Elegiac Machinations, an excerpt

Daulton Dickey.


The horror of the city on fire, the roar of the city on fire, the smell of the city in flames, and the sight of faces and demons, of multi-pronged-shaped things growing and vanishing inside the flames, fill my head. Dread floats in and out in waves. Everything will eventually collapse and fall to ashes—it’s nature’s way—and few of twitterheader (2)us will be surprised by the chrysanthemums wilting on the horizons. Imagine it: empty domes bubbling and imploding, people racing and screaming, marionettes and acrobats swinging on veins hanging from clouds. Wings will sprout from each particle and wave launched by the sun. The particles and waves will slam into the earth, crowning the surface with newspaper print.

People walk in reverse interact in reverse race backward from work across town back home into the shower where water is sucked into the showerhead and back into their beds.

This movie plays eternally.

Flesh glimmers. Sounds shimmer. Colors sing and hum, screech and cry. The textures of waves smacking eyes will paint new layers of soil into which blastocysts are planted—and from them children sprout. The children will grow to absorb programming which will integrate them into the machinery of routine. They’ll march through cities, from home to work, spending their free time fighting dreams.


The earth lies supine and grudging beneath the bulk of mechanical earth, fields planted by our species to counter our meaninglessness. Buildings shimmer and glow; they fill cities, islands, oceans. Dust and decay splinter and dissipates in a maze of skyscrapers. The wind authors symphonies, rehearsing and fine-tuning them in gaps between buildings.BookCoverPreview

The world is an organism into which cells swarm and reproduce. The cells erect forests, lining avenues with artificial oaks, dotting the landscape with steel and chrysanthemums, as they assume to embody ‘progress.’ But consciousness and delusion are the only differences between cells in a human body and the human cell in the world body. Delusion is a consequence of consciousness, which enables the human cell to peer at itself, to find patterns—sometimes even when patterns aren’t present.


A man sits on an apple in a park, gnawing on a plank from a bench. He’s wearing hats on his knees and a kneepad on his head. A group of bicyclists pass him—the bicycles: screaming chunks of metal—as they race to collide with the intersection. The man coughs or clears his throat whenever a bicycle passes him.

He drops the plank, clamps a match between his lips, then presses a cigar to the match. Shaking the cigar, he tosses it to the ground and glances around as he mimes pulling smoke from the match.


They see what they want to see. We don’t fit their conception of reality, so they choose, and probably not consciously, to overlook us.

How do we break through?

It’s like evolution: gradual. But we’ll affect them if we keep at it.

Sometimes I believe that.

But sometimes I don’t.

I’m here every day. Every day I’m out here doing this. And no one ever looks at me, and by that I mean no one pays attention to me. But they see me, whether they acknowledge me or not. And so I keep doing this. Every day. And then one day I won’t be here. Maybe I’ll be sick, maybe I’ll be married or famous, or maybe I’ll be dead. Then the people who walk by here every day, the people who see me without registering me, will notice something’s different. They probably won’t know something’s different, but they’ll feel it. The way you do when you leave the house and forget something, but you can’t for the life of you remember what you forgot. And so it bugs you. One day, my absence will elicit that response. These people will continue to come by here, to pass through here; and whenever they do, they’ll feel this haunting, nagging sensation. And some of them will hopefully start to think. And some of those hopefully will begin to evaluate why they pass through here every single day of their miserable fucking robot lives.

You can purchase a paperback copy of this experimental novel by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s