Issue 45 – December 2023

Check out the year in chess by clicking the site title above.


The winning volley will be a screaming drive into the heart of self-perception. This won’t help someone still bulldozing a forest. Nothing can shake the coins from pockets near their genitals. Their hardened features only rattle people like ’em. The easily rattlable. Their looks don’t have the effect they think they have on anybody else. The targets see the bulldozers for what they are: aggressive-insecure. And they see the why behind it: because the hardened are in the throes of decades-plus of non-stop pain. And they know the end these sorts will reach: a bad ‘un.

A wonderful dream ought to wheel them through their waking days, as they recline in our plush rickshaws, pulled by the whim of fantasy. There should be no hurt and no need for it. Nor for the climate changes, coming too.

If painful grunts were but a salve.

Our heroine hadn’t learned through experience the demonstrative tellings that are the positions a couple-fight could take, since she’d never stuck around til they could happen, not since the first time, the disillusionment of her first love, when she was too new to seek such practice. So she asked her girlfriends how to react. After a couple examples she could wing the rest. The path to irrational conflict is clear. But silence perused their separation.

The different sides of the couple would vigorously approve all of their ideas. Neither was willing to tip-toe over ungenerous assertions. Bravo, the guy saw little and the gal could not be wrong. A hundred seventy-one similar couples in the metro region had smoothly said less.

There was little that lay behind the break. It was the different shapes of morphing fantasies. Each of theirs aligned before — that’s how love could happen. But time made valleys of the hills; their puzzle pieces matched no more. Our hero did not believe it though, and it only takes one driver to steer a vehicle.

Diplomats have carefully remarked a great deal in the performance of their duties and been mad corner shouters within their own homes. They’d underestimate unbottled vim, recalcitrance.

The macro licks a beaming nipple. It has much to feed. It’s searching for a big silver occasion.

It never had to question its own certainty. This is what created tension in the ‘fugee camps. The exercise of petty power is pretended penetration. Our hero tried it on but he never got the language. Like a dirty carb, he wouldn’t let air through. In there with him none could breathe.

Our heroine was brilliant, perhaps too realistic. All was not imaginative and good, yet our hero kept on. Good moments stopped trying and suddenly the fall was handed over. Nobody asked for it; it was here now nonetheless. One once was pleased, and today was fading.

The chances of success for his road trip were many times less than the millions it would take change things. Such cooperation is always, and can only ever be, spontaneous. It is also unpredictable. Yet his hope was all he thought of. This was an outcome worth setting his mind to.

There was poor reason long before broadcast.



Now brings the glow of a lover’s connect. Bare legs pressed against one another, hip fronts rubbing, two sweats collecting in one navel, embarrassing air trapping between wet stomachs breaks the mood, bedposts scrape and dent the drywall, pushed apart from the waist up so that he can see her, the curls around her temples wet while the brunt of the mane shakes dry, eyes lock and two expressions click into the same — the beam of the smile with just the start of the mouth curve up, the energy of excitement overlayed in toto with back-brain pleasure that has set the head and spine aglow in aura, arms tired and being ably ignored, back muscles pulling like galley slaves at ramming speed, contradistinctions of thought popping up, then immediately deformed by the enormity of intimacy, when the angle changes — moving her legs, laying more on top of her, now more underneath and different parts of the pole light up, she moans most when it’s fast and almost all the way out, but that makes it over fastest, so he mixes in break-beats of staying deep and moving slight, once in a while he remembers she has nipples and dives for them, her hands on his back above his hips go into a rigid clinch, her nails go in his skin at once, he yelps and thrusts harder, everything is moving, there are noises in the room and neither one can hear them, her mouth is open and he finds it, he checks her eyes, they are closed and someplace else, but her tongue is there lifting weights in his mouth, he matches its intensity, she expels his tongue and gasps for breath, it’s hard to breathe, he swoops for her nape and lives there his whole life in that beautiful curve where the neck steers her form, and the colors are ghastly, a darkening red, so he tries to ignore them, she digs her nails as he peaks and her breathing is staccato, she yells a siren low to high and he buries her in French kisses, now she assumes the rhythm after, her hips throw him around and he almost laughs, how can she be so strong?, and then on the last exhale with barely any voicebox she says something I won’t share, and he goes in all the way and waits, though the pole is bellowing at him to move, and she throws her head from side to side, hair tossing, eyes clenched, making troughs in his ribs, and as animal pursuits spew animal feelings, and uncontrollable pursuits give rise to the uncontrollable, there was a strange gradient of feelings in him at that moment, first the overwhelming meld of anti-consciousness, and the complete giving over of oneself past ego and remembrance, and then a power as in his power over her — at least in pleasure, where so often it’s for pain — yet he was doing this at her direction, a tinge of helplessness in act, same as she did to him with her teasing foreplay, a game of theirs, and another feeling in that moment was the merest hint of resignation, because he wanted to feel what she was feeling but could only tell himself he was, and yet also at once there was an ecstatic feeling of intimate connection, a bigger than the norm, a safe place with echoes of infantile security, a grand intimate joy that was annihilating, but also a small piece of debasement in wishing as he did with fervent orneriness that time would stop right then, which took him outside the human and thus astride of dignity because of course it wouldn’t, and curse it for that forever, among the other stretchers crumpled from the mortars of existence, and then she released her bottom lip from her teeth and opened her magic hour eyes, and he perhaps looked up from staring at her breasts, and then, then he could read her mind, and feel in totality her being, a liquid metal dissolving solution, and her face shone with such peace and revved up innocence, without a fleck of ill will in her body — and there never had been because she’d never experienced any ill will in her life — that her vulnerable happiness shone right through, out of the back of his mind and lighting up the sun, and she embodied in that moment the highest form of sapiens, knowing and entirely without guile, so the force of her emotion knocked a sharp exhale from him that he turned into a laugh, which made her laugh a little, and he let his arms give way, falling to his elbows atop her, their chests pressed together open, sweating on each other, and he rolled to the side a bit to take the weight off her, and wrapped his arms all the way around her and she did the same, and this is when his eyes squeezed the tightest of his life and he wished for time to stop, if only, and she buried her head in his nape but now her thoughts belonged to her alone, and they held each other for an imagined eternity until a creeping impatience bubbled from one of them or the other; the pole was still demanding.



He was waiting for someone to hand him a reward, in general. Like everyone he looked to the next thing instead of what he had before him.

Freedom is a time out from the straitjacket.

Outside of gambling, hunches are usually right.

Now, everyone at night light a candle and stare at it together. Repeat the words. If you’re lucky, sing and drum. Everywhere you turn, life was running over somebody.

One of the most important lessons is learning one can’t control other people. When that takes root, maturity is achieved. So many planetary ills drop away, then. Pet peeves evaporate. People cease to be an obstacle, even when they present a clear one. In a certain way, people cease to be. That is, what they are known for is practically erased. They are a continuum of pattern enactors. The psychonauts realize this — but they aren’t immune.

A few have the souls of a poet — but cultivating a relationship with them is difficult, even perilous. They have such singular points of view. With them “it’s my way or the highway.” One must accept their every opinion, defend their every action, repeat their every quip, and subsume one’s personality to even come close to being like a friend. In that pond only a toady can thrive.

He could do as he pleased but it was the desire that first decided. Visionaries dine on what they hear. They will not abet bad food, not for a stay in the higher plane from where they’re living. Which is where they awfully want to be. They don’t realize it, but familiarity is more important to them than that. They’ll be relieved to choose it.

He listened to her with attentive zeal in the fire of their relationship, and pretty well thereafter, at best. Someone in her life helped her find herself. Then their paths diverged.

She spent the rest of her life, in times of want, trying to resurrect them. If she was without a dream, there was a guy to offer upward mobility. It’s one thing to know something and another thing to stand for it. It became a habit for her once it got on her.

Once her skin made contact, then she could be comfortable. Good luck initiating that though.

He was unwilling to argue, for example to make a point or be right. He didn’t need to prove it. What others believed wrongly was their affair. What others believed wrongly, haha! What others believed wrongly inflicts global warming on us. Indeed their wrong beliefs are seventy-five percent of our existence.

One can pluck an anti-social personality disorder off the sapling and try to raise it in the good side of the Force. That’s maybe too much like swimming a scorpion on one’s back across a lake though. If we could harness enough ASPDs and program them as good and trustworthy, they’d gain control of the militaries and then we’d have world peace. The grunts are already primed to follow. Everyone is. But the winning play is the one that requires no great effort, no alteration of routine.

At the time he drank, and when he doubled his drinks he was thoroughly merry. He nearly reached the level of preternatural charm given to front men and politicians — or so he perceived. Others glommed onto the obvious, he was intoxicated. It was down to simple confidence in some, but in him it was the cessation of self-critique. Only upon achieving the latter could he perform a social ritual. In this he was no different than any other nerd. Dark introspection followed. The older he got, the longer it lasted, stretching from one to several sleep cycles. These moments succeeded in eliciting temporary oaths and little else besides. He got to feel what it was like to take over everything and, right after, what it was like to lose all that he had gained — every time and without fail. For as much as he imagined himself, he was not so charming, drunk or sober.

He would always subsume to utopian ideals. The rest, the issues people shot each other over, would have to play out their historical patterns sans him. The liberal ideal of helping people, particularly children, was right and always would be. His life was proof enough of that. He came from privy — boiling in one season and freezing in the other, hungry, dressed in hand-me-downs, but intellectually capable, so that with a little assist he’d risen to success, a modest one, but something nonetheless. He wasn’t in a trailer with ten kids, five dogs, and a satellite dish, like his only relatives.



Dolorously the world operates according to a certain forgotten manuscript. We’d like to read it but it’s been stricken from the record. When exactly, we’re unsure — far prior to living memory. Perhaps prior even to Gilgamesh. There’s a better chance than not that it wasn’t even written by our species, but by a homo cousin. It seems we wiped them out to get it. Fanciful people claim that the act of losing the manuscript was the cause of their genetic immolation, like some drippy mummy’s curse. This is false: it’s only conscious homos, and it only ever has been. Why we wanted those words so badly was in order to enact the very thing we have today.

It wouldn’t have worked if it had been all bad. It gave us the current certainty that we enjoy. Yet the rigors of animal husbandry for example we learned on our own. We found doing one thing gave a result in another’s generative organs. The right music made us jump up and down. Embracing our children for many ongoing tens of minutes like reading together in the crook of one’s arm does things to our brains and our emotions. Bad food in moderation and healthy food most of the time. Those are what is real. Those do not operate by the forgotten manual-script. Which is only forgotten in its physical form, or that it ever had one. Its axioms live on, in the driver’s seat of society, where it has been since perhaps the cognitive leap c. 80,000 BCE, across all cultures, all over the globe, regardless of government or of religion. Large groups living together muddled the axioms, at times, though they always were reverted back to later. The manuscript was consistent and though forgotten its words lasted. They had value. They produced results. For some.

And always was the funnel that started out wide until the level went down and then the people on the rim were left out, and then the level went down some more and now the people just under the rim were left out too, and they complained but nothing changed because most of the funnel was still wet so most people were happy, until it went down some more and more and only half the people were covered, benefiting from the liquid. Then the grumbling amped up. But still things didn’t change because the covered folks employed enforcers — the uncovered could not afford to. And the level kept going down in the funnel, til only the skinniest part of the bottom was covered. And then it trickled out more slowly. The covered ones were fighting each other and cooperating both, to keep what they had and keep the enforcers employed too to keep the masses uncovered forcibly calm, so the covered broadcast the axioms relentlessly, til the uncovered forgot their grandparents had been covered. And targeted acceptance reigned.

For a person who cannot deal with the crushing finalities of existence, there are millions who cannot deal the same, ready to lend their support if only the person will agree to some (thousands of pages of) ground rules. And best of all, by joining, they become automatically right.



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