By Joe Hill
My upcoming book, Now Hush, Wah Wah, is an avante garde exploration into the effects of technology on consciousness, mixed with a critique of the global economic zeitgeist, told in various poetic styles. Below are a few samples of this work.
Beige is my space, in this place, beige matches beige. The colour of a vacuumed carpet, of faded paint, of a banana by the sink. The life of an empty coffee cup, the smell of a cereal bowl. Too young to paint the town red, so I’d settle for my room. Red’s the feeling I get from spring flowers in bloom. Beige is the page on my desk, the stress of calling my name to hand in another fucking test. Beige is the stage when I worked in a furnace, and my boss’ office cut beige cheques. Beige was the sand of the polluted lake I took from a beige Indian band. Beige was the cake when we sang Happy Birthday again, and we all wore our costumes again. Teacher said, Wake, you’re snoozing again, coach said, Wake, we’re losing again, and I said, great, can I go back to my red room yet? All that’s at stake, I couldn’t know, cause I’d never seen red. I saw days of beige potatoes beneath the ground of Sonys and Toshibas. But in my heart I longed for redheads who dreamt of zebras, crystal lagoons, surfing the wakes made by dragons and Libra, spending each day exploring the place that makes me feel red, so when I stare into rubies of goddess’ eyes or the hollow stare of demonic demise, I’ll always hear the songbird singing, for the rest of my life. Crossing the bridge, away from where little kids fight, evaporated by shadows of rolling black night, growing as fire by the atomic goblets of light.Now hush, Wah wah
I don’t know why but today I felt happy. Still my crappy job, still my crappy boss, still the same old bullshit. Ciggy Wonder’s dad died. And I love that bastard. I’m grateful for the joy he brings to my day every time I’m at that crappy job. Aw fuck, I’m wearing my Ciggy butts shirt. I shouldn’t call him a bastard. He’s crazy but who isn’t? And there’s the dishpit guy. I like this guy. He’s worked here 3 months and I haven’t learnt his name but he’s got a beard and he looks regal. I could see him as a shepherd on some tiny windy island. His eyes are a soft blue, reminds me of the ocean. Maybe far out at sea. Check your phone, eat some nuts, maybe talk to me? How’s it going, man? Living the dream, man. How ‘bout you? Don’t you think it’s the culture? He’s on disability for bipolar and personality disorder. I feel like that’s me. I remember depression. I remember feeling alone. I remember the walks down long halls underground. The morgue is what they called it. It was painted on the walls. So long to be alone and uninvolved. Watch the TV station, cold wind comes from the front. All I do is eat bacon. Walk under the cold front. But black did glitter gold and gold was what it is. The gold danced before my eye as I saw myself as another guy and another guy. A dirty old Russian took me to see Jesus and I watched his crucifixion and pleas to Pilot. A heart of gold, I wonder. Still he was staked naked. Do you know someone with mental illness? I do. I know anger and hurt, prison of body and mind. Desperate for water, desperate to run, desperate to disappear any time, only to be persistently scorched before the sun. Where to run in endless fun? But what’s happening? Is it really all in the mind? My brother, what do we live in? What do we do all the time? We serve the flesh of mass genocide. Please don’t feel I’m being a judgmental ideologue. Only observe pigs have intelligence, love and awareness, and we raise them in conditions of a literal hell. Not to mention the catastrophic environmental impact of perpetuating this seemingly eternal hell slaughter of another consciousness. Not to mention the health epidemic this diet has brought to society. It hurts to watch an 80 year old woman whose back is arched 35 degrees sideways pushing a seat cart with a massive diaper bum and she doesn’t want carrots cause the bolognas lasagna has enough vegetables in them. The guy who’s still at work even though his dad just died, the jungle bunny slave who never sees her kids, her mother got deported, she works two jobs, every day, every year, and still life she can’t afford it. And yet here you are, I just don’t believe you’ve simply got a bug in your mind locked between your ears and nowhere else. I start hearing voices just before thunderstorms come. The electricity on the hydro tower near my house gets loud. I can actually hear it wail as the lightning starts to crack. The ringing gets more and more intense, the life force of the highway, which never stops, is another layer this mystery is dressed. Do you really want to come here everyday? Is this really who you want to be? The dishpit guy, every night the shift is done, a sigh. Siiiiigh… Every time. Why? Maybe you are a regal shepherd here to show us all away. I’d certainly trust the eyes of a fountain, I’ve seen them before this day. I see you as a father, I see you as a son, I’ve seen you as a grandfather smiling down on creation. The bipolar types get diagnosed on a propensity to rock between rage and depression. When I was 20, rage and depression were my obsession. But what was I so angry about? Was it when Rumsfeld went on TV to say mistakes were made? Was it when HSBC got a fine for drug trade while millions had their life taken away on a gram? And I’m looking into this manifested information in my lap from all across the map, being carted down a line, going to school to be produced into a cog who slogs carcasses on the farm without wondering why. When really inside I’m still the kid who never heard I love you. I felt small and weak when my friends’ parents would tell them before they leave, I love you. What did I do? And I’d erupt into rage. Then I’d get depressed from all the hate. All we ever wanted was a reprieve to remember we’re great. Chomsky is right, Chomsky is always right. The people always have power. Which makes general apathy far more concerning than a fat bigoted clown raving. It’s not just apathy though, it’s a real hopelessness too. People don’t know what to do. And I look to you, and I see we’re both sad. We’re closer together. Good talk, dude. But where we at?Now hush, wah wah
The nervous anticipation of her arrival was killing me. They say no one cleans a room faster than a guy who has a girl coming over. This is fact. My comforter, which had been a lumpy mound for the previous 172 days, was now ironed flat and soft. Books and papers, old clothes, thrown everywhere, now materialized into Victorian piety. When all was prepared, I sat Buddha like on the floor, legs crossed in meditative contemplation. My feet and hands began to get cold and clammy. I was terrified of the confrontation with the unknown. It almost surely meant my death. I saw who I was so glaringly bright for the first time in a long time. How long had I forgotten? My hair was washed, I thought my shirt was cool, I tried to look indifferent, but I’m just a fool. Why do I want to be this? Who do I want to be? Please, just give me more life. I don’t want to die. Ding, dong. Now I’m excited. I’m telling you, she’s as cute as a button. Her little brown toes with rose red nail polish, a turquoise tank, mmmm and hair that smells like Argan oil. We have nothing to say. That’s ok; she didn’t come over to talk. It’s wonderful when you want to see someone naked for so long and finally do. Sometimes her hair would hold the angers of the day. Her corporate rag keeping her body at bay. That’s not how I want to see you, cloaked in violation. I want the scent of your love and our combined vibration. Maybe I shouldn’t say anymore about the lines and contours of your body. I know they were great. Can you get much closer when I kiss the oasis of your belly? Did the old lady know how well I knew you? Natives had no art, they did everything to the best of their ability, they participated fully in every experience. Long strands of brown hair cascaded rainbows of new colour. My god, my fingertips have felt no other. Thin face, narrow nose, let’s just hold this embrace forever. The black key to the flame, light us together. But even now, we’re hardly alone. Are we even naked? I’m not entirely sure why you’re here. And you probably don’t know why you’re with me. I can feel my past love in the room with me. You can probably feel her too. I see the old men you brought tonight too. Maybe you want to waltz as I push back your hair, gaze into your eyes, and tell you there’s no other. I just want a cloud so we can float together. But when I see the space in your eyes, and see all who made you you, your hands in their hands, your eyes in their eyes too. And I know I made love to every bird that pooped on your head, every breeze in your face, every bug in your bed. What does it mean when you tell me you love me? What do you love? Do you know who I am? I am Kali, vortex of time, my face takes it’s place in momentary molecules, socks are divine. Hush now, quiet our games of love and no love. You do, my dove. You love. Two face of the same coin, the destroyer’s curling tongue, mother’s humble voice. To walk the path of darkness is to smash into the light, peace is found in chaos, what is wrong will be all right. One tower is blown, and every other that fell to sand, raised the matter so it would stand again. The song remains the same, and yet grows more mysterious. When a plane hits a building can it get more serious? Remember when we were monkeys and I beat away your mate to take his place? Did you see his face? I left sprawled on the savannah, cow pie in my hand, replaced the banana, and gazed for so long I lapsed into dream, and thought what it’d be like to be everlasting. And the crystal shone to show me the way, did I stumble here? Or roll with the coaster to both laughter and weight? Shh watch the sky she said. Water washed by my head. And right beside I saw the soft brown landscape, two tiny mounds extended for days. My fleshy finger trans mutated from shovel, to hammer, to basket, to pen, computer, computer, slicing through matter, rearranging it. Lightning caught the tip and then I was everywhere, every star exploded, every bit imploded, and brought me back to you. So I lie on my bed, stroking fingers on your head, as a hot pink thong makes me wonder why…Now Hush, wah wah