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)


The Bad Magician Takes Tea With Babs

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Tea comes from books, which grow out of the heads of corpses. The fine weathered print is dried and placed in the folds of silences, then rolled onto vast, Korean slabs. Many children gather to watch the merchants trade their fingers for the cognizant herbs: they are drinking you as you drink them. A bell rings: Babs has farted in her tub, as per her routine. It is time for The Bad Magician to convert a few hours into steam, hot iron and mordant honey. The bell rings again, and off he goes.

Deep inside the compound, a rhino woman stamps her hooves against the tile floor, shattering her veins. The Bad Magician manifests in the dead air: he plays shadow puppets in the blind spot as the flood waters of The Big Easy break the Bush Family levee, spilling onto the floor, bleeding uphill and up the stairs. The smell offends god. Babs, finished with her bath, tweaks her beard and scrunches her face into that of a giant rat, tapping her hollow yellow fangs lightly against the mirror. Her gut descended, she rump-waddles towards the kitchen. The Bad Magician smells a very large rat.

"Tea?" says The Bad Magician to the gray-skinned rodent as she sprays her head with plastic cheese. "Tea, indeed," says Babs. The waters of New Orleans splash upwards in funnels, scale model twisters of the toxic juice propel the refreshment into their cups. Babs smiles and drops a turd onto one of her shoes. The pace quickens: sugar is eaten, biscuits are crumbled and forgotten, the tea is consumed until Babs catches a whiff of her own rotting insides, looks at The Bad Magician and tsk, tsk, tsks the Dark Inn Keeper. Trouble arrives stoned when the tongues split into differing factions. More trouble when Babs cuts open her rat stomach and out jumps the young George W. Bush, cradling a dead frog beneath his chin. "Tea?" asks The Bad Magician? "No," answers the beady-eyed boy, but the tea careened in a wild flight of air and arc, raining down and soaking the memory of George--the lights flicker, demons confess, and more rhinos trash the kitchen. Jesus called, sends his regrets, maybe some other time, does enjoy a nice tea now and again.

The waters recede, light pours in like razors, Babs devolves into a puddle of foam and tree stumps. The young George cuts his heart out and gives it to his mother. She spits it out. Sirens wail and gunshots are heard. The Bad Magician enjoys a good tea now and again, but takes advantage of an insect deity and clicks his way to Fargo, where the nights are already cold. Babs rolls over and vomits up hush puppys and beer, and is still. George wants mommy to be better. Be better, mommy. He will go out that day and cut a doctor. Bush opens his eyes and finds his teeth have become long and yellow, and his speech is hard to read. Karl Rove congeals on a plate as George asks where Babs has gone off to. He suspects his father has had her murdered.

Rove snaps his fingers. George blinks, stumbles, hits his head on the sink. Blood pools in the sink, turns black, hisses at George. A new day dawns.


Image of rat's paw from here.


Crossposted at Mortaljive and at Corrente.


The Bad Magician Remembers Something

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The Bad Magician forgets where he puts things. He even forgets the things themselves. A memory comes in anyway.

A package of waves arrive from an old beach: The Bad Magician remembered the way the drowned man was carried ashore, gray and blue was his skin, his body bent, hard like stone, a woman screaming in the sand. A crowd gathered and the man perfected dying: a back broken, a lung submerged in salt water, the horrible shock when clear sky and warm air painted borders describing the defeat of our blood, our ways. The Bad Magician remembers: He turns the memory into the President's flesh, which jerks against his will. The surf floods in, and we ride the curl.

In the East: Coffee is served on the President's face in the Amputee Wing of the White House. Iraqi children, stubbornly dead and hollow, bring him toast and beer, dragging their feet in wagons behind them. The President presses a button on his neck and fills his throat with sand. 'I must get out of me,' thinks the President. He looks at the ceiling: the Pacific Ocean surges in convex waves, cascading upwards, then down. The President turns to me. I cannot help him now.

"I am the President!" says the President. His eyes twitch, watering, weeping portals on the sea. A wave knocks him down. Laura smiles from the beach. Where is the father? The father is gone.

America carries the broken President onto the shore and lowers him onto his towel, a confederate rag of Old Alliances. Lifeguard Karl dissipates into thin air, a Tempest vapor. Norquist looks up from his bathtub and cries. Cheney falls out of the medicine chest: he cashes checks and eats a doctor. "I am the President," repeats the President. A crowd surrounds him, winks at him, "You're doing a heck of a job there, Bushie."

What happened to the man on the beach? Sometimes, we curl up like dead things, and rocks become our home.

The Bad Magician calls the Coroner and sends him to America. "Check out the Lincoln Memorial," says The Bad Magician.

The rest is silence.


Crossposted at Mortaljive.


The Bad Magician Mixes Kool Aid with the Blood of the Savior

The Bad Magician is hot, cranky. He turns his head and breaks a window: he falls outside and keeps right on falling.

The battle for America was fought by Romans on Golgotha: they won but turned away and the Savior jumped off of his cross and tap danced in a dream all the way to Washington D.C. Information littered the hallways in vast, moaning piles. Arms flailed inside the mounds, withered, died. The capital building smelled like Crisco.

The Bad Magician spies a large punch bowl that men in suits stand next to. They are talking and laughing and dying. Inside the punch bowl the blood of the Savior makes a Sangria. Everyone drinks Vintage Jesus and spits it out and then drinks it in again. The heads of the men become the Kool Aid icon, and they crash into each other whenever they turn to make a point. Broken glass is everywhere, and the sticky blood of the Savior mixed with the Kool Aid turns the floor into a bus terminal. Large buses arrive and drive the Glass Head Men into the sky where they burst into firework displays, and ash falls like the dust of history all over the cars in the parking lot.

The Bad Magician pours himself the Kool Aid mixed with the blood of the Savior. He dreams that everything is God.

Karl Rove outs Jesus, and smirks and toys with his horns. The lights come on in the city. A judge is born.


The Bad Magician In "The Aborted Quest"

First practice a condition. Then:

Cord, lots of it. Wriggling lengths of nerves, coiled for the descent, the myelin sheath of electrical bursts along the War Hawk. The Bad Magician sticks a claw hammer in the air and flesh is torn in dream tones. Pushing off the mucous, he falls above the angel depths--next he climbs down the jingle jangly of the white whale and into the heaviest smoke of sorrow. The Bad Magician does not want to be here. Nevertheless, the Bad Magician descends. Into limbo, into Limbaugh.


A strand of hair is grabbed, the Bad Magician swings, and into the ear he flies. Deaf. Deaf. Deaf. The walls of the ear swollen, pink, sticky. Journey to the brain, empty bottles of dopamine line the streets, and wild children turn chiclets into the bump and grind. A pill is ingested and rabbits eat a little girl, then to the center we wander, and then to clouds, ether. Rush chortles into the mic and the Bad Magician dives between the cells. Down, across the mordant bellows, swinging, falling, to essence, the essence.

The Bad Magician came to attack. With instructions for gordian knots and a schematic of Limbaugh's nervous system, an Indian Rope Trick was to be performed beginning at the basal ganglia. But on the free dive, a horrible scream, and then arrival in a white room, empty. The secretaries (there were 12 of them, 6 male and six not-male) perfected their nails and yawned. Where is Rush? "That doesn't matter. Would you like a magazine?"

The Bad Magician sat, sinking in a fluffy bean bag chair--a white bean bag chair--and waited. A television screen showed a fat man pretending his body was suffering from spasmodic nerve activity, twitching and jerking. It played over and over. His face was bent like cheap metal. A thousand years passed. Still the room hummed, then cricket-burned tinnitus chased the silence. Nothing is here. Nothing will ever be here. Crickets rubbed elbows with the insect armies, and the Great White Room began to drift.

Forget it, said the Bad Magician. The secretaries already had. They were gone. The room was where anyone who could be entangled in neurons and synapses might invent a dance. But it was empty. It always was empty. Rush Limbaugh was an empty room where dancers smoked cigars and microscopic babies crawled liked tiny Jesus into hell. Forget it, said the Bad Magician.


An extension cord, a battery, three short fuses and soon a hole was blown in the western bewailing wall. The Bad Magician whistled softly, and walked out of the project. Limbaugh was not the question. Limbaugh was an empty room. An empty room cannot be cured. We are occupied by the absence.


Image from here.


The Bad Magician Goes To War

The Bad Magician rises in the eastern sky, flying on a missile, seeking to castrate the Old Testament Father. Uranium dripping along the sides of the bomb like an ice cream cone, The Bad Magician barrel rolls as sparks fill the sky, swooping as he drops dollops of remorse upon Congress, detailing the stench of honor betrayed. The Smell of Death is Eau de Pork Barrel. Yahweh rips a big one and stars collide.

The Bad Magician watches America die the way killers die. Each aspect of the crime causes the arms to clench further: Soon the limbs are turned to wax, which bend in the warming wind. The Bad Magician remembers to turn out the lights, and to never let the bed bugs bite. During the funeral some of the dead soldiers climb out of the one awful grave and return to their hometowns, where they scratch off all the bumper stickers with their skinless hands. Wealthy people, very wealthy people, stitch their eyes closed and make small talk about their hopes for summer.

God bless America. The Bad Magician develops a bicycle and rides north.


The Bad Magician Dances On The Road To Damascus

The Bad Magician becomes a child, and makes an army of fingers. On the floor of the desert hands become tanks and troops are deployed. Choosing to become a giant, the Bad Magician fashions a dark covenant; clouds roll by and whisper. The fingers report: "We have danced on the road to Damascus, and made like ants into the sand. We are waiting for the men in suits."

The Bad Magician mixes colors for a special piece of art: the insides of the eyes of the Middle Eastern God are painted to suggest the land of Abu Grahib, and the scarecrow shadows envelop the field of vision, and black birds build nests of bones along the eyebrows. Yahweh lies decrepit, covered in a pale coat of lifeless dust; he tries to rise but breaks in a thousand pieces, like the fracturing skin of a weathered lie.

The Generals turn to see the darkening of the sun and suspect that a cadre of local merchants possess a secret. God is dead in Iraq. Long live God. The Generals lay their men out on white cloth, and put chokeholds on their hearts.

The Bad Magician, in top hat, tails and with an elegant cane, emerges with the ants, the army of the hands of children; the Bad Magician crooks his arms and jitterbugs in the desert, the wind a whirling partner on the road to Damascus.

More soldiers die. More civilians bleed. A child holds his hand up towards the heavy sun, wondering if his fingers will march like the dead. The Generals, sworn to perform their duty, see only shadows in the night. They fear the dance.


The Bad Magician Climbs Inside The Glowing Box


The Bad Magician climbed inside The Glowing Box and could not see America. He changed his binary code and hopped a cable, then bounced off of a dish, then a satellite. The Bad Magician looked back at earth and found money going east. "I will make a television show about money flowing east," said The Bad Magician. Everybdody laughed because he was on a sit-com!

The money was going to Iraq to fund a Reality Series called "Let's Go Kill People And Make Ghosts." The President gave awards to contestants who went and killed people and made them into ghosts. Everybody laughed, then stopped laughing, because it wasn't a sit-com. Everybody changed the channel and watched Seinfeld reruns, and everybody laughed! Everybody was happy again!

The Bad Magician gathered together all the wires in heaven and made a lasso. He whipped them around and around and around and flung them around Washington D.C., and took its essence to a rodeo, and made it climb on his back, and he bucked, and he bucked, and he threw the essence of Washington D.C. onto the dirt, and everybody laughed! It was a sit-com after all!

The Bad Magician cancelled America and replaced it with old movies. It was time for Root Beer Floats and Popcorn and Scary Stories and Funny Stories and Sad Stories.

The Bad Magician fell out of a 19 inch TV in a small diner in Joshua Tree, California. He walked home.

Nobody ever woke up. They all watched TV instead, even though it was past their bedtime. The ghosts are everywhere.

The Bad Magician Changes Everything

Mistletoe is poisonous, as are most good things. We devour the hollow sacraments to ward off the Wrath of Ancients, but to no avail, for a Wrath will be heard, like it or no, and a particular poison can cure the lamb but infect the wolf. The Solstice wheels in the sky, and stars freeze across the firmament. We run headlong into the New Year, and the Breaking of the Myths of God.


The Bad Magician strings lights to the tapping of wires, the rhythmic beats of captured noise. Curving himself into his wave aspect, he rides along the lines that jump from amp to satellite to receiver, and counts the infractions of speech. The Bad Magician rides the moment of loss, and spies another exit: standing on the edge The President cackles with glee, and suspends the crystalized edicts of the Founding Fathers over the abyss, damning the form, damning the content.

The President screams as salt whitens his hair: The Revolution changed everything. The War of 1812 changed everything. The Mexican-American War changed everything. The Civil War changed everything. The War against the Native Indians changed everything. The Spanish-American War changed everything. The War Against Unions changed everything. The First World War changed everything. World War Two changed everything. The Atomic Bomb changed everything. The Korean War changed everything. The Cold War changed everything. The Cuban Missile Crisis changed everything. The Vietnam War changed everything. Kent State changed everything. Chile changed everything. El Salvador changed everything. Nicaragua changed everything. Grenada changed everything. Panama changed everything. Kuwait changed everything. Somalia changed everything. Yugoslavia changed everything. 9/11 changed everything. Iraq changed everything. The Bad Magician saw all the change. Nothing changed.

The Bad Magician stares at the President, who kicks pebbles into the abyss, and laughs and cries and makes his arms like pin wheels. The Constitution is a bird: it claws at the President, and pecks, and mocks him with "You're a shit-stain. Caw-caw. You're a shit-stain." The President grimaces, steps back, runs forward and leaps into the void, carrying the Foundation of the Country above his head, he floats as his legs are torn on the rocks, his flesh shredded like paper. God loses His wings and plummets with the President, falling out of Time, plunging upwards and down and frozen: nowhere is everywhere. The President screams: We are the Mighty! We are the One! Lightning surrounds God, thunder and rain and brimstone and steel: they fall into the Net of Gems and reflect their own shadows. The Bill of Rights flaps its wings and departs. The Death of God changes everything.

The Bad Magician climbed into his sleigh and ignored all of the children. He flew because he liked to fly. No one knows where he went.


The Bad Magician Cannot Gain A Purchase

At the bottom of the cliffs of sleep, lying on his back, gray in the dust of the talus, the Bad Magician opens what should have been his eyes and digital cameras fly out instead. Donald Duck goes to war and shoots all the pigeons. Keine fleigen, Der Uber Ducken!

Preserved in cancerous plastic, the Adventures of America press bloody legs in zip-lock prisons. Jesus eats through his birth-sac and is breeched upon the rocks. The digital cameras lengthen on necks of arcing metal; ahead the world is powdered and its hair is burned. The cliffs fall over, laughing, drunk, murderous. We are at the base of somebody else's dream.

A soldier motions America forward, and so we creep along like crabs. A sniper has been spotted exactly one hundred years ago, and now we hold the bullets in our teeth. When we view the past from the canyons, the water stops moving. It is thick like paste. A waiter offers rope. We swallow air by the glass. Later, with brandy on our lips, we sing about perfection. We offer a toast: Our cup is the moon, our night is winter. Rope is offered: we jump into the sea and drink like fish. Where are we going? ask the fish. The Bad Magician wonders why the silver that dances in the water can't be sold in stores.

Waves crash on top of the sky, and stars are surfing in electric waves. The Bad Magician cannot prove the simplest of equations. The center cannot hold, but so what?


The Bad Magician Brings Bill O'Reilly A Warrior to Fight

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In autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun recedes in strength and duration, like a golden leaf saying half-hearted good-byes. "I am still strong, but you turn away," says the sun. And so we turn.

The Bad Magician heard Bill O'Reilly talking and turned not away, but towards the body. O'Reilly said "I am a warrior" and "I fight battles"--the Bad Magician waited for him to say he cleaned all the hard to remove stains.

The Bad Magician hears outside the norms of place the equivalent of endless fishing weights, a sound like perfect lonely death: it is NoDaddy climbing up the creaking stairs, step by step He climbs. The Bad Magician points. The Bad Magician follows. We climb the broken palace of Bill and spy rats the size of Pit Bulls chewing upon the dying cells of a culture wraith; knock on the door, knock on the door, knock on the door. The wooden creatures wobble open: A butler arrives by steam engine and hands us a loofah, and into the Palace of Bill we stride...

The Palace of Bill smells like fish do when they wear cotton briefs and pretend they are models. NoDaddy moves ahead, the air pushed aside by Dark Matter, and takes the world apart, brick by brick. " Where is Bill the Warrior? Where is the honorable foe? Who calls me out of deepest slumber?" A boy throws a rock from the top of the stairs. He turns and runs. The Bad Magician looks at the rock: it is America. Uh-oh.

NoDaddy pulls at the stairs like crab grass and shakes the roots. A brackish sky descends, then vanishes: the roof becomes a cannon that shoots words. "Shut up! Shut up!" screams the cannons. NoDaddy unleashes a call of pitiless loss: a lament of seafaring birds who watch the sailors drown, soldiers cut by vorpal blades, blood as a sonnet, broken lads on the concrete steps of death, a call relentless until the eyes of god go blind with weeping. The cannons fall. The boy runs out of luck.

The Bad Magician tinkers with a machine made of thread. It sings for him:

Little boy Bill, come blow your horn,
Come blow your horn by the sea
The waves will rise in eventide
And carry you far from me

Where is the fighter, Little Boy Bill? Where is the war of desire? Inside the halls of flimsy constructs, made by monkeys, managed by storms, leased by birds, the Warrior is standing in a line that never moves. NoDaddy addresses the line. Come closer, Bill. Come out. Shhh. Bill, a shadow, stands alone. NoDaddy reaches forward and touches him, as a friend. When shadows vanish we are left with cold ashes. Bill cannot imagine his own mouth. NoDaddy whispers. Bill vanishes.

The Bad Magician can no longer see the Palace. The sky bends light and mountains. Streams and oceans appear on the paper floor. NoDaddy was never there. The Dead are all retired. Shh!--No yelling in their perfection! No bullys in the Silent World! The Bad Magician closes the gate. He follows the rust home and hears NoDaddy at the end of the world, rattling a chain of skulls. NoDaddy never plays for laughs.


Image of 15th century petroglyph from here.


The Bad Magician And The Viper President


The Bad Magician cut his brain on a sharp thought, and blood trickled on his memory plain. “I don’t want to go,” said the blood, which ran along his skin and made a river to a logical hole at the end of his influence. Inside the hole, the blood crept in increments and vanished. The Bad Magician made the room large and walked through the hole, his country colliding in the rocks of the darkness, his country gone. The blood was gone too. “I will go,” The Bad Magician sighed.

Arrive: Blood seeks the eyelids of Dick Cheney just as he steers his swivel chair to face Death, who stands at the dark glass and grins. “I got to tell you, Jesus is a spy,” says Cheney, and Death shakes his skull, turns, makes a hollow sound. The Bad Magician sees his blood seep in the office door, and bead like mercury across the carpet, climbing the desk, peering up at pale Cheney. “You are no good to me,” the Vice President mumbles, and stands on his chair, his arts like shattered glass, his mother looks at him from a farm. “Dick, come in now, you’ll get a cold,” she says, her face smeared with dirt and sorrow. Cheney winces, hard, like a nerve turned into rusted iron. “Mom? Mom?,” he calls, but Death makes hard the distance. “I own you,” whispered Death. The Bad Magician’s blood, rising up on the desk, curdles in the screaming. Death sniffs the air.

“It’s hard to live when the clock ticks so loud, don’t you think?” asks Death. Cheney clutches his hand, keeps it from his chest. There would be no feeling today. The Bad Magician’s blood inched its way across the desk, rose up, become a bronco, yee haw. Its hooves clapped the hard wood desktop, first a hard clop, then a p-nac, p-nac, p-nac. Dick brought his fist down, and Vietnam exploded in his brain. The mud, the helicopters, hookers, scotch, drums, screams, p-nac, p-nac, p-nac, bullets, shrapnel, napalm, running wounded everywhere, burning trees, burning houses, burning people, smoke rises, the smell of burning skin, p-nac, p-nac, p-nac. “No fucking way,” yells Dick. Death reaches to touch him, but stops. Cheney reaches forth to touch Death, but stops. The Bad Magician walks upside down on their agreement, sits on the contours of Cheney’s arteries, dislodges plaque with a scraper. The VP loses an eye to entropy, his mouth struggles downward: Vietnam is everywhere. Vietnam has his eye. “Who are these people? What is this shit?” cries the Viper President, elongating, serpentine, the hole in his lizard head a portal as he slithers off his chair. The Bad Magician’s blood becomes a mongoose, shoots in the hole, and subsumes the argument. Cheney sees God and fires Him. The room is gone. "I don't have to learn, you bastards! I don't have to see!" Cheney yells, his mouth open wide to swallow the past.

The Bad Magician calls his blood, and smoke rises from the Viper President: it pauses, turns red, dissipates. Dick Cheney's mother still calls to him: “Dick, come in now, you’ll get a cold,” cries the mother. “Come in, my little man.” The snake hisses.

The Bad Magician takes his blood in precious anguish and flies away.


Image of North Vietnamese King Cobra snake from here.


The Bad Magician And The Net Of Gems

The Bad Magician is two months shy of his tenth birthday. He is in a kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Bobby Kennedy lies on the floor, bleeding, dying; the kitchen lights are dark stars and the floor is the bottom of the night. One almost got through, almost touched The Everything, but the Universe was having none of it.

The Bad Magician sits for thirty-eight years in that kitchen. Everything that followed led ineluctably to the shattering of forms.

Daylight. The shamans are silent, the crows drunk. You can hear the cars, the trucks, sirens, but cannot see them. Motorcycles take to the air. Helicopters bend down to pick up quarters. The Bad Magician turns to leave the kitchen but finds only walls. A man with a camera becomes sick and grows bacteria on his hands. Get me out of the kitchen. Bobby Kennedy twitches, stands up, combs his hair across his forehead: I'd love to hang out with all of you but its on to... He can't remember where he's on to. He looks down at his corpse and bows his head. This is the black hole of America, where gravity runs the primary; hard boiled eggs explode on the line. I am, he is, you are...the walls rumble, shake, vanish.

Bobby Kennedy emerges from a tidal pool. The Bad Magician peers at the creatures moving and swaying among the rocks, revealed by the receding water. The backwards crabs take time away and leave bottles of fiction in the sand. Bobby Kennedy walks into the ocean, over and over and over.

One almost got through. One almost got through. One almost got through.

The Bad Magician points to a captain's map of all the lights in the world and blinks. We were here and now we are here. The warships see Bobby on the shore and aim their canons, the titan drums thunder in the hollow, and the shells come flying. "And now it's on to Andromeda!" says Bobby, remembering. The Net of Gems washes up on shore. A busboy finds a starfish stuck in the weave and gives it to Bobby. A salad sits on the counter, uneaten. The tangerines are Vietnam, the shallots Africa; Ronald Reagan retches onto the plate.

Bobby Kennedy opens a door in the shallows as mortar fire vanishes the self. He pours in and is always returning to his pool of blood at the Ambassador Hotel. He asks "Is everybody all right?" The Bad Magician is stuck on the beach, shaking his fist at the warships: Yadda-yadda, warden. Yadda-yadda.

Thirty eight years ago a young boy was trapped at the end of someone else's dream. He almost got through. He almost got through. He almost got through.

Waves crash in the parking lot of the Ambassador Hotel. Seagulls flood the dining room and send the guests into the hurly burly. Cracks everywhere. The Bad Magician circumnavigates a large fissure, takes a deep breath of air and swims down Wilshire Blvd. He carries Bobby Kennedy's goodbye and holds it, at last, like a precious bird.


Image of Robert F. Kennedy's grave is from here.


The Bad Magician And A Sinecure Of Poison

The Bad Magician has already not existed. He has already forgotten the future. The circle is complete but abstract. The Bad Magician awakens in the melting ice. The water runs along his fingers in streams of kinetic lines. His head elevated, his back arches, his cloak sweeps its blackness skyward. Rising, rising, rising. Time to go see the great Sinecure of Poison.

“I’m coming for you, Karl,” whispers the Bad Magician in the manner of the Crows. “And I carry your dead mother as my cross.”


When the Dark underground went labyrinthine, Karl grabbed his chest, broke his ribs, gripped hard his blood muscle and shut his eyes, the colors red in blackness. He saw the Game, made white his knuckles and drew vestiges of skin on his humanity. His mother lay dead at his feet, his father a lie, his life a deceit. He strutted his shame into a Sinecure of Poison. A man assaulted, with lies and precious loss, so to conjure a countenance to face an horrid world, he breaks his bonds of humanity, and feeds on the liver of the fire-bringer. Karl is dead, long live Karl. It is 1981. Mother rides a cross in the sky. She will not return except by Olde Magick. Shadows are forever hiding.

The Bad Magician finds the midnight weeds of Danish murder, thrice blasted, thrice infected, and pours the dream cocktail in the ephemera, the white clouds, the tidal blood of a defeated human. Rove paces, he races, he traces but he cannot evade his Mother, His Father, the entanglements that made him stone, that creaked his bones, that broke his palace. The Bad Magician swings wide the gate and bids Karl enter.

It is decrepit, hollow, burnt. The edges of a man define the borders of horror. His best response, the gutting of the world, falls from his hand like a cheaply made knife. Blood of his mother. Blood of his life. What sorrows are thence exhaled, dear Richard Three? What enemy shall you sue to, for release from fate is a point of sticking.

The Bad Magician fashions a kite out of Karl Rove’s mother. She laughs and calls to Karl, the Flying Cross with Mother self-crucified. “No fair!” yells Karl. But Karl defeated fairness long ago, and none can save him now. His mother soars. Karl breaks down. The world is ravaged from the small mayhem of lives corrupted. Karl cries out, a Sinecure of Poison’s last invocation of a distillated malice. Poor Karl. Poor World.

The Bad Magician strolls to the gates, walks out, closes them. Karl alone in his broken garden. The Bad Magician walks to a burning forest, takes a leap across a great divide and navigates the last impediments of time and space. The Game is always on.


Author’s note: From Wikipedia “At Christmas of 1969, Rove's father walked out of the marriage; his parents then divorced. After the divorce, Rove learned from his aunt and uncle that the man who had raised him was not his biological father; both he and an older brother were the children of another man. Rove has expressed great love and admiration for his adoptive father and for "how selfless" his love had been. In 1981, Rove's mother committed suicide in Reno, Nevada, when Rove was 30 years old. When Rove was in his 40s, he finally met his biological father.”

It is this author’s contention that Karl Rove is a hollow and emotionally violated man, a wraith, a tragic victim. He has turned his own woeful life story into a vengeful and macabre attack on decency and humanity and all those things which fair and compassionate people hold dear. He is what people used to refer to as a "cursed human" who in return has cursed the world.


Image "Death and Fire" by Paul Klee from here.


Taking Lunch With A Corporate Beast

The Bad Magician hates doing lunch with a corporate beast, but there he is. The waiter goes backwards and becomes a market share. The Corporate Face devolves constantly, and will not become real. Today's Special is "Demo Graphic Soup": We are given towels and visine, and told to swim.

The cement pond is tepid pasta, then warm entrails from cold recruits, then blackness. We die in the end that cashes checks, but demand showers. Soap is alive. Numbers clack on the floor, on the ceiling. We run to escape and are given questionaires, and pencils made of dust. "How do you rate the End of Times" and "Would you recommend decay?" Hordes of shareholders assemble on the infield lawn, arthritic dances performed by managers as flood waters sink the stage in browns and greens and shimmering steam.

A shaking arm extended from a letter insists upon protocol: A policy wonk greets the blackened sun with a mission statement, a furious unveiling. The World gets up, disappointed with the collective dream. Everyone drinks coffee with an eye to the horizon, suspecting that death is late.


It Is A Trick Of The Bad Magician

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O' foul and scabrous demon
Flung to northern patches, unleashed
and burning hearts for heat
Away to empty cages, ribs split like wood
in shocking sleep He rides to you
The master of the elder tribes
To hind parts clenching tearing torn
The limpid flesh of failing men

Embrace the conquerors' lavish feast:
a table of the animals
a place of broken things
and friends made meat
Oh, John, sit this night in sacrifice
the nails of certitude drive through your head
The angels of iron and death

Come forth, lord whimsy
let us all laugh and sing of despair
and hopeless sightless loveless eyes
it is a trick of The Bad Magician
that dreams once conjured
do not abate
and sorrow's ease will not arrive

In darkness the howls of vanquished men
echo upon echo in gaping jaws
In John shall be the night thunders
in shadows too thick for walls:
Made like casket toys for children, singing
Singing to John: my gift is
the lyrics, made your curse
unwrapped in the bleak time
the alone time
men of stature to dust unmourned
aught but shards
the splinters of a mind deceased


This cursed episode of The Bad Magician inspired by General JC Christian's post regarding a certain sulphuric slag heap of what has been rumored to have been a human being.

Sleep tight, Johnny. Sleep tight.


Bug Man Blues

As the moon rises over the Yellow Rose of Texas, a cerebral cortex liquifies against a darkened sky. Across the spinal fluid lagoon, the Bad Magician does the back stroke and finds the deep end covered with the skin of Tom DeLay. The Bad Magician fashions a kayak out of the skin, climbs inside, and floats upstream into a spurting artery of America. His epidermis lost, Tom DeLay crawls onto the shore, clutching his throat as millipedes devour his hands. The last light of the dying moon spills white poison into a spoon: the Bad Magician feeds DéLay 10,000 lies in liquid form. The Bad Magician learns how to make a wall out of Tom DeLay, but it falls and crumbles like leaves born too soon.

Tom Delay awakens from the dream and blames the Children for the tic in his eye. The Children turn and run.

A Little Night Music For Senator Frist*

The Bad Magician reaps a whirlwind and flies, digitzed, into the air. Imagining an ear he enters along the inner fold. He grabs hold of Senator Frist's hammer, sings into the stirrup, sounds the anvil. It is the sound of cats being murdered, a tympanic symphony of wails and cries. Tap your toes, Bill. Tap your toes and boogie woogie: wag your whiskers full of woe.

The Bad Magician remembers the nails from Golgotha: they were in a box of notions. A lattice is constructed thereof, and nerves grow upon it, fast and hard in the Senator's hollow. His mind, a piece of string, articulates a bird and is torn to shreds. His soul jumps. He lands in the Ocean of Being.

Bill, face down, opens his mouth on the bank of a musical shore, a dead fish among the singing children. Jesus escapes from the mouth, disguised as a Calico. The doctor's hands grab at air and splinter into broken claws. The armies of the tide are crabs. Cats gather on the sea wall. The Eternal War ends.

The Senator awakes. His hands are bloody. He stares at nothing, the way cats sometimes do.


*I'm moving Bad Magician posts over here a couple at a time, and in no particular order. I might end up reorganizing them, and then again I might not.



Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Home for The Bad Magician

This blog will be sporting the various blog posts/comments that have involved The Bad Magician in one fashion or another. In the coming weeks I hope to transfer many of these stories to this blog, and post new ones as well.

That you have found yourself here is beyond belief.