In the late 20th century, also known as the nineteen nineties, I was vehemently against the so-called "walled garden" of internet service providers like AOL.
AOL stood for America On Line, and I didn't like America and I didn't like AOL. Interestingly, AOL produced their own content to provide within this closed-off Internet, where their web browser sucked and it took an inordinate amount of clicks to get it to go somewhere outside of its confines.
Along with that, parental controls were built in, which, you know. Sucks.
Especially when you want to go to reputable sites on the information highway that your parents totally approve of one hundred percent.
In the present day, I spent hours on sites like twitter dot com. This garden's walls extend high above, obscuring the sky. They shift to create the illusion that they are not walls and I'm able to roam freely. It shows me what it thinks I'd like to see and makes me want to see it.
I showed daphnismxxn.com to someone recently and they said "This isn't Wordpress. What is it?" Which made me proud, because while WordPress works well for a lot of purposes, the fact that it's now the platform behind many of the remaining websites on the internet makes me a bit sad.
There's a certain romance to running a blog off your own website using a semi-busted blog software called Glue, of which I can find no remnant, editing sql tables on the regular just to get your blog sucking chestwound to work.
Wow, writing this week's piece, arc♡itects, was challenging. I know what I've written hits when I ask my partner to read it and she's breathing deeply, then I don't hear her breathing for a minute, then she laughs, then she's breathing quickly.
Now she's watching her Austrian period piece drama and that seems like a good next thing to enjoy after arc♡itects.
I'm glad it's done because I feel kinda nauseous thinking about it at this point. That's art-making, babyyyy. (:
i write lying down,
read lying down
sleep lying down
lying down with you
the designers across the street are watching. my thoughts purr intermittently and go nowhere. we're lying here together and my focus is on you as we're talking.
the architects see our patterns and they watch our movements. they try to understand us with graphs and motion capture equipment. movements that are most common are loaded into their software, and products are developed based on this collection of data.
what the instruments fail to pick up are our smallest interactions. it's our private world where we can be intimate. they see the motions, the meeting of skin, and they can ascertain that something is happening. but ultimately, there's no access.
if it were you talking, you'd say something like: empty cells in a tabulation of love and loss.
always poetic like that ♡
though sometimes i wish you'd just say what you're thinking.
your eyes are striking because i don't understand them and something happens when i look into them. designers care about what's accurate to their rigid standards, and i'm here,
in your bed,
[details omitted to preserve the privacy of those involved.]
the designers have tried to trespass on private worlds before.
a cupped hand cutting through psychological formations appears in mid-air. i return to my body to realize i'm being touched, which i wanted and consented to. in the past my mind slipped, forced a jagged edge.
there are planes and seams in a body. i run my hands across the seams, a dense collection of memory, the sense that i've touched something real. your voice crosses striated planes touching my translucent heart.
it looks like clouds moving in a compressed video file.
in other words, gay as shit. ♡
people used to ask me why i liked art about lesbian sex. i've got to say, the answer is pretty obvious.
we're kissing for a long time. the surfaces of intimate planes are easily changed by outside forces, especially during their formation. the products of repeated consideration and fingers intertwining. when i hold your hand, i count seven fingers.
a script for dissociating:
001 white lines on a black background. 002 planes can be bent with some effort during their creation 003 planes cannot be eliminated 004 planes are inside my body and appear at sites of anxiety 005 feet, skull, hands, neck: anywhere tension occurs 005 constructs can't be inserted or modified after instantiation but i can interact with them, like playing with the camera in a dream 006 everything is malleable from the extreme heat 007 the constructs spread out from these points as i issue instructions 008 it's frustrating when commands are inevitably misinterpreted by the body or even ignored 009 i am almost completely powerless, but now i can cut them with my hands, vast sections removed. falling slowly, lacking any relation to their environment after the cut. fading.
when i came back down, the pain was still there and i'd left my partner on read for three months.
when we last looked at the night sky together, we saw it turn inward on itself. a light moved across the sky. i see us from outside ourselves now, and it transpires slightly differently each time i remember, as if to bring the moment to life so that i don't have to accept that it's gone.
we sat closely together in a playground surrounded by the darkness and silence of a small town at midnight.
"my thoughts are like this," you said, and tapped my head with your index finger at about sixty beats per minute, where human hearts somewhere reside.
then you paused. "your thoughts are like this,"
and you tapped very quickly, then as fast as you could. i could feel you trying to understand why i hadn't texted you back, and you weren't wrong.
it still makes me laugh out of love, not spite.
when i was younger my sister told me her english teacher had the heart of a 17-year-old girl lacrosse player. at first i thought this was a metaphorical description of the quality of his heart. "literally." my sister said. the teacher had a transplant. i thought i had a similar transplant, but i was knocked out and didn't know it.
extreme anxiety continues all around my body, every space lit up. i'm engaged with everything. i am a cutting force, clearing the way for tenderness, subtlety, affection. cerebral cuts, clean and direct, when the trauma is complex.
in other states i can't see what i'm doing. it gets messy. i bump into things, curse, my work is ragged. i am susceptible to pitfalls and strange pathways that don't end.
my envy of someone else's heart.
i spent a high school summer playing a video game where i was a banished angel. i solved puzzles involving bells, light and the manipulation of objects in space. this was after my sister had lost interest in watching me play. without her i had no copilot. i often got disoriented, wandering the same edenic pathways again and again.
despite being lost, i consumed plenty of souls and quickly advanced in rank. one sunday i had a friend over. we went directly to my basement and i started up the game system. i was at a temple named "the historical origin of existing things". i entered the temple and showed him how to play the game. fiddling with the controller, i displayed my mastery and explained to him that imaginary violence is always justified.
"it's the reforming work of civilization," i said, taking a sip from my root beer.
i wandered around the temple aimlessly while i explained my ideas, jumping off cliffs and cutting into digital walls. while i was fucking around i fell between two polygons and into the ground.
i saw a black and distant void below the ground. the other characters in the game gathered around to look down on me as i struggled to move, beneath the earth and above the temple. they stared at me, ignoring my frozen state.
they saw me as a fixed star. to the others, the temple and its broken dimensions were a reminder of what you can lose when the world doesn't see you.
as i struggled with the controls, my friend expressed concern. he noted that analyzing everything to death wouldn't get me anywhere. he said that my attitude transformed everything into a reminder of inevitable loss.
as an antidote to sadness, he passed time in online worlds where sentient cacti and bouncing lizards distracted him from negative meditation. he leaped across a candy-colored fantasy pastiche with his distant lover.
he missed her, but he knew he would see her again. he insisted that comfort and intimacy were still possible, and that emotions were not entirely dictated by our environment. he said that it's not necessarily cynical to feel good.
he told me that he wanted me to experience life, no matter how damaged it might seem.
i declined his offer. i probably said something dramatic, something like: i hope i've made it clear that the suicide of civilization is in progress, and it is massively multiplayer. mumbling some shit about how i was frozen in the temple, suspended below the earth, above the living.
a fixed star, killed by simulated interaction. as i turned off the game system, i'd tell him that the temple's inhabitants now live under the sign of humanity's collapse.
when i was really just lonely.
years later, when i emerged from my dorm room in the middle of the night to find a drunk friend, he told me that he saw me as an angel. i noted this in my journal because it felt true.
transient angels with wings the shape of cellular structure turned upwards. tiny fireworks hang in the air for hours. a hand clutching hair growing from a wall of imperceptibly flowing water. feathered skin illuminated from within.
angels can exist in any environment, and they are changed by it. in this temple below the earth, terror, disgust and hate are semi-real, so smooth they seem perfectly natural. living with this shapes the arcane logic of angels, our bodies exposed to seraphic hormones synthesized in utero by organs no one can see but us.
Thanks for reading
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Usually, I talk about Next time. There will be a next issue next week. I am taking some time to plan out the rest of the year's issues and I'll give you a nice little map of what to expect in our next issue.
Now I rest.
New Bladee is out. Some people like it. Some people don't. I've been listening to it non-stop while making this zine. I like it.
.JOOOEL. __. _JF" (ee .Joi"ieL_ Fo) `4F_ OiF" (eo OE) EEe) (EO OE) ee (FO Oe) (EO EE) by daphnis (eE FF) mxxn (eO (ee EF) `4Fi _FF` OFO) eE "FFL_ (oF" (oEe ioFe `"""""` see you next time, angelic vampire