Lindsey lohan provodit c.., p.1

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  MORE PRAISE FOR THE AGE OF WIRE AND STRING

  ‘The Age of Wire and String evades classification, persisting in your mind because of its psychotically ardent prose. It contains no debased images, no second-hand symbols. It will find its fans among those people who relish prose that mimics dream, who love it when words are used as they once were, as incantations, as spells to summon up the contorted beings of the imagination’

  MATTHEW DE ABAITUA, The Idler

  ‘Some of the most breathtaking prose I’ve encountered’

  RICK MOODY

  ‘Almost totemic in its weirdness, a bewildering pocket encyclopedia that pursues its nonsense so intently that you begin not so much to believe everything you read in it, as to lose faith in the meanings you’ve mindlessly drawn from everything else you’ve read’

  Independent

  ‘Haunting and inventive’

  Guardian

  ‘Frequently touching and funny… a cross between a scientific manual, Monty Python and a kind of Bible, with a surreal and opaque logic of its own’

  Observer

  THE AGE OF WIRE

  AND STRING

  STORIES BY

  BEN MARCUS

  ILLUSTRATED BY

  CATRIN MORGAN

  GRANTA

  for Father

  CONTENTS

  Title Page

  Dedication

  Epigraph

  ARGUMENT

  SLEEP

  Intercourse with Resuscitated Wife

  Snoring, Accidental Speech

  Sky Destroys Dog

  Air Trance 16

  The Death of Water

  TERMS

  GOD

  Bird to the North, Act of Wind

  Died

  G-D

  Landing on Floating Island of the Gods

  Ethics of Listening When Visiting Areas That Contain Him

  TERMS

  FOOD

  The Food Costumes of Montana

  First Green

  Brian, Treated to a Delicate Meal

  Food Storms of the Original Brother

  Hidden Food, from Above

  TERMS

  THE HOUSE

  The Golden Monica

  The Enemy in House Culture

  Works from the War Between Houses and Wind

  Exporting the Inner Man

  Views from the First House

  TERMS

  ANIMAL

  Dog, Mode of Heat Transfer in Barking

  Silence Implies the Desire

  Circle of Willis

  Horse, Distinct Category

  Where Birds Have Destroyed the Surface

  TERMS

  WEATHER

  The Weather Killer

  Continuous Winter, in Law

  If X > Fire

  The Method She Employs Against That Which Cannot Be Seen

  The Religion

  TERMS

  PERSONS

  Half-Life of Walter in the American Areas

  Flap, Wire, and Name

  The Animal Husband

  Leg of Brother Who Died Early

  Hidden Ball Inside a Song

  TERMS

  THE SOCIETY

  Automobile, Watchdog

  Swimming, Strictly an Inscription

  Welder, Cessation of All Life

  Arm, in Biology

  Accountant, Vessel of Notice

  Outline for a City

  TERMS

  About the Author

  Copyright

  Every word was once an animal.

  — EMERSON

  Mathematics is the supreme nostalgia of our time.

  — MICHAEL MARCUS

  This book is a catalog of the life project as prosecuted in the Age of Wire and String and beyond, into the arrangements of states, sites, and cities and, further, within the small houses that have been granted erection or temporary placement on the perimeters of districts and river colonies. The settlement, in clusters and dispersed, has long required a document of secret motion and instruction—a collection of studies that might serve to clarify the terms obscured within every facet of the living program.

  There is no larger task than that of cataloging a culture, particularly when that culture has remained willfully hidden to the routine in-gazing practiced by professional disclosers, who, after systematically looting our country of its secrets, are now busy shading every example of so-called local color into their own banal hues. A catalog of poses and motions produced from within a culture may read, then, like a form of special pleading, or, at the very least, like a product that must be ravaged of bias by scholars prepared to act as objective witnesses. It has, however, been demonstrated by Sernier (and others, although without violence) that the outer gaze alters the inner thing, that by looking at an object we destroy it with our desire, that for accurate vision to occur the thing must be trained to see itself, or otherwise perish in blindness, flawed.

  It is under such terms that The Age of Wire and String sets forth to present an array of documents settling within the chief concerns of the society, of any society, of the world and its internal areas. To pretend that there are other concerns is to pretend. Let this rather be the first of many forays into the mysteries, as here disclosed but not destroyed. For it is in these things that we are most lost, as it is in these things alone that we must better be hidden.

  INTERCOURSE

  WITH RESUSCITATED WIFE

  Intercourse with resuscitated wife for particular number of days, superstitious act designed to insure safe operation of household machinery. Electricity mourns the absence of the energy form (wife) within the household’s walls by stalling its flow to the outlets. As such, an improvised friction needs to take the place of electricity, to goad the natural currents back to their proper levels. This is achieved with the dead wife. She must be found, revived, and then penetrated until heat fills the room, until the toaster is shooting bread onto the floor, until she is smiling beneath you with black teeth and grabbing your bottom. Then the vacuum rides by and no one is pushing it, it is on full steam. Days flip past in chunks of fake light, and the intercourse is placed in the back of the mind. But it is always there, that moving into a static-ridden corpse that once spoke familiar messages in the morning when the sun was new.

  SNORING,

  ACCIDENTAL SPEECH

  Snoring, language disturbance caused by accidental sleeping, in which a person speaks in compressed syllables and bulleted syntax, often stacking several words over one another in a distemporal deliverance of a sentence. The snoring person can be stuffed with cool air to slow the delivery of its language, but perspiration froths at key points on the hips and back when artificial air is introduced, and thus the sleep becomes sketchy and riddled with noise. It is often best to cull the sleeper forth from static communication by responding to its snores with apneic barks—sounds produced without air. The effect of the barks is to isolate each aspect of the snore sound by slowing down the delivery—riding the sleeper until the snore breaks into separate words. Decoders should sit on the bed and jostle the sleeper’s stomach. This further dispatches the clusters that often form when the sleeper speaks all at once (snores). The decoder is then better able to decipher the word blocks. When analyzed, the messages are often simple. Pull me out, they say, the water has risen to the base of my neck.

  SKY DESTROYS DOG

  Air days, in the Western Worship Boxes, traditionally the Wednesday, Friday, and Half-Man Day following the first Sunday that a dog has suffocated the weather. They were days of foodless observance to sanctify the season of Charles, which was notable for its storms of airlessness and heavy frontals near the north that caused all but the dogs to retreat to the air hostels. Air days are of very ancient and unc
ertain origin. The dates of their celebration are now determined by dog descendants (similar to the Labrador, but with the additional storm lung) rather than by the universal storm calendar and are frequently called “days of air for food.” Difficulties with dog populations in the Western Worship Boxes generated the mass suffocation of Ohio (1973), and the speed-fasting experiments of Buffalo and Schenectady (1980—1982), in which the Western population of those cities mistimed the exit day of their religious food-minus, thus breaking their fasts before the season of Charles had restored air to their homes, when the storm dogs still stalked the houses, breathing up the airless wind and eating the air and rain, praying to Charles that the people would not return.

  AIR TRANCE 16

  If the motion of wind were to be slowed, as weather is slowed briefly when an animal is born, we would notice a man building and destroying his own house. If we speak to the man through a dense rain, our speech is menaced by the DROWNING METHOD, and we appear to him to be people that are angry and shouting. If my father is the man we are looking at, he will shout back at me, protecting the house with his hand, and his voice will blend with whatever weather he has decided to create in the sky between us to form a small, hard animal, which, once inside me, will take slow, measured, strategic bites. The animal’s eating project will produce in others the impression that I am kneeling, lying, or fading in an area of total rain, taking shelter behind my upraised hand. Since they will be standing above me, the people will need to request special powers of vision, which will be immediately granted, in order that I appear in slow, original colors, viewed from any possible perspective, chewing with great care at my own body while the house gets smashed behind me.

  THE DEATH OF WATER

  It is a soft, malleable, ductile, iron-gray fluid with hexagonal or cubic ice structure. It is slightly harder than air. It is the most abundant of the RARE WATERS of group 111b of the water graph. It does not tarnish rapidly in dry grass but quickly loses its luster when swallowed. It oxidizes slowly in ALBERT and rapidly in LOUISE. It is attacked by solutions of RICHARD 3 and by concentrated or dilute SAMANTHA 7G. When heated, it burns with a brilliant flame to form a river that exhibits fishes and stones and is used in shuttling the seven primary, liquid emotions to the BEHAVIOR FARM. The steam is used as a core for the carbon arteries of OHIO. The element forms relationships with ancient water. An alloy of water is used as the flint in house films. Minute particles of this water ignite in the air when scratched from the surface of the larger mass. Its death is assembled by electrolysis of the drinking glass or by reduction of the fused canoe with sand. Death was realized in 1807 in the water as a new erosion by Carolina and by England and Thompson; it was named for the hills and swells in Deerborne, which had been killed only two years earlier. The nearly complete funeral was not produced until 1875, after which waterfalls and streams and bodies of further water began to gush down and dribble and then stop, as the sky’s eulogy declined and graves on all sides began their fluid opening.

  A Shirt of Noise

  B Jennifer

  C Sadness

  D Sleeping Group

  E Sunstick

  F Bird Seven

  G Nitzel’s Gamble

  H Salt

  I Sleep Holes

  J Professional Sleepers

  K Albert

  L Leg Initiations

  M Wind Bowl

  TERMS

  LEG INITIATIONS — Act or technique of preparing the legs for sleep. They may be rubbed, shaved, or dressed in pooter.

  ALBERT — Nightly killer of light, applied to systems or bodies which alter postures under various stages of darkness. Flattened versions exist only in the water or grass. They may not rise until light is poured upon them.

  PROFESSIONAL SLEEPERS — Members whose sleep acts perform specific, useful functions in a society. Clustered sleepers ward off birds; single, submerged sleepers seal culprits in houses; dozers heaped in cloth enhance the grasses of a given area, restore belief in houses.

  SADNESS — The first powder to be abided upon waking. It may reside in tools or garments and can be eradicated with more of itself, in which case the face results as a placid system coursing with water, heaving.

  SLEEP HOLES — Areas or predesigned localities in which dormant figures and members conduct elaborate sleep performances. Points are scored for swimming, riding, and killing. Some members utilize these sites to perfect their sleep speech, in order to profess the dozer’s knowledge. Others exercise or copulate or rapidly eat cloth and grain. The father slept in one for four hours while smashing his own house, which contained its own sleepers, who performed nothing.

  BIRD S EVEN — 1. Period in which members Linda through early Rachel engaged in storm pantomimes. 2. Year of the body. 3. Last moment in which the skin of a member gains oracular capacity of wind trapping. 4. The first day of life. 5. The end times.

  SHIRT OF NOISE — Garment, fabric, or residue that absorbs and holds sound, storing messages for journeys. Its loudness cannot be soothed. It can destroy the member which inhabits it.

  NITZEL’S GAMBLE — The act or technique of filling the lungs with water. The chance was first taken by the Nitzel in Green River.

  SUN STICK — Item of the body which first turns toward sun when a member dies, sleeps, collapses. It is the pure compass toward tracts that are heated and safe, also called true places.

  WIND BOWL — Pocket of curved, unsteady space formed between speaking persons. They may discuss the house, its grass, some foods, the father inside. The wind bowl will tilt and push across their faces, that they might appear leaning back, arching away from each other, grasping at the ground behind them as if sleeping.

  SALT — An item that comprises the inner and outer core of most to all animals. An animal may be licked free of this salt, or an animal may be hosed clean or scraped. Only when it coughs up salt or otherwise produces salt matter from within can the animal be expected in a short time to collapse outward and exit the place of confinement.

  SLEEPING GROUP — Team of members which performs mutual, radical sleep acts in various sites of varying difficulty. They are satisfied not with primary sleeping but with watching the sleeping of others. These are members which can copulate, speak, or eat only when surrounded by fields of tossing sleepers that are weeping, are moaning, are struggling to breathe.

  JENNIFER — The inability to see. Partial blindness in regard to hands. To Jennifer is to feign blindness. The diseases resulting from these acts are called jennies.

  BIRD TO THE NORTH,

  ACT OF WIND

  God rides bird to the north, act of wind implemented against the stationary position of most oceans. Certain weather is not recognized by the land it is practiced on; funnel clouds necessarily unravel or bank off any crusted terrain, hailstones and other atmospheric shale burn into water before the city receives them, whole temperate zones dissipate over a lake and suck upward. The act of riding procures a medical wind to heal these stagnations. The lark, the griffin, and the mallard, all birds of indeterminate temperature and vapor content, function as ignitors of the tide. For a ripple to spool downwind unobstructed, it must be set into force by the proper god riding above, often laced into the fur of a low-flying bird. What happens here is the beating of air into a still surface, the jostle-weave of the bird twisting off the new waves, and the swoop of the weather behind it as the plumage of the carrier ignites and recedes off the god-channeler’s hands, dispatched with a blessing to unfurl and storm above the new-moving ocean.

  DIED

  Parker, Mark, a body king fighting the darkness person Albert, which nightly killed the persons of light; with his sun stick, he also killed the person’s home; after killing the entire person, he was attacked by a winter Albert (possessing underground extremities [sublimbs]), which he killed with another stick (Nagle), but died himself, accompanied by Mary (keening), and in agony seeing the new persons that were walking freely, unnamed, beyond the reach of the sun.

  G-D
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  It is a mode entered by flaxen tree tools from three to twelve lawns long, sometimes curved slightly, with conical bore and a cup-shaped godpiece. It produces only the natural angels of the city, slightly modified, however, by the materials of the landbound heaven. North of its leaves, the tool is used to call wasps into the bore to shape the angels as they are wept against the grass.

  Warning: It is what often clogs the port. It is heavily sugared. It channels mouth steam (frusc) into the back bunt of the willow. Here is where angels amass in surplus and cease to breathe. The wings grow sticky and no longer beat.

  Only the lawns feeding upward, afford the angels an exit once the bore is lost: Needle grass pierces the tool at the hind; sugar clouds the bore, tilting the wasps from the saddle graft; and the godpiece contracts slightly at the cup, popping angels through the holes in succession until the willow tool can once again lift from the lawn into the skylike areas, to proceed in dragging its crying onto other grassland territories.

 
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