NEUTRAL SPACES

NEUTRAL

SPACES

Stream #11

23nd - 29th Mar 2019


- Man Ray



The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from the emptied cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. Fuck off, she said.


- Samuel Beckett




* * *


I was crying in the shower. Nostalgic for the smell of Dove bar soap.

Last night dreams stabbed me in the brain and I woke up with holes in my head and the sound of rain.

Water falling down on me like everything else.

this world of dreams
i take the lid
off the pot

there was no reason to get in the shower. I had no where to be. No job to go to. No reason to stopping dreaming even. Dreams

they seemed to be a problem for me.

Dreams and the smell of soap or woodsmoke or a soul song coming from the radio and looking at a kitten too long and seeing through its

skin. A skin of dreams.

a timer made of rain. And sand made of rock. A beach falling on my head. Water everywhere.

our old song
your perfume
still here

I brushed my teeth. Brushed my mouth off. My nose off. Erased my eyes. Brused my face away. I was Empty Face Girl. I laughed. I made toast. Ate it. My mouth moving and still there.

I brushed my teeth again. Then I had nothing.

I daydreamed about how I would rob the house across the street — down to the time I would do it, the tools I would need and what I would wear. Planning crimes was a good pastime of mine. I moved onto robbing the pizza shop. Then I looked out the window at the rain.

Outside the window everything seemed unreal and boring. Except the trees, wind, the stray cats and rain. But the cars, the lights, the telephone wires, the people in the windows of stores. Those things seemed insane. Not even imaginative to be insane. I imagined stealing the past from the dead and giving the future to the unborn.

Is that anything?

The whole thing was carefully sculpted. Halfway. Then the sculptor had a brain aneurysm and his two-year old nephew was tasked with finishing it.

When I looked at my hands they were muddy with clay.

I picked up to stop the buzzing. I said no. No. Yes. No.

I watched rain melt the cars. I watched a comet turn the rain to steam. I the fish swim through the darkness of a the shoe store window and into the cave of the pizza shop.

I saw you swimming too. As far as the chain would allow.

big nothing
the flashing
of a neon beer

I watched a Triassic swampland overtake James Street. The wings of giant insect made a bug zapping sound. And honey slowly dripped from everything.

I watched James Street collide into Japan. New mountains form, new volnanos spitting out shoestores and pizza shops of lava.

The clock said 11:23 a.m. It was a Friday, but it could have been a Tuesday, a Wednesday, a Saturday.

Like I said it was a dreaming problem.

Towers imploding, treaties signed, hieroglyphics etched on a pyramid, drone strikes, megafauna, pyramids of cheerleaders like a transformer attacking the city.

I vaccinate the living room. I was into flossing, brushing my teeth and vacuuming lately. Those were my things. Like my “jobs.” Clocking in for some flossing and vacuuming.

trailing time
i look around
before i scratch


What would it mean to vaccinate the living room. I vacuum the mumps. The crumbs. The banks. The bums. The yatch clubs. The art museums. The casinos.

I didn’t have enough money to pay the rent.

I closed my eyes and invented a different world

Dave Eggers opened the door. "Hi, kid. How's it going? Did we sell any copies of Parade today?"

I shuddered. Shut the door. Even imaginary worlds could be bleak.

I quickly reopened it.

“....out now on Penguin Random....”



My imagination was invaded by the hair of a previous lifetime.

I tried yanking it from my tooth, but there was a coyote on my tongue, holding it in place.

There is no perfect world. Even the imaginary worlds are corrupted....”out now on Penguin”

The world was “out now.”

One day something will destroy Dave Eggers and Penguin and the penguins, the chickens, the eggs and everyone.

The sunrise is a press release I move to the trash unread.

Everything is marked “high importance.” But nothing really actually is.

And Dave Eggers is a virus.

The corporate structure has invaded my home.

I close my eyes. Try again.

dream song
this time of year
the beast returns


"I think that people would like it if they got to know it." he says. "It's a hundred and ninety two pages. A person could read it in a single sitting if they wanted to. I've got characters named Four and Nine, dancing around like Clancy clowns. It's not meant to be taken as an offense to anybody, but of course I couldn't help myself from inserting a couple of jabs at Trump."

I rub my eyes and walk back to the window. The people on the street look the same. White men. Calculated “wild hair.” Casual rich. What

is the what.

I imagined the Battle of Gettysburg out on the street.

I'm as sad as Abraham Lincoln

I add soap to a days old shopping list and eat a handful of spekulatius spiced cookies shaped like windmills. I have thirty some bags of these cookies in a cupboard. My grandma used to give me a bag every Sunday, but I only eat them after I've eaten everything else except the pancake mix and ketchup packets and grains of rice on the floor.

I lock up and walk downstairs. On the street, every windblown whitey turns and stares at me. It's because I'm Dave Eggers. My hair is naturally wild, my skin a shade darker than that of your average white man. And I'm not casual rich. I'm fucking loaded. I shove the rubberneckers aside and slide inside an UberBLACK. But the rubberneckers surround the sedan like tapioca pudding. They press their horrible pale faces against the glass until their noses and teeth break. They want autographs.

I shoot the driver first. Then I leap through the sunroof. Though I haven't flown in a while, I manage to levitate long enough to killshot each and every rubbernecker. It kills me that I had to do it to 'em. There were a few women and children in that mass of humanity I blew away. It's my fame and fortune that drive them crazy. Their brains melt like butter and boil at the sight of me. That's why I haven't gone shopping in a while.

I fly to the top of the Golden Gate bridge and watch the morning traffic like a gargoyle.

The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from the emptied cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing as Dave Eggers was possible.

Fuck off, she said.

She knocked him to the ground with a folding chair and stood on his neck. Three inches of her six inch heels pierced his throat.

I wish Dave Eggers had been your father instead of Samuel Beckett. Your father is a bum and so are you!

She stomped inside the house. The storm door wheezed and snapped shut.

The small boy played dead for a while. He knew better than to fight back.

He fell asleep in the sun and woke up a small man.

His mother was an old lady now. He stole her purse and ran away from home.

It was dark in the city. Everyone was dead except Dave Eggers and his flying babies. They had made hives of the skyscrapers. Degloved corpses hung out of a million broken windows, shrouding the streets in a mist of blood. The small man shrank in horror when he saw a cloud of large cherubs with bat wings and Dave Eggers's face.

the mystic digs a hole
to hell. finds god
sobbing in the dark.

She pronounces dialogue like doll-log and I picture a puppet sitting sideways against a dying tree. Its shirt dewdamp glistens. Its owner gives up hope.

The small man quietly shut himself inside a car. Blood tinted the windows and stained the upholstery. The keys were in the ignition, but the small man had never learned how to drive. He was still a small boy on the inside.

The small boy who looked like a small man rifled through his mom's purse. It was full of straw wrappers. He was starving, so he chewed up the straw wrappers and washed them down with the snot pooled in the bow of his lip.

The small man keeps stuffing more and more straw wrappers in his mouth. He swallows a bobby pin and a chapstick and a tampon and a dildo like a very hungry caterpillar. It's a Lego piece that finally lodges in his windpipe.

As the flesh of his brain slowly blackens, the small man travels through time. He becomes a baby and a boy and a man and a corpse.

End of this sample Kindle book.

Vampire penguins fly at random. A parade of gargoyles trapped in golden eggs. Random houses in the rubble. Yachts of laughter. Hair everywhere. And every tendency so perfectly clever.

A wind made of six-inch heels. Relentless as a press agent. Uprooted volcanoes and Jackson Pollack-ing lava and death across the sky. I am nostalgic for an old joke.

We’ve made a gargoyle out of you Dave.

An absurb parade of gargoyle penguins. Out now. On the imaginary street. Parading by the primordial pizza shop.

It’s all grotesque. And gone too far.

It is, as tbey say, madness.

Absolute.
Madness.
A Parade of madness. A grotesque bible.
A kindle oracle demented by fumes.

Do you remember Hexagon Trebek?

A Parade of imaginary villains.

soft streets
drifting away
your love

Hexagon Trebek is the last the man alive. Most of them had been crushed by the Obama Tsunami. The survivors were disemboweled and devoured by vampire penguin cherubs. The last thing they saw was Dave Eggers and a mouthful of fangs.

Hexagon Trebek didn't need anything. He didn't eat and he didn't sleep. He had never loved and never would. He had lived alone in the Arctic ever since the extinction. But the penguins found him.

It's hard to run in the snow when you're shaped like a hexagon. Sunshine ignited the drifts like a spoonful of diamonds and blinded Hexagon Trebek. He knew he was going to die. The penguins are unstoppable. They have bat wings, leopard skin, penguin bellies, and Eggers blood. They're mean as hell and they're always hungry.

cold morning
the way light
catches his jewfro



Hexagon Trebek decided to face them. He stopped running. A little penguin with a sparkling jewfro waddled toward him. It looked just like David Eggers.

"Catch your breath. I just want to talk to you, Hexagon Trebek."

"Well, I don't want to talk to you. Just eat me, you penguin piece of shit. I fucking hate your books! I've always hated you! I can't stand the sight of you, so just get it over with and eat me!"

"I'm afraid I can't do that. You're the last man alive. And we have the last woman alive. We need you."

"No! I know what you want, you want me to make you a bunch of fucking babies so you can eat them!" Hexagon Trebek laughed. "You stupid ass penguin motherfucker you, I castrated myself! I don't have any sperm for you! You idiot fucking penguin assholes ate all the sperm. You're fucked. Now eat me, you fuck, eat me!"

of bones and fucks
the seedless
windmill

"Aren't you hungry? Isn't it cold out here? I think it's cold. But it's nice where I come from. You'll like it there. You won't have to sleep on ice or fish for fish. We'll feed you and clothe you. We'll worship you. We'll hold your dick when you're too old to fuck. Doesn't that sound nice? Come with me, Mr. Trebek. You don't have a choice."

Hexagon Trebek turned around and walked back the way he came. The vampire penguins had no concept of a man without a stomach or a groin. They lived to eat and fuck. They were always desperate. They were just like their father.

Hexagon Trebek remembered where he was the day he heard Dave Eggers had inseminated a dead penguin.

balls deep
in penguin shit
the universe

He had been locked up. Hexagon liked to drink and drive. It gets rid of the pain of being a hexagon. But he wasn't an alcoholic. He just liked to drink and drive. This time he drank and drove off a cliff. The cops clawed him out of the wreck and arrested him for attempted suicide.

His cellmate was quiet. He wouldn't even speak to his lawyer. He liked to sit on the toilet completely naked and read. The skin of his ass has grown around the toilet seat. If you wanted to take a piss, you had to aim between his thighs. If you had to take a shit, you had to sit in his lap.

Hexagon Trebek tried to hold his piss, but he didn't last long. He wagged his hexagonal cock at his cellmate. His cellmate didn't even look up from his literature.

"You like Dave Eggers?" said the cellmate.

"What?"

"Sure you do. You hear what he did? Dave Eggers, god bless him, Dave Eggers done fucked a penguin. He sure knows how to get what he wants. But he's not a selfish lover, no, not Dave Eggers. He done put that penguin out its misery, then he ate its ass, chewed straight through its guts, then he fucked the mess he made without a rubber. His orgasm blew a hole clean through that penguin. Now it's heavy with child. What a nice man, giving a dead penguin children. You believe that? You ever heard of such a thing?" He sighed. "That's one lucky son of a penguin bitch."

"Man, I'm going to piss myself over here."

"Well, hurry up and do it then!"

heat death
the twitching
of a dying foetus

Hexagon Trebek found his way back to his igloo.

What should I do today? Maybe I'll attempt suicide again.

He took his chess set outside. He arranged the pieces on the board.

White goes first. English opening.

Black counters with the queen's pawn.

White pawn takes black pawn.

Hexagon chokes down the black pawn and considers his next move.

hangman’s knot
the cold cloak
of dread

Vampire penguins block out the sun in the city. They're fucking each other to death and eating their lovers and shitting them out on the hoods of cars until their guts prolapse. Millions of orphaned abominations empty like ashtrays and die face down having never known their father. Dave Eggers feels each death like a mosquito bite. He scratches his balls with a smile every time.

A vampire penguin discovers the corpse of a small man in a parked car. The vampire penguin unhinges its beak and bites off the small man's head, which chews like spoiled cheese. The vampire penguin swallows and goes for another bite, but a Lego piece lodges in its windpipe. The vampire penguin collapses on the sidewalk and another vampire penguin bites its head off.

The vampire penguin swallows and goes for another bite, but a Lego piece lodges in its windpipe. The vampire penguin collapses on the sidewalk and another vampire penguin bites its head off.

The vampire penguin swallows and goes for another bite, but a Lego piece lodges in its windpipe. The vampire penguin collapses on the sidewalk and another vampire penguin bites its head off.

The vampire penguin swallows and goes for another bite, but a Lego piece lodges in its w i n d p i p e



I can't believe this shit. I swallowed every fuckin piece and I didn't choke. I swallowed the board splinter by splinter and I'm still alive. This is absolute bullshit.

Hexagon Trebek lay on his back and searched the sun for a familiar face. He thought he saw a scab peel off the sky and fall toward him. He held out his hand and a butterfly landed in his palm. It had wings like ransom letters, but he couldn't make out what they said. It was probably the ugliest butterfly he had ever seen. It was just another bug. He considered crushing it.

The butterfly hopped out of his hand and landed on his eyeball. He could see its face. It looked just like Dave Eggers.

"But my new book, The Parade, out now on Penguin Random House."

The story is about Four and Nine — two workers constructing a highway betweeen the rural south and the urban north in an unnamed country that is in the process of rebuilding after a grueling civil war. The New York Times hailed the climatic final scene for its ‘ferocity.’”

“Fuck,” said Hexagon Trebek, “you know I may actually have to read this thing now.”

The viral Butterfly Eggers flew off to pollinate another brain with its Penguin Press release.

“Perhaps,” thought Hex, “there is some encoded message in ‘The Parade.’ Something subliminal encrypted inside the clipped prose....Something sinister.”

“Maybe ‘The Parade’ will usher in the End Game of Humanity. Beginning with the novel and spreading out with the eventual feature film release starring Michael B. Jordan and Tom Hanks (Summer 2022).

The virus would wipe out the worst of us first: the weak-minded readers of modern literature.

Followed by the blockbuster (RIP) movie-goers.

Meanwhile, in Omaha, a young man finds his mother’s ARC of a book called “The Parade.” He begins to read.

(Note: we here at Neutral Spaces do not actually have access to the text, due to legal injunctions from Penguin (The Company). So the following text of Dave Eggers’ new novel “The Parade” hailed for its ferocious final scene, and out now with The Company, will be created as best as we can guess.”

)

“The Parade”

By Dave Eggers

The Boss said to Four and Nine “That civil war sucked huh? We’ve been awarded the contract to build a highway from the “rural south” to the “urban north.” The highway will be the route from the Presidential Parade. You’ll be working together. Here is a big box of breakfast bars and a paver.”

“OK,” said Four.

“I also agree.” Said Nine hornily.

Chapter 2

"Man, building this road through Africa sure is taking a long time," said Four in a different language. "I want to go to the bar.

"No way, we have to finish this road," said Nine.

"Whatever, man. Just remember, there's more to life than building a road through Africa for the company we work for"

"I disagree," said Nine.

"Okay," said Four.

“We shouldn’t give too many details,” said Nine. “Things are supposed to be vague. That’s part of it, I think,” said Nine hornily.

“Also I am looking forward to having sex with some of the “million displaced” and “ten thousand orphans, according to the New York Times, “Nine added.”

Nine went to the bar and he ordered alcohol. A woman was in the bar.

"Hey, I wouldn't mind fucking you," she said to Nine.

"You read my mind," said Nine.

They fucked in many ways.

"This is what life's about," said Nine.

"I agree," said the woman.

Meanwhile, Four paved a road through Africa for the company that he worked for.

“We should continue paving the road,” said Four.

Chapter 3

The road was paved. Not all of it. Some of the road was paved.

"Man, building this road through Africa sure is taking a long time," said Four in a different language. "I want to go to the bar.

"No way, we have to finish this road," said Nine.

"Whatever, man. Just remember, there's more to life than building a road through Africa for the company we work for"

"I disagree," said Nine.

"Okay," said Four.


There was more paving to go.

“How mucu more paving?” Asked Nine.

“176 more pages,” said Four.

They paved on.

Chapter 4

Four or Nine, one of the two, he went back to the bar. He ordered another alcohol and there was another woman at the bar.

"Hey, would you mind fucking for a minute? said the woman.

"You know, maybe that other guy was right, I should pave the road sometimes and go to the bar only sometimes. But I sure am horny. Yeah, I think I would like to fuck.

They fucked.

"I'm drunk as fuck," said Five

Four kept working. He was the focused one.

Nine kept fucking because he was the “party guy.”

"That other guy . . . he's not working very hard. I'm a little pissed. But I have a job to do. But maybe he's right, I should go to the bar every once in a while. But after work."

69 is fucking every woman in the bar and he's blackout drunk. It's crazy.

"This is crazy," said 69.

"I can't believe I haven't been fired yet. But there's more to life than building a road through Africa for the company I think I still work for, like getting fucking plastered and banging, life is beautiful like that. Life is a highway."

Chapter 5

5 pm soul cycle

6 pm contract signing at penguin

Chapter 6

"Holy shit," said 69 as he woke up in the bar. "Life is a highway . . . life is a road . . . life is like building a road through Africa for the company I work for . . . I think I'll go to work today."

69 stumbled through the door and bumped into Other Guy.

"I took the day off and I'm horny, I want alcohol," said other guy.

"Okay, I'm going to work," said 69. "I'm going to build a road through Africa for the company I work for."

The other guy takes one shot and is immediately smashed. He tackles 69 at the bus stop.

"Fuck you!"

"No, fuck you!"

"This is intense, I've become ferociously drunk on alcohol and now I'm kicking your aSS."

"Stop ferociously kicking my ass, man."

"Life is beautiful."

"I agree, life is a road."

"Agreed."


Hexagon Trebek slammed The Parade shut.

"I have to beat Dave Eggers to Africa. So far, he's only impregnated penguins and butterflies. But if he gets to Africa and starts fucking leopards and elephants, what remains of humankind is doomed to dust."

A kind of fever has infected everyone at the road paving company in Africa—they’re either fist fighting or trying to fly. Oprah Winfrey is taking notes from a rope ladder dangling from a helicopter. A man pretends he has a terrible illness so he doesn’t have to run the bulldozer. Workers carry him around on a throne. She scribbles this down.

big veiny hard-on
dave eggers books a flight
to africa

Hexagon Trebek was a surfboard when he was in college. He would skip all his classes and day drink until he grew gils, lay face down in the undertow and let the waves spit him up like chew. He pissed in kiddie pools and stayed up all night vomiting. He was always alone. It sucked ass.

Hexagon Trebek rediscovered the Atlantic. It was littered with the ruins of America. He found a raft of Burger King fries and set sail. It was a long ways to Africa. Fortunately, there was warm beer everywhere. Hexagon slammed six at a time and fed the plastic rings to seagulls. They choked to death and turned into origami swans. He used their corpses to wipe their shit off his face.

Hexagon Trebek washed up on a nude beach in the Sahara Desert. Everyone was naked except for him. Embarrassed, he immediately stripped down. The hot sand burned his hexagonal cock. Mothers encouraged their children to point and stare at the thin air where his hexagonal balls should have been. Hexagon tried to explain to everyone that he had castrated himself. The truth wasn't so glamorous.

Hexagon approached a naked man.

"Hey, have you seen Dave Eggers around here?"

"Who is Dave Eggers?"

"He's a writer."

"A writer? Me, too, I know how to read and write. You're going to have to be more specific, hexagon man."

"Well, he has this astonishing jewfro. Peach fuzz like a beautiful boy who has only just hit puberty. Salt and pepper in all the right places. A face full of laughter. I want him dead. Have you seen him?"

"Yes, I think I know this Dave Eggers. I believe I saw him trying to fuck an ostrich."

"Which way did he go?"

"He went down that road."

The naked stranger summoned a boner and pointed out an unfinished road in the distance.

"What? Isn't there another way?"

"That's the only road in Africa. You should talk to the workers, Guy and 69, they might be able to help you."


radical empiricism
dave eggers fucks an ostrich
dave eggers fucks an ostrich


The only road in Africa looked close by, but Hexagon Trebek wound up walking through the desert for seventeen weeks. His condition deteriorated faster than a certain large spotted cat. The sun never went down. It was like a squirt flower full of fire ants. All he wanted was to get Dave Eggers drunk, ask him a few questions about the true meaning of The Parade, and then suck his blood. He made wine glasses out of sand and drank deeply.

Hexagon Trebek lost sight of the only road in Africa. He decided to lay down for a while. Just a little while. Maybe I'll take a nap for the first time in my life. He shut his eyes and saw an ostrich, head buried in the sand.

He got a running start and jumpkicked the ostrich.

"Show yourself, you coward!"

The ostrich wouldn't budge.

Hexagon Trebek buried his head in the sand, too. There he found the ostrich. It looked just like Dave Eggers.

"Have you seen Dave Eggers around here?"

"Of course! He's my daddy and I'm his little girl."

"Don't tell your dad, but I'm going to peel back his fucking scalp and lick the slime off his brain."

"What? Why would you do such a terrible thing to my only daddy? Please don't!"

The ostrich began to sob. Her tears turned the dunes into quicksand. Hexagon Trebek sank headfirst into hell.


Hexagon Trebek came to with a kiss on his lips. He coughed up a sand castle and looked into the face of the man who saved his life. He was pissed. Hexagon desperately shoveled the sand back into his mouth, but Guy and 69 took his hands away from him.

"Dave Eggers," screamed Hex. "I have to kill Dave Eggers! I have to save humankind!"

"Calm down, hexagon man, there's no such thing as Dave Eggers," said 69.

"I think you need some fresh air," said the other guy.

"I certainly don't need this shit!"

Hexagon Trebek found his feet. He was in the middle of the road. The men who saved his life stared at him.

"You have to help me! You have to finish the road!"

"That's what I've been saying," said Guy. "But my partner here is a party animal."

"No, I'm not, I just think there's more to life than building a road through Africa for the company we work for."

"I disagree."

"Okay."

"Get back to work, damn you! What don't you understand?"

"It's quitting time for us," said 69. "Say, do you know how to use a paver?" 6 slapped the strange machine. "You could pave the road while we're gone."

"Fine!"

The workers went home and Hexagon Trebek fired up the paver.

Hexagon Trebek rode the paver through the deserts and savannas and forests and grasslands at 150 feet per minute.

He wished he was drunk.

choking to death
the gull has a vision
of hell

He paved all of Africa. He paved all of the Middle East. He paved Europe. Antartica, Asia, South America, North America, the North Pole, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic, the entire earth. Paved. Paved for a parade. The Milky Way.

I shut the door on another imaginary world. Shuddered. Made coffee. Looked out the window. I saw the people. Forming a parade on James Street. Hexagon Trebek and Dave Eggers wearing marching band uniforms at the head of the parade.

I took a sip coffee. Saw my reflection in my cup. Chopped my fucking head off.

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