And You Fall Out of Everything You died the same day as the rest of the world and in much the same fashionâ€” succumbing to barely fathomable arrogance and abominable substances.
WORLDS OF RUIN b.r. yeager
FIVE QUARTERLY CHAPBOOKS
6…..Rupture Marketing & PR 7…..Ico in High School 8…..108 Stars Once Dreamed 9…..Thy Next Foe 11...Hellhouse I: Civ II vs. FFVI 12...Hellhouse II: Splattered 14...Hellhouse III: Bury You In King’s Field 15...Hellhouse IV: Escape from Hellhouse VII 16...X: Touch Bloodstain 18...Aneurysm and Heaven Smiles 20...Burnt Out Nihil Tao 22...Finishing 23...Dead Dogs of Vice City 26...Real Feral 27...Been Limbo 28..._______ to a __ ______ _______ ____
Rupture Marketing & PR How do we persuade consumers to fully integrate genocide into their daily lives? Make them relish it. Foreign meat. New and tasty. Teach them. Make them beg. Make it necessity. Make them suck between familiar muscle and cartilage for their bread. Make everyone beneath everyone and choke their air and soil. Make it luxury. Make it inescapable. And tomorrow weâ€™ll all be rich sons of bitches.
Ico in High School I came for her. I love her. I think. I think I love her because she believes she needs me. I believe she believes she needs me. I love her because she only knows iron bars and phantoms asleep in wall and floor. She stays with me. She doesn’t know better than me. I love her because she doesn’t know anyone better than me. She takes my hand and lets me pull her. Hand in hand over stone and grass. Phantoms sleep, and when they wake they’ll tear at the skin on our arms. Tear at our skin til it breaks. Tear at her midsection and pull her into dark. Fresh hell—the one she grew up with. My fingers wrap her palm and drag her over balconies and catwalks. She doesn’t speak. Her form is of someone I schooled with—someone I loved. I think. Only her form, and her face when I squint through the light in her skin. The one I loved (I think) sat close at bus stops; rested head against shoulder. Said young and beautiful things. Knew better than me, and went close but away. Not the woman with light in her skin. Only her form and face. I came for her—a shell of a girl I loved (I think). A form and face that doesn’t speak—who won’t scream when I drag her by the wrist; when she feels her elbow pull at the socket. A woman who doesn’t know anyone better than me; who doesn’t go close but away; who only knows iron bars and phantoms asleep in wall and floor.
108 Stars Once Dreamed I played it again cusp of â€œholy-shit-real-adulthood.â€? It had to have been 17 years (at least) ((jesus I must have been 12)) and everything I remembered was gone. The people and creatures I adored and savaged; the mountain paths caked in frost; the river water running over my body. Just dream from back when, un-owned and out-of-print and priceless. Even with eBay or Amazon Prime.
Thy Next Foe I didnâ€™t watch her body fail. She collapsed convulsed and went limp the day she stopped moving and melody and syntax left her identity. They say. Is still a her inside. Parts trapped ideas and wants and phobias slumber behind rib and skull. Intangibles heavy in body. Assurance of a foreign God is all. And sword and bow and steed. Dry lit ground and metal glint light guide. Mammals starved dehydrated bone and then dust lifetimes prior to arrival. Tremored earth and the last beautiful things in this world. Scale drab mottled furs run hands â€˜cross hide cling stone arch. Gape bead eyes flit aquamarine to crimson. Slide above weakness. Blade slip and bathe in black mist. Storm colored.
Feel body run hollow. Stricken from earth. Unrecorded. Unremembered. The last beautiful things in this world. Black serpents through air and body til I is lost and return. For a body with a her inside hanging heavy behind rib and temple all other beauty in this world could erode and I would sleep just fine.
Hellhouse I: Civ II vs. FFVI 4:00 AM and ROOMMATE makes WORLD end. SHELLING from his room to mine. This is modern artillery. Use SCREAMS for SUCCESS and SPITE. Combine with GRAIN ALCOHOL to make HORROR. Preserving what’s left. Thanklessly. There were twelve: an AMNESIAC, a THIEF and a KING; a BRAWLER, a NINJA, a SAMURAI; a SOLDIER, a WILD BOY, and ANIMAL; a GAMBLER, a MAGE, his GRANDDAUGHTER WHO PAINTS. During now is only the SOLDIER; the oceans like dry blood. CATCH FISH; await age. SHELLING low GROWLS between and through wall. WINSTON ASH in and between SHEETS. Thought/Monologue equal to light the mattress and lock the front and backs. SOLDIER pulls the dead man’s raft; pushes away dry blood water, a year apart from everything beautiful and familiar. SHELLING behind walls. Cig heat scrapes knuckle. World already ended don’t act like you don’t know. The SOLDIER’s friends are there. Scavenge grave and ghost—traces of people made whole prior to dissolve. ROOMATE PILLAGE cities SALTS lands KILLS men and women and children for RESOURCE. Cemetery swells land ebbs. My body is two stacked box springs and a 10” screen: IDIOT moving ROCKS. Sun creeps tree line orange and pink. Nothing like blood, killings, shelling, planet’s ache, blurs dry hum. The people in our world’s margins revive. Cig cherry tip black. No mattress no drywall ablaze but still men trapped inside. The world ended in three bedrooms and I’m the only one knowing for sure.
Hellhouse II: Splattered Five years and something terrible inside the Dead Mall Papa Gino’s. Wooden box towering mom and dad; familiar but ugly plus wrong. Box is screams crushed degraded and a tiny body behind mother’s legs. A house in the box, and blood and things worse than blood. Things muscular and violent and base. Family in corner booth pull cheese off sauced bread red plus white. Box is moans plus screams plus tries not to cry. And eight years. And found the house inside the box again. Smaller; enough to fill both hands. Enough to live with a friend. A house inside a house, and blood and things worse than blood. Older eyes. Look inside. Engage with. And voice a woman’s—sickening approximation. Choked bleated vowels excusing all following. Animals infected reds and purples. Alien. Damaged shamble upright. Fingers feel buttons turn animals wet plus crumpled piles. It’s a man’s bare hands. And worms atop worms. And burlap faces. And dead strangled child slashing scissors with thoughts. Beings I can’t see scream at knuckles’ graze. Tiny Hell. Enough to fill hands. Parents back, in the out real dark. Pressed mine body to backseat. Things seen things done and on and so. And plus one year. House inside the box again. Plus with my wife and a child. And I can’t find. I can’t find my wife and my child. And don’t understand. And bodies writhe. And shark teeth in fat. And I can’t find my wife. I can’t find my wife and child. And it’s ugliness over her. And it’s her familiar crumpled wet. And it’s a child’s hands. And the box is quiet. The box inside the house inside the box. And abandoned children. And inadequacy. And how much it must hurt to see. And weeped thermal sleeves and not ever enough sleep. And twenty-seven years. Plus two makes three and a sectioned-off house. A house outside a box. And toilet pipes breach floors plus soak cabinets. And equals plates plus bowls flipped septic. And palm-size spiders nesting in corners. And killing them with toxins and tough shapes. A third of us bellows plus howls in the dark. Slams objects into other objects. Muscular and violent and base. Never words. Pre-man. Eyes through my body, at things and movement I cannot see. Halls rot sticky and urine pungent. Urine legacy.
So roam planets beneath glass. Stop thinking plus breathing. Do not crawl out the windows. Try and save. And make animals decrepit crumpled wet. And clutch stomach twisted bloated. And listen though the walls. Listen crushed degraded. Listen. Itâ€™s life lasting forever.
Hellhouse III: Bury You In King’s Field After your life I buried you messages in purple CD-Rs and seven thousand word horror stories. I took four bars of music, stitched a loop and barked at your burial plot. Never celebrate a dead friend. You couldn’t hear. Not there. Probably feeling pretty deaf and stupid beneath the earth. So I drag your body to the island I was the last person to find. I crawl atop a water and serpent-ringed tower and step onto air, one foot in front of the other. When I hit the ground I’ll scream. It will be the worst sound you’ve ever heard and you’ll beg me over and over to stop.
Hellhouse IV: Escape from Hellhouse VII 4:00 AM and roommate makes world end. Same stacked box springs. Same branded cig. (That’s called loyalty). Changed landscape. Dying. Everyone says. Planet’s dying. From inside. Couldn’t care less. All familiar. Scoured before, over and again. The woman shares name with someone I thought I loved. Loved so much I’d shake. She tells me about trains wormed through city veins. City named with a dead word. Boxes making people and buildings evaporate. She’s bright and kind and in hours will go to pieces under seven hundred and seventy-seven tons of steel and concrete. Couldn’t care less. The woman sells flowers where people starve. Requests protection. Acceptance. We don’t fit and she doesn’t need me. Agreement. Slivered steel pierces rips womb and that’s hours away. I watch it all and couldn’t care less. The woman who props me up. The woman I haven’t met yet. But know. She will stay by my bed with my brain dying. She waits on fated planets behind a window in a box. In front of a wall with bursts the sound of no sleep ever. Tell me I won’t succeed. My efforts will fall to waste. The world will blink out, like the ones I’ve loved who crumple and fold. Tell me he will light the world afire, and I will let him so I can finally get to sleep. The woman I haven’t met won’t let him. She props me up; sits by my bed with my brain dying. She tells me my state isn’t fixed; there is no rope binding my wrists; there is always a window to climb out of. She can save herself and find a place she loves before the world dissolves. She stays, even during times I turn cruel and out of phase. I leave behind her steps—back facing the bursts behind my wall and his damage. I leave before he covers himself in gasoline and sets himself ablaze. The fire in his skin and hair. I can’t see it but I know it’s happening. I can’t see it because we’re already so far away.
X: Touch Bloodstain You made a mistake. Fall backward off the platform to water oil black. The muscle-riddled butcher with the bodylength blade. Panic. Feel the weight; the water ringing your body. Jerk in each direction. Glimpse the stone leading back to platform. Lurch. Press against the water. Hear the dogs. Feel your chest tighten. Familiarize the sweat beneath your armpits. Watch the/your body ash. Return to fire. As before, as again. Set the controller down on the coffee table and open the door to your porch. Feel your hands shake around the lighter; the cigarette. Realize it’s three times before your arm’s steadied enough to light. Return. Return to the towers. The ghetto for people with no skin. Kill wild dogs that shamble in the street. Kill the strafing assassins. Open doors and descend. No pause. Just repeat. Everything as it was before. Touch the bloodstain. A ghost appears. Somebody died here. Descend. The dragon has no insides. Chop at feet and side and become consumed. Succumb and return. Succumb and return and and and. Chop at feet and tail until the other falls apart and falls to ash. Collect and descend and forget everything you learned from the sunshine. And all men are deformed. And it is a body as close on the scaffolding of the worst place in the world. Raise shield and circle and press blade between vertebrae. Slide down filth walls and duck beneath bridges where shrieks still echo. Feel your weight. Steel plate and mail—the you of your substance. And the humanity is skin. And fire security and memory. Touch the bloodstain. A ghost appears. So many died here. Descend. The swamp at the bottom of the worst place in the world and the insects with children’s faces. Yellow bloat. Infection. Wade to your knees. Feel the water in your blood and your hands across cadaver white. Get to fire and keep forgetting the sun. And the woman wrapped in dried eggs. Listen. The stillborn gifting body with agony. Listen. And listen. And listen and leave. Touch the bloodstain. Crawl to sunlight. And a lifetime later and ago a drowned city. Clawed bodies scaled to oxygen, locked eternal in drown. The dead women with babies to their breasts and scream lightning down to earth
and float above drowned kings asleep in the place beyond this and anything you’ve seen or dreamed. Succumb and wrap them in fire and return. It’s so clear you made a mistake. Touch the bloodstain. Look at who died here. Pray. For nothing returned. Listen. Watch the world crumple—so slow you can barely see it happening. And set the controller on the table. Forget. Try. Depart to where land ebbs away. Where air burns clouded and foul. Where crops run tainted. Where free men push words and bodies on the women who speak. Where free men shoot children in the street. Watch the world crumple. So slow you can’t even see. Smoke. Clean. Sleep. Dream. Of the people with no skin. Of smogged air. Of jaws on your throat. Of naked threats. Of dragons without insides. Of bullet-filled children. Of oily water. Of creatures gone extinct. Of days without sun. Of poisoned farmlands. Of bodies wrapped in eggs. Of tightness in your chest. Dream of impotence. Let the bloodstain on your fingers. See the ghosts. Feel the people who died here. Listen to what they have to tell you.
Aneurysm and Heaven Smiles Seven killers embodied blood at war with Heaven. Body frail no blood. Blood handler gloves like wolf hands can’t and I can’t control body. Hallway beasts all clear and faint giggle ape waddles. Blow ups in bodies and real wrong all with the blood. Blood is all yeah that’s great. In stagnant air. Crawls in pores. Monster skin all fire burns and thick rich blood all real engorged. We are in a tight spot (It is very dangerous). There are those who would rather be dead so thank you. Welcome or not. Blood mask (man) leans chalk lines hocks doggy bags. Fuck myself. (It’s a message). A toilet full of water. No voices. All miss their insides. And a quick body shifts. I changed my make up, did you notice? Double doors and nausea blue—a color of migraines. A color of Grasshopper jism. 18
Weird scent nostalgic. Plastic egg sac stuffed blast. Monster all egg til giggles. Laughing flat. Everything blood thick blood thick blood. And bodies atop my bodies burst and vortex. Face screams til snapping halves. And moments before my brain dies.
Burnt Out Nihil Tao Buddha Machine was a birthday gift. Carried it everywhere. And after the car stereo shit the bed, just dug the pumpkin-colored box. Flip the black switch. Cruise in infinite drone. Bed of two box springs (bottom rocked since puberty). Four pillows bend the spine in a long-term cripple position. Older. Future. 10â€? TV goes electric and live and terrible tunes crackle through dime-sized speakers. Thumbs guide cursor til Options and Sound and left on the joystick disappears the tunes. Flip black switch on the pumpkin box drive loops wrap chassis around any in my way. No one in this world means a thing to me. Traffic empty coffins rival insect minds. Checkpoints checkered flags donâ€™t scan. Just numb and blur hum collision detect. This is how Kowalski; 20
Pirsig; Patrick Bateman felt. Hot veins amphetamatized weird sociopathic Zen. 105 mph connect pillar blur colors and unravel poly twist compact snap together ghost-like. No one in this world means a thing to me. Only hum and drone.
Finishing The first time you tore the spine out my body I could barely keep from shaking. When I felt your hand sink through skin and ribs and a pluck at the heart and you rubbed it in my nose my face went flush and eyes dampened. When your hook penetrated my belly and you demanded I come to where you stood I left. I didnâ€™t tell my parents or anyone. Just laid against the door in the backseat and tried to imagine what dying feels like.
Dead Dogs of Vice City We wanted it so bad. To run chainsaws over the throats of law enforcement. To feel pedestrian bodies burst and crumple under hi-jacked tires. To leave every storefront bullet-riddled and the nightclubs flooded with hemoglobin. To leave every digital mother and father mourning their kin. We wanted it so bad, we almost let my dogs die. My parents were gone and we were alone for the weekend with the yellow Lab and Rottweiler. We pooled money and gathered a three-day feast of Doritos, Hershey Kisses and weed and still petulant, nasty little appetites were unsatisfied. “Hello, Blockbuster. This is Mick, how can I help you? Nope, uh-uh, all our copies of Vice City are out. I can…” -Click“Hello, this is Blockbuster, Roxanne speaking. No, we actually just rented out our last…” -ClickAnd so on. Until… “Vice City? Yes, it looks like we have one copy left.” -ClickThe back door slammed against our backs and we piled into my battered ’94 Camry and of course we didn’t bother to lock up the dogs because there was nothing in our minds that could possibly go wrong with three best friends in a house with the parents gone and our bodies young and our shields impenetrable. The dogs would be fine. Of course. My foot bricked the gas and rubber fishtailed on corners but there was only one copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City at the last Blockbuster in Western Mass and our priorities were well in line. No time for delicately conceived plots and reasoned activity; we were to be as Vikings or Spartans or kamikaze pilots, and it couldn’t have been a better day to die. Sliding park and doors open and slippng across the iced-over lot on worn Converse, Air Walks and Timberlands, dodging shopping carts and drivers—all mercifully more conscientious than the we. Plate-glass double doors into blue, yellow and beige warmth and heat. It was there. It was still there.
The coloring of our worlds went mono-maniacal and feverish. We screamed and high-fived and littered our sentences with fuck far too many times for a semi-respectable public establishment. We left, case in hand and cashiers thankful for adversity overcome and disasters averted. Time expanded and we slew the 45 minute ride with radio frequencies and if “More Than A Feeling” wasn’t playing when we pulled into the drive, it should have been. Converse, Air Walks and Timberlands navigated the iced concrete and steps and swung the front door back. And take and double it and gasp and heart explodes. We were fools and bastards. As it had always been, but never so definitively reflected. The dogs were not fine. Of course they were not. Doritos strewn over tile and hardwood. Weed baggy gnawed, drool-covered and devoured. And finally—carrying all the implications of a bloody handprint or the tiny metal candlesticks that come in Clue— the bag of Hershey Kisses eviscerated and vacant. “OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGod!” We all may “Whatarewegonnadowhatarewegonnadowhatarewegonnado?” or may not have “They’re gonna die! Oh my God they’re gonna die! We killed them!” bellowed in unison. And we almost did. But in spite of the noise the tightness the guilt scraping up and down my insides—a stray, miniscule stroke of… guided us to salvation. Slipped and slammed my hip in the bathroom doorway before pulling the bottle marked Hydrogen Peroxide out the medicine cabinet. Down to this. We needed to puke the dogs. We dragged the yellow Lab and Rottweiler from warm to snow, every man with a job— secured the animal by collar, held open her jaw, and I stuffed a spoonful of peroxide down the sick, stoned dog’s throat. And that we did. Dogs hate peroxide; more than I as a child, with skinned knees well-acquainted with the stuff. They shook, broke from hands, dove headfirst, through snow, plunging snout into wet and cold—over and over, flail and flail like stuck dolphins. Over and over, until a nauseous shamble and the most disgusting thing I had ever been witness to. Wads—medicine balls—poured from maws in sustained purge. The clots—the chocolate, the foil, the wrapping of bile—clung together in sick, viscous sludge and the tangible manifestation of our hubris.
All scooped the death clots into Hefty bags and smoked half-packs of favored cancer brands. All brought the animals inside and filled their bowls with crystal water. All rubbed their muscled backs and necks, behind their ears and between their joints. All tried not to cry. All ushered animals to the sunroom—the place they should have been all along—locking the door behind. All huddled around a glass pipe and smoked, and smoked, and smoked until all were just dumb, numb kids again. So we slid the platinum disc into the black box and pressed the button. The window in the box cycled through logos and menus and needless exposition. And. We drove eighteen-wheelers over half-naked bodies on sun-licked beaches. We set fire to cars with drivers buckled tight inside. We beat strangers with crowbars and baseball bats until they didn’t move anymore. We shot ambulances and bathed in cop blood. Everything we wanted so bad. So bad, we almost let my dogs die. But we didn’t and they were here and they were breathing. And because we were still children and worshipped cruel and violent gods, the denizens of Vice City became the sacrifice at the altar of our boyhoods. Better them in their world than anything in ours.
Real Feral Family drags dead cat ‘cross hard black grey. Limp paws twine teeth. Real feral. Leaves cat on paper nest plus stick our muzzles in hot wounds. A Chicken party has started in Shibuya Woods. Other animals died/dying. Cloud wet air black plus purple pushes in blood. Leave pile paper plus straw. Stretch black grey—hard plus rough on paws. Family killed ate other animals. Stomach numb plus shrinks. The Lord of the Chimps has come to Shibuya Suburbs. Drink puddles black plus purple crawls in maw. Animal family killed/ate still dead. Pearl bone no meat. Stomachs shrink nothing. Scale black grey hard plus rough. A Dinosaur has awakened in Yamanote Line West. Dry air light. Press snouts to unfamiliar plus green plume dot black grey hard plus rough. Rustle plus breath. Other animals dressed in meat. Dog-Monkey Relations have soured in Dogenzaka. Coyotes don’t know. Tear holes in their skins til they drop plus stop breathing. Stick muzzles in hot wounds plus piss on places they pissed on plus claimed. Cut to nothing. Stomach shrinks nothing. Disease has swept through Yoyogi Park East. Other animals dying. Black plus purple in blood. Family plus no bodied meat. Kill kin can’t turn bodied meat. Shrink nothing An Elephant graveyard has been found in Shibuya Station. There are structures making shadow keeping water out. There are vast and open spaces filled with bone. There are worlds beneath the ground that we can starve in. Those things and not one more. I press my snout to the cold gray wall. The grass is soft beneath my paws.
Been Limbo Color and absence and a spectrum between. The throbs of gradient dank, and moist. I am awake, in the woods. I stand between one place and another. I always stand between one place and another. A place that makes me stop breathing. A place that makes my heart stop. My thumb can go in either direction and it’s a crawled run and nothing more. Motion or not and the spectrum across dream to wake. Fall. Slow to know what’s happened, too fast to stop. Fall. Gone. Awake. Boulder underfoot. Towers above gradient. Between one place and another. One of gnarled spears—sharp and deliberate. Other of nightmares—eight-legged, amoral. Boulder underfoot, gentle pushed away spindles follow backwards roll. All stabs inky black legs. Over the gap, follow heels down over black hillside. I stand between one place and another. A place that makes me stop breathing. A place that makes my heart stop. Are children. Other children. Children who kill children. Children with strange insects in brain. Drowned children I walk on, keep water from my lungs. Just children, and cities built by men. White neon crackles and dry greenhouse, wheels and friction drag rain to soil. Bugs make brain all hot all dizzy. Hot all dizzy and. Click click long neck reach snap snap and. And I am awake. I stand between one place and another. And again pits into black. Tear and rend under blade. Fatten and swell with bullet. Lie beneath empty gray water. All happened and happening again. Happened again. Planned oh so so planned and determined. The invert; the switch. The floating and broken glass and. I am awake in the woods and I stand between one place and another. A place that makes me stop breathing. A place that makes my heart stop. Standing between one place and another and another and another and another and another and another and
_______ to a __ ______ _______ ____ The child I havenâ€™t had will exist and when she does, it will finally be curtains. The fantasies become ultimate and unattainable. Formal and binary; the manifests of sword slipped beneath ribs and fist and or shell collapsing my physical, all negated as potential end points. I will have to be alive and fight as long as she is alive. I will watch her fall through the earthâ€™s gaping bottomless drops and collapse beneath conveniently placed concrete blocks. She will die in the manners I have died and dream entirely novel methods. And when I think about lying asleep beneath the Atlanticâ€™s coldest crags, the dream will be far from my family. I will be watching her die and sometimes smile.
AKNOWLEDGEMENTS “Ico in High School” and “Burnt Out Nihil Tao” first appeared in Volume 1, Issue 5 of FreezeRay Poetry "Rupture Marketing and P.R." first appeared in Pidgeonholes An enormous thank you to Five Quarterly, Vanessa Gabb, and the editors, artists and designers at Newark Academy for making this whole process so delightful; Justin Daugherty and Joel Han at Cartridge lit, Anna Anthropy,Lana Polansky, Brian Oliu, Leigh Alexander, Cara Ellison,and Boss Fight Books for continuing to raise the bar formeaningful, artful, literate reflection on the VG medium; Georgia Bellas for her sustained advocacy for fellow writers; FreezeRay Poetry, Mixtape Methodology, Lockjaw Magazine, Cheap Pop, Pidgeonholes, Unbroken Journal, Cartridge Lit, Vending Machine Press and decomP magazinE for their willingness to publish my weird scribblings; all buddies—old and new, here and no longer; my parents for their undying love and support, and my partner Miranda, for the same.
Cover by Nick Wecal, Lauren Oliner, Chris Pyo, Katelynn Rodriguez
copyright 2015 five quarterly