This Statement is My Testament
The following passage (from: 'The Adventures of Griswald Gnome: A Fairy Tale for Children of all Ages') uses word journey, anagram, alliteration and rhyme (and a few other things) as literary devices, is offered as an example of such: in particular the word journeys (see elsewhere on this site) create some rather tangential and amusing effects.
This Statement is my Testament
"I am a Peristaltic Basaltic Cabalist," began the magician gnome, "A reformed deformer, searcher for research, a regrind grinder, one who once faltered, but reflated and did rejoin as a joiner. If I might presume, I'm going to lecture you. This statement is my testament: my supreme objective is to preserve the perverse.
In my time, I have been responsible for orientating integration, sorties in stories, porterage, reportage, matters relating to alerting and altering the integral triangle, repulsed preludes, bear-cat cabaret, and for discretion in directions on how to process corpses - my seminar on remains. I have also worked as a slayer of layers of relays, and once sang in a porous chorus in a band on Centuarus, designed a petorus, and wrote a ferrous thesaurus. My work in progress is often anonymous, sometimes polyonomous, even pseudonymous, but can never be onymous, since at times I wonder who I am myself. Fact is, I've had my finger in most fringe places where desire might reside, I even ambled into bedlam and got blamed when someone inserted a sintered tube in a resident.
I'm currently working as a pine-tar painter, who repaints pantries in purple repulp with all that that pertains. I also prepare and re-paper, paint reposts on posters and signpost such postings, respray prayers and predators teardrops, and predate tapered red-tape. Both my parents were panters. My mother initiated the reproduce procedure. She distracted father from his organist roasting, put a rope around the dope, leapt a petal, and hauled him away to re-section the erections after secretion.I was fathered by an earth-fed, parodic picador, who used to smother mother's spare-spear in pears. That's when he wasn't paring posh shop pears or raping a Satanist's assistant in the Mansion of Onanism - the padre's spread, with eight rooms, on the moors. Of royal blood, Padre Drape still reigns in his own house, but had to resign as a singer. Father knew a federal mackerel and cockerel, a liberal general, and a mineral admiral, who all spoke in guttural, scriptural doggerel; so perhaps now you see where I'm coming from.
My mother, father's shafter, was a red-head who, in public, adhered to the name Teresa the Reset Teaser. In private, she was known otherwise, as White Rose. She was a poet, mathemagician, and a mater's master chef. Amongst her works are: Rimes of the Emir's Miser; Passed Over Eavesdrops; Diametric Matricide; Reset, and Steer through the Terse Trees, and Pasted Adepts ride Spinal Plains with Tons of Snot.
When father wasn't out paring or raping - and that would be after he got banged up and became a remanded demander, a meander, renamed as an amender - he ran two factorise factories employing operators on poor rates. Products included: refill-filler, spew-pews, rectal claret, replicas for calipers, rescale cereals, resins and rinses for sirens, bared beard-bread, a form of battle-tablet, carp crap, and devices to calibrate bacterial bean-bane. He sold negative effect chemicals backing down the river of time, saying it was now or never say die. Production dropped when he permitted flexible working, so he resorted to restoring rostering. As well as being a nostalgia analogist, father was an innovator, always philosophising and on the lookout for ways to make money. He would spend hours plotting with his bantam batman, discussing insatiable banalities, the re-interprets of interpreters, how to censor crones and disable baldies, ways to retrace the terrace caterer, and where to obtain a baritone obtainer. Although a rough, practical man - indeed, clad in one of his bastard tabards, he once reared a dearer, re-read reader, and tarred a retard trader in my very presence - he had great intelligence. In middle age, he wrote a thesis on heists, sithes, who was shiest and several other things. He had to incorporate procreation and dipoles of course, and I think that spoiled it. He had some wise sayings as well. Three I remember particularly are: If your Lock Needs Lubrication, Act: Rub Oil in it, then: Distillation? Do it in a Still, and the best: Eternity is Entirety. He once bought a fleece codpiece, from the Chief of Police, for one silver piece, dunked it in grease, and gave it his niece, on a lease, to scare off the geese.
When mother wasn't doing anything else, she beavered with the bereaved, drank endless cups of throb-broth with Bertha the Breath Bather, studied lumps in plums, worked as a prickle pickler and counselled relapsed pleaders. Sometimes, she would go to the Sodwo Woods, seeking to regain an earing which she lost as a girl. Once, she rescued and secured a seducer, who had tried to fondle and enfold her, to a limestone milestone. She hoaxed the ox-head, felt him, and left him there to sparge his grapes. She was bright, my mother. She loved guiding fresh shelf flesh to trance nectar, hiding sidling sliding-mesh from a nosy inspector, providing a crèche in a law-abiding corset sector, confiding afresh in each sceptre spectre prospector, and riding alone with an elector's director selector protector.
I am now one of the blessed bedless. I wander the country at random, beseech beeches, scrub curbs, stare tears, shear hares and aweless weasels, unstrip turnips, and will be warned by no warden or rodman to move on. I despise the predictiveness of vice-presidents, have suffered only the manliest of salt-mine ailments, (indeed I've only ever sneezed once, at an art exhibition - and that was largely due to gallery allergy), serve verse and resist resits. I've played the flirt, dug the dirt, dished out hurt, truth and confusion - and I can't apologise to most of them that got it - because they don't happen to be here and now. Indeed, had they been so at the time, there would be no need anyway. I have expertise in optology and topology, options and potions, pathos and potash, trashed hatreds, parties for pirates, outspring sprouting, prices of précis, steering integers, warder reward, the ardent red-ant and all the basest beasts. I've worked in government, as minister of environment, suffered abandonment and displacement - through shipment of equipment from the basement to the emplacement - imprisonment, and the fire of enlightenment in a tenement. (With regard to that, let me say that your safe conduct in this world wide web of deceit depends upon your innate ability to stand alone in a crowd, study the subject matter under mind your steppe, and save as you learn the hard way out. I don't want to see you later in the mourning dew as a shadow of your former self sufficient, or as an insecurity risk at a sing-sing along, or a soul-mate to the shifting sands of time and space - even as a single parent saddled up with debtor's prison speak easy.) No. I say to you: know the moment of truth serum, scan the surroundings and zoot suit yourself, remembering always and forever young that:
* Each and every nail that stands above the floorboards will be measured by the inflexible iron-rule of thumb and treated accordingly
* Economy with the truth is stranger than fiction
* Each dog that turns on its own master race shall be turned again in turn on the irresistible force of the snarling lathe of vengeance and control
* People who ply selfish games usually cheat
* All things are fixed. Other things may pass: but this, as written, is in violet. By Order.
Should you consider any of the foregoing incredible stories, I would say to you in response 'look around'. As for the art of the possible outcome, ask the Apathy Society. See if they'll commit themselves, see if they'll even bother replying to your begging letters of credit, voting yes or no comment, complaining, organising a party balloon, getting off their fat backsides or coming out to play ball. Try to find their form of address or book mark a public speaking engagement with them - if you can. Remember, they are the silent majority view: perhaps they have little or nothing worthwhile to say after all in all.I am a legislator and an allegorist, a satirical-non-racialist, a teacher and a cheater.
I am an instructor in Rattan Tartan Tantra. Know now, that as I stand before you in this moonlight, this thin gloom, I've had a thousand hand-outs, learnt antler-rental from a reed-deer friend and I know Freya the Frigg Faery personally, I'm heirless and harmless, eat tea-radish relishes and have worked ten-summers as a re-order orderer and repetition petitioner. I patented the reboil-boiler, and a spray that repels lepers. I've had a go at all the seven deadly sins, and a few more. I could put them all in order of personal preference, but I won't, since that would only encourage some of you.I don't have any kind of greed bug (e.g. red bug), won't be buggered - but don't begrudge debugger who want's to do it somewhere else (e.g. rug, bed), with somebody else, and I hope that reveals several leavers. I can tabulate, confabulate, strangulate and triangulate in decorative, figurative, alliterative and narrative ways. I simulate, stimulate, stipulate, manipulate, copulate and populate at will; it's all the same to me, or so I calculate. I might toady today - to tread-trade as I seminate matinees - and make amnesties tomorrow. Then again, tomorrow never comes.
It has been written that they who live by the swordfish shall die of boredom, smitten by the frost-bitten, Puritan skeleton. Not a lot of people know that, but I do as I happen to have written it. You know now, as I indicated earlier, as well, so in the limited space of two sentences I have increased your knowledge and made you into one of them. I was taught this particular fact of life by someone or other you are about to hear about, but I don't necessarily agree with it, or most other things either.
I was under duress at the time to remember, remember when you were young ones, long ago, long suffering desire, I worked out in a long time dead-centre of hidden knowledge called the Who Me Fair City of Life, and did some porridge walking the talk with a street-wise man of letters. His name was Ernst Stern - a senor lecherer - the kind of man of the world who makes laughing stocks and shares this with you:
'Cast your bread upon the waters waster, the waters of life in the fast lane of pain. Lay down the law and order the drinks are on me. Always remember, remember, ladies might perspire, but hot women will make you sweat blood and tears.'
I was stunned, lost for words of wisdom of the ancients when he first put his strange ideas to me, and answered with a few monosyllabic grunts and groans. He could see I was confused; chuckled, and pointed at the looking glass ceiling:
'Above and beyond, low morale is at an all time high, high roller, roller coaster ride on man - and man the pumps.'
I shook my weary head, wondering if I had been bitten by the bug of brain damage limitation exercise books. I booked a return visit to the doctor's surgery hours. Then, slowly, like an open book worm turns the screw, to screw it all up, I began to realise the hanging loose morals of the tales.
I let it sink in feeling content. 'I see through your looking glass bead game of chance your arm, Stern. You are a long time dead-centre party pooper, and if you dare draw a line in the dirt, one day you'll have to dig it; man of letters. Just you wait until the grime roper straps you on the boulder.'
This seemed to impress him a lot, so I decided to carry on regardless.
'Live music is dead, a dead man's chest of treasure hunt the thimble, and you can leave it out and about, about equal opportunities in sales. Indeed, I suggest you look on the bright side, like me and my shadow boxing ring of roses.'
'I liked the one about the grime roper,' he said slowly dying away, 'but you won't think it's funny when the grin creeper knees you in the boulders, or the innkeeper traps you with a hairy moulder, a shirtfolder, a bolder older freeloader, and wooden stake holder - all great big fellas - in his cellars. They'll give you what for all it's worth. The dim peeper will slap you in his folder for sure enough said.'
I couldn't keep up with all this, and that, and the other side of the coin a phrase shaper and his joined up thinking. He was far too clever for me by half of it. He elected a lame duck administration stance, and terrified me with camp fire tales of mystery and imagination is imaginary, the piebald pomp eater, the hump lumper, the flat spin doctor bleeper sheeper, and the bin and gone heaper and his rat-eyed wife - The Umpire of the Somme. Most electrifying of all, my love, was the saga of the slim limb gamekeeper of sin, who could get it in deeper, armed with nothing personal but a bottle of gin and sweet lies for Miss Prim and Proper behaviour self. The name of the keeper was Perwas Wapers. He still plays noughts and crosses anyone he comes across - and he comes across a few. He used to go to a night club called "The Reptile's Head Teacher", where he ate nitty-gritty navy-cake, sniffed nerve gas through a sweaty sock it to me and read naughty but nice full magazines on brand new age thinking of the implications speculatively.
I had to admire Stern's satire, stoutly stated my desire to retire in old age of consent and departed - leaving him undone with a homespun one about the The Vampire of the Pun.Out on the rod I gain, looking for someone or other alternative medicine men at work study, I observed many things. I got a light touch of 'flu out the window dressing down and out of context, got beaten up at The First Shall be Last Chance Saloon, attended an all night party political ball game of chance encounters of the unkind, and went to a live show: 'Shore me the Whey Toga Om Sweat Ohm on Derange'. I discovered, as I slipped on the icing of the cake walk, and walked the talk and talked the walk of life is but a dream on.
In an odd moment, I participated in a tug of war babies bottles of beer and skittles match. The rest of the team were top heavy weight boxer's shorts, travelling light headed as transit camp followers of fashion shows in Hull. (They say the toads in Hull are paid with wooden pensions.) We lost the no contest, and went off to celebrate the anniversary waltz at the nectar cavern club on the Head Bangers and Mash road. One of our team had a top secret, tattered and torn, tight trousers press card index system of reckoning. He was a tough nut case who cried the tears of a clown, told tongue twisters off and on, and was fond of the odd Technicolor yawn. He happened to be a two-timing, moon-shining, hillbilly mother's son of a gun on heat exchanger design techniques, a bank teller of make-believe in yourself - if you want anyone else to do - stories, and a former fish juggler. At one time he had walked on the waters of wantonness and plunged in again and again, until he ended up half his normal weight and totally exhausted. I forget his name now, but it's right on the tip of my two edged tongue tied cottage industry - somewhere near the back door on a piece of paper weight lifter.
Then I moved on and met the Iron Man. The Iron Man with an iron will, an iron constitution, who ruled with an iron fist, had teeth like rusty nails, and did his ironing out doors in the rain dance. This steely-eyed man had a bold as brass neck, a copper bottom, a leaden heart, feet of clay and played bowls and blew his tin horn every full moon. He married an iron maiden, with a silver tongue, who pumped iron on an iron range and sang ironic folk songs of innocence. Iron Man, whose first name was Ferric, (his wife was known as Ferrica), did not possess a velvet glove puppet, had an impeccable record breaking scrap, and told me of a secret initiation ceremony held only on Indian Summers days without end of the day of reckoning. I asked why. He stared at me awhile, howled at the moon like he was an axe murderer, said he didn't know and wasn't going to stand there telling me he did. I stayed over the top of several sunsets, working as his apprentice boy friend, and finding out quite a bit about him. He was a keen naturalist whose motto was 'Live and Let Die Out'. He also let it slip out that he believed in the survival of the fittest and fastest ones can dry run away. As he said this is different, he was holding his outsized scrap-breaking hammer and tongs, and staring strangely. I ignored him eroding and redoing me. He then told me he used to be a spider map reader in ancient literature and glossy magazine articles of faith, hope and charity begins at home is where the heart is. Needless to say, I didn't understand on ceremony, and let it drop. Dead lucky for me as it happened.He had an irrational number theory of incredible stories, gave me tuition in the impossible question and answer session, showed me an intellectual lost property office of state your purpose in life, taught me the immune system of weights and measures of one sixth of a gill, put me in an identification parade along the main street lights, and said if I plead guilty about my ill gotten gains and illicit relationship, I would be let off loudly with an infectious disease ridden black rat.One of his constant gripes of wrath was 'There will only be one Monopolies Commission, until such time as we set up another to investigate them - and then there won't be one.' Whenever he voiced this statement, I would usually listen, stay silent as tinsel, and enlist the behaviour of a nodding donkey in a carrot patch doll.
One daydream, right out of the lube blue sky, he said to me earnestly, 'Is is, is? Or is is, not is?'
'It is what it is,' I replied.
'If that is so, what does mean, mean?'
Again, I didn't like the way he was looking at me. He could have meant average, parsimonious, nasty, sense, or something completely different.
'It probably has an average meaning, unless you're a miser' I finally replied.
That seemed to stump him; he reverted to his original topic.
'If what is, is what is, what is... what is?' He gave me a penetrating look.
'What is the question?'
'What do you mean,' he scowled, 'what is the question? "What is", is not the question, but the answer.'
'I don't know: I am what I am.'
He laughed and turned a blind eye away. 'you don't spell book very well off do you? It should be a 't', not a 'w'. I'll catch you later today in the show me, at the next turn of the wheel of fortune cookie.'
As you might guess my weight, I left it at that. That's the way to do it over and out of the woods. I went up the road, down the road and show me the road out of here and now is the hour - over and out, Iron Man, man. Something must have happened to me back to basics at the Iron Man's place of worshipping graven images of famous people. I found I had become public enemy number one, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive alive O dear what can the matter be alert.
And I had to be, I was on the run. I took a walk on the wild side, hiding out in small towns and village fetes where I played the numbers game set and match, felt the nick of time on my hands, held a nurse's apron strings on a violin, used up nine lives in gold necklace killings, and stood on ceremony at a satisfied customer relationships counselling session. I discovered that life is hard and fast women in love letters. I watched an able bodied typeset, thickset asset stripper long jump a red light, as an act of love, and pull together ageless wisdom on a public assembly line manager's role of honour.I saw a strange devil woman in a rine stone circle of intimate friends, dancing naked and crying, 'Double your money is the square root of all evil intentions.' I became convinced that all, around and around me, was one of the cosmic comic's comic jokes. And the joke's on you too - courtesy of said demonic comedian. You can't afford it, and you can't afford to ignore it either. It might rain one day soon, when the cat's out of the bag of snakes under the door stop the music of the spheres.
I once had occasion to for liaison with an even-handed Earth Mother who lived on Easy Street, in an earthquake zone, and specialised in erotic fantasies. Her real name was Pole Position Pauline. Although I couldn't translate her body language, I took the bull by the horns of a dilemma, brushed aside my brain washing machine mentality, and asked about eastern mysteries. She just stared at me.
'Whoops,' I thought again, 'easy does it better late than never nobody,' and decided on evasive action, man.
She held up two half portions of empty vine glasses, looked at me hard on, and muttered, 'This one fully contains an economic slump. On the other hand is an ego trip through the flowers of the valley of death: do you understand the consequences?'
I pretended to pretend to exude confidence tricks of the light fantastic visions, vainly hoping for an eclipse of the sun and moon shadows in the cellar so I could make good my escape committee. But it was not to be, or not to be. By some extraordinary coincidence - which is rarer than an ordinary coincidence - she bull whipped out her explicit photograph album of greatest hits, which showed me, easy going even handed me, in several compromising positions of power mad dog in a manger roles. This was a high explosive situation comedy of errors of judgement. Here was an experienced woman, eating out on an extortion racket, ready to give me extended coverage if she couldn't extract a confession. Once again I decided on evasive action, and asked to examine the evidence for the prosecution, all the time expecting an emotional response and my compassionate leave papers. Pauline flatly refused, closed the book of remembrance, smiled like an open grave, and told me she had no cause for complaint.
'That was a hard lesson for you,' she grinned sheepishly. 'I'm a cool headed, cold hearted, coin operated cover girl, who cries crocodile tears of laughter when the chips are down and out of order. In future incarnations, I suggest you cover your tracks with this.'
She handed me a crucified signpost that said 'I am the way,' telling me she found it along Evolution Road. I looked hard as nails at the sign post, and then at the post office clerk to the council tax inspector, who had just walked in the door and hurt his nose. He shrugged his shoulders, and pointed out the window display.
'There's the time window,' he said mournfully. 'If you have been denied the raw courage of your convictions for undetectable lies, deceit, cheating at cards, one and a half-truths and misleading statements for the defence, I suggest you go now or never return.'
He sat on a chair-person on the corner flag it up, and proceeded to play around with a twelve-string guitar string along, theme tune up, long song medley. His first time shall be last prime number was two faced, followed on in rapid succession to the throne by three wise virgins, four of a kind face, and five fingers. I asked him whatever happened to number one. He replied that everyone's looking out for number one, so why should he? This clerical cabaret star turn on and off played: "That Fast-Track Ferris Wheel is Rolling Down the Road," followed by, "Quiet Words, Big Clubs Blues," and "Rub that Rock Salt in the Wounds of Self Abuse."
Pauline the Earth Mother turned on me again. 'Before you go,' she whispered, 'remember there is only one way out, only two alternatives, three steps to heaven, four tunes, five pointed stars, six faces of the cube root, seven rays or raze, eight balls, nine Gnostic Gnomes and tenderness. That classified information might prove useful one day. Take care.'
I followed my broken signpost, and headed the ball for the way out sign on the dotted line fault finder. Outside, I wondered what on earth Earth Woman meant when she looked through her glasses, and what he was singing out about turning the tables. I decided the simple truth game isn't what it seems, and that the clerk was but a shady character assassination trick or treat travelling circus freak show who just came along for the ride of his life.
In one adventure story, I met the Innocent Creature Preacher, a cold blooded, warm-bellied vegetarian womaniser, who ate huge steaks of raw mutton dressed as lamb chops behind closed curtains for you. Preacher, whose real number name game might have been Swallow Hook Sid, was a pink eyed, wall faced, blue clad Mister Nice Guy with a smooth lizard line, an earing through his left lip, and one through his right frontal lobe. The tattoo on his right hand said 'LOVE', the one on his left breast 'PEACE', and the one on his tongue 'DECEIT' - but he usually kept the latter, and the licker, well hidden in the dark tropical region between his hydraulic jaws. He offered to show me how best to do it.
'Do what?' I asked.
'Charm the birds,' he reptiled with a grin. 'I can snake charm bracelet anything.'
It might have been the earing, or perhaps the shape and orientation of his mouth that made him talk like a count - but then again I'm not sure about his genealogy, or my spelling. One thing I do know, is that Swallow Hook Sid was so sneaky he could limbo under a latrine door wearing a hot tap and a big top hat with a brim full bucket of bilge pumps, and never spill a drop in the ocean wave.
He took me to the banks of a pond, a pond where many, multi-coloured, plumed birds were gathered.
'That's your first lesson,' he slimed.
I raised my eyebrows but he just grinned. Next, he plucked three flowers from a shell like, sidled up to a bird, presented the slim bouquet and whispered softly softly lies and sob stories in her ear we go tweety pie. The bird jumped, jumped on his shoulder and whispered back to front. He took her to a quiet glade, made surety sure nobody was watching, and hit the poor creature on the head with a huge stick of humbug rock, smashing its soft body into a bleeding pulp with a bleeding heart.The sad little bird brain's head over heels was still moving.
'I thought you loved me.' she croaked mournfully.
'I just did for you didn't I?' he replied with a sneer. 'Let that be a lesson two for you too. You won't fall about for a smooth talker like me again who'll devastate you, will you?'
He spat, squatted down on the dying bird's head, broke wind and gassed her fatally.
'What's the lesson for me?' I asked nonchalantly, looking at the candy striped red-river rock in his hand written with love is the answer.
'Same one as for her. That's the way to do it,' he chirped, washing the blood off his hands over the sea. 'Snaky sneak in. Flowers. Flatter, flatter, flatter, then it's flutter, flutter, flutter of the eyelids in response mode. Next question, you tell 'em a sob story or ten. Once you have them sky hooked on it, strike hard times and fast as lightning, take them for all they've got and more or less; then do it again. It never fails to find favour.'
'Isn't that mercenary, selfish, dishonest and insincere?' I asked.
He stared at me as if I were stupidity incarnate.
'Insincere? I get insincere later - or maybe not. The rule is to stay on top, take whatever you want, and let nothing stand in the way out. Now, if that sounds selfish to you, I suggest don't know the meaning of life force the issue notes. Strongest rules, weakest loses, full stop. If you don't understand that you need your lumps feeling.'
He looked at his huge rock, then at my head.It was too early warning to tell outright if this full potential threat to the rest of us would be hog washed away in the long run. I could see terms and conditions of serious neglect, and had to act my part as a gate keeper of the world stage door stop. I asked could he charm any innocent creature of creation. He replied affirmatively at first leg, thought awhile, then said 'Yes'. I wagered he couldn't. I took him down to the U-bend in the river side by side ways, where the crocodiles snooze with a peaceful easy feeling, ever on the alert for a passing snack bar stool. I pointed them out to him, and him to them.
'Simple,' he boosted, on seeing his intended bride prey. 'They look a softly soft touch, lying there like logs. Even have tears in their eyes, which is a sure sign on for the likes of me. I'll listen to their sob stories for a while and sympathise, then tell them what a bad deal they've had in this cruel, cruel world. That's my way in.'
I am pleased to report I won the wager, but sorry to say Sid never paid up. What he thought was his way in, turned out to be his way out. I swapped the signs over inside and outside above the door.I went back to visit Stern, who I should perhaps mention had a razor like nose, eyes like an outhouse rat, and a mind to match. He even had the nerve to try to re-educate me and convert me to his wicked wayward practices. He thought he could turn me into a necrophiliac - like himself - a philanthropist, or a brown pointed toad. But he was dead wrong side of the tracks. Nevertheless, he did impress me with some of his advancements in learning, and in other strange ways.
He happened to be a dedicated structure restructurer, who even devised techniques for changing one of the very building blocks of language - the alphabet.Here is one version he taught me, and if you think it's confusing, then just imagine being there like I was while Stern stared at me: hay for ism, beef or chicken, sea for sailors, de-formation, e ffer vescence, ef-fervescence, chief or leader, age for pension, I for get, jay for walker, Kay for car, hell for sinners, 'em for pathy, n for mation, over there, pee for urinate, queue for everything, half for Arfur, ess for estimate, tee for biting, eu phe mism, Vee formation, w for two sheep, x for exclamation, wife or husband and zeds for sleeping.
When he first showed me out on this, I was dumbfounded, wondering aloud what it all meant.
'Eih gb istmn,' Stern declared in a loud voice - I didn't catch his drift net at first sight - In fact I don't know how he ever managed to pronounce it.
I stared at him vacantly, then his alphabet (he called if a haybeefer), which he had chalked up on a black bored in his study, then back and forwards again. Slowly, the light of the world situation came on, and I understood. He grinned as I gaped at his written in joined up writing exposition. I argued it was impossible, and that if we were to apply these rules, we would end up talking gibberish. He agreed, smiled and watched my reactions slyly as he casually sharpened up his incisors with a big bastard file.
'Yes, but it would all be the same gibberish and, although we would all have the same collective form view of all the world stage, it would not be the same as it ever was. We talk gibberish now anyway: all I'm proposing is a restructuring. If we see through different spectacles, we create a different world: wouldn't you agree?'
That went deep. I thought, and thought , and thought. I thought I could find a way out man out of it, but I couldn't. Stern was right on the head. He had discovered a great universal truth dare, but I couldn't see how, or why, he could ever implement it, and whether it would change the course of things for better or worse if he did. I told him so. He disargued.
'But change is the natural order of things, as is organised chaos, necrophilia and daemonology. My proposal also provides the a potential key to organised memory loss. With it, you can drink the waters of the Leith Police and never get your lips wet or your tongue twisted.'
He put the file away in the filing cabinet office, and returned wearing a black leather robe and carrying a brand-new glove puppet on each opposite hand over.
'What are you doing tonight then?' said the puppet on his left hand, a grotesque female caricature clad in pink lace, with huge ears, warts and a pointed nose.
'I'm going to go-go to the senior conman room, sit at a table alone and talk to myself,' replied the male, nervous looking puppet on the right - who was clad in a black leather robe complete with peaked cap and silver chains.
'But you can talk to me if you like, Mr Hunky.'
Hunky nodded: 'That's what I meant.'
The puppets stared at each other awhile. Then began to argue heatedly about the nature of individuality, whether all forests were one, whether trees can grow without earth, and if earth can exist without sun.
'The same goes for words and ideas,' squawked Ms Anthrope, the right hand puppet, 'concepts are built out of words, and words are made from letters. But what are letters made from? You can't judge a woman by talking to her brother you know, nor the smell down a drain by looking at the cover.'
'Is 1 and 1, 1, 0, 2, 11 or 10?' replied Hunky, totally ignoring her question - or so I thought.
'Yes, the same way that Dame Edam is made in mead, and a lot of other things. It all depends upon the way you look at it, this way, that or the other others.'
I dimly understood that Stern was reiterating his point, using his stooge puppets as puppets, but not on a string. He seemed to realise that I had realised.
'We are all puppets,' he said darkly. 'If you like, you can lift my robe and see who's manipulating me, just like I'm giving it these two. But you won't find anyone. Nor under your robe, or anyone else's either. Our manipulator is a fully formed phantom who flies fleetingly through the forest. His name is Nicton G Noidid, and I know where he lives out his fantasies.'
'What kind of name is that?' I asked incredulously.
By now, I was more or less convinced that Stern had become entirely detached from the ship of reality. He looked at his puppets... first one, then the other one.
'How many kinds of names are there?' Hunky squawked, lowering his head in a threatening manner.That happened to be a very good question - for a puppet - and I didn't happen to have a very good answer either way. I remained silent as the grave stone. The three of them stared at me as if I were some kind of bleak sneak freak show.
'All right then,' I replied eventually, 'where does he live out his fantasies?'
'In the Magical Forest.'
'What about the forests of No-Most, Avalot, and the rest period: does he not go there as well as?'
'He lives out his fantasies in the labyrinth of the Magical Forest.' Ms Anthrope voiced her words slowly and clearly. 'All forests are one. Look for him there on the well trodden paths to glory - that's where he's easy to find out. He's crafty, cunning and subtle though. He has unctillions of hiding places, but one thing is for sure - he's always there.''
How will I find him?'
Stern stared sternly and slowly began to lift his robe. 'There is only one way, only one. Be alert.'
Ms Anthrope and Hunky spoke the last two words with him in unison.Stern swiftly removed his regalia, dropped the puppets on the floor level, hard stamped his mark viciously on their heads and tails, then vanished into his back passageway and bolted the door from the inside. I've never seen him since. As I left, I gazed at the crushed remnants of the two puppets, thinking about the words of wisdom they had uttered in their short, sad lives, wondering how I would ever find Noidid in the woods, how I would know I did if I did and how I would manage the situation if I did?
Hidden amongst these few indiscreet words is an iridescent magical invocation, an invitation to the foolhardy souls amongst you. If you want total, absolute personal power, seek it, find it and use it if you dare. It will open the flood gates of perception all around the houses. Your intelligence, self esteem, bank balance and all round abilities will increase to incredible proportions. You will acquire vast wealth with little or no effort. You will be able to walk on water, the sunny side of the street and on by. You will forever sing a happy song, meet new friends and influence people. But when the waiter brings the bill, which I guarantee he will, can you afford to pay?To close, let me say that the fruits of the Magical Forest are manifold, as are the trials, tribulations, pleasures and pains of the inhabitants - who are the observers of the observed. Beneath every flower, there resides a snake in the grass, by every dew-jewelled web a sentinel spider, in every decomposing composer a latent butterfly, around each silver lining a cloud. Each, however humble or repulsive, has its place in the overall scheme of things that are, have been and are yet to come. All men are borne equal: as are all women, and babies even moreso. As for the rest, who knows what they are talking about anyway.
There is nothing that has ever been written, nothing ever been spoken, no sweet music played, no patent granted, no plan ever planned, no good or evil deed ever done, that has not been first manifest in the forest. I assure you that all forests are the same, differing only in geographic location and specific arrangement of flora along the pathways. The archetype - and I reveal this word to you outside its proper time and space place - is one. It is unified. It is one, I am one, and you might think you aren't one - but it doesn't matter, you will be sooner than you think you are.This, here and now, in time and place, elves of Bleaf and others, is your initiation. I am opening pathways in the woods which, until this particular moment - the moment of your arrival at this time cross-roads - have been secret and hidden. They have always been extant but unknown to you, although you may have occasionally sensed their presence vaguely.
Very soon, I shall provide a new map to all kind, indicating the exact location of the Magical Forest itself. When you become aware of the precise location, you will know precisely what it is, its nature, and potential. You might wonder what to do with this knowledge, whether to arrange outings, walks, mushroom picking expeditions and so on. I tell you now: don't worry, be happy, let it be... for it is. Whether you like it or not is irrelevant. I may have obfuscated and confused you so far so long time in this address book, but it has been necessary to do so in order to bring you to this point. This realisation which I have brought about, and as I speak, am still bringing about within you without you, is the objective and the object in one. I have used the searing white fire of the Magician's Rod of Power. This rod has many forms, many colours, and manifests in diverse ways. The forms of this particular manifestation are light humour, anagram, alliteration, rhyme, caesura, cryptogram, paronamasia, simile, epizeuxis, dialyton, assonance, catachresis, dissonance, and the rest. By the rod, I have also merged and distorted score upon score of rigid figures of eight speech, figures entombed within the long suffering structure of language and everyday parlance. I have exhumed many of them and exposed their rotting copses, but there are many more for you to discover, for you to meld together, to toy with and wonder. Wonder how they came to be and why. Consider what purpose they might serve and how they have managed to persist down the ages. I shall leave you with one last engram, before I close with several questions and commence the rearrangement process. The purpose of my address so far has been to awake you, to nudge you, to make you alert, to bring you to this point.
When I say Big Brother is Watching You, know that he who came before knew precisely where he was coming from. When I say Big Brother = Big Sister, understand that. When I say to you that Big Brother is Watching Now, that Big Brother is Alert, and that Big Brother is going to Sort out all this Mess in the Magical Forest, know that I do far more than play with words. The previous sentence is an incantation, an invocation, spoken sincerely from one brother to another: I am certain he will see, understand, and act appropriately. Each of us is blessed with such a brother, one who carries a lamp with which to illuminate the dark forest pathways. The hour is nigh brothers, hear the call. Ask yourself now, and after all the fun and party games, know this is deadly serious: does the use of cliché, sound-bite and stock phrase assist, or obscure communication? Do our minds work in patterns? Are our thoughts conditioned; what part does word, and language play in all this? Ask yourself.
Then ask yourself what you are going to do about it. Invent your own questions, for there are many to be asked. Ask yourself, don't ask me. I'm just an ordinary gnome. I prefer to remain anonymous, and I shall. Now there will be the rearrangement:" [snip]
Dan Scorpio Home
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Language Manipulation and Abuse
Novel Language: Pomes & Lyrical