Empire of Dirt

by
Daulton Dickey.

I can’t escape low-paying jobs. No matter how long I stare at the horizon, I don’t see mountains protruding and growing and replacing clusters of trees.

My name fades in the minds of people who’ve already forgotten my face.

The planet, a sphere of rotting flesh, drowns us in the bile of the used and forgotten—and none of us can escape it. (more…)

Patriōtēs

by
Daulton Dickey

You, to whom I’m speaking: ants and maggots writhe on a rectangle made from bones. Blood fills the gaps between them, and a square filled with bile sits in the uppermost corner of the rectangle. Each part on its own devolves into abstraction, but they evolve life when combined in this form.

This creature enchants and controls you.
It embeds itself into you and, like a virus, travels at breathtaking speak. Whether you work or don’t work, watch movies or don’t watch movies, read books or don’t read books, do drugs or don’t do drugs, and so on—you fall prey to this virus.
Then it assumes control of the host and forces it to worship the creature. (more…)

Metamorphoses

For Ovid

by
Daulton Dickey.

After the clouds parted and dried up, the sky pointed its bluish mirror at the ground,
At two people—a man and a woman—tossing rocks behind them.

They each had picked up a rock from the muddy earth near their feet and tossed it over their shoulder. The rocks arched and hit the ground, bottoms buried in mud. (more…)

THE METAMORPHOSIS: SNAPSHOTS OF THE ARTIST AS A CREATURE OF CHANGE

by
Daulton Dickey

[Click here to read Part I]

Part II 

1.

An egg stands on the counter beside a sheathed blade. It topples over without rolling and falls next to the blade, leaning against its sheath.

I grab the egg and stuff it into a carton in the refrigerator.

—Not yet, but when the time comes, we’ll use it.

I shove the blade into a drawer and fall into a lake, which has replaced the kitchen floor.

Unable to swim, I flounder and sink to the bottom.

I can’t hold my breath, so I clench my eyes and wait for death.

My concentration, in that moment, establishes silence, darkness.

“I” disappear as pure consciousness takes hold:

Not darkness, but grayness—the end of a gradient cast by a powerful and all-consuming light.

I sense it but I can’t fall into it, so I try, and I break my concentration and open my eyes.

Sitting half-lotus on my bed, I glance around the room.

I amble into the kitchen and open the fridge and the egg pops out of the carton and rolls and shatters, spilling a fetus resembling me onto the floor. (more…)

The Copulating Grasshopper: Salvador Dali and the Paranoiac-Critical Method

by
Daulton Dickey.

Salvador Dali swore he remembered life inside the womb. He called his recollections “intra-uterine” memories. Two images he claims to have seen inside the room later reminded him of eggs.

Eggs helped to define his style: imagine a timepiece as soft and flimsy as a fried egg. Imagine how’d it look if you laid this timepiece on a branch or on the edge of a table. Such perversions of reality led to his most famous painting, “The Persistence of Memory,” indebted to eggs—and Dali’s insistence that he could remember life inside the womb.

He made brilliant, always unexpected associations. Even if we bracket his wild claims—such as remembering the womb or biting off the head of a dead bat to shock a maid—we can discern a method to his singular vision. Dali himself explicitly tells us how to do it. (more…)

Clairvoyance

by
Daulton Dickey

Textures on its shell casting macrocosmic crescent moons,
Colored with a gradient shifting from black to gray,
The egg lies on its side, casting a shadow onto the red tablecloth on which it lay.
The shadow runs alongside the bottom left of the egg and stretches millimeters longer than the egg,
Creates a double,
A fleeting imprint of its existence onto the world, a reminder: I was here; you may not remember me, but I was here.

(more…)

The Metamorphosis: Snapshots of the Artist as a Creature of Change

by
Daulton Dickey.

Part I

1.

Night spills from the yolk of the sun and sprays shadows and darkness across the city. Chrome beasts slither up and down the road, screeching and roaring. I stare at a dent in the wall and go blind. Through the topology of darkness, I slip away: my mind and body drop like clothe, but the universe remains. Darkness spills shadows. Chrome beasts. A heart in the window thumps, thumps, thumps. The blinds bounce and rattle in unison with the heartbeat. A skip now and then signifies arrhythmia.

I pull the strings dangling near the window frame and open the blinds. Each blind in the scaffolding transforms into a moth and flutters away. The heart in the window beats, beats, beats. After half a dozen beats, it withers and shrinks and transforms into a dead fly, which lands on its back on the windowsill.

A bounce. Rattle. Skip. (more…)

Book Review: In the Desert of Mute Squares by M Kitchell

by
Ben Arzate.

“Language is a trap. To deny the existence of whatever. A melancholy enticement. Like balloons. Language is a fucking disaster. I’m unsure of how to birth the participle. Underneath. No reason to ever go outside any more. The days choke in the darkness & supplicate to endless rest. There’s no question of what will happen in the future because there is no future. Life is a fatal attraction.”

M Kitchell’s In the Desert of Mute Squares is difficult to classify. Its publisher, Inside the Castle, describes it as a “text object,” which seems the most appropriate name for it. The form of the book, from its text placement, to its spacing, to its images, to the reader’s interactions with the book itself are just as essential as the text. As the excerpt above implies, this seems to be an attempt to transcend the frustrating limitations of language.

Even the title seems to be a self-deprecating acknowledgment of literature’s limitations, referring to itself as a wasteland of pages that can’t truly communicate. Slaughtered trees which can never truly convey the impossible. It includes the equally self-deprecating subtitle of or Errors; or, Dreams I Never Had; or, Late Capitalism. (more…)

The Metamorphosis of Consciousness

by
Daulton Dickey.

 

daultondickeysurrealistSurrealist Daulton Dickey lives with his wife, kids, and pet human-lizard hybrid in a universe he created. He’s the author of Elegiac Machinations, Bastard Virtues, Flesh Made World, and Dig the Meat Music (forthcoming from Nihilism Revised) Contact him at lostitfunhouse [at] gmail [dot] com

Get Ready to Dig the Meat Music

Legendary in the underground for more than a decade, the controversial novel is now in print.

Sentient meat covers the world. Veins fill the bloodred sky. People transform into monsters called the Slime. Mind Quakes alter people’s consciousnesses. For That What, your typical gumshoe, the world provides more than enough work—until he’s infected with the slime.

While he struggles to come to terms with his inevitable transformation, he takes on one last job: a murder mystery with ties to the mythical King of the Slime. Finding an unlikely ally in Tonakga, a human-reptile hybrid, That races to solve the case—and to uncover the truth about the King of the Slime, who might hold the cure to his disease.

Blending pulp detective novels, surrealism, and experimental fiction, “Dig the Meat Music” is equal parts burlesque, noir thriller, experimental novel, and social commentary.