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Excerpt from 'METH-DTF' photo

SEWERAGE INSTALLED INTO ICE BOXES. A dishwashing machine with radio speakers. At a luncheon where we eat artificial grass. The stench of disinfectant ... the smoke swirling through the building’s windows. The smell ... and sound ... of coughing and wheezing— and sometimes screaming. The early hours of Thursday morning— November 13th was when the acid splashed in my eyes. Samuel is a drug addict. He has become addicted to Percocet. Kidney damage. Brain dysfunction. Lethargic behavior. There is no longer someone to control the dosage.

Samuel can’t make a phone call to anyone. His mental states are difficult to distinguish. His body is confused in its response. The body is perplexed. There is a pain in the back of his head. The head pounds. A head injury. The mental states are becoming hard to write statistical reports on—his routine insults. His organs shut down—a cool grip on the death rattle. I stand in a car park— a short distance away from the edge of the Pacific Ocean. I am alone— watching the waves— I am crying. The sky is clear— warm— there is nothing. I lie to Samuel. Samuel lies to me. All lies.

Tapes of our voices. The dead of America’s suburbs. Samuel in a tinfoil bikini. An old-fashioned car crashes on the John J. Montgomery Freeway. A big—fat—stinking—snarling man exits the vehicle. A dog runs through the apartment block. Arterial blood in the kitchen sink. I turn the tap on the faucet. Arterial blood in the drain. Samuel walks out of a room. A small room. A large room. A room with a window open. Several people occupy the room. Samuel is sick. There’s a hospital in the room. Samuel exits the room and goes into another room. Samuel wears a shirt and a tie. I stand on the landing outside the large room. I look at the man wearing the shirt and the tie. My hands on edge. My spider legs wrapped in a beach towel.

Blood in my throat. Fresh towels on the bedside table. Translucent skin. For future meetings Samuel has decided to order cocaine. An Amtrak from Houston to Phoenix—I have sore breasts—my long shitty hair—these sharp photographic images—these unforgettable moments—new machines—mischievous laughter—Samuel wearing a dinner dress—high heels—scalpels in his hand luggage. He gives me a body blow. Samuel doesn’t care about me. He just wants to see what’s inside my luggage. He likes a lot of the stuff inside my sport bag—my sunglasses—my cigarettes—the plastic bottles of water. Samuel wants to know what I want. I tell him that next year I may hang myself—that’s the funny thing about life—you never know what it’s going to throw at you. Samuel wants to know what I am looking for. He thinks it is important to be able to answer that. Samuel is kind—curious. I am the one he tells me. I am my kind.

Samuel doesn’t know what kind of world I come from. I am on vacation—walking into Malibu. Samuel must go. He has some work to do—on his laptop. He is going to be gone for a long time. I am alone. Room service keeps asking me if I want the nightgown—this blue thing—it’s a robe. Samuel knows where I am. He will bring me things to eat. I put on the nightgown—I look like a complete cockhead. Samuel fills out his jeans—burnt skin throughout Cleveland. Robots running for political office—professional men tear down their immoral past—fire hazards in the elevator shafts—my large suitcase—these spectral fingers—I taste the Los Angeles Times ink on my lips—Houston is hot—police ponder burglary suspicions—I test out my football skills. I’m in LAX. Samuel got me drugs to sell. My bag gets ripped up. I get a little frustrated. Samuel asks me if I am sure ... if I am ready for this. I tell him that this is something that I have been planning to do with my life. I have spent most of my money on a plane ticket. I was worried about being here in Los Angeles—worried about not having any money. So—yes—I am sure. Samuel looks me up and down—he does not like what he sees. Samuel and I get into the motel room. I want him. Samuel comes in—walks toward me—looks at the TV—he talks a little bit. He sits down in the breakfast nook. He is very happy. He looks at me—like he’s trying to figure out If he should help me drink my coffee. He thinks he should help me. He looks at me—smiles—he drinks a little bit of my coffee. He thinks it would be slightly amusing to write 1-800-225-5324 on the toilet walls.

Statis in the air—Earth as an intelligent organ—the gravitational field—Los Angeles as some geomagnetic force—wooden crates full of limp cock—Samuel in a leather mini-dress—lipstick on my lips—the taste of boxer shorts—my body throbs—this sick feeling—law enforcement in the bedroom—black markets for perfume—European woman with a Chinese man—her small feet. Army gathering at an ugly place. Passengers for the flight evacuated from the airport—stewards handing out bulletproof vests. Enormous oceans of foam and rain gargle. Soap and gas beams—prophylactics—and discharge—wooden spaceships. Men on the disruptive airplane flights relaxing in snakeskin drawstrings—their countless unproductive psychosis—horse eyes full of dark spaces—magical spaces—these color photographs—sample video files of nude men—telephone reception for a folder on adult magazines—ascertain the login details.

The ocean moves inland—over highways—over the city—into the suburbs—the mountains—the desert—into a landlocked ocean. Slippery streets of driving rain—pigeons in the alleyway—crumbling buildings. Los Angeles burns apart. I never know who anyone is—I watch Samuel’s tongue—he tells me I am a man with no tongue—light dim as shadows falls—the smell of the hospital—the sound of the sea. Ocean alive with the smell of blood—shit—sweat. The ocean is calm—flat is the water—flat as milk—Los Angeles is alive with he sounds of machinery—of traffic—the sound of cogs—wheels—gears—automobiles moving around the freeways—moving at various speeds. Samuel stands in the street—waving his arms. His shirt is white—he wears it loose. His shoes—they are patent leather—they are very shiny—he holds the Los Angeles Times in his hands—the ink is blurred. Samuel runs and falls—he is alive. In the dark—the night sky—made up of lights—they come in waves of color.

Breathless wind through the open window. Samuel sees an image of Earth. Samuel describes me as an indelicate centerfold—some valuable things he has collected—a sunny piece of plastic outdoor furniture to sculpt with heat rays—some fire simulation caused by fuse-lit grenades in the Mandeville Canyon night air. Germ colonies throughout Griffith Park. Strange drugs create animal gestures. An alien mask over the human mind—whole body as a whole city hearing voices—Los Angeles as an amazing city—this entire world—my extreme shyness—Samuel’s supple feet—green heels soften by seawater. My morbid obsession with his tobacco cough—his dirty underwear. The camera pans the remote regions of California. My body shudders ... sick stomachs ... copious amounts of sweat ... hotel laundry gathers dust ... the hotel manager takes a deep breath ... Samuel has a sensible disease.

The plaster walls of Alabama ... small screen on the kitchen counter. Hot sun on feathery prosthetics ... vodka bottle in the waste basket ... color photographs of the ugliest man ... beer nuts on the linoleum floor. Samuel’s slender neck ... wet glass ... the shower screen. Stray dogs on city streets. In the dead of winter. In the suburbs. I want to go to a place in the woods. Major oil companies now defunct. Seasonal layoffs. Sequences from a sci-fi book. Samuel with rheumy eyes at a coffee shop. Samuel in hospital. His face covered with blood. Los Angeles—tall buildings. Samuel’s eyes covered with paste. He is dead. He has oily hair. A street of tall buildings. The sky filled with clouds. The air smells of fire—but also money and old-fashioned things like incense and leatherbound books. The lights of the movie theatre—the whole place has been built after a giant fire ripped it apart previous.

The sky above Los Angeles is shadowy— the rivers of California are grey— they smell like sewage. I walk past some brick villas— the names of the owners written in gold lettering on the mailboxes. I pass houses where everyone stands out on the street— their faces are wrinkled— old apples. The door of the houses stands open. I go inside one of the houses. There are empty bottles and glasses all over the floor. A small group of humans sit in the middle of the room— hunched over the table. None of them look up.

A plume of polluted steam. The streetlights are bright and hot. I thought Los Angeles would be uncomfortable. I stand up—Samuel walks past me—I shouted out his name. He turns around and walks back towards me. He holds an unlit cigarette. He has a cigarette holder in his mouth—it probably doesn’t belong to him. It looks like he’s been walking for weeks. He tells me he has bought a second-hand automobile—immediate delivery—easy monthly repayments. POTUS was in New York City on Wednesday night to attend the Macy’s Day parade. I sat here in Los Angeles watching it on TV. The air pollution in New York City was terrible. Los Angeles at midnight.

Samuel in a houndstooth Walmart suit—shitty tie—hair shaved from his forearms. Slices of his body. The back of a skull. Samuel on a mattress on the floor. The back of my head. Samuel with no eyebrows. His face. A big slice. A carving knife. Samuel on a mattress. His head on his side. His skull. The top of his skull. His bloody face. His lips are puce. A big gash on his cheeks. His top lip is split in half. His teeth are cut. His teeth are broken. The eyes are dead. The eyes are closed. There’s a picture on the wall. A man from a magazine. He looks at the camera. He’s on all fours—a leather seat—exuding some lewd sensation—terminal diseases inside some luxury retirement home.

Common slogans spun by military personnel. The air seems heavier. It is cold and grey. It is hard to decide which is real and what is not. A man stands in the doorway. The figure seems thin ... and his face is tired. It is an apparition again. He watches me. He will not look away. When I look at him— I find his eyes are like glass. The wind and the grey. I turn and run. I walk through the rain and down the street towards my apartment. A new apartment complex at the end of the street. I have never seen an apartment complex like it before. My neighbours have moved in. Two young mothers and their babies. They live on the third floor.

A view of the crematorium from the crematorium car park. A view of the crematorium from one of the side windows. A view of the entrance gates to the crematorium. The letterbox for the crematorium gates. A sign that warns people not to litter. High tide at Hermosa Beach. Firecracker explosions—oil slicks. The moon. A blue moon. No rain on the West Coast. Gas cylinders in the sea. An automobile pushed into the ocean. Samuel wades out into the ocean. Slices of dead fish on the seabed. Car alarms. The moonlight. Samuel with a bottle of rum. Samuel with blood on his hands. My body falls. There is no reason. My blood drains down. It is the middle of the night—Samuel lies naked on the bed. He closes his eyes and hears a loud noise. He opens his eyes and sees me. I ask him what time it is. He tells me that it is 1am. I ask him what day it is. He advises that it is Saturday. I ask him what he is thinking. He tells me he is thinking about inventing an industrial system that causes psychosis. A view of the crematorium chimney.

Close-up view of the crematorium chimney. A view of the fireplace in the crematorium. Close-up of the fireplace. The sun sets. The sun goes down. Eating breakfast cereal ... while watching John Garfield punch his way around in Body and Soul. I am on Anacapa Island. Los Angeles is a broken vessel. The wind being the last to leave Los Angeles. The wind is a cold—dry element. The wind penetrates my body in the form of sound. The wind carries the sound—inside of itself—releases it outside. The wind carrying my voice inside itself. The wind broken in the middle of a sentence. There is a time to wake and to say goodbye. The time to say goodbye is now. The time to wake is called later. Later means not now. Later means a time when the sky is clear—and the sand is not tarred in lubricant—or these new social drugs that require long-term consumption. Samuel has an enormous paunch. The immigration authorities conduct espionage—they check passport stamps—check our linguistic inability.

A new building. On the ground floor and above: offices. On the floor above and just above that: two large apartments with a communal area and a toilet. On the floor above: one apartment and a toilet. On the upper floor and above that: nine apartments— one of which is vacant. This part of the building is being renovated so that new owners can move into it. So— who are the owners? Patrol cars pull into Kinney Heights. Sulphur all around. The body of a dead person in a plastic bag. Blood stains on the carpet. Police Chief in the corner of the apartment. Insects.

A great gilt bedspread. Samuel is eating from glass dinner plates. A red skirt draped over the back of the chair. Samuel wears a pin-striped Walmart suit. A policeman stares at me. A dog on a leash with yellow eyes. I wear blue jeans. Police officer with white hair. A man in a raincoat. A woman in a dress. A girl in a blue vest. A girl wearing blue jeans. Children in the kitchen. A man in a red shirt. An old man with a grey cap. An old woman with a red plaid apron. A child in a yellow and blue skirt. All apparitions ... I am led to believe.

Three-dimensional waves of light aircraft overhead—Kidneys—elbows—genitals—forearms—all with price tags on them—my throat gurgles psychic bruises and other fluid. Inside the crematorium. Crematorium chimney. Crematorium chimney in close-up. Crematorium chimney in close-up from the other side. The mortuary chapel. A close-up of the mortuary chapel. The coffins and the coffins lining the walls. Huge quantities of LSD in a laboratory. An alcoholic liver to clean your liver. Los Angeles in physiological shock. A military base stores receptacles of liquid plasma and sexual neuroses.

Tattoos. Samuel’s skin. Tissue. Flesh. He wears a grey sweatshirt. Tattoos of blood around the eyes. Samuel becomes a fat bald man without a right eye patch. Tattoos around his mouth—his mouth nagging. His head sliced open. A blue-purple Oxford shirt with two buttons undone. My shitty hair curled. A grey shirt with blue and black lines. Radar in the storm drain. The Midwest dead. The faces disturb— skulls hairless—crisp—scorched McDonalds—hospital food—Xerox over Houston—the summer night hanging out in Potter’s Field. Baptists talking shit on the car radio.

Pentagram medallion found in Mandeville Canyon. Motherfuckers wearing tassel loafers. A small box full of stasis. The dead mournful sea—a salesman in long underwear—King James Bible held together by Scotch tape. Earth as a bird from Indonesia. A dark apartment ... the peeling walls ... the water-damaged furniture. Samuel watches a long-running movie of a man’s head. The head doesn’t move ... the eyes stare straight ahead. Samuel sits in the room ... his hands ... the wall ... a small red table. He is super-powerful ... police forces encircle ... squad cars wait for some wonderful moment. I look at the beautiful stars ... listening to the distant police sirens. Full-color photos of Samuel’s glamour shots—medical specialists pouring over them—arithmetic and theoretical calculations—Clergyman raising wine glasses to toast—sewage-disposal systems as new food sources—saline bags full of drug habits—the telephone lines vibrate—clear fluid weeps from a small trapdoor.

No one looks at Samuel or me. We wave at cars passing by. We stand under archways ... I have a little notebook. I take down license plates. I go inside. I make small talk ... trying to sound like I belong. I leave. People ask me what I am doing. I don’t want to tell them. I feel something. I just get out of the apartment ... ride on over to Thai Town. I walk around a bit ... all day ... I leave the sidewalk ... I walk around ... I find objects ... hallways ... laneways ... assembly halls of some Asiatic agrarian city ... septic abortions on the interstate ... other objects ... I put them back down ... a few things here and there ... objects that I don’t know what to do with. I don’t look up at the sky. I go back to my room. I sleep a little. I have some coffee ... I look at my phone a lot. I go to work. I go back to my apartment ... to my room.

Government bureaus controlling birth-control plans—handguns with small dials—wide beams put upon bodies—dump trucks heading out to landfill sites with hundreds of corpses—muddy holes full of heads—high schools as torture yards—subjection to some primal law—teeth extracted from tiny mice—batons full of hoarse voice—rubber bullets. Car stereo playing The Way You Look Tonight by The Jaguars. Blood clots ... oxygen drains to my feet ... looking over the Los Angeles River. I’m in a car with four men. One driving ... one in the passenger seat ... I am in the back with the other two. The men are talking about the car and the medical equipment in the trunk. The streets ... labyrinths ... tunnels ... passageways ... all the offramps ... the exits lead to nothing ... all the entrances go nowhere ... all heading in the same direction. This is how we live. This is how you live when there is no food or water. A road that leads to the center of Los Angeles ... the car is a city. We are travelling very fast. It is dangerous.

Get Meth-DTF here.


image: Shane Jesse Christmass