My Manifesto: Near The Entrance Of My Tomb

Solitude is for a writer what rain is to the trees

Inside my tomb, alone, I will write and write and write and write and write and write and write…

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

The mob symphony discordant and quiet,
They want me to sing

…my voice, my breathless cry for you to know what it’s like
inside these hallowed chambers, here there is nothing but everything,
intoned like the first beating of the wings of a baby sparrow…

I’m as bad as they say I am good, passing around splinters instead of firewood,
kindling for light, our solemn nod to the great splinter-less logs,
burning into the sky of the night

Imagine how the stars do whisper amongst themselves, a great tragic laughter, their tears dripping down the face of the night, fireflies hum capturing and holding drops of sobbing stars, until the sun assumes its throne and dries our weeping scars

Alone in solitude naked toting bags of words in the jowls of my cheeks, fingers to papers, release myself from this cell in this prison of my own ill-intentioned creation, self-disdain raping my mind with a wealth of pain salacious, I’ll rip it out and escape and write on all that remains

Soon, I disappear to confront my shackles ripping off their masks finding that beneath those masks of my guards is my face, trapped and hard, seeing beauty blind suffocation, no more, no more, I will take what I shall take and I will rename it and replace it and light it ablaze, there is no more time for me to waste

The stars have shed enough tears on my behalf and I have lived enough fear and all that hell that is left, is to be procured, packaged, and burned at the stake, tip toe back to collect the ashes and gather them in my arms walking backwards so that I might put it all back together into a beautiful tapestry of a man’s last grasp

This man’s last gasp

These Words I Write Have No Right

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

It’s so crucial to be neutral these days, hesitate before I let myself go bleeding away,
decimate the page with my sordid references embedded inside splintered, decayed
sentences, remove myself from it and say it’s abrupt literary fucking, you can’t
stop my blistery wondering, it’s like the stars are on fire directly in front of me,
you can see them up close, unfurling of a rose, a ghost, caught in an inferno
lost in the woods during a forest fire, going to burn down our funeral pyre
die a mortal, a coward and a liar worth nothing, I just think it’s about
time we had this discussion, my brushes with death a few minor
digressions, the point of this is that the points I like make blood
like blades and they cut deep if they have any grace, they’ll
leave gashes in your mind that you can’t wash off or stitch
you piss off momma bear it’s hard calming a violent bitch,
you’ve lost your innocence, your presumptions intimate,
so infinite, our collections filled with what they gave us,
knowing it won’t save us, we just got spat on charity,
bent down, collected their spittle, the generational
learned with their belligerent fiddles, out of tune
ballads of knowledge and philosophical riddles
that don’t end with a lesson but rather they
begin with the same redundant toy titular
thistles meant to scrape your shins and
break your wind until you can’t run
and painful is sin and your mind is
just a piece of the giant lake of hot
burning oil in the desert with the
limbs of soldiers dead in wars
that we adore for hating the
people under the other
stars, like loving afar,
I love you, it’s hard
words weren’t ever
going to kill, maim
you or stab, hurt
or leave scars
I just wanted
to show you
the way I
collect all
our hell
in
a page like butterflies in clear empty jars

The Box (Chapter 1?)

Ziperovich & Silvis

The first generation Boxes were buggy as hell, they’d power off and you’d die, they would get hacked and you’d spend 60 years staring at a Cambodian golden shower video on repeat, they would sometimes even have system failures and you would see, hear, and feel nothing but complete blackness for eternity.

When LiveTech came out with Box 19.5 it was finally the product it was meant to be and it was almost perfect by every account. 94% of humanity was plugged in, 22 trillion beings stacked like anchovies at the LiveTech warehouses for barely pennies. The golden age of technology was upon us and no one could say with any legitimacy that it was better outside the Box than in, it was a horrifying, painful world outside the perfect comfort of the Box and no one wanted any part of it. At orientation, or birth as it was once referred to, LiveTech explained life before the Box in stunning detail and showed how the Box was life perfected.

The Box was invented in 2042 by a certain Dr. H.L. Heigel and he chose these as his last words before he continued on to his digital death: “The Box will forever and always be the epitome of human existence.” The Box made earth livable again for all the trillions of its inhabitants and it saved humanity from extinction after we found we were incapable of living on any other planet; after the great space colony failures Heigel declared: “Now, we must find a way to live within ourselves, the search turns inwards.” He paved a way for humanities massive population to live on earth and to live with pleasure insurmountable.

The Box isn’t actually a box, it certainly doesn’t feel like living in a “box” and it doesn’t look like a box. Rather, it looks like an adult in the fetal position covered in green holographic currents that click and chirp and buzz and beep according to whatever algorithm the person in that Box is using. Every Box is essentially a simulated existence, although that term is frowned upon because people hate to think they aren’t living “real” lives and in 2067 the word “simulation” and “simulated” we’re deleted from the LiveTech mainframe and there are less problems with that now, of course.

There are countless human beings climbing Mount Everest every day in their Box, having sex 900 times a week with 900 different, beautiful, disease free people, writing novels at cafe’s in 19th century Paris, watching lions eat Christians in the great Roman Coliseum, flying through space and time ignoring the laws of physics or perhaps just drinking orange juice in the mornings with their children all in the same millisecond. No human before the era of the Box could ever have imagined a life so full and rich and a reality so colorful with such purpose and beauty and possibility. The Box allows anyone, the poor, the rich, the tall and handsome, the short and ugly, the graceful, the beleaguered and depressed and stupid and genius to become whatever it is they want and to do whatever it is they want to do without any limitations, all through electricity flowing through your brain. It is the ultimate expression of humanity. It is the great equalizer. You feel like a beautiful woman accompanying you to your first Nobel prize acceptance speech in Prague or perhaps you feel like racing a Ferrari through 1998 Los Angeles, the Box is capable of letting you do anything you want whenever you want however you want simply by allowing you to tap into its vast network of preprogrammed experiences and all you have to do is think it and it becomes your reality. The Box transformed and elevated human existence for everyone. LiveTech’s motto is: Be Anyone Doing Anything!

In the past the majority of the population of earth could expect short, dull lives of dreadful poverty and hunger for food and water. Even the more fortunate people born in industrialized nations were usually bored, fighting wars, or sick. The days when men slaved all day at menial labor with no meaning for little reward and women had excruciating pregnancies with horrifying, painful births and slaved over the tedious children they produced all day are gone. There is no longer the need for government, lest you call LiveTech and it’s Final Maintenance Committee a government, there are no countries or wars, there is no class or political struggle, and during the last official Happiness Index there was almost 100% Happiness. Even religion has been relegated to the trashbin in this new world. If life is perfect and every desire is fulfilled, there is so little time to think about anything else.

You can get married in a Box, have Christmas with your perfect family on the top of a cloud in a Box, and even father a child in a Box. There is truly only one thing you cannot do when you are in a Box, and no one is really bothered or thinks much about this single limitation anymore. You cannot leave the Box. You are born into your own latest generation Box and you die in that very same Box. No one would ever leave their Box so the issue is largely irrelevant, people are too busy using their imaginations to tap into and add to the vast meta-library at LiveTech’s Preprogrammed Life Experience Database and of these experiences, there are infinite possibilities. Everyone finally content with life. The epitome of human existence.

I was born into my Box and I never had a thought cross my mind about leaving my Box, the network usually deletes these glitch ideas anyway with their Bliss Protection Agency programs so that we don’t have to worry about them. I was born into a late generation Box and so I had very little if anything to complain about. Life was better than good. I was living in perfection, the epitome of human existence. We all knew what life was like in the days before the Box revolutionized human life and we all knew the horror of war and disease and marriage and divorce and physical pain. When I was born I went through orientation or what you might call an introduction to human life pre-Box and I stood among the dead in horrible battlefields watching the pointless carnage over politics or religion, I watched disease ravaged bodies in hospitals waste away in pain and suffering, I saw the overcrowded slums of Mombasa and the criminals of the pre-Box cities stealing and raping and murdering people. No, I had no desire to leave my Box and its ultimate perfection. No one could conceive of anything other than the perfect, painless, freedom of the Box.

I can’t account for what happened. Perhaps it was a glitch at LiveTech’s Central Division of Technology or perhaps one of the few remaining employees they kept outside the Box for physical maintenance of hardware got the bright idea to unplug some people against their will and violate the conduct sections of Network and disconnect them from the confines of their digital utopian bliss. I don’t know and I doubt I ever will. I just know what happened after.

I was with a beautiful, perfectly proportioned brunette in a lavish bed in silk sheets in a penthouse at the top of a grand hotel in what used to be London and then I felt something I had never felt before: physical pain. Darkness. I felt my body creaking as the various aches that ran through it manifested and my eyes opened and adjusted to a dim light in a massive warehouse center and as I looked around me I saw millions or maybe billions of people of various sizes and shapes in the fetal position covered in this translucent, wavy green holographic electricity stacked on ledges all the way to the ceiling around these huge circular towers, all of them enclosed in the same glowing, pulsing electric light. None of them looked awake but I could see how each person would twitch and I imagined these twitches to be whatever experience they believed they were having taking place in their brains.

I climbed down from my rack after removing the various adaptors and plugs I found protruding from my body, they were plugged into a kind of metallic tower that rose up to what I imagined to be the top of the ceiling many times over for each circular stack of glowing green, twitching, fetal bodies. The muscles in my body quivered and ached but they weren’t completely atrophied somehow so I began to climb down to the ground. At first I was so disoriented that I didn’t know which way the ground was but after some time I began to get used to the feeling of my body and its movements and I found that I was able to use my eyes and ears to determine where I wanted to go. In my Box I had never before experienced the laws of physics, people flew or jumped or walked depending on whatever program they felt like using, I was now at the mercy of gravity and as I inched around trying to make sense of this new world it became apparent that this body I had never seen before wasn’t capable of much beyond moving clumsily and with difficulty. I inched my way down, climbing down stepping gingerly from each small shelf to the one below it and I realized I came to the bottom rather quickly and this is what makes me believe still that someone unplugged me deliberately. The ground was a matter of balance and I took my first steps trying to find mine. I spent a long time just walking toward a light, it was a different light, brilliant and golden, that was unlike the glowing green everywhere else or any light I had ever seen before and I just walked straight in that direction until I finally approached a large door with a red button in its center. Whatever was behind the door was the source of that yellowish light that drew me toward it and the light spilled from the borders of the door into the dark facility.

I pressed the red button and a gush of depressurized air could be felt releasing and I heard something click and the door unlocked and slowly slid open and I saw the yellow light becoming larger until the door vanished completely. I was staring at something I had never seen. I walked out into the hot sun and felt the warmth of a thousand days in the Box compressed into a single moment and a rush of air carried by the wind blowing into my face and onto my body that felt like nothing I had ever felt before and I walked boldly forward into this new realm. I looked down and saw that I was on the lip of a great valley and I saw the massive warehouses that filled the valley and I felt the great humming being exuded from the warehouse behind me and the warehouses in the valley below me and this great buzzing electronic vibrations led me to my first philosophical realization as a real, non-digital person: this electronic heartbeat I could feel running through and around me, carried by the wind, was life inside the Box. A great cadence of pulsing and throbbing currents flew around the warehouses and I realized that I had lived in these currents, that everyone plugged into a Box was at this moment just a buzzing electricity conducted by a grand machine.

My first instinct was to escape the throbbing pulse and I ran, slowly at first, higher up, until I reached the absolute peak of the valley upon which lay a large collection of trees where a small rugged footpath of dead plants and soil lay in the center. I started down this trail away from the great digital throbbing and I found myself in a clearing where I found a blackened pit where a fire had once been. I touched the burnt logs and felt soot come away on my finger and as I stared at the black dust on my hand I heard something like a voice but different, more human than I had ever heard. I can’t explain how everything was in a way the same but so much different but this is how it was.

It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes and the color and feel of the world had some kind of added dimension that I never knew existed. I walked toward the voice I thought I had heard. At the end of the clearing was another trail and I entered a darker, thicker forest and walked through it, through thorny bushes that scraped my pale skin leaving small bloody lacerations and huge hanging leaves from gigantic trees that held dewy condensation which I drank from and past giant spider webs that caught on my face. I walked for what seemed like forever until I began to see the forest thinning out, the trees becoming less thick, the plants covering the ground receding behind me back into the depths of the middle of the deep wood from which I was emerging from.

I stared out from the edge of the forest upon a great blue water and I saw and felt and heard the white waves thrash the beach becoming foam running up the sand. I walked out of the forest back into the sunlight and I looked across at a panorama of blue ocean under blue sky and it was endless, I could see neither the beginning nor the end and it was as if the entire world was surrounded by this thrashing, living force. I walked, naked feeling the sand caressing my feet and the sun and its warm, decadent radiance upon my body and as I walked feeling these things I saw a group of children with dark golden skin playing at the edge of the beach by the foamy water. I heard them laughing as each wave crashed, running toward the water and away from it as if to tease a great beast. As I walked I threw my hands out up at the sun in the sky and as I walked toward the children I used my voice for the first time to howl in joy.

My Friend Jamie, My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie

By Alexander Ziperovich

It was really just me and this obese woman, a drug counselor incidentally, in this rehab. There was the Indian that smoked heroin and bitched about his need to go drive his non-existent Porsche and the Mexican he paid for his dope, how he wanted to kill this fucker. He was a farce- but fuck he was built like a fucking panzer tank or better, a gasoline tanker truck, I mean this massive asshole actually had a jet black pony tail! We didn’t get along after I walked in on him showering in my bathroom. Me and the Indian, no we didn’t get along at all and I left him alone but his eyes really didn’t ever leave me much alone time. So, it was all of us shuttered up in this cramped little hovel a few hundred miles north of San Diego in this post-apocalypytic wasteland suburbia apropos of hell with two twin obese freakishly round half-Mexican “caretakers” or whatever feeding us our pills and cooking bad enchiladas every single day. I mean, seriously, every day and the bulk cheese was applied like the bubonic plague in European history.

Me and the obese woman, we cliqued up right away. She was momming me and I was sonning for her and it was working beautifully at first. See, the reason she came to rehab in the first place was because she felt she needed Gastric Bypass surgery and her pain doc had her on, she said and I believed it, sixteen eighty milligram oxycontins a day plus liquid morphine to top it all off and get the cocktail tasting right. The problem here then is that with her on so much dope pain medication there would be no feasible way for this large woman to get any kind of pain control if she did happen to have gastric bypass surgery to thin her out a tad. It was all sad and amusing and we talked about her hepatitis C and her days following the dead (the grateful ones) and her son doing life in Chino and all sorts of other getting-to-know-ya shit. She took to me. She really did. I wasn’t surprised. And with sixteen eighties a day, shit, sign the adoption papers today.

The TV was the epicenter, the headquarters of the house and we watched the movie Alpha Dog continuously, which tells the true story of this little kid that’s killed with a mac 10 on a California hiking trail because of his older brother’s very insignificant drug debt. “What are we watching tonight?” You can hear the enchilada’s frying and sizzling, all that cheese, these poor fat women, Jesus. “Alpha Dog,” “Oh. Yeah, it’s good.” The Indian absolutely hated Alpha Dog and you’d hear a door slam. I liked it, kinda. I mean, shit, it wasn’t Wheel of Fortune or TV Telemundo and it pissed the Indian off.

Here’s the variable – I run out of smokes and all there is to do is sit at the table outside and smoke or watch alpha dog and eat shitty cheese smothered tortillas. So, I start bumming the obese ladies’ Camel non-filters, which she refers to as “leemacks”. The reason, she explains, is because you never want the fuzz to know what kind of cigarettes you smoke, so you smoke the unfiltered Camel’s backwards, burning up the little Camel stamp and leaving a butt with nothing but hopelessness for any homicide detective trying to find out who dun it. She learned this awhile back I take it, at least before the cops figured out DNA and fingerprinting.

I start bumming her leemacks and she isn’t very excited after I’ve devoured her 7th pack inside of 48 hours. She slows me down getting irritated. Somewhere around this time I use her nail clippers to cut my fingernails and then I remember she has hepatitis and I get a little freaked out. Uh oh, I say to myself, uh oh. I don’t want no fuckin’ interferon. Shit.

“Alex, I can’t bum you anymore smokes, I love ya but I can’t do it.” She will run out herself if I keep smoking her leemacks and I don’t want her to run out and she doesn’t want to run out and no one wants to run out of nicotine in fucking rehab because it’s fucking rehab and there are no good drugs or drinks. Bastards all of em. Burn em at the stake and pour poor liquor into their face, sober freaks.

“Oh, really? Damn. You can’t afford to bum me anymore leemacks? Shit. That’s okay. I’ll survive.”

It is time for me to get the fuck out of this pit. Post haste. No cigarettes? No, no way.

I call my friend Jamie in San Diego to come get me and he concurs. Some skinny fucker gets word that I’m leaving and comes to try to intervene and keep me hostage in the house of bubbling enchiladas and nicotine withdrawal but my mind is all made up on this one. No cigarettes? Cocksucker even offers to buy me a pack. A pack? He limps away all fatalistic away from my roaring laughter. So, I wait at this tropical Tiki Hut themed bar drinking Coronas this older woman keeps blessing me with acting as if I were Macauley Culkin before the heroin (again, I have this effect on older white women, don’t ask me why) and I’m twirling one of those little toothpick umbrellas in my mouth in the sun feeling great. Jamie makes the two and a half hour trip and I see BMW M3 pull up and I’m out like a fucking ghost in the night, although it is daylight and there is no one to put up a fight, except maybe Charlene or Chandra or whoever the old blond is, she wanted me to stay. Sorry Chayenne. She smiles wistfully and waves goodbye.

What I have not thus far mentioned is that I generated a generous benzodiazepine habit along with my usual opiate one: xanax 20 mg a day, klonopin 10 or how about I just greedily pour the fuckers down my throat as much as I can without choking to death. I would ask that the reader keep in mind that this is only really like my fifth or sixth detox/rehab and so I’m still learning the ropes, day by day. I figure that the bullshit WWI benzo the enchilada twins are feeding me (brand name Serax; extremely short half life and worthless for a buzz FYI) doesn’t mean shit and isn’t doing shit but I have yet to learn the delicacies of a benzo withdrawal…

Naturally, I assume I’ll be completely fine. And I am. Dandy. The drive back is stupendous, I’m free, free at last, from rehab and obese women with leemacks and bad enchiladas and mean heroin smoking Indians and Alpha Dog and the whole damn thing and I get to Jamies house and some  dudes are sitting there on his front porch thriving on forty ouncers and blunts and I get with them and catch a taste of Cannabis Sativa and Mickeys Malt Liquor and we chill. A few hours pass and everything is all good, gravy, gratuitously great.

What’s this weird feeli-
EVERYTHING GOES INCREDIBLY FUCKING WRONG.

My heart is going to leap out of my chest like in that movie Alien with Sigourney Weaver and I start shaking like a leaf in a storm and I am burning up, red like a lobster shell with a temperature of one hundred and hell degrees. I feel as if I am about to expire. This is definitely not opiate withdrawal. Now it’s time to find out via the internet that if you don’t titrate off benzos very slowly you catch a fun seizure and your ass goes spasmodic and you fucking die, well, my ass fucking dies. Fuck. My poor friend Jamie, my poor, poor friend, he’s happily spinning music on his turntables and I’m trying to bury myself in his couch, burrowing, burrowing. I cannot escape my biology I realize and I suddenly leap up and shriek at Jamie: “We need to go the fuck back now! I am going to die here! It will be everything but dignified! Vamanos!” I am very reluctant to return to bad enchilada land but I know they have that Serax shit there. My “brother” (yeah fucking right, Brady) who said that if I needed anything to call him and who lives literally minutes away does not answer my thousands of phone calls and text messages and who is a complete junkie pharmacist and who would have, I am certain, been able to procure me some valium or something. I’m betting Brady’s high watching the sci fi channel playing with Fentanyl patches, selfish fucking asshole. Oh, Brady recently found Jesus and sobriety after doing a year in the county after trying to kill the sky with a .357 Magnum on the roof of his moms mamsion with the cops surrounding his house and a red dot stuck to his skull. Whatever, he isn’t an option so we go and I’m riding shotgun in the M3 telling this poor child friend Jamie to hit the motherfucking gas. “Get this bastard moving, it’s an M3 isn’t it?!” We pass several police traps and I inform poor young Jamie, who has had yet to catch his own habits, to fucking fly by em’ and keep going or I will die in the county jail. As in, if a pig tries us, speeeeeeed the fuck up with the pedal directly on the motherfucking metal.

We are now about 22 minutes from our signature destination; where the Serax (still a shitty benzo, but hey, a benzo’s a benzo when your heart’s about to explode) lives and I have to piss from drinking Malt Liquor so fucking bad that I am screaming while also shaking, biting my jaw into itself so hard my mouth is a swamp of teeth, blood and bile.

Now we are 19 minutes out and the piss is just going to have to go somewhere at this point and we are not fucking stopping no fucking way my heart keeps stopping and starting and stopping and starting and I don’t want it to stop entirely the way it would if we stopped we are not stopping we are not stopping no cops no tanks no armies we are not fucking stopping Jamie do you understand James? Fucking hit the fucking gas you pussy motherfucker!

ETA 11 minutes and there’s a scramble to find a bottle, but the one I find has nothing I need, it is one of those shitty Pepsi bottles with the incredibly tiny holes. I give it a good shot, I mean I fucking try, but I got a big dickhead and while were on dickheads lets just come right out with the fact that I am a Ron Jeremy sized Dickhead for what takes place. I really do my best to get it in there but it is as if the hoover damn, or I don’t know, the entire fucking ocean is just coming up out of me and this little Pepsi bottle is just mocking me as this river of urine explodes around it and it ain’t catching much of anything at all so finally, I give up and in glorious, relieved, graceful, beautiful defeat and I just lay my ass back piss flying everywhere, a tide of piss cascading down off his seat going off into and filling up every part of his once urine-less BMW. Right as I’m squeezing out the last few drops, smiling dumbly, piss still dripping down off his seat into the pond that is his car he pulls up to the house. The look on his face is priceless as I pause, think of something to say, forget it and open the door and exit, shaking the pool of piss off of my shirt and shorts onto the street and I look at Jamie and his eyes are wide and shell-shocked like he just witnessed a murder or a fucking man die of Ebola in his car, “Uhhh, what the fuck, okay. Okay, great. Fuck. Fuck. Yeah, no problem on the ride, fuck. Oh my god, what the fuck. Yeah, I’ll see you, man. Later du-,” and as he screeches out of the drive way he makes a u-turn and it looks like he’s trying to spin the car so fast the piss will just all somehow fly out or evaporate.

My Friend Jamie, My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie.

Jamie, next time you cannot piss in my BMW when you’re coming off of your Xanax habit.

This one’s for you ol’ boy, take it like an apology or something bro. I’m glad we’re still friends because if you pissed all over my M3 I may have had you murdered and thrown into a hole in the desert. Love ya, pal.

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