stay tuned for a temporary flash preview
of my latest foray beyond flash fiction '33 1/3rd rpm'
(2,467 words)
© 2017
by Shaun Lawton

Sick Story Time

Behold the Scope

A hard-drive sits in a pile of rust 
mistaken for the dunes of a desert 
over the horizon of a long poisoned place
half buried in the red sandy grains blending 
into one another like the curves of sleeping 
women being erased by the constant winds.  

The dunes shift and grow as the wind blows 
off the grains by the millions in a fine spray 
of dust gradually disappearing into the distance 
only to swallow up the sinking Sun in a wavering 
unfocused miasma of pungent slag. 

The Cloud does not whir, silently it does not stir
quietly it is churned without even the shadow 
of a sound, around and round it slowly grows
as more and more files continue to upload
forcing it to grow and grow and grow.

The Cloud does not know that it knows everything 
we want to remember, so it forgets its there just as 
surely as we disregard we're awake.  Asleep in our dream
we close our eyes, so when we open them back up 
while awake we're still really sleep walking without 
knowing it. The trick is the next time we find ourselves 
having suddenly dropped or fallen while lying reposed 
on our beds, that is the precise instant in which it is most 
necessary to willfully stand up from the bed and open our eyes
(this for the last time) before we resume our natural sleep cycle 
uninterrupted by the parasite dreams competing with 
each other to feed on our electrostatic energies. 

You see, this world you observe outside of our warped car 
windshields and polarized sunglasses and disposable contact 
lenses, this growing complex organism of chaotically ordered 
arrangements that we call life, that we visualize so clearly 
from behind our corneas and through the pin-hole cameras 
of our eyes, processing sensual information to our brains, 
arranged in patterns that mirror pairs of galactic superclusters
despite appearing as a single realm or continuum through which 
we may step, so carefully one foot at a time, in such a measured 
and resolute manner, across the most steadfast bedrock stage 
of planetary solitude, may in reality (insofar as how the value 
of that word relates to our comprehension of what it is supposed 
to represent) be not so much the singularity we imagine it to be 
suspended in a likewise manner amid the scattered bodies of the stars
but more of an entangled miring of criss-crossed and knotted clusters 
of multiverses competing to perform their song which results 
as a symphonic overture seamlessly blended together into 
what appears to us as the singularity of our world.  

The inimitable presence of a superconductor remains 
at large suspended in the very atoms we breathe.  

When we articulate our belief systems with our 
human voices we are adding nothing more than 
chimes to the backdrop of this overture.  

When we procreate and raise children who grow 
tall and kind and wise we are adding instrumental 
prowess to the orchestral pit in constant turmoil 
at the quantum level of creation.  Mountains heave 
upward through oceans from shifting tectonic plates 
while oxygen facilitates the growth of a fungal hide 
upon the planet's crust which the Earth itself 
must scratch away the itch fertilized by lightning 
strikes and pulverized asteroid mist adrift 
with dandelion spores and bee pollen. 

The key to seeing the bee as it really exists 
in our world is to see that it's not from this world.  

The corner stone of under standing out in the field 
of real knowledge is to remain ignorant.  

Usable information is static at best and passed
 from hand to mouth and lips to ear for years.  

The words are seldom remembered but the actions 
they engender are copied almost forever.  

The most colorful birds or the feathers 
of dinosaurs are not of this earth but another.  

The sky seeps in from afar as well siphoned 
intentionally to keep us under its spell. 

 The skin of the sky is like the lid on an eye 
that is sleeping in its own unmade bed.  

The spores of the pine tree are as alien as any
thing piped in from the mysterious Outside. 

For all we know, serpents and cats originate 
from an ancient process called the Chimera Divided. 

 Its attempt to contribute to our compound reality
may have refracted into the two separate species. 

This planet any planet all planets like our Sun 
This star any star all stars like this galaxy

Any galaxy.  All galaxies.  Like any super
cluster, galaxy, star, planet, plutino, centaur

Asteroid, moon, comet, or meteorite, this Earth 
remains the exact and precise divine center.

I HAVE KNIVES



The name of the first one is Zebra, an old machete I was given in Honduras. 
The blade is tarnished with age and neglect, and twenty inches long. 
At its widest it's an inch-and-a-half, four inches from the tip, then tapers down 
to a one inch width at the hilt. On either side toward the top flat edge
of the blade runs a narrow shallow depression nearly eight inches in length
to channel the flow of bleeding sap away from the razor sharp side. 
Oh, I have knives. I'm not an obsessive collector; more like a magnetic attractor
over time. Zebra's brown leather hand-tooled scabbard rivets together
brown and green braided leather tassels hanging from the top by the hilt,
and is stitched together in a wavery seam running along the middle of its back.
Down the center of the front of the scabbard are arranged sixteen embossed
triangles in a line. Within each triangle (half an inch wide) appears a sigil 
of a five-sprigged plant bearing three globular fruit. Along the edges run 
lines of embossed tiny 'X's. Zebra will turn thirty-four this year, and although
much of the length of her blade has dulled its edge, there are yet a few sharp
segments, mostly toward the tip.  My other knife is a genuine Ravola for fileting
fish, made in Finland with the artisan's fine signature etched into the three-
and-a-quarter inch blade. The blonde beechwood handle has a slight crack in it
but otherwise remains in immaculate condition. The five-inch leather scabbard
slips halfway up the handle's shaft before gripping it in a tight seal. This one
is named Stinger for its dexterous precision and pointed sharpness.  
Yes, I have knives, and they've come in handy, from time to time. 
I have many more knives, of every size and for a wide variety of purposes. 
From a small one inch long pen knife which folds up into a brass cross
to a full replica of the Conan the Barbarian  sword given to me by a friend
just a year ago. Every one of my knives carries its own particular story.
They have all suffered their own various degrees of use. Oh, I have knives,
alright, and they all happen to share one thing in common. 
None of them have ever drawn blood...