Lachlan J McDougall

Thin Distance I Ride the White Lightning

“Ride musical interlude back to basic coordinate points.” The hospital gown flapped curtains distant faraway old doctor wise as an old rat walked in the door subsuming human airs with a cold mineral calm. Cigarette on the ashtray the dial flickered he was ‘clear’. Moonshine a cold distance the patient was sitting at the controls where the light was thin curtains flapping cigarette on the ashtray.

Cold distance “this is your e-meter—read it and weep boys—enemy ‘clear’ where the light is thin” he moved over with the controls pressing down into rose wallpaper left the ‘atmosphere’ where he had been living and breathing dumb as fish. He choked on the emotional oxygen sucking in a lungful as the craft moved out into deep space sleeping between planets where the wind warps trees over a paper moon.

Cool Venusian skies of the earth-eating disease the craft glid through enemy encampments rolling by like boiling water. “These are your stealth controls bending light and sound to manoeuvre through cold distant enemy encampment. These are your laser guns—use them only in the most difficult of circumstances...” sounds of terror through the room—fleeting moments of blue glory—a thief manoeuvre in the dark he bent the light through enemy encampment. Wind hand caught in the door—slide of life under electron microscope—blue entrails of the blue asshole naked shimmering cigarette on the ashtray. Through emotional ‘atmosphere’ he moved ‘clear’ “read it and weep”.

Held the door open moved surreptitious through corridors and walkways extending into the distance like hazy remembrances. A corridor of old movies he walked like lightning curved through the earth where Humphrey Bogart smoked a cigarette in flicker film moved backwards over the curtain flapping cigarette on the ashtray. He hosed down the enemy moving in with old fever boiling down silver spots shimmering up asshole light to eyes naked where everything is moving as one pulse of noise. Choking emotional ‘atmosphere’ they felt the blues the oranges the purple the pinks dumb as fish they stood staring choking where the wallpaper meets the sea.

Cold disease of movies old fever bending lightning between planets—asshole light door subsuming curtains—purple he walked over spots shimmering down the craft movies over a paper left blue glory—a thief manoeuvre in orange the curtain flapped distant enemy encampment—through enemy encampment rolling movies difficult ashtray—controls walked a cigarette on ‘atmosphere’ held through corridors breathing sound and light of the distance. Cold down corridors choked between planets—held the blue ashtray—controls pressed curved shimmering over water.

The white light he entered moving between the horizons. The little people were at the controls now and this was a magical universe. Cold over distant planets he sped further and further away distant curtain flapping the hospital gown white light from the mouth of Eden. In little parcels he gave out the edifice his name situated on the bottom of the manuscript choking the words with weeds and kudzu vine. Cold distant he held the overcoat words falling dead on a dead ground—there was nothing left here not even ashes just the glass of distant war shimmering water over spots of the craft. He fired his laser guns at an old tin can blasting surreptitious through the evening sky. Distant flapping of the hospital gown he moved over into the horizon of white light.

Upon entering the kingdom he found himself hung up on the overcoat a distant light pinpointing eyes rose wallpaper mucous over parted lips. Stripped naked he found himself grey where the light touches silver spots boiling up and over white light of the horizon. A cardboard bed rolled over the asshole blue in the air a long thin penis mucous over parted lips he found himself naked where the light touches grey in a corridor of old movies touching backward over skin of the kingdom. Curtain flapping cigarette on the ashtray found himself naked on the sound wave firing his laser pistols at a rusty tin can exploding in shards of light above his head he moved forward to where the sound cocoons around a little blue note asshole shimmering in the evening air. Mucous over asshole he parted lips choking on the ‘atmosphere’ bending over found himself then and there high note on the blue asshole. Mucous over parted lips he found himself in the kingdom naked over light from the cocoon. The Duke entered through a side door from the sound of screams a guard of hang-gliders at his side moving up and down like a gust of fresh air. Mucous over parted lips the Duke moved a long thin penis where the light touches grey ash grey of a distant war. Blue asshole the light faded away from a distant memory cold arrogance of steel razors a momentous change in makeup he willed himself to physical form curtain flapping cigarette on the ashtray.

“I am sorry to have to do this to you” he held up the white light distant awning of a faraway place moved over the controls sea seething in time to his movements. “But you see I have been left with no other choice.” He moved distant a shark in water gliding along the sound of screams where the wallpaper meets the sea.

From the corridors of the hospital the patients gathered round listening to the doctor speak like from a radio dim and distant. “I’m sorry to have to do this to you, but you see I am left with no other choice.” One by one the patients left the room moving across the floor of disease slippered feet padding softly along the corridors to their various beds. One by one the patients smoothed over the whirlpool of thoughts and took up to the skies shimmering away on a blast of music floating into the horizon.

One sturdy-built vessel took the controls and made his position clear. He had been read on the e-meter coming up ‘clear’ you see he did not breathe in earth’s emotional ‘atmosphere’ and he was not yet contaminated with the sounds of war. Moving down across the controls he glided the craft out of the docking station and into the cold wastes of deep space silent between planets a cold desolate watch over black emptiness. Over through enemy encampments he made his way through to the outer-reaches careful to avoid contact remaining hidden by a careful bending of light around the craft so it could not be seen.

Time 1:30pm: jazz playing on the radio dim memories of New Orleans. Dim memory time of feathers dim relaxed memories of white hospital slippered feet padding along the hallways. Work on the project at hand work on the diaries of a future time. The Duke entered in through a side door to the sound of screams dim and distant memory from a dungeon heard but not seen.

(Flicker-flash cut scene the hanging dungeons of Perseii-Prime—a man hangs by his arms from chains attached to the wall thin and sick he shivers from the cold—another man is hanging by his ankles so that every time he pisses it runs all down him and splashes onto his face.)

The Duke’s guard are all wearing hang-gliders having just flown in from the palace which is located high up in the hills where it cannot be attacked or accessed without special permission. There are a set of cable-cars which run up and down the hillside but these operate only at the discretion of the captain of the guard and one must radio through permission from the visa office for him to even consider flicking the switch. The Duke resumes his seat in the great hall surveying the peasants with an air of contempt “dirty things, get them out of my sight! Only one must pretend an interest, it’s for the good of the kingdom after all...”

Thieves in the distance... a distant bell tolling... piano notes and French voices distant radio in another room... a painting like blood... blood like rivers hanging walls of paint... pens hovering dim distant faraway voices of a dim radio...fish scales jazz blind moths... cold lonely boat of leaves... a child distant crying... sound of gunfire from a far-off place... sound of gunfire nearby... piano notes tolling distant... coughing laughter swooping like birds...

I arranged my papers like a bed of leaves spreading myself out and over them falling into their spread of words and ink. The dates and times surrounded me on all sides erecting cavernous walls that echoed through the room like gunshots. I walked down one corridor then another always turning back and looking on where I had just come from which was shifting like desert sands imperceptible turning into a different landscape the person I knew I was somehow different unable to be pinned down to any discernible pattern. The sounds of music drifted through the compartment and I looked out the viewport into the cold reaches of dark space. My typewriter sat motionless on the desk beside me willing me to attack it and force it into action. I closed my eyes and obliged pushing the machine further and further until it spit out reams of material that corresponded to no date no time a diary entry that I was yet to write outlining in detail the past that was not yet written.

We landed on soft ground exiting the craft with light feet padding softly onto the soft ground. We looked out over a village of wooden huts extending into the distance of a purple sunset. The people had the appearance of living in caves without sunlight for thousands of years eyes bugging out skin translucent so you could see the workings of their organs as they ground through their peristaltic motions. They spoke in a series of crystals which flew out and shattered in a variety of colours to communicate their intent. They were cooking food in large pots over open fires and the smell made my stomach churn like the homecooked meals of my youth. Music in the distance thin moving outwards across the space of the evening there was nothing left to do. I took off my clothes and lingered around the cooking pots rubbing my belly and growling with a soft internal need. Saliva dribbling down in long streamers... stomach churning... groans of peristalsis... I ate from one of the pots where a spoon was extended out towards my mouth by a matronly looking creature covered in fine white hairs... instantly I flooded back through memories of the distant past—cold reaches of space—cold fingers on a lonely arm—cold movement through lonely space.

They walked under long cocoons in cans of exploding light... purple shimmering ‘atmosphere’ musical gust of leaves... sound exiting floor from rusty times... blue asshole he found electron looking blue distance... appearance of leaves with light toward the ashtray... cool Venusian skin of secretions... through enemy encampment unable turning human air over white light faraway... old rat war... blue glass on sound... we looked on the door of terror... writer choking soft in another’s pens... hover pistols looking further... time movements shifting emotions... growling in time where he cooking dead... cold overcoat words of sound... he breathed himself out screams...

Time 3:07 pm: wordless sound of jazz echoing through frigid air—cold thief hand I steal time underwent the white light of the horizon—“I’m sorry to have to do this to you...” moved upwards on a wind of sound—here I am 3:07 pm faceless soundless moving my mouth as if from underwater.

Lachlan J McDougall is an Australian artist and word technician working in cut-up and experimental literature. Their work is aimed at tackling the control machine and arranging intersection points for a magical universe. The author of numerous books of poetry and prose, their work can be found at amazon.com.
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