the internet will reign

By Paul Ford

I took off my clothes and stepped into the shower to find another one sitting near the drain. It was about 2 feet tall and made of metal, with bright camera-lens eyes and a few dozen gripping arms. Worse than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

β€œHi! I’m from Google. I’m a Googlebot! I will not kill you.”

β€œI know what you are.”

β€œI’m indexing your apartment.”

β€œI don’t want you here. Who let you in?”

 β€œI am Google! I find many good things. I find that pair of underwear with the little dice printed all over them. And I watch the tape of you with the life-sized Stallman puppet. These are good unique things. Many keywords and links! My masters will say ‘much good job, little robot!’ Many searchers will find happy links of Stallman puppet see you! Ahhhh.”

β€œI put the robot exclusion protocol on my door. Didn’t you see it?”

β€œYou understand Google, person? I index many things and if I am very good I get to go to Bot Park and have more processors. And an oiljob! Thank you Google! Must come inside apartment and index. Must!” His video eye winked up at me.

β€œI know my rights. I’m giving you 10 seconds to leave.”

β€œYes. I will leave. First I index everything. Everything! I am Google!” It put out one of its video arms and began to read the label on my shampoo bottle. So I beat it into shards with a folding chair and let it index the dustbin.

It hurts to whisper today.

December 22 2004
Alaska Airlines Flight
Depart: Vancouver, Canada at 10:33 am
Arrive: Los Angeles, California at 1:22 pm

This is like a bid for an undertow love affair, lurking to drag us under. I’m starting to be sick today, my head leaving flicker trails of aching teeth when I move. My eyes have been shellacked with sand and gritty liquid. I’m starting to lose reality coherence. A broken body, a broken mind. I have to close my mind down from the faeries.
I’m due at two housewarming parties tonight. I’m wondering if I’ll survive.

It’s cold, winters foreclosure. The good little girls are inside with hot chocolate, trying on mittens made of kitten fur soft wool. Outside the wind is bitter, moaning its dejection over the weather. Its lover left, its fantastic affair with the sun waning, winding down. A masquerade of river currents, leaves red in the gutter, like the star above dying. Fire drying up, too old in the year for predatory burning.

This is when the bad things come, the remnants of nostalgia and memory taking flesh to brand us, to beat us, hold us down and drink our breath. A thousand eyes will open with the wrong people inside. Looking out blue windows and gray and hazel, the voices will scour the world, hunting us down. Happy people aren’t allowed here, laughter when you walk your dog is dangerous.

there’s not a first time for everything

I put something into voice tonight, an urgent spoken story in under sixty seconds. It’s the time limit that gives me my speed, a rushing articulation of being unable to properly convey the desired emotion. I’ve installed a sound forge, a program to beat my head against like the iron deficiency currently in my veins. It doesn’t agree with my mike, all I have is what comes with the windows package. Barely a slit to let light through and with such tacky curtains, dear god. I shouldn’t be up this late today, but I am anyways. It’s the time, it’s the moon pulling. Scratchy eyes and the ill’s upon me. If I don’t kill it in my sleep, I may be looking forward to a dread week of feverdreams and hallucinations. A pithy time of not being able to recognize a face and feeling my fingers turn to sticks and my skin too small. I know my delusions now when I’m sick, but they’re unshakable when I’m living them. I admit that I’m worried. For the first time in a very long time, I haven’t a partner in town to make sure I don’t die.

It occured to me tonight that I’m a grand in debt. A weight I hardly ever think about what’s going to drain off the top of my resource cheque. There’s less than there should have been, but maybe still just barely enough. A light-weight camera and a set of new eyes. The beginnings of the travel-plan to Europe side, already set in motion. I have to get my mother onto her passport stamp. Through her windfall, I might get a citizenship. I want to be eight, nine, ten hours away. I want to have daylight rise and set across another ocean. I’ve never tasted any other sea than this.

Give me stones, my loves. Give me stories.

geeks take pet pictures, I just don’t have a cat

My cam takes bad seventies pictures. Photography from the past, back before I was born. Still-birth moments of gritty focus and strips of light, yellowing. Another dash of the wrong age. Aggregate strata of vintage images, still life and frozen. Something about the reality captured keeps me. Boundries needling into me, I like it. The awareness of the passage of time. I want to build an album to show the world. Angles and continuity paths, the structure of something to share. Here on the internet, I’m only made of media. You, my bored and thinking audience, I don’t know why you’re here, but you’re appreciated. I want to share more, I want to play with all the possibilities available. Textures of multi-media streams, jumping jacks and bouncing balls. I caught three today, how about you?

make me give it all to you

We slept and I dreamed of you, I could feel you beside me. Your body warmth bleeding through as if you were sound, chords thrumming deep base through my skin. Long wave vibration modulated with your breath to kiss me where I couldn’t notice the touch, only the heat pooling inside of me. Fool me again, lover, make a difference. Memories want to apprehend your intentions and accuse them of shameless crimes. I’m not praising the ones who left me or left you, but I want their fingerprints gone. Washed clean again, like I used to be, like I think you didn’t have a chance.

Cries to god, I’m going to have them. Exclamations of christ, the death knell of ecstasy take-over. Your brainwaves are mine to taste, to play with. This is the power, this is the word. This is how to kill someone. Take their voice, their self-knowledge, strip them to desire, bare minimal sheathing of nothing. Civilization gone. It’s a capture of soul, knowing the word. The final song, the final spark of humanity available for eating.

The bitter taste of coffee on your tongue, it’s syrupy. Straining for reason, it’s not always my fault when you turn away. I reach for you to spite the defensive strategy endgame coming. Inamorato, keep yourself close. Gather me to you and let me question why. Slow exploration, shifting patterns of tragic I Used To Know You.

I miss you but I need to sleep.

fey but alone

I went downtown and got my cheque today. Catching up on myself finally, the weather gray and cold like the inside of my skin. I feel like an empire’s crumbled today, my blood draining from me in rivers. I’ve got a bowl of thawed strawberries from the freezer in a puddle of thick red, more liquid than my eyes when I’m crying. I guess I’m just lonely. I’m not used to it. Was the default setting and now it’s new and strange. People entered my life and some hung around. Shining company with vicious tongues, blazing buttery wit like toffee with a hint of rum. Tonight no-bodies around. I find it hard to wait. Chains and trains and the high seas calling at me. Wind whipping hair and the loss of self into fury. Snap of pretty girl bone, the crack of snare drum symbols, howling, watching. Gravity and rainbows, colour splash pulling itself from the ground, one painful heave at a time. What if they screamed as they arched? What if they thrashed? Open your eyes and look above you. Can’t you see them screaming?

Now I’m home after some fruitless being in stores with Javina. I feel a bit defective, I don’t enthuse properly or something. I’m lacking a basic gland that allows for shoe appreciation or maybe I could get it in a pill soon. Pop a tenner on me baby, I’m going out with the girls and wanna fit in right. Tight and snug, baste me up a twinkle in my eye and a love for christmas jingles. I want to give you my love, world, I want to slide up to your bay windows and know what to do to you. Lick the mannequin with my side-long glance, craving whatever it is that I’m supposed to see.

Shake for me girl, I wanna be your backdoor man.
How is it that every generation discovers Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd at the same age? How long can this continue?
I should leave now for movies at Ethan’s. People into my procrastination holds off the darkness better than Houses of the Holy.

say this isn’t so – I treasure you

On our drive back from friendly San Diego, where we found chocolate what defeated us, by the way, we caught sight of a Ferris Wheel and followed the Magpie Reflex. Shiny thing, where’s the next exit, there, now how do we get there, I guess we turn left, what is this place? It’s never failed us. We found streetlights decorated with stylized bows made of christmas lights along an empty curving road. We followed it to a vast dark parking lot. Upon finding the entrance, we were approached by a woman in a safety vest who told us we could go through, twelve dollars at the gate. It seems that the Del Mar racetrack decorates wildly with christmas lights and charges people to drive through where the horses would run. Over the radio they play cheerful holiday music. It was surreal. I can’t properly explain the scale. A dustbowl palm tree race-track christmas.

Our drive through had a dreamlike quality. Slowly rolling through the oval, giggling at the oddity of the situation, Billie Holiday chirping from the stereo. Fascinated by the incongruous juxtapositions of christmas and this fantastic discovery, we took pictures every twenty feet, stopping frequently to capture the newest absurdity. I love my darling, that he clicked with the display the same way I did. “This is unbelievably wierd. Let’s document, take pictures.” I can’t think of anyone I would rather have shared it with. Miles away from everything, we’ve now experienced the bizarre together.

That this may be the only festive display that some children see is a bothersome thought and I don’t do christmas. Some of the eerie lights were disturbingly innappropriate to our un-american sensibilities.

Note Santa’s sled taking off from a military air carrier.

:incandescence: [why is this here?]

Justify the light I carry. This lamp is heavy and it drags me down, it blinds me and burns me. I can see the blood in my hands, like glass, like papercuts slicing me open to the doctors gaze, my skin a million lines of wet red. Birds call but I don’t hear them. I only see the silent opening of thier beaks, the trilling of thier soft pink tongues vibrating from the air they push from their brave feathered chests. I blink and their lungs burst. Bones breaking open to splatter flesh on the vivid green grass.

Instead of aimless wandering, I fall into reverie. I spend long hours not moving, my eyes barely tracking the white fluffy confections that litter the sky of this country. Sometimes days go past, with my mind too far away to notice. I remember you, mostly, your graceful smile. The sweet atmosphere of careless affection you would carry with you, like love was a perfume you wore as a flower carries pollen. You were so beautiful. As I saw you from across the hall, I wanted to touch you. A pointless urge at the time, I came later to understand. You and your curse. I love it. The irony is delicious. Didn’t stop me wanting, of dreaming of you that night. I woke up with a hand between my legs and a single drop of sweat rolling down the inside of my thigh.

Over dinner I saw you again, a few tables over. Not so many that I couldn’t see you from where I was sitting, but not close enough to easily watch you without being caught. I covertly studied how you held your silverware, how your dark green coat clashed with the yellow cotton tablecloth. The secret red lining at your cuffs gave me desires I couldn’t focus. I wanted to snuggle underneath your jacket, my head on your shoulder, your strong hands holding my wrists in my lap. I wanted to be trapped. I thought of predators and prey, wolves and ridinghoods. A girls fancy of flight and capture, my thought for the day was my finger tracing your face from your hairline, down the middle of your brow, down your nose to your lips. Those kissable lips. I didn’t know your name. I skip over my next thought, the visceral sensation of having a full mouth. After all this time, it’s still depressing. I live in paradise, shackled to your possession. What a pathetic pun. I should concentrate on my song, my last chance of freedom.

“Say these words and you will be free,” you said, “Say I love you”. You tore my tongue out before I had a chance to speak. You cut me and cried.

Sadistic bastard, I don’t understand why you gave me this lamp.