Enter the Ampersand

Ludwig took the short route down the toilet. With his pants around his ankles and holding the stump of his left arm, he took a long dive through the vines and into yesterday’s paper.

“He’s a dirtbag, a commie, a shite,” she says – she being her, the one, the all, the wretch.

Ludwig took the short route down.

We, the human race as you know it, are the bear clawing at the cliffside. In twenty centuries, troglodytic ant-people will throw virgins from the edge of that precipice in the name of cheap diapers and cheaper diadems. They’ll flail in their catatonia, a breeze blowing back their hair in a Hollywood Boulevard snapshot pose for the ages.

Handy Hal, resurrected on a death ship on the dark side of Andromeda’s fifth arm, will read Ludwig’s fate in a Dick and Jane style hardback.

“See Luddy fall. See Luddy fall. Fall, Luddy, fall.”


Ludwig’s mother was a cockroach of a hyena – slick winged and virile, a hambone dangling from chains looped around her carapace in double helices. He sucked ichor from a rigid tit while the dog-faced homemaker imbibed his essence through the proboscis extended outward from between her diamond sparkle eyes – impaling him and his visions of grandeur.

Handy Hal sees poorly drawn Kirbyesque caricatures of Ludwig’s father in various comprising positions with Russian diplomats in a twisted, fucked up, living art sculpture of Ouroboros. The text is in red, but blue crayon streaks the page in shades not dissimilar from the blue stripes on his jumpsuit denoting Handy Hal as “fresh”.

“Trouble?” the instructor man squeaks.

Trouble. A word, a spittoon filled and tipped and slipped in. Broken back, hardwood, gypsy hoedown in giggle-squiggle Giclée.

“He’s a dirtbag. A commie. A spittoon,” she says – she being her, the other, the doppleganger, the wiggly-fit twitchmonster at the edge of Luddy’s visions.

Handy Hal’s circumspect crèche-minders pilot the Great Machine through a star and all hands go limp – pencils rain to the floor, lead flows, and time waits.

In the parhelion mirage, Ludwig’s countenance floats in akinesia. He’s a mythical man, a mythical myth, a trombone solo in the wasteland of overconfidence. Hal’s eyes widen and inflate and he takes in the scene around him.

The scene is old and cold. Has-beens strolling up dive stairs in fur coats and Converse knee-highs. Writers hold up the bars with their darkened souls, misunderstood. Broken women paw at the latest hopscotch-fucking douchebag Gable, twirling mustachioed pomposity like the Teuton who invented the thimble.

You don’t find art here in the wonderland beyond.


Handy Hal grows up to be a blogger. Handy Hal manhandles the helpless harpy-sharp followers into handouts for has-beens masquerading as never-weres … or … reverse that. You give him credit for weaving the woven word of wicked recycled wealth. I beg, therefore I write, therefore I yam, therefore and hitherto referred to as sweet potato divebomber widows.

The bombs fell in time with the placentas. The bear falls in time with the failed salmon, the unfit, the weak fishtail fuck. The star is poisoned with iron and steps on stage one last time – sun dogs in the wings holding wires for the grand swan dive finale.

The pipe is clogged, and Ludwig sticks like semen in the back of the throat. Fall ends, and summer begins. The trees fall off the leaves. The water runs up the leg, fills the sac. Perhelion mirage dissipates, and again.

Handy Hal turns the yellowed page.

“See Luddy play God. Kill, Luddy, kill.”

Ludwig stands up and grows a pair. With three hands and a handful he wades through the has-beens and the never-weres to take his place at the end of the bar.

“Talisker, neat,” he heaves.

Gravity bends the brass – pint glasses sail past each other in the night. A woman paws at Luddy, mistaking him for a douchebag.

“I thought you were eating something else,” she says – she being him, Handy Hal, the resurrected Messiah, who sewed up her hole and grew a pair.

The glass spins, the scotch sizzles as it coats the foodpipe. A gulp, a breath, a heaving sigh, and Luddy eats the world.


Things You Thought You Knew



Jasmine wasn’t listening.

While you were plugging insanity to the room, this tart galloped to T. Ragsdale’s hippie barbeque fest down the hall. That’s it – play with the fringe of last year jeans that you haven’t washed in weeks. Look down into the red plastic cup and pretend the gnat drowning is not there.

Here you are.

You wore the clever sportcoat and scarf. You’ve been tending this vandyke for a fortnight, and you look like Peter Sellers in a bad shampoo commercial tweaking Norman Tebbit’s wrinkled tit. You and everyone else in this dive-bomb after-party are wearing brown shoes and white socks. Three more shaggy-faced poets shuffle in with folk music vinyls, greedily looking for the turntable promised.

And you brought Mr. Oizo.

Jasmine re-enters the scene and starts sucking the lips of the closest humans she can find. You imagine her wearing a flapper outfit and a bomber jacket with thigh-high white leather boots and spurs. She’s giving everyone the tour and the back door is open. Even the fatty fuck Kimball in the mustard-colored sweater vest you could hide an elephant in is getting his tongue sucked. She’s making people smile. She gets her smiles and moves on.

You finger the 12-sided die in your pocket, waiting for that perfect moment to let it fall out of your pocket, but when you eyeball the thin wafer carpet with the fifty shades of brown stain just under your feet, you reconsider. P. Keller enters, his face half of a beet after his vintage 700cc Royal Enfield motorcycle exploded outside his flat. He gives you a pitying nod and lets Miss Jasmine St. John suck his tongue. He then smiles.

Someone’s switched to overkill on the spotlights around the breakfast nook. In the dark of the flat, it looks like a couple of bruisers are about to swing open a plywood door and escort in a couple of bull terriers, or rat terriers, or maybe a couple of hobos from down on Sixth. You wait for men, who get their kicks from betting on death and beating their cardboard-faced wives, to start waving fivers in the air and barking.

Jasmine wraps her thighs around your waist and shoves a tongue down your throat. You expect the vomit-tinged odor of a party-slut hoedown, but you catch parsley and beans instead. It is not unpleasant. As she pulls away, taking your pouty bottom lip with her, she frowns. You haven’t smiled.

The legs squeeze harder and she bucks in slow motion against you, trying to suck your intestines up through your throat, but still, when she pulls back for breath, your face is stone.

“I’m going to make you smile,” she purrs, grabbing your cravat and leading you away to an empty room.

You follow and you drop your 12-sided die.

You’re thinking Sir Baboon McGoon as she closes the door behind you both, and then she drops to the carpet and vomits. Deftly, you step over her and back into the vapors.

You take an inventory of the pharm-teams as you sprawl yourself across the Davenport of despair – back among the plebs. J. Tucker’s passing green pipe to Arlis Scoffer and the Two-Ton Crew. Rat Patty’s lining up rails on a paper plate in the front bog – passersby piss next to him and his berserker fanatics. The dim introvert that everyone calls Rigid has a paper bag of Cubies.

On the balcony you see a naked man take a swan dive over the rail on a plastic table.

This could be anywhere. Possum Trot and Ninth, Fry and Scripture, Mac and Elizabeth.

This is then, and yesterday you were now.