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thelatephoenix thelatephoenix

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the late phoenix 🔥  who is beyond the unknown universe?...

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DRIFT: DABBAWALA I don’t want to know anymore. as if you couldn’t tell. I can’t tell anyway. I kept my smile cos I was underwater. how many minutes can I hold this pattern until instinct kicks in? I know that the water is rising, but I am in no place to do anything. how can I affect change when it’s all special effects? when the next proxy war is around the corner? o what a terrible realization it is to find out your life didn’t matter. it shakes the core of the coast and leaves a rumbling murmur at the bottom of the ocean. a whisper campaign begins inside you. the world becomes small and petty before your eyes. that’s why you must close your eyes. and smooth along the alluvion. gad past your heroes. never meeting them, only dreaming them...

DRIFT: ALLUMEUSE “we’re all traveling,” I exclaim to the group, “we had to be. I know I’ve been moving this whole time.” the crew all nod as the red string squeezes them into uncomfortable cross-caps before settling on an umbilic torus. they are bunched into a shaky alliance and desperate to get out. this is ring sting of the highest order of pain. the Grounded Gale is half of its mighty hull. it once frolicked in frothy waves and feathered caps. it now festers in fear and fraught. there’s like a leak at the bottom of the ship that no one can get to. it slowly trickles out until it peters into your ear. I revert to my baser instincts. I was not meant for this, I was not meant to be saved. if it involves a chase I’m the one who needs to be rescued. trouble is, the voice repeats in a lamented snigger, you soon don’t remember who is the stalker and who is the stalked...

DRIFT: SLOW-WAVE Woonsocket offers to bathe and dress the two ladies, Erith and Serith, after their long harrowing ordeal in prep for this evening’s festivities, but they politely refuse. the remains of the crew are feeling restless as everyone gathers into my steel room for the party. Woonsocket: “we seem to be in a holding pattern. there’s not much going on.” as long as the food situation is stable, it’s alright. but it comes in waves. some nights cans are found in the corner of drying paintings below deck. other nights it just takes a screw loose to scrape steak off the hull. when the nights are coldest is when the dead blow hammer must be struck. the money situation is in flux also. it’s still uncertain whether money exchanged in international waters is legal tender. and if the checks cleared before the passengers died. Woon: “but my hands are tender, that’s the only thing.” Captain Wallet: “I’m panicking like a motherfucker over here!” Woon: “Captain, please, that’s not helpful.” Wallet: “sorry. now you know why it’s folly to have your office on water.” the people newly showered against their will clean up badly and tight in in a circle to hear. on the menu tonight are plates. and sausages. sweet sausages which have turned sour. Woon: “tonight’s featured only speaker is you.” I am startled. me: “I’m not much of a public speaker. luckily, I do have experience with eulogies. what a tender time we have, it’s short before it’s long...”

DRIFT: A MONSTER JUST FOR YOU Woonsocket violently shakes the reaching beard of Captain Wallet. Wallet: “thank goodness it was all a dream.” Woon, with aplomb: “wake up, sir, this is an emergency.” Wallet takes one clear look out his bridge pane and his permascowl permanents. the phlegm attached to his vocal chord solidifies into an icicle. from now on his talk takes on an uneasy accent. a broken British. he calmly gathers everyone on board and seats them down. he takes a few paces on top of the steering wheel to gather his thoughts. the captain turns around, lifts his pipe, and speaks: “we have just been through a trauma. collectively. a giant water monster has eaten half the ship. half of my boat is gone. my tub has been tarnished. all the passengers are dead. only this crew remains. this doesn’t change anything. our mission abides. we shall guide the vessel to safety. over choppy waters and chompy monsters. we shall complete our duty no matter what. we shall save lives. in times of imminent crisis we must always remember one thing. as a group we are stronger, and HHHHHHEEEEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPP MMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!......”

DRIFT: CARAVANSERAI “there will be no mermaid sex on this boat,” Captain Wallet says proudly, tipping the ashes over from his corncob pipe into the campfire in the middle of the bridge, “not in a tub or on my tub.” Woonsocket nudges me. Woonsocket: “snap out of it, sir. you don’t want to sleep through this experience.” I rouse rather uncomfortably. me: “thank you, Woonsocket, but this is my vacation.” Woon: “you don’t want to miss the stories.” before me we sit in a circle, folk from all stripes and class and color. the suites and the meat. all sharing their stories of the monster. they’ve come from all parts of the country, all parts of the world, and I’d like to think they’ve parked their caravans here at this one global position point on a ship’s bridge to share their unique experience. we all live in an emotional desert and it’s nice to feel wet every so often. the only thing that’s missing are the camels. tho the Captain kinda looks like a camel. tents are raised to block the windowlight and the fire swooshes up in a column. we are stunned by its mesmery. I look up to the ceiling and that’s when the smoke turns into a sort of opaque glass cylinder which glows with sparks of orange, green, and purple which are hard to discern. and define. each woman to a man and each passenger regardless of age is counted as they recount their take on the Moob...

DRIFT: GANGPLANK “I’m not one for joining ship crews,” I dismiss out of hand. Hemingway harrs. Hem: “I know you better than I know myself, me heartey. you don’t have to do any of the work. you need to relax.” Hem hands me a blurry brochure and perforated ticket. Hem: “it’s a ship liner. a cool cruise where you lounge around all day in the red Ophelian sun and watch the birds go crazy and fly in weird formations. then at night comes the prize: you lounge around past midnight watching old turgid films whilst chomping on smelly leafy cigars and sniffing stained brandy snifters. it’s a hipster’s orgasm! you’re a hipster, right?” me: “no. I just watch a lot of tv.” Hem: “sponsored by the American Movie Classics channel, AMC. your favorite I presuppose.” me: “how limiting.” Hem: “I wish I got cable on my boat. it’s lonely out there.” me: “you need a satellite dish.” Hem: “this is your dream is it not?” me: “one of them. my family filled you in well. but they’re just clues. anyway, thanks but no thanks. seems like such a bother for some fun. now let me eat my breakfast in peace.........food?” Hem: “that’s the best part! CHIPOTLE! stolen straight from the islands to your dinner table. CHIPOTLE HAS QUESO NOW!!!”...

DRIFT: PORTHOLE when you can sleep, you can dream. when you dream, you get ideas. like just last night. there I was, at the end. except it could have gone on forever. it was a movie reeling in timeless space. but I had to wake up. caught only the film’s final scene. my new friends split off into their couples. and I was watching them all with my camera. they were all on a rickety porch of warped wood and reducing rusted-in regrets. on some lodge in the Seattle hills. Chris Cornell says something silently. must have been twenty people heavying the old steps of that porch. a pale orange light posts the post. I’m waiting for Dyslexic Heart to kick in the background but it never comes. instead we get a Cameron Crowe pan shot of the overhead city, an overview utterly cloudless and grey. I start to get nervous and scratch my wrists. ever since I’ve caught the hands of a bout of hypersomnia...

STENCIL: HER LEG Judge Judy stands on her stand. on the tippety top of her rolling bench as her robes still drown her. to make a stand. for breakfast. Judy: “I will not rest till there is all food for all.” Byrd: “hunger strike?” Judy: “hell no I’m starved. what’s up with Taco Bell? I can’t have the Naked Egg Taco unless it’s in the morning. I work. there will never come a time in my life where I’ll be loitering by a Taco Bell at 9AM. they should take a page out of McDonald’s and serve breakfast all day. no wonder their ratings suck. yes, Irma, what is your grand revelation?” Melnitz: “my name is Melnitz. Mel is shorter than Irma.” Judy: “I see you filing your nails on an otherworldly iron hammer. I’m worried about you, kid.” Mel: “I don’t care what my girlfriends say, I want a man. but not a musclebound mook. I want a dainty thunderhead. I want my Egon, my squishable Egon, my needy nerdy science pillow, my pocket rocket. that’s why I built this here contraption. you don’t have to say, I see your undervaluing condescension of me in your eyes. it’s a ghost trap. I’m bringing my Egon back from the dead.” Judy: “sorry for underestimating you, doll, it’s just I always wanted a secretary. death is the unfairest of verdicts. there’s grounds for appeal, but it never gets overturned. only the graves...”

STENCIL: THE JOY OF JURISPRUDENCE "so I was telling my Tinder date," Judge Judy goes on, "I tells him, 'it's like that Fergie split. we didn't grow apart, our locations did.' whatever happened to that delicious Duhamel doughboy? I used to knead that man to death. I need that man. but he's no longer inside my small box." Byrd: "hot doc transformed into a movie man. it's no longer about saving lives, but bang for the buck." Judy: "where's the American flag which hung proud and high over me waving in the wind?" Byrd: "I took it down." Judy: "smart move. let's move on. that won't spark anything. I have a charge. the destitute, the needy, and the poor. I am a fair judge. I don't feel it but I think it. first case...oh right Irma's spiel." Melnitz slumps over her stenography machine and files her nails on an iron file whilst chewing gum. Judy: "you okay, dear? how's the kids?" "no kids," Melnitz yawks back. Judy: "which borough you hail from again?" Mel: "the island one..."

STENCIL: THE ART OF JUSTICE "the last gasp of summer is an ashen ember," Judge Judy says, "hurry up, Mr. Tallywhack, before I get old." Tallywhack: "why you got no gavel, judge?" Judy: "that's Miss Judge to you. can't you see my lace collar? my husband and I are going through a trial separation. my tongue is my gavel, you nitwit." Tallywhack covers his mouth with his cupped fingers as he says, "oh, shit. I love being here." stacks of paper arrive in front of Byrd. Byrd: "I don't know what to do with this shit." Judy: "sten, call the minutes." Melnitz pushes her fancy typewriter away from her short pencil skirt and high strapful heels. Judy: "that's a fancy toaster you got there, Nitz. whoa, I can still see your blouse!" Melnitz ruffles her red hair, adjusts her glasses, files her nails on an emery board, takes out a pencil she sharpened from chewing on it, begins drawing shapes in the air, and sighs, "they ain't implants. do we got enough armory? I wish I were named Irma like the rest of my family-business members." Byrd: "first case on the docket: people vs. I don't know, it got lost in this pile of paperwork. fuck this shit..."

(ROAD SCHOLAR) STILLING there's one thing you learn the more you travel. you learn more and more about death. my relatives are whimpering by the side of the coast. their tears move the tides, but just a bit, slowly inching the box forward. I slip into the long narrow box with her and paddle with my palms. a piece of wood on the increasingly depleting expanse. that's one thing they can't take from us yet: the rivers. the tributaries which connect all the world in mother water. I can travel the world in one stroke. there were so many other things I wanted to do and did but there's no time to show you. the lost adventures. but I kept it all in my green diary. the frays are from all the friends I've made, not late-day fritterings of fears. don't mind the scrawl. like there's that one time I went on a quilt trail in southern West Virginia and lower Vermont. all the large brown and red barns along the road hung their banners proudly, quilts of the finest woven fabric and fine time, lifetime projects draped over their giant doors. AIDS quilts and symbols of the revolution. but there was a legend all the quilts had turned into the divine image of the crying face of Brad Pitt in his various stages of grief. it was a glorious mystery. religion had finally taken foot in them forests...

GOOD TASTE (CARNAVAL OF SOULS) all crime may be forgiven, it's human after all. except for one. a crime of the heart. they told me to curate my miles not collect them. learn from them not let them go. I stuff all my frequent-flyer miles into my suitcase hoping it gets lost. heading off to a place no one will find me. not any body, not me. I want to be distracted to oblivion. I touch down on the southernmost tip, in the land of my final time. while the bus is engaged in active conversations in a language I know not of, I take my bike from the rigs on the roof and explore the country myself. this will be my last stop. over the winding arrowed paths up to the abandoned Olympic Stadium. there a fever is brewing. full of exploding lights and strained celebration and musicked debauchery. full-naked women in shimmering beads proudly displaying their feathertip headdress and lack of dress. their smiles star across the planet connecting all peoples, all the nations, all the shades of brown, as they conga into charisma and rhumba into the right. o that I could be a part of this carnival, of the tapestry if not the mosaic. to leave my legacy to show that I was here. I close my eyes and soak it all in as if it were my final time...

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