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Self-cleaning car cleans self after nuclear blast photo

I sit on a blown-out stoop eating canned wings. The sun goes down and the wings are fresh, despite their age. Across the lane, a car tries to spurt water on itself and has only dust. I give it a bit of my water so it can go on wiping the muck from itself. Something underneath the earth begins to sing a metallic melody.

What if we are living in a golden age? People mourn their pastoral lives and are reborn as clout phoenixes, screaming and on fire. What if this is the apocalypse? Where do the prophets come from and why do they live sexy in the mind?

When someone is talking about one thing, they’re always talking about a bunch of things. The same bag of drugs, different feelings. Life is the vice grip of specific misery. No amount of perfume can cover the rotting hide of our little histories with their hearts we’ve kept beating too long. 

People keep saying that they can’t say anything but everyone is saying everything all the time. 

In the golden age, people are miserable. People in the apocalypse are dancing. There’s nothing left to do. Metal landscapes are pastoral. People are rising up as warlords, the new avant-garde.

People are whispering things like palladium and lithium. Scam is high art. Some lives last only a moment. Therapy still exists and so do amusement parks. People puke more these days. Some pockets of the world have been continuing the same way for centuries and the streets are littered with defunct emotions and imported potato chip bags. 

People say decadence and they mean the kids are sucking their lives into screens or changing their bodies with chemicals. Or the buildings are crumbling and even the new buildings have crumbling souls. Or the lazy men are sitting back and snorting disassociatives. Or the artists are busy fearing god. 

People are talking about the apocalypse and the Eucharist and the angels and have sparkling eyes and skin and tongues and hearts that burst out of their chests at the mere mention of forever or better yet, death. Can’t see anything. Feel everything. 

Bad thinkers are being made fashion icons. People are getting PhDs like divorces. Young minds are becoming aesthetic archives capable of discerning at a rate heretofore unseen. Aura has been replaced with vibes which have been replaced with the visual equivalent of a pheromone. Repetition is profundity. Antiquity is twee. And every moment beauty becomes cheaper until the snobs will have to think of something else to hoard. 

The rich are starting to burrow deep holes and soon there will be an inverted city screaming underneath the heaving belly of the invader’s horse. This is all beautiful. Inside the empire, a thousand people are running in ballerina strides across a field wearing hazmat suits. The crowd goes wild. People cry out how grim it all is. Someone cashes in. Someone mutilates themselves, someone becomes themself.

The most corrupt Asian guerilla is cooler than someone writing about how the news sucks. People name parties like ponies and then slaughter them at the altar of their iniquities. People are finding occult things and wearing them like clothing, strange words, strange thoughts – good. 

Trying to be serious by being aloof and avoiding the horizon altogether, people have combined making money and being punk, as if either made them special. Escape routes deeper into the belly of the heaving corpse. Some people say that our world is a tomb built on top of an apocalypse, and other people are saying those people are nerds. Other things are barely living at all and go on forever.

No one knows if the world existed 100 years ago. Others are breaking down each molecular moment of an instant of surveillance and turning it into poetic erotica. Camera flash. Bullet explosion. 

Dream-oriented bbs lose track of the gaps between facades. They can no longer slip into their viscose gardens. Barring all other options, new things are stitched together. The oligarchs have become disappointing. The universe has turned its horrifying face towards us, hiding its fluffy underbelly. Fragility is key. Everything that is born here wilts. Psychic irradiation. Misunderstanding of things. Fragile things are icons of nameless beauty. 

I continue my meal. I don’t understand any of it. My muscles are tense underneath layers and layers of denim. Around me, things long-powered and slowly dying flash on and off and maintain themselves for no reason.  My organs are asking things of me. It starts raining and I find somewhere beautiful to watch it. 

image: Michael Light