Dawn of The Dragons

Invictus

Sonbather

The Snowman

Ending Pending

ADRIAN VINO

Inclined was the cursory, of a stare opposed–contrived with constant echoing whilst fainting and bleeding as bending lyres behind you in Hades did wrought a dreamt-of your undoing

And those walls were soft–from the corridors that let the light in. Ever so soft and wet to the touch, adorned in the dark with roses weeping le sang de un poet: the tears of the bastard child chasing the perfect line; fingers dragging along, a pliable, silky smooth paneling, and from behind, she calls out

she calls out a name

 

endless…….nameless

 

she utters with desperation in her choking, drowning lungs

ahead the many headless statues maxims martyred one and all

to ward off witches to sing and to pleasantly enthrall

devoid of virtue and swarmed by roaches bearing lofty titles so banal

 

And past the catacombs

the scurrying that now spells home

the smell of dying roses the splendor of broken bones

the dreaming of the iron thrones of a sinking belle that rather die alone

 

On the way the Oculi twin occluded trembling with tenor, plucked harpsichord in wailing, and with the fall came the whim of the whilom–broken back and shivering scenarios of black and light –animus sumina

 

afflatus furtive banging a cold hammer against ice

sparking embers traces for the travelers atop horses long dead now but crying for the deicide

beating drums of revenants never once remembered

bruised behemoth haughty thence now harrowing

art thou the same that slayed the saints without a moment’s hesitation?

 

Almost out and through. In sight I saw the sun, I must confess, I uttered her name in return without a single pause and mortal reservation

 

ending…….pending

 

 

 

War Commandments

ADRIAN VINO

Hello, friend, have you got the time?” said a young fellow with dingy Dockers on and gripping his leather-bound bible under is starched long sleeve.

“It’s about a quarter past seven,” I said slouching on the bench and watching the water fountain that flowed in the middle of the mall.

“Thank you. I’m Moses, nice to meet you.”

“Sorry to hear that–my name is Ade.”

“Sorry for what?”

“Your name is Moses, you were named after a war criminal–amongst other things.”

 

“I was named after the Moses in the Bible, buddy.”

“Yes, I know.”

“He was a holy man.”

“I hate to ask what you consider an unholy man.”

“I don’t think–”

“Moses is the crazy character who laid down the Ten Commandments. By today’s standards, your pal would be considered guilty of horrendous war crimes.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Really? In the book of Numbers, the “lord” orders Moses to raise an army to attack Midian to punish the people there. He raises twelve-thousand soldiers fucked up the place proper, killed the kings and left with their victorious spoils.”

“Oh, that has happened all the time all over the world throughout history. It’s still happening today. Are you sure it’s in the Old Testament?”

“Positive. And that may be true, but you did call him a ‘holy man.'”

“Well, then…I’m sure there was a good reason. Besides that doesn’t seem so bad.”

“No? Your pall Moshe became furious with all who returned from the war and asked them, ‘Why have you kept all the women alive? Do ye not remember that it was the women who followed Balaam’s instructions and at Peor led the people to be unfaithful to the Lord. That was what brought the epidemic on the Lord’s people. So now kill every boy and kill every woman who has had sexual intercourse but keep alive for yourselves all the girls and all the women who are virgins.'”

“Listen, buddy, I gotta go,” he said perking up in his penny loafers.

“You gotta go, or you gotta go back into your little hole where you’re comfortable not knowing the truth about your faith?”

“That can’t be true. Where in the Bible does it say that?” he said with a challenging tone.

“Book of Numbers. Chapter thirty-something.”

“That seems like an isolated case, maybe. And Moses was a–”

“A holy man, I know. It may seem unreasonable to apply our modern standards to Moses, even though its okay to apply biblical standards to our lives today. In Biblical warfare, capturing of virgins and killing of male children was pretty typical.”

“Are you sure he didn’t do that a couple of times? Maybe it happens once.”

“Well, I’d have to question your sanity if you mean you give your buddy The Moshinator a pass if he only committed that atrocity once. What would you do if i took your virgin sister, killed your family and took your shit because you didn’t believe in what I believe. In reality, there are other instances: Judges, for example, chapter nineteen or twenty, I can’t recall. The Israeli soldiers were sent out by the assembly with orders to “Kill all the males and also every woman who is not a virgin. They returned with four-hundred virgins to give to the men of the tribe of Benjamin. That number came up short by half, mysteriously enough. The assembly gave the Benjaminites this advice: “Go and hide in the vineyards and watch. When the girls of Shiloh come out to dance during the feast, you come out of the vineyards. Each of you take a wife by force  from among the girls.”

 

He tilted his head back in defeat and exhaled so profoundly that I could hear his pain, and I heard the unholy ghost leave him. The Bible fell to the side of the bench where we were perched and he didn’t seem to care. I was tempted to regret the hand I had in his apparent horror, but he asked for it. It made me wonder how I would feel if I was named after a killer and a rapist.

And we sat there quietly and still while staring at the water fountain as it flowed as the sound of children echoed inside the mall filling the place like a song of purity and innocence.

 

 

Grey Wolves

ADRIAN VINO

It was a natural and endless barrage of blistering thoughts that nuanced at the natural order of the throes that followed; the heat rampaged at my cool exterior and infiltrated the throne room where wolves snarled with gleaming eyes in the dark, and then finally laid down in acquiescence; my hands quivered in the throbbing quiet of the calm; lips endured the sinking bite of jagged teeth; the heart palpitated frenzied and furious…

 

Out the window, I beheld a couple staring at each other under a blistering sun. Screams ensued and sulking followed. Sweaty countenances coincided splendidly. Their grubby garb left good hygiene and a paying job to be desired. And yet, in that tumultuous wrangle, I found myself covetous of their trivial tiff. With what ailments they contended, and passions no longer pretended, they crawled like creatures creating a world of chaos–unaffected by the man behind the shielding pane. I felt absurd as my designer watch reflected the sun in my eyes, reminding me of the blinding spell of the things we own and how they end up owning us.

After a few minutes, the swallowing madness–what I call my anxiety ( which if I don’t put in check, ends up becoming a terrible and crippling panic attack) waned before it waxed. Exhaling like a Hindu cow and inhaling like a slumbering sloth, I sagged in my seat and feigned composure. Standing up and honing in on the menu on the wall, I convinced myself that some new tea shit infusion was in vogue, hence must be good. Oh, the power of Capitalism, I thought as I snapped my neck to the right trying to crack it with no avail.

 

After a few pensive moments, I took another seat in a different part of the coffee shop, to avoid the scene outside no doubt, and pulled out my writing apparatus.

With a few sips of the trendy tea, I began to feel myself again…I felt planted on the ground and told myself that adulthood must be comfortable and free of danger–free of strife. That I didn’t sell out, I simply cashed in.

 

And right before a smile crept upon my face, a Sheriff came in and sat next to.

“How ya doin, guy?” He asked taking out his lap top with a smile. He gave me a goofy, glazed-eyed wink and sipped on his drink.

 

I felt my jaws tightening up and the grey wolf in me, with the rest of the pack, which I call my dispositions, stood up and closed in.

 

 

 

 

Planet Of The Grapes

ADRIAN VINO

Sitting silently within the first three rows at the movie theatre makes me feel like a fly on a glaring, warm television screen; what a blessing it is that most people hate the front rows. I dig it quiet, which is why I usually go alone. The cellphone gets shut off and I surrender to the moment almost sanctimoniously–siddharthaing the shadows, slouching in the seat like a marbled David.

The motion picture consisted of talking apes and their revolt against the human race. The charismatic leader, blunt and terse, carefully chessed out his moves whilst wanting peace and tried terribly at mending a prior betrayal of said adversary.

Scripted with half-awake writers, no doubt, the story nevertheless unfolded with seething simians in the snowy mountains of pined-wherevers. The first few minutes are awarded to the consequential computer animation and then quickly stolen by the sublimity of the earth’s landscape in the background. Snow fell gently, gargantuan trees, cold grey-blue skies, and a moving film score by Michael Giacchino that inspired me deeply to throw away my music instruments. One could easily hear Ennio Morricone’s influence coming through in stereo–at other times–Danny Elfman, but also delivering something epic and heartrending.

I couldn’t help but to be engaged by the message at the core of the film begging for equality for all living things. Yes, it made me wonder what reaction the movie would have produced if the animals were cows or chickens instead of chimpanzees. Monkeys with machines guns truly painted the picture of nature’s need to retaliate against man’s constant abuse. Although, I highly doubt most people will see past the ethical implications, an excuse to get out of the heat is good enough to cool the otherwise babbling baboons, I suppose.

A little blonde girl stole part of the show with her wordless message: “we are one in the same.” She can’t speak as it is part of a disease that is wiping out the human race. And with gentle gestures, she showed her hairy cousins affection, compassion and finally–love.

The movie almost implies that the anthropoidal protagonist would sacrifice himself for the rest of his brethren, and he was willing–but he survives and it pleased me knowing he would live and not be a cliched martyr figure; for death is the ultimate abstinence and life, the great indulgence.

 

Watching an avalanche make a powerful appearance at the end of the picture as it crushed man underneath it with ease, broke many a tree, and roared in raving retribution, made me realize what a powerful force nature can be. And although I am my own god, an Itheist, I feel a profound reverence for the planet I call home.

 

This being my world, me–Adrian Vino, a truly a narcissistic deity, I also want to share it equally with the endless myriad of beautiful and eccentric creatures that make this spinning orb such a heavenly paradise.

 

 

Naked Lunch Beginning Excerpt

WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS

 

 

and

start

west

I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square Station, vault a turnstile and two flights down the iron stairs, catch an uptown A train..Young, good looking, crew cut, Ivy League, advertising exec type fruit holds the door back for me. I am evidently his idea of a character. You know the type: comes on with bartenders and cab drivers, talking about right hooks and the Dodgers, calls the counterman in Nedick’s by his first name. A real asshole. And right on time this narcotics dick in a white trench coat (imagine tailing somebody in a white trench coat. Trying to pass as a fag I guess) hit the platform. I can hear the way he would say it holding my outfit in his left hand, right hand on his piece: “I think you dropped something, fella.”

But the subway is moving.

“So long flatfoot!” I yell, giving the fruit his B production. I look into the fruit’s eyes, take in the white teeth, the Florida tan, the two hundred dollar sharkskin suit, the button-down Brooks Brothers shirt and carrying The News as a prop. “Only thing I read is Little Abner.”

A square wants to come on hip…Talks about “pod,” and smoke it now and then, and keeps some around to offer the fast Hollywood types.

“Thanks, kid,” I say, “I can see you’re one of our own.” His face lights up like a pinball machine, with stupid, pink affect.

“Grassed on me he did,” I said morosely. (Note: Grass is English thief slang for inform.) I drew closer and laid my dirty junky fingers on his sharkskin sleeve. “And us blood brothers in the same dirty needle. I can tell you in confidence he is due for a hot shot.” (Note: This is a cap of poison junk sold to addict for liquidation purposes. Often given to informers. Usually the hot shot is strychnine since it tastes and looks like junk.) “Ever see a hot shot hit, kid? I saw the Gimp catch one in Philly. We rigged his room with a one-way whorehouse mirror and charged a sawski to watch it. He never got the needle out of his arm. They don’t if the shot is right. That’s the way they find them, dropper full of clotted blood hanging out of a blue arm. The look in his eyes when it hit—Kid, it was tasty…

“Recollect when I am traveling with the Vigilante, best Shake Man in the industry. Out in Chi…We is working the fags in Lincoln Park. So one night the Vigilante turns up for work in cowboy boots and a black vest with a hunka tin on it and a lariat slung over his shoulder.

“So I say: ‘What’s with you? You wig already?’

“He just looks at me and says: ‘Fill your hand stranger’ and hauls out an old rusty six shooter and I take off across Lincoln Park, bullets cutting all around me. And he hangs three fags before the fuzz nail him. I mean the Vigilante earned his moniker…

“Ever notice how many expressions carry over from queers to con men? Like ‘raise,’ letting someone know you are in the same line?

“‘Get her!’

“‘Get the Paregoric Kid giving that mark the build up!’

“‘Eager Beaver wooing him much too fast.’

“The Shoe Store Kid (he got that moniker shaking down fetishists in shoe stores) say: ‘Give it to a mark with K.Y. and he will come back moaning for more.’ And when the Kid spots a mark he begin to breathe heavy. His face swells and his lips turn purple like an Eskimo in heat. Then slow, slow he comes on the mark, feeling for him, palpating him with fingers of rotten ectoplasm.

“The Rube has a sincere little boy look, burns through him like blue neon. That one stepped right off a Saturday Evening Post cover with a string of bullheads, and preserved himself in junk. His marks never beef and the Bunko people are really carrying a needle for the Rube. One day Little Boy Blue starts to slip, and what crawls out would make an ambulance attendant puke. The Rube flips in the end, running through empty automats and subway stations, screaming: ‘Come back, kid!! Come back!!’ and follows his boy right into the East River, down through condoms and orange peels, mosaic of floating newspapers, down into the silent black ooze with gangsters in concrete, and pistols pounded flat to avoid the probing finger of prurient ballistic experts.”

And the fruit is thinking: “What a character!! Wait till I tell the boys in Clark’s about this one.” He’s a character collector, would stand still for Joe Gould’s seagull act. So I put it on him for a sawski and make a meet to sell him some “pod” as he calls it, thinking, “I’ll catnip the jerk.” (Note: Catnip smells like marijuana when it burns. Frequently passed on the incautious or uninstructed.)

“Well,” I said, tapping my arm, “duty calls. As one judge said to another: ‘Be just and if you can’t be just, be arbitrary.'”

I cut into the Automat and there is Bill Gains huddled in someone else’s overcoat looking like a 1910 banker with paresis, and Old Bart, shabby and inconspicuous, dunking pound cake with his dirty fingers, shiny over the dirt.

I had some uptown customers Bill took care of, and Bart knew a few old relics from hop smoking times, spectral janitors, grey as ashes, phantom porters sweeping out dusty halls with a slow old man’s hand, coughing and spitting in the junk-sick dawn, retired asthmatic fences in theatrical hotels, Pantopon Rose the old madam from Peoria, stoical Chinese waiters never show sickness. Bart sought them out with his old junky walk, patient and cautious and slow, dropped into their bloodless hands a few hours of warmth.

I made the round with him once for kicks. You know how old people lose all shame about eating, and it makes you puke to watch them? Old junkies are the same about junk. They gibber and squeal at the sight of it. The spit hangs off their chin, and their stomach rumbles and all their guts grind in peristalsis while they cook up, dissolving the body’s decent skin, you expect any moment a great blob of protoplasm will flop right out and surround the junk. Really disgust you to see it.

“Well, my boys will be like that one day,” I thought philosophically. “Isn’t life peculiar?”

So back downtown by the Sheridan Square Station in case the dick is lurking in a broom closet.

Like I say it couldn’t last. I knew they were out there powwowing and making their evil fuzz magic, putting dolls of me in Leavenworth. “No use sticking needles in that one, Mike.”

I hear they got Chapin with a doll. This old eunuch dick just sat in the precinct basement hanging a doll of him day and night, year in year out. And when Chapin hanged in Connecticut, they find this old creep with his neck broken.

“He fell downstairs,” they say. You know the old cop bullshit. Junk is surrounded by magic and taboos, curses and amulets. I could find my Mexico City connection by radar. “Not this street, the next, right…now left. Now right again,” and there he is, toothless old woman face and canceled eyes.

I know this one pusher walks around humming a tune and everybody he passes takes it up. He is so grey and spectral and anonymous they don’t see him and think it is their own mind humming the tune. So the customers come in on Smiles, or I’m in the Mood for Love, or They Say We’re Too Young to Go Steady, or whatever the song is for that day. Sometimes you can see maybe fifty ratty-looking junkies squealing sick, running along behind a boy with a harmonica, and there is The Man on a cane seat throwing bread to the swans, a fat drag queen walking his Afghan hound through the East Fifties, an old wino pissing against an El post, a radical Jewish student giving out leaflets in Washington Square, a tree surgeon, an exterminator, an advertising fruit in Nedick’s where he calls the counterman by his first name. The world network of junkies, tuned on a cord of rancid jissom, tying up in furnished rooms, shivering in the junk-sick morning. (Old Pete men suck the black smoke in the Chink laundry back room and Melancholy Baby dies from an overdose of time or cold turkey withdrawal of breath.) In Yemen, Paris, New Orleans, Mexico City and Istanbul—shivering under the air hammers and the steam shovels, shrieked junky curses at one another neither of us heard, and The Man leaned out of a passing steam roller and I copped in a bucket of tar. (Note: Istanbul is being torn down and rebuilt, especially shabby junk quarters. Istanbul has more heroin junkies than NYC.) The living and the dead, in sickness or on the nod, hooked or kicked or hooked again, come in on the junk beam and the Connection is eating Chop Suey on Dolores Street, Mexico, D.F., dunking pound cake in the Automat, chased up Exchange Place by a baying pack of People. (Note: People is New Orleans slang for narcotic fuzz.)

The old Chinaman dips river water into a rusty tin can, washes down a yen pox hard and black as a cinder. (Note: Yen pox is theash of smoked opium.)

Well, the fuzz has my spoon and dropper, and I know they are coming in on my frequency led by this blind pigeon known as Willy the Disk. Willy has a round, disk mouth lined with sensitive, erectile black hairs. He is blind from shooting in the eyeball, his nose and palate eaten away sniffing H, his body a mass of scar tissue hard and dry as wood. He can only eat the shit now with that mouth, sometimes sways out on a long tube of ectoplasm, feeling for the silent frequency of junk. He follows my trail all over the city into rooms I move out already, and the fuzz walks in on some newlyweds from Sioux Falls.

“All right, Lee!! Come out from behind that strap-on! We know you,” and pull the man’s prick off straightaway.

Now Willy is getting hot and you can hear him always out there in darkness (he only functions at night) whimpering, and feel the terrible urgency of that blind, seeking mouth. When they move in for the bust, Willy goes all out of control, and his mouth eats a hole right through the door. If the cops weren’t there to restrain him with a stock probe, he would suck the juice right out of every junky he ran down.

I knew, and everybody else knew they had the Disk on me. And if my kid customers ever hit the stand: “He force me to commit all kinda awful sex acts in return for junk” I could kiss the street goodbye.

So we stock up on H, buy a secondhand Studebaker, and start west.

 

 

 

A Better Fit May Come Along

ADRIAN VINO

Sullen and trite, the tenets that tumbled forth, the words incongruous and purposely parading–and the grandfather clock with its inevitable ticks, became the relentless reminder of the minutes left. Oh, so many wonderful things that surrounded him now; all things pleated and oak wood hand-carved, the smell of damp tobacco coupled with warm vanilla hovered amid faint spiderwebs that hid from the beams of the sun. And one thin crack on the wall, that reached from the ceiling to the floor, called him and kept him…in that lingering moment where automobile horns and giggling children fade into an oblivious nowhere…

“Mr. Vinum!”

“Yes, Madam.”

“We were discussing your future here at Thracos Academy.”

“Yes, Madam.”

“Now…I have mentioned your achievements here at our institution and would like to give you another chance. We think you are a perfect fit here at Thracos. You simply just have to…blend in with rest of your peers.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, you may not come from old money, or have a family worth mentioning, shall we say? But, we believe a man of your…capabilities, is something we here would benefit from.”

“What it’s in it for me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Why should I stay here? What…is…in…it–”

“Mr. Vinum, you do understand that this is one of the most prestigious institutions on the planet. Most men would…well, I believe we both know why you are here. It seems that you are quite the natural. I find it quite impressive the way you seem to sleep so well at night, considering the things we have you do.”

“I would say thanks for the opportunity, but it appears that I never did need you. I am older now…wiser, I daresay.”

“You still need us…nobody cares unless you have proof of what you can do and what you have done.”

“Once upon a time, I would have agreed with you. I do no longer. This is where we part, Madam.”

 

“Perhaps you are right. A better fit may come along, one never knows. Only way to know is for you to allow that spot available once more.”

“Agreed.”