From the Horse's Mouth

At the Belfry of Robot Armageddon

Posted in Dreams, Visions by theskinhorse on March 3, 2011

During a weird robot Armageddon:

The sky was grey with black clouds of smoke and pillars of fire from the rampant destruction all around. Large machines were steamrolling over major cities all over the world. I was currently in one such city. I got the sense that I had been with my intimates, a number of them, before the hellfire started. Coming into consciousness of the dream mid-run, I only saw one recognizable face keeping up with me: Y. We were headed to the nearest intact building for an emergency town meeting. Horns were sounding all around as people scurried in a frenzy, like ants from insecticide. Amid the chaos, some of us managed to dodge falling debri and keep our wits about us.

Y and I safely found our way into the building. Once inside, I noticed that it was an old, somewhat modest Catholic church. A town leader, sweating and bloodied, was pacing at the altar with papers and weapons in hand. Y and I caught our breath in one of the pews.

“We can’t wait for everyone,” the leader said. To the people just coming in: “Close that door. We have to make this quick before they destroy this building, too.” With that, he began ranting about devising action plans, taking certain escape routes out of the city and forming escape groups. Despite his words and thin veil of encouragement, the people were losing hope fast. Painful shrieks and catastrophic scenes had already broken their spirit. Most people in the church were mouthing prayers or beseeching their personal god. It was evident that the majority was not listening to his words, but, instead, they were making peace with their imminent end.

Y started saying something; I phased in mid-stream and caught that she didn’t want to remain here. “This is likely our final hours, right?” She stated.

I nodded.

“Then let’s go. I don’t want to be here with these people waiting for death.”

“OK,” I said. “Where are we going?”

We both looked to the ancient, defunct citadel with the historic belfry that had always been restricted to the public. “I’ve always wanted to go inside and sit at the top.” She said.

“Me too.” I smiled.

We exited through the front door of the church. There was so much commotion and catharsis inside that no one noticed. Outside, fiery debri still rained from the sky and maelstroms of sound emanated from the machines that ripped through the town. We ran the mile in our ragged clothes under smoke and oil. Once inside the belfry, we fell beside the staircase to catch our breath and share some water before our long ascension. We talked about the missing as we hiked the stairs. She was torn apart at losing track of K. I was equally saddened by the separation from W1 and W2.

In the middle of the staircase, there was a strange opening to a room. It was a small room, with only enough space for a narrow mattress and a shelf. Decorations were scarce. The few apparent were all spiritually-oriented. We took repose in the room, again to share what little water was left, attempting to spare some for our tenuous future. The desperation within us came out in that room. To share fears at the proverbial 11th hour was foolishness, so, instead, we shared secret desires and fond memories. Amidst our conversation, sexual feelings arose. Though the end of the world seems like an inappropriate time to engage in such activities, it is also perhaps the most appropriate time. There wasn’t much of a conversation about my inexperience with women, as Y already knew that. I wasn’t particularly awkward, which was better for both of us.

After a brief and superficial tryst, we had made our way to the top of the bell tower. There was a large open area with a ledge where we both decided to sit. She leaned against the right side while I took to the left. From our perch, we watched the city burn and the sky turn colors. We knew that the destruction of the tower was inevitable, but at least we’d be at peace in a place above the world of humans when the final blow came.

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The Salesman & I present the story of The Boy and The Room of God

Posted in Dreams by theskinhorse on July 13, 2010

I found myself at a retail warehouse – some strange mix of Bed, Bath & Beyond and Best Buy. At first, I could not distinguish myself from some of the shoppers I saw: the newly-wed couple, the lone intellectual, the overly enthusiastic child, the exhausted mother, the care-free bachelor, and the malcontent teenagers. They were all there, and I grappled to figure out who I was this time around. Or was I the disembodied Watcher again?

No. The Salesman could see me. As I found my body and my orientation, I felt his eyes already on me, as if he had been watching since the second I entered this dreamscape. He was an attractive man of somewhere around 30 years. His skin tone and hair color hinted at a lineage descended from desert-faring people. Immobile he stood, with his hands held behind his back while his eyes interrogated my presence. Eyes just like a gun, with all the world in his cross-hairs; he was not of this world common to the shoppers. But, then again, neither was I so it seemed.

As shoppers approached him with questions, he morphed into a dozen different people. Each one was tailored to the customer’s tastes, and he always got the sale. I watched through the newly-wed couples’ eyes as he saw an attractive young woman addressing the novelty and fun found in the item while she saw a warm, mild-mannered man appealing to her sensibility and frugality. He herded them from one aisle to another and finally, to the checkout. In my examination of the Salesman, I ignored the customers as much as they seemed not to see me.

Outside the warehouse was an unremarkable desert that felt like a hole in the world. I could hear and feel the wind, but strangely, it seemed not to move anywhere: no origin and no destination. The Salesman appeared behind me, and assumed the same stance as before. His eyes spun through several colors and shapes. We stood in silence, glaring at each other. Neither of us were looking for answers or explanations; we seemed beyond the point of interrogation, now into the phase of silent accusations. Was I the Accused or the Accuser? Did (does) it, would (will) it, should (who cares about “shoulding” anyway) it really matter?

Nothing happened in the desert. We eventually walked off in the same direction, not together, but not completely apart from one another.

We entered the old house turned base. Those we knew were inside doing whatever it is they do. It was something important to them, some political activist activity or some kind of “rebellion.” It was of little importance to both the Salesman and myself, though, everyone else seemed unaware of our disinterest. They spoke to us as if we were thick as thieves and blood brothers. Perhaps that is how they saw us. Truth be told, the Salesman and I were far “closer” in those ways than either of us with any of them. They were of the world of shoppers; that very great fact immediately places galaxies between us. Whereas the Salesman and I- we were two of a Kind.

The activists continued on with their activities, speaking nonsense words to us. We sat in opposing chairs and communicated via eyes. I knew my eyes were much like his own. The flickers of information and subtle changes went unrecognized by those of this world; our eye changes were above (or below) and beyond their perception range. The activists probably were consciously unaware of the effects of our exchange, but within minutes, the base became silent and still. No one asked aloud if anything was wrong, but they gradually gathered close to us. Some sat behind the Salesman and some sat behind me.

Stories were told through the movement of gas molecules, but no one spoke a word. Images of the desert were transmitted and imprinted in the air. There was a boy that looked very much like the Salesman, only he was about fifteen years his junior and of the world of shoppers. He was not as quick, clever or confident as the Salesman (his idol and role model), but he would never admit these things to anyone except in prostration to the Salesman.

This boy set out into the desert on a mission. My side did not know his mission, but we had hints about his mindset. He carried a messenger bag full of unknowns. It felt like weapons that lacked conviction, and I knew the boy lacked expertise. Perhaps a gun with blanks or perhaps a knife he would wield unconvincingly. Images were choppy, like a reel that has been edited or spliced. In the desert he found some men and he found some women. He passed by the men, making eye contact but no threats. With the women, he would attempt flirtation. The ones that returned the flirtation made him sweat. If they giggled, he would sweat some more. If he construed the giggling for ridicule, out came the gun. He would command them to kneel and place their hands behind their head. Many would cry and beg for mercy, which would empty out his eyes while searchlights flooded his mind. He prayed for the Salesman to guide him, constructing His image in his mind. Then the Salesman slipped into his body. During this time, the boy had no recollection of the actions taken. He would return to himself as the women walked away, unharmed, without a care and sometimes even in high spirits. He would torture himself with attempts to remember the details, but the Salesman requested that he be content without the memories.

This cycle repeated many times on many days of many months to years. Before grabbing the gun and turning it on a woman, the boy told himself that he would go through the motions himself. Whatever it was he was doing, he would be the one to do it. He would remember. The Salesman would take pity on his condition and allow him. Or else he would rebel against the Salesman and reclaim his body and mind. But time and time again, the Salesman would appear in his mind, calm the boy and disarm him. The boy would retreat and feel safe and warm as he drifted to sleep.

There was one time when the boy awoke while he was still holding a gun to a woman. He had recollection of him/the Salesman ordering the woman to praise aloud Ha-Li (THE Godform). This particular woman refused; she was the first to do so. The boy panicked. He consciousness fled in and out. The name of Ha-Li was used in vain and blasphemed. Were there gunshots? It was difficult to know. Suddenly, the woman disappeared from the images. The boy walked back to the base like a zombie in sweat-soaked clothes and an empty messenger bag.

His body tumbled into the room, startling those immersed in the mind-movie-story. Both the Salesman and I watched him; neither of us moved from our chairs. He shouted at both of us- words of hatred, pain, remorse, renunciation, and accusation that bled from disillusionment and delusions. He waved a key in the air in a triumphant defiance that neither of us quite understood. He said he would enter The Room of God, and that neither of us could stop him or dissuade him. We could not go with him, he stated; he proclaimed that he knew we were of the Damned. If we were of his world, perhaps we would fear for him or attempt to stop him from opening that door with the silly key he waved around.

The door was a plain one with chipped white paint and an old handle that rusted over a bit. It was on one wall of the house/base. Nothing else was kept on this wall; the wall had a way of rejecting wall hangings. It broke mirrors and absorbed any ink or paint so it was always a bare, plain, old, white wall. From the outside of the house, there looked to be a sun room on the other side of the door. It was constructed of white boards and columns that held the unbreakable glass in place. We could see the other side of the door through the glass from the outside. Nothing was in the room, which was all the better considering anything under glass in hot dessert sun would bake.

The boy took off his shirt and went into one of the bedrooms to change into a new pair of pants and a gray, zip-up hoodie that he left open. The Salesman and I saw him in white robes in flashes as he moved from the bedroom to the door. He shouted some more nonsense and then grandly unlocked the door. The activists were shocked that they key worked. They backed away. It seemed that even the boy was shocked that he had found the one, magical, working key. He was awestruck and regarded the inside of the room with much trepidation. We smelled the fear wick off him and heard his heart beat like a jackhammer. He molded his face to something he thought to be impressive and victorious as he turned to the activists in his sorry facade.

He lifted his foot to step inside and no sooner than he made the motion did the room respond by sucking him in as if he had opened a vacuum. The activists did not see this, though. To them, he had merely stepped inside as light spilled at his feet, and the door clicked shut behind him.

The Salesman and I met him inside, as one merged entity, through projection, as the flesh remained outside the door, and half of our minds entertained the activists’ questions. We questioned him on how it felt to be in The Room of God. He was unregulated. His sense of time and self kept fragmenting and reconstituting in what may be considered fractions of seconds. His articulation fell away from him as symbols and words ceased to make sense. He paced and bounced around the room while simultaneously melting or solidifying into what might be described as “the floor.” His spirit was in agony as he struggled against dissolution. Two simultaneous visions: one of the bare, white room and one of Space, phased in and out for him. They collided and melted into each other. He could not make sense or hold onto to either.

The activists had ran outside to find out whether they could see him in the room or not. Some were shocked to see that he wasn’t there at all, while others were saddened or terrified to see him in such a degraded, raging or self-mutilating state. They fought over the reality.

“He’s dead in the corner!”

“What?! No, he isn’t. He’s inside beating his hands to a pulp against the wall.”

“What are you talking about? I don’t see him.”

“You don’t see him because he’s not there in the room at all.”

“What are you, blind? He’s catatonic and drooling on himself.”

“Oh, I thought he was just asleep.”

“Where? I still don’t see him.”

“Maybe he’s hiding?”

“Behind what?”

“He’ll be cooked to death in there…”

In any vision, they all agreed on one thing: It must have been the wrong key.

Recommendation: Driven By Lemons

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on April 24, 2010

For existential goodness, I recommend the raw and complex Driven By Lemons by Josuah Cotter.

"A convincing new reality," image via

Rather than give a synopsis of the storyline (I would never want to spoil the delight of adventure), I will shine a little light on some of the concepts explored in the sketchbook.

Where are your comfort zones?

What are your constructs?

Are you ready to let go?

Do you know who you are?

Can you deal with your Shadow?

What about the constructs of Society, can you deal with that?

What are you looking for? And what do you expect to find?

Are there answers?

Which ‘reality’ is the True Reality? Is there one?

Are you real?

What is this strange, new world?

Short Exposition on Ink’s Archetypes

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on February 14, 2010

This post is inspired greatly by the movie, Ink, which I highly recommend (thank you, Kiowa and Jamin Winans). While this is not really a review, it is more of an expansion or exposition on the archetypes presented in the film. When I initially wrote the piece, I was unsure whether to use all the specific names of the archetypes that the film gave or to use my own. I decided for this post to keep the names of the archetypes, as presented in the film, intact. Some of the archetypes are more general and explicit, such as ‘Storytellers’ and ‘Pathfinders,’ though both are apt and portrayed in a different light than what I am accustomed to seeing. I find that there are some commonalities between Clive Barker’s cenobites and Ink‘s Incubi. Any of you familiar with the Hellraiser series will see why if you watch the film. There are no spoilers in the text below, just my observations and insights about the archetypes (plus one of my own to add to the mix that the film illustrates but does not name) in addition to the film’s explicitly stated characteristics. I rather enjoy Ink‘s revamping of some common archetypes and the interesting portrayal of others.

The Incubi exist to draw others into their nightmarish world. They care not for others. They destroy dreams, love, hope, inspiration and aspirations in favor of a bleak ‘reality’ of torment to which they desensitize themselves in order to exist. Storytellers regard them as black holes. Storytellers deliver tales of heroism, greatness, love, salvation and redemption. They put forth the concepts of manifested faith, accessible Archetypes, the power of Myth and the grace of Love.

The Storytellers are liars, planting seeds of idealism, love and a world with light. At least this is how the Incubi see it. The Storytellers replace pain and fear with false hope and childish aspirations. The Incubi would never do such a thing; they will present the Truth as it is: cold, slicing, agonizing, uncaring and barren. They, themselves, have become numb to such nightmares so they may carry the Truth of their nightmares to others. They seek to stamp out the encouragement and guidance of the Storytellers.

While some humans regard the Incubi as demons or similar ‘evil spirits,’ other humans regard them as necessary teachers and the keepers of ‘the brutal truth.’  While some humans regard the Storytellers as a kind of guardian angels or similar ‘benevolent spirits,’ other humans regard them as false messiahs and seeders of ‘tall tales.’

One cannot be both Storyteller and Inubi, but one can choose to be neither, either entering as a Pathfinder, a Drifter, or a Force of Nature. A Drifter is caught between the pull of Storyteller verses Incubi. They are able to see potential and possibility, but they are without sufficient belief in the visions, so they cannot pass on stories to others. They accept and wallow in their own failure and delusions but are unable to take the steps to become numb in order to deliver the nightmarish ‘Truth’ unto others. Pathfinders and Forces of Nature are neither Storyteller nor Incubi; they are outside this spectrum of distinction. The Pathfinder is akin to the Trickster spirit: a teacher that would never profess oneself as such.  The Pathfinder can induce Change on various levels once s/he discovers the Pattern. Despite a Pathfinder’s personal sacrifices, handicaps, or wounds, s/he will always know how to access the Pattern(s). For if a Pathfinder cannot rise above one’s hardships, s/he will cease to be a Pathfinder.

Forces of Nature are often spoken of among humans with considerable reverence, misunderstanding, and possibly, preconceived notions. Forces of Nature interact with Pathfinders much more directly than interacting with either Storytellers or Incubi. While Pathfinders find, follow or ride the Pattern, Forces of Nature may be described moreso AS the Pattern. Forces of Nature are all the elements set in motion, moving along certain courses. Like a beaver that builds a dam, the Pathfinder goes in current to redirect. One cannot effectively redirect Forces of Nature without firstly, recognizing them; secondly, understanding them; and thirdly, entering into them. Entry points are outside of the Pattern itself, by definition. This is how we navigate different planes. Each has access to different doors, different layers within layers.

Does one really choose one’s role? [Yes.] Are only some allowed to choose, while others, once they have Chosen (as opposed to chosen) a role, have set their Fate thereafter (even if ‘thereafter’ is a kind of misnomer to describe the experience)? [Dunno.] Is it really all about the access points of re-entry that we can detect at any given moment so that we may Change once again? [Quite possibly.]

The House and life after death

Posted in Dreams, Visions by theskinhorse on June 28, 2009

The haunted school is becoming more than its origin. It’s growing, encompassing the feelings, memories and tales of other dark houses. The more time I spend in there, the less frightening it becomes, the less apprehensive I become.

I was moving, I knew that much. Most of my things were packed and already in an automobile or Uhaul that someone else was operating for me. Was I moving from the haunted school, an apartment-dorm compilation my mind fashioned or The House? Unknown. The walls and rooms shifted. I just knew that the place felt old. It was at its best in autumn sun; cast in gold it appeared timeless and still, exuding strange warmth and comfort while maintaining its mystique and harrowing presence… the perfect poison apple.

There was a mix of activity, most of which eludes me now. I remember that I noticed I had left out some clothes at the house.  did not intend to leave them behind. Why are they here? I knew it was not mere forgetfulness; there was a reason they went unpacked.

The sun changed position in the sky, and it felt like eternal dusk.

I was outside then, walking. This time the presence of The House was unmistakable. The haunted school was one with The House; their souls and innards assimilating. Outside was a playground, rusted, old, burnt but completely functional. A group of young boys were playing. They all looked related: blonde, light eyes, sinewy but strong, brilliant and fae-like. A tall man that I took to be their father was pushing a 4-year old boy on a swing. At first glance, the scene was a negative image, reverse colors, and I saw symbols on their foreheads. As the colors flipped, the symbols were gone. A rottweiler zipped by ecstatically, tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, panting, legs barely touching the ground. He was running circles around The House.

I approached one of the boys about the age of six or seven sitting in the sandbox, listlessly drawing pictures in the sand. I noticed that as I knelt down to speak to him all the others immediately directed their attention to us. Their eyes were powerful but not hostile or suspicious. I felt a draw to each of them, as if I knew them to be some part of my family.

The 7-year old was a somewhat somber child. He smiled little, furrowed his brow at the sun and looked at the world with tired eyes. The only time he burst into a ball of light was when the rottweiler went running by.

“Is that your dog?”

The boy, still glowing, nodded.

“What’s his name?”

No answer. He retracted his light a little. Impasse. Both of our attention was focused on the dog lapping the house with incredible speed.

“Have you had him long?”

The boy directed his gaze to me and looked confused about how to answer. I turned toward him more. I felt his mind reach for mine. At this point, I knew it was only about asking the right question.

“How did you get him?”

This opened the flood gates of his memories and visions. Images rolled over me, toppling my ego and sense of self. I was lost in the wash and sudden flashes, reliving them as him. It was awful and beautiful, terrifying and oddly comforting. They all died. And they all had come back by some virtue of this place. Their deaths were a haze, some part that I was not allowed access to, and it was really of little importance. Their lives now were detached from their former ones. After their deaths they were buried around The House, usually by one of the other family members. It seemed the mother was left behind, last to die and consequently had no one to bury her body before the state got to it. There was a burial rite that included a specific symbol drawn on the forehead, in the position of the third eye. This specifically allowed them to keep their identity and increase their mental and psychic abilities. Part of the symbol indicated that they were to be “non-contagious.” I never found out what this actually meant; I could only guess that it related to aspects of death were not passed on to the currently living. The boys and father were bound to The House at birth of their second life, only able to travel to the village below without the onset of weakness and the beginning of decay.

Finally we got to the story of the dog. The boy had always wanted one. While in the village, they found the body. They immediately knew that it had died, in part, due to its own aggressive tendencies. The dog’s mind held memories of abuse and abandonment. They took him to The House and buried him in the playground area. During the rite, they erased his memory of the abuse and abandonment and lessened his anger and aggression. He was reborn a happier dog with a clear memory to be filled with his new family. Though the rebirth sometimes had unpredictable results. The dog had two heads, one right under the other like Zaphod Beeblerox. I looked around at the family and noticed some of their anomalies upon rising. They were hardly noticeable to untrained eyes since their amazing psychic capabilities kept imperfections hidden. One boy had small wings. The father was much taller and thinner than a normal man. The young boy in front of me had strange eyes, at times transparent, reflective black-metal pools or a myriad of small worlds harbored inside his irises.

The scene changed.

I was inside The House. Candles, incense, pillows, a small table and tea were set up on the living room floor in front of a wall of glass. There was very little furniture anywhere inside. No one person lived here. It seemed to be a communal space. Living in The House was for the temporarily homeless or outcast or for those who needed a particular space to either hide from the world, exorcise demons from themselves, kick habits or communicate with those of the other life. There was running water but no electricity. At night fall, the torches were lit. Most read from the wide selection in the library on restful nights. This was also the time that The House was most malleable. The House was not inherently terrifying or haunted; the inhabitants could make it so though… and some did. It was a place that could drive one mad if one wished it and allowed it. Most benefited from the responsiveness of The House. It was a place of trial and discovery, not for the faint hearted or weak willed.

My friend had arrived. He was to help me move. I looked at my things still at The House. I wanted to stay a bit longer, but I realized that it was time for me to go, for now at least.

A pile of jeans distracted my friend. “Were these worn here?” he asked.

“Yes, there is still dirt and sand on them from the playground,” I answered.

A hungry look passed across his face. “You know you could sell these. You’d make a fortune,” he stopped and re-evaluated for a second. “Keep one for yourself by all means, one that fits. But you should really consider selling them. People would give an arm and a leg for the organic material of this place.”

It felt wrong. The House responded to the challenge by allowing me to see his perspective, feel his desire for wealth. I tried some of them on again, acting as if I agreed with him, but the whole time my mind was tugging at me.

“No.” I said after I tried the last pair on. Many of them did not fit me; I knew they were not mine. I had lost weight since coming to The House, and the one that used to fit me no longer did. “They belong here,” I said “with The House. Nothing gets sold from this place.”


The hunted and the white-red room

Posted in Dreams, Visions by theskinhorse on June 7, 2009

I was walking along the perimeter of the white-burgundy room. The width of the perimeter was about 6 ft before the endless drop into the strange abyss from which the burgundy sheen emanated; the length of the perimeter was unknowable. The transparent blood streams and stark natural daylight filtering through gateways warped the angles and breadth of the room. The velvet cushions and whimsical beds closest to the wall on separate shelves elevated 3 ft higher seduced the serotonin. The spicy floral fragrances drew oe to the comfort provided. The room had no perceivable ceiling or ground, only the bedding perimeter followed by the walking perimeter with unpredictable open rectangular gateways to the outside. I knew not what the meaning of this place was. I observed the structural inconsistencies while feeling its pull on me to stop, to sleep, to lounge. Every inch was white textures to seduce the senses, from the walking perimeter floor to the endless walls stretching upward to an unknown space.

Reaching a gateway, I knew if I wanted to leave in a timely manner, I should take the oppurtunity. One could never trust one’s perceptions in such a place. Oppurtunities were blessings.

Walking into the daylight, my eyes burned from the glare. As I adjusted to the light levels, what I saw in front of me was far from what I had expected. A dark, narrow hallway greeted me; a dark hallway MADE of doors, endless closed doors.Every space that comprised the “walls” were some part of a door; it was as if they were attached at the hinges. Lights and sounds stirred within them, and yes, of course, I was curious of what was inside of each one of them. However, I knew that I had to press on to the end of the hallway.

I emerged somehow. I standing at the edge of an apartment complex that looked very similar to the one of which I was a resident. This complex was stretched to the size of a desert. The added space and confused arrangement of the buildings made it such that it could be said to resemble a labyrinth of sorts. The winds that rolled through felt alien and distraught, as if oscillating between urgency and stagnation. I saw people hiding inside apartments, huddled against eac hother in terror or splayed out in a drug-induced euphoric haze. Others ran frantically down sparsely populated streets, toting guns and infected with frenzy. What was happening? In what world was I delivered?

I spotted two figures strolling casually down a sidewalk. They were both men that fit into a that other-worldly “ageless” category. They appeared to be somwhere between 25 and 50, an optimal age range to shift between. The both wore dusty blue jeans and leather boots, and they both had the aire and build of an ex-military man. The “older man” had crew-cut dark brown hair, blue-gray steely eyes, and a broader chest that a muted blue t shirt covered. The “younger man” was a shade taller and thinner with longer, well-styled dirty blonde hair. He sported a plain white t shirt rolled up at the sleeves to hold his cigarette pack and shining silver sunglasses. He reminded me of the “man with no eyes” from Cool Hand Luke or Neil Gaiman’s Corinthian. I could smell their soullessness for miles and miles. Before I witnessed them take out a dozen people, half inside one apartment and the other half street runners, I knew they were beyond dangerous. They were near-perfect marksman.


Somehow I happen upon them. I’m immediately scared and confused. They are staring at me through glass doors of a hospital. I know their game now. They like to hunt. Their favorite prey are the strong-willed, the ones with survival instincts on ovedrive, the fight-or-flighters. They hunted those. The others that holed up in their homes waiting for their deaths were more brutally slaughtered. At least the ones hunted died quick. Maybe that was a reward for a life on the run, a life without peace or sleep, a life dependent upon adrenaline and good evasive choices… or dumb-fuckin’ luck. They got everyone in the end though, regardless of who you were or how hard you ran or fought.

So here they are, looking right at me. Corinthian is grinning ear-to-ear while Steel remains more reserved. It is Corinthian that speaks first. He tells me that I’m playing. I say that I won’t. We have a discussion in which they both point out that I really don’t have a choice in the matter. If I don’t play, I die now. I am still a bit surprised that don’t shoot me on the spot with my protesting, but I guess they see me as good game.

Corinthian tosses me a loaded revolver. “Those are all the bullets you get,” he says, “use them wisely.”

Steel begin to explain to me “the rules,” as if I listening. Though I understand that my next action may be perceived as cheating (and who knows the penalty for that?), I follow through with my plan regardless, shooting Steel right in the chest as he talks. He stops talking upon impact of the bullet. Ripples run through his chest like water. He shakes his head a bit, but is still standing in perfect health. He looks at me with a chilly smile. “It’s Game On then.” They both laugh and relocate both them and me. It has to start as a hunt. Relocation is a random process.

I am in the middle of the complex with one less bullet, no plan, no maps and no idea where my hunters are (and “in reality” how many copies of them exist simultaneously). They are all and all are them.

I run.

and run.

and run.

I look around.

I reassess.

and I run.



It seems to go on forever. It feels that with every step, the humanity in me is slowly beaten out.I miss my loved ones so I go to the ones I know are left, this time deciding to huddle in with them instead of run.

We are on a third story apartment somewhere toward one edge of the complex. We took the first empty one we found. The musty smell, gaudy tiffany lamps and numerous quilts made it obvious that it was previously inhabited by an older couple. We stayed there, one person on guard every night. Our movements and noise levels were often kept to a minimum so to not attract attention. The paranoia was different on the inside; it ate away at a person all the same, but with different teeth.

One day I spotted the men heading down our street. They glanced over as I was looking out the window; there was no use hiding now. They were coming. With more than 2/3 the complex dead, there were only so many places left that they had not ventured. Here they came. I felt them right outside the door.

I would have panicked if I had not lost myself then.

I was back in the white-burgundy room. There seemed to be a thick smoke, more erratic lightig and stronger fragrance. The lights and sounds were no longer a underlying lullaby; they were an unabashed assault on the body and mind. Space eluded us all. People quickly became hysterical and crippled with fear or confusion. Most clamored for the elevated perimeter, not being able to lift themselves. Some fell into the abyss, while others clung to the wall in a fetal position. I wandered as straight as I could with a heavy, spinning head. I struggled to keep my eyes open and my goal in mind. Get to a gate. But most were closed up or nearly impossible to perceive. People had given up on finding them. They were blind to real light. I walked on, unwilling to give up.

I walked.

and walked.

and walked.

The pace was so slow, and my body ached. But I walked.

and walked.

Eventually, my efforts were rewarded with a dim gate. I entered, shielding my eyes this time. The hall of doors appeared in fron of me again, but they were angry now. The doors shook violently, as if everything inside each wanted out. The discordia pulled at me for attention. The chaos was maddening and equally intriguing. But I made it to the end once again. And I walked out.

When I came to, I saw their faces right in front of me. I had opened the door wildly and ruched forward, disregarding their guns. I knocked both to the ground and nailed each one of my knees in each man’s chest. I hit both clean in the face with my fist. My ears were greeted with the sound of breaking glass. It took a second for the situation to register, but when it did, I was unstoppable. Their heads were as fragile as glass. That was the reason they preferred the gun hunt and never one-on-one physical combat. Eventually, all the people would run out of bullets, resign themselves to their death or else fumble with their shots to the men. No one ever dared get close enough to them to administer a blow… when that was all they needed to do. I laughed and salivated as I smashed each of their faces into unrecognizable blood-glass-pulp.

The hunt was over. We were alive.


Posted in Mind Goo by theskinhorse on June 4, 2009

Submit to or conquer the disorientation.

I feel the pressure in my ear canal. One side is a tighter seal than the other,  and I know that the neon orange silicon putty is attempting a morning escape.

Utter half-coherent sentences while trying to establish or maintain balance on groggy footing.

Whimsical thoughts seduce me as my eyes pass over desired DOings. Bed = more dreaming (Recall the pieces… fragmented, disjointed, evading chronology. ) Ooh water. (Damn, I missed them… almost had it.) Sink = initiation of renewal. Mirror = encountering the ever-so-persuasive 2D. (Hello, Me. And how are we today?) This can go a number of ways: 1. fog-screen of persistent disorientation, 2. initiation of critical mind-chatter, 3. ignition of observational mode, 4. begining of a nondescript “Day,” 5. just acceptance, 6. unjust acceptance, 7. untitled acceptance, 8. indifference, 9. amusement or fear of potential indentity crisis, 10. care-free enstatement of pretend.

Shower = renewal ritual, detox, reset, comfort, Water Mother

12-20 ounces of caffeine-delivering warm beverage while going 60 mph as my mind whisks by the trees and green. (How much longer will these species survive, and how many are non-indigenous, invasive species? Is that how they describe us?)

“I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in

and stops my mind from wandering

where it will go…”

A tone more ethereal than the original, dub cuts the reins.

Falling out a hole in the sky, I land with eyelids half-drawn under fluorescent lights and biosafety hoods. These are my hands in latex working with small life forms, hated because they are cancer. They are not like us; they don’t choose what they are. They are not like us; they don’t have a conscience. Motions are mechanical, and the sequence of events is routine enough to allow a piece of myself to float among the clouds.

A seemingly barren landscape of tile, biohazardous waste, machines and incubators is the quiet of the morning, hidden away from the hot thick of a sun’s revenge. Metal and concrete bang and mingle loudly outside my window as I sit in the ever-familiar, pink, broken chair. I don’t twirl anymore; it makes me sick.

The inbox has been sleeping recently, thankfully. It relinquishes my attention to scour websites and distract myself from not-so-imperative tasks for not-so-close deadlines. I am already bargaining with myself for afternoon freedom and dreaming of projects that afford me repose, hope and continual creative stimulation.

Bargain time spent in less-than-desirable environments to do important, analytical, detached work with justification for eloping to comfortable environments to do as my whim dictates.

Life is a series of rooms. Once I heard it, I saw it. I prefer the room in which to work to be uncrowded and uncluttered, more full of ideas and discussion than it is people. The room is constantly changing, moving as the inhabitants do. When I see it expand so that we are smashed up against opposing walls though still feeling cornered, yeah, I fucking opt out til reconstruction is agreed upon. When our rooms are seemingly effortlessly portable, fluid and forever-present, yeah, I’m in. There are still gonna be holes in the skies and minds. Such is life. Tunnels out and in, zippered pouches of space-time, blebbing and introduced bubbles… we make peace with our surroundings as they make peace with us (or not)… we change the environment; we change ourselves; we change others (or not)… we DO or we ARE (or ARE NOT).

There is so much.

Locate food source. Refuel. Flip switches to move on.

a golden ratio perceived

Posted in stream of consciousness by theskinhorse on May 27, 2009

In the chaos of calls and chatter,

Amidst the unspoken assumption of agreed-upon terminology,

Experiencing the dissolution or distillation,

As symbols break apart piece by piece to reconvene as they Will,

We grasp(.)

like a blind man lost among mystic music of a psytrance dance party…

as babes that seek to touch without discerning familiarity from novelty…

with(in/out) Our Selves and Our Vessel…

a drip-down through the aether to prisms from the filters of the channels

with the splash of splatter color dances in tie-dye fractal glitter bubbles

Somehow our human (reptilian… “higher”… poet) brain



in the Bedlam, Discord, Absurd, Limitlessness

this end up

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on May 20, 2009

Fireflies are dancing above my head, singing in a secret luminescent language broadcasting through the night sky. The ones that land on my hand I name Leroy or Harold, sometimes Celeste. They accompany me as I pack bags and boxes in an uninterrupted optimism. There is no rush at the house; the house will always be here, and in many ways, I will always be here in it … as I never was. I pack in an orderly fashion, though not to the level of efficiency as an ex-Naval officer. Each item I pick up lives sparks the memory and potential circuits. My mind roams over the pieces as my eyes outline the figures and inevitably reverse the images to then be decoded. My hands know the feeling sans visual stimulation.

I have decisions about when and how to move the boxes, if and what I leave at the house to pack for later or never see again. Some take up the offer of packing forever while others continually leave it all behind.

Though advised to make lists of what I own, I rarely did, and when I did, the lists often got lost later. If I can’t place it any longer, then what is the need of it? If I don’t recognize it as something of a part of me, then it isn’t (or [n]ever was?).

Hallway torches flicker as open windows usher in the crisp night air. The house talks, and its inhabitants, visitors and parts answer or argue. The way this house changes does not appear violent to me, though there are some parts I rather not venture; they are not essentially part of the house, still many agree on their “necessity,” worth or existence. Arguably, the bubble rooms from lengthy extensions can be considered unessential as well. Rooms often rotate as inhabitants often do. The house is a compilation; no ONE holds the deed.

A storm, a prison, a relief

Posted in Dreams, Visions by theskinhorse on April 25, 2009

The apartment is breathing more, or at least trying.

I was back in my old neighborhood. The house across the street from my parents’ house was where I was staying or looking after. While wandering outside in my pajamas on a muggy evening, enjoying the change to twilight, I began to feel strange. The edges of the sky and the horizon turned black. I am in the eye of the storm, I thought immediately. I noticed others realized it too as they started to panic. My first thought was to get to the safest place possible. I knew it was probably a basement. In my mind, I saw the image of me heading to the basement, but my body didn’t move; a second thought came along: If I am about to die, I want my last moments to be with my family. I headed across the street. My family had lawn chairs set up in the garage and were watching the storm. They greeted me warmly, and I took a seat next to one of my brothers. They seemed awfully jovial considering the circumstances. They made jokes and drank cola and beer. Being in their presence lightened my mood as well. The storm no longer carried impending doom, instead, it promised certainty and maybe a kind of liberation.

We watched people scream and run through the streets; we watched cars zoom by, intent on out-running the storm. Houses were boarded up. The winds knocked over mailboxes and assaulted trees. Structures collapsed; skies turned; the world changed. We sat and laughed and talked. We watched the world fall to pieces, and I was eternallygrateful that the last sounds I heard, before the winds obscured all else, was the unrestricted, bittersweet and honest laughter of my family.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

My brother is in prison; we have to get him out.

I am not sure who “we” are; the names and faces are blurs. Nothing makes sense to me in this world. All I know is that my brother was taken from his home abruptly and thrown into an ancient dungeon with inhumane wardens.

The elusive “they” make a plan. The body count within the dungeon must stay the same. The wardens check numbers, not faces. They forget who the prisoners are, but not their assigned values. They tell me that I have to take his place for a while, until they can wage war on the state and liberate all the prisoners. They tell me it won’t be long. Only a couple of days, I just need to hold out only a couple of days. They tell me that they are more likely to pity a woman. If my brother is in solitary confinement, I just may be lucky enough to go completely unnoticed, completely forgotten.

I say I’ll switch with him to save him from torture.

We locate his cell. There is a high, barred window that we manage to reach and bend or break. We pull him up a rope, and he squeezes through the small space. Lucky for him that he is skinny. I crawl in to take his place. He looks more terrified at the turn of events than relieved. I suspect he would have traded himself for me, but this is what is happening now.

They say they will come back for me as they clasp hands over my brother’s mouth and drag him away. I don’t believe them, but I believe him. I see his eyes full of confusion as he is dragged off and I wonder: Is he imprisoned no matter where he is?

Night turns to day quickly. I notice the details of my cell. All walls in this place are tan; they look to be made of clay and dirt. It smells dusty and dry. The inside of my nose is rough, caked with dust. The sun filtering in through the window fills the cell with gold. The light is bright, harsh but somehow comforting. The shadows remind me of unearthed soil. The air shifts from dry to blood-thick.

The locks on my door are no better than locks on old bathroom stalls. I don’t seem to wonder why they are on the inside. My hands do not touch the lock, but it moves free and the thin wooden door creaks open. Three or four large men are about 20 feet away. They see me; I see them. I quickly close the door and fear men like I was trained to do. Are they going to rape me, beat me, kill me? They are too big for me to fight… The panic lasts for what seems like hours, likely it was only a few minutes. No one comes to the door; no one disturbs or threatens me. I stop fearing; I am ready to escape on my own.

I don’t remember how, but I end up outside. A warden argues with me, trying to pull me back inside. I tell him I am free citizen, and I show him my ID. My name is something that starts with an S. My last name is Woodrow, same as my brother’s, and I think that maybe showing him the ID was the wrong move. He seems unsure so I make threats that I cannot, in any way, back up. “My family has political power. If they find out that YOU threw me prison, you AND your family will live out the rest of your lives in that hell hole.” He lets me go. As I flee, I see a twinkle of recognition in his eye. It is misplaced, though. He is probably wondering to himself why I am switching certain circuits in his brain, why I may seem so familiar. What is it that he is missing that is of the utmost importance right now? I clear the hills, and I am gone from his sight.

I wake up back in the prison. I remember escaping the first time so I know that it happened. I do not question my reality or memory, rather I question the lost time and the way I somehow returned to this place. My first instinct is to escape again. Maybe I try or maybe it is a scene enacted in my head, but they don’t let me off the hook this time. I don’t have my ID. And if I really AM “Woodrow,” then I may be an asset.

I do not fear this place. I leave my cell to walk among the other prisoners. No one really seems to have their own cell unless they choose it. There are some that mill around in empty rooms or halls, others that confine themselves. Some live with 2 or 3 others behind bars, others claim whole rooms as their territory. Some rooms are relatively clean, others reek of human waste and have blood smeared on the walls. Almost all the rooms are empty, no beds, no chairs, no toilet. I walk up and down stairwells that I previously didn’t know existed. The lower levels have far less light and prisoners that were less articulate, more aggressive, more deranged or hopeless.

As I progress downward I notice that the bones and corpses on the floor increase in number and volume. I am not sure how far down these staircases leads. On this level, the corpses are stacked so we are all ankle-deep. Three men stand in a room, breathing heavily, obviously in pain. They are all covered in blood. They have broken appendenges and mutilated faces. They growl and heave insults at each other dispite the fact that they can hardly move. I watch them heal in a very short span of time. They wail as their bones reset and wounds begin to close. The body doesn’t heal completely, just enough to allow them to fight each other more. And they do. As soon as they can move, they attack. They beat each other to pulps and tear at each other’s flesh over and over again. They don’t leave the room.

I walk down one more flight of stairs. It is colder and darker. The air is heavier; it restricts around my lungs so I am wheezing as I reach the landing. As soon as I reach the landing, the climate changes to unbearably humid. I do not step into the room for I fear I may drown in the corpses. The dimensions of the room are hard to judge. The floor looks like it may be 10 feet below the landing. The corpses fill it so they reach what looks to be floor level from where I stand. There are rafters above, but no ceiling. In each corner there are barred off areas to fit one person in standing position. I hear cries from the corner next to me. There are at least four faces I can make out. They look like children, and they are standing on top of one another. There is enough room for them to claw their way to the top, but only enough room for one to stand at the top. The bars run all the way to floor. All the children at the bottom can see are the feet of the others standing above them and the corpses piled in front of them.

From the rafters, there swings a emaciated, blood-stained body of an older man. He is suspended by hooks in Christ-like pose. He seems to have passed out, but I doubt that he is ever relieved from his perpetual suffering.

Turning around, I walk back up through the prison. I no longer know which level I originally came from. I continue walking, and it is getting lighter. The air is getting thinner and cleaner.

I choose a level to visit. Walking in, the atmosphere reminds me of a dorm or academic building on college campuses. The architecture is sturdy and aesthetically pleasing. The people on this level are smiling. They have furniture and food; they have windows and pool tables. Small domesticated animals run throughout the halls.

I am directed to a shower and given new clothes. Dressed in velour shorts and a thin cotton tank, I make my way to a large room with windows for walls. I walk through the first portion of the room where 20-somethings are playing games and watching a documentary. As I walk into the window-room, I see plush neon chairs and a sparkling water fountain. I take a seat on a fuzzy fuchsia chair and wiggle my toes over the fabric.

A familiar face greets me. It is a friend from undergrad. I haven’t seen him in years. He looks younger and his hair is lighter. He is beaming as he hold his arms out to hug me. We laugh and trade stories. Some time goes by and I see my partner walk in the room. He looks relieved, amused and slightly confused. I take his hand and lead him to the fluffy chairs. A few of the crowd starts singing acapella. Their voices rise into the clouds interspersed on a canvas of radiant blue as time drifts by sweetly.