Stories

Jah of the Maggot – Peppy Ooze

Fizzles snorting dumb-fucking fire I wrote on the balcony, I remember. Fizzles. Snorting. Dumb. Fire. Fucking because right as the clappers struck the bells I thought, that’s how my brain motored from synth: and because of the changing of the cosmos because people light fireworks on the changing of the cosmos, round midnight: and I was alone, on the changing of the cosmos it’s taboo to be alone and yet with me, my energy had caved, I felt overworked, moved a month before from a big room in the west of the zone near a lake and forest and now rented this box room in the east near the river that never runs and nothing much else but it had a balcony. This new room. And instead of just hearing the blasts I stepped out and watched for twenty boring minutes ablaze in the sky an exploding lightshow. I needed solitude. So thankfully pure metres of dark space lay beyond. Above. Around. No eyes or interfering energies. Any mad jamboree stuff was out of earshot. Voices from a couple of tame-sounding parties travelled under the fizzles, audible but lower for sure than the constant crushing booms, the first few seconds of another.

A hand outreached from a cloud: a message telling me I am I: just record the flowing current (shattered & reknit & fragmented from here) it said.

Eyes up I thought as glass underwater raw and blinking, amen, looking into midnight’s vastness and four-times-forty balls of dynamite going bang-bang-b-b-bang shattered into six-hundred-and-nine falling sparks (many of holy azure).

All but one faded.

Skyrockets lit by the dozen, more of them, whizzed thru the dark exploding like spokes of a gigantic pushbike wheel: or no: simply doing what pyrotechnics are designed for.

Imagine orbits aflame as brightness clear.

The courtyard smelled peppery and ten crackles went off in my left ear, a dozen bangs in the right, some close, some afar and a constant hizzing which is different to hissing, a splitting of the air followed all that echoes is what I recall. Faded. I had a joint, a few drags of a little one-skin of strong lemony green I smoked a bit paranoidly. The chemicals in the brain reacted with the chemicals in the bud. Made me feel emotionally skinless.

Sketchily in udder words I stood on a balcony as loads of fireworks went off. Pincered between two fingers I had a spliff, which I lit the end of and the smell was the smell. Pincered yes, because I’m a freak.

Good job I’d not been chatting, cos a shadow in the stairwell moved. The sole of a shoe scuffed the floor and I glanced at a man three-length-of-an-arm-away, his profile swigging from a beer bottle and he seemed unaware I’d clocked. Dunno who he was, leaning over the balustrade of the open inlet next to my room but he spat, down on the courtyard and then we raised our heads to the fizzles, our eyes on a single ball of light exploding into countless blue sparks. All bar one faded. Then over the beat of three cracks the man said something ending in O.

Hey there, I said.

Darkened but visible he lifted the bottle (or can of) as we said: Happy cosmos.

I don’t see you with a drink, he said. Would you like a beer?

Err nah thanks I’m alright.

I have many-many beers in my room.

No worries.

Would you like?

I’m okay ta.

Just one beer on a special night, he said to himself and is it okay or unokay to add: he sounded Indian and I ignored him?

Alone like me, I thought inside a swallowing pause and my urge was to watch another batch of skyrockets whizz and explode which we did until (pressing) X and O returned me to my cocoon where I could blank the celebrations and chill on the mattress with the radio playing loudish in combat against another man, guy nextdoor who invited friends, their hammering voices and voices from rooms below and above, from the wasteland outside, you’d hear yacking on-n-off, different levels of chat and bumps and footfalls and doors and music dominated the airspace and only from three to around six-pm a lull and three to eight in the morning another lull so yeah, that’s why the radio was always blaring, volume a third up the dial: ICESTURM, a local techno station, no news nor ads, just mainly constant hardcore as I read a few Cantos: unsure what ones but I came to the zone to learn about poetry and you can get plenty of juice out of Pound whose stuff is pure erudite but like Fall lyrics the pleasure is besides understanding only I was intrigued by EP playing the wily Odysseus and how he wrote, how he designed the poem as a kind of hell of history, blending old Greece, Confucius and old China, Ovid and Dante, Empire, economics, cubism and even a kind of proto-fashwave I thought interweaving his wild troubadour life thru London and Paris and Rapallo with Dorothy and the Disciplinary Training Center alone, three weeks locked in a chicken cage followed by St. Elizabeth’s brain hospital, he wrote using concrete specifics not all yawped but some yawped: after a cold platter of I forget but this was my multigrain-rolls-with-cheese-n-sliced-balls-of-jarred-beetroot phase. I dunno. I stored perishables on the balcony cos of a no-fridge situation. It was a primitive period of my life and after a snack, watching some forgettable podcast I rolled a joint and boiled the kettle for a cuppa and went back on the laptop, looked at my feed, checking what various rival poets had posted lately and I felt myself sneer at their presences so after my smoke I got a pencil and drew on the wall next to the headboard a tiny-tiny diagram: ending as a freestyle scribble inside a circle inside a triangle inside a circle inside an outer triangle and this documents my first being a synth addict here in the zone, when I struggled in and weaselled myself out of a scary little hole, yet at least graduated from the Rothko school of fiction school in fact is why the flow is primordial and zigzagging, squelching like any bass machine whose I in the eyeball thinks instinctual: of always the same: a Stasi-grey morning, winter: the first asleep meant I missed the fog but felt beautiful wrapped in the quilt’s fuzz, to open my eyes and close completely cocooned from people and yeah: the phone said three-pm when I fully woke but like the skyrockets at midnight, the new day flashes (like the spool within sees) thru pale slits of curtained window: it melts into me knowing one detail: I was exhausted cos daily for the past month I’d trekked to the clinic (a thirty to forty-five minute trainride) and you gotta attend by midday to neck the synthesis and if I’m to record this flowing current to the tee, I should add that evening, 01/01: I played We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves again-n-again because of the iceberg effects and the pneumatic Hannett drums and the dead as I looked thru the fat Pound book and I used an annotations website cos the poem is a kind of detective puzzle filled with dusty references and I was curious as to who is Pietro Leopoldo (a monarch, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduke of Austria 1790 to 1792, Grand Duke of Tuscany 1765 to 1790) and went down a carillons rabbithole: they’re bells. Think then I ate some grub watching some cosy Harold Bloom interview. Then opened The Pound Era. Got bored though, bit tired and watched The Sopranos (last of series four) because in one scene, to the swell of ash sky behind Johnny Sack’s head, I floated languid thinking about HBO realism. And I dunno. I never fully know. I ain’t ever one-hundred percent sure of much of anything. 

Earlier. Football. Man City bet Liverpool I think.

Online will tell what game I streamed cos I remember a game streamed. Remember thinking about Odysseus on a ship and the apartment building I was in being a ship, it comforted. 

First whole day without leaving the cabin. Hear me drone. How the passage outside had six doors and behind three of these white dorm-style doors were I was gonna call them animals but they were just guys, young men, I was twenty years older almost than the two in one room, two in another shared for economic reasons and plus my neighbour and his friends, every evening into every night they talked, almost yelled with the root fucking power to seep thru plaster and breezeblock and my skull I thought. They trod past, never shut up, prattling on the phone, echoing into that (shithole of shitholes) bathroom. I did a few times but none of those lax gits ever cleaned. The constant pool of water on the floor, the pubes stuck to the tiles, sink and taps covered in shaved face-hair, a ring of scum encrusting the bathtub. Skids as well smeared the inside of the bog’s ceramic throat. To a couple of them a couple of times I pointed out and explained the usefulness of the toilet brush. They were I dunno. And the punch I recall walking into raw sewage tang wafting down your throat before you’d be or I would be (often was) startled by a freshly curled stool floating brown in the pan. This is my realism. Microbes.

Least the flies loved it. That little greenbottle exploring the bristles of not my toothbrush one morning when I scoffed, went ha-ha, there’s a good Seth Brundle.

Was I happy?

No and yeah: my mood was bolstered by the idea: synth is god.

. . .