything had happened too soon, that there was no way to slow things down. This was long after I met America, after I’d remembered how old we really were. One day it just all came back—unstoppable—like being born aware. Death flipped a switch. A new part of my brain awoke. It happened several days after my first meeting with him but I remember it like it was yesterday. I wept because I could finally tell which stories were mine, see into the static—my tendencies, my slant persona, my life in italics, my wire blood, my mechanics. The little nanos began again—nano nano—instantly picking up right where they left off, piecing together trashed data walled in by the locking mechanism America and his cronies had created.
Welcome to MEDSTAR. Welcome to the future. If you find yourself here, you’ve already been here before. I mean, you’re the problem, not the patient. You’re the record. Someone secret is calling about you, making you call us yourself. It’s all logged in our system. We know your name, and how to patch it in. We know what group you belong to, and how you’ve been looping lately, and we can help. It’s our duty to check you out, after all if we didn’t, who else would? It’s our duty to rid you of all your errors and place you back into society, free of malware. We are your proxy. We are your guide to the future. We are a means to an end, to an end. Won’t you come join us in our journey on the Silk Road to nightmares. We’ll fix you and promptly send you on your way, or hold your hand while you shit your digits. We can give you a new batch of 1s and 0s to play with. Stuck in a loop? Stuck in a loop? No problem. Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing. Maybe a little pinch behind the ear. You’ll hardly remember us at all, and you’ll always leave with a newfound purpose. Have you been looking for looking for an answer? Are you not functioning the way you used to? If you’ve woken up in strange places one too many times, with scrapes on your fingers, let us take a look. Our methods are sound. Why ship yourself halfway across the world when we’re always ready to pimp your circuitry?
Back inside, the skin is a suit you can take on and off. Back in Bacchic hymnals everlasting. Supping on a sickle, the witch’s teat presents itself to a little piglet. He has only just opened his eyes and already the world is a muss, an orb folding into itself. At mass somewhere a nun struggles to light a candle—we are getting closer—an old man sticks his fist into the stomach fat of a dead pig and makes it fart a little. Tell me how your feet got so dirty. Your child lives above me. He wakes me in the morning with his bubblespeak. My eyes burn at the thought of his future. I hope he senses me through the walls, knows the static he’s in for; the world no longer needs another man. I hope I give him nightmares and you sleep soundly through its cries in a nightmare all your own. We all want to live forever. What chemicals, what pastes, what rotten fruit. What a waste of a waste. What do you do for a living anyways? You people walk me rough at night, with words and pit-pats you off-times my sleep. O tear yourself you Stately Jane, you wicked stepmom of desire. Say what you will but it’s awful loud. Say you ever hear of turning on some goddamn music? Say, if I ever hear you fucking loudly again I’ll throw a bag on you. Say, I’m only words though; the burn on my left hand a sigil. I’ve begun to become myself again. The world has made me a cake of mud for my birthday with a candle crafted out of seal blubber. When the wind comes to find me all that will be left will be a slew of ashes. All of my lights are on. In one long night my doorframes will be burnt, left open, beckoning, all the pixels pointing to me. My movements will send a frequency through the air, each time I blink the static will cackle, and I will be king of my page. I will moderate our future. I will skin myself electric—etching vessels into binary—trolling wet through threads no longer relevant, waiting for the air around me to fully evolve into an epic post.
America owes me a new pair of sneakers.
Daniel Beauregard lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ligeia, The Nervous Breakdown, New South, Burning House Press, tragickal, Heavy Feather Review, Alwayscrashing, sleepingfish, The Fanzine and elsewhere. His poetry chapbook Total Darkness Means No Notifications is forthcoming from Anstruther Press in 2021 and he has previously published two chapbooks of poetry, HELLO MY MEAT (Lame House Press) and Before You Were Born (421 Atlanta). Daniel is also a co-founder of OOMPH!, a small press devoted to the publication of poetry and prose in translation. He recently finished a collection of short stories titled Funeralopolis and is currently working on a novel titled Lord of Chaos and can be reached @666ICECREAM .
*Image Credit: Alberto Giacometti, Le Nez (The Nose), 1947. Bronze, rope, steal. Image from Foundation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris.