red wheels. black castles. the watchful eyes of spies. turning. constantly turning. shifting from one dimension to the next. their scope is insurmountable and all encompassing. a hospital bed. some masonic rite. a ritual beyond time. bureaucrats and suits have taken the room I used to call home. dressed in garb of ceremony, with wire and water. a black man sits guard as a semi-circle of self-deified demi-gods harvest spirits from one host and disseminate them into another. henchmen and watchers of the dark custodian of the night. they mill about through burning garbage heaps of what was once a living city. now only the damned live here. men are marked with war in their hearts and there is a still sickness in the eyes of most of the women. everyone in this particular ring of hades must pay penance to the so-called king. a dark and terrible figure. he was once an everyman. class president. he was 17 when the shadow people kidnapped him. then everything changed. training. every second, every moment, spent turning his body and mind into formidable weapons. swimming laps around the pool. running miles to school each day. then marine corps just after graduation. black ops one year, then undefined the next. orders come from nowhere. people disappear without a whisper. funds wired to off shore accounts. now he runs the blood trade to the hyper-dimensionals. his is a bloodthirsty and chaotic kingdom. years of killing and terror have made him the perfect candidate to rule this arcane and profane netherworld.
my lover, of course, has caught the eye of the warlord. and in some strange turn of events, he has taken her to be his own. I don’t recall why this happened, or how this came to be. as a matter of fact, I can’t remember much at all. I’m currently sitting in some river of hell, with some vague recollections of a skirmish with the blood-king and his minions, and more than a couple wounds of my own to speak of. keeping me company are an onslaught of demons. they torture my every waking thought until I pass out in agony. then the pain begins. in dreams they strike without reason. with no restraint. I’ve been here only 5 seconds and my hair is grey from the eternities I have suffered.
biting through the pain I have managed to shift dimensions. an oracle. a water woman has given me a key. blue stones. as pendant, necklace, or bracelet. protection against the profane puppeteer. she washes the blood from my eyes and I am awakened into the accumulative dream. a breath of fresh air. with only the orcish haunts of 21st century progress and the ever present fear of nuclear warfare, government enslavement, and the automobile to weigh on my soul.
here I am in the woods. somewhere in the west. the trees smell of a heavenly warmth. each breath brings healing. blue waters, crystal enchantments.
if I had more control of this accumulated awakening I would make all the world in greens and golds and soft browns and blues.
for now however I simply drift.
back to heaven for a moment.
and then the plunge to hell.
party. lucifer. drugs. chaos. I am walking with my lover through the blackness of the 7 castles of some dark mordor. moments, bizarre. it’s like a Dante Alegre novel but trade the peasants for metropolitan college students. I am literally surrounded by bar kids, milling about, screaming their heads of. the great lemming exodus is ever upward towards this chasm of spiraling blackness. there is no rhyme or reason, and being without great compulsion ourselves, we follow the procession warily. dark and hooded monks whisper repulsive oaths on the fringes. they speak of a great reward at the top of the castle. we emerge to find the copulating onslaught of youth throwing themselves into the harsh shadows of an endless plunge down into the depths of a great abyss. they scream and drink merrily as they throw themselves naked into the immolation. written in blackened blood above the chasm is some sort of antithesis.
ALL YE SOULS
LOST IN YE DECADENCE
CAST YE SELVES INTO THE ABYSS
AND IN THE LETTING THROWS OF DEATH
BECOME ONE WITH THE GREAT CREATOR
I shudder and say
But my lover? Where has she gone? I search. The vacuum suddenly empty. Now faced with the thought of isolation from my desire, I step towards the edge. Ready to jump, and depart into the endlessness of yet a deeper and darker hell, my redemption comes in the form of a cackling coyote. my lover, there too. and a great swirl. I step away from the edge and into a palace full of etiquette and japanese decor. a couple makes love on the couch. velvet overhangs hang from the walls. a cream castle with deep wooden beams and golden light trickling through everywhere. I take a deep breath.
for now, again, I am free.
can I even recall where my accumulated awakening has brought me from here?
stars. endless and countless as the waves of the ocean. as mighty and ferocious. as peaceful and serene. they flicker and break on the coast. they erode the painful blackness of my virgin heart. leaving only the joyful youth. to be wild. for now. to be fulfilled. to be baptized, ever in the presence of saints. an angelic chorus of wind and water.
I drift away on that endless ocean and awake in a hotel room.
black tar. poor boys. finest heroin. cocaine and whiskey walls. this is my kind of hell. a television plays sportscenter. I drink a mix of cough syrup and red wine. a knock approaches in the doorways of my mind. then manifests in the physical. dream physical.
this is new. I dream. the deeper dream. and now I feel. there is lucidity. this is something different. the cord is getting thicker. I am pulling myself through the void and into a deeper dimension. I do not know its door. I do not know its name. all I know is I’ve been there. I am. there.
resume to the door. I can feel instantly. this is a cop. so do my cohorts in our drug induced haze.
dark stone: guys. it’s a cop.
drug homies: turn him into something.
dark stone: what?
drug homies: turn him into something.
dark stone: what? turn him into what?
too late the door opens. I see the badge. I taste the taser. I can almost feel the steel of the cuffs.
so I think fast. I imagine my old friend. a pitcher who I haven’t seen in a couple years.
there he is. no cop. just my old friend and the muffled applause of the rest of the homies in the drug den.
he grabs a beer. I eat some white powder. the room starts spinning. in a minute or two we’re fighting. I have issues. abandonment issues. attachment issues.
he’s mad I didn’t flush the toilet.
flash forward. a couple of fists fly. I grab a handful of dust and mark a square in the ground. dodge a left. step outside of a right, and old homie has fallen through some demon trap I’ve set.
the total and absolute dissolution of all perceived physical surroundings.
in a yellow fog the world begins to dissolve. if you could superimpose sand through an hour glass, a burning picture, and melting wax, that would come close. as the world of before begins to fall it is soon replaced by castles. new castles. this is no hell. these are vast and complex vertices of ice. great snow palaces rising up. I fall through a velvet sky into a mountain of snow. all around me are my dearest friends. I hear the barking of dogs and the cracking of reins. sled dogs. friends mushing through the white powder wonderland. ice castles everywhere. fairies of auroura borealis hues freckle the bright star kissed sky. I have fallen into a deeper dream. a new place of wonder and endless benevolent whimsy and delightful possibility.
this is my kind of heaven.
explosions mark the sky. I am pulled from conversing with anthropomorphic dogs and igloo building australians to an uproar of pixie dust filling the entire snow covered scene with the most spectacular sensory show the world has ever seen. as each speck of dust begins to hit the ground and each particle meets the snow, a strange melting happens to the snow and great and powerful trees rise up from the puddles, vast as lakes, at a mile a minute. upward. rushing upward. faster and ever faster until the whole world is that majestic gold green of the deep and sleeping forest. my brother the archer is first to his feet.
Brothers! Awake, and quickly. take refuge behind the trees…
and in seconds a multitude of elk, as large as elephants and as tall as giraffes run through the forest by the hundreds. so dense are they at first that all one can sense is the great mass of these behemoths and the great trumpeting of the forest floor rumbling beneath their wake. their giant and corded muscles rippling, looking almost like trees themselves, and each massive exhaling breath like a warm ocean mist. this all happens so fast, and gradually, like some violent yet peaceful tsunami, this all subsides as the herd becomes smaller and more sparse until finally, a single elk, no larger than usually and gradually becoming smaller, begins to take a humaoid shape and slowly turn towards our direction with great antlers towering meters in the air and deep almonds and amber eyes glistening in the golden light. he speaks with the voice of a god and makes an utterance that wakes me into a new paradigm.
there in the counsel of the high trees in that magnificent wood, the oracle speaks.
YOU WHO HAVE GATHERED HERE IN THE DEPTHS OF YOUR DEEPEST DREAMS
FROM THIS MOMENT ON YOUR TRIBE SHALL BE KNOWN AS FAIRIE TOUNGE
FOR BY YOUR WORKS AND SONGS
HAVE AWOKEN THOSE WHO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF THE GREAT FOREST