Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cool, Clear Water

Okay, so. It's the year 3020 CE.

Mankind has largley destroyed itself through nuclear war and etc. Gangs of roving bandits- - or roving gangs of bandits wander the deserts of North America, the last of the human colonies, robbing and murdering in a Dionysian orgy-celebration of the apocalypse. Only scattered communities resembling the former human society still exist and so on, etc. Water has become more valuable then gold etc. etc.

Earth, after millions of years, has reached it's most trying - - it's most horrifying era...

The Roaring Twenties

If we only had water, cries the populace -- The blind could see and the deaf could hear!

One of the largest sources of fresh water, the remains of Lake Superior, is guarded by a hideous mutant - - his name unspeakable to the many small villages who depend on his grace for their supplies: The Rat King, Scourge of the Inner Crater.

He stands at over 16 cubits tall. In the first hundred years of his life, he spent his time fabricating an enormous coat out of the abundant population of rats that started to thrive after the first bombs dropped. Out of their tails he fashioned his mighty sling, from which he hurls boulders and garbage at unwanted visitors. The communities that surround his territory are distinguished by the smell (like rotting wood) that wafts up from the his open mouth.

Bring me - - he groaned at one of his many human servants- -My Piiyanoman.

And the Piiyanoman was brought, as usual - - wheeled in on a wooden cart, his ancient fingers hovering inches over the controls, his gaunt, dried up face tilted upwards with his eyes closed tightly.

Fanfare for the Rat King!

The Rat King smiled broadly, his toothless mouth brimming with saliva.

You remember - -he wheezed, bringing his momentous, boil-laden face close to the old Piiyanoman - -You remember water, don't you?

The old man did not speak or move. The Rat King rubbed his chin.

Play for me...water.

If he had anything left in his body, he might have started to sweat. Instead, he gathered what remained up into his hands and prepared to play.

He began, as usual, to shake - - slowly at first - - really just barely trembling - - but steadily building to a full-body vibration; a shivering spasm; a spasmatic undulation - - a tremendous undulatory spasmatic boil. The Rat King brought his hands up to his cheeks and squeeled in anticipation.

I'm getting ahead of myself.

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reading Charlie Parker's Liver

Ornithilogical Horuspicy

So, I'm in the library - -the medical library - -and I'm purusing a tome on obstetrics by the very late Sir Richard Manningham; enjoying it very much, learning a great deal about such and such and etc., stimulating and so on, just beggining to really start nodding in agreement when something slips out from between the pages and lands in my lap. 

Hm. What's this?

A neatly folded piece of yellowed paper. Hm. That doesn't seem very professional - -this is a medical library, not a post office. Well, I thought, I'd better take a look. 

Now, try and imagine my surprise at what I saw as I unfolded the note.

In big, sterile looking letters:

Autopsy Report of Charles Parker, Jr.

Sex: M
Age: 34
 Contents of Body
-One brain
-Two eyes
-One gallbladder
-One heart
-One jet black liver, abnormally, almost supernaturaly heavy. Unsuitable for prophetic uses.
-Two kidneys
-One stomach

It goes on like that for quite some time, and I'm afraid I have to cut it short in consideration of space. But, for some reason the contents of the report sparked my interest. Was this Charles Parker Jr. the Charles Parker Jr. I thought he was - - Charles 'Yardbird' Parker Jr.? And if so, what was his autopsy report doing in an old medical textbook in Toronto? Why the somewhat unusual attention to the individual properties of the liver?

Hm, I muttered to myself, my brain seething and foaming.

Could it be that the New York coroner's department was engaging in the age old practice of haruspicy - - the prophetic reading of the entrails of poultry? That seemed like a bit of a stretch. It was definately unlikely. But even so, a good scholar follows an hypothesis till its end.

Now, I knew absolutely nothing about haruspicy, augury or any other form of divination, and so the question for me was: Why was Charlie Parker's liver deemed to be "unsuitable for prophetic uses"? The answer seemed to be related to its blackness, which suggested some sort of progressive colour scale of liver readability, with jet-black being at one extreme, marked unreadable.

But why?

Now we can start to connect the dots. Charlie Parker's liver was unreadable. Does this derive from its supersaturation (with heroin, alcohol) in conjuction with (or totally unrelated to) a sort of over determination of meaning? Is the text so densely written, sentences overlayed on eachother over and over again so that that the individual words have become obscure?

 Hm, well it was very heavy, wasn't it?


Maybe I was getting ahead of myself. Yes, I definately was. I did not, and still don't believe in prophecy, and even less then that in conspiracy. The more I studied it the more certain I became that it was a fake, and a very bad one - - designed to lead some innocent medical student astray.

I closed Dr. Manningham briskly and decided I had better move on to other, less controversial areas of study. With the thought of birds still throbbing lightly in my head, I made my way to the Aviary.

I remembered something Carlin told me, about a man living in Greenwich Village in the 50's who claimed to be able to speak pigeon. There was maybe some truth in that, I thought. That I could believe a little better than that garbage about entrails. That was too violent. It seemed like if you were to sacrafice a bird to learn something about the future, you would get a similar answer every time: An answer fortelling violence. But if you just listened to them sing - - that was a little more neutral. A little more friendly.

A warm, farily overtly romantic feeling swept or washed or slipped over me, and I rested my head in my hands and leaned over the gate.

If only we could all speak bird, I thought, totally unaware of how nauseating I was being.

Well, damn, I thought. Maybe I should go find some foie gras. Get all of this out of my system.

I reached into my back pocket to check my wallet, and to my surprise I found the old yellow autopsy report, folded up just as neatly as I had found it. 

Hm, I don't remember bringing this along, I thought - -unfolding the paper almost unconsciously. What's this? Somehow I've missed something.

At the bottom of the page there was a handwritten (highly accurate) transcription of the theme for Ko-Ko, and below that, in very tiny, delicate script:

Examine further: Parker and the A-Bomb.

Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate!
To Be Continued...

Friday, October 8, 2010


Not sure who is responsible for this arrangement. Go Gidon.