fairy tales from the web :: ish klein

Somebody who would never refuse money told me this—
about the syncretic effect when each person plugs
their attention into a field to read ad copy, let’s just say
they become opened up and other beings can see into
their minds. This was considered a science fiction idea
to many people, but not to me.
In my negative space construction is always occurring.

The liftoff from awful to tolerable
to positive and then finally to bright new beautiful
has been my most difficult task to swing.
But swing I will; there’s nothing else to do.
I live here and being here and hearing myself
or my mind’s divide through others convinces me
that I must do everything I can to save us from the pit.

That is, until the pit splits and the fruit tree finally grows.
You may have a tree of your own—you may have a home
in your own tree. Congratulations. If you write an instructive
pamphlet you can bet I will read it.
I do not want to go out in darkness.
I am doing everything I know to prevent this,
and thank you, by the way, if you’ve written a pamphlet.

The shared information system
and each being at the end of its screen
emits an LED (light emitting diode) on an often
green screen—you say I should give my
father up to the authorities. You blame your
circumstances on my choice—but it’s the authorities who
did this to him. How do you think a person loses his mind?
He let someone take it.

He is sort of my mind and you are too,
God help me.
The green screen is an ingenious discovery.
You can record events in a studio before the screen
and then key in whatever environment you like.
It’s a special color: Chroma Green,
but it can be blue too.

The experience of things is determined by our
feelings about them. Information is colored
by us. You may see remotely, in a photograph
for instance, the image of an ambush victim.
Maybe it is a war and/or she is caught naked.
If she is unhappy—indicated by face and body
arrangement—you may feel that.

Some people will hate the state of things that made her
so alone and vulnerable but few will do anything about it.
How do you find her? What guns surround her country?
And after all, maybe she would hate it.
To have to feel grateful to someone moved by her humiliation.
She may only be thinking about humiliation.

That is a tough feeling to shake.
Then, and I need not go too far into this,
then there are those who see the pain of someone
and they just love it. This may have something
to do with a revenge sentiment over their own unclosed wound.
The wound, they think, is everyone else’s fault
and they cannot forgive. This is only information,
in the form of speculation.

Some feelings you get when you consider
“What if this happened to me?” and you will want to remedy
the situation to secure yourself from the (negative) condition of it.
Together, humans create one body—the planet earth
and its projections. The things in the stomach
affect what goes on in the head. On the web
many people make money with miracle potions.

Some curb the human appetite.
Some say you can lose while consuming whatever you want.
I heard the other girl refer to me as a skull.
She was very angry and did not look or say hello.
There is a prevalent competitive notion
that each only has one place. That her face is only
hers and that I don’t have a face or to her it is death.

This she reads as me—the death of her.
Obviously I am not. I write and read and
then roll on. I wear an ordinary human face,
some could compare me to a bird of prey
because my nose is hooked and my fingers are long
and I like to ride my bicycle with the wind at my back.
I am not here to attack.

You are also a mutant.
Do you think you can keep the heavy metals outside of you?
Do you think you can go to sleep here
and wake up the same?
The screen is framed by plastic,
beneath that you use words to issue commandments
or call-outs.

Most people use the web to send messages
to people who are already their friends.
They make arrangements for later and
detail what happened in the past.
This information may not be true.
The web cannot know intention.
It records and is open to influence.

People make money through advertisements,
or so they think—well, selling ads, that’s quantifiable—
if ads make money, that is more difficult
to know unless there are special offers.
The web is full of special offers and 30-day
trials. If you fall for those, or I should say,
if you respond to the offer

what often happens is that your information
is shared with other companies who will fill your inbox
with offers (that which is known as spam).
Because you are someone who wants to look great
and there are other companies with products compatible
with your stated desire. Ways for you to achieve
the prevailing notion of beauty.

It is my job to tell you the models
are selected because they are physically improbable.
They are elevated to be made desirable.
Their desirability is physical because they are models.
If it were easy to be like that, they would not
be sought-after by manufacturers.
Generally, working people need to be sturdy.

Advertisers want to make money.
They go with psychology and so create a sort of
self-rejection by advocating forms not reflected in most people.
They know that people will pay in to be of an elevated form
no matter what station they are from.
Everyone wants to be beautiful.
Everyone wants to be the agreed-upon beautiful thing.

Probably everyone is beautiful somewhere inside
if not outside. You can create an excellent argument
for your being and improve upon ability. That is my opinion.
If you live alone, you may know how great the web can be.
On it there is information and pornography.
Information includes
the prospects.

Pornography is the biggest industry in America.
It is designed to bring about a certain state
of arousal, generally, couched in anger
that will allow the person to fuck exactly how they want to
without worrying about the one fucked.
Pornography is addictive for many.
Of course, sometimes people want to touch, to hear a voice

to imagine a partner and what they can do together.
The web has many dating services. My ex-psychiatrist
advised me against trying them.
She had transferred the daughter role onto me.
I do appreciate the dangers of strangers.
I am prepared with the information that pictures
are not people in both obvious and non-obvious ways.

I know at least three people who have been in love
with people they met online.
Each one is intelligent and down-to-earth.
I’ve gleaned from their descriptions of online courting
that the early questions are essential.
That and no expectation and somehow you have
to withhold your own personal information.

That is, until you meet up in a non-threatening place.
You will have to have someone know where you are,
a point person. And you will need a defense; mace, for instance
or a rape whistle or a dog leashed nearby
or in the car.
It will be important for him or her to know you have a dog.
They should meet each other as soon as possible.

This is the magic of the machine.
The meeting and love trial and,
if it works, the love made.
Well, that really is amazing.
Objectively amazing.
And good for the machine.
Good for the machine.

The electric web courses heavily through me.
This may be how we make history:
we can put up our movies, our words, or costume dramas.
We say we are so and so
and people follow the saga.
Do you ever get the problem which is opposite
to the problem of the watcher?

Have you ever only seen yourself through other people?
Or thought that’s what it was but it was really your
thought processes transferred through them?
I should look up to the word rubric again.
That and lacuna and devi.
In the thrift store nobody looked at me.
But the woman said, “Devi (hee, hee) Devi.”

A celestial being: what we all are.
True she might have meant devil.
I am not a devil.
I love my friends most of the time.
I love animals—I don’t think devils do that.
My friend sends me pictures
of jackrabbits and frogs.

Yesterday, he said he saw buttercups, a type of flower.
You go over the tracks first, on the other side of the river

and there they are.

“do you still remember” :: rainer maria rilke

Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes—did we have so many?—
for stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere;
almost every gaze upward became
wedded to the swift hazard of their play,
and our heart felt like a single thing
beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance—
and was whole, as if it would survive them!

Translated by Edward Snow

Falling Stars

Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes— do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

airplane food :: michael ryan

Compressed chicken product, festive succotashed rice,
dead iceberg lettuce with a pale cherry tomato
hard as a mothball, and the coup de grâce: a baby bundt cake
I expect will taste like my passport
but to my delight is not bad,
half-bad, or even sort-of-bad: it is good.
Good good good good good all good
this plain sweet baby bundt cake like much else
I shall never taste touch hear see or smell,
baked for the heavens in its own fluted tube pan
for every blessed one of us ticketed passengers,
purely for our pleasure and then only briefly—
ingested, enjoyed, absorbed, and fading from memory
since we lack the capacity to retaste baby bundt cake
unlike the many childhood wounds I experience
half a century later from the faintest reminders.
This same baby bundt cake might seem scandalous
to the incognito Michelin Guide reviewer
in a three-star restaurant in the south of France.
It could cost the owner-and-chef all his stars
when losing one drives such men to relentless self-torment.
It could cause his wife-the-hostess to cease loving him
instantly, if she had worked eighty-hour weeks with him in concert
painstakingly perfecting the desserts they were known for.
“Marcel, have you lost your senses?”
she’d scream (in French, of course),
“this bundt cake tastes like Michael Ryan’s passport!”
All right, she wouldn’t say like my passport
but some untranslatable invective for culinary blasphemy
such as “this bundt cake tastes like duck drop—
the underside of a sink-reduction of pig bristle—
your incontinent mother’s bidet brush holder”—
a local invective for premeditated betrayals
like secretly developing and serving a recipe
based on the winner of a Pillsbury bakeoff.
God knows what happened after their disgrace
to the couple, or their employees, much less their children,
especially the boy who loved nothing more
than working in the kitchen alongside his parents.
He certainly wouldn’t touch a bundt cake for the rest of his life.
The sight of someone enjoying one could make him furious
and the aroma of baking bundt cake wafting from a Paris apartment,
unidentifiable to the other strollers among the aromas of the city,
could make him weep automatically as if he had turned a faucet.
He would never discuss the bundt cake episode in interviews
after he had revolutionized the national pastry
and become famous for his supernal puffy Napoleons.
Bundt cake could mean only his father’s sudden dementia
and the years of grief and poverty suffered by his family,
but, since my experience and circumstances are so different,
I thought this bundt cake was really good.

playthings :: rabindranath tagore

Child, how happy you are sitting in the dust, playing with a broken twig all the morning.
I smile at your play with that little bit of a broken twig.
I am busy with my accounts, adding up figures by the hour.
Perhaps you glance at me and think, “What a stupid game to spoil your morning with!”
Child, I have forgotten the art of being absorbed in sticks and mud-pies.
I seek out costly playthings, and gather lumps of gold and silver.
With whatever you find you create your glad games, I spend both my time and my strength over things I never can obtain.
In my frail canoe I struggle to cross the sea of desire, and forget that I too am playing a game.