The Many Castles, The Purpose of the Game (Part 3)

2015 § Leave a comment


Austen Szott

Part 3–

In my deep hallucis, I was cast out into the universe, without body, wind, space or presence, in time, and saw it to be as paper, crude dimensions littered across its platforms, flat in vertices, invisible boundaries and axial archways oriented, still to the, or to some bidding above, angled in slant against some, and many plateaued orbitals that are called homes by any inhabitants, simple, uninhibited lengths of fingerpaintings and shallow drawings across empty, limitless canvas and the environment as scattered dioramas in corners of focal perception, strokes of a new, and in that perpetual, incarnate birth, clumsy and innocent Creator, lines often trailing off onto no true medium, suspended by nothing but will and force and desire, playing, expressing, and both toiling over and abandoning unfamiliar implements, including the waddles, fumbles and appendages of His being, hung up under brazen pin-picks of stars and their lights, shadowy shelter for the young and vulnerable under a shabby canopy punctured and draped from a surrounding, hot, pervasive heaven like a blanket to other, and, again, wider eternal darknesses, a layer of silent protection from sickness, sense, convulsion and the collapse, and I was strung back to the planet of my emulsion, its hues and overflows, dive of atmosphere and leaping levity of its local gravity, compressing and divulging to swells of a laboring core, sedimented by land, and here, in the gusts of life, breed, and kind, I could see these people and places and their faces, apparitions, souls permeating from milder, tamer prosperities of flesh as exotic, so much more unique and accidental, but special for being so unintentional and perfect in flaws for having been so without purpose or goal, reason or mission for existence, without true origin all carved out of unnatural atmospheres and dwelling within its structures, exuding, depthful, distinct in the destiny of their features, the countless unannounced and veiled skills, acceptances, technical magics to each, specific, total experience and the characteristics they gained from such, spilling, chaotic emotions, and as so much more real, eternal, effective, unpredictable in joyous defiances for it, monumental among misery for size against the weight of soul, remembered and empowered to manipulate and change all existence from this humble, low, representative elevation, crust and surface, high without mass and object, skewed gradation of levity, ascendance, unsettled, torrential, magnified by the brightness we carry to waking traipses, rippling, reverberative, honing choices, involvements, agreements, attitudes, interactions, indefinite communications and the infinite divergences of this, present constant of reality, sustained, cherished, coveted, pulsing thicker and clotting with the more vigor in this fresh fluid, tapped from the roots, dirt and bones, revolving at and below our beckoning migration, churning, stooping, licking and enduring from beneath the desperate forces that penetrate, in final detachment from elemental charge, our layers, reacted, measured, fallen and captured to the roof of our sphere without possesion, subject to our many controls, our humanity, dominion, and all-encompassing powers. I tried to peel the sun off the sky. I painted a sail and hull into the blur and opacity of the glowing, mass-less moon. I tried to sleep with my back bent over the chilled rocks of the lakeside, hold firm and trembling through rest and discomfort, and tried to walk into the sky, and step on those cool, wet, night-time tumults of clouds like they’d shift to a new heaven’s horizontal with such light footings into the blacknesses between stars, rotating to a new corner for gravity, that which does not fit so much to a body adapted to imbalance on a sphere, and that which long grew strong in standing straight, less like levitating and more like pawing, climbing, cooing, reaching, fondling and climbing on a baby’s weak, stilted appendages out to the edge of life, also dangling at the ends of our atmosphere. I stomped my feet and shook out whole cliffsides, rumbled new territories from plateaued boulders, places for more cherished palaces to be re-built with neon colors for electric, living trim, and with better views sectioned away from nature and to be prominent from its regenerations, its re-cycling breaths and the providences from where we might reap mild fruit, to surf on the real grounds of Earth as they vibrate and quake. I screamed at the dive of every nuclear aviation, the roar of planes bearing travellers, payloads, and waited for the apocalypse, cried in the possibility of fearlessness rebuked, unforgiven, false. I saw that it, and we, had no purpose but to exist, and not to be of a temporal nothingness, even if there was no purpose to be, that there is no reason that we, in our current state, are human, shaped as such, with families, habitats, obstacles and practices, feelings, appearances and beliefs, and that we could be any other way.

I go to meet the abomination and there, scattered on the front mantle are letters, opened and un-opened, random papers, some unimportant, some crinkled from deep pockets, receipts, coins, and a pamphlet left at my house by a wandering representative of the prophets united in another sole congregation, and that to some other drooped, weary-eyed tenant, most or if all of the way still in sleep, a picture of a glowing Jesus, outstretching a hand to the beholder, checkered within the folds with the pictures of many, varying followers of all genres, creeds, ethnicities, many of them photographed while in the process of worshipping another God, inscribed with an invitation to come and understand how His death benefits us, and it sounds to me as though they’d do it again if given the chance, how it was the proper decision, how it is good and fair to commit such murders, keeps these streets clean of the filth.

I meet her at her church, six eyes and dismissive demeanor, as she walks me along her pews, inhabited by few, scattered, worshipping believers, a man in middle, short of front rows with a blue shirt and a small, sagging frame, a young woman in red to the left, arrogant and blonde, facing aside from the stage, and a few of her families and the followers that assembled there in tan, coalesced hues of general robes, far back and conglomerated from the view of the service, safe to be at peace and not left alone, and another girl to the right, facing far away and towards the wall, her back square to me and across the entranceways, face hidden in shame, and others dispersed at the shoulders of those to find a seat before them, never ahead, as ghosts and all of them quiet, listening to nothing, but, at the same time, in such silence, hearing everything in the room, every step, every word, every guesture in airy motion, some standing watch and guard along the fringes, idolizing and loitering where other members meander across the new and already worn, used, thin and abrasive carpet, and the abomination waves them off, says to me, “These are all broken people.” I disagree that I would be one, and that any of them are broken, more than damaged, and able, if not willing to heal, blameful or complacent, and be stronger, or specific, to gain ability through defeat, any age of self destruction, faulted or uncontrollable. I would like to disagree that my reason for attendance is my failure, my guilt, but she does not listen either and waves me away, as well, as she ducks off to avoid another conflict, boastful skulking beneath shelter already covered from deity, cowering from structure that already shadows us from wrath, always with immediacy after committing an undeserved assault, and that to never attack unless unexpected, unless unmatched by the emotional violence, or the physical shame.

Among the free meandering, I approach the front of the pulpit, at the foot of the stage where light spills from glorification and down still in perfect squares over the ovular stairs, shaded in sweet, permanent angles, bold in their hilts and thick in curved carpets to catch eager toes, to trip the over-incited in their ecstasy, and ask the pastor about a personal confession he made in a previous sermon, “When you mentioned, ’In all of my years walking the dead …,’ is that what you believe that you do?” I mean to ask, “walk the dead?,” for guidance, and truth, and to ask, as I had suspected but had not had the courage to utter, or believe, or accept, that we are already dead, gone from the Lord in this world of ghosts, seeming all the realer to ourselves and petrified of that impending passage of loss of self, and that to be the one explanation for our returning to Heaven, that we can, but have not. I mean not to defy him, or any, as any, to specify in curiosity, not to disagree, to appreciate and offer compliment, but he glares at me with one inlet of a single, raging, dominating eye held behind his consciousness, a veil from divinity, and like I had tapped its nerve, captured a view into its one, exposed angle that held another shape of symbolic soul, a blaring stare fixed up and sustained on a blackened, steaming spire, toiling or tormenting elsewhere in the parallel after-life, a molten green presence of vision with no depth, observation separate from influence, burning at this, even unintentional challenge. It is as though he has expected me, has seen me before, and I him, in personality, attitude, inflection and guise, but I never recognize the re-emulations of life until I have left their expressions and statements, and much reeling remnant of vision before I remember them, bestowed, blessed omnicience that becomes inept in reverse. It is as though he has often tortured himself with that belief, which he does believe, but may not have the faith to disperse to the people. It is as though he trusted, allowed his guards to lower their weapons, and then conceal them for the face of profit, and was intercepted then alone, even soaking and showered in the chatters of surrounding followers, as though he also believes he should not face that challenge, admit subversion, and then did not believe that he ever would, his longer, introspective denial, not man versus man as the final testament, but man against existence, and he beams with a threat of destruction from his quivering view, but all that he has is the threat, must know that I have none that I have levied, that I am not the enemy, though I voice his concerns and understand his place with all that is and sends us through the light. He diverts and advises some generalization of why to be with Christ at the expense of the will of God and ignores me for what I may argue. He forgets that I do not move, but that I am often moved. This is by common force of grace and the fallacy of both pre-destination and total control.

When no procession is held and the noon has passed, I part and go to the house of my mistress. Her family celebrates birth, and that of old age, and they sip drinks in extreme, impressive moderation, fewer in splashed glasses than in bottles opened, meet with extravagant modesty and good faith, converge and feast at the table where little judgement is had, except the humorous self-indulgent that fritters away, and where much comfort can be found, and is by some, infallible, accepted, acquiesced, and after good-luck munches and nibble bites of streusel cakes, the hosting youthful abandon to other hallways, fearing trespass on the shadowy dormitories, but with free reign around the abodes, lit well with real light in rays through clean windows, my mistress among the last, but not of the final, that leaves me with the grandmother and the grandfather in the dining room. Both’s eyes fall.

“I have to take someone with me.”

They know who I am, and they know that it is time, but then, as time passes, and Love is considered, they, neither answer.

Neither utters, “Take me.”

Neither speaks, “Take him, take her.”

We wait, twiddle, delay in anticipation of nothingness, and then I must leave. The family members sense silence and begin to file in from the kitchen and the living rooms. They’re giggling and making celebratory auras pop and sparkle like confetti as they chase each other’s statements and beliefs in polite society. Their play and socialization wakens the blackness and death and the weariness of the grandparents in the room as we wait, breaks through it simply in joy as if we’d been sleeping while the children were away, a droopy rising of spirits as the echoing, muted trance seems to lift, and clear, here in their matrimony at the dining table. It’s their grandfather’s birthday. I retire and seek consolation in my mistress, escape if escape takes place. She beams at me with love as she enters the room in curiosity, the need to bring all the people together. We moan instead of whisper and we tour before the conversations break, the communications flutter in altered courses, and the cousins, brothers, aunts, uncles, neices, nephews decide that visit is paid, begin to chitter towards the door and rehearse, again, lasting goodbyes, a nod and simple truth not to breathe, even and even most sincere from the elders. The grandfather and grandmother bid me goodbye as well, trembling beneath sight though they should know now that they were spared, in less than mercy which is rare, that I am no longer a threat, and we pretend again that we do not see, know, and battle with the obvious presence of the after-life.

I leave with my mistress. We frollick to hide that we stumble, and laugh and twirl out toward the street along walkways and archaic facade-work, wrought stone columns, once structural joists now forgotten, but cherished, as decorations.


The Sun God descended over the great civilization, and its lone, collosal structure, appearing as a single, burning eye. The pink and orange clouds of dusty, deserting moisture fanned out like lashes and features from His face.

The people had abandoned their shelter beneath the sand silted roof and had climbed out the one, spanning story of their city, markets, homes, helps and all, had braved the immensity of the environment again, meandered along the open, glaring plateau that they had built barren themselves, but this on what was barren, compacted dust long before their developments, salt and spit far from the oases of growth and shading foliage and lush territories of protection that shied from this, the nearest destruction of the closest light, and that which could be nearer.

They had remembered their ways of eden matured, degraded, and had shed their clothings and covers to absorb the boiling nutrition from the rolling sky. It ripped and folded the very air as it passed over, crumpled and rippled the nothingness until there was nothing to drink, or to breathe from its nourishments. As masses of the same, searching, gathering colony, their skins had tanned over to slicked, sweating browns of varying shades, some that had begun much lighter and shone with stings boring out their pores, others that were darker, and glazed with settling oil, and others whose skins teetered on the edge of a black that had deepened into the muscles, and those that had charred from so much exposure that their flesh was as crippled and brittle and as dry as coal, cracked across the filaments, and left some of them so still that they were unknown to be bathing, or beaten by the rays until they were cooked through to the brains, heart, organs, and were no longer alive.

Some sprawled out on that concrete surface, and beared the heat of the blocks on their chests, bellies, and baked in rest. Others stood upright, and collected themselves, continued their activities and trades, and tried to find ways to be earnest, and productive, and in worship, enlightenment, peace so that they would not crumble in spirits, break, wail and cry out against the treacheries and elements of their own existence.

They knew little of it yet, but the influences of this wider, taller, changing air crawled and crept down the follicles of their hair, around their senses and into their minds as they toiled the simple suffering and endurance of their position, the conversations they might have, the brief communications of inspiration, if exhausted, and defeated over unusability, desolation built upon desolation to suffocate its wraths or heighten its instabilities, its lackings of truth reaped of all rewards that could be of grease or treasure too well tapped to be drawn up again by any man, woman, or collective of communal strengths gone bitter and selfish without resources, nothing but bargains unkept, blood spilled already for partial commitments, and learned to be wasted, defenses left to rust until removed by those gone idle and desperate without labor to clear spaces once thought unworthy for convergence, and now, good faith and grace among themselves at each distance and property of humanity when all were too wary of the larger, failing war that continued above their heads, that which they were also losing, hopeless as each of the many sides dwindled in force, a beginning of silence, emptiness, darkness, sadness and shame that none had believed they’d see again. They collaborated in short, mingled, unsteady and timid, concerned and suspicious notions, whispers of more lucrative practices, more situated possible establishments, ethereal or constructed, unsubstantial, as tenuous as value, or temporal and definitive with obedience versus dispensable worth, accesory wealth to be advantageous and exchanged even in such times of gratuitous need, ways to organize their groups among peers the way they had not collected and preserved the embellishments that so few, bare to the impermanence of life had in their insatiable exodus of immaterial famine, greed over deficiency, devouring as they fled from their own preparations, provisions and fortified embattlements, carried.

They populated that roof, and waited for time of day to pass the same as they knew, but would not admit that they’d soon wait, and pray for night to pass in its even momentums and lengths, its, also, endless requisitions and compendiums of embodiment, detached, specific, accompanied if conflicting and rebounding from random challenge, coincidence, design, complete, viewed by chance and by concealment from the totality of what its influxes encompassed, and from where they all had returned to be, as always, with this, altogether, all that is, a one, single, surrounding, sole everything.

They let themselves be fed on the light, imagined that it nourished them much more than it did, ignored that it was sufaced by lakes of wet, magmatic fire blinded in its reelings by magnitude, amplified by rage of quality until distorted by widest clarity, even though it deluded the void in their starving stomachs with joy, filled them with mis-direction, illusion of pleasure over deficit and fantastical components of the unnecessary and the happiness of life after more extreme deaths pressed against the torrents of interstellar phenomenae and the welling power of their disasters, and they let the heat beneath and before the burns quell that need for self-salvation as many of them, deviating off alone to be hidden in flat, visible distance, laying down under simple, careless abandon of those who could see them and find them and keep history of their feats of serene inaction if they had kept even the energy to look out across the sided canvasses of the bending, steaming, swaying mirage, proclaiming all the while to the deaf and distant and denied that any existence could be purposeless in its details, created to re-create itself or to preserve that which it had already labored to gain, and would be re-incarnated if it was not remembered, held sacred and banished for eternity just if it was forgotten, extinct, and would, by class and accomplishment and coincidental discovery be washed away like that, again and again, re-born to all unknown, unsurmounted possibility, also undone as each of them at the sparse territories of withdrawal from brood and populace, baked down to toughened husks of dehydrated meat, casings of aromatic, celestial and higher, prophetic, alien, organic intelligences stressed and exposed until cracked, bled empty and workless and as dust, porous ash exhausted, stripped, hung, gathered and fumed until released of any concealment, covetting of shimmering force, represented among the airs, exhaled as thoughts made hints, whispers and moans of wind among the boiling stasis of the presence of greater powers, as defeated and statuesque as they all knew that time could stretch and bend and slacken as deep and tight or as loose and resting as elastic, as relaxed as doom and hope, as their flesh and gears and muscles and limbs or any body or substanceless soul that they would inhabit, and still it could be snapped and broken by some without faith, science, sense, wellness, inheritance or strength or trust to honest relief, and that to be genetic or developed, nurtured or graced and unappreciated as granted by limiting natures, the uncommon but numerous wanderers from help, reason and health, recompense and mending of another fitted evolution, another pre-defined dominance and invincible kindred vaulted from some first, indispensable, unstoppable victory that insulated them farther, taller, and more unopposed, multiplying initial, momentous cooperation as they generate on lands that both measured their shape, and shaped them to where they ruled, still allowing their edges of community to be obliterated by full post, duty and banished, exiled retreat from defense.

Soon, many with their quiet, subtle premonitions of coherence with existence instead of reflection of huddling, generous groupings, to attempt to break in and trespass among the unwanted or, either, travel far to entrench and replicate where the resources are both as un-colonized as they are meager and undesired, quaint, pristine, uncontrolled and ranged out of communication, out of correspondence, free, but draining into a shaded, envisionable end, as un-spacious as infertile, as gorgeous as equal to useless, formed without functioning manipulation, wonderful to those that may not last or reproduce long to ponder those wonders without raping them for replenishment and then brandishing their trickling, emptying memories, monuments to the fortress of creation versus renewal, illusions of monolithic constructs to beautify competitive springs of refinement, choice reserves of the tiny un-protected, disadvantaged, conquered then buried to prevent a return of development to trick the diasporas into remaining and pillaging no other heavens, their varied hues, in their varied decisions of settlement, agreement and generosity, gifts and concessions, arrogances, prides, or compromises, began to split, rend, melt and solidify into the world, but not so easy or without so much breathless, and so, silent, screaming, unheard, lone, restricted agony into combination with their own, emanating, bleached plateaus of rock, each with one himself or all the warmer but covered and enclosed and sheltered with many, fallen or standing, shivering or still and penitent, safe but also destroyed, and the Sun God spoke to them over the atmosphere and the orbital dome of their arrival and remains, “The blood floats in the sky, the droplets are to levitate. Seek no more to make My home bare by protecting its dirts from My reception, from Mine that I choose always to take, and over which I give no life, under light, to be suffered,” and they scattered with what fluid they still had that retained its vigor to the cusps of this their flattest, widest tower below the heaviest civilization to commit no survival, to pour themselves like opened scars from that occupied rooftop, to splash their consciousnesses like tapped ecosystems of flesh and organs, like streams from pinnacles of success and down the cleansing of sharp expanse, and to splash faster, spraying thinner, greater, farther, spanned weaker into the sand, the more elevated over the falls of others that were beside them, the brighter and more transparent to glow through, separate for a lasting moment, if ever to have passed, if once to be real, this that may fill and become, once again, a pond, an oasis, a jungle, eroded from beneath the foundation of their wealth beyond need, beyond failure, beyond struggle, after they are gone, after they are all given, but no other creature searched to reveal that environment, found and inhabited that terrain until that structure had crumbled through, persevered but shifted and degraded until it seemed more as cliffsides, rivers, valleys, terraces, and part of the growing and regressing landscape here in this type and cast of any climate that sprung often from every convergence of chance.


She laid out in space and watched the changes in the universe, her old planet and the distance of the new. After destruction, decay and regeneration, the God of Thieves walked the Earth, uncloaked, skin shining with the icy gold of living, permeated oil, bracing Himself against the rushes and foaming seas of clouds, oceans cresting in the sky, travelling off to take what He would find at the end of one sphere too small for his own nourishment, and sustenance, and with it all. He huddles and walks, holds Himself to stay in the shine of day, to keep the light in time, a giant that sleeps when He fails, kneels and falls and is swallowed over in an un-cherished night, spun to rise Him, or give Him chance to stand again, walking that face of the planet to stay in the day.

In the morning, crests of those oceans spill over these mountain ridges and wash to the foot where they make entire peaks levitate in the air, and drift around the environments to find their places in the permanent climate.

She waited for all of time. It was as light black liquid, hash and compost worth carrying in a small bag at Her hip, all the space it would take to keep such substanceless belonging, but Her body, and Her spirit, were gone, so She let time, and all its histories disappear, drain away to be cleaned and dispersed once again among the waters, fires, earths and heights, to be forgotten until sharpened into realer illusions by those that would be small, miniscule, microscopic, but lasting.

There was emptiness and a vacuum, a place where all the stars wriggled in static against each other’s presence across strange infinites of removal, a message from the lifeless, somewhere well hidden and safe, serene and sleeping in control, there were many positions to be center and solid for those that experience their pinnacle where the cosmic entities cycled around in rippling, wobbling dimensions the lowest solar pulse that nurtured its habitats, and then a truth that all of their frays of light into this more petite, compact shelter of cool, frozen blackness continued to fight, and even fracture time to stay upright, vertical, stoic and balanced within each prideful vantage, that light may separate from light, and each shard to claim its own entrance to a flatter Heaven, a place with no edge but the end, and thus to walk, fly or sail or slip into another universe, all-encompassing, all-knowing, but shaded, sealed with the trespasses of its own pressure, circling even upon its own descents.

There, where the light was most powerful, conglomerated and soaked in dimension, there were channels where the rays of nearest sunshine peered and peaked out to their neighbors in constellations, pathways, tunnels of glowing present moment gleaming out in thinnest, sharpest span through limitlessness, connections where each star could envision, even if minute in yearning and actual contact, even if subtle in fleshy sensation and registration of impulse, beams of radiance that could pass souls or the lesser across galaxies in an instant, shaved, pruned and satisfied, or communications of such, also-living importance, as death and life would be the same, and not important when made of the same eternal matter, branching like they were still together, that the separations were fantasy, dreaming games, welling color.

She wavered and waned, moving too fast to different eternities in the same energy. There, at the core of the shine, of the sun in its galaxy, as in each of those cosmic centers, against that change and evolution, lingering in any universe and wrapped deep in glories and graces and premiums, thick revolutions of force, its greatest boilings and tumults, chaos and calamity of nuclear, singular power in tandem, raging in galactic torrents of any element, there was a point of light that could not be consumed.

She saw Her kind sleeping and shivering into stillness, spreading over shredded reaches and their terrains, cultures of heavier survival, bodies that carried deep genetics, eyes and ears and noses and hearts like Hers, awake and then immortalized, forever refreshed when desperate, brooding their own to carry the line they formulated not themselves. She knew they survived, and nurtured corners of solitude in reality that could bloom, fruit, ripen, love, climax, and then again recede unvanquished. She knew they were many and yet scattered, disposed beside weights of atmosphere that most of them could never touch or understand, and that which would solidify them or pull them apart over slants deeper and crumbling faster than any roads, those inches that would take them across times that they would call space, existence, ground and gravity and range, but exponents that shaped their entire territory, spitting and splitting out the cracks in the planets around them.

She knew they were as many as the many others, and as alive as those that were already dead, and filling the scenery.

She sensed, among the lost Beyond, in waves that produced and pressed but had not yet returned, her kind in brood and likeness homesteading, resting, feeding, growing, but all She heard, all She felt, was nothing.


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