by Terence Sellers

"We protest against any interference with the free development of delirium "
-Antonin Artaud

I cannot say it better but I will go on talking, this is the fate of all writers who are cruel like that to themselves and to you who must hear it all again. The masks, suspended over the void. How well I see the void, under acid. This is why most fear acid : you see the masks, the masked void and the void obtruding, just like that word it thrusts: OBTRUDES. Masks we need to give us human form! But why go on bothering with form, human ? Trapped and trapped hopelessly in the rotting human mask. More than a trap: an exhausting horror of a bore.

ZOMBIES? Zombies are ruling New Orleans. Where I am zombies are ruling... Kim, don't make me think about the zombies now. Zombies have no masks. Some zombies are drinking beer. They say it is a great honor to be made into a zombie. They give you a drug and bury you alive. Then, when the zombification drug wears off, they dig you up.
Don't let them dig me up, Kim. The drug wears off and they have a celebration, and the zombified-reborn dances with his coffin. So where is MY coffin, I WANT TO DANCE WITH MY COFFIN RIGHT THIS MINUTE GODDAMMIT.

ROT? Universal rot. O great constancy of rot, I love you! O vanity of all effort, O luxurious perception! Teach me, o rot, how to do nothing. Teach me how to love the void. I'm dancing now, I'm dancing for you, bring on all the coffins and we'll dance so gaily a-dancing away.

I now allow all civilization to rot.
And why not? It ought to, quietly and humbly as is fitting. But it makes a great screeching riot as the acid dissolves the metal, it reeks and pours a venom in our eyes. This pus we may consider decadent culture. But it's all rot, held up by a vast machinery of steel beam and concrete cubicle and inerasable timetable. The steel was stolen from the earth, that's the problem. They learned to steal, that's the problem. Railroad tracks to the blind depot where a yawn passes for a poem, industrial urge trying to fake out the rot but cannot. Mechanical breeding urge, to make more flesh for machines, must stop. Just going on creating more of itself for no reason but more rot? All thrill dies in the noonday sun, Nietzsche's noonday blaze above the stuttered prayers. TIME TO ROT. Stop putting the rocks in concrete, stop grinding up the rocks for the concrete. Solidified and shrieking metal all up and down Park Avenue, crying to get back to their quiet rock homes. I hate mankind! Stupid conduit of eating mouths, the disgust of the Void Imperial will be meeting you at high noon on the corner of Park and Desire.

In a fit I saw menopausal Mother Earth with a hot flash throw you off her sore and sagging bosom, every gaping maw, every fleshly eating sucking need of you, endlessly multiplying pigs in shit rot of it all, O seething void of breeders may I get as far as I can from you!

Kim and I wandering on acid in the burlesque house on Bourbon Street, gazing in dismay at the naked boys dancing and begging for dollars ignorant and breedy, spreading their saliva through the innocent air. Kim whispered to me, It's that old festering ooze again Mama... can't keep it from coming through the cracks. Plug it up, NOW, we complained to the management as I threw my wallet into the swirling stream of whores.

In the car we escaped to Nature. In the tiny park we tried to adore, but everywhere came golfers in ochre, red and green, the colors of the rotting brain. Upon the clipped greens the golfers dallied, resting their spiked shoes on the crust over the abyss. How can they put on those red pants and those pink sweaters and balance on goofy shoes upon the seethe? Putt-ing their balls along the green crusts, so blithe? Their little white balls fall into the hole, where even now the ooze comes arising. It's just a crust away. Blasé how can they go a-putt-ing across the abyss, right alongside the old bayou lake full of crocodiles?

We decided the answer must be in the roots. All we had to do was hang onto the roots and the ooze would not seep out so fast. We would cleanly void our beings... I immediately from sheer horror puked, and there was ego, lying in the swill. Farewell old nobody. The roots of the oak held me firmly in place, but it seemed Jupiter was not fond of me that day. I was climbing down, down, just learning the password when a brownie, disguised as a golfer, mischievously demanded to know what my python boots had cost. Zip, squish, back in the package, fleshy mask with the ooze a-percolating just beneath, and me aswimming frantic fast away.

A problem arose as I was escaping. I dissolved, but the pen held steady. How could that be? There was nothing I wanted to write anymore. I knew at that moment my sigil was to be the talisman of the crossed-out word. I could not describe it though, and drew its picture. How do you make a picture of a crossed-out word? How do you make a picture of something that's erased?

I was reading the first manuscripts of the ancient fathers. I took white paint and painted over some of their words. This made the fathers angry, but to show all the letters was no longer the point. The crossed-out word was the word to be. I showed them all the machines, how the insides were worn-down, the steel point bent back. The machines no longer breathed, and were being towed away to where they would no longer be of interest to anyone but wretched scholars chastely gazing at them inside glass cabinets in dust-bound museums on the edge of some old seeping bayou.

I fixed it so no-one could read in the old manuscripts all the fathers had writ. They were plenty P-O'd but I just laughed and got real free. There were the old manuscripts piled up to the sky with big white blocks all through them, made by me - but even so over these white blocks were a last few vengeful marks made by the fathers coming back for one last try. In anger they hacked the marks deep in the bank of manuscript, that may now be seen as white cliff emerging from a grey mountainside. From my faraway place these cracks upon the white and curling page of stone are beautiful, and before them the words fall into silent disarray, for the stone overrules forever any scratch-mark made, as before the stone my pen is at last laid down, mutely reverent to know all is vain, all effort vanity, o luxurious and final perception!

Great and mystic inspiration! rock, stone, and pebbled sea! Speak to me, granite, of dark thoughts never spoken! Tell me o diamonds of clarity! Talisman in stone, my sigil of the crossed-out Word, in sacred silence, never to be translated! lest the world come to an end.

Perhaps someone is waiting for me to tell them the X word is love. Too many masks worn and worn out, too many old lonesome byways traveled over and retraveled for that to be a secret anymore.

New Orleans

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