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Wednesday/Thursday, March 20-21, 2019   I  started  writing  this  digital  magazine  by  myself  back  in  September of last year.  Since  then,  I’ve  been  traveling  around  the  world.  At  the  end  of  October,  I  left  my  apartment  of three years in South Philly. There was a hole in the ceiling in the kitchen.  Just  before  I  left,  it  had  caved  in  from  years  of  water  dripping  in  from  the  roof,  on  and  off,  for  pretty  much  the  entire  duration  of  my  tenancy.  My  landlord,  that  fucker,  didn’t give two shits about fixing any problems. All he cared about was money.  And  that  is  one  of  the  lasting  effects  of  American  supremacy  that  seems  to  be  wilting the entire planet into extinction.  For  example,  earlier  today  I  nearly  got  into  a  fistfight  with  a  Vietnamese  street  vendor  who  was  serving  my  girlfriend  some  durian  (fruit)  when  we  were  heading  to  the  beach.  The  man  wanted  triple  the  price  what  my  girlfriend  originally  thought  the  durian  would  cost.  He  weighed  it  out  and  of  course,  he  included  the skin of the fruit.  They  like  to  raise  prices,  here,  the  Vietnamese  people who make a living off of selling  things  to  tourists.  They  wait  for  any  little  instance  to  screw  you  over.  Sometimes,  hookers  even  reach  into  your  wallet  when  you’re  drunk.  But  that’s  a  whole  other  story.  When he wouldn’t take no for an answer, he started following my girlfriend and  I.  And  when  I  turned  my  back,  he  grabbed  her arm. She nearly screamed. There were  groups  of  people  watching  and  a  man  had  even  been  filming  the  entire  scene.  A  woman  had  come  over,  as  well,  to  try  and  arbitrate  the  proceedings.  As  my girlfriend  walked  away,  I  placed  my  helmet,  wallet,  and  keys  onto  the  ground  and  then  I  came  back  to  him.  What  transpired  then is my own business, but I will say this. He changed  his tune. And I think I frightened about 18 people in the process.  Extinction  is  weird.  Human  beings  seem  to  have  become  so  callous,  all  throughout  the  world—I’ve  noticed  in  my  travels  these  last  few  months—that  it  shows  in  their  demeanor  and  how  they  deal  with  other  human  beings.  When I pulled  out  the  money  to  help  my  girlfriend  out  of  a  bad  situation  that  was  instigated  from  miscommunication,  I  thought  how  pointless  it  all seemed. Why not toilet paper? Why  not  rocks  or  stones  or  empty  beer  bottles?  What  did  it  really  matter  to  be  in  possession  of  so  many  bills  with  dudes’  faces  on  it  if  a  simple  transaction  could  end  up in a fist fight that went viral on hundreds of thousands of Asians’ timelines?  I  picked  her  up  on  the  bike  after  we  cooled down from a potentially ugly fight.  I didn’t want that! She cried. I relented.  We went to the beach, finally. Elsewhere.  And talked about it.  A few hours later, we had a great meal together. 


An hour or so after that, we had the best sex we’d ever had together.


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THE END OF THE WORLD IS FINE WITH ME   I  was  drinking  lagers.  Pilsners.  Pale  ales. IPAs. And listening to lots of classical music.  I was painting too—at night. Nobody was around. What I mean by that is, no women.  I’d  grown  up  in  New  Jersey.  So  I  was used to talking bullshit with my friends. We got  together  on  the  weekends  after  years  of  partying.  Somewhere  along  the  line  …  yikes  …  that  sounds  a  little cliche. Sometime throughout our years of hanging out together,  we  started  bullshitting  about  politics.  Though  I  never  got  involved.  I  didn’t  want  to  talk  about  that  sort  of  thing.  I  didn’t  know  what  the  hell  I  wanted.  So  merely,  I  listened.  It  was  one  night,  after  a  concert  I  guess.  In  the  middle of summer. We were in  our  twenties.  No,  now  that  I  think  about  it.  It  was  a  night  when  there  was  nothing  going  on.  We  had  nothing  better  to  do.  We  loaded  my  friend’s  truck  full  of  beer  and  we headed out to the woods.  “When do you think this galaxy is going to explode?”  “What?”  My  friend  was  drawing  in  a  deep  breath  and  exhaling  a large cloud of  pot smoke. “What the fuck made you want to ask me something like that?”  He looked at me with a grin on his face. I felt stupid.  “Nothing. I guess it’s the weed.”  I  took  another  hit.  We  were  on  one  of  those  New  Jersey  roads.  You know the  kind,  one  that  was  sure  to  be  flooded  eventually  and  there  would  never  be  anything  anybody could do about it. Ever.  “What do you think is going to happen to our hometown after we’re gone?”  “What do you mean?”  “I mean, what do you think is going to happen?”  “What I think is going to happen is I’m going to get to Brody’s house and we’re  going  to  pack  this  bowl.” My friend laughed at his own joke. I looked out the window  and  wondered.  The  trees  whirling  by  the  window.  Everything  was  dark,  serene  and  peaceful.  “Did you hear about those floods?”  “Where?”  “Everywhere.”  “Yeah. So what?”  “Right down from the Mississippi River.”  “We’re far away from there.”  “And floods in Mozambique. Madagascar.”  “Dude.”  “And I think there were floods in the Philippines too.” 


“So what?  Are  you  going  to  build  a  bunker now? Put some fucking pickles in a  jar.”  I laughed.  “Where are your cigarettes?”  “I  stopped  smoking,  man,”  my  friend  said  to  me  as  he  pulled  out  two  cigarettes.  We lit up and watched the road in front of us.  When  we  got  to  Brody’s  house,  the  door  was  open.  We  walked  in  and  all  the  lights were off.  “BRODY!  YO,  YOU  FUCKING  FLYPAPER  SACK  OF  SHIT.  WHERE  THE  HELL  ARE  YOU?  PROBABLY  UPSTAIRS  IN  YOUR  ROOM  JACKIN’  OFF!”  Brody  was  in  the  corner  of  his  living  room  playing  two  computer  games  at  once.  “What the fuck is going on in here?”  “I’m playing this game…” Brody spoke absent-mindedly.  “Yo,”  he  said  after  a  few  moments,  my friend and I had settled onto the couch  with  the  case  of  beer  and  we  began  opening  bottles,  one  after  the  other,  and pouring  the  contents down our throats. Gulp, gulp. Beer was good. Beer was better than good.  Beer  was  everything.  I  felt  alive. Like spinach to Popeye. Where was my Ursula? Wait,  wrong fairy tale. I threw an empty bottle on the floor.  “Dude, my floor is not a trash can. Pick that up.”  I knew Brody was joking.  “Can you pause that shit?”  “What?”  “Let’s smoke this bowl.”  We  did  that.  The  lights  remained  off.  The  TV  was  on  too.  A  large  flat  screen  playing some infomercial about pots and pans. And knives.  “Dude, look at that knife!”  “Yeah.”  “Fuck knives.”  “What do you mean?”  “I think we all need a gun.”  “A gun?”  “Yes.”  “I never even shot a gun.”  “It’s probably a good time to get a gun.”  Coughing. 


“What the  fuck  are  you  going  to  do  with  a  gun?”  Brody  was  nonplussed  with  my  friend’s response. The coughing. It bothered him. “And why don’t you smoke that  shit outside? You fucking hippie.”  My  friend  and  I  laughed.  By  the  way,  his  name  is  Chairman  Shaw, but you can  call  him  The  Weed  Man.  Or,  if  it’s  easier,  Hosanna  on  High.  Just  call  him  Justin,  or  Jake, or Bob, or Marley. Yeah. There we go.  Marley  and  I  went  out  back.  The  trees  were  glistening  in  the  wind.  Trying  to  speak  to  us.  But  we  were  too  sober  and  we  didn’t  have  ancient  ways  of  communicating  with  other  creatures.  We  smoked  and  lit  up  cigarettes.  Brody  came  outside, shutting the door behind him. The case of beer was out there too. Glorious.  We started drinking. I let them talk, talk, talk.  “So what do you think of Trump?”  Marley laughed.  “Dude, it’s over.”  “What’s over?”  “Everything.”  “What?”  “America’s finished.”  Brody laughed. I peeled off the skin of one of the bottles.  “What are you talking about, ‘finished’?”  “I mean, it’s done.”  “So no more soccer or Playboy?”  Marley let out a laugh, in spite of himself.  “Especially no Playboy!”  We all laughed.  The  moon  was  hiding  behind  the  clouds.  It  was  springtime,  or  Autumn,  or  maybe  it  was  another  dimension  and  our  brains were strapped into our chairs and the  only  movement  we  could  really  make  was  from  the  porch  to  the  bathroom,  back  to  the beer bottle. Was that heaven or hell? I couldn’t make up my mind about it.  “So  you  think  it’s  all  over?  Just,  America,  democracy,  the  country,  our  economy. Everything. It’s done.”  “Dude, of course it is. Just look at Algeria.”  “What about Algeria?”  “And  Spain.  And  France.  They’ve  been  protesting  about  taxes  for  over  three  months now.”  “Yeah, so what?”  Brody took a big sip of his beer.  “And don’t forget about Andalusia,” I chimed in. 


“They’re building  fortresses  underground,”  Marley  continued,  “they  have  satellites  and computer systems interconnected with military bases all across the globe.  They’ve  got  this  shit  on  lockdown.  As  soon  as  they’re  ready  to  stabilize  their  shit,  they’re going to strike.”  “What the fuck are you talking about, man?”  “They’ve got underground missiles, dude!”  “I have no idea what that means.”  “It means, I’m fucking with you, bro!”  “What?”  “They’re fucking with ​us!”  We all laughed, uneasily.  “Who wants another beer?”  I handed them out, all around.  “Trump said he’d be pulling outta Syria.”  “No, he isn’t.”  “More bombs?”  “Yes! Dude…”  “Now, I’m fucking with YOU.”  “I’m serious, bro. They’re setting up the world for this shit.”  “What shit?”  “For an End of the World scenario.”  “Yeah?” Brody scoffed. “And what happens then?”  “They got generators,” I said.  They both laughed.  “I mean, they’re setting up all these oil pipelines. Plus, they got a security grid in  place. For dissidents. They got eye scanners, thumb scanners.”  “Biometrics,” said I.  “Exactly,” Marley responded.  “You mean, the shit they use in Afghanistan?”  “I  mean,  the  shit  they  use  at  restaurants  in  America.  I  mean,  the  shit  they  use  everywhere.”  “They?”  “Them.”  “Us?”  “No.”  “Then who?”  “Whom,” I said. “Actually, it’s…”  “Shut up, dude.” Marley grinned at me.  “It’s true, bro. Look it up,” he said. 


“I can’t  tell  if  you’re  being  serious  or  not,”  Brody  said,  finally.  We  were  sitting  in  silence  for  a  few  seconds  and  you  could  hear  the  crickets.  You  could  hear  the  ice  cracking  and melting in the background. You could actually hear the screams and cries  of the little mosquitoes hurdling around us, buzzing, sucking our blood.  “Man, I’m gettin’ bit!” I said.  “Yeah, me too.”  “I thought the insects were dying out.”  Brody and Marley laughed. I felt good.  We each had another beer. Marley passed around the piece.  “You know they can control the weather too…”  “Oh, shut the fuck up, dude.”  Brody took the bowl and dragged on it, lighting the top of the weed. I saw a big  cloud of smoke forming above his noggin.  “This is all fake,” said I, taking the bowl.  “This isn’t really happening.”  They both looked at me.  I  took  one  of  my  empty  beer  bottles  after  smoking  the  bowl  and  I  heaved  the  empty bottle at the moon.  There was silence. For a few moments. Then, there was a loud crash.  “Dude,”  Brody  said  calmly  as  a  mouse,  “why  did  you  just  hurl  an  empty  beer  bottle into my neighbor’s backyard, right at their house?”  “Because,” I said, “none of this is real.”  “What is this? The fucking Matrix.”  A  light  came  on  in  the  yard  behind  us.  The  three  of  us  hustled  into  Brody’s  house, taking the beer with us.     


life   even  if  the electrical grid  collapses  under  its own  weight  I  will still feel  good  about  the  life  that I  have  lived.   


self-indulgent   yeah, so what?  so was Mozart  so are these winding steps leading to the first day of spring  I hear classical guitar now as a beautiful woman sleeps in a bed a few feet away from  me typing late into the night  I’m drinking beer and uncorking the bottle with thoughts of  how I’ll be able to explain myself to  her  without  feeling like  I’m being  manipulative    this cross-hairs I keep on my own  skull  numb  from the endless discourse  of the world getting nowhere  just more conversations on a podcast or social media—bullshit  like my own!    and I enjoy it, every day  or at least in this last poem  of the night  about nothing,  really    and I can drink the remainder of this bottle  at 1 AM  slowly listening to the peaceful sounds of her  sleeping  without me  next to  her.   


she takes pills, the pills take her   she’s young and the discourse that surrounds her is boring as a toad’s dick  she can’t stand her parents  they fight all the time  they want her to find some direction, she’s 25  “when are you going to start your life?” they ask her  she likes music  she wants to fall in love  she doesn’t succeed in anything  it’s almost like she hates herself  and  she doesn’t know why—she feels like she’s  wasting  her life  and she kinda is, the narrator says, lifting slightly his thigh to fart on the couch  she takes pills to rid herself of the guilt that’s been placed on her shoulders since she  was three years old  she sees colors  traces them with her fingers in the air  she’s touching something, she believes  it’s like her dream is right there in front of her but she cannot reach it  so she swallows more of her own  bullshit  there’s always an excuse for everything  and she falls in line, pill after pill after pill, swallowing them whole, never inducing any  self-reflection—it’s just a way of keeping herself calm, that’s what she  tells herself  and in the morning before getting ready to go to a job she can’t stand  she stares at the ceiling above her, everything white  “stop looking down at me,” she says  then she gets outta bed and tosses some pills into her hand from an orange bottle she  keeps next to her at all times, all day long  she’s stressed out and it shows in her hair, this static electricity fuzz  and she doesn’t care, quite simply—she doesn’t give  a fuck, and that’s when she gets into the bathroom, sits on the toilet  can’t shit  why bother? 


she gets into the shower and thinks of a boy  I mean, I guess he’s kinda cute  he used to tell her things  she ignored him  fuck  what did he know, anyway?  she gets out of the shower  wet  stained  divorced  cold  who the hell  ripped  her heart  out of  her?    probably  some careless bastard  who never cared about  anything  except for  himself    and that’s how it spreads  without reciprocation    she swallows a pill  and gets nothing out of it  but more  of the same    she thinks about it, though  on her way to work  how to get back to the person she used to be  unique  an individual 


selfless, full of heart soul  color  the colors  those colors she used to trace with her fingers in the sky    where  did  they  go? 


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you fucking hypocrite, you liar, you degenerate, you sack of shit    he was a war criminal after a few days in office  giving the OK for an assault somewhere in the backwaters of Yemen  and a little girl was killed as the U.S. military—the best forces the world has ever had  to offer, they killed some goats, civilians, people who can’t read  and a little girl, maybe three, four or five years old—wasn’t she an American citizen?    and then he was off to Saudi Arabia to suck their cheese  the CIA and the State Department gave them medals  they honor those, of course, who make investments in our  weapons, gold, securities, bonds, futures—we need their oil  cheap  keep the masses enthralled with selfie sticks, Netflix, Amazon, etc.  back on the homeland, at Trump towers  the Saudis came to lobby the U.S. Congress into looking the other way  when it came to 28 pages of a report that would’ve implicated their role  in funding the 9/11 hijackers—veterans and active-service military members were  there and they didn’t know why they got drunk on a Saudi-funded catering spree  “it was funded all by the Saudis,” some liquor-fueled Sergeant or Captain lifted his  bottle into the air and let it spew out of him: “we’re covering up their  crimes”  and at Trump towers, they drank themselves into the night  while the Saudis got away  with murder and they were in collusion with U.S. criminals  who would rather block the justice system from collapsing around them  instead of holding themselves accountable  for whatever they were doing behind the curtain draped endlessly over the public’s eye  a stupid, meaningless song  sung by liars, bastards, soulless cocksuckers with nothing on their minds  except for a bigger boat, a better quarter with higher profits  as Trump golf courses in Ireland and Scotland get big walls built around them  to be protected by the rising seas—we know this from Wikileaks  the powerful take up two positions: one for the public, one for their private lives  where they all work together to protect themselves, their bank accounts 


tossing the working sucker out on his ass, into the rain, off the boat weren’t we all American citizens?    and it wasn’t long before the Trump Dynasty was taking the reign to control the  future, giving no—selling—nuclear secrets to the Saudis  getting stuck in-between the hundred years of war the division of  Muhammed  who was the prophet anyway?  Iran  and Saudi Arabia  two sides  we chose  the side  who invested in our future  of  permanent war  wars for oil  oil and water  wars for water, and food, and sand blowing up from sub-Saharan Africa  China blowing on the coals, Russia scratching its head and balls  who is going to get pipelines into Eastern Europe? through Syria, Turkey, and the  Caspian Sea? and what about the wars extended by Trump—into Somalia and Niger  military bases being set up without the public’s knowledge, no outcry until another  soldier  is killed in battle  against a Forever enemy  “both sides!” he cries out  “they are playing at both sides”  and he won’t be home for Christmas  but the President and his Cabinet will be  and they will write op-eds about the bravery they ignored  to get rich  their donors prefer profits  over  freedom  and the legacy of America  will be a smoking pit of debt and destruction  and nobody 


will be satisfied coz they’re all pigs, liars, scum, bastards—it’s like I said before  nobody wins  when the whole world is at stake  so they take up arms  to protect their delusions  while I wait it out, watching from the sidelines  like everybody  else    I don’t wanna  think  about it    I’m gonna get myself a good lawyer  and stand on the top of some skyscraper  with a magnifying glass  and ten cases of Vietnamese beer, cheap cans and big bottles  a typewriter  and a calendar  with the days stretching out forward in front of me  days of sunshine  days of rain  days of speaking French, Mandarin, Italian, English, Vietnamese    days where the Heimlich maneuver is in the back of my mind  but my sleepless, dancing steps  will fix my mind  staring out in every direction  writing furiously  as the clouds darken  and a big, burning American flag goes streaking into the sky—that’s where I’ll always  be  looking  up to the clouds  or maybe it’s a cloudless sky  and I’m drinking beer after beer on the beach, barefoot, no cell phone, no shirt  a little bit of money in my pocket, finally—for once 


ignoring the bad news until I get back on my tower  writing these stupid words, like the stupid, degenerate liar I really am. 


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Profile for Bryan William Myers

Everything We Are Taught Is False #6  

EWATIF #6 - Avoiding fistfights, making love. A short story about the End of the Wold. Some poems, including one about the liar, degenerate,...

Everything We Are Taught Is False #6  

EWATIF #6 - Avoiding fistfights, making love. A short story about the End of the Wold. Some poems, including one about the liar, degenerate,...

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