Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Word Slingers, Wednesday 9/8/2021

Some Word Slingers product from this afternoon's session and their associated prompts.

Tail between your legs, getting longer and longer, harder to flick out of the way, the pursuit grinding down while time to tripping accelerates. 

"I think I've found a new SpIn - care to hear about?" 

"SpIn? Cardio workout?"

"Special Interest, abbreviated as SpIn, s, p, capital I, lower case n, SpIn. Neurodivergent love lingo - I could go on and on."

"No need. Parallel Play and all that, got it"

The chase resumes, then peters out. The sun descends and holes the horizon, the flare fans out diluting distance. A light bulb goes off, then on and its noon again. Something to be said about circumnavigating one's room.

Kepler's tale comes to mind. The circle widens and wobbles, just a bit.

Prompt;  Running in circles

* * * * *

Upcycled, the dream fulfilled

Unending blue jeans, from horizon to horizon, the sustainable web of hand-crafted crypto-marketing, fashion unleashed in algorithmic purity from forest floor to hi-rise board meeting.

Buck naked but upended, the blue jean reigns.

Prompt: Blue jeans

* * * * *

Swimming-ly. How'd it go? Swimmingly. Swallow much? 

The crawl, or scissors kick, doggy paddle or breast stroke.

Combat swimmer, yeah, it's a thing.

Aqua-culture to cool a Depression Era audience, your Esthers, our Williams, we agreed to be thrilled, dampened and relieved

Sadly, we paddle around now in an arid infotainosphere with thunderous choices sans the aqua-spectacle, reminiscing a glossy smile uplifting from beneath the manicured waves of the studio tank.

Prompt: Swimming

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Trona: A Piece at a time

A hush fell on the world. It was a depopulated West but food wasn't a problem, electricity not a problem. It had been a hard landing but the dust had settled and there was enough of everything to go around. 

Devoted to collecting the Inheritors hug the desert dry lake and shun the the curationism that had poisoned the Gone world through a disastrous distraction that was global in scale.

Literally the inheritors of the world, they had no illusion about weaponizing nostalgia as it was already demonstrated to be a loaded gun. Loosely aligned across several cadre type organizations, they were the children of dispossessed consumers, rummaging through the middens for Dean Martin's drivers license.

Craft historians were revered and life was now organized by a striving to establish meaning in the accumulation of seemingly worthless and obscure objects organized into opaque hierarchies of value.

Spare parts and salvage, there was now enough of Ground Zero to go around.

[A bit of world building for a game scenario that was being kicked around last February.]

Monday, June 14, 2021

Council of Missing Persons: Mojave Chapter

We are missing you say. Maybe so. Missing or vanished?

The Mojave desert is both thin place and dumping ground. The latter, just look at the suburbanites tenanted upon its arid shores (the tide is long out, but never far away, listen). And the former, the surface of things hide their perforations. Finger-traced and ready to pry open, only a keen and indifferent eye can locate them leaving them untouched until disappearance and a way-in calls.

Advice. Gather your own lost souls, ones not yet willing or able to vanish. Disappearing into one's life remains mysterious and elusive. There is, after all so, so much, and so many things that seek to gain our attention and work our needs.

Questions. Doubtless there is much you want to know of us (and we want to know why the posted portraits are universally so unflattering - Interpol does a much better job). Who are we? Some of us are touched, intuitives if you prefer, and others are secret shoppers. The list is long and its very hard to pin us down despite the piled up saccharine comments and shotgun spray of personal identifying details platformed as flypaper upon our departure. This clumsy display acts as artisanal reclaimed wood to prop up and enliven drooping gossip, yet we remain hidden within the folds of a fantastic listicle.

Found. Yeah, that's agreed, Search & Recovery. But it's only remains, not animal and not really us as the DNA, the bone dust and dental records are all borrowed, passed on and bring no reward.

Many. Yes, there are enough of us to fill Amboy Crater but it's an inebriated rumor that we meet there annually. 

Gone. Do not distress. You're not yourself, they say. Get started and find something of substance, then we'll talk. Some of us have tinnitus as constant companion and may require repeated inquiry.

Our journey is not a quiz. There are only questions, and the answers lie elsewhere, dissolved and dislocated from an effortless causation. The journey is not over for us, just started.

Get yourself started. See you there!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Waiting on Pangea Proxima

I look at my wrist. 300 millions years to go, more than enough time to sell real estate. I'd finished with undiscovered countries, those hidden from maps, but was still to negotiate a string of Late Pleistocene lakes that draped themselves across the Mojave. Beach front property, sold vertically, up-and-down across deep time, my clients learning the meaning of sunken costs while basking upon the bleached shore of a dry lake.

[Submitted to The Short Story Postcard Project, April 29, 2021]

Dale Basin Haiku

Sheephole Mountains

Pleistocene plenty
A palace of indifference
Observant, faithless

Mist veiled nabkhas
Dale glimmering snow white
day's pregnant unrest

eye drink Dale Lake dry
the baited brine noiselessly
swell a crystal crust

Virus dreaming green
off-grid, off-green, dry campers
Tuff Sheds on the lake

Desert tropes, Dear John
140 years of failed dreams
Ain't enough for me

Bad actors under
Aeolian blisters bake
ham-fisted desert

Hashtag swag, Dear John
suburban feralities
Ka-Ching, greener Green

Recovered memory
Larrea Tridentata
and managed retreat

On deckled shores
dry lakes measured in bits of
Rhode Island units

[From a work in progress]

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Al-Jabr 57

Spatchcocked on Al-Jabr 57 in a pigtail of a shipwreck, Braedon is reduced to a off-brand sigil. Ozone, burnt sugar, and wet dog flood the sensors, all needles bent. Fortune has undone his legs, Sly and Robbie, seeding a compass rose on a new world. Restless sugar sand erase all memory of animal joy. Al-Jabr is trouble, round and dangerous.

[Submitted to The Short Story Postcard Project, April 4, 2021]

Rolling with the changes

Maria Singer, photo by Bunny Yeager, 1960

It was an experiment but it was well organized. Just a few simple rules.

Adhere to clock time. Go ahead and look out the window and continue your morning and evening walks. But obey the clock, or rather the clocks. (Note this doesn't include your mobile, that's not a clock, it's a camera with a tracking device).

Twelve or twenty four, your choice but your appliances prefer twelve hour shifts so most likely you'll stick to this.

When the power goes out, light a candle or be gloomy about your misfortune. When the power comes back on, your appliances take over and their revived clock faces are you new life-organizing standard.

You'll probably do some subtraction and addition maths at first but after a few cycles that will be nearly impossible. What is life like in this new world revolving around happenstance time? Talk it over with your Maytag and your Amana.

And it's a good thing you ditched that VCR. It would stubbornly blink twelve, zero zero, ad infinitum, tapping its feet waiting for human intervention. That defeats the whole purpose of the experiment.

[This was written for a Word Slinger session, Saturday April 3, 2021]

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Bloodfast ‘85

[A slightly edited transcription of a resurfaced page typed in 1985. Some decent ideas but perhaps reading too much J.G. Ballard, which leaves me wondering what if I'd discovered Barrington Bayley or M. John Harrison back then? Still like the radio-borne virus, as there have been recent science papers about quarantining received SETI messages to prevent contagion by xeno-software viruses. Also, I still prefer the term CETI over SETI].


No one noticed when the remaining TV stations went over to continuous reruns and looping public announcements. Surely at this late date, appetite had triumphed over reason, or simply overwhelmed any pretense of logic. And yet, there was a logic still working, and not so alien as it might first appear. It was a half-forgotten logic, infantile, claiming itself as personal history. Too authentic to be denied, too thirsty for identify.

By the late Eighties, the sophisticates had reestablished their complacency, so thoroughly shook by the events of the mid-decade. To the few who still nurtured a need to know, the sophisticates this time had gone the championship distance to prove to be a sophisticated, cultured thinker was to be a domestic creature… It wasn’t the door kicked open at Trinity that spilled the slop. The door was pried open by Mr. Marconi, although the meat was already well tenderized by Herr Gutenberg.

Gutenberg, Marconi, and Oppenheimer, and all the Edisons and Fords, they laid the path to CETI... 

Communication, with or without purpose, driven by the nightmare of ultimate destruction, diluting, then sweeping away all transmission of the evolution of good and evil. Now there was only good and not so good. Maybe bad, or least desirable. But where was the Evil? How nature abhors a vacuum!

The theory of radio-borne virus was novel, but not without some theoretical underpinnings. There was no research on the subject at Arecibo earth station. The most able mathematicians and exo-biologists were the first to go.

The pulse of the galaxy was interrupted by a infinitely sharp lance, a dagger shaped signal, a scalpel driven at the speed of light, a precision thrust to the stem of the brain, wielded over cold dark light years, piercing a soft pulpy vestigial gland. Radio-borne, then airborne and ear-borne.

The body was replaced by a wound. A wound with a mouth, and eyes and ears and intestines, ass, cock and cunt.

A new birth perhaps, actualized on a fully traumatized population so eager to be entertained, enthralled by a message from space. Yes, space! Out there! Space indeed, not this oozing pulp we inhabit in our isolation. The  loneliness of a sterile earth-bound life, made personal, millions and millions of times over and over.

In the cities sodomic zombies ride out their flesh play, dimmed character of reproduction, coming in pools of pus and bile, torn by competing orifices permanently pried open by a ferocious hunger beamed from beyond. The highest species of the blue green planet pimped to the heavens.

In the fitness of our wounds we find vision.

[Written sometime in 1985]

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Drexel, Burnham, Lambert and a Drop in the Ocean to Go

East (DDR) German woman works finishing a typewriter, circa 1987

[The accompanying text for my first assignment in George Legrady's Art 410.1 course at San Francisco State University in the Conceptual Design/Information Arts Department. The reproduced page at bottom has the classic Chicago default sans serif font for the Macintosh. The top image is a DDR worker finishing work on a typewriter, circa 1987, source unknown. Drexel, Burnham Lambert was a investment bank forced into bankruptcy in 1990 and was associated with junk bonds and Michael Milken.]


Three US pennies and a five gallon plastic 'bladder' partially filled with water. Objects related by color: "transparent." A collection (of coins) and a body (of water). The discrete and the continuous. A soukous guitar solo by Franco. Chords versus marimba, rhumba! A string of readings; a rigged wishing well for corrupt travelers with car phone, a late 20th century cargo cult wristwatch (digital works and liquid crystal display), a chance operated processing device (I Ching with monitor cube), obvious (cash flow), less obvious (cold fusion), government agency ad for peace corps and conservation (the collected water vapor of a Peace Corp volunteer and his/her contribution to world understanding/national security measured in GNP units), etc.


A simple opening statement of interests. The quantitative is a fast lane to God. 320 shot glasses of water, 3 gallons, water gathered from the shores of an ancient (dry) lake in the Mojave (Trona). Pennies from a collection approaching the weight of a human body. Cerebral and computer-aided modelling proliferates in the masses, common objects are reassembled into machine/models appropriate for the task at hand. The "Romanian Model" running simultaneously at Los Alamos National Laboratories and across the squares and airwaves of a distant land. "We almost lost Detroit": "one of our algorithms got loose and it may be in enemy hands."


"The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins, subtited "Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design."
Two five gallon water bottles, one full and the other an inch deep in pennies.
"One Human Minute" by Stanislaw Lem, an essay/review of tomorrow's almanac.
Final scene of the "Creeping Unknown" (Hammer 1954) where Professor Quatermas leaves the scene of disaster averted to "start over" in the morning!

Ken Sitz
Art 410.1 (George Legrady, SFSU)