Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Bad Magician Wakes the Fuck Up

Only just the other day the Bad Magician was counting the floors of a falling building, trying to count them as the building fell.  This made the act of counting nearly impossible--buildings that are falling will not hold still.  For instance, you couldn't have a falling building for a child, and then expect to enjoy seeing the new school pictures every year.  "Here's Nathan when he was falling down in grade school, and here's one of him when he was about to graduate."  Just another building falling over and over, and the exact number of floors a mystery.  


No one wants to play with America anymore.  The land itself has begun to squirm, like a baby bird being eaten by an intruder.  Just a reflexive contraction at first, then struggling, then death and stillness.  Oh, it was going to spread its wings forever, that baby bird.  It would fly to the moon, and sing catchy dance songs, and blow shit up wherever it wanted to, and that was fun for awhile.  But then it stopped looking at the internal reports, and forgot about the graveyard, and some of the walls became mottled and rotted and fungus took over, and there was no wall, just stealth growth, moving slowly towards the door.  

The Bad Magician could have sworn he'd turned off the lights forever, but they came back on anyway.  He could have sworn that the windows were painted the color of obsidian, but no, they were candy green and blue, and circles fell out of them and landed on the floor, a flat surface made of entropy and propane.  Breakfast, thought the Bad Magician, I want Eggs on the table wobbled, and cream wants coffee, and the mayor (the mayor's mayor) secures toast for lifeboats on the rollicking floor, the tempest-tossed floor, and the windows shattered (hah--knew they would) and approximating an answer will be impossible for a time.  Just show up late and wait outside the door.  And the floor became the sea.


How many years fighting that stupid war?  How many limbs blown off, and sewn into jumpsuits and tea cozies?  Where am I again, asked the Bad Magician?  Where is the world?  The sleep had been bottomless, but then it had a bottom, and he was resurfacing, and a broken radio began to play, and it was Godzilla, and he told a story where people had to wake up, they had to wake up at last, at long last.  And everybody was dancing, and there were sparklers and couches on fire, naked people trembling in the cold.  And the phone rang.  Time to wake up, Bad Magician.  Time to wake the fuck up.  


Friday, January 9, 2009

The Bad Magician and the Last King of America

The Bad Magician sold a silver throne to the homunculus of god. It caused grease to drip out of the various mouths. It encouraged mercury up the river and into the land cavity and was unborn. The hermes vat was serene with urine and the Last King of America sat in something very much like eggs. "Can you time an egg?" asked the King. "In time," said whatever it was that was rotting in his throat. "In time."

The Last King of America holds rubble in his arms, holds death in his hands the way misers hold a baby, holds the 'morrow in a burnished urn with his remains spilling out onto marble. The Last King of America is seeing a door in a wall in a hole in a car in a plane in a face. He crawls to his finish but stops and turns on his back. He winces skyward. Uneasy lies the head that is the head that lies.

When one thing leaves another must leave as well. The Bad Magician reflects a parallel shadow out of nowhere. Angular, unweighted, the needs of dreams bending light back to the darkness where what isn't born isn't dying. Further evidence of dangerous thinking: he solders old wires to old songs. A pop a hiss a scratch a peal of a gasp of a buckling of a fallen of rubble. When the King goes so goes The Bad Magician. It had to be true.


The Bad Magician was born as a dopamine answer to coded god shibboleth war killer wraith ministers. Born to send sympathetic night shivers to The Last King of America. Inside the head. Impossibly inside. To descend into cranial crevices. To navigate the neurons. To Kick What Makes Him Tick. Secret: The Last King of America is the Forty Year Plan. White for black. White forever. One man is a symptom. Many are the cause.

The Last King of America is roped off in the Forest of Nemi. Incantations are whispered. Incense of rarest bark paints the air fully. The full moon eats the sky as it passes. Rex Nemorensis grips his torch and trembles violently. Eight years of blood for blood. Eight years of The Lie. His turn, only. His turn on the wheel. "I am the walrus!" cries The King. "I am The King! I am Eternal!" The Bad Magician conjures nothing. He watches the stupid old king lurch to the edge of the known world. No horror. No gotcha. No epiphany. Just a stupid old king at the edge of the known world. The Bad Magician claps his hands. Not with a bang, but with a Chimper, goes the life.

Yet another King spies the silver throne. Another King for another witness. Let someone else crawl inside his head and follow Ariadne's thread. Orpheus is busy tonight.

The Bad Magician says goodbye.


Image of the Homunculus of God by mjs...


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Bad Magician and the Howling of the Wolves

The Bad Magician is not coming back. The Bad Magician is gone. Asleep, asunder, a dreamer in the forest; needles are the floor. How does something that was not alive become dead? Only in the dark. Forever.

The Bad Magician fell in the dark forever. While he fell he could not see, it didn't matter. He could not hear--nothing to hear. He falls and he falls and he falls. He falls where Alice died. He falls where Sisyphus struggles in vain. He falls. And no one sees. When it is time for time to vanish, the water runs on rocks and birds laugh.

The Bad Magician is gone, but something stirred. Something ran. Something came for him, at the edge of nowhere. The Wolves came. The Wolves came and The Bad Magician could fall no longer. Some things just are. The Bad Magician lands in the Great White North. He lands in the Snow. He looks into the blinding light. He hears the engine. The Bad Magician dies everywhere all at once.


Above the frozen tundra the plane flies low. A man is a man is a killer. He holds the rifle, he fucks the world with his rifle. The bullets are metal cum on the frozen world. He smiles. He nods. He brushes aside his bangs. He winks. He is she. She is the killer on the road.

The Pack runs in the snow, through the snow. They run with everything. The plane circles, comes back, she fires again. The Bad Magician holds aloft the secret of flight and crawls inside of the Wolf Killer: he demonstrates the next thousand years of her dream. This could be a wrong thing. It goes like this:
Run, killer. Run. Your shoes are broken. The light is blinding. Run, killer, run. You have killed the real world. Run. What is it that tracks you? The Bad Magician breaks the rules and consumes her mortar. He flies in the dream, flies the iron bird and screams and shrieks and howls and fires. A gasper, she stumbles in the holes of her self. She is nicked. She is struck. She is invaded by hot metals and jagged splinters. She runs in shattered nails and burning hair: her arm a gun, she turns and fires up at the opponent. Her arm recoils and snaps her back in two. This broken thing infects the snow. Get up, killer. Get up. She smiles. You betcha. From Tartarus a strange exhale. Haw. Haw. She rises, to scorn the sky, she spreads her chain and mocks the world--she turns, in glee and triumph. The knife revealed! She holds the severed legs of the wild wolves and shakes them like a moneymaker. Fuck you! Fuck you all! Around her, the Pack waits like Winter, but then the Pack descends. It descends. Descends. The jaws that bite, the claws that catch. For a thousand lifetimes. Forever she is left on the snow. Sisyphus shakes his head. She laughs again. You betcha. She holds the knife that makes her. She is carved into a corner. Her knife inspects her sinews. Blood.
The Bad Magician consecrates the horrible dream. We are such things as...nothing. The Bad Magician seeks a place to fall again. Give me back my darkness! but the Wolves are howling and the days are running and everything that is good in the world is murdered once again. The Wolves are howling and you must hear them. The Bad Magician will not forsake them. Sweet dreams, sings Alice from death. Sweet dreams.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Bad Magician & the Tomb of the Multi-limbed Soldier

The Bad Magician wakes up in the car, in the backseat, next to the empty vials and worm husks and dirty children. Star-kissed satellites attack the lunar roof: who is driving? Behind this carriage, the siren is a pack of hyenas insisting on death; the lights spin ellipses in the driver's eyes. Pull over and over, red rover, red rover. The tires spit dirt and rubber epistles in shards of bone at the side of a penultimate highway. Carefully, the crickets empty their purses and vanish. This road is very soon no more.

The stuffed militant Priest drops his kickstand and digs his boot into petri dust. With a new doctrine in his teeth he approaches my wino driver: two pairs of hands on the wheel become one, four legs on the pedals wiggle out of the alignment. Behind the wheel, the President giggles and squints. A passenger in theory only, the Vice President retracts his legs and arms, a symphony of limbs for such a fractured gasping moment. The Priest prepares his electrifier, but is grabbed by two deadly serious claws: Dick Cheney turns the taser love on his own cavity and writhes like a tongue riding a seizure wave. "It's alive! It's alive!" cries Dick, leaving a puddle of love on his seat. The President laughs, his foaming mouth a series of Roman columns that sway and buckle: dissent is unheard of.

The Priest smiles. God hath bade the bastard boys take the keys and drive into hell. Drive, He said. They drove.


By the time that marks us all, the Priest was said to be carved into a pumpkin lantern and left to guard the abyss. The Vice President manifested his Hindu limbs and once again grabbed the wheel, sticking his ass out the window to moon a car of suspected cannibals. His legs were crooked and too many, and the highway began to lurch and buck. George glanced out of his eyeballs, then squeezed his crispy fingers into a cup of latent summer ice. "You drive, Dick," said George. "I'm in Finland."

The Bad Magician never dies inside this car. No one spills their coffee on his mask, or pretends to insurrect his visage. The Witness waits.

George tries to climb into the back seat but Dick hot-glues him to the steering column. "You're the President! You have to stay while I am the President who has to not stay," bellows Dick, his arms a series of rings around an undiscovered planet. "Attack! Attack!"

"We need the Multi-limbed soldiers! IED! Blow this off and that off!" Who said it? Hint: they both did.

"Truck-truck-truck-truculent!" the VP spits his four-poster anthems, four legs shoved into the dash, his knees like rocks in a river of thread. "I have the wicks, I have the tricks, it's time to screw and then get sick!" The Bad Magician has of late transcended the upholstery and is fast approaching carpet. "The sky's the bitterest!" cries Cheney. Drive, drive, drive. Where are the multi-limbed soldiers, who can take a severing and keep on endeavoring?

Up ahead the Dead Priest pretends he is remaining in a regarded pose, and draws a circle in the air. "No, no!" cries Dick. "I determine the Demise of Geometry around here! Fuck him!" Cheney extrapolates his reach to jerk the wheel, to mash the gas pedal, and the great Time Bomb skids along like hoppity-hop-hop bunnies of cement and anger. President Bush begins his talent of vanishing into the dashboard, his head protruding backwards as his torso devolves into glass and vapors, the pistons wrenching blood cells into fire.

"You stay here!" cries the Great Terror Wrist. The Bad Magician absolves the vinyl and maintains a buffalo for its hide and robust odor. Cheney shoots out his door and staggers with a small group of errant crabs. "What is that?" cries Cheney, the Old West pouring out of his shoes, his shirt, his hair. "Bellows! I am the God of Jets!" assures the manic man. Bombs explode on his forehead, shrapnel tears off two, three, four limbs: he adjusts his attitude and makes blood his partner. Turning, the lights on him as for surgery, he lumbers back and invades the rig.

He climbs inside through every window, his ass swinging wide as it opens up and accepts his beggar friend, the once and future bling. George tries to come up with a nickname for such an occasion but vanishes in the vast clenches of the unfortunate and steamy hollow: Dick has swallowed their Trust. The Hummer-Nuke Express, with ten thousand limbs protruding, snapping towels and breaking handles, stops inside a glowing bubble and exhales. Where are the fucking multi-limbed soldiers? Can't you see they will solve everything? The dirty children leap from the Hummer-Nuke Express. They wave and they laugh as they run like glowing embers, borne across the highway in the warming desert wind. They are always running away, running away. Their laughter is like hope.

The Cemetery despises toll roads. The great tomb of the multi-limbed soldier was crawling towards the moon. Let them in free of charge! Free of charge! Let them in free of charge!

"Holy shit" echoes forth from Cheney's rotten chamber. "Holy shit," echoes the Priest, who bleeds out a ticket that is placed on Holy Rood. "You are ordered to appear" said the Priest, who then vanished. A sense of humor is vital, don't you think? However, with so many limbs punching holes in the floor, the bottom of the world gave way, and the Vice President fell out of his own story. After paying too close attention, the colder things shuddered.

The Bad Magician must leave this road. He makes a leap to metal, to glass, to the night. He climbs the roof, feels the breeze that is unseen and perfect, and arranges a quid pro quo that precipitates breathing and perfusion. The Bad Magician thusly corrects his stance, arrives as a constant, and manages an artful walk into a cafe at the side of this one-size-fits-all wobbler of a dream.

A seat, a menu, a waitress. "Coffee, please," said the Bad Magician, adding, "...and a piece of whatever kind of pie that meets your standards." The waitress smirked, and returned with a stunning piece of miracle pie, as her seven other limbs balanced the plates and bowls and saucers of her trade. It's nice work if you can get it.


Monday, August 13, 2007

The Bad Magician In Summerstock

This time the piano jumped. This time the drums beat back. This time the microphone--the microphone--started screaming at a glass fog. Wake up. No one can wake up today. Wake up.

The Bad Magician crooked an elbow and jutted a chin. He stole a glance from the third row of the umber theater, in furtive posture he protected somebody else's misunderstanding. Everyone has to leave sometime or other. He left right then and there.

At the stage door a mercury lantern ran at all the shadows. The Bad Magician glided onto the street and was attacked by bricks. He rose up, up, up. I am out, said the Bad Magician. The last showing revealed no conscience in the king to catch. I am the arc of centuries, said he. The Bad Magician became a leaflet on the windshield of nobody's car. It drove along. Vroom. Vroom. We are on our way, the way, a way. It bodes of bad epitaphs and ill reports.

I am not out, said the Bad Magician. I am in.


Goddamn Theaters! They're everywhere! Clap, clap, clap. The Bad Magician smashed his hands at all the heads. Clap, clap, clap. Like doors slamming shut in a metal house. They have entered His House. He tries to shake his audience but they only mingle. Deep in the lobby he spies the case, a glass box of reason and magick. The paper inside is torn, bleeding. Bad actors eat the words and shit the meaning. Is this the longest running show on the Beltway? Will everyone please be seated?

There it is, on the marquee: One Night Only, the Death of the Experiment! Gather all who dare. The Stockholders take all the seats and eat the arm rests. Critics crawl upon all fours and snarl like gilded robots. The Curtain catches fire, and the First Act unfolds. Three Witches find Seven Warlocks and Two Imprints alone in the calamity. Two wanderers return their corpses, but the ground is sealed. Twelve mirrors and Fifty Lavender Gnomes adjust their sockets as a Great Casket is carried onto center stage. Inside is the Word Thing, of Law and Right Denials. A shot rings out. End Act One.

In the lobby a man made of popcorn cannot stop popping. Priests cry as he explodes on the carpet. Salt is offered by the Suits. Everyone in line begins digging into him until the floor is all that's left. The lights flicker, and the carpet blinks. Act 2. Come on Act 2. The Man becomes a poster. Run to your seats! Act 2! Act 2!

Act 2 is wild. Guns are fired. Rapers are raped. Half of a century is blown apart. The audience gasps, eats, gasps, sighs. Blood is shed until it is only water. Water devolves and there is not a dry eye in the house. A governor whacks his head with what appears to be a very large jawbone. What is this nonsense? asks the audience. After that the ceiling accelerates and seat belts are offered. The Great Word Thing is stripped naked and burnt offerings go upstage, downstage. The Voice cries Democracy is Dead! All hail Democracy! A pile of straw grows until the orchestra pit is buried. The Conducter smirks and floats above the cello section. Gravity is a mistake. Thus ends Act 2.

There is no intermission. The audience exchanges skin for fibers. Part of the sky is thrown out by ushers with ornate light sticks. No one dares die.

Act 3 will be the Final Act. Everyone claps. Claps. Claps. The Curtains return in the shape of impossible birds. Roman columns throw their shadows into steel bars. The audience is amused. The Great Circle of Fire rises and approaches the Great Word Thing and snickers. Hee-hee. I will burn the Experiment! I will burn the Fever Dream! The audience pretends to gasp and the Fibers rise and fall. The Great Experiment is on Fire! It burns the curtains, the chairs, the orchestra, the sky. Nothing is left. The last popcorn kernal lies inert. This is the place where applause used to cascade down like rocks from the mountains. This is now the place where children raid the till. The show is over. No one leaves.

Mondays are dark at the Theater. The Bad Magician is trembling in the wings. He's on next.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Bad Magician Inside the Mind of the Killer

It sounded like a baby crying, shrieking, a concentrated beam of primitive rage, pure and piercing, breaking glass along the lower walls, at the top of his reach. The Bad Magician woke with a start and the blood of his dreams receeded. He descended from his sleep to travel beyond the gates, taking to the road, not looking back. A small pebble of this Universe was in his shoe: he removed it and saw everything. He placed the small rock of the Universe in his pocket.

On the nearest broken highway a transformer spit and hissed on the weeds as furtive mice darted beneath it. The Bad Magician stopped and organized the clouds, then reached upwards to the sound of power and caught enough electricity to spin himself into the grid. He alternated east and north to arrive at the awful place. The Bad Magician had no choice. He shut out the sky.


The Bad Magician arrived and was everywhere in the room, and then only in the One Place. The Killer was in front of the camera, the Bad Magician shot through his nerves but could not feel them. He listened to the mind of the Killer.

The voices told me why they had to die. The voices came like rocks down a mountainside, crashing onto me. Bad things were being done to me. Bad things were being done to us. The voices continued their avalanche. Kill them, for they will kill you. Your case is made. Do it. Do it. Kill them. Show them. Kill them.

The Bad Magician fell out of the Killer's head and tried to vanish but could not. He scrambled up the Fourth Wall and lingered. The Killer knew what to do. The Killer always knows what to do: kill. Kill. Kill. He smiled, and the bright lights of attention dimmed, and the cameras turned away.

How was I? asked the Killer, as if it mattered. How was I?

You were good, Mr. President. You were very, very good.

Thousands and thousands were preparing to die in the head of the Killer. Their shrouds were laid out, and small bits of earth were gathered, to be sprinkled on their lifeless corpses. The Children wanted to play in the graves. The Killer saw them.


The Bad Magician remembers the Killer. He reaches into his pocket and fingers the small rock: he places the Universe beneath the skin of the Killer. One day, the Killer will see everything the way a rock does.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Bad Magician Visits A Tree Two Miles From Crawford, Texas

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The Bad Magician made a rope of bones and hair and walked like a spider crab to Texas, where the sun is a powerful ember, burning the eyes. The Bad Magician had to die in a dream of Texas.

The Bad Magician began to collect the debts on the ranch: a thought here, an empty smile, a blade of withered grass, like wheat, like a blonde child. The President hid in a tree and licked his fingers. He was the boy.

Two miles from the President a goddess carries the heart of her dead son inside herself, in her womb. She is constructed daily. The wind picks her up and carries her away, but she does not move. She stands among the ancient stories but cannot be mythologized.

The President sees a tree where the goddess weeps. It won't stop growing, it comes into his life and grows backwards out of his skull. Branches and crows make idle chatter. Bark replaces his tongue. A man from Canada carries away his hands. The goddess does not smile but holds her arms out, she does not ask why but how and for what?

The Bad Magician cannot stand outside the story, and cannot get in the story. The light is bending as the moon waxes in the sky. The President turns and sees his face taken up by lizards and fashioned into parachutes. He has nothing left: his head a crown of thorns growing skyward, he towers achingly, for he cannot exist.

Two miles to go, and the tree replaces his mind with a set of graceful gestures, over and over, in the wind. The goddess releases her dead son into the tree where he lays down and sings about the shadows. The Bad Magician climbs next to the dead soldier and carves his name lamely in the wood.

The President wakes up. His arms are on fire.


*(image of World Tree from here.)

*(The Bad Magician previously existed only as an unannounced guest at Corrente for as to relay his various and sundry Orphic and seemingly abject adventures. I decided to let him out of that box today, hence this posting, originally submitted in the comments section of Corrente)