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Tag: San Francisco

FAREWELL TO THE CORPORATE GODDESSES

DSC05632Though Babylon seems far now, at times, we must remember that it is everywhere. Still, here the air is thicker with oxygen and lighter on the syntaxes of abomination propped up by flimsy & counterfeit silicon birthrights, available to all for the price of nothing more than a bowl of GMO pottage. Now when I look skyward, I no longer see the faces of the Goddesses, those shadowy masks all puffed up with the pride of the entrepreneur, yet still cognizant enough of their own baseness to never show their true forms outright.

DSC05542.JPGTheirs is a landscape of esoteric brushstrokes lambasted onto the blank surface of the glorious, honest mundane. The effect is quite garish to those who have worked at strengthening the intuition by the simple and oft-repeated exercise of looking around at the world, rather than simply turning left or right at every one of the prescribed road signs one sees along life’s neatly planned & immaculately maintained picture-postcard highway system.

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We are still here, for those of you who have asked, though we are no longer there. We are somewhere new. Everything I write from this new place applies to Brittany as well as to myself. As individuals, the two of us often find ourselves at odds over this or that trifle or crumb of manifesting thought-spark, but as editors, yes as editors we speak with one voice. Sometimes as we traversed the spires below the Goddesses’ rigid robes, we thought we saw careful traps laid there to snare us. Fortunately, our enemies in their vanity can’t resist advertising openly, making them easy to avoid.

DSC05771.JPGThere were also quiet places, places of simple contentment, and sometimes we found one nestled away in an unlikely spot, and there would be an old woman playing piano in the half-light like a melancholy, soft weeping for all that we have lost, nay, impulsively given away whenever our minds became unnavigable with obstructions and we desired a surcease of our painful conceptions. On the wall beyond a lily-embellished balustrade, perceptible only as the candlelight chanced to dance its way through the open spaces, I spied a coat of arms and, pointing it out to my companion, we were reminded that there would be a bill to pay at the close of evening.

And we were reminded of the Goddesses, they who oversee & they who collect on all debts with no outwardly visible actions on their part, just their stern & mysterious presence, and we knew that sooner or later we would be forced to leave, not just our dining table, but their entire domain, as they were growing more powerful by the day and we, too sensitive to exist within their widening sphere of influence indefinitely.

I can’t keep writing about the same thing forever.

James Bradley
May 1, 2018, Portland, Oregon

rough edges pattern

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THE AQUARIAN MODEL

ganymede[1]The whirl of the drone is tuned out like Fourth of July fireworks, or radio music blaring from the building behind with anecdotes chiming in and out of the cacophony that plays on through the night. A window is left open, as usual, to let the cool stream fill a small room with the vibrancy that open space affords. The bay breeze introduces its dampness to the bed sheets but despite the city’s various microclimates at varying altitudes, the outside air brings the same tinge of moisture everywhere. The drone circles over an open elevator shaft capped with a few pieces of splintered wood. Projecting off the soft, reflecting skin of the rooftop its precision can be heard by its high-pitched displacement of powerful wind currents rolling off the bay. A thick slab of fog drifts over the hillside erasing buildings higher than five stories. Houses speckled atop rectangular man-made supports receive far less sunlight and stronger winds than the lower, flatter portions of the city that are afflicted with poorer views. Wind gusts barrel down the triangular heart of the city: Market, Columbus, Van Ness and Montgomery, and the drone maneuvers like a dragonfly across the line that divides the temple from the cathedral. It has wandered intermittently though California and Stockton streets where the steady hum of electricity flowing through the third rail is suppressed by its propulsion. It lingers over an early Edwardian three-story corner building at the intersection at California and Stockton and drifts between its ledges in diagonal lines, touching at the intersecting corners of each of the four brick walls. The soft, reflective padding laid over the original roof is filled with footprints and bits of debris that have fluttered in and collect around the gently sloping recesses in the walls that rise to waist level. It avoids hovering over puddles left over from a storm system that passed three days ago. The isolated, barely considered bodies of water ripple in the accelerating blades of the drone’s duel-propeller and the trash kicks up and briefly forms into a weak cyclone, and unlike the drone itself it is not a full-bodied force but a causality that rests on so many physical forces.

californiastocktonThe drone doesn’t know why it has chosen this location specifically. It doesn’t even know that it does not know what brought it to this building among others. In fact its roaming quadrant was programmed for the northern costal region and, in simple terms, it has no idea what it is looking for, much less what it is even looking at. The invisible thread between it and its Watcher has been severed and the drone, like an anamatronic ronin, is left to wander. A grided topographic simulation of the Presidio flashes through its circuitry and the drone, mechanically ambivalent to the stimuli, continues to touch down on the rooftop’s four corners at random. The pulsating blades on the other Aquarian models can be heard in the distance and the rhythmic beating of their propellers, like the electric current of the cable car lines, quickly becomes quelled by the solitary drone’s disassociate state. Clouds move steadily across the sky and hummingbirds dart in and out of a flowering tree’s canopy just outside the building’s southern-facing first-floor windows. Its occupants, like the rest of the building’s residents, have long phased out the drone’s presence and continue their thoughts with a limited degree of clarity. The drone does not notice or understand that the clouds are accelerating as they pass over the city and suggest a parallel between the movement of the traffic and their migration over the peninsula. More and more the clarity of the sky diminishes under the fleeting cloudscape and like the wandering drone’s penetrating sound, it maintains a constant, fluid motion

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