Jason Kalmanowitz likes to read and sometimes likes to write. He is interested in nature, evolution and transhumanism. He hopes the future will be cool and that he will have a collection of robots to do his biding. He also likes crows. Crows will hopefully one day do his biding too. He is not interested in polite society, malls, fast food or non-alcoholic beer. Why even make it?
Have you ever felt as if your senses have faded?
Your body limp and useless, like a used condom cast down
the urban sewer?
Floating aimlessly down the recesses of Bowery and brothel,
free-falling past decades and decades of decay.
Glories and tribulations of times past bid you to remember
their place, but memory eludes the free-falling rubber.
By this inception something exceptional is born from the
creatures of the underground.
A mutation birthed from the reptilian mothers
who drift and dwell among the waste.
A body that is not quite crocodilian,
not quite Homosapien.
As these creatures crawl through the festering pipelines and
subways, feeding of the remains of the twentieth century,
the current dwellers of the great city dance with joy
amidst the blinding light and disorientating sounds
of their heroes, and their gods, life-givers
who clicked and manipulated the frequencies of
consciousness. The room shakes and sways with
the sweaty intoxication of late night epiphanies
until the mutant monsters take in the scent and burst
through the doors of ecstasy
They are not greeted with the expected response of repulsed
horror, but instead are welcomed with drunken glee
and a surprise display of clever costume design; gazed at
with thick-rimmed wonderment before the tearing
of flesh and organ commences and sends the mass
in one swift movement up the stairs to the salvation
of cigarette musings and discretionary excretion. How
could such creatures of comic book fantasy actually exist?
Little circles gathered around importantly as they pondered
endlessly the obscured images and cartoon cults
in the glow of metropolis, where shrieks of terror danced
along the moonlight.
They stand on the warehouse roof, not knowing why these
creatures just kill and kill.
With night skirts and leather jackets adorned, they decide to
embark on perhaps the noblest of all deeds:
preservation of the species!
While their crocodilian cousins roam the streets below,
buttocks and extraneous limbs glisten atop the warehouse
roof until the structure collapses under the tremendous
power of collective passion. Floating downward in naked
wonder, like Eve as she stood before the tree, they descend
past hundreds of empty windows and cigarette drainpipes
where there were skate parks, kitchen sink concerts,
and parties that continue despite the destruction.
Just at the peak of this great plummet a miracle occurs!
Instead of concrete the
falling bodies hit the surface of a great trampoline
conveniently located next to the building, part of an exhibit
exploring the “History of trampolines and their Significance
to the Urban Consciousness.”
As they hit the soft black surface (this particular one was
used by clowns during the first Ringling Brothers circus),
the mass of naked bodies transforms into a human yo-yo,
bouncing up and down to the amusement of the crowd. They
cheer enthusiastically, one small victory for humankind!
A new beginning, they had all thought, but new beginnings
are elusive, like the will of a toddler who drools and babbles
The streets are now empty and quiet at dawn, not a single
sound or utterance to signify the presence
of living beings. Only the hum of machines can be heard
softly in these waning minutes
as the sun illuminates the dark corners and hollow streets.
The neighborhoods that had been shouting and crying songs
and laments of its inhabitants are now exposed for what they
really are — a collection of mausoleums
that have been unexpectedly vacated.
Great steam pipes run through the industrial organism like
small intestines. Plumes
of smoke and smog fill the air, the holy incense that our
business-suit predecessors bestowed upon the backs of new
arrivals, bound for this great land that once crawled
on the spider legs of industry and promise for a tomorrow
that never came. There were no whips and chains
for these poor souls led into servitude, just bread crusts
and blank checks that were never written.
All through the night tanks and ammunition blunder about
the streets trying to extinguish the bloodthirsty hoards of evil
crocodilians. But alas, the willingness to disrupt
the sanctity of the city only leads to destruction
of both the life that made it breathe on the surface
and the creatures that swam
stealthy and unknown underground.
There is nothing to be learned of this great tragedy,
only the loss of one our most precious cities of the East.
Someday a new race of land-dwellers will uncover
the remnants of trampolines, skate ramps,
and unappreciated art and know
that there were once prophecies made
on the bubblegum cement of our collected knowledge.
And they will wonder what it all meant.