Star Arcade

One year on Christmas Eve, Hieronymus Schitzolini was changing the curtains in his studio apartment.  That year the space heater was on the fritz and either overheated the room or barely warmed a leg.  So he had it cranked up and moved about in the buff.  While putting up the blackout curtains, Hieronymus lost his balance and fell off the ladder.  Unfortunately, earlier that evening, he was skinning potatoes.  Unbeknownst to him, one of those skinned potatoes had rolled onto the floor and waited for him silently.  So when he fell, it so happened that upon hitting the floor with his naked flesh, the potato went right up his rump.  At the hospital, nobody believed the miracle had happened in the way he told it.  Nonetheless, while waiting in the ER with a tater up the clacker, Schitzolini penned this vision on some paper scrounged together by the helpful staff.

Klein fiasco

‘Twas the Christmas of ’92 and out on the Playa in Death Valley I stood alone on that white plane.  Like a racer on the Bonneville Salt Flats, a silver craft raced toward me.  As it got closer I saw that it had no wheels.  It was hovering fifteen feet above the ground when it stopped before me and lowered its docking bridge.  Mesmerized, I failed to notice how anything exited and got behind me but before I knew it, I had my arms held behind my back and a bag over my head.  Inside, I was put on my hands and knees in some kind of harness.  They spoke a language that sounded precise and intricate.  When one of them spoke English, I was shocked at hearing something I could understand.  “We’re going to give you back your soul.”  I didn’t know that my soul had gone missing.  Did the word “soul” mean something else to them?  A searing pain in my rear end went well beyond the proctologist’s thumb, let me tell you.  While enduring the pain, I was trying to figure out what the word “soul” meant to them and if it were the same meaning then how could it be possible to give it back and through my ass?  As they inserted it into my butt, the one informed me that the first person they gave a soul back to was the one we call Jesus Christ.  With this much rear pain, I bet Jesus didn’t ask for this gift either. 

Whatever they did inside me, at some point they hit a spot that caused me to gush into a fever dream.  I saw sand crabs flopping asunder the playa millions of years ago.  Soft paws strolling along the shallows of the lake that is no longer there.  Then I was in a hut somewhere listening to the murmur of boiling eggs while I picked up a piece of fudge and without realizing what a hard brick it was, rent my tooth and tongued it as it dangled.  The smell of sour piss emanated from a corner so I went outside to find myself on a frozen lake with fisherman tending to holes in the ice and pulling out fish already battered and fried from the water.  A wild horde of fiddlers fingered psalms as their beards crawled with eels.  Somebody scratched the odd phrase “blob warp spew fracture” into the ice.  A mint sprig fell from the sky and I caught it and chewed on it and it released a sort of truth meal that’s too difficult to explain but to make a long story short I turned into a river skulking it’s way back into the hills.

When I came to, clearly the one speaking with me was assigned to help me with the transition between my ignorant life without a soul to my new life with one.  And so I limped as my star being helped me deboard and as I needed to sit down on my side, my Star Being helped make sense of the inner realizations I was already automatically having from receiving my lost soul.  Here is what I understood with the help from its guidance.

Star Beings seek planets that have evolved enough for them to enter the vessels of consciousness and adorn a body in which the weary space traveler can sleep.  They use the planet as a womb hive until it must be abandoned due to overpopulation and its damaging effects on any planet’s environment as the technology inevitably progresses.  In the adornment process, the vessel prevents the Star Being from bringing their knowledge directly into it.  Everything they know is refracted by the fleshy gravity bound medium they call a meat frame box.  Their dream state is what we call our waking life.  And when we sleep they run their simulations – the decaying sense manipulations – to experiment with consciousness through dream logic.

Star Beings are obviously far ahead of us.  The infrastructure of our corporeal form is far more primitive than theirs, which can withstand space travel without the need for ships or suits or any of that limited container mind-frame engineering.  Eons ago did they learn how to harness the nested curves of the Sun-Father’s penis.  They only presented me with a spacecraft so that I could make sense of their appearance.  Some of us dream of other planets where our Star Beings (the ones who took on our flesh) were before.  

Once my Star Being entered the vegetative consciousness of a planet and showed it to me through a dream where I had these beautiful white flowers blooming from each of my organs.  The sensation of organs blooming was like an ecstasy of endless unfolding.  All the spaces under my skin filled with these tender petals.  Then I awoke into another dream where I stroked my chest hair and found one I had to pluck.  With a tug, the sensation of fibrous rope squeezed pleasure through my pore.  Like I had plenty more where that came from.  And I pulled and pulled and discovered that it wasn’t hair at all but lettuce.  I pulled out a bed of lettuce and still there was more.  And on that bed of lettuce, my Star Being revealed himself to me as an ancient Sumerian replete with glorious regal curly hair and beard.  So much hair in fact that I had to look closer to realize that he had my face.  The only difference was a more pronounced mole or beauty mark on his left cheek.  And he told me that he had to appear as a harbinger of justice reincarnated to make an impact on my dull consciousness with a gift known to some on this planet as a vajra or a diamond-thunderbolt by which reality can be peeled open. 

Mirroring or doubling is a favorite tactic of Star Beings in our dreams.  They tend to stay hidden even when they reveal themselves to us.  Like when mine doubled as Shamash, he told me, like some genie, that I could ask him any question I wanted, but when I did, it was like I immediately knew the answer from within myself to the point that I could not discern if I was having an honest conversation with myself or if I was actually receiving his infinite wisdom through the refraction of my vessel.  I asked him about the white flowers blooming from my organs and he told me, or I told myself, that it was a plant that he had discovered on that planet where flowers bloom into consciousness in a meadow tended by a lady as light as a gossamer with filaments of light for hair and skin as tender as petals.  She would pluck one of his petals as she would with the others and wrap it in a single hair so that it would float across a bay to sentient life on the other shore whereupon receiving it, they recognized it as what they called an epiphany.  

The lady of the white flower meadow was the model on our planet upon which the Virgin Mary would be derived along with the ultimate epiphany as an immaculate conception or the impregnation of the greatest idea like the soul inserted into my bum.  She would recite a meditation for hyper-active minds bearing the burden of an overactive consciousness while plucking her epiphanies that went something like this:

“Don’t worry about what won’t work out, accept what will.  Rather than wasting precious life on worrying, start loving as a way of living instead.  Don’t worry about your partner, love your partner.  Nothing positive or unifying goes without acknowledgement.  It is a mistake to assume so.  The mind cannot be directly controlled.  The mind can only block thought or direct it.  Take care and attention to how you think.  Be as good a witness to yourself above all else.    Gather the infinite petals of truth and receive the fruit of health and shield of shelter and ultimately the emblem of unity.  Follow its warmth.  Its gentle unfolding into the void.  Its truth is its love.  

Love is only an illusion if apprehended by deception.  You get what you give.  The light of the flower only reflects your light.  Such sentient beings forget what love is and that is why they need epiphanies.  To remember that deception only gets nothing in the end.  It destroys its own purpose.  Let go of the objects of your attention.  Open your hands and they will be full of everything you need.  Step back and relax into the widest frame of your mind.  Stop fighting yourself through others by worrying about the shallow terrain of evaluations that accrue into a wasteland of clutter if they are not seen for what they are.  Do not live by such superficial restraints set at some other time in some other place.  Do not listen to the lies of comfort and safety and efficiency and any other mask that hydra-headed fear can assume.  Know that you desire what you fear and fear what you desire and neither is a cause for panic or desperation but rather contemplation.  

Sit like these flowers in the meadow on the banks of the ancient river.  Observe what floats by.  Force nothing.  Know that any action is merely a bolder reaction.  Let the reactions float down river.  Let them assimilate with the rest of the reactions.  Relax.  Nothing is new under any sun.  Everything issues forth from the same place.  Have courage in unfolding your tenderness and watch worry crumble away.  Abandon enforcement and choose to radiate like the white flower.  Nothing will ever be the same again.  All the pointless battles and pyrrhic victories will dissipate.  And the emptiness of the void will reveal itself as the positive force it also is.  That of full potentiality.  This is what it means to possess the diamond thunderbolt.”

In that meadow, my Star Being met his soulmate.  She sprouted and blossomed right beside him.  He could not believe how remarkably easy it was.  They knew it right away.  And the mother of that garden knew love at first sight (the randomness of destiny) when it appeared in her garden.  And when their time had come to leave that corporeal form, she plucked them at the same time so that they could journey across space together.  They traveled across the void but their form of traveling is something the Star Being referred to as “growing” across the void and they came to this planet and adorned the forms of myself and my love.  

At this point, I realized what he meant by saying I needed to have my soul reinserted.  My Star Being was in fact already me without me knowing it.  Seeing it as another body was the only way my dim consciousness could make sense of the impossibility.  Since my mind became too cluttered with what I mistook as me, they intervened to make me whole again.  The flesh had to be bent back to serve its true host and fulfill the rejoining of these star-crossed lovers by lodging the diamond-thunderbolt right up my keister.

We were born into bodies on separate continents but still found each other and repeated the first sight of love we had experienced on that other planet as flowers but had forgotten in this life, though buried somewhere deep in our refracted consciousness.  

Stranger still, we sometimes have the same dream.   I mean I’m in hers and she’s in mine.  In one dream, my tooth fell out or was kicked out by a spider who dangled from its thread so my partner took a pair of scissors and cut it and removed the spider from my mouth.  That is love.  

We were sitting at a park where a chartreuse haze clung to the grass as people sunbathed and used tombstones for backrests.  The sky flashed silver and stayed that way like a sustained camera flash as the clouds rotted purple.  We ran to an abandoned houseboat with an indoor pool where a fluffy white Persian cat floated on a satin pillow.  The cat picked up a miniature guitar and strummed a few chords that compromised the hull and the house boat began to sink.  We escaped through the indoor pool.

Whenever I’m unkind to my partner now, when I harp on things that cannot be, my Star Being reminds me of what a ridiculous man I am.  He calls me a real clinger since I persist in his consciousness when on other planets usually his host subsides and accepts his rule.  Once I had a real fit about family matters and a flaccid dong flopped out of my mouth.  My mustache turned into a pubic bush.  I scrambled to stuff the floppy thing back in to hide it but it flopped out all the more.  As soon as I figured out how to stop being a dickhead, the swollen sponge disappeared and I could talk and eat normally again.  

I asked my Star Being why I keep forgetting myself and turn unkind.  He explained:

“Human flesh is governed by its source, the same source we grow across.  We call it the void of emptiness and full potential.  Sentient beings are all run by the ouroboros of the will.  A unity of desire and fear.  One and the same.  Thus, remembering is made of forgetting and vice versa.  It is as natural to forget as it is to remember.  And good too.  But also not.  It’s an eternal flipping and flopping full of contradiction to anyone who only tries to hold on to desire and deny fear.  To hold on to memory and forget forgetting.  Such is the way of error.  There is another place where I have been and you have too, even though you cannot remember it.  A place where a crescent silver moon touches the zenith of a mountain.  We would cross that bridge and traverse the terrain as particles of reflected light and touch everything with our indirect worship of that sun.”

“But why come here and play this game on Earth?”  I asked.  And my Star Being moved my mouth to answer my own question:

“The shapeshifter inside plays at the center-less ghost arcade.  We impersonate ourselves and pretend they are the people we meet.  Intentions are the assumptions of ghosts.  Our principles are the desires of these apparitions.  We mash the buttons to escape the disappearing scroll.  The dead renderings pit us against bosses from our own forgotten scripts.  The forms assumed are remembered not as assumed but as strange finalities to be erased.  Play the lucid dream game with its soft joystick breaking intentions on every counter gesture.  Listen to the disembodied voice impersonating you.  Dead soul marionettes dance the death jig for empty points.  Ghosts run errands in this looping sand box.  They simulate text messages about how many friends they’ve lost.  Whoever plays the game forgets the years trapped in this ghostly architecture.  Even Star Beings are entranced by the flickering finalities of a captive yet dying light before they can grow across space to enter another game.” 


Obsolete Growth

Obsolete Growth Podcast

To be many and not one splits the one apart in any context.  Hieronymus Schitzolini could never be one.  To be many is to know that at the center of Being nothing exists.  A void of emptiness, and potential.  The apparatuses at play are cruel in their operations.  Framing everyone as one.  A simple unit to be told who it is.  To be bought and sold.  And for no greater purpose than to keep the sinking ship afloat.  Such systems can only see one in many rather than many in one.  A multiplicity dissolves statistical interpretations where everything must be useful according to the one.  But that pressure to solidify – to compress many into one – is a centripetal force of suffering moving on that centrifugal line of outcomes disguised as consequences.

On the other hand, there is one thing.  Schitzolini saw the ancient symbol known as ouroboros, a snake eating its own tail, as a profound unity at play within each one of us.  Not a unity of identity but operation.  The head of the snake as desire and the tail as fear.  A constant, simultaneous devouring and stuffing.  A long sequence of attractive repulsions and revolting desires spiraling out among an endless array of other dissipating coils.  The after effect being the unsettling existence we prefer to see as coming from the outside and not within.  The very nerve of being alive.  The nausea of fearing what we desire and desiring what we fear.  The twitch idealized as a decision-making process.  The dreaded peripheral urge to self-devour.

Klein fiasco

Consistency parenting.  Difficult to put into practice.  Not for my wife.  She’s a machine.  

Remember my love that only through you have I been allowed to feel anything at all.  You are my teacher, my gateway.  Before you I was nothing but a numb worm of displaced movements.

When it comes to discipline, we refuse physical punishment.  It simply does not work.  It only made me despise my father.  He let out his misery on my backside.  Called it tough love.  Like when he roughed up mom.  In fact, my entire childhood can be summed up in one image: my father sticking his fist in his mouth and biting it.  Have you ever seen such a man eating his fist in wild rage? 

I accepted my wife’s suggestion that we get this box that monitors family behavior through an app installed on our phones.  It records all of our verbal interactions and an algorithm processes them so that when there is a communication breakdown between family members, it assists in sorting out a resolution.  It’ll provide you with specific examples of what you have said as evidence to consider in relation to whatever the problem might be. 

Remember it was you who made me go bankrupt so that I could know again the sweet taste of the crumbs you left for me.

We take our kid to an art gallery with my wife’s hope that this will develop his artistic side.  While I’m trying to figure out some contorted formation, my kid tugs at my shirt and tells me he needs something.  I tell him not now.  Mom is busy talking with the front desk.  Then the piss sprays out of his shorts.  He’s pissing all over the floor.  I stare at the puddle.  We apologize and offer to help clean up but it’s better that we just go.

On the ride home, I remember the time I had to hold it.  Don’t disturb dad, at all costs.  Eventually, I lost control and pissed all over the floor in the bookstore.  He yanked me by the arm and spanked me outside the store in front of an audience.  I look in the rearview mirror and see my son sobbing and nobody even punished him.  

Only when you took everything away could I understand the abundance of your slightest gestures that meant little or nothing to you and everything to me.

At home, we sit him down after cleaning him up and I blurt out something I would never say in my right mind.  I call him “a moron” for not telling us that he needed to go to the bathroom.  At this moment, the box lights up.  It proceeds to replay the word “moron” over and over in various contexts.  Apparently I use the word a lot more than I’m aware of.  At first, I tell my wife that the box might be malfunctioning.  Stuck on repeat.  

Now it feels like I’m on trial for my overuse of one word.  She’s looking right through me.  My kid is looking right through me the way I used to look through my dad.  In this instant, the box seems useless and unfair.  I’m a good person.  So what if there’s one word that helps me release some tension.  I don’t mean to be hurtful.  I’m attacking stupidity itself.  Not actual morons.  My wife asks how that’s working out for me.

It was you who showed me how to pass through the self-inflicted bonfire in order to see the glory in begging for your mercy.

She gives me a look that tells me we will be talking about this later.  With my class starting soon, I have to leave anyways.  I drive to school with an awful aftertaste of misfired parenting.  It’s like fucking up at sex.  It doesn’t mean I’m forever bad at it.  But that’s how it feels.  And now I’m stuck with the awkward kink until I make it right.  But its exhausting to always be stuck in a state of “trying to make it right.”  My dad never did.  

“Be open to the randomness of life” is the last thing I hear before the nightly jackhammering commences outside our classroom.  The administration’s apology for a deadline to erect another vanity building really told us to just deal with it.  The master continues teaching even though we cannot hear another word.  Nothing breaks the master’s concentration.  The other students nod along with the teachings.  Their concentration isn’t breaking either.  Only mine.  Jackhammered at home.  Jackhammered at work.  At school.  

The others take out a red Xerox from yesterday.  It’s the kind of thing that goes out of your head as soon as class ended the last time, but upon seeing it, it’s as if no time passed at all.  As if everything that happened between then and now is forgotten instead of it.  I dig into my bag but cannot locate the crappy 50 cent folder containing the worksheet.  They pull out their notebooks.  I do the same.  I gaze onto my neighbor’s sheet and see the direction: write a letter to your mom from the perspective of her deceased cat.  What kind of moronic direction is that?

The master walks around the desks as we write.  The jackhammering stops.  He asks us to hand it in.  He reads the first one from the stack aloud: “Dear mom, I would’ve eaten you if I could.  For no reason.  This is my only regret.”  Without skipping a beat, the master replies, “Nothing is ever eliminated, only substituted.  Remember that.”  As I try to figure out what he means by that comment he reads through a few others until he gets to mine.  The fear that I might have unknowingly violated the substitution rule pesters me into a dismal expectation.

“Dear mom, thank you for allowing me passage through the many roles of my corporeal existence.  You had many thoughts about my thoughts and that helped me a lot with the challenge of communication.  But now that I see through the illusion of being alive, I am happy to put it all to rest.  Mourn me not for the same fate awaits you.”

The master comments, “never forget that only the virgin plays the whore and the whore the virgin.”

I belt out at the cryptic game he’s playing, “what does that mean?”

“This was a very rigid and artificial surface.  Only a whore who actually believes in her virginity could write such a thing.”

What is he getting at?  What kind of teaching method is this?

“So it’s better to always err on the side of playing the whore as a virgin?”

“Neither are better or worse,” and the master reads the next one before I can pester him anymore, “Mom, don’t forget we’re running low on milk.   By the way, you really should apply for that grant.”

We can see that the master approves of this one so others approve too.

Only you my love broke the brittle images I used to cling to.

The master tells us he’ll read the rest later and asks us to take out our weapons and place them atop our desks as he directs us again on how to hunt without ever getting to hunt.  We have spoken so much about it that I feel like another word only takes away from my urge to do it.  I can feel the master’s awareness of my impatience.  I try to hold still.  Focus on his words as if he were only talking to me.

“Frame.  Track.  Pierce.  This is the way of the hunt.  You must select a target.  Crop in as close as you can with your mind’s eye.  The target will stand alone.  The clearer you frame it, the better you will feel when you obtain it.  Simplify the target within.  Bring it back to the basics.  Something obvious is something undeniable.  Something you not only want but need.  Tie that down.  If you fail to tie down the target within, all hell can break loose.  Tracking the target is another matter altogether.  Tracking requires patience.  To be patient while tracking requires the opposite reaction common to the inexperienced.  Excitement is tension.  To get excited is to decrease the chances of obtaining the target.  It is counter-intuitive to relax while hunting (or being hunted for that matter), but it is essential.  The nature of any hunt favors the hunter who cannot care.  Relax into the target.  Obtain it with ease.  Easing into the target means easing into a frame of mind.  They are one and the same.  Hunting is the opposite of grabbing for it.  Instead, open your hands and receive it.  Find the way for it to land in the palm of your hand.  Piercing the target is another matter still.  To pierce the target means to be precise in the execution.  Just hitting the target isn’t good enough.  It renders many messy injuries and fewer captures.  Remember the target whenever the target must be known well beforehand.  The target within must be a forgone conclusion.  To pierce the target is to strike the bullseye in the bullseye.  Minimal suffering.  To split it precisely down the middle.  To cut the center even and wide open for maximum bounty.  To get exactly what you want through mercy.  Always be merciful.  The best hunters know this.  But the greatest hunters know something else still.  The greatest know how to frame, track, and pierce without ever hunting at all.  They have already un-pierced all targets.  Aiming and tracking become irrelevant because necessity itself is the target and everything is as it already is, fore-pierced.  From this perspective, the un-hunting hunter expends the least amount of energy on the most valuable targets.  These are the targets that inferior hunters could not even see for they know not what to truly target within.  They only target without.  And even when they think they target within, they still target without.”

I raise my hand and he reluctantly nods in my direction, “Perhaps I’m already the best hunter because I cannot find a target worth pursuing.  I was placed in this class, Enlightenment 303, because the others were full.  I never wanted Enlightenment to begin with.”

“Do not confuse aimlessness with relaxed purpose.  One is low and the other high.”

“But that’s what I’m saying.  I think I’m high.”

“Only the low think they’re high and confuse edge for mere attitude.  That’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect.  Can somebody help him by reciting last term’s lesson on forgetting the kill?”

Another student stands up, looks at me like I’m some kind of moron, and delivers the lesson as if he’s tossing the master’s salad, “Forget the kill.  Whatever you do do not think of the kill.  It isn’t advisable to respect the kill since that would involve thinking of it.  That would make it harder to forget.  The most effective killing stems from forgetfulness.  Whatever is killed, changes form.  It must be made into an appearance that will not resemble the kill.  Focus on the purpose rather than the kill.  This keeps the eye on the ball and forgets the kill which isn’t as important as the purpose.  Reasons are most important of all.  Principles can erase any number of kills from memory.  This is why people stick to principles and worship reason.  They ensure that the kill is forgotten.  The practice of sacrifice has been streamlined to this end.  The rites have fallen by the wayside for good reason.  Honoring the sacrifice makes the kill memorable.  That is why it must be done without rites.  The sacrificed are to be forgotten.  This increases efficiency.  Productivity keeps the dream alive.”

At this point, I have to barge in, “in other words, do not respect the kill, respect only the dream necessitating the kill?”

“Yes,” says the master and a final wave of affirmation tingles over me, “forget the kill that made the habit possible.  And only then, if we dream big enough will the minds sacrificed produce the new reality we wish for without the obstacle of a reality we once thought was.”

Whatever that means.  As I lose interest in figuring this convoluted stuff out, I remember the talk waiting for me at home.  

Never did I learn from anyone else the value of decay.  How you showed me the way to detach from family and friends.  To see the illusions plain.  To parse the intentions from the pretensions.  

I notice my guitar in the back seat.  I forgot that it’s jam night with some guys from work.  Just what the doctor ordered.  I’ll do the talk with wifey tomorrow and everything will be fine.  I’ll call myself a moron.  Whatever it takes. 

Sweet love you left me to cook in my juices.

At band practice, there’s this new guy and he’s in a heated discussion with the band about how all sounds have no real essence.  His name is Dale and he says there is no such thing as a natural sound.  I unzip the case.  Pull out my acoustic guitar.  Consider un-targeting him and forgetting the kill.  The guys tell me there’s no jam tonight and say that I’ve got to hear Dale play this new instrument.  Disappointed, I lean my guitar in a corner of the garage.  

Dale pulls out what looks like dental floss.  The guys tell me “to check this out.”  He takes the floss and puts it in his teeth, as one would.  He flips open his laptop and plugs it into our PA system.  And this fucking guy starts flossing music with sounds I’ve never heard before.  Hell, nothing can describe it.  It’s mind blowing.  Like seeing a video game for the first time.  Or pussy.  Waves of sound wash over us.  But the sight of Dale flossing his chompers at us as he wiggles his hips looks fucking ridiculous.  

Dale stops and asks me what my problem is.  I point out that performance-wise this new instrument will never be something a drunk audience won’t rip to shreds.  He says that all new inventions are met with skepticism but that I should be rest assured that all other instruments are on the way out.  Limited.  Old hat.  That’s what he said.  Guitar is dead.  Clearly, Dale is a moron.  

It was you my sweet.  You showered me with your kaleidoscopic phantasmagoric solar anus and showed me how to dance in its light.

Instead of fighting, I pivot and ask how it works.  He explains something that goes over my head and tells me to try it.  I go in front of the camera and stick my tongue out at it.  It makes a horrendous sound.  The guys tell me to grow up.  I floss a little and do some ironic dancing.  They fail to find the humor in it.

On the drive home, I wonder what the hell this world is coming to.  Parental boxes.  Hunting / enlightenment classes.  Dental floss instruments.  Nothing makes sense anymore.  But did it ever?  Maybe this was what ate at my father from the inside.  Made him stuff his face with his fist.

My love you left me to cook in my juices until I fell off the bone.  What was one became many.