It’s covered in abscesses. It has no other features.
Your image is harvested and maintained by the State in syndication. Unclear as to who or where the mainframe of the State is or has ever been stationed, or for whom your image might serve use.
Loam of the Infants
Beneath the ground is the blood of our children. It fills the air above it with a stench like rotting vegetables, impossible to breathe without also bleeding. As such, any remaining must wear headgear formed from the bones of the same dead, and so fashioned in our image. It feels like technology.
No one is left anyway
No one is left. When you try to think of anyone besides yourself, the screen encasing the idea of who you are goes wet, electrocutes itself, reboots. You do not have a body, nor a future.
Q: Why am I reading?
You aren’t. You are being read to. You can’t tell the difference because there never was one.
You love being dead. It’s not at all what dying had been made out to be; in fact, it feels almost identical to living. There’d been no pain. You had seen so many in prior syndication who appeared to die in various disturbing manners, torn limb from limb, impaled, consumed, and yet you can remember nothing about your own death. You were simply suddenly no longer where you always were, and now you are here, wherever here is, still only waiting to be loved, only now no longer expecting it.
The most beautiful song we’ve ever heard
It was coming out of the rip where the moon was last. It was all percussion, samples of how breathing sounded, diamond blisters. There were lyrics but you could not hear them unless you were truly generous at heart. It shall be our new national anthem. It shall never play again.
Before he disappeared, the Ruler had a problem. Every time he went to have sex with one of his employees, their bodies would turn to mush. The sinew would disintegrate, forming little more than smoke left on the room. Even masturbating, the Ruler would find that what came out of him was only shudder; no actual product; nothing confirmable as actual event. It was an extremely personally perturbing and life-reevaluating period for the Ruler, who had spent so much of his family’s money to become exactly who he was. Soon he forgot how to sleep, resulting in the era known as “Ruler Said Make No One Else Exist,” during which all our lives at last were reprocessed and made digitized, as had long been the only plan. But in the end, the process was much more difficult emotionally for all involved than was first assumed by the firms contracted to complete the grafting. So when we say the Ruler “disappeared,” we mean he killed himself, devoid of lingering faith in his own mechanism of our liquidation, and leaving incomplete his only memoir, titled The Ruler of GrindLand: In His Own Words, which is actually the story of all of us.
Today there is a bird on the windowsill you have been programmed to look out of, the same field of mud and snow where you were born, which itself is a projection. Gathered on the field are holograms of all the children you would have had if you had been allowed to live long enough to reproduce.
The Glass’s Index for this afternoon reads 0239.3944, the lowest recorded level in the laser-dot era since the dissolution of the Fourth Wall. Attempting to discern the effects of this fact is verboten and will get you flagged for torture processing.
Manners of torture
Paste ‘n cut (Level 5)
Nostalgia graft – virtual
Nostalgia graft – actual
Partial intuitive heal
Remember what eating was
Q: For whom does GrindLand exist?
Somewhere, for certain, there is a definitive answer to this question, and that’s the hell of it.
Time & Place
There is no longer the necessity for time, and there’s nowhere else.
Q: So what?
There was a place you could go once, when you were ill, to look at images of the others who’d once been. You did this with your mind, of course; there could be no other manner. You would read in the passed faces a map of hope; where despite all that had come and would soon come again and even worse, something maintained itself above the level of the light, a sensation that can be understood now only as a wound that would never remember how to heal. And so instead the state of grace by which we lived went on resigned in a language we no longer needed to remember to feel distraught in the presence of, at the same time wholly viral and existing only in closed loop; a sickness teaching itself to reinfect itself over and over; to learn to die again within death.
You still must feed. You no longer have access to constructs such as flesh, food, sex, though. You only exist because you already had, the only fact they haven’t figured out yet how to take from you; as even in erasure, there you are. And yet there are so many like you, you will not find you in the system. You might slip and claim the wrong design a thousand times before you ever began to feel where the place where the skin rubs in transference is making its foundation stick and mar, soon deforming even the ability to recognize when this is over.
Q: When will this be over?
When you stop wanting it to.
Being read to hurts. It is supposed to. There is no other space in which the voice of someone also damned to remain living has the ability to attempt to reconstrue the configuration of our present situation, which has never been successful, and yet remains still conceptually possible. It is fine not to listen to the reading, or to try not to, because its malady is being entered in you regardless, by our design. No word has been uttered that has not changed the face of everything again at once and so completely that we couldn’t tell the difference after.
What to read
There are no texts available besides brand new hardback copies of The Ruler of GrindLand: In His Own Words, each unopened, wrapped in plastic, signed and sealed by the editing device that did all of the real work, the one that lives inside your idea of a skull.
When we remove your face
On the back of your current face, you find an inscription sewn into the inseam with red thread, spelling out a list of names of other persons who had used it before you. You don’t recognize a one:
Rick P. Oppenheimer
Pamela “Tiny” Nordstrom
I. X. King III
Add your name
You try to take the loose end of the inscribing thread and use your teeth to sew your own name in, until you realize the name you find yourself wanting to inscribe isn’t your name at all, nor is it a name of anyone you ever knew or heard of.
“Just who the hell really is ‘G-d’?” you hear yourself think, in an itching voice like your last mother’s. “And why is she always weeping? And what is weeping?”
Weeping is illegal. Taking your face off on your own is illegal. Thinking about taking your face off is illegal and so is writing about it conceptually. Your face is your face and always has been. Acknowledging that your face is not actually a face but a partition in a hard drive on a machine forcing many to share one screen as their method of projection is not only illegal, but grounds for re-encryption, starting over, which turns out worse than torture. Having free time is illegal. Listing out all of what’s illegal is illegal. Illegal isn’t actually really even a word anymore, like death and glimmer, primarily because there’s no difference between the crux and its negation. All is same. Negation is illegal. So too the blinking cursor, any summer, the rain on the bright ground between you and I. It’s all illegal and untrue, beyond the idea of even beginning to define it, the code beneath the color in the crime. So much of nowhere yet to be divided.
It really has the most beautiful light here. The oldest prism no one’s needed.