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Travis Hedge Coke

“Each of the Four Wings –”


            “Periodically, a fish gets a bit too close to surface, just tapping that distinction, and occasionally, getting to border that border, the fish gets taken up by a bird and consumed.  This, from the perspective of some fish who make it back waters’ way, is an ilunamation.”

            ~ Lili and Cay on tyr-Ga-tern for the Sunday Supplement


            She woke and robed herself in a house of flesh, the very same she had arrived in, traveled with, and been occasionally scene to not draw too immaculately.  Surface tension skimming the time bubble, a wing and some friction keeping it together in the face of the plastic world.  Reflex elasticity in dreams and travel.
            Jeweled spheres of irreality bounced around her, legion, drowning her with their immactulate presence, impertinent permanence, integral impermanence.  Dancing midget doctrices made up of rhinestones and smoke, disco-ball godchildren dropping on every and any new age and fresh moment of now now NoW NOW )now( and once more again.  Asking her to step outside her house, sure, but also dropping onto that house, dropping in, kicking her feet out from under, tripping down through, fallen up the stares and the sighs, the words and visions.
            Enj stares at the toes of her boots, watches the glassine glittery simplicity, bloody sparkly dancing shoes, and hopes they’ll go away pretty quick.  Pretty globes of glorious.  gifts, quickly refracting off the broad earth and walls.  of winds waiting for the arrival of nyctolux.
            Beautiful, statuesque, parental effigy, icon of icons, fetish of fetishes, just and fairly paened star who arrived at that moment.  That, in which Enj and the faery doctrices dwelt, moment, was well the nyctolux.  With hand (honeyed songbird bee!) hovering over holstered zipwand, waiting for the excuse and perfect timing.  Triply cool Hermes hoofing it, hurrying to just wait in the rafters until the call comes and he drops down all terrifyingly perfect and ingenious.  Three petal rose throwing, dressed to the nines and masked as donned, my friend, One, signaled by flute and a sheen across the atmosphere writ large and all-capable.  Scripting it himself, in charge and charged with the greatest responsibility.  The nyctolux, yes.  I’d say so.  Cool, impassionate, vengeful and just, the nyctolux loves us all.
            All in the affect.  All for us.  All in the cyst.
            Said the nyctolux, “I’m…”
            “A rat in fetish gear with impractical tools in your belt?” Enj chanced.
            The nyctolux may have been amused, but e gave no outward sign.  E drew the zipwand and pointed it westward.
            Enj’s eyes went straight to the tip of the zipwand, no choice at all, and on final focus, took in the landscape.  Cartooned trees and overly-rendered architecture, huts and hollows and a green, perfect rectangle of the Arcadian sort, as the town’s centerpeace.  A furrow of old earth unfurled from one corner of the park, uncoiling golden serpent shaped from a bricked up riverbed, waterless way and petulantly pestilent path.  Clouds like spun sugar curled above, seeming so close against the depthless blue background.  Anything more than twenty-three feet distant, in any direction, could have been painted there, and achieved the same seeming edifice.
            Enj started walking.  Things kept happening.
            There is no river without any fish, or anything resembling fish close enough to just be called fish without much complication.  Where there are fish, there are fish gods and where there are gods, they are eventually going to get bored with godding, and start crowning true kings all over the place.  One such fishy king was left hung on a doggone hook, from a soft-barked tree, beside the road which Enj just happened to be following out of town, towards the painted horizon.
            Simply happened that way.  No synchronicity or scripting; honest.  Some simply happen in a sequence – the gun can just be sitting on a shelf, to be used three scenes later, it does not have to be plotted ahead of time.  I lied, I did – this was plotted before this.  One can only write as quickly as one can put letters down and the letters probably are not as fast as the thoughts.
            Thoughts were the fish king’s main difficulty, thrashing on his barb, gasping for breath and unable to free himself.  Going in circles, never really getting anywhere.  King on a hook up a tree by the road used to be a river now dry and dead, desperate.
            Now, what had to be done, Enj figured, was to take one or two of those circles, and bend it a bit, get it good and flexible, then she could work it once over, so it’s like a mobeus strip.  God.  Now, she took that strip and twisting firmly, pinched off the flow, so everything internal just shimmied in short quakes, shedding momentum, and eventually, you’re born.  Or sane.  Supraliving.  Same thing as the other things.
            In getting him off the hook, she gave the king his brain – look, I don’t care if it was a wrinkly meat engine for volleying electricity or a collusion of metaprogramming and plastimemeplexing, let’s just call it a brain and be done.  Saves time.
            Time saves and samed, the king, who was in fact an emperor, recognized the necessity of a pursuit of brain, at this same time.  The icthyan emperor is taken into Enj’s enclave of consciousness, making himself comfortable and useful along for the rite.  Anamnesis avoided beautifully, being actually brought about by analgesic distinctions.  Reversed and revered, probably.
            “Just think,” she said to the conjoining emperor, “Cub’s probably going to drop a little microscale version of you any day now.”
            With fading rememberance of all things past and future passed, the emperor shook his head, and thought not.
            “The forgetting isn’t working,” he admitted.  “Need something I can occupy my mind with.  Something bigger and more pressing than everything.”
            Enj grinned and lopped off his right hand.
            The emperor had his revenge, though, ‘cause the first thing he did after forgetting everything, was to pick the hand up off the gold pavement, and eat the thing, bones and all.  Fish, go figure!
            The scarecrow scratched his husks with the waterhand the wolf bought off. Enj was lowly posssessed by the wolf, in spirit and in sin, his ensign on her, their honor stiched in. The emperor’s ignorance, as it grew, replaced with water whatever. As needed. The physical scales and corn scratchings the emperor was stuffed of wereall tyrably easy for her to chomp through. Gnash. Gnashing. Wail!
            The figure was wholly artificial, at least on a physical scale, one could tell that immediately.  Soon as one could read the words, anyway, which is practically immediate, for the sake of this story. N! L! M! Holy artifice! (The axe, the oak! The raven, the fox, and the fountain!) Since bonnie face tuned on Zoe through Alethia, lethe once (Lethe sleep the dogs oft war!) twain thirty-two eons.
            So, holy artificial, then, the NLM.  Structurally, physically, desperately.  And peisocognative, which is almost the same as a nonreflexive xenotelepathy, but not.  Alien.  Absolutely alien, to itself, to all.  Sapient heterosapien hero.  Shaped as it touches everything and remains eternally, perfectly untouched.  Aside from a small matter of utter paranoia and terror when confronted with too fast particular experiences (e.g. plasma, fire, love…) utterly disparate from anything you or I could come up with.
            Alien and terrified of change; movement.  Untouching in the depths of the world, afraid of experience.  Cowardice and cold just won’t due.  Enj thought of whom she left behind.  Then that happened.  Did she leave?  Or, was she left?  Things kept happening.
            Enj, at an impass, decided to run the rest of the way, broaching the distance between her and the alien as quickly and exhaustingly as she could.  Pointy parts rounded and round parts blunted to points, surface flowing with anti-colors, it looked green until you really looked, then, closely focused, reds and blues were all over, those too not there.
            It’s all very complicated.  Terrified deep in the woods.  Left or leaving.  Trapped.  Has to be complicated because the simple version is very too cruel.
            There is no polite way to run up and down stairs in a hoopskirt.  Trees and flights.  Enj had the emperor water her up some pants and kept after the alien.  Trees and flights.  The alien did not seem to mind them, unmoving, indistinctly separate from events and their atmosphere.  Trees and flights.  The woods and stairs folded around them blankly, another fraction of the alien’s improper physiogeography.  Trees and flights.

            Enj and the emperor arrived, it’s xenontology superseparating with the arrival.  Contact established, it distanced.  The antipop engram malfeased and fused itself at the base of the not-spinal call of the alien, but the emperor, looking a bit like a pregnant cow at the head of a delta somewhere sunny and plagued by old, cranky ontologists and their sheep, managed to get all the fragments back in the right order.  Jammed them together, really, but then, that’s always the proper alignment, yes/no?  It’s all in the recognition.
            Getting the alien to recognize, was something else.  Something else, entirely.
            So, with a waterhand and watertrousers between, they managed to work a bit of lubricating memes into the alien’s infostructure and lucubration showered incubare and carousel, music and revolutions and little else.  Entirety.
            Enj had been expecting most of this, and dealing so effectively and immediately with the bits she had not, that it was nearly impossible, to a random audience, what she was and was not expecting.  Cantankerous zen.  The ring, for example, was an idea planted in her plots, long before it was positioned in the chapel.  Brought to perfection and presented under glass.  Leather and glass – ware transliteration.  This, in conjunction with the antipop infusion, generates the Obpservation Womb of the mothertext.  We haven’t got back to that, again, as of yet, though.
            Let us repeat:
            The questing yeast was not part of the original plan, so far as Enj knew it, but it was completely honest and totally fearless.  It was, however, incapable of recognizing these truths about itself, despite their being the sole thrust behind it’s remorphic technologies.  This is more important, more impetus for growth and development, than policing the mothertext could ever hope to provide.
            Five cardinals governing the map, one bishop left on the board, three of them stuck in the deep woods nobody’s ever heard to be getting out from.  To establish inroads, one must have mapped.  Overlay self-image over sophism, not the territory, but the map directs.  The map becomes record, becomes demonstration and something can be checked, can be established or double-checked.  Enj watches the map overtake, one hemisphere, one long curved horizon, for everything.  Just beyond the painted.  Righteously beyond her horizon, nologo contendre, sesnativity, alasticity, response.  To play in realtime, must replay                 repeat              respond                       Caine said animal spirits were to blame, as did Eve.  Adam dominated, Abel slaughtered.  Stoned with envy and revenge.  Glamour engines standby.
            Replay involves a vast unsetting of places and unstaging, two:  vast unsettling machinery in motion, employing healthy structure and friction:  that when upon bare in me ruined those yellow time of leaves boughs choirs thou seeest where which or thou: time in retrograde: I am dying: I am dying: I am dying: I am dying: school or club or library or church or mountain, river, falls or halls: Spiderweb city, soot blood and iron cut through with living winds.  Cute though, cold, living winds.  Often blood weakens the soil, creating slowly a sinkhole collapsing in shaky waves.  But, not here.  Here, blood and sand turn to icy concrete, cementing a midwestern trade city into history and assuring it’s standing in the future.
            They put one hemisphere’s map over the other hemisphere.  Covered, the drawn roads, the mapped positions, all become clear on the map.
            “Look,” she said with her usual deathly insight.  “You want to be fearless and truthful and brave and make all these amazing adventures, right?  But, you can’t make anything because you can’t look at anything unfocused enough to see it solid, unafflicted, uncomplicated.  There are too many intervals and iterations to the world to be brave and honest and pure like that?  Too much color in the world keep you from making anything for yourself?
            “So,” she laughed, “the answer’s simple.”
            Enj thumbed the detonator she’d just made up.  Symphonic panhedonia.  The chiaroscuro bomb flashed blank and shade.  Folds of light and ambience ripped through trees, bricks, stairs and mountains, sky and emperor.
            “I cannot tell a lie,” he said, surveying the dualist forest and singularly black and white world he was charged with.  (“We are the skin between their concerns.”)
            They tried to steal a ring off some magicky psychotic, spilled a grail over them, instead.  They dissolved, the ring was handed over to the antipop who was defrocked as a wizard of any standing outside of name, and antinomian Enj was forced to strong-arm the very same antipop into gifting her three companions with what she had to keep from them for most of their journey.  All three understood the necessity, to keep the quest going, but even the questing yeast was now grown beastly beyond the capacities of this thin atmosphere and wanted for greater heights.  They tried to elevate Enj, but to no avail.
            (“We take our concerns and call them worlds.  Then, we pit our worlds against one another, and call it relationships.”)
            The nyctolux was greatly amused, as upon arrival, the four bent backwards through space and// issues hoping// to/ to do/  you mean// mean, you can/ you can’t do any// anything for/ for// Enj?”
            “The zipwand is useful only for affect and response,” the nyctolux admitted.  Wagged the thing, well, waggishly; tossed off.  Enj caught the ring, tight between two fingertips, turning it under the light of scrutiny.  Everything green and mad – mad insane, mad driven, not really angry.  You can’t be angry when you’re winning, when you’ve won, when you cannot do anything other than win.  Berth rite, and all.  The ‘and all’ was especially significant, collapsing all failure options into a quagmire that solidified into cold success.
            You’ve got suck factor.  Ha ha ha.
            Hell with this, Enj thinks, bearding herself like ishtar and steps nyctolux into the , by which it is meant, the nyctolux ‘s mask.  Was she leaving?  Does parting have to be leaving?  Pacified, Enj looks once more to her shoes, slightly disconcerted, and lets fly with a spontaneous mantra that surely cannot work it is so simple and pure and otherwise unstressed.  Invisible moondogs, bleeding silver and love, nip at her heels.
            (“Crisis!  Two worlds being smashed together by giants.  Or, are they flying apart and those hands struggling to hold them to one another?”)
            Fast.  Like a pack of cards they all go flying off across the table: moon, sun, lovers, et all.  Faster.  Death is a moon; life, cislunar.  In line, the fine, great eyn divine are mine.  Quickly, now.  Touching toe to mine, it jumps and lets out its shrapnel like cards dealt at hyperspeeds, lethal glitter suspended in a momentous dilation of panic.  Faster and faster and asterfastferastefratsrestafasteratstopspeed∙
            Yes.  No, Enj had reaching stop speed and then now is soon after again.  Binarism dissected and mutilated into ultimate complexity and thrown to life like a good pot, though less glazed or case hardened.  Soft life, programming, resinsurrection on a monstrous scale.  Alchymerical wedding of Enj and.
            (“Silver slides in the mouth, almost a texture as teeth close together, delicate on the closedmouth tongue.)
            Integral matrices of the mothertext, bounding the.
            Plural Enjs hinge around the question.  “What?  This then how is and with it cope?”
            Like shattered gloss, the New Life Monster says: ″PASTE CUT RECOMMUNICATE…„
            (Speed is subject to Xeno’s Wal, simply trying to get somewhere by overtaking various increments of distance, progressively.  Nobody has ever gotten anywhere, this way.
            So much better, to simply cut out the interim, to reposition and recontextualize to immediate presence and present.

            Or, as the NLM has it: ″RECOMMUNICATE PASTE … CUT „)





Apollo’s head is ofttimes beneath Athena’s mask and an educational gloss of darkness.