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the dada magazine about nothing

N A D A


Like a tomb or the eyelids of an infant, wreat selves, which are really only figments of time is all of new York besides the city) and watch slow defeat after defeat which has become such a thing. This is all impassive non-sense, the the same. This country touches the boarders o next too me talks about Maine and California ( son, he offers me snapps which I take. We talk defeated or because he is defeated and we bot He is the only other black man on the bus. His s The two men in front of me talk about footba loans. I get off the bus in Hartford, Connecti depressed I am. Everybody thinks I am going t really only feel the strength to get drunk. I s it takes about an hour and half, when you fee people think you feel shitty because you're be when you feel bad about yourself it's nice for do my best to live up to the phrase 'He drank l the cassocks is that they liked horses, and wa Although all of that may not be true. They, li I know that. When thinking of heavy American d Wayne pouring back a few with hoffra. I go into Blues. Its center is, of course, the Bosnian w of violence and love in the empty spaces of w am, as usual, the only black guy in the room. and three men, each gives a faint register o themselves and no body talks. The bartender is his arms and reaching out around his ears. I a shot I ask if his tattoo is full body. He answe It's about Jesus he shrugs and I continue to d money and frequently go to the bathroom to sen respond. I decide that I am going to stand in first I buy another drink.


ths laid over stone, history is in things them. I took a bus through upstate New York ( which ed the minor wounds of the thirty plus years of a symbol of the Northeast without understanding South and the Midwest and the Northwest are all f two oceans and is a wasteland. A man sitting ( two very different spiritual planes) he has a about buses, I can't tell if it's because I am h share this mutual victory that we get along. on is white and looks up football on a computer. ll and video games and complain about student cut, I call some friends and we talk about how o kill myself, which is partly true, though, I sit on a street corner and beg until I make $20, l shitty about yourself begging is far easier, gging, but really begging is the only reprieve, r others to feel bad about you too. I decide to like a cassock'. I realize that all I know about ar (?) and they hated Jews and loved the Tsars. ke all Russians, like to drink and drink a lot. rinkers all I come up with is the image of John o an almost empty bar. I drink and read Sarajevo ar, but really it's about loss and the presence orms. I drink a Coors and a shot of whiskey, I I am also the youngest. There are three women f knowing everybody else, but they all sit by s a gaunt looking man with barbed wire climbing ask for another round and while he pours me the ers in the affirmative and I ask what they mean. drink. He buys me a shot. I'm drained of all my d pictures of my dick to my mother. She doesn't the road and then, hopefully be run over, but


The road is empty, this is disappointing but I take it as a sign and go to a bar and weasel a lonely old women to buy me a drink. She is on crack and offers me some, which I take. She has lost her kids because she smokes crack, which she believes has nothing to do with whether she's a good mother or not. We smoke crack together in the bathroom and she asks if I would help her pick up a swing set that a thrift store is giving her but she has to collect it from behind the store. I tell her it sounds like shes stealing it. 'Because I am stealing it' she answers. We steal the swing set and set it up inside of her small apartment. There are roaches everywhere. I sleep on her couch.


I wake up and steal $30 from her. I go to a cafe and drink a coffee and then I buy some cigarettes and a forty and walk to a park and figure out what the fuck I am going to do. There was a minor skirmish here during the Revolutionary War and the sons and daughters of this town who died in all the other wars, that this war spawned, are honored here too. All those people who painted themselves into history and then painted themselves off. I jerk off onto the plaque and after wiping my semen carefully over the letters several times I put it to my lips and cross myself.


‘Boys, in the comings months we will feel the slap of the hand, that we have been a part of so long. But we must bite and bite strong, bite strong and not release our teeth until we have torn off all theirs fingers. Boys, these British are well trained, and the best in the world. It was they who trained me and I am drunk. Boys when we go into battle, when we close with the enemy, we will tear out their hearts and eat it, we will not feed it them, we will eat it. The only thing we will give to them is a spanking, and not the good kind that we all partake in, that I partake in with my wife Martha. No, we will spank them with a vengeance, hard and strong, with the hands that God gave us. We will spank their butts, the butts that God gave them, and these butts will turn red as hell, red as my drunken cheeks, not butt cheeks. But it won’t be easy, not easy at all, as the months pass, as the seasons change, as the events unfold, it will be up to you to create our future. The world looks at us and sees a small people, an unimportant people, just a sideshow, a piece of dining ware that needs to be put away. We must not treat this conflict, this storm that we so proudly and courageously march into, as anything less than survival. Boys, now if you'll excuse me I have a meeting with the glowing light in the woods. Remember Boys, Pray for America.’


As white people of sufficient means we should all be aware of one fairly obvious fact: Everyone gets shot eventually. There is no mystery involved in this assessment. We know--as reasonably privileged individuals--that everyone else wishes they were us. It is well known by this point that the soul of a whiteman can be captured and conjured by simply shooting him or her. This soul can be contained and embodied by someone other than a white person in this manner. It makes sense then that this is the true reason why averagely wealthy white people are being massacred. I needn’t inform you that white wealth begins at a far lower bracket than that belonging to Latin American or Black people. We are all aware that the privileges accompanying even low grade accruement of capital have a far greater influence in white communities than in any other. Oddly, white people don’t have to be better, they merely have to be treated better. If you have any doubt of this simply enter a ghetto in different skins. Wearing a white skin, the fear of being in a poor neighborhood will overcome you immediately. Enter in a black skin and you will find an oversized boombox on your shoulder and an understanding of urban slang. Enter in a pale brown skin and you will feel immediately at home and speak fluent Spanish. Enter as an Asian and you will crave noodles. Regardless the fact remains that all white people get shot eventually. How could we not? We are too alluring targets to avoid untimely deaths. As I said, this is rooted in our intrinsic higher value as people. It's the price we pay. We can take it as a compliment. The act of getting shot is an affirmation of our self-worth. So, have not fear. If you get shot you get shot.


“Number 24609!” the middle-aged, slightly overweight, bespectacled woman calls sitting in front of a computer screen inside of a cramped kiosk. Shielded by glass she is shrouded in a misty haze. A naked man cupping his groin in abject humiliation approaches the glass. “Number?” she demands sharply. “24609.” “Past life and last place of residence?” “Angus McGregor, New Haven, Connecticut.” “Previous occupation?” “English professor.” “Just a moment please,” the woman clatters at the keyboard for approximately forty-five seconds. “Yes we have you in our system. This is your third reincarnation, yes?” “Yes, I believe so.” “Just to confirm the accuracy of our records, can you confirm that you are also Hidetaki Yamaguchi, died Iwo Jima, 1945 and, let’s see… Jane Doe miscarriaged 1924?” “Yes, that sounds right.” “Alright, just a moment please… Yes with your current Karma score we have vacancies available in Lusamba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chisinau, Moldova, and Aleppo, Syria.” “I was actually hoping I could go back to Connecticut.” “Yes sir, I’m very sorry,” she replied perfunctorily. “With your current score that would be impossible. If you don’t like the options available, you could choose to wait in purgatory until another vacancy opens up.” “Um, Jesus, I don’t know. I guess I’ll take Moldova. Is it a nice family?” “I’m sorry sir, it’s not the Reincarnation Bureau’s policy to determine the affability of recipient families. Now if I could just have you sign here with your previous name… Thank you, and your new name will be Sergei Andropov. Please initial here.” She quickly stamped both the original and the carbon copy, handed the latter to McGregor who was now Andropov and instructed, “Thank you Mr. Andropov, last door on the right.


24610!” A naked woman approached the glass, her left hand over her pelvic region and her right arm draped across her breasts. “Number?” “24610.” “Past life and last place of residence?” “Simrita Acharya, Pushkar, India.” “Previous occupation?” “Farmer and homemaker.” “Yes, let’s see, this is your…. fourth reincarnation?” “Yes, ma’am.” “And can you confirm for our files that you were previously Kim Lee Han, died Inchon, Republic of Korea 1950, Natalia Bronikovski, died Warsaw 1943, and Pierre Lafante, died Papeete, Tahiti 1918?” “Yes that’s me.” “Alright, just a moment please…. yes with your current Karma score we have vacancies available in Bagdad; Juarez, Mexico and Dhaka, Bangladesh.” “If I choose Dhaka will I be born into a Muslim family or a Hindu family?” “I’m sorry ma’am, it is against the bureau’s policy to investigate the religious orientation of recipient families.” “Alright,” she heaved a sigh, “I’ll take Bagdad.” “Very good. Now if I could just have you sign here with your previous name… Your new name will be Ahdab Al-Ahmadi, please initial here.” She quickly stamped both the original and the carbon copy, handed the latter to Acharya who was now Ahdab Al-Ahmadi and instructed, “Thank you Ms. Al-Ahmadi, last door on the right.


24611!” An obese man with his right hand firmly entrenched in his buttocks so as to itch his anus approaches the window. “Number?” “24611.” “Past life and last place of residence?” “Henry Ferguson, Chicago Illinois.” “Previous occupation?” “Insurance claims investigator.” “And this is your third reincarnation?” “Yes, that’s right.” “And can you confirm for our files that you were previously Benito Mussolini, died Mezzegra Italy 1945, and Benjamin Turner, died Southampton Virginia, 1855?” “Yes, that’s me,” he shot back petulantly. “Just a moment please…” her eyebrows rose perceptibly. “Yes, with your current Karma score we can offer you vacancies in Potomac Falls, Maryland, Barrington, Rhode Island or Bellevue, Washington.” “Well I know New England is nice in the fall so I’ll take Rhode Island.” “Certainly sir, if I could just have you sign here with your previous name… Thank you, and your new name will be Thomas Worthington. Please initial here,” she said as she glanced up with a wink. She quickly stamped both the original and the carbon copy, handed the latter to Ferguson who was now Worthington and instructed, “Thank you Mr. Worthington, last door on the right. 24612!”


I picked up Jesus hitchhiking one day. He was walking slow with his head down along the side of this one-lane highway in Wisconsin. His back was facing me, but I knew who it was. He was wearing faded jeans and a denim jacket with sheepskin lining. He carried a small knapsack on one shoulder. I’d driven this route many times before and I’d never once seen another human being along this particular road. There had been nothing for about fifty miles and as far as I could recall nothing for the next fifty miles but there was Jesus, walking toward the same disappearing road as I.


I slowed a bit by instinct as I approached. As he turned towards my truck he looked up and lifted his thumb in one organic motion. No words were exchanged when he opened the door and climbed up into the passenger seat. His hands were large and strong, and were a healthy tan too, though we were well into October and the sun was low in the cloudy sky. But he was Jesus after all. I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers. I’m not that kind of trucker. I’d been doing this for twenty-two years already, and I’d heard it all from other drivers. I’d heard of all the evil and debauchery that can come from a life of loneliness and danger, but I stayed away from all that. After spending most of my adult life in the cabin of my eighteen-wheeler, seeing the country alone was second nature to me. I loved my wife, and my two kids, and they loved me, but for our family, my absence was a part of who I was. I suppose I considered myself a Christian too--though I couldn’t remember the last time I had been into a church, let alone been home for Easter or Christmas--but I always had a feeling that the Lord was looking out for me. Seeing him walking along the street there, a young man with his golden brown hair pulled back into a ponytail, his strong, tan hands grasping his sack of earthly belongings, I wasn’t all that surprised. I knew him and--he was Jesus after all--I figured he was expecting me.


“Where ya headed to,” I said after a few minutes had passed. “Oh,” his voice was smooth and confident, “I’m headed where you’re going.” “Where’d you come from? I ain’t seen a single person along this road for fifty miles. Looks like you just came outta nowhere.” He looked at me briefly, smiled, and peered out the window. It was beginning to rain. “Let me ask you something, Bert,” Jesus said after another long pause. He was still looking out the window, out over where the crops disappeared over the horizon. “If you could make one wish for human kind, what would it be?” “Well shoot. I suppose I’d wish that everyone would all just get along, you know?” “Mm-hmm.” He nodded his head in agreement. “That’s what I’d wish for too.” We listened to the rain hitting the hood and the rhythm of the windshield wipers. “I tell you what, Bert,” he said after a long silence had passed, “why don’t you drop me off at that payphone right up there.” “You sure? There’s nothing around here. I’m not sure if you’ll even see another truck before tomorrow.” “Don’t you worry about that. I’ll make it where I’m going. I hope you do too.” The brakes squealed as I pulled off the road into the gravel. “Well, it was a pleasure finally meeting you, and I wish you the best of luck” In retrospect, my parting words sounded absurd. “Take care, Bert,” he said and jumped with ease to the gravel below. He look up and gave one friendly wave before hiking his knapsack up over his shoulder and walking away. I haven’t seen Jesus since, but I know he’s somewhere out there in our great country with his thumb out, trying to get where he needs to go.


I dropped the mic off at daycare, and it screamed feedback about brusque and pampered audiences. Rows and rows of rough nannies, wooden spoons in hand, folding spankings as currency. I dropped the mic with the economy and it swore depression feeds art, flinging golden ages as vitaminized chocolates, plattered distractions from an uphill sprint. I dropped the mic like it was Snoop and Pharrell Williams shattering glasses under dotted lines, stipulation waterfalls shaking venue ceilings. I dropped the mic off the Aurora Bridge, where it pooled cloaked insults perpetually hurled at tender minds. I dropped the mic off at the Drycleaners, where a thousand mouths spilled on machines, carpet and fingernails. I dropped the mic into a punchbowl, where lonely aunts danced up prom kings, and the wallflowers grew perfume bottles choking all the exit doors. I dropped the mic on a hidden track, between the stage and plane door, the mic screamed for a field, or a floating leg, or a cotton blanket, something far from the sidewalk. I rolled over and kissed my diaphragm, laughing.


I couldn’t believe it. The furnace was trying to kill us again. When I woke up it had been running for hours, days probably. The bastard. I had gone to sleep only a few hours before but who knows how long it had been going for, really. Really it sounded like a demon’s chorus this thing. Really it was like sitting before the goblin’s chorus, this thing. I sat listening while it pumped hot air over our bodies till we were nearly sapped dry, all of us. This thing. If you turn on the one light, the light will wake you up. It’s blue light hits part of your eye and wakes you up but if you turn on the other light it does not have the blue part and nothing hits the part of your eye and you don’t, or you won’t, wake up. It’s a good trick to know and learn. My mouth tasted like a hot dust trap. Have you ever tried to fill up a clear glass in a white room? It occurred to me that in all possible utopias that all possible art would seem like a sewn monster of horror tropes. I was worried maybe there was a ghost out there. I mean maybe I was the ghost, stalking around at that hot, ungodly hour. Outside that light looked like as if someone had planted little lights in the ground every twenty-five or thirty feet. I mean really weird stuff right? Like the light was beaming up out of the mulch but only in one particular voice. And the water spilled out and over the carafe in the dark and dripped willingly down and onto the shelf. Even the cats are black on black.


What looked like the door was really open. No, wait. What looked like the door was really the doorway. So: white on white, clear in clear, black with black. I tear my hair out. Not romantically in great clumps but one by one in carefully chosen seconds. It stretches out the pain process. And even after the heater shut off it was like little bits of dust were still blowing through the vents. I had thought of saying something but what could come of it anyways? I had my water so everything was right. The cats were out so everything was right. Perhaps all fear is a constant thing, like breathing. Sometimes you pull it in and sometimes you push it out but it’s always there part of you, moving.


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Nada2 19 Pray for America  

Could you do just one thing for me before you tuck yourself in at night?

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