Automatic Story #47

In the beginning of the story a mother and her two children are walking across a moor. We can tell from the scene that they are most likely refuges from some catastrophe and from the moor we can tell that this is most likely England. They are dressed in ragged clothing befitting of the period narrative. They are framed by a cloudless steel gray sky, it is not raining but has been recently and the dewy grasses of the moor have soaked the dress and petticoat of the mother. The children are blank eyed and expressionless. Seen from a respectable distance, one that lingers right at the edge of humanity.

Later on, after the rats have slunk back in from the bowers to begin reclaiming their stake, the mother will pass into a deserted city. She will clutch her children close to her and shield their eyes from the rumble and viscera. She will pass into the blank black eye of a crow and through the door there into something beyond. The children wont know it, but they will be reinvented as ghosts, as shadows flitting in between the threads of the veil. The mother will rock them and curse god for not having invented the love story.

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Automatic #135

1

salvation gets tiring after awhile.

I just wanted to lie down in the bones of your memory, maybe walk around for a while

kick the tires

stretch out

get some work done.

2

Thanks to this fabulous new Mormon underwear unexplained erections are down 30 %.

3

I am a silence that tunnels forever

or a forest in which all the trees have been replaced with Bette Davis lookalikes…I can never remember which.

I once discovered a skull in my back yard. I was digging a hole to China, and there it was tucked in the dirt and ash. I was 8 and it was ancient.

4

Four is too hard.

5

the world needs more Hindu’s

6

You should be prepared for failure.

7

It all moves under the surface, or is understated.  Like that time you found yourself in Kansas for no particular reason. You knew you went to bed in New Hampshire, but you awoke in Kansas, and everything about you was Kansas.  Your Kansas hands, Your Kansas thighs, your Kansas lips…Oh, how I did want to explore Kansas.  But you know you, with your hunger for flying, and my fear, how you had moved on into deeper locals.  everything about became legend, I couldn’t even find you in the book. So I stayed behind and thought about that night in Kansas city, after the disaster, when everything reeked of smoke, rott, and blood, and I found you leaning there like a broken tree, and I tried to put you back together.  I tried and tired. Such a foul machine is love.

Bullet Pointed Biography

  • I hope to be reincarnated as Nick Caves singing voice.
  • I spent 40 years wandering in a parking lot just south of Phoenix, the cars they went on for miles.
  • I am entirely responsible for New Coke.
  • most of my jokes are at least 20 years old.
  • I rarely know what the correct date is.
  • I fought in Napoleons Army, and lost a toe to gangrene somewhere in Prussia. I’m sure it’s still there. Would you look for me? I am sure it misses me.
  • I am at work on a time machine.
  • My basement is full blue ruin
  • I spent nearly a hundred years living as Count Vronsky, then the door closed.
  • I rarely eat breakfast.
  • I have never been stabbed.
  • I have never delivered a pizza.
  • I have never understood ______.
  • I enjoy a good sandwich.
  • I spent the spring perched on the lip of a branch almost budding.
  • I make a fine pie.

And now…a song:

Topic O’ the Day:

What are the minimal elements required for a story to be a story?

At what point does a collection of words become a narrative (narrative in the loosest possible sense)?

Is a narrative required for a story to be a story?

Are definitions helpful or obfuscating?

feel free to leave your opinions in the comments…don’t be shy, I won’t be grading you (perhaps secretly, but you risk no public humiliations here…at least not from me…your wife/husband/partner/children/neighbor/cat may laugh at you, but she was probably going to do that anyway)

Purpose of Clarity

For the purposes of clarity the Indians will be skins, and the Cowboys will be shirts. There will be a 15 minute intermission after the third scalping. Both sides are encouraged to shoot to kill, as no one likes a pussy. Also, all the ammunition has been replaced with cornflakes, if you can kill a man with a cornflake, he deserves to die. There will be no chanting or singing, as this makes the Cowboys uncomfortable and, as they are required to be superstitious, this instills an unease in them that could be construed as an advantage for the Indians. The contest will take place in an arena that is still under construction, but when finished will be able to hold the sum total of our stupidity. There will be no dome, as domes are too metaphoric. When the fat lady begins to sing take your places. Go.

letter

Dear XXXXXXXX,

After receiving your latest correspondence I immediately began the procedures that you recommended; with mixed results however. Though I must say I do not think that the outcomes were due in anyway to a flaw in your advised system, but rather to the invariable constant of chance. Also the weather here as been strangely apocalyptic which I believe may have influenced the procedures directly, or through me, produced some undesirable fluctuations.

As to the observations you asked that I make I can safely say that they were beneficial to the process. Who knew what strange and wondrous things hide just below the surface? The tip of the iceberg, so to speak, always leads one to the bulk of the matter hidden beneath. If only a process could be devised for simultaneous display of the seen/unseen! This is, I believe, where my talents are best directed going forward, and I plan to– if you desire such a relationship– keep you informed of all my findings.

In closing I would just like to add, that while I believe your process to be the work of genius, I do have a few suggestions for its refinement (if this advice is at all unwelcome, then please accept my apologies, but I do believe that you, like myself, are willing to put ego aside for the sake of the process, and that it is our mutual belief that the process itself will eventually reveal to us all that it seems to promise, and therefore any attempt to refine it–even if in the slightest of degrees– is on the whole a necessary step). I have enclosed the proposals on separate drafts which I hope that you can either add to directly (hence the drafts themselves have been prepared in #4 pencil lead w/mechanical pencil) or if you prefer to construct your own then that is certainly acceptable with me, as I have made copies (of my drafts only, and I have taken the proper security measures, which I will not–again for security reasons– divulge here, but they are commensurate with what you instructed in your original direction). Take care dear friend.

 

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXX

 

 

 

encl:

2 draft copies (look in the box. password  follows standard cryptographic formula)