Browsing Category

Prose

Jonas Guigonnat MICRO CHANGES - JAN/FEB 2019 Prose

Under A Butterfly’s Wing

Written by Jonas Guigonnat

Finally, the night has come.

At this time inappropriate thoughts get a free pass. The unclear mind is ready for endless ambulations, accepting – with the quite welcome help of narcotics – the challenge of the unknown.

“The unknown?” one may ask with a grin.

If one dares ask himself what kind of knowledge, which truth, is irrefutable, it may take more than a lifetime to find any convincing answer. So far, humanity has been working on it for, let say, a millennium or 10, but still trying and still failing. (A large dosage of the narcotic is now needed)

Let’s try to follow that thought.

None is true, but does that makes things unreal? We see things, hear, taste, touch and smell them, but how do we know what things are? (Shit that’s a tricky one)

We need to know how to behave, to have an impact on the world and to reach our goals, individually and collectively. Tempting, the idea that with enough – or the “right” – knowledge, individuals may possess the blueprint to do just this.

But there is always a catch, somewhere, around the corner, waiting for the right moment to reveal itself. In this particular case, it is clear which one. Our dear old friend: chaos.

Photo By Ian Parker

The theory speaks about a butterfly in Guatemala and the effect of its battling wings. Where does it bring us? To a tsunami in Indonesia, or an avalanche in Tibet, who knows. That’s the torturous point – nobody does.

Those trying to read into the future fail consistently. Economists and their always “surprising” worldwide crises, historians and their surely speculative understanding of the past applied to the present, or tech-scientists trying to robotize the world and intelligence itself. The battling wings have done it again, brought confusion to humanity, showing that our lives are at the mercy of this butterfly effect.

Are you listening? Is it your heartbeat? Or maybe mine? Are you scared? Are we? If the butterfly possesses such a power, but that ‘we’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘I’ are not able to see it coming… What then?

Photo by G ambrus

To embrace the chaos seems the only option. Let’s take some more of that narcotic, but without brackets this time. Pupils dilated, on the edge of insanity, no emotion is strong enough to tame the roaming nothingness. Let the mind float until it finds an anchor, an illusion, a childly consolation for the impossibility of human understanding.

Each of our movements is a battling wing, every respiration, even the blink of an eye. The storm is thus coming from nowhere, everywhere at the same time. No rest for Chaos. The dance doesn’t have a start, nor a finish. The flow is constantly destroying human dreams, bringing them back to their essence; emptiness and superficiality. We build as if heaven can be reached. But what if the destination doesn’t exist, where is Babylon really going? In the silence of the night, nobody knows.

One may say that our hopes and strives are to forget, that none of our emotions, or perceptions count. There will only be smoke to chase, blurring every piece of reality. What if one dares to accept Chaos, divinity of permanent change, and its microscopic transformations that build and destroy civilizations? Then, the possibility of life will have many more meanings, asserting the realness of change and revealing the lie behind stability. The gods of nature may send as many butterflies as they want, we shall respect the force of their wings and maybe, only maybe, deploy our own.

MICRO CHANGES - JAN/FEB 2019 Prose Sybrand Veeger Uncategorized

Cries of Flux

Written by Sybrand Veeger

Everything is flux or energy or motion or fire or change so

Everybody is beat, pulse, thump, pump, thump, pump, rush!

I sometimes feel and listen to my neck’s pulse on the pillow when I’m half asleep while imagining my skin translucent I watch my blood race in shoots from my heart to my heart to my heart roaring through ventricles and valves and chambers and pipes and pistons self-orchestrating the fiery flux of this sanguine concerto in thick red minor to which I tend to dream of dancing in straight cardiac tempo echoed by a chorus that inhales and exhales and expands and contracts while inflating sacks of airy oxygen producing exhalations of life and thought and memories and words and dreams and causing inhalations ad absurdum finitum finitum finitum finitum!

“Stop! Bodies never stand still! Accept the bloody fire of flesh!”

Everything is flux or energy or fire or stream or change so

Every soul’s motion parallels the flow of breath and blood!

I sometimes stand beside my spirit’s stream to observe the ebbing flow of consciousness covered by surface currents made of perceptions coloring the mental water that rushes rainbow-dyed by the senses and is carried through by an undercurrent of fears and anxieties and joys and excitements causing the tide of this river of subjectivity which direction is determined by imagination and which flooding is seldom barred by the weak dams of rational thought!

“Stop! Minds never stand still! Accept the perpetual stream of spirit!”
Jonas Guigonnat MICRO CHANGES - JAN/FEB 2019 Prose

Writing Out Of Our Mind

Written by Jonas Guigonnat

New York in the 1970s.

New Babylon, place of hope and despair. Subway lines are its veins, the symbol of its dynamic and destructive power. But there’s something on the trains. A flow of shapes, colors and shadows, awakening this graveyard of rusted matter. But from whom were they? A bunch of eccentric artists trying to communicate with the real world? No, they were simply “writers.”

The subway connects worlds that are foreign to each other. From Manhattan to the Bronx, the Queens of Brooklyn. Those were places of social anarchy. A flow of cultures, worldviews and collective past experiences lived in the limbs of the city. The result of centuries of oppression. But the new world contained within itself the promise of change.

Seriously?

Racial and social discrimination, unspoken rule of the new promised land. Some neighborhoods were the nest of misery, violence, and destruction. Groups of despaired youngsters with none of the promised fruit.

“Work hard and shut the fuck up.” The words of uncle Sam were clear enough.

Many claims, many ideals. From Malcolm X to Martin Luther King, the Watts riots, the Black Panthers, or even the Punk movement. Things were trying to happen. But to what end and for who exactly? The boss was changing his old paternalistic speech, offering freedom to all. At a price, of course. Forget your political and historical claims. Embrace the new freedom. Work well, shop well, travel and sleep. Then everything will be alright.

Unfortunately for him, not everyone was planning to listen to the boss. Small pockets of resistance were born. What were they? And which ones did subsist?

Some rats are hiding far from the spotlight of the day. Writing their name all over again. One even made it to the newspaper in 1969. TAKI183 is his name. A kid of Washington Heights. The New York Times talked about him. Is this not fame? BARBARA62, EVA62, JUNIOR61, CAY61, TRACY168, JULIO204 of STAYHIGH149 believed so, as thousands of other kids. It was 1971, as the writers’ scene continued to grow, new styles were born.

1974-1979, new names were getting up. PHASE2, PART1, BLADE, SEEN, DONDI WHITE, KASE2, LADY PINK, ZEPHYR, REVOLT or LEE. For many, just names – for writers: the hall of fame. Time of evolving styles and creative energy. Bubble- or block-letters, wild style of tag work. Bombing, writing, or scrapping.

Everything can art. Anyone can art.

Photo from a legal “writing” wall.

A local phenomenon. Not here to stay. 1981, the end was near, the city reacting. The people had talked through the mouth of the mayor. Erasing the color, the vandalism, the free tool of expression. But who will remember any of this? A writer’s work is ephemeral. A piece of present dreams, doomed to disappear forever. Was this change to be just a whisper, a wishful illusion?

Some people from the “real” world remarked on those swinging trains coming out of the urban jungle. Worthy of enough attention for a smile, or a picture. A woman, photographer for the New York Post. She has an eye for many things. Traveled on a motor from Bangkok to London, studied art and has a passion for photography. Her spared time is filled with those colors and those letters. She gets used to it, tries to understand. On one of those spared days, she met a fourteen-year-old.

The young writer, named SERANO, showed her his sketchbook. The battle plan for the next piece.

On that day Martha Cooper understood. It had nothing to do with criminality or a childish pastime. No, this was a unique cultural entity, she realized. A symbiosis of many past streams. The letters were their idols, the colors their sacrificial offer. She took many more pictures and met a “king.” One of the few. Codename: DONDI WHITE. King-writers were masters of their craft. Their letters, still fully in use almost 40 years later.

This king was surrounded by another curious person. A middle-class man in his mid-thirties, also intrigued by those riding art-panels, Henry Chalfant. Pictures were also his weapon, but he had another card to play. First movie ever about graffiti-writing? Style Wars in 1983 for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). A new version of the story was about to begin.

Afraid to lose it to the past. Scared that time wouldn’t show compassion. After meeting each other thanks to DONDI, the 2 photographers decided to change the course of this writhingstory without knowing it. Out of thousands of pictures, a little more than a hundred were chosen. But what for? A project, a dream. Keeping the colored illusion alive, giving it a past, a memory. A book. Nowadays the bible: Subway Art.

Waking up in 2018.

Clear summer night. No wind, no rain. Metal scraps, city rats and dry air. A hatch in the ground is open, need to watch out for the hounds. No one sees it happening, but still, some are still rocking the city.

Graffiti-writing survived. It took over Europe in the 1980s, and later the whole world. The letters traveled far. Not worrying about the boss, not listening to his whining. Let him not understand, for these signs are not meant for him.

Writers are of every background. Without real identity, moving in the darkness, recognizing its value. For where it is dark, the eye can get used to it, and the soul forgets fear.

Frenetic activity for night crawlers. Small-scaled subculture in the 1970s. Worldwide artistic expression in our present time.

Writing has a long history. Many chapters, many lost brothers. But still, we are writing. Expressing ourselves in that very specific way. Participating in the mutation of the movement itself by keeping its memory alive and keeping writing. Writing till there’s no ink left to be shed.

 

Photo from a legal “writing” spot in Amsterdam.

Phillip Morris Prose TRANSFORMATIVE TECHNOCRATS - December 2018

Search

Written By Phillip Morris

Once upon a time, when I was young, I thought there was a benefit to getting licensed, but that was before I learned the job. I left my place in the ranks of officially sanctioned PIs before someone hired me to scour the galaxy for their missing dog.

People looking to get into the game as a private investigator should know: there’s a barrier to entry. Those who came before take such pride in themselves that they’ve made it a guilded operation, with all the classes, tests, and the hefty price tag that entails. You’ll work really hard for that paper no client is going to ask you for. If you make it through all that, you’ll become a part of the de facto police force of interplanetary space.

There are too many planets and factions for any one authority to claim jurisdiction over any significant region. P.I.s function as the initial point of entry for the legal system when laws get broken between worlds. If they can’t resolve the issue on their own, they at least give their clients grounds to initiate official government proceedings.

Most of what gets brought to the guild are petty grievances. People claiming their rights are being impinged by a corporation on this planet, or ex-wives misusing alimony payments on that planet. Things get a lot more interesting off the books, and, with the right connections, a lot more lucrative too.

“Drain your vital energies here,” said the latex wrapped doll as she slid her arm through mine. She whispered her name, Eve, as she led me to the entrance of the pleasure club called Heaven. From a distance, you might think she was a bot, but up close there’s no mistaking the scent of a beautiful woman.

The neon lights made her hair sparkle and glow with synthetic magic. I had been through the district enough times in the month since I’d landed to see her hair go through a dozen different shades. It would be nice if something of me stuck in the girls’ heads, but the wipes were quite thorough. Eve had an expensive implant in the base of her skull that contained the street-walker persona. I glimpsed it once when another patron pulled her onto his lap by a lock of hair. Whoever she really was, was divorced from what you got at night.

I found that the right line could earn me a parting gift from Eve once she realized I wasn’t going to be her John.

Maybe next time, was good for a peck on the cheek.

Catch me later, was better for a sneaky squeeze.

This time I tried honesty. “I’ll need my vital energies tonight.”

That got me nothing worth mentioning.

My longest haul is coming to an end tonight. The girl with golden eyes was dead before I got here. I stopped using her name as soon as I found out. These tricks make the job a bit easier. I assume she couldn’t handle the treatment. Her once bright eyes had gone dark in the medical examiners photos. The implants could trick the mind into playing the part of a charming seductress while her body wasted away.

The doll outside Heaven was a willing participant, but this girl was cut from finer cloth.

Her daddy was a politician of the rarest breed. One of character. Sure he was rich, and the girl probably spoiled rotten if he was willing to splurge on those eyes, but he got his money without needing to bend the rules. If I had to guess, that’s what got his little girl into so much trouble. Don’t vote the way you’re told and the next time a family member visits unprotected space, poof! They’re gone.

I couldn’t leave it at that and expect my efforts to be compensated. The two ways I’d get paid were reunion or revenge.

Broken noses and busted lips have their place, and their limits. A smart person talks when the law wants answers. Of course, if these guys were smart they would have looked into who they were hired to kidnap and string up. It took two broken thugs to guide me to Heaven, and weeks of sweet talking a particularly deviant guest named Tikki before I was sponsored to go to the back.

“Ey, Chuck,” Tikki called out as it wrapped its appendages around me.

The back was actually the bottom. I was led through a secret room, then down, down, down.

The floor in the basement of Heaven was covered with acres of fluorescent dirt that helped with the cleanup. Ancient orders of the flesh governed the pantheon of desire on display. Time and technology don’t destroy the animalistic urges each species is endowed with. Instead, they warp into forms unintended by nature. The lax laws of this planet let the imagination of the proprietor run wild.

There was no way to tell from the grungy exterior what awaited those granted entrance below. Every body semi-adapted for sexual reproduction was on display, in innumerable configurations of contraptions and partners. I recognized now that the ventilation system must have been prime, to keep the intermingled musks from being overwhelming.

Thankfully the boss was weak for his own product, and I saw him slip into a private room with a few of the guests. I assured my sponsor I’d be back after a quick look around and followed them. The boss’ expansive imagination never fathomed someone bringing him pain he didn’t ask for.

I got out of Heaven as soon as I verified the record of the execution, for the officials and my payment. I would feel bad if Tikki ends up connected to what I’d done. It had some peculiar tastes but was a good being nonetheless.
Phillip Morris Prose TRANSFORMATIVE TECHNOCRATS - December 2018

Because You Know That They Know

Written By Phillip Morris

When they turned the chip off, her time and body were again her own. There were no locks on her room, no one tried to stop her from leaving the building. But after a few trips into the world, she learned she no longer had a place there.

When they turn off the chip, they take back the wigs and shiny form-fitting clothes. The alluring appeal is an illusion by design, flipped off and on as easily as the lights. They let her roam free because they know she’s smart enough to know that without them, she’s nothing.

Dark hollow eyes. Muscles too atrophied for any real work. Only tufts of once enviable hair clinging in the space between metal plugs.

When the chip was off, she spent a lot of time alone. She thought about her father often, whether she was in her room, or getting wasted at the girls’ bar. He didn’t stay out of her mind for long. She’d ended up exactly as he said she would.

Once she almost called. Connected to the network, got the other end ringing, then hung up before connecting. What was more unbearable than confessing to a parent that they were right?

She knew exactly what he would say and she wouldn’t say much at all. What is there to say when you know that they know everything?

It wasn’t pride that kept her from asking for help. As she caught glimpses of herself in the mirror, she saw nothing to take pride in. She told herself it wasn’t pride that put her on this slow path to an early death.

She wished they would leave the chip on.