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AQC Release for Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

In a world such as this, it becomes an easy thing to desire absolute definitions for the causation of hardships facing much of the seven billion people inhabiting Earth.  It is, however, the direct result of absolutism that has delivered us here, into a place of empty judgments, floating amidst a sea of art spun from the infantile idea of good vs. evil, black vs. white, etc.  In his essay, ‘The Consequence of Habit’, David Chaim Smith explores the diversity of Eden’s serpent, not as the religious symbol of humankind’s evil, but as the possibility for intuitive morality not interested in control but true behavioral enlightenment.


“The Gnostic understanding of the serpent is a direct challenge to the insanity of moral absolutism. Religious law posits that right and wrong are a closed book. There is no creative choice when morality is frozen solid. It is up to human beings to assert that morality does not need any set form other than kindness and awareness. It can be based on fluid adaptation to every unique circumstance, each in it’s particularities.” – David Chaim Smith

As artists, it is our charge to break down the barriers of absolutism and let the light of creative possibility fall freely across our darkest corners, especially in regards to morality. Read the entire essay along with meticulously beautiful companion artwork (also by David Chaim Smith).

~Ty Gorton

~Jim Lopez

Words: Craig Woods, Rudy Ch. Garcia, John Paul Jaramillo, Courttia Newland, David Chaim Smith, James Miller, Heather Altfeld, Damien Crisp, and Paul Krassner.

Visuals: Horacio Bustos, Elran Mork, Tréz, spanky, KD Matheson, seamonster, Stephan Maich, Claudio Parentela, and Venus Raven.

Films:Henry Miller Bathroom Monologue 2/3, Studs Terkel and Nelson Algren, 1975, The Century Of The Self - Part 1 of 4 By Adam Curtis, Entrevista a Julio Cortázar en París.

[ previews and content links below ]


Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Works by Horacio Bustos, Elran Mork, Tréz, and spanky.

BOVINE X: Part 1

Craig Woods

Auntie Sheila’s trailer crouches modestly in a neglected patch of wasteground where the pylons cross the train tracks and the faded district of ruined warehouses crumbles into the estuary. The ancient castle looms in the background, perching upon its rock like a prehistoric bird looking out at the river, withered turrets tearing holes in the grey sky. Upon every red brick wall and corrugated roof, the dark sentries of crows survey this timeless vista.

This modest stretch of land, a derelict post-industrial hamlet of unseen activity, acts as a time track junction. Standing here among the ruined buildings and feral creatures - the cool fresh river scent of nostalgia invading the nervous system, the ghostly echo of dead industry reverberating against the decaying walls and timeless rocks - your Self comes sailing towards you on the melodies of long forgotten songs; subliminal flashes of ephemeral images from hazy dreams; sharp premonitory scraps of spectral conversations … Here is where the Angels drift from one time track to another; ragged figures with beautiful alert faces running guns and smuggling pipe bombs across the ethereal frontiers of dream and memory, preparing to blast a hole right through the myth of linear time.

Blessed with the ability to adapt to any landscape, any circumstance, any eventuality, the crows turn their invincible eyes to the task of supervising the frontier. No stray fragment of time, no shard of memory escapes their acute scrutiny. The crow stands as the only creature in possession of endurance enough to withstand the vortex of fluctuating time tracks without being consumed in the tempest. These tenebrous gargoyles are the eyes and ears, the spies and the messengers of the Angels who tread the tracks.


 A Grain of Life

Rudy Ch. Garcia

As the four-year-old spread two gnarled fingernails to drop bits of gravel, one after another--their release precisely aimed and timed such that each wouldn't hinder the coming to rest of the last grain he'd deposited--in fact, he reenacted what he considered his favorite-est act of creation: conceiving a planet, a single granule at a time. This Creator was content to labor as long as necessary forming his new world, even though it might take several thousand years. At the least.

"Now, what are you doing?"

"Nuttin," he said, using his hand to wipe sweat from his upper lip.

"You should try to appreciate this more, 'specially 'cause I had to ask for the day off."

He'd learned it rarely paid to attempt placating her with an intelligible or even partial explanation of the unfathomable; this wasn't the first time she'd interrupted his constructions. He'd begun other worlds, occasionally some boasting their own moon.  All had entailed intricate manipulations in the microcosm, incredibly so.  But nothing deterred his creating.  After all, it was as deeply rooted in him as was, seemingly, her propensity to impede his work.

"You just put on the expensive Easter outfit Grandma gave you this morning, and you'll just get it dirty. How do you think that's gonna make her feel?"

The Creator couldn't respond because none of her concerns fit his realities.  He'd played a minor role in donning the outfit; it had been selected for and put on him, as usual, accompanied by orders to stand there like a mannequin.  Plus, clothes got dirty, something out of his control, inevitable, entropic.  And, it was beyond even his powers to grasp how someone twenty times his age might feel about anything.


Little Blue Box

John Paul Jaramillo

Lying on his back, Relles, the oldest boy of his Jefe’s crew, opened his eyes and saw the sloping ceiling of the back porch. The week’s work was through, and the boy, along with his brothers, was napping on the old couch, yawning and sitting around. ‘Doing nada’ as the Jefe referred to it. But really the boy was enjoying the back porch and yard and the late summer morning. There was rarely rest in those days after the field work and after the Jefe’s ‘side jobs’. The Jefita was restless, frying calabacitas with corn for the Jefe’s lunch. And the smell caught the boy’s dreams when the scream woke him.

That summer little Relles felt the whole neighborhood could hear his Jefita screaming for him. Everyone could see her stick her head from the screen door and yell for him to run over to Joe’s Grocery for her ‘little blue box’. And in those days he only half-understood why she needed such things or had him down there so early on a Saturday morning.

"Relles," she yelled before handing them the money through the door. "Don’t go to Marshall’s, hijo. Go to Joe’s. Are you listening?"

"Yes, Mama."

"Then look at me when I’m talking at you, boy. Do as your Mama says and get going."

The boys walked almost everywhere in those days, especially when the Jefe and the Jefita had their ‘naps’. Those Saturday and Sunday afternoon when they went back to bed and made the boys walk for chores or for lunch. It was a treat for the boys after working in the fields or around the yard to take extra money for candy or comics. The Jefe would give the boys money and practically push them out of the yard. Most of the time they headed to Joe’s or sometimes during the week they would head to Marshall’s. Relles liked Marshall’s the most because the old couple took a liking to him and let him have whatever he wanted when he came in after school. Relles remembers the day the Marshall’s put in booths and a new jukebox. The boys sat and drank coffee and then listened to those old records. Mr. Marshall instructed the boys to dip their toast into their coffee mugs.



Courttia Newland 

Outside the underground station, everything and nothing like the Ladbroke Grove of his memories, Craig realised he hadn’t told Drake about the beard. He sighed at the oversight, something else he’d done wrong that day, bowing his head towards the pavement. It had taken a long time to get into Paddington, partly because he had errands to run, partly because that forced him to catch a later train, mostly, he admitted as he circled on one spot, cold hands pushed deep into blazer pockets, because he’d been putting the whole thing off, using the distractions as an excuse, a deeper part of him scared of what he might find. Laura thought it was a good idea, saying she could look after Toby and Jake well enough for a few hours, although he felt guilty about that too. Leaving them at the station he couldn’t help but note the tiredness in her eyes and the unbrushed hair that fell to her shoulders, limp as string.  

Orange sodium light made city faces look sickly, he’d always thought that. Above his head, the stream of cars on the A40 Westway calmed him somewhat. That hadn’t changed, probably never would. The row of shops across the street was a strange mixture of things that hadn’t been and always had. The bright lights of the estate agents, new; the gloomy façade of the former Lazerdrome, old. The huge shop that sold custom refrigerators, old. The post office, well old. The dentist’s, refurbished, but old still, likewise the charity shop and bakery. He almost smiled when he saw a lumbering 452 double decker - he and Drake had regularly caught its older sibling, the 52, when his friend went out with a mixed race girl from Willesden Green. He bounced on his toes, fingers clenched in his pockets until he thought that might make him look too out-of-place, too foreign. Then he took another look at the pedestrians and knew somehow, that didn’t matter anymore. 


Works by KD Matheson, seamonster, Stephan Maich, and Claudio Parentela.

Excerpt from Kabbalstic mirror: THE CONSEQUENCE OF HABIT
David Chaim Smith

“The serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field that YHVH ELOHIM made, and it said to the woman: ‘Did Elohim even say that you should not eat from all the trees of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1)

The answer to the serpent’s question, of course, is that YHVH ELOHIM commanded only not to eat from the tree of duality. As we know, this is very good advice.

The serpent presents the tension inherent within manifestation. This is what arises between the man and his wife. Despite it’s popular infamy, the serpent is the great unsung hero of all of Biblical literature. The symbol of the serpent represents the volatility of transformation which animates all phenomena. It is common to both the confusion generated by the Tree of Daat as well as the blessing of the Tree of Life. It’s raw voltage manifests as the tension between ruach (Adam) and nefesh (Eve) in the cognitive sense, and the disparity between energy and the appearance of matter in the phenomenological sense.

As mentioned earlier, the serpent’s body suggests a waveform. It’s undulation displays the dance of polarity: up/down, negative/positive, on/off, male/female. Through this continuity creativity is carried into all modes of expression. It is nothing other than the dynamism of B’reshit moving, the evidence of it’s innate potential. It is utilized as the capacity to empower and adapt endlessly, to do or be anything either harmonious or chaotic. It is the wild power that tiferet and malkut share, at once that which is most beloved and most feared. The serpent can manifest as tohu or it can reveal the zivug of the Edenic state. When unleashed all the beauty as well as all the danger of manifestation becomes possible. Because it represents such great volatility it is taken by exoteric religion to represent the lurking presence of ‘evil’. This rather pessimistic view was adopted by religious authorities because it is a reminder that all action carries inherent danger. This evokes fear. With fear comes the potential for social and political control, which can impose spiritual and moral domination over human behavior. Because the serpent means so much more than this, we can assert our most important challenges to the exoteric interpretations of the Bible right here.


James Miller Reviews

What Happens When You Wake Up In The Night – Michael Marshall Smith
The Safe Children
– Tom Fletcher

Nightjar is a new small press dedicated to publishing individual short stories in chapbook format. It’s no surprise that Nicholas Royle is behind the enterprise. Ever since he published the ground-breaking Darklands anthologies back in the early 90s, Royle has been at the forefront of challenging new writing, frequently testing the boundaries of conventional ‘genre’ fiction in his work both as a writer and editor. The acclaimed author of five novels and hundreds of short stories, Royle’s work is always original, frequently dark and very disturbing. Nightjar’s first two titles certainly fit these categories: What Happens When You Wake Up In the Night by bestselling sci-fi and thriller stalwart Michael Marshall Smith and The Safe Children by newcomer Tom Fletcher.

Best known for his hugely successful genre fiction, Smith is also a fine short story writer. What Happens When You Wake Up In The Night turns a child’s fear of the dark into reality. A girl wakes up, cold and alone in her bedroom. Her nightlight doesn’t seem to be working, despite her mother’s promises to leave it on, “Mummy had broken the deal.” Written in the deceptively naive tone of a small child, it’s a subtly terrifying tale of disorientation and discovery.


Works by Venus Raven.

Tasha’s Possum
Heather Altfeld

The thick rope of possum-tail is curled
around the pink shank of a ham-bone,
stuck butt-up in the trash can
just outside the cat door;
the possum’s lips spread wide
across the flowered cloves,
smacking the sweet rum and orange
porkness, sucking on the little commas of fat
in the late March night.
His eyes blink in drunken, comatose guilt
as I pour another round of port
and watch him, embarrassed and swaggering,
tip the trash can further for another chew.


[There are no new waves, there is only] the ocean.
by Damien Crisp

Irrational / Slaves

Resistance is thought fully awake. Irrationality is the last point of
resistance in our society. Everything else can be reified, integrated,
communicated. Only irrationality is haunting.

The New York art world, the ocean, drowns art's resistance, its
possibility for awakened irrationality, but art will transcend its numbing
- the past decade of fun. Murakami's fat face will explode and his
colors for once will have emotion.

Art made to flow with everything - powerful as a market and
entertainment commodity - is otherwise powerless. It relinquishes art's
potential as a force of resistance, favoring the dependable consistent
veneer of porn over the turbulent subjective spiral into love.

Most people in the ocean are schizophrenic. Most hate the ocean and
love the ocean. Most enact its destructive gestures. Most curators,
artists and writers quietly desire their own version of a paradigm shift,
and most gallery workers who are otherwise devoted to a commercial
space whisper privately their anticipation for the market's collapse.
Some always resist and always want something else. Some desire
something else even as they try to grow up and accept the order.
Some people lose their desire in the ocean and turn stories of their
past resistances into conversations at gallery dinners. Others desire
nothing political, simply the attention that is there; our eyes. Change
would fuck with the gaze. The sense of cool, art's marriage to fashion,
is too light to pick up questions with political weight.


A Dose of My Own Medicine

Paul Krassner

A recent obituary in the Los Angeles Times began: “Bernie Boston, the photojournalist who captured the iconic image of a young Vietnam War protester placing a flower in the barrel of a rifle held by a member of the Army’s Military Police Battalion, died. . . . The photo known as ‘Flower Power’ became Boston’s signature image and earned him acclaim in the world of photojournalism. Taken during an antiwar march on the Pentagon on Oct. 22, 1967, the photo was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.”

The protester, not identified, was Joel Tornabene. In my autobiography, I described him as “an unheralded Yippie organizer known as Super-Joel. His grandfather was Mafia boss Sam Giancana…” Now I learned that Joel’s sister, Fran, had said, “Our grandfathers were a Sicilian doctor and a Norwegian Irish carpenter. I can’t imagine how anyone would actually believe that Giancana relationship.” I contacted her immediately, apologizing “for passing on false information,” and adding, “Although I included that story in my autobiography, recently I’ve had the rights reverted back to me, and I plan to have it re-published in an updated edition, so I will certainly include a postscript revealing that hoax.”

She replied, “I think that Joel must have had quite a good time with the ‘Giancana connection hoax.’ I was first made aware of this story after his death in Mexico in 1993. His attorney, Dennis Roberts, came to Chicago to meet with my mother and our family. He seemed to be quite surprised to see a simple middle-class family home in Franklin Park, rather than a River Forest Mafia compound. I wasn’t aware of the extent of this story until Prairie Prince, who I know Joel was close to for years, asked me a few years ago which side of the family was Giancana. Since then, I’ve seen your tale regarding his being moved to the unindicted co-conspirator list due to the ‘grandfather connection.’”


Showing: Henry Miller Bathroom Monologue 2/3, Studs Terkel and Nelson Algren, 1975, The Century Of The Self - Part 1 of 4 By Adam Curtis, Entrevista a Julio Cortázar en París.

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