“that was sweet that you loved me kinda haha”

“that was sweet that you loved me kinda haha”

by Alexander Michael Marasca Ziperovich

Dedicated to a dear friend.


There are these things that mean rings,

planets our eyes rotating inside and things we don’t mean or we don’t mean to mean,

backdraft from the banality of love and we chase the fire with more fire to feel it’s strength,

our heart taken back a length.


There are these people that choose us,

hair that we like and sometimes when they feel like it they just chew us to dust,

and we fuss and we scream things and we sing and we breathe and we choke and we must hope that we won’t give in to the soap and cleanse our hearts with nooses and ropes.


There are these feelings,

living beings, betrayal with no meaning and ecstasy without seeing and we believe them,

until they leave us and we are left without and we don’t shout but rather we put our mouth

to a spout that sings better for worse and we cannot go on but we continue to work and work.


There are our hearts,

our hearts, our hearts, our hearts like art but the end without existentialism or big words,

just our love and desires and dreams and joyous burning passionate fires, we must light them,

candles standing tall in the cavernous wall that mesmerizes us and we think that it separates us,


But it does not,

hearts that cannot be eloping,

chain-gains that won’t stop hoping,

addicts that do in fact stop holding (hi),

and we thought to ourselves that everything was so broken.


And then there was a poem.

Gypsy

gypsykids

Gypsy

Alexander Michael Marasca Ziperovich

1.

The ketamine’s phosphorescent glittery saltwatery. Annie is somewhere in the nether part of the condo screaming; there are two places where the screaming comes from, the bathroom or the bedroom. I am always in the middle. I’m slicing up her mahogany dining table again with my three-razor trick. Tossing the kitty around and then lining it up again and then watching it do the waterfall and finally doing a line or two. “You hate me!” I did. “You’re gonna leave me and my parent’s are going to fucking kill you! That table’s so expensive and you’re destroying it and…” Her voice trails off into the ether after a big blow to my face like a slap of red lightening.

“Nhrruruhhhscrhhnchhchhhhhh-huuuuuuuaaah!” I snort.

“Sczizsciissss…” went her table.

This isn’t working. This K is garbage. The other goddamn ketamine I got from those parking lot kids was far superior the night I got LA tattooed on my right tricep and I would have paid two hundred a gram again but this was all there was, thanks to the fucking pokèmon crew up north.

My teeth hurt.

“I’ll be back.” She moans and draws herself up like a bow and shoots herself at the just-slammed door. “Thump,” I laugh, skipping down the stairs after sending the elevator up.

2.

I’m talking to Santa that lives on the doorstep of the furniture store at the end of the block about dolphins or shit and Gypsy stumbles up. “Alex. Give me a fucking goddamned motherfucking cigarette.” Her hair is a lime-green rosebud nest of wires. Her face is decorated with scars and her neck has apparently been doing a lot of black tar. A bottle of Southern Comfort is hanging from her hand like a rosary. She spits violently into the wind, swaying with one foot in the gutter under the sidewalk. She’s like a beautiful painting that moves.

We embrace and she has Hep C and the saliva I think landed in my eye and we start walking, down the block to buy smokes and I tell her about my wreckage of a life and she tells me about hers, again. We’ve been close like this for almost three years. In jail in a nascent ante-cell by the infirmary I saw her name scrawled with what must have been sharp metal all over the door. I thought it was remarkable, “Alex, they just fuckin’ lemme out again yesterday. Gimme another smoke, man.”

We stop and I turn toward her. She’s all rags and liquor meat but she’s gorgeous. Hasn’t had sex in six years she tells me. I believe her. Lives in a government pad up the street the methadone people hooked her up with.

“Well, Gypsy,” standing in front of Annie’s lobby again, “I need some hypodermics.”

“I got a hundred-pack at my pad. Come the fuck on.” She swigs the booze without spilling a drop. She’s quite sharp.

We rise into the Hill as the sun dips below and into her glowing amber sauce as the sparkling shimmer from the glass and the sun fade away. She unscrews it, takes a thick hit and pours out a few jiggers. “Johnny. Poor bastard.”

3.

We walk into her moodily institutional but relatively barren home save the orange TOXIC! sharps containers and the bloodstains and the burnt spoons and pipes and the little clumps of what look like metallic pubic hair. Her carpet is green. A good, honest green.

She shows me to a massive backpack full of capped orange .29 gauge hypodermic needles

!FOR DIABETES ONLY! and I ask how the fuck I know they haven’t been used. The floor is covered with uncapped bloodrusting rigs. “They’re brand fucking new if they’re in there, otherwise they’re not.” I see my face in an empty bottle of gin on her kitchen counter through the open door. I reach in and grab six or seven and look around uncomfortably. “I usually get mine wrapped individually in plastic but…” She jerks her head away.

“What’d I say?” I’m looking at a spot on her wall to which her eyes have also trained.

Her face hardens and softens and finally a small moan escapes her cracked lips. “I miss my daughter,” she whimpers. CPS took her three years ago after Gypsy violated. The picture on the wall is the size of a credit card but a little bigger, hanging from a nail and a long string.

4.

“This is the fuckin’ deal, Gypsy. If you ever want your daughter back you have got to stop doing heroin and getting arrested. I’ll make you a deal: I’ll give you as much Subutex as you need to stay well if you stay off the streets. You can sell it, or if you were smart, switch off methadone and turn on subs. Your choice.”

Her face is music, agony and dreams spilling from her eyes like black ink.

“I just gave you like ten rigs for free and you’re telling me what?” She’s scarlet in the face more than usual and she’s growling at me. “Gypsy, I just want you to have your daughter which is what you want, no?” This is the culmination of a very slow hour of Gypsy telling me what happened and me trying to tell her how to unfuck the whole thing.

I feel brave.

I go to the wall and snatch the picture and take it to her. She rattles and falls to her knees and weeps. “Gypsy…”

“If you wear this picture around your neck and I see you wearing it in the blocks and you don’t bullshit me we can go back right now and get you like ten subs, which as you know are worth a lot of fucking money, a lot more than some fucking grab-bag needles.”

“You got the real ones? Suboxone? What milligram?” She asks after immediately responding to the word subs by flying up off her knees, looking from the little pale rectangular missing picture to the picture itself in my hand. “I have the real fucking deal, the big boys. Eight milligram generic buprenorphine. Don’t get no better.” She sighs and we strike a deal. We walk back down the neon path.

I run up into the screaming condo and grab the safe and unlock it and throw ten or twelve subs into my hand and run back down. I still have the picture but the rigs I left upstairs. “Here. Wear it around your neck.” She puts the picture on like it’s a diamond necklace and for the first time I see something like hope come into her, violent hope. She reaches for the subs and before I give them to her I tell her, “No more if you don’t have that on your neck. None. I want you to have your kid, Gyps.”

5.

I’m boiling ketamine in a black pot on the stove and somehow the sight of a handful of needles has calmed Annie down. I’m abruptly and arbitrarily throwing crystalline ketamine into the pot, letting it boil a bit, drawing it up into the syringe and slamming myself in my left bicep. The memorial tattoo of my best friend is on my right arm.

Boil. Pour. Stir. Draw. Slam.

Boil. Pour more. Stir. Draw. Slam.

“Fuuuuuuck!”

Boil. Pour the whole bag. Stir. Draw. Slam, into my right arm cause I don’t know any better now and drop myself onto the kitchen floor where I sink into a black telescopic pit where I hear someone wheezing, breathing, screaming, shrieking, my heart is or is not bleeding and this ketamine finally did something I needed.

I got Gypsy sober for four weeks. She wore her daughters face everywhere she went and no one ever gave her any shit. I saw her once a few years later looking terrible and then I saw her again looking less terrible and then I didn’t see her anymore.

I love you, Gypsy.

Birth

Birth

by Alexander Michael Marasca Ziperovich

 

1.

 

“Cemeteries…” The scant sun rang glass bells upon the tombs, the bigger tombs, the domes and all the decaying white angels. It was hot in the cemetery in autumn, once again. There is no tragic comedy greater than the furnace of sun heating a single blood stream on October in a graveyard.

 

“But I’m not in a grave. I’m on ‘planet earth’. Why?”

 

Along the Kinshasa highway in Zaire in 1976’, the same truck stops from where HIV/AIDS originated, that is where they found it, this unholy fever from the bleeding jungle. CIA, USAMRIID, KGB, FSS, even the PLA; it became a household name. The deal of all devils: Russia and America’s 2012 pact against the Chinese. It began in North Africa with the Gates Foundation’s polio vaccination campaign, which inflicted long, coursing paralysis and ultimate freedom from life for the recipient in the form of a single nosebleed. They all marched back to the jungle for the witch doctor’s bushmeat to live.

 

Going back to the source was the only sensible thing to do in the interests of National Security they said. Congressionally delicate declination; Suppression via the media; Human complacency.

 

It was just too far above their pay grade.

Pluralism favors the brave and rarely the incompetent.

 

EXECUTIVE ORDER MAO-91 was declared. Signatures were scrawled in a darkened anteroom by three men, one Chinese-American, one Russian-American, and one President of the United States of America.

 

It’s now 2019 and the entire continent has been devoured, eaten alive; ACTION-ORDER-1918 has been activated but the pilots won’t fly the choppers, the soldiers can’t stand post and nothing is working and everything is dying.

 

EO: PROCEED PROCESS DEEP-SEED-SLEEP-89

 

The White House that was airlifted years previous to a remote province outside Shanghai in the form of a Buddhist temple dwelling was burned to cinders after the chief-of-staff and all his AIDS were doused with Cherosene and Kerosene and spit on by the counter-counter-revolutionary infectious squads.

 

They died shortly thereafter, hemorrhaging Khmer Rouge propaganda from the spleens that erupted from their facial orifices.

 

EO: AUTOMORPHEUS SECTION 3 is initiated.

 

The President was orbiting the earth with two or three AIDS until a sizable splotch of Pluto cracked the hull. They breathed in the gaseous ship for six years and six months, staggeringly conscious. It seems Pluto has intentions beyond not being a planet.

 

And that is all.

 

2.

 

“Why isn’t really the right question and I already know how, mostly. I think the real question is, is? Why is? What is?” He ruffles pebbles with his broken rag boots, heels like dry planks, splinters in his feet with every single step.

 

He kicks a rock and breaks his little toe.

 

The last childbirth on earth, in Monrovia, in the heart of the plague, the child was brought forth. The mother died instantaneously, convulsing while bleeding from her nipples.

 

The child never saw a picture in or outside of Liberia or anywhere for that matter. No description. No one knows how he exited the womb because there is no one.

 

He delivered himself.

 

And he was alone.

 

And that is all.

 

3.

 

Lying prostrate on a thick slab of marble stone he glares up at the sun.

 

The sun stares back harder. He stares back harder. Ardor. Heroism. Heroin.

 

He had blinded himself like this before when he should have been in kindergarten so this was no new silly ploy; he had satiated himself by becoming the enemy, nemesis and guardian of the light of the sun, begging it to explode in his nocturnal days without affect.

 

The light warms his face. He turns away disgusted. “Assembly line garbage bulb.”

 

A floating, dancing, singing blur. His mother’s face again. “Assembly line garbage whore.”

 

A caught, designed, mutated beyond control virus manifested. “Assembly line garbage teardrop.”

 

He propels himself so that he falls face first into the soft dirt. He inhales the soil. It never works despite the centuries of deadly peptides, pesticides, protein-molecularly changed rental signs.

 

He is immortal until his natural death.

 

His maternal grandmother died at 103 years of age, chain smoking through the oxygen mask until finally ripping herself out of the ventilator so as to continue swigging cheap brandy. She died a few years later.

 

“No excitement here.” He breaks his other foot and his shoe unfastens itself and runs off of him into a tombstone like a petrified rodent. He kicks off the other boot and raises his hand to the sun letting it soar into the sky but it only lands some three or four feet from his feet, up and down, like those carnival rides designed for the insane.

 

He climbs a cliff.

 

4.

 

He climbs another cliff.

 

5.

 

He summits Kilimanjaro and Everest again and asks the question that has plagued him for all of his sixty-six years: What is?

 

6.

 

In a frothy tornado-like motion he screams at the valleys and canyons and plains below and listens for one sound, an insect a bird a snake a Chihuahua but there isn’t the faintest echo. He bites his tongue, sits down and bleeds onto a carcass. He imagines an ocean suspended at this altitude. Even here the graves continue to flower and bloom.

 

The ocean scarlet with the blood of the last infant-boy-pubescent-man.

 

He drinks deeply of his mind and vomits all of it out onto the snow and the sand.

 

7.

 

Is the question is? The question is.

 

The answer is:

 

This place was virulent with hatred far before Ebola or HIV or Influenza.

This place was virulent with love far before vaccines, cocktails, or morphine.

 

There is no explanation because God refuses us.

There is no explanation because Satan loves us.

 

Why there is nothing and everything?

Why there is everything and nothing?

 

It just isn’t what you wanted.

 

It is what it is.

 

And is it?

 

It is.

 

And that is all that is and all that ever will be.

NEAT.

Neat.

by Alexander Michael Ziperovich

A Short Story

—-

“…the old man would ever have.” Almost arching his prepubescent back up toward the ceilinged sky, the child breathed in Hemingway’s finale. “Get back to the Abacus. Now, Charles.” He glanced sidelong at the horrid teal wall with the crooked spines of the books. “I’m just putting away my ultimate division scenario arithmetic, Ms. Apple.” He had adjusted the room so that he might read a short story, here Hemingway, over by String Theory, Ezekiel, by addition/substraction he kept the Koran.

The Abacus was a wretched teal bubble stick with which Charlie never would have been exposed despite his extreme calculative abilities, which he could perform in his heart, if not for his father and his mother’s docility toward his father’s hatred for art. “The only art you’ll ever have boy, is the art of selling paint for cash.” It was a wretched time to be alive. It always was. He imagined himself languishing in the desert outside Cairo building pyramids and tombs with massive rock and—. “Back to work.” The Abacus slid into his hand like a snake and he gazed at it lovingly for the sake of Ms. Apple.

He took the Abacus to his corner of the nearly shrill room full of the pain of children being forced out of art into death. As was customary for him and Abacus Hour he turned inward and faced the corner that was his that day at the Academy for the Righteous Arts and Splendors. “Georgina, I need your string theory proposal in two and a half minutes, you’ve had three days by golly!”

He gingerly worked the Abacus with his small, nimble fingers and pried it in half so that a small Papyrus scroll rolled tight fell into his torso. He unrolled the ten foot document about seven inches and his fingers hurt and he knew what arthritis was and he glanced at that horrible wall covering the heavens and asked why, again. “The Beauty and Solace of Man Lie in The Struggle to Achieve the Freedom of Paranoia from The Reality of The Beasts of Servitude…”

Ms. Apple was staring into his physical cave where he was reading his scroll that he had created based on the diseased ideas the Academy suggested he was experiencing due to a strong and difficult to pry open codependency with his mother and the world above the teal. They suggested aversion therapy based on Pavlovian and B.F. Skinner models.

“No.” He knew he would be forced to burn it himself. He had worked on the transcription from only his mind in the fashion of Dumas forever.

“Bring in the slavery bucket!”

All the children immediately turned inward, angst, pain, and humorous sadness on their faces apparent as the color of their scorched eyes. Charlie moved to the middle of the chamber.

“THE SLAVERY BUCKET!” The children chanted once, twice, thrice.

A black crockpot filled with gasoline that supported a single, tiny, white candle appeared.

Charlie fell face first into the drum of gasoline right before the commencement of the Slavery and the entire Academy was burnt from the very innermost sanctum.

Charles incinerated the split Abacus and smiled, burning in flames.

Art or nothing.

ALEXZIPEROVICH. (cont.)

But my name is Michael.

But my name is Ziperovich and I don’t think I like you.

You’re a terrible person, you have come alive and created quite a disturbance. The author’s’ book club organizational management team meetings have commenced immediately. EVERYONE is SEEING me. It’s fucked up. I want a quiet, quaint fireplace and a real fur lion coat rug. What the fuck do you know about rugs, seeing your strawberry fields get fucked up, an antibiotic resistant infection devouring your heart in detox and the doctor won’t see you because the nurse is a catty cunt in need of a preview of the improperly proper use of needles and she needs you to need her to need you to suffer and so fuck her I will, I will suffer my writing, this burden this cursing this maligned heart of mind resurgence that I cannot handle without alcohol and FUCK YOU.

That did not rhyme at all.

I’ve been getting screamed at for having eyeballs and a mouth on my face since I was eight so when a prose instructor tells me that my rhyme schematic fucking sentence structural design prints are technically arousing the wrong systems in the housing projects I don’t miss em’, I dismiss em’. I do and do not need assistance and smiles and laughing and hugs and big juicy fat kisses from every single person that I love but I know that all isn’t there but at least something is there; this is a big, fat, mothafuckin’ kiss just for you.

“And you must know the rules in order to break the…” – fuck off. No one has ever got it. I feel like my cerebellum has been filled with dog shit for so long that at this point in my existence nothing makes any kind of sense, especially small bets, not being not sensitive and I have no idea what that even means because double negatives are the one evil incision some mathematician did to English. Probably a German bio-physicist or an oil worker or a fucking U.S. Navy Sailor threw it up on his sailboat, I don’t know; third eyes been blind since forever so I have nothing to go with, not even a small basket and it is very unlikely that you will like me.

I don’t like to drink while I write just like I love to drink when I fight but I drink to spite the page, burn it matchsticks fireplace habitual pyrotelekenis, I had to ash my cigar(ette) so I just drink the fucking suds out of the import. What import.

I think my poor schizophrenic friend ran through the airport again.

Fucked Luck.

I ran through a dream filled with drugs sober as a jail.

I’m trailing my mom on a dark, shadowy, drenched wide-avenue with what seems to be an oil drum sized jar of xanax (which I see first in the small 1 milligram blue footballs swimming like water and then, of course, the morphine, small scarlet like dried bloody fists) sitting in my hand. The top is off and on and she’s saying shit about that but I always say I need to make peace with the pills which is why I still go into a bars and drink something; but she’s hurrying forward as if in a rush to meet with a very important friend in this downpour not really paying much attention to the morphine. Perhaps, she has become myself from times past.

I stir around the xanax like the chicken base of a soup to listen to and loosen up the morphine which float up to the surface like red clown noses from the sea making silent, Morpheus sounds.

I finger them carefully, gently, fatherly. I want to be good to these small pleasures I was afforded when the world would afford me nothing more.

Finally there is a corner and my mom vanishes but her voice echoes back to me in the darkness.

The first hardship commences and I reach my fingers into the morphine and remember something: I just got sober, from buprenorphine or subutex or suboxone to those that don’t know about this and the drug that got me sober, a synthesized pygmy and now Bwiti root bark vine, has set my opiate reception system back to the stone age.

For instance, if before there were 1,000,000 employed secretaries receiving my opiated pleasures in my brain for me to hear, now, there is only me at a desk with no fucking chair.

Thus, in laymen’s terms; a single vicodin could drop me to my knees.

I remember the advice, it was very specific, “a 20 milligram morphine could kill you, you’d fall out, mate,” and I started grabbing and knifing for the morphine harder and harder and everything dissolves into strings of the morning.

I shower.

Cold.

ALEXZIPEROVICH.

And it went on like that for several minutes.

I scratched NeVER AGaiN on the tank wall in the county jail.

I scratched Blood in, Blood out in Francois on my bicep above the river styx.

I have embraced Christ, Allah, and the Israelites.

Hello. Goodbye.

Please tell me that it’s over.

I’ve given everything. I intend to give more.

The fucking cigarette count is 1.

Life ain’t right.

I can’t help it.

This is how I feel about my life.

I love you and you and you and you.

I’m trying so hard to love my damn self.

Let me go.

Release me.

Release me, God.

Release me where you see fit, just somewhere I can also fit in.

Because fitting in the wrong places has always been particularly special to me.

Not no more.

My mind grew an inch after a few hematoma head injurious delicates.

I’m trying to resurrect myself like Lazarus.

But my name is Alex.

Somethin’ new

TIRED

——

I’ve returned from the dead.

It feels eery because I don’t understand a goddamn thing. Nothing.

Everything is The Great Paradox today. Everything will give anything to go away.

Even the strength of a meat-processed heart.

Art. It’s all I no. I’ve always and forever told myself no.

But now I write for you.

Everything to dust because of artistic stupidity wherein lies the genius of the world’s cunning.

Keep it coming. I’ve learned that it never stops like rotated, well oiled locksmith locks.

The rain falls in sheets; imagine the pain for the people in this world that cannot see.

Not ocularly. But the way the IQ of the universe spins us into frenzy and we don’t remember who we are or who we wanted to be but we made sure that we know that none of this will be free.

There, payments to be made for the sin and the grades and the problems I have with the fear of AIDS and I want the world to know my name. Alexander Michael Zip…

They called me Z I P. “Zip, what up!?” Things have perpetually been a little, little rough.

I survive and thrive on the pillow I lay back knowing what I know and I die knowing no one else will ever understand or care or maybe wonder or even like it but this is the way my life was unrequited. I’ll tell you about it. It’s hard and makes things impractical when I have to speak about it in tones I don’t own that make me feel like heaven’s made from stone.

Too many adjectives and I rhyme too much, they’ve said. And Papyrus was too much, distracting.

I was distracted when I was interacting with the children locked away with me in THE Aushwitz for teens and I tell you now, I spent at least one week a month in the Hobbit which means I can’t spell time.

There is a spellbound way about me because art must be the only thing that is beautiful and lasting, everlasting like the dreams we are having and heaving and breathing and believing that we need em we go 5150 trying to achieve them and they work and my mind hasn’t worked because I injected some temporarily rich asshole’s work into my work but I Now I work and things have stopped having to hurt and I feel like the earth is not cursed and the plagues are not disease and I am not going to die without my entire chest on my sleeve because I give you my heart as utter as it is, utterly full of the knowledge and stone of my arms reached out alone to nothing trying to shake his hand and say something…

This is NOT for everyone that said I was a fucked junkie piece of shit that would die soon this is for the people that admire a survivor won’t allow anything to let him slide down anything that leads to bullshit, I lost my talent for the tired lies that replaced hits, so when I attempt to shake your hand feel free to shake your head, too, because you know that I am THE man.

Irony has never worked since the far edges of civilization and because everyone told you Hemingway was the best than you have been politically reeducated. Political science taught me how to smile as you kill and whistle while you don’t dance and prey and become pray everyone the light is on and if you want what there is for you, you cannot allow the docility to cast you and accost you, you want your enemies to love you and want drugs to answer hard questions and you want everything that was not ever, ever, ever correctly planned. Myself.

I imagine the day my father was certain I was a junkie. It was the night when I was wearing long shirts around the house with small red hue and he crept down into my room where he pulled up my right sleeve and shined a flashlight into me.

It taught me how not to want to be.

I learned one or two things since then but most of all I have learned that this is and is not the person that I am. I am what I like to call, The Great Paradox, as are you and you and you and none of you have EVER TRIED TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO?

Blood in, Blood out

Blood in, Blood out

by Alexander Michael Ziperovich

Curdling type A sitting up in the tier thinking, how could a man get this way?

Robs my loyalty & my wealth; we know what comes first, you abject coward.

I want to ride; spit unhealthy ideas into the back of your mind.

I can’t; my life is too important – your life isn’t noticed.

You threw me in jail cause you weak, “you swore you’d never hit me,” whilst sobbing. Ha.

You’re three times my size but your heart is paperclip’s for detectives: you ruin lives!

You have no heart, even with my protection when the beef would spark and was on.

You run into the bushes and hope no one sees. You’re a part time DA attempting felonies.

Come trot into my forest again and they will make you see. Let your eyes see me.

You don’t like jail because of fear of the unknown you rat bastard; Sammy The Bullshit.

Even listen to the same beats as me despite your ‘creativity’ trying to take lesson plans,

you can’t; you’re a dump truck dumb fuck with an index finger that loves to write blood.

Blood in, Blood out

Blood in, Blood out

Blood in, Blood out

Blood in, Blood out

And that’s all I got to say about that particular piece of shit.

PS: what you need is a little time to reflect pelican bay status and that can happen for you without me or my real people squealing like a B I T C H.

BITCH.

Over & Out.

YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

You Know Who You Are

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

Emotional division, subtracted wisdom and a fan of the system.

You murder lives that are always just blossoming, growing; how is it going?

Walk into my foyer, enter loudly, we can have a party. Holding?

There is the finale and it has approached us; you are the friend that turned to dust.

The Rippling Coliseum That Is My Mind

0001coliseum

The Rippling Coliseum That Is My Mind

by Alexander Michael Ziperovich

In a Cathedral with Judas, sharing a single crystal goblet filled with the wine of our blood; we sit side by side in silence, each of us pontificating, lost in our memories.

Chopin speaks to me, Nocturne in E Minor as always. The music flows through me like knives and roses yet I am unable to stop my mind from running away from me into the ethereally charged pain. “The agony is your destiny to freedom,” Morpheus murmurs softly. Judas’s eyes remain sealed, he is breathing deeply, his chest almost heaving. A single tear drops from his left eye and he dies. I am alone with the chalk white corpse of Judas, and he begins to disintegrate, flashes of light and fire, and I am left with smoke in the shape of his face resembling a hologram of ashes.

Ashes to ashes, Dust to Dust. Rapturous Death, Rapturous Love.

This empty place in my heart as empty as this Cathedral, in Rome, Latin drenching the walls of my soul. I speak nothing but my words and I rarely speak those, I write them on the papyrus in my hunger machines. There is nothing pure; there never was; all that remains are the flame & blood…

Judas’s tremulous smoke kneels and slowly places his face on the ground as though in deep prayer.

I am ignorant of his desires in regard to his spiritual cataclysm’s. They are his alone as are mine. Not our.

Chopin continues to whisper, slower, slower, slower until I find myself in a state of utter feebleness inside the valvular structure of my heart.

Is this the hour of my spiritual suicide, inevitable as it is, to take place?

I stumble out the gate into the door of my home. There are small cross shaped diamonds laying all over my sheets like minuscule daggers or stars. I devour them all in time to the great pianist speaking through me. My eyes tingle and lower, sinking into my cheeks like tear drops into a great, cold, heaving ocean of my smiles. I vomit the diamonds. I immediately devour them again.

There is no Leviathan that can be destroyed as there is all men that are destroyed. I feel the rocks shining blindly in my stomach and esophagus and I am in ecstasy, the approaching Leviathan, I realize, feeding me the Chopin and the diamonds. I vomit them and gather them with my fingers one by one and one by one I drink them down like champagne, bleeding tissue and cartilage resting in the pools of vomit.

The singing Leviathan inching closer by the moment. Judas’s face reappears and laughs hysterically for exactly 3 moments. I weep such pain, clutch my stomach, and hold the rocks in place. The Leviathan hears my struggle and it is indifferently continuing the beauty and the cruelty of Nocturne, now in B Flat Minor. He swings his massive incantation toward me and the ground of my home begins to shake and moan beneath me. A single third eye sheds a tear of blood from the ceiling onto my papyrus on my desk next to the bed where I lie, still.

Judas’s face reappears and disappears, disappears and reappears; he is laughing in vile hysteria at me, now. I cannot look. Ashes rise from the smoke of the burning papyrus, the plague of the blood of the Angel Gabriel, bringer of light and I cut my arm with my one diamond I am unable to swallow and try to extinguish the quarto but it continues burning, a hot white and red alternating light emanating from its flames. My ribs crack. The pianist.

The Leviathan rises up from the soil into the darkened room and devours my works, “The Great Hell & Of Man We Nought Know,” his grotesque tongue a slithering sword gathering my life’s toil. In gruesome countenance the monster contorts his face into what appears to be utter happiness.

I reach for the Goblet but Leviathan swallows it with his flailing tongue, regurgitates momentarily, spits the glass into my mind. The singular balance from the Cathedral is so far away.

I start to move off the bed slowly, my left eye on the monster, my right iris directed at the black door before me and I rise and leap off the sheets into the door, crashing through it injecting splinters into my timeless, precarious finality that is continuing on like a Maoist induced Cambodian death march led by brother number two followed by Pol Pot and all the photographed slaves of S-21-Tuol Sleng political holocaustical department of just fish.

I leave the Leviathan but he does not leave me, he roars and deafens me with Chopin, F Major. I cannot hear or see; the door has led to a door the same in appearance and I hurl my blinded soul and heartless body through it collecting more petrified splinters into my neck.

There is another black door.

And another.

And another.

Leviathan has blinded me and I am in utter silence before the door of my sin, blood pooling in my eyes. My sense of direction has increased in proportion to the loss of my other senses. I sneer madly and crash through the next door into a white feathered dungeon’s fireplace, where I coil myself up, my left leg severed. I hide, like Anne Franke opposing Helen Keller, in the figurative; I try to feel around my owned confinement but all I feel are warm-snow-like feathers drifting around my torso like the sacred dust of a pagan deity.

I snarl and sob simultaneously and attempt to scream, “The great paradox is upon Rome!” but I am unable to scream the profound vérité truth as I have now been made mute as Leviathan has placed the piano into my teeth. A sliver of my quarto I slaved over, hunched, written on the crackling papyrus, it shivers down the chimney. I only feel it with my pinky.

A great and thunderous crashing sound above.

I am buried in my own slavery; I reach out for God as I begin to suffocate but only Judas appears, crying bloody tears into the ash I am drowning within.

I am buried with Judas.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust; Raptures to Raptures, Lust to Lust.

The great void yawns me in.

I am swallowed.

Spiritual half-vicarious suicide; for I die for Judas, joyously. God shakes his head in shame and I scream up at the blackness bellowing laughter as I fall,

and I fall,

and I fall,

into nothing at all.

There is one slight sparkling diamond on the wall of the fall.

That is all.

Mother Superior In Black

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

for Mom, the greatest survivor I know…

Black, her favorite color, her the night sky from the bottom of the cavity of a canyon, stars torching burning flaming white light – sparkling explosions in her eyes; when she looks at me, I find.

I know.

She’s always known. Had always known.

Was lookin’ at three years consecutive for a bullshit collection of variously colored sedatives and a loud voice when my lawyer fucked me and raised bail a quarter million. The boys in the bullpen couldn’t believe what they were hearing; her eyes taught me integrity that’s searing. They were almost rioting when I said three words if not for their own MISDEMEANOR cases that were beginning proceedings.

Always known. I begged her to believe me once; I used a dirty flower the first time from some El Salvadoran’s car in hell street #13’s parking lot & I poked my friend from rehab in my cluttered confined little kitchen in my penthouse who has hepatitis C, which sticks around virally longer than God. God, I (thought) knew after my next blood draw what would’ve been saw or seen; massive spikes in my liver enzymes and all other manner of indications of being a fiend.

She said, “No, Alex. It just didn’t happen.” I replied, “But I swing around, high, and poked his arm with a goddamned .29 gauge or whatever and still shot the shit, I was high,” I wined. Again: “No.”

Turns out eye dodged another fucking bullet from a repeated phantom tommy gun/uzi/the finger of God Almighty, Goddamn.

How’d she know I wouldn’t be shot down that low or rather have shot myself down that low?

Wisdom?

Experience?

Persistence?

No words register like the fuckin’ syringes she never saw so there is no explanation excepting her divinely inspired clause and without a pause I believe what she says and know she’s right because that’s how I’ve survived the world war nineteen of my life.

Around then, nineteen. That’s when things get hard. Burning nose to burning foil to burning spoons the bathroom floor, blood dripping down my arm, my chin glancing off my nipples and all the way through that horrible transition to becoming what I am she was there bearing witness; she is an angel with wings made by James Perse and sexy shades by Chanel.

Who the hell knew? Wasn’t it supposed to be the junkies’ on the streets job to read up on their lives and blow my roll? Santa Clause said ho ho ho and I won’t ever again drink a scotch that leads directly to blow.

Why?

Because after a decade there are problems in the system, the plug and sparks are twisted; I made a promise I can’t break to a woman that I don’t think I’ve ever seen even age despite the fact that her 21 year old son had a ninety percentile risk of mortality with MRSA in his chest, the aortic valve of course, God Bless, God Bless, God Bless?

Strength structural isn’t grey or chrome or steel. It’s black. I know the sun is burning your eyes out your skull if you look too hard but imagine the blanket of the night collapsing but not smothering my creativity because if I was to go outside without my contacts I couldn’t see.

The black beauty.

The lady in black with the blanket of her love; I couldn’t have done it myself.

She knows this already but she asked me to tell and now I’m sober for her – not me – plus me – plus Sophie and I’m a little tired of being tired so I’m energetic writing poetry at 6:58 in September for her because she needed one thing from I, damnit, and I was happy to oblige, painfully happy.

Painfully black?

Euphorically black- no that word has the wrong connotations.

Practically ecstatic- no…

Joy.

All because of the divinity of the lady in black that salvaged the unsalvageable and put me in my office with her heart so I could write this so she can see it tomorrow.

Brilliantly black.

Brilliantine white light.

My mommy.

5:28 explicit cigarette drift slits

by Alexander Michael Ziperovich

This screen, this screen, I want to stab it with a smallpox dipped pencil until it’s black with the mumps.

The only pen I can reasonably attempt to use without immediately waking up to orderlies feeding me sedatives in tiny white round cups prior to examining the underside of my tongue is a dagger; little bastard cuts up the pages like cancer and in some macabre, Machiavellian, merry way it’s like heroin injections into journals and verbs. You couldn’t know about my sharpest pen, my .38 fine tip black was the best I could find.

Give me a .1 and I bet you I’d end up gouging out my eyes with it beautifully like a conductor conducting a fucking conduction or an orchestral in a fever smiling like he just licked the best little beaver.

Things get darker. I haven’t gotten to see the goddamn cops chase the pedophilia since last night and it was only seconds and the goddamn motherfucking idiot operator bitch must have told the cop the wrong block cuz’ the dark green late model mini van was in his hand, speeding, behind the cop but lagging just enough to be the demon. “Fuck. He’s behind the trees.”

I craned my neck.

Nothing.

How the hell can a man stand this ball of fire and water and rock? I want to shoot the goddamned planet up like a dying vet, with ketamine instead of morphine so we can just avoid him the trouble of delusions of god. Satan has been running sprints in my mind, training for years everywhere and I don’t complain. Fuckin’ dying soldiers shouldn’t complain either then, jealous bastards. And no one gets irony. Ever. Seriously.

And also fuck those cops they would’ve taken that green van psychopath and fed him coffee to get him to talk when just as easily they could’ve Alexander Dumased his sick face right into the dungeon and had him spend six years and six days and six hours scratching a tunnel.

Him and this learned Italian. Right here, I mean. Behind the godamned motherfucking computer screen. Pardon while I go copy the romantic era from “The Best Of 1245,” onto the last sheet of toilet paper I got left while I take a shit.

And I’m still furious no one understands the GODDAMNED irony I keep pitching. CATCH you fucking alley cat worm feast fuck!

Pardon me, pardon me… I get like this with too much sleep and valium.

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