Eugene Thacker – prose

Excerpts from An Ideal For Living, an {anti-}novel

PID: 4423

Erase the balcony’s wrought-iron curves, composite image, optically encoded.  A hanging garden, opiate city lights, Nervalian nights, and, inside, sandscreaming illumined on a screen.  (These hands consist of tendon, tissue, jointed bone, through thieving processes of time and information.)  Festival crowds swarmed, sprawled, and frolicked everywhere, to make up for the lean seasons of the year. Following one of these, we in turn entered the vestibule opposite which the crowd was already thronging. You lay there, heart beating fast, trying to figure out what had scared me. You thought you overheard a slight noise. I lay on the narrow space, twisting from one side to another. My body was raw, twitching, tumescent, the glare-frozen flesh in agonizing gleam. It is important to remember that MIML-based conditions are as much psychological as they are physical. I turned over on my stomach, slid along down the middle of your body. A sort of enjoyment in which vanity may have played some small part, a very special feeling of satisfaction familiar to those who sometimes work late at night and draw aside the curtains to find that all around them the world is dark, silent, and dead. HinP1I  2   637 1170    g/cgc  HincII   1   313    gty/rac  Hin6I  2   637 1170    g/cgc) The crystalline forms spread, melting your face into an amoeboid mass in which the eyes floated, dull embossed eyes. A series of faces, high-velocity cuneiforms of misrecognition, distorted and fascinating, where the human form can no longer contain the crustacean horror that has grown inside it. After a little while, you hailed a carriage, and drove home. For a few moments I loitered upon the doorstep. The sky was pure opal now, and the glide of the nanosecond streets glistened like silver against it. “New Sequence-Specific Human Ribonuclease: Purification and Properties.” In the huge gilted Venetian lantern, thin blue petals were still burning from three flickering jets. And yet, there it was before me, with a touch of cruelty aside the left thigh. You looked off-camera. “These things I could never describe.” It was astonishing how much space there was in an eye. We had had some other devices installed: a Galvanic skin sensor, new sets of IrDA pads and needle, upgraded ChemArray routers running Krebs-v4.6 protocols, all connected directly to the optic nerve. You have only to peer outside, and you will see objects in the dusted glimmer that only today were motionless, but now they stir like Cocytus, shadows along the fumes of a spell. As we climbed from terrace to terrace, the gardens changed. Some were in the form of a mirrored labyrinth, others in the form of complex telepathic emblems, but each terrace could be viewed in its entirety only from a lower one. But even then I could not decipher them directly. As dawn was just breaking you found yourself close to the gardens of Ubbo-Sathla, just inside the rain-swept boulevard. The darkness lifted, and, flushed with faint fires, the sky hollowed itself into an incongruous pearl. Huge carts filled with nodding anodyne lilies rumbled slowly down the polished corridor street.  Walking to the window, I drew aside the heavy fabric of the drapes. The emerging dawn flooded the room, illuminating the dark spaces inside with islets of recollection. Sweeping shadows fell into dusty corners, where they lay, shuddering.  The strange expression seemed to linger there.




PID: 4435

They here split up into about six branches, which pierce Csp6I   2   154 407   g/tac the muscular coat and descend between it and the mucous membrane in a longitudinal direction, parallel with each other as far as the anastomose, which form a series of arterial loops around the distal veriform glands. “There’s no need of a divan,” you said, fingers fluttering beside the smooth, white polycarbon surface, “Let’s stay where we are – here by the chimeric wings we’ve both collected.” But the focus of contemporary studies of MIML-related symptoms seems to lie neither in an unembellished ‘naturalism’ nor in the unconstrained mutability of form. What we are witnessing, AcsI  4   63 299 824 1003   r/aatty most often, is a deployment of BmTP-driven network scanning to generate stereotypically spectacular forms and morphologies, in what appears to be a continuation of the enriched  PvuII 2   89 212    cag/ctg  mimesis of dance. “Increased Transmitter Release and Aberrant Synapse Morphology in 3’ Regulatory and RNA Coding Mutations.” The problem with aching muscles is that there never seems to be enough hands willing to give them the attention they crave. I recognized just below the headboard an encephalogram, monitoring jacks for extensibles, fluorographs for blood fractionation, and a set of disposable microfluidics cards. (3) The stimulus may be central  or  HspAI  2   637 1170   g/cgc peripheral, functional or organic. “I collect Chimera wings; already a certain number of them, indifferently set aside, have crumbled into dust.” This regimen might consist of an Aß vaccination,an amyloid-lowering drug, an anti-inflammatory agent specific to MIML-based macromolecules, a neuronalgrowth factor, an antioxidant, or a combination of all these approaches.“Brutally taking its time.” The efficacy of therapy will be monitored by measurement ofplasma Aß levels, modeling of amyloid in the spine,and volumetric scanning of the brain. But I could not keep my eyes closed, for you peeled back one eyelid to reveal a fleshy glass protrusion in the shape of an oyster or an antique clock. It dug in, working away for a few minutes before it was able to bring out the sapphire. MseI  5   802 864 917 1019 1207    t/taa  Your clouded expression glittered like a zither. This condition may be set up by the ileo-caecal tubes becoming twisted, owing to the shortness of its mesentery, in consequence of distention of the caecum. I rushed out and ran in the night under the downpour. I felt a need to move, held back against it. Upon the ground, quietly, in an absurd voice. “Th[e] control of a machine [or organism since these modes of organization were by analogy interchangeable terms] on the basis of its actual performance [feedback]…involves sensory members which are actuated by motor members and perform the  DraI   2   918 1020   ttt/aaa  function of tell-tales or monitors – that is, of elements which indicate a performance. It is the function of these mechanisms to control the mechanical tendency towards disorganization; in other words, to produce a temporary and local reversal of the normal direction of entropy” (24-5). To you I am “dismembered,” sometimes “crooked,” and replaced by an “Owl,” with quartz crystals instead of intestines. No, you didn’t need a picture. I had accepted the chair of anatomy in Padua, 1537, and shocked the Church by dissecting human corpses and presenting the findings in a monumental text on internal anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica (1543). You switched scenes. A craggy landscape appeared; enormous pits next to a blasted, flaking area cut by two huge crevasses. “It’s like skin at twenty thousand times life size” you said.  “One of my favorites.”


PID: 4436

Wetware this powerful is supposed to shut itself down, after you’ve asked it to. Each remote participant is transported, by the magic of BmTP’s specialized network protocols, to the ideal position for the exchange of biochemical information. Muscle: Iliocostalis (Lateral portion). Origin: Vertebrae, upper six thoracic. Insertion: Mandibular angle (lower border). Function: Narrows eye opening and, acting singly, abduct and rotate the trunk. Innervation: Intercostal nerves. “People who change for no reason at all.” Second, accompanying doubt as to the ability of the human eye to observe accurately the networked relations between bodies; third, the construction of better topologies of observation to measure and record bodies now conceiving themselves as nodes; and finally, the increasingly blurry distinction between what was previously “biomedia authoring software” and what is today often considered neurochemical network protocols (depending on what stage of the muscle group production process the compiling of code occurs at). Myrmidon BioEntertainment Corp. claims to have the first-to-market, commercially viable, CDC- and FCC-approved MEMS-based BmTP proprietary components for managing complex telecommunications interactivity – the CT-scanner’s screen still radiating blue static out of your left iris. But you find the hard power switch and flip it to “equilibrate.” A part of the room came to a screaming halt and cleared all available recollections in an ambivalent massage as the IrDA pads delicately flickered on. Action potential – potential across the membrane of an active (conducting) neuron; concentric parks of shadow undulate – and curl and uncurl their infinite filigreed foliage amid black plumes of prosperous ostriches which rain little flakes upon the dust of the blue paths. “The Effects of Noise and Filtering on the Calculation of Net Spliceosome Dynamics of the Plasmid Generation during AT-Modular Biosynthesis.” Reverse potential of stimulated region of membrane causes local current flow to adjacent region where it acts as a stimulus. Repolarization – a neuron’s plasma membrane again becomes relatively impermeable to sodium but highly permeable to potassium; more positive ions (K) move out through membrane than move in, thereby restoring resting potential after a refractory period. Function – postural-related function of all abdominal muscles is to pull the front of the pelvis upward in line with the Pudendal nerves, thereby flattening lumbar curve of the intercostal ilioinguinal portion of the spine. There is no visible climax, in either the dramatic or the technical sense of the word. 1) BmTP-compatible sensors such as ECG electrodes for signal amplification; 2) wet-lab modules such as DNA microarrays for signal acquisition and preprocessing; 3) a drama whose internal lines are precipitated from insufficiency to anticipation and which manufactures for me, caught up in the lure of spatial identification, the succession of phantasms that extends from a form of your lost totality; 4) a computer system with input and output interfaces, data manipulation and storage hardware, and a basin, in which the congealed tears from last year’s stellar freeze.

For hours, luh+ passed the time trying to find the right relationship between certain curves in the body, and certain curves of the pod’s interior. What made such a relationship even thinkable was not that body and pod were mirror images of each other, and neither was it that they were polar opposites. It was as if there were only brief and fleeting moments when the architecture became at once expressive and empty, when the body ceased to be luh+’s body, and the pod ceased to be pod #94468. For example, there was the sloping surface near the rear of the left wall, which effortlessly reached out to make available the network interface panel. If luh+ faced the back wall near the panel, and placed the back of the upper arm and shoulder against it, it fit perfectly into the negative space created by the pod’s surface. Though the skin, in its texture and tone, did not of course match the porcelain-like surfaces of the pod, the common amorphousness of both structures – body and pod – seemed to be made for each other. Though for what purpose luh+ could not divine. When luh+ attempted this exact same gesture two hours later, the fit was all wrong.




PID: 4438

(…very slowly below, sharp clouds of a dark red hue gently dance outward in warm water). Each pattern and each fabric has a specific texture and feel to it – the raised embroidering forming a kind of sensual cryptography, data, extensions. To record from a digital source simply set your parameters and noise reduction ratio and press the one-touch record button (which will also activate the playback function in the source). SCREEN: sharp but muted colors; grays, crimsons, grey-blues, dark orange, black-green. Behind a transparent, invisible barrier (like a translucent wall) is a figure (heavily shaded by an obscure light source) on knees and hands, looking aside then ahead only with the eyes. The transparent barrier is covered with print and writing, primitive, graffiti-like, with a myriad of varying typography, and extremely dense. JULY-AUGUST 1888: in the foreground is part of a scene from Fracastoro’s “Garden of the Arcane Delights” with creatures, strange concoctions of knives, ears, violins, impaled bodies, fountains, ships, branches, jellyfish, and cavernous torsos, and bizarre, dancing expressions of every inhuman face. There is very little involved movement within the scene, but only beginnings and/or ends of movements relayed by rapid fades. Overhead lighting accentuates the shadows around the contours of the face, making the cheekbones slightly narrower, the shapes disappearing seamlessly down below. An orange narcotic explosion at night playing detuned carnival music echoing in the distance. Then a series of orchestrated montage-samples from several CG-generated medical films by Berlin-based Kraft-Ebbing Group. Each montage-sample constitutes a simple or complex movement or gesture, and each cut is made just previous or just following a fade in the original film. There are dynamic lines or blades of motion within an unlit room with shut blinds. “Identification and Characterization of 14-Transposon Elements in Noncoding Regions of Xa21 Members Resistance Genes.” The exquisite corpse’s cinematic sleep upon the photographic light of a page from Xavier Forneret. [TITLE] running alongside a cinema dressed in poetry from the 1880s [/TITLE] [BACKGROUND] and within each of the shapes there is a model of complex polyphonic mesh – a temporal architectonics.  to connect the camcorder to the HDTV: 1) Connect the digital co-axial cables from the outputs of the camera to the inputs on the back of the monitor. 2) Make sure the battery is charged and working; if not, then use the remote adapter. 3) Switch your HDTV to its AV/XIrDA mode, and switch the camera to its “Real-time/Jump-cut” mode. “Can I go on with this train of events?” Option: the micro-headset from your monitor may be activated for another person, in which case the recording or line footage will be of what appears through the headset instead of the regular AV/X mode. Biting carefully and decisively into wrists. From 48 frames to 12 frames then gradually back into 24 frames. Partially opened mouth or whisper. String Quartet no.2 (for delapidated instruments) – “Investigations into the Overtones of Silence” (1868).

As if checking off an imaginary to-do list, luh+ proceeded to do the following: sit back and look through the video monitor, lie down and sleep, make and then drink something, pose and prop the body in different ways inside the pod. Luh+ imagined there was a specifically-positioned camera there to see it, but wishing neither for the camera itself, nor for a viewer.




Eugene Thacker is the author of In The Dust Of This Planet (Zero Books) and After Life (University of Chicago Press). His (anti) novel, An Ideal For Living, is forthcoming from Gobbet Press.





About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
This entry was posted in Prose. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s