Blue Foreruns Black
by Nic Schmidt. Illustrations by Goodie
Have you ever been worn like a glove by the universe? Enter, sweep aside the fishnet. Inside’s a flaming barrel and carpets. Sal lies here, taking a break from the intensity of it all, admiring the eyeballs hung from the rafters. I do the same, still in the afterglow of being hypnotized by one of the organizers.
“Hold onto this egg.” I receive the egg in my hands. It’s quite large and is hatching. Push lips to howl and soon there are howls coming from critters.
The merchant’s expression is polished and patient while we examine his spread of glimmering goodies.
A hobgoblin crouching by a steaming pot of chai tea. Ladles a cup of the stuff and tastes it, muttering about some ingredient there isn’t enough of.
“… That’s how it works, things get bigger as you get closer to them. Except for ants.”
“Ants are always tiny, it doesn’t matter how close you get to them.”
“Nah, nah, that’s a popular misconception, lots of people think that, smart people mind you. The ants do get bigger, but then they split into two smaller ants. That’s why there’re so many of them. People keep looking at them too close.” Talk smack cause you can say whatever you want.
“I will kiss the ground with my forehead.” Are those tears, or is that the moonlight catching the glitter on her face? Grim blokes shall be beat morticians – swapping stories of demonic tonalities penetrating the polyester. Then life issues forth an extraction of joy, showing itself to be a playground.
Truman Dean hallucinates a bit and is confused and yet still manages to set up the projector. The images projected on the makeshift screen are appropriations of the images captured on camera. Upon administering an ultrasound we’re reassured his smile isn’t far beyond.
Bodies drape campgrounds. Only the brave boogie, that is until sundown.
“Ice truck! We’re saved!” The driver’s mangled grunt of, “We’re out,” melds the words, what he really says is, “Rout.”
I’m wary of premeditated art: to obsess over an artistic idea is to dig ourselves into a trench with our beauty until we can no longer see the moonlight. The sermon got me digging improvisational art, because it isn’t limited to a personality. It gels well with the preacher’s call to stop resisting and meet the warmest welcome home.
Flat bark for canvas. A tree oozes sap from its wounds; I finger some-some for paint.
“Is it wrong to call something beautiful? Sometimes I wonder if beauty is egoic and unkind… It’s our measure of truth.”
Earthworms sail their burrowed corridors.
“A piece of art is a map of its artist.” I’ve drawn the wolf boy with the orb in his mouth. I place my bark-canvas next to a wombat hole, leaving the hole unblocked for functional tunnel.
Life lies underfoot to be stepped on. Please don’t condemn the judges when they gallop, unless you’re a glutton for inaction-oblivion. Why didn’t you tell me you were one?
The speakers bust! Sparks snatch those close by. Ricocheting hippies trip through guy-wires!
…I’ve no money for a train home and the bank is shut. Once a blue hue overs the land I collect my things (blue foreruns black).
Amidst the palette of spooning spirits is an iconic face: from afar, Kruger strikes me as a walker of a modernist limbo world that’s been characterized by crisp sounds and startling logic. I take my time absorbing this feeling before crawling over.
Kruger wants to know, “How did you make your way back here after the shut-down?” I’ve no answer, indeed, all I can remember is a casino perched in gnarled mires of toxic charcoal.
“…At least in a cage there’s no pretence.”
“We shouldn’t touch it. We’re just meant to watch it.” But it’s crying.
Quinn backs the pram’s lid and lifts the baby to his skewed chest. There comes a rattle in the wet tree leaves to watering cans. Plants meet their seeds and go incognito. Don’t their smiles tear through their heads! These people walking with me are organizers, I’m convinced of it. Tweak the nubs of this one’s plastic crown. Wordlessly rummage communal bodies. The chai hobgoblin nods knowingly.
When the dance floor comes into view we spew as it is splendid. The music mutates, bulging from science-fiction arrangements to spoken word. Things are flying: goop, it looks like goop is travelling via currents. So inspired, Truman Dean rises, spun by the hollows of his legionnaire’s headdress. He turns the camera on us, the one connected to the projector which is aimed at a makeshift screen (asteroid-scale installation by anonymous). We can’t see each other’s faces. When somebody in the cluster sighs idyllically, it’s audible, however.
Story originally published at Queen Mob’s Teahouse
Nic Schmidt: hi I live in canberra, sensitive as can be too feeling
Illustrations by Goodie.
Afterword by PE Garcia:
This piece is confusing, almost nonsensical, rolling around in a surreal lyric mania that is at once unsettling and comical. It touches equally on the subjects of art and the size of ants. It is, in short, a lot of things, but most importantly, it is the combined blurry vision of Nic Schmidt and Goodie.