nothing outside the mind
Copyright ÂŠ 2013 johannes weinberger All Rights Reserved
Cover by Richard Scowen
opcode press 2013 FINLAND
under a bony sky, i dodge the sparkling stars of fresh vomit on the sidewalk. a tattered man stares at me like i stare at the ceiling when i cannot think anymore. i tear out a fringe of my hair for him, to braid it into his bed of newspapers and pigeon feathers. i confess my impotence, which makes me ruler of the world, he spits. the stench of his body makes me sleepy and courageous. i have to carry my body a long, long while still.
a conscience experienced as nagging stinks like rotten meat. it might be really time to unbelieve in the concept of guilt. when the saxophones are squeaking like murdered piglets, i will stand up and leave the sludge i made behind me, a tiny rain bleaching reality.
after my last glimpse of the unglimpsable, i wrote down what i did not see. the result was a drawing of a broken pencil. i had certainly mislaid my understanding, and listened inside of me: a hollow racket. sweet music, to be afraid to.
i will never walk the narrow path of why again. open the trash bin and see my mouldy reasons. every question you ask me now will remain unforgiven. i nailed my tongue to a pigeon's wing and i let the quills pierce my eyeballs, to distract myself into forgetting the cause of this effect. i need no need.
i woke this morning and had dreamed myself thin enough to be blown out of bed by the meek breeze i forgot to inhale the previous evening. i briefly watched the smug still conducting the language of their grateful copies, through the gritty window picture. nothing had changed tremendously, so i slipped into my cold jacket to walk the streets unpaid, unshaven and just almost another expiring citizen of sellable reality.
can i borrow some comfort? my joints crackle like an old radio when i kneel to wipe the windows in the floor with the cleaning product that smells like human feces: you sold it to me, when we were young and sober as razorblades. i am bleeding too fast for my stopwatch now, and not so forth.
i am sitting on my hands, staring at the dryness of my eyeballs, slowly forgetting the violent fantasies of the morning. nothing can come between the dust and me, at times and again. but then i started to talk to you, and every syllable was a tiny painful ecstasy. now leave the room, before i know you.
when i was trying to hide my vanity in the fridge, i abruptly realized that this was already yesterday's news.
enjoying a powerful headache. if you drink water, you will feel better, i explained to the mote. it flew away on my breath.
this room must not be fed with events anymore. the air has solidified into bitter jelly by everything that has happened here. to break free, you have to swallow first, and when you have grown up, you may let it all out. the ensuing chaos makes you a child again, so play with everything. i will not interrupt you until you are not me anymore.
i left religion to the irresponsible. then i crawled towards the intersection, where black men sold dignity. all is lost in every ending, and regained in the same moment, which repeats itself into eternity. all this is written by the part of me that also chooses the face we wear.
the pigeons' wingbeats have blown the cigarette butts from the windowsill. there are harmless people hidden inside the papier-mĂ˘chĂŠ farm animals. but the orgy was over when the apocalyptic parents strode over the still glittering shards of the door.
i went to live in the unnecessary states of apathy and became a superfluous citizen. this was my true home, for my existence is not obligatory. and here i dwell, sucking my toes and spilling my gratuitous mind all over disreality.
sad and stupid faces flooded my window, squashed flat on the glass. i did not even see them, but listened to the squeaking of skin on the pane. i was busy with practicing graceful gestures, only the silhouettes of my hands swishing through the air, leaving a fleeting dark tail behind them. everything is not important.
swallowed a yawn for dinner. felt a tickling ant perish in the labyrinth of the wrinkles in my skin. did not care about my social status. danced to the growl of my stomach. fell asleep fighting.
my limbs are lame now from warding off the razorblade windmills cutting up the borderline between dream and alertness. privacy is a word from a dead language. i squeeze guttural grunts through my windpipe, until everbody is famous and the fruit flies descend onto my eyes, too.
the state of my mind is not a police state. it is ungoverned by restrictions. i will think into and out of anything, until i dream of my parents again.
when faces of the past are clogging your windpipe, i will bring you a hook. i will disguise as a policeman and arrest your parents for dangerous immaturity. you can count on me for lashing every judgement out of you with the old straw carpet beater from the attic. in return, you will stop looking at me like you believed i was here.
ha, said the killjoy, you are not happy, you are sick. i wandered over his rotting corpse two torn and blissful years later, and one of my shoes got stuck in the sludge of his chest. i am hobbling towards the subway station now and it is a nightmare: a long life.
please do not make me feel that i am a human being so hard. i have enough to do to undo the already done and vice versa. for balance, i will feed you some tales of crippled values and the mirth of a rickety sanity. bang bang bang.
i am too ugly to work today. i will join the stuffy autumn on the streets and pawn my tongue to pay my attention to the feeble sun. if you are happy, stay home: we will meet as vague descriptions in my memory's death warrant. and almost no and.
i do not care that you are here. if i did, i would miss you horribly. but let us be clearly indifferent: there is no one in this world, anyway. i do not care that you are not here. but then, everything collapsed into that patch of homeless land on my left knee, which you sewed on when i was in a stupor of a genuine smile, and i was there, too, but thinner than the rest of you.
in my world, no one is around to play with. no losing or winning is allowed. the only exit is hidden in the debris in your handbag. also, a ceaseless cacophony of pressing silence, never to explode into ecstatic relief. the abyss is the language. there is no war, because there is no peace. but wait! it is all obscured by my face.
while the broken cat is hunting dust, i am talking to you in my silent voice, to not mask the words with meaning. but, distracted by your eager inertia, i keep forgetting the next step to transient bliss. so you, and you too, just stopped playing and started ageing in peace. i will face wherever the wind turns, and gallop after the long-gone future. but not tomorrow, either.
giddy from the circle of life, i share my hatred for the wind with your wavering reflection in the pond, drowning dragonflies in mid-air with my soaring spittle. the original you, now comfortably shackled in the plum shade, will emerge sooner and later, ready to echo my confession out of time, until waiting has become our last pleasure.
now it is too late to celebrate. we have to get out of here, before the self-fulfilling prophecies break loose. the only thing i will take with me is a cookie filled with thorns. i enjoy suffering as much as you do, but this time it is not ridiculous enough. the heroes will ride over us, if we keep lying here, embracing us to suffocation.
do not hurt yourself, even though mutilated bodies are hot this season. another hand than yours shall bless you with its harm. we may destroy and construct as long as we can, until someone is crying. then we have to wear our concerned faces, with our hands in each other's pockets. a century of bloody history is but an evening of cards and dice to us
do not be ashamed. it is inhuman morals that let the blood rush to your face, which i will eat from, when the alarm stops shrieking. you can call anyone you like, but their voices will not stop your hands from twitching towards the next body. i will never believe what you say, but i have strong faith in what you avoid.
i burned your christmas gifts behind the rotten shed by the pond. then i carved a broken knife into the bark of a tree. i spat my teeth into the black water and whistled a tune and it sounded sweeter and stronger than ever. i said goodbye to your picture in my wallet, and then the damned moon made me do it all over again.
the absence of misery made me too happy to get up from the floor. there is no action in contentment, but also no pretence. the lack of cake left me too weary to feign invincibility like i am shown in the commercials. i can hear the hyenas laughing at the daylight through the wall. i cannot remember what money looks like, and the blues i sing are still moist from your uterus.
after trying to smash the wall of the sky with my forehead, i found mannequins of businessmen lounging in my nest of garbage. i set everything i could imagine on fire, and what remained, is nobody's business. i dressed in an unburned business suit and rang your doorbell while forgetting how to speak. but you are not home, and i will never wait again.
i am hiding from the guardians of order in a rainy room. there are voices at the door, singing coarse tales of glory and oppression. the walls of the coffee cup are too smooth to climb up now. sew me to a kite and i will be content with with the fall winds up my nostrils. if everyone does not leave me alone, i will sell myself to you for a laugh. when freedom has become obslolete, i would rather be far from home. i never left the crossroads.
i can lose my mind any day, but you will have to wait until your last christmas. i will tousle the hair on your body, and i will model your stern lips into a crazed grin. some of your relatives will faint, and some will just frown. but i have no time for their concerns: i have to memorize your twisted mouth.
the next breath will already be the peak of my powers. after that, i will only remember your mischievous grin as an evil comedian's. there are two umbrellas gathering dust on the shelf. we did not believe it could rain again, until the weather shall part us. too many people have gone home now: no body left to resist the forces of reason. when ruthless comfort finally rules, i will project your image onto the walls of my box.
there is nothing to be saved from. what is not whole, cannot be broken. your burden is an invention by those who invented redemption. i am but a door leading to the next door, locked and unlocked with chance. and all i can do is think the blues until my body is quiet, too.
i will not build a house around me, i will not get into the car to the ritual. i will fondle the cat's neck while my coat is gathering dust in the corner of my eye. currents of fortune throw me heels over head on my eager way to irredeemability. i am waiting outside of either side, but i will come to collect your pieces when you smash into the dead end of the master plan. i can ring your passing bell without pity or glee: it is the music i care for.
how comforting when it is too late. i passed some time to you, but you used it only for cursing your mirror. and my idea of success is coming home everywhere. while my purpose shall be hidden to you, it will be obvious to the nervous. i want all that, too.
sorrow is the ground upon which i stand here, and when i start to walk, the mountains will crack and the sea will growl, but i will not slow down my pace for you windowshopping. and the next hole is always the deepest one, so watch yourself until you are harmless. i will stop walking when i can.
the whore was being talked about. things were sold and bought and thrown away and made. i realized that i was sitting on a rocking horse. the gentle sway was painfully comforting. some were insulted, some were born. faces were adored and the salmon swam upstream against the cold clear river without complaint. i will take nothing with me, passionately.
yes, i will follow the pretty scum into an erratic future puzzle, but maybe i am only pretending to, while really just writhing in the same old chocolate-stained bed, deleting my dreams by trying to remember them. i am never determined enough for a faith, and yet relentlessly trying to steady my shaking wrist to, at last, draw a picture of my face in utter distress for you to hiss at in your most narrow nights.
but repeated movements stink. if i swallow another drop, i will drown. i am full of everything, spilling where i dwell. nobody dressed me up, so i can disperse immediately. i will distribute myself among the mutilated and they will whittle flutes of my bones, to blow a shrill tune against all marches. i remind myself of always passing by and never taking anything with me. temporarily unscathed.
rooting through the heap of bones for the last shred of meat, on the outermost edge of being human. turning around until a direction opens. the frozen i thaws from the dust on its eyeballs. passing the carcass and the paralyis, always toward the beginning. leaving nothing but my stench in the houses.
she said to him in indestructable diamond speech: come, blow your nose into my silken hair. he answered slowly in slimy and soft snail words: come, cry into my wide open eyes. their child stood by and spoke exitless like outer space: you are dead longer than me.
but on days like you, every sensory perception pesters me to the bone. the flowers of the meadow tug at their roots, in vain, while the grass pretends to be grass, since my every hour happens but in my mind. it is gone as soon as it is here, naturally. and yet i can see myself say now: thank you for asking, i dream my mood to forget it. what equals why, in this crumbling formula, written on a stone with dead ants. heal slowly, begin again.
and then, the shimmering blowfly landed smack in my indifference and my lust for life increased into the imperceptible. how pleasant to not hear you talking to yourself while looking at me, since my ears are filled with concrete and my tongue has been sold as jewelry. i am choking on nature now, but dignity is neither male nor female. now, i am content with glueing my thought up day onto the windowglass, and say farewell to the space between my toes. we do not need a weather forecast to realize that we remained unbroken, all this senseless time.
insomnia has blackened my fingernails, dear feasters. do not leave the guts untouched, but leave me some unbreathed air: i want to listen to the turning of the seasons, because i just noticed it. i cut off the helping hand, and i will open the window to throw it out. please do not wash me in your condolences, i prefer to mingle with the freaks of nature. they never roll their eyes at me.
despotism and incompetence, two of the state's hands, caress each other in the icily glaring sunshine of a stillborn spring. i am polishing nothing, mistrusting the shine for sale. i have been ageing a long old time now, but the alarm in my chest never ceases shrieking, and i am already close to wishing for sobriety and cold water. i will not answer the door's questions anymore, because i could. you can slice me up and stack me into the fool's corner, i am always home, and i do not want to own any object or creature. forever, i will show you nothing but a stuffy waiting room, where even the pain is bland.
only morning light shines through my eyelids. i remember the shame of being unhappy like setting the alarm clock. no sound is painful enough now, and i suck up the puddle of nightmare sloshing around in the hollow in the stained mattress where my body has lain, a shift of consciousness ago. my greed has my face. i will jump out of this room, because i can fly when i am not being hunted. then, the strength of my bones will humble your pumped lips, still cold from a strategic smile at the monster under the bed. next time, i will just leave you there, i promise.
having stumbled through an accident in a daydream, i became the ghost of a museum guard. i will be everywhere you are and tell you not to touch anything. never hang your heart anywhere, the dangling makes the rhythm trip. it is encouraged to watch, yet not to attach to the objects meeting your gaze. we can fumble beyond the visible, though, and let streams of indifference spring, before and after now: a timeless choice. but here, i observe you with one lukewarm eye, the other turned inwards and entangled in its own nerve rope. see my face twitch towards the footsteps of billions, see my head not move an inkling.
the unsaid might lurk behind my left ear. i keep stepping on crawling time with my drumskin boots: a rustling jig blurring my view of my nose. there is poison in my belly, and heavy sunshine on my shoulders, i am ready to stir your feathers now, twitching pillow. i need no shelter, i want to gag on embarrassment, and i want the rash on my cheeks to spread right through and through you.
i lied to you all my life, he said from under the blanket, and his skin was flushed with the blood flowing again. they carried him to and fro, never able to decide where to let him fall. sooner or later, he will be satisfied with nibbling a flake of polluted air. he was not heavy, and they never got tired. the blanket had no holes, and the night sky held no tranquility. i do not believe in eternal nervousness, he mumbled in the dark, and i do not believe you. they could not hear him, for they had long ago decided to abandon all their senses and shut up. basically, they died somewhere in their story, but this is also part of the myth. when the blanket is threadbare, the eyes are too late and the mouth is dry.
these are not nerves, said the self-taught medical expert, but ants. he visibly gained weight while sewing up the slit in my wrist. he gave me a glass of milk and looked inconsolable, which made me hastily wake up in another sketch of world, where everyone was you and i was a puddle of milk in the dent in the chessboard lying by the entrance of the park where the statues drool for movement. if you cannot learn a lesson in advance of the catastrophe, you might be willing to share your orange with me, for i am thirsty after all this razor sharp time. the shade has been eaten by a scientific observation, but i can sit in the hard sun and watch you blur, stubbornly.
wait!, i yelled, but i had already been there. i had shot in terror from a cozy sweaty coma to drown you in the cloudy river, but your feet were too cold to drag you down by, and i was too dizzy from the heat streaming from your mouth. the dragonfly i reasonlessly cared most about was as blue as a newborn child. all this is needless to say, while the mud bubbles between my toes, and i cannot (to die) avert my gaze from the sadness of your tailbone, grieving for balance in the flight from tree to tree. i cover my puddle with earth, i said, and a river was suddenly a home.
i seemed to be pure noise when my eyelids became so heavy i had to tilt back my head until i saw the back of my head. you crouched in the shade of a walnut tree, waiting for me to calm down and stab your belly button with a crumbling twig. my bat's wings have grown considerably, i said. you lifted me from the comforting ground with your oxidized arms and i know that statues think only about not moving. after you had flung me into the little creek of your urine by the rock into which someone had chiselled the word "straightjacket", i did not mind. frankly, i am hoping to be uncrazy soon, and bore you into finally digging a hole for us for the winter and all the other imaginary seasons.
i penetrated the tiny spider with a black hair from my right thigh. it was a time of the day when life was superfluous. under the sun, people were busy forgetting what to do next. i tried to reveal one of my secrets to you, and a naked man's shouting drowned my words away. my lips were too numb then to repeat, from dreaming of someone closing a window so the draft would not blow my hair in my mouth. i need to wear more metal, i kept thinking ceaselessly, to weigh my body into the dirt, from where i would finally see the blatant sky. when i returned my mind to your presence, you had long swallowed the corpse of the spider and were laughing like dying.
i think of my father when i smell a rotten apple. his heart is as big as himself. i am insufficiently self-taught in existing, though, and there was never one there to damn me for it. i inherited the endless hunger from a mother's mouths. it happened long ago and is always happening. but wait, let me go to hell for a moment to wash this moment clean of pleasure and punishment in a stream of i do not care what. listen away: from afar, i can hear nothing that i have not heard before. so, i will go no further, and you can see me melting into the background, like daddy and mummy on your last family vacation, where you learned to bleed solemnly, in a dark and damp room, naked and primitive. i want to add everything to all this, but the time has come and gone.
effective horror, i said at dawn. but you had shoved your head under the cupboard to snoop for furry memories to snort. i aimed my gaze at your buttocks and thought of seagulls covered in oil, hopping all over the bone white beach. the sea deserves my corpse, it has washed all sweetness off my skin for decades. i heard your snot drip into the shadows, and death was the only word i could have spoken, had i not been asleep for you, to leave me lying there again to wake up without an idea what is happening now.
i embraced poison and pain until i lost track of the way home, until home never existed. please push the tip of my nose and my eyes will laugh at you hoarsely, as if they never had seen you before, repeatedly. i will never be broken, only gone. or i am broken now, but will remain inert in midst of the passing of the centuries, eternally morose. a ridiculous choice in the light of day, and a drop of barbiturate for leisure. a fruitless rapture.
with refreshed vigour i rose from being stamped to the bottom of the social ladder by the boot of the state which protects me from all evil. the wind from the beat of my brittle bat wings blew away the offices over the bodies of the public servants deciding on who can eat and who must beg. i sucked them all dry of their blood, and my thirst had only grown ferocious. i flew over the world, and i saw that it was almost good and nearly bad. now, hiding my rage behind a pacifist grimace, i dream only of my father sharing some poison with me, and we talk with ease and we comfort each other because we are men of prudence and cowardice. then i woke up, and a fish-hook pierced my palate, and the line was already taut.
there are people dealing in human lives. i do not have enough to eat. this is neither chaos nor order, and it is bearable with free medication. tell me again why survival has to be earned and from whom. tell me more about winning what and who collects what is lost by me. watch me being devoured by my own stomach, and breathe the fleeting stench of my fury and my scorn for the leaders, poisoning your nostrils for a moment of utter and delicate absurdity. o men and women of superfluous wealth, know that i care and know that i will not hesitate to take from you and not even fuck you.
probably i will not skip rope over that strand of your hair which i desire more than any other object in the room, though it is not the same strand brushed by your mother when you were still a rascal and not yet real. desire like reading a story, i mean, but my confusion has grown severe since i encountered myself in your brutal mirror, and vile is the word. i have stood in your bathroom for centuries then, wondering whether you really want me to come out anymore. finally, we thanked each other by parting. i am glad to realize that not much has happened since everything started happening, and a man born old claims that "true love leaves no traces" far far back in the glistening lumps of my sniper brain. all in pretty vain, naturally.
suddenly i had time, as my life seemed to be complete. nothing left to die for, and everything had stopped pressing: a plentiful void. i was breathing without guilt, nothing was narrow. when this tranquil ecstasy will be over, i will remember it fondly, slowly sinking an inkling closer to the unreachable.
some kinds of pain make me laugh.
another moment has been postponed into infinity due to a jam of harmless sorrow and fear of loss (like hardened bread as the only breakfast left). i am staring down the days, and see myself looking away in embarrassment. the hissing of the skin of your thighs rubbing together staggering in the approximate direction of the exit is sheer delight (please turn around and watch my face ageing), and inside my chest it is cooler than the hallway. i am undressing while you feed the sparrows on the windowsill with drops of morphine from some or another utopian nursery, where i lay with my open mouth, but the bottle is empty since my first christmas (the shine in my eyes always remaining until tomorrow). i will worship every hair on your body, if you really really are not who you claim to be. enjoy your meals, sleep with the window open and watch out for me dancing in the ditch i ate into the path you walk, and your dreams shall be wild as the wasp drowning in my undrunk blueberry juice. farewell, you rotten summer's reek, i will sing until i croak.
dignity! i yelled into my own mouth, but on all fours i crawled on, my tongue lapped dry upon your inexplicable skin. in the basement, i found signs of life, but i did not let you know, and to know is to get tired. when you are not naked, i do not believe you without noticing it, for i have been slightly distracted by a determined wish to relish this or even this moment. the rats will come and eat you, i say, but you laugh without breath. i am at home in mystery, and yet i am greedy for more and more, and so on, towards the edge of the hole of summer, and i forgot my clothes in your wake again.