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©2018 by the87press

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FutureNow by James Geddis


I





It begins by invoking the savagery of a ball point pen



Since the birth of that neurotic snake

With breath like cosmic trees

It has boiled beneath our surface matter stage

And only now, after twin bruises and a heat wave

We may begin to haul its fumes



Soon we’ll have the frackers on it, I promise you

But yes, the pen



Beneath the hollow pomposity of intellectual strain lies, in my eyes,

An untapped wisdom

A bone-box philosophy



Let it be a twist

Or a click

Or a pressurised clap

They all speak with the soon-to-be mantra of “if-you-may”

And how can I not but answer with a simpering grin and oblige

Blessed are we for that manufactured perfection

It is an elite augmentation

The truly undeniable valour of a straight line

Has been cultivated

By decades of

Swivel chairs

And sheltered

Souls

You can hear its pin drop scream with a flick

Magnetic isn’t it? The frenzied serenity of white noise





I expect you’re starting to see it now

The black sand The white sand The sand that isn’t there



But of course I would call it “wonderfully” savage, you misunderstand

I do not speak of that initial inclination: the feather

With his dead son and back-banter pilgrimage

No, I do not speak bohemian

This is a different ramble altogether

One as loud and as heart-spearing as the fear of hearing nothing at all



This is for the fountainheads

The static age




II





I think the Italian was on to something

You all know the one; he made the long speech about metal and speed

About burning down trees with movement

About cylinders

He was going to save those boys with axes, tear out every brick like he was the spotted stuff of Signac’s ooze Full-on cardiovascular!

The only tragedy of course, was the paper

There are better ways to singing danger than with candles in the opera house

Nevertheless, he was onto something

The, burning, yearning gas-o-line, the ache that bleeds,

The way it feeds

The mother seed

Oozing, oozing, gas-o-line



Pretty soon I imagine they’ll start making digits,

Hoard of steel-tongued romantics

I imagine it’ll be beginners luck

When they take the last three words of ARTIFICIAL and just roll with it

Turn it into a car or something

Freshly forged to a factory standard

Maybe a gradient of digitised overspray— or I image

a pulse of the great and powerful atom: Walter’s genie


And yes, I hear you say “light is not worth more than the sum of its rays,” true

Still, static has a tang to

We could make her a feast! A brownian martyr, all rib and code

I mean, how in your mind could we forget the child?

She’s the synthetic spawn

The first of many a modern biped

The new constant, the all, the infinite, the void, the empty, the sublime, the grey

Yes! Grey and… pernicious, grey and deleterious, grey and injurious

These things are after all... human I imagine

There will be hunger, but with mechanical proximity

The beast made phantom from the wizard’s vial

Anything, anything, so long as the teeth can still churn in this post-relevant campaign



We’ll have some industrial dancing with chrome steel drums, make it a real feast

So long as the teeth keep churning—O the succulent fragrance of ash—just haul it in

Hmm? “Glorify war?”

Well, hygiene is an acquired taste

But for now we can only imagine




III





Instead, let me take you to a paradise:

In the catacombs of dead water, neo-ancient pillars hold up heroes from the prime hand:

The smith, the cobbler, and anyone else with the gall to hold the nails and knives

They are each immortalised under a stone-fashioned sky of alabaster

A metaphysical decadence of constellations, infinity clocks and the celestial compass

And at night, we see the ink-soaked scrimmage of the scorpion and bear



All this is cocooned in that wide-stretching valley

Nestled between cliffs so endless in their restless swathe of white

That nothing lies beyond but void felt fields

It is defined by its own youth wise, but only with reversing years

Seeded from some far too distant now

Where science is a fairytale

And the rational mind but a shadow that spooks ambitious cavemen



Where everyone is friends with Mr. McQueen

Where the box men jitter to the West End Girls

Where synth is the voice of imagined amalgamations

Where midnight is the only time of day and the stars only shine because we put them

there

Stars that can sour and tell us time with a blink

Where we speak in laser and communicate by the Everyman’s crystalware

Heavenly gifts of digital sand black sand white sand the sand that isn’t

there



The Demolisher, for one, takes pride when he holds his axe

His grip is a testament to the strength of his pixels

A titan of this new dark world

In the office he crouches and clicks with the other crouchers and clickers

His brothers and sisters, left and right



They grin because they all know the game

They all know the thrill of their monotony

They pass the halls in V formation with that cold stern glare

Like they were the once who first invented the boot

Theirs is the strength to look back on the day of old and smile

They will swipe and the skies will quake



Ours will be the crystal spires that feed on drifting sand

Without the crescendo of shards

The Demolisher has learned how to shakes hands

Now he grips the scaffold of our crystalline metropolis, determined in the climb

How far can he go?

How far can his arithmetic swings help fester our new condition?

This question is the ritual of tin men and bricks and Nature’s well provides

The quintessence of the fall The thrill of reaching

Between these two constellations is where our paradigm rests

Where we draw the straight line

Smooth and grey




IV





First, however, we must climb so let’s talk binary



We have to because we must, and I’m certainly not using that other tongue

Loving the Sun is just too much and too little apologia

The whys and wherefores are crucial in this anti land of ours



I knew a man who loved the Sun

A good man— too feathered for my tastes, but a good man

Oh he made vindication very desirable

Spoke of nights warmer than days

Of darkness brighter than light

Of seas drier than land

All of it was the orgasmic musings of our dead child

But then he had to ruin it with talk of distinctions! That’s not my philosophy

They never mentioned the puritans

It’s why we get flustered, you see

We become overwhelmed

Surrounded by their Angels, even though we can clearly see the cables

Yes—then we start to think we’re mad or brazenly fuelled with another crackpot

genocide

A phantom apocalypse

Placebo

So we start up poised

Perhaps we etch a scowl of “how dare you” and “I would never” and

“Woe to anyone who says those infamous words to us

again!”

And all other kinds of makeshift bombshell



Yes—maybe we even cry over invisible children

Remember that the only way to save the world is by throwing stones

Yes—because as we all know it’s a happier world when we’re all stepping in shards

Yes—sorry—no

“We know them, we’ve understood!”

The vile volvaxanous spite of the child that thinks it’s right

The child that learned to fuck the system in a sex-ed class before they could spell in-ly-ten-mant



True enlightenment, true, untamed, unequivocally raw enlightenment

The last beast we fear to tame

There are five million monks in the house of mantra, yet nobody can answer the door?

And yes Midas mourned, but by the stars did that bitch shine!

She still does in silver, can’t you see?

The black sand the white sand the sand that isn’t there!

Can’t you see? Here she comes!

The Sunrise Queen!

Caliban to the pin-striped man

And Mistress of the echo machine!

She watches and waits from her palace of glass and steel

And whispers the hymns of soft envy



Despite all this, you would have us deny the coronation?

This is but slime in a stadium

Resentment in a body of flashing eyes

The last undersea dweller in the senate of grey angels

How many times? Grey and orgasmic

Ingestible, they are the nicest miracles of progress

Forward in all directions

That is the mission, the only mission

Forward to her majesty, Modernity’s prime

Forward, in all directions

Forward, because the future now waits in the queen’s great eye

The only question is can you see it?

Because I can only imagine





All images by James Geddis


James Geddis is a writer from Bexleyheath, Kent. He has recently received his BA with 1st honours in English and American Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Kent in Canterbury. His previous writings in fiction and poetry have been reviewed by editors of DATABLEED and Newfound Magazine. He is currently working on a science fiction novel.

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