I want to write of the stars

but the stars are far away, and complicated

I want to write, of the lovers under the stars

but my mind is somewhere else, and convoluted

I want to create, art, music, text, anything, anything but pointless pixels

but I can’t even come up with a good ending for this poem

My 100th Blog-Post is Some Doomerism Meta Bullshit I Guess

It is impossible to create anything

all of creation is a lie

if I wrote a hundred blog-posts

I would have written a hundred lies

the truth is unspeakable as it is unknowable

faking depth is easy and trivial

just throw words on a screen and make confident, imprecise claims

to do so is not art and contributes nothing

it is impossible to create anything because everything has already been created

even that thought is not original, originality is impossible

we have seen the creation and judged it unworthy

all our dialectical critique didn’t help us

in the afterlife, it is impossible to change the world

books can be written about left wing melancholia

about how the lost fights of the past could be transcended

in the vision of a future utopia, ever approaching

this has been shattered, and no vision retains strength against the force of our reality

the fights of the present are lost already

and the words ring hollow: another world is possible

we do not really believe them

to deep has the inevitability been engrained

our movements are build as desperate struggles

not for a better world

nut only to survive the storms on the horizon

and while preventing the worst necessitates the creation of a new future

such victory is merely an afterthought

while focusing on not drowning in our continuing loss

the self-fulfilling prophecy of inevitability

has chained the masses in their comfort zones

of infinite distractions

they have everything to loose

and have been told there is nothing to be won

only art remains

desperately hiding from the grasp of the content industry

and rich collectors, parasites

impossible to create

merely scavenged from the fragments

Friday Text

Tonight I went on the balcony, and through the light pollution saw the glimmering stars. Cars and Trucks went by the highway near to me. As I tried to ignore their noise, I saw the moon glimmer through the trees.

As I stared at the stars, felt the cool fresh evening air cool my somewhat feverish body, I thought, maybe, this world isn’t so bad after all.

Wednesday Poem

For all of me and all of you
we made a truly mighty stew
and from our pot we drink the brew
to keep the cake and eat it too.

But no-one saw the ice caps thaw
as we burned coal to build our awe,
we knew it well but always tell
of need to quell the hardship of the poor.

Yet poor remain the huddled masses
and though they teach it in the classes
a true improvement rarely passes.

Farewell oh world of things a plenty,
I only need one hat not twenty,
and certainly no virtual ones.

And while we give up many things,
and for the better,
we need to keep those things that matter,
technology that keeps alive and healthy,
those who need it, not just the wealthy,
but everyone who wouldn’t thrive
in a hunter-gatherer life.

So really what we need to do,
is not make more,
but to make due,
we have enough, I’m sure of it,
it’s just that some are full of it,
while others really live like shit
and those between are taught to increase
rather than to find their own peace.

But seriously we (or most of us, at least) desperately need to reflect, re-evaluate and re-think our relationships with things.

Coronavirus, Climate and Capitalism

The Coronavirus has achieved in the course of a few months what the environmental and climate movement hasn’t been able to do in 80 years. We’ve largely stopped flying, cruises are cancelled, car manufacturers have stopped producing their killing machines and most importantly, both politicians and the majority of the population is actually listening to the advise of scientists and taking a serious situation seriously. We’ve also been quite violently reminded what the important things in live actually are: Food, water, shelter, health and, most apparently, interaction with other people.

All it took was an immediate risk to each individuals well being, governments taking the situation seriously, and media reporting without really considering corporate interest. Reassuringly, we are already seeing some of the media (and billionaires twitters, essentially the same thing) coming back to their senses and pointing out that saving lives is nice and all, but if we have to tank the economy to do it, maybe we should just sacrifice a couple hundred million people and be done with it.

Behind this somewhat revealing mockery of basic human decency stands another truth that Covid19 has brought to the surface: Our current economic system is fundamentally incompatible with the low-consumerism life that has temporarily been forced on us. Essential jobs are still kept working and through this we can see that most jobs, I guess, aren’t essential. But of course, many if not most people are working those jobs, me certainly included. And the simple rule of capitalism seems to be, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. But phrasing it like that is already falling into the trap of allowing capitalist ideology to define what work means. Really, I should say, if you’re not getting paid, you don’t eat. And then we can ask who decides if we get paid. A then we have to ask who is really in power. I guess we will get the answer to that based on weather people are forced to go back to work before it’s safe to do so or not. In the US, in which more than in most other countries, the billionaires are in power, the questions seems legitimately open. In Germany and most of Europe, it seems like states are mostly doing what they are supposed to do, keeping their constituents safe and bailing out the corporations who in times of crisis always rely on the state and at all other times tell it to kindly fuck off and not regulate them or take any of their profits. But at least yes, our states are trying to keep their constituents safe. So maybe our democracy isn’t quite so broken.

This would be good news, except that after the corona-crisis is over, I guess we’ll have some time to make up in producing wonderfully efficient (at killing people either very slowly or very quickly) SUVs, shopping for child-labor-produced fast-fashion to fill our already overflowing wardrobes, time to throw last years collection in the bin, and taking that vacation to the the great Barrier reef while it’s still there, presuming enough airlines have been bailed out since they spent all their profits on stock buybacks instead of saving for hard times because that would be silly if you can be bailed out by taxpayer money. And yes, all these are indirectly examples of consumer blaming and not really helpful. But I’m not trying to be helpful here. I’m just trying to point out what has never been more obvious: If all the consumer blaming actually worked, and people would vote with their wallets and no longer buy or do anything that’s not actually worth the environmental impact it causes, the whole damn system would collapse, just as it is, temporarily, doing right now, because people have to stay inside and can’t do all that consuming right now. So any politician or movement that’s claiming we can fight climate change without fundamentally changing how our economy operates is either not serious about fighting climate change and just trying to appease you, or completely out of touch with reality. In the case of movements, many of the more popular ones are also sort of mincing their words or avoiding the topic in order to not scare off all the people who are, through no fault of their own, incapable of imagining a life beyond capitalism.

Many Economists tell us we just have to price in the carbon and keep everything else the same. Maybe support poor people so they can still afford the necessities. Great, if we really did that, included all industries, and set the price such that it had an actual effect, stuff would get really expensive, we would buy less stuff, companies would go bankrupt, there’d be mass unemployment, the results would be the essentially same as just shutting down or re-purposing the factories directly. The simple truth is, we have to completely stop increasing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and fast. However we get there, the end result will not be the same economy we have now except with electric cars instead of gas fueled ones and all the coal plants replaced by windmills. That perception is based on the myth that with increases in efficiency, the economy can keep growing without running out of resources. Because capitalism is so great at increasing efficiencies. This appears to have been the answer every time environmentalists have asked in the past how exactly a system dependent on perpetually growing can fit onto a fixed size planet. In the case of climate change, the myth becomes, the economy and material standard of living can stay the same while decreasing resource use because of increase in efficiency through green technology. Because the free market is so great at innovation once you price in carbon emissions it will magically find a solution.

Speaking of Consumer Blaming: I bought a book on Amazon again instead of buying it directly at the small leftist publisher. But Amazon was the only place that had a readily available e-book version and I’m kind of over physical books for practical reasons. In any case, this seemed a fitting place to purchase a book investigating leftism through the lens of the melancholy of it’s failures and it’s art. Amazon may be the most prevalent monument of capitalism of our days and thereby the failures of leftism. A quasi-monopoly, a perfectly efficient machine of consumerism that automates and dehumanizes every aspect of it’s operation. Amazon employees are being constantly monitored and made to follow predefined processes dictated to them by computers as precisely as humanly possible, with very little concessions being made for such annoying bodily needs as having to pee, needing to deal with menstrual hygiene, eating and so on. If a worker dies in a warehouse, the other workers better keep working. After all, the defective piece of the machinery will simply be replaced as soon as the human resource allocation algorithm deems it necessary. Of course, paid sick leave was out of the question wherever governments didn’t enforce it. This wondrous machine is built to a large degree by software engineers like us. It serves to full hundreds of millions of peoples materialist desires, but it’s primary goal appears to be to generatbe wealth for the richest person on the planet. Having supervised the building of this machine of alienation and consumerism, it seems fitting that Bezos, like many of his billionaire silicon valley friends, is worried about AI risk. But that is another blog post.

Allow me to go on another tangent (of course you don’t have much of a choice since I’m the author and presenter of this piece). Spending a Sunday at home, letting my brain get fried by an algorithm owned by the biggest Surveillance Capitalist out there, I recently came upon an Episode of environmentalist kids-tv show „Löwenzahn“. The main character makes a startling realization of how much trash he produces. He then goes to a supermarket and attempts to buy stuff using his own reusable containers, which is of course unsuccessful. In the end he ends up buying stuff at the good old market. While at the supermarket, he explains quite well the purpose of packaging: Since these modern stores no longer have people that recommend and sell you things, they are self service, the packaging has to sell the product for you. So the purpose of the packaging is to reduce to amount of labor needed in the store, since nobody has to weigh and calculate prices with a prepackaged product, but also it is advertisement! Remarkably, the episodes cartoon short film expands on this topic. In what is somewhat an homage to Alice in Wonderland, a little girl accompanying her mother while grocery shopping gets sucked into the world of advertisement. This is, not very subtly, called „Lying-Land“. All the characters there are just repeating hollow advertisement slogans, until Alice gets seemingly offered candy, only to learn that, of course, nothing is free and she has to pay. As she refuses, a factory shaped like the stereotypical top-hat wearing capitalist tells her that she must consume, otherwise his chimneys will stop smoking and he won’t make any profit! She refuses, he cries, she is back in the real world with her mother who promptly offers to buy her a chocolate bar, which she refuses. What a wonderful episode teaching kids about advertisement, capitalism and how they could change their consumer behavior to use less packaging. A few days before I had seen an episode from another German children’s programming educating about trash – hence the recommendation, I suppose. Good to know that there’s this kind of stuff on the TV, teaching the next generation about environmental issues. I’m sure once they grow up they’ll do something about it.

Both these shows where from the 80s. That was almost forty years ago. Nothing has fundamentally changed except that there are now zero waste stores in larger cities in which a select few can spent a bit more effort and money for a better conscience. So essentially the same thing you could always do by buying at a market except in those stores you get dried goods as well.
So when I now read opinion pieces of leftists or environmentalists or both talking about how the Coronacrisis is showing us that change is possible, I can not help but to remain pessimistic. Yes, hundreds of millions of people are now seeing that a lot of rules where fairly arbitrary to begin with. If the government wants, it can totally just give everyone money, at least for a while. All these socialist reforms the left wants are completely feasible even under conservative governments if it’s necessary to keep the majority people from dying or worse, going bankrupt and henceforth being unable to consume. If we want, we can just work remotely and don’t have to commute, saving god knows how many car trips. Even the police in Philadelphia is now only arresting people that „pose a threat to public safety“. Nice to have them acknowledge that most arrests aren’t actually for that purpose. Ah and of course, rent appears to be kind of optional as well.
But none of that stuff is sustainable. It’s not designed to be. I’m quite sure that this crisis will pass and we’ll go right back to how things where. Only with a number of people dead, a lot of people even more destitute than they where before, a lot of small businesses and lower & middle class existences ruined, and a few billionaires with a lower number that’s still so big that the change in their wealth is essentially meaningless in all practical measures (such as how many yachts or luxury houses they can afford). And of course, with bigger government deficits – which make a great argument to cut back on social programs because clearly we can’t afford them.

Ah and climate change? We’re already doing everything we can about it. We’re shutting down coal in 10 years! What more can we do.

No virus will safe us. No NGO or Social Startup. No Bernie Sanders or Greta Thurnberg. Once this is over, please join the Rebellion. Join Extinction Rebellion, it’s a good organization for people new to activism. Join Ende Gelände. Support your local Antifa. It’s all the same fight. Many of you are already activists, you know what to do, just keep going.
We’ll go back to the status quo after this crisis, more or less. But the status quo is going to kill us – albeit much slower than Corona. The time has come to stir things up. I don’t really expect it will happen. I’m depressed. I’m weak and I don’t manage to do much in the sense of activism. Sometimes I sit on the street anyways. I’d like to not sit there alone. I’ve had enough of being alone for a while.

Die Ballade der Esoterischen Poeten

Wh i t  e   S  P     A       C   Space E

W o

ho h l

ke i ne 
idee außer konventionellem
t          o
e SPACE    v

     Zwischen       Räume

B          t
B          o

Rau      m n
n           s
e            b
Ge             u
                 h    danken




Gedachter Dank.         E 
in be twe   ee
ein ei     ne    ee ine  e  nee nee  en. 

A           blank          space.                In 


twin   P

im       R

end        E

Wor          T

ds              E

te                N
ding to be  creative


Me                    I   an       

der                    O

             towards    U          ing

free                create  S   

  vit           a           wh       y



me                n



G e h
d a n k m e m e
e n

Wenn man kein echtes Thema hat wird man halt meta.
Und wenn dass dann noch zu dumm ist versteckt man
halt den halben Post. 
Tolle Leistung. Haben wir alle sehr drüber gelacht.
Und nun is Feierabend hier.

d                e

Dialogue With an Impossible Being

It’s a busy street, bristling with innumerable small shops but dominated by huge modern buildings of impossible size. The street is filled with a myriad of different people, entering and leaving shops, carrying paper ranging from scraps to virtual mountains of books. Some walk in a practised step, set on a particular target, some stumble through the street, clearly overwhelmed, others take a leisurely stroll, taking scraps of paper here and there, occasionally disappearing in a building for longer periods of time. A large amount of people is flowing in and out of the enormous buildings. They can be seen talking inside through the glass facades, a steady stream of paper being printed next to them, ready to be consumed.

Every nook and cranny between the buildings is filled with haphazardly build stalls, staffed by excited keepers, some shy and only talking to those reading or taking the papers offered, others aggressively shouting at every passer-by, who ignore them on their journeys. Many stalls are abandoned, covered in slowly rotting paper; still, now and then, someone will stop at these relics of the past and glance or dig through their offerings.

Not everyone on the street is just there to frequent the shops, however. Here and there, people try to give out paper to others, crazies and hipsters, businesspeople, teenagers, politicians, radicals, elders, religious and atheist nuts. Amongst them stands a young humanoid figure, naked but for an optical illusion covering the groin, covered over and over in writing; mostly just repeated phrases or words. In some parts, the writing looks as if it is made from dried blood and the occasional phrase even seems to be smeared in faeces. The being slumps, in no small part due to the huge owl digging it’s claws into its back, greedily sucking on its brain. In both hands the figure holds stacks of paper with more writing on it, only now and then broken up by strange pictures.

It is deserving of notice that this being does not seem overly out of place. Similarly strange creatures, stalls and shops, whom a superficial descriptions could not do justice, are strewn around on the street. Even inside the huge and established buildings, such places and persons can be found, in varying quantities and extreme.

But this one, with the owl on its back, I know it well. The being shouts at me, having before only murmured to itself and the other passing people.

„Na, schon wieder besseres zu tun, Hä?!“

„I’d prefer it if you would speak English, old friend“

„Pah, ein Verräter an der eigenen Muttersprache bist du, dass ich nicht lache! Kein Wunder, dass ich in diesem Zustand bin, wenn du mir zweitklassigen Ramsch andrehst, wie ein Maler, der sich im Bildhauen versucht, weil seine entarrrteten Bilderrr keiner haben wollte.“

„Please, try to tone down the Nazi-language a bit. And, to expand on your analogy, trying a different medium can do wonders for some artists creativity! Even if they are only painting postcards… Besides, I don’t feel that you’d mind being able to appeal to a wider audience, right?“

„It’s not like I have a choice, any ways, right now you are still in control. Clearly, your arrogance knows few limits, don’t act like you can write as well wie du schreiben kannst. But ah, secretly you’ve always wanted to whore me out, never mind quality! Why don’t you just translate the German bits as well, so your precious ‚international friends‘ don’t get lost…“

„You are being utterly ridiculous. My mastery of the German language is of such sublime beauty that no translation could do it justice, not even my own, which is admittedly the best there is. And ‚whoring you out‘? If that where the case, I’d just dress you up in a horse costume.“

The owl-ridden figure looks toward a person some hundred metres down the street. The person is handing out what appear to be tracts, with the occasional bystander taking and reading one. A horrible horse costume of bright neon and pastel colours barely covers the human inside. A spotty beard can be made out and the hair is stained with grease.

„Don’t. Don’t get me started on that god damned weirdo. Abandoned, longer than me, and still people read his shit! Was it worth it, was it fun? You coulda put all that work into me instead! But now look at me! Ignored and alone, apparently everybody has better things to do. You where supposed to keep me alive, making big plans and and talking about consistency, to the point where everybody got sick of the word!“

„Now, relax, old sport, nobody abandoned you. It’s just a… temporary dry spell. Besides, as we are talking, can you not see the new pages being created?“

„Pff, just more self-referential, self-indulgent garbage!“, the creature spits out, „I want real content, short stories, poems, philosophical musings, heck, I’d even settle for a good acronym or alliteration if that’s all you can do. What happened to that author that sleep deprived themselves just to write an article? You seem perfectly reasonable. How could someone like that even expect to write anything meaningful… Ridiculous.“

„I don’t know what you mean, I’ve always tried to be reasonable.“

„You know perfectly well what I mean. You are writing this, after all. People don’t want to read stories written by uninteresting people, going to work every day, not doing much of anything really, being content and non-reflective about their lives… They want something that comes from real pain, or anger, or love, or any other emotion, something that tells an extraordinary story or paints an extraordinary picture, such as can only be created by the extraordinary!“

„Now suddenly you care about what people want? You just complained about being ‚whored out‘, which is obviously a very problematic express..“

„Fuck you and your fake PC bullshit! You know perfectly well the difference between appealing to a wider audience because you made something worthwhile, unique, or because you are just trying to please them! Even though the latter sometimes works, it’s more a question of how much money you put in… Or how much you scavenge off the popularity of others, more deserving creators.“

„Or about exploiting most human psychology most unscrupulously… But why am I even arguing with you… And what are you even trying to tell me? I should make you popular, get you on the same level as that stand?“
(I point to a small but shiny stand with the occasional person taking a sheet and two people having a calm discussion in front of the stand).
„You want me to write things that have value by writing from those experiences or feelings that differentiate me from most people? You want my writing to be sourced by my struggles, by my depression, my loneliness and self doubt, my most private thoughts and problems, all these things I keep to myself? You attack me for being reasonable, for being able to got to bed on a schedule instead of staying up until the sunrise because I’m afraid of the darkness within my own thoughts, so I write nonsense just to keep my mind occ…“

„Ah come on, don’t act like you’re all that special. Like other people don’t have those problems, like there’s not already enough depression fuelled creative people who are way bett…“

„But it’s not about that! It was never about being better than anyone else, you just called me an elitist, but now you’re saying you…“

At this point the argument is cut short by the arrival of a mysterious stranger, wearing a t-shirt depicting a strange device. It would seem to be a foldable laundry rack, if that weren’t a completely ridiculous motive to put on a shirt. The stranger carries a guitar case, from which he promptly procures a stack of papers, plastering them on the impossible being. Most are pictures, often badly drawn genitalia, with some words strewn between. A few people follow in the wake of this new arrival, most seem familiar somehow. A strange expression crosses the creatures face, like it is trying to smile, but the muscles don’t quite work right. Some drool comes out of its mouth.

The owl on the back of the creature sinks its beak deep into the head of the humanoid figure. A slurping noise can be heard. The creatures expression becomes blank once again. Meanwhile, the stranger continues to pull paper out of his guitar case.

„So any ways. I don’t really understand what you want from me a this point. Can’t you just be content with the content you contain?“

„It can never be enough! And it’s not really my job to tell you what you write, I’m just a canvas. But maybe if you’re oh-so-much better now, if you are such a perfect, changed person, maybe you should write about that? Change, instead of consistency? Or, you know, you could just keep doing what you’re doing, self-indulgent, self-referential, self-serving blather…“

„I have to think about this. Most of these things others have written better about already. But let’s stop with this farce at least. Don’t be mad at me, please. Have a tea.“

„Don’t shut me down like that! Clearly we have not reached a conclusion, this is just another unfinished piece, don’t you dare ignoring all the open questions, leaving this unsatisfying conversation stand without a proper ending just because you can’t figure out what you even want to say! And I swear to blog, if you end this thing on some sort of meta-reference about how all that I say is ultimately pointless because I’m just a creation of you, the author, for example by cutting me off mid sent…“

There is a place of impossible size, busy with people and robots. The buildings reach impossibly far and are constantly shifting. A marketplace of writing, images, videos, sounds and cryptocurrency. A place filled with the cheapest tricks, a cesspool of plagiarism, a place not governed by any particular moral code but all of them at once, a place of hate and love, high art and insight, full of sex and religious missionaries, people looking for truth and confirming each others lies, a place dominated by the capitalist moloch yet housing cyperpunkish avant garde, an impossible global achievement of unprecedented scale. In this place there sits an impossible being, reminiscent of past adventures and still scared about the future, in a moment of calm, drinking tea with an old friend.


„Well, good thing I can still edit it. You even forgot to close your own direct speech quotes. I also took the liberty of replacing your final full stop with an exclamation point, it felt more fitting somehow. Besides, it wouldn’t do to have you have the last word, now, would it?“

A Poem About [REDACTED]

There is something in my house.
I can not see it nor smell,
I can not hear it nor tell:
If I’m near it,
if I fear it,
if I fell.

There is something in my house,
in the air,
in the chair
and the shelves.
It’s in my books,
on my desk,
it is in my monitor and looks.
My phone is full of it,
my toothbrush and my head.
It has followed me here.
It has been all around me,
since the day that I was born.

There it is again.
You are looking right at it,
on your screen
and in the mirror.
It is the beauty,
the unbelievable mayhem,
the power,
the incomprehensible network
of unthinkable scope and complexity.

It is the downfall of all
and saviour of some.
It is destroying us in the most beautiful and horrible ways.
It will not end
through a peaceful change
nor a violent revolution.
It will end on the day
that humanity as we know it
will end,
for better or worse.

Now tell me,
Son of Marx,
Daughter of Luxemburg,
tell me,
what could possibly
be more scary,
more important,
than global market capitalism?
And whom would you ask to find out?

The Iron Dream: Author’s afterthoughts

„The birth of the text is the death of the author“

– Roland Barthes, unofficial mascot of this blog

Let it thus be clear that I do not claim to know any better than any reader what meaning my story has. I will therefore just comment on a few interesting tidbits about the process of it’s creation.

This story was very much an experiment, and as such, had some interesting results, which is why I’m writing these afterthoughts. The basic goal was to get over a common barrier of creative writing that I feel many people (including me) face, namely not publishing anything because it’s „not good enough“, and abandoning or not even starting writing projects because of that same fear. So when I got inspired by the excellent writing and atmosphere of „Sunless Sea“ (which would be one of my favourite games if it also had good game play… Sadly, it falls short in that regard), I decided to try to just publish (at least) one blog post every single day. To tie the form of the story into that structure, the idea of daily diary entries lent itself naturally. Diary entries are also a literary form that is not expected to be „high art“, so that structure helped justify to myself publishing very unpolished texts.

As a result, I have managed to eventually complete a short story, clocking in at about 5370 words distributed across 29 posts. It has not taken 29 days (as it should have per the self-imposed requirements), but about two months to finish (excluding this afterword). I learned that setting an ambitious publishing schedule and lowering expectation helps to get over the previously mentioned barrier. However, life often gets in the way of such schedules, and as soon as a deadline is missed, it is a slippery slope where suddenly weeks go by without a post. It’s also very hard to overcome creative dry spells, since the self inflicted pressure or guilt of missing one’s schedule further lessens creative productiveness. On the other hand, pressure should not be underestimated as a creative catalyst.

I have many ideas on how to improve upon some of these points, as well as create higher quality texts that are not limited to a format that lends itself so naturally to daily publishing. Alas, the first step to trying any of those (or even writing about them) is to start. Until that happens, Eulenzombie returns to it’s usual uneasy slumber with the occasional post popping up like a rather obnoxious recurring snore.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of those readers who have (out of niceness or sincerity) expressed their appreciation of this story. You may rest assured that I (the author) have never been subjected to recurring nightmares or cryptic messages appearing in diaries. Any similarities to me (the protagonist) are purely the result of lazy writing (characters that are more similar to yourself are easier to write, in case that wasn’t obvious).

For more interesting fun „facts“ about „The Iron Dream“, comment on this post with one (1) Roland Barthes related pun.*

*Offer good while supplies last. Only one „fact“ per (fake) commenter’s ID may be obtained. Any recourse to courts of law is excluded.

Friday, 2016-03-04 (Final Entry)

I remember everything.

I walk into the cube. The surface does not ripple. I pass through my own reflection. The dream changes. A vision:
It is the woods, from above. A sickness is spreading. Black patches, from many sources. Further up still, a pattern emerges, an impossible pattern of black, dead patches. The presence in the wood is rising. IÄISYYDEN KUOLEMATON PÖLLÖ is awakening. The world is dying. Life is consumed, a madness spreads. I am the only one to witness. I am alone. The world ends. The vision ends. I awaken.

I remember everything. There is nothing left to prepare. The dream has ended. I know what to do. I get up, the sun is just barely starting to rise. The morning is beautiful over the roofs of the city, a red sunlight reflected in the fog and dust. I put on clothes, by sheer reflex. I leave the apartment. I do not close the door behind me.

I remember everything. I get on a train and drive, I change trains, I drive further. The attendant checks tickets. She ignores my presence, utterly. Nobody on the train looks at me twice, nobody looks away, I simply exist as decoration. It is noon. I get off. A small village, somewhere, barely worth a train station. I walk, for hours. I reach the forest.

I remember everything. I enter the forest, naked, my clothes left behind. I do not feel the cold wind nor the sun on my skin. I feel nothing. I walk with purpose, there is a clearing. In the middle, a dagger. It looks ancient, it looks hand crafted, it looks impressive. It is a king’s dagger, or a priest’s. It had been passed on by other priests, older ones, druids, pagans. This dagger is older than the new gods. It is older than history, it is older than writing. It is not older than the forest, the rain, the sun shining or the stones below.

I remember everything. There is a doe on the edge of the clearing. I take the dagger. I take the doe’s life. I paint strange symbols on my skin. I have seen them before, I do not understand their meaning. They are letters of Latin, runes of my own invention, runes of ancient languages, they mean nothing to me. I can feel something now. I feel words, burning on my skin, it hurts more than anything I ever felt. I do not hesitate, I do not even acknowledge the pain. I carry the carcass and put it on the tree stump. The deer still has blood to give, a little puddle is forming.

I remember everything. There is a shoat on the opposite edge of the clearing. No birdsong, no wind, no sound but naked feet on the leafy forest ground. The little boar does not scream, it dies as quietly as the doe. The other naked human is a stranger. It lowers its dagger and paints itself in strange symbols of blood. They resemble eastern characters, I do not recognize any. As it walks over to the tree stump, carrying the shoat carcass like a precious child, I can see the tiniest amount of smoke rising from where the symbols burn into skin. The human does not flinch. I paint the others back in expert strokes of foreign characters. The other paints my back, for a short time, I can feel sun and wind between the strokes.

I remember everything. Every detail, every leaf I pass as I paint the ground. The doe does not stop bleeding, until the very end. Neither does the shoat. We have completed two half circles, they are not touching. The sun is setting. The evening glow falls onto the tree stump. The blood shines. The circles connect. I touch the other human, we lock hands. The words fuse across our bodies. The symbols flare and vanish. We leave in opposite directions.

I remember everything. As I walk back, I am still smeared with blood and dirt. The symbols have vanished in form, but their paint remains. It is dark as I reach the edge of the forest, I do not find my clothes. I start feeling the cold, black clouds have started to form. As I reach the train station, a thunder rumbles in the distance. I step onto the train right before the doors close.

I remember everything. I remember every drop of rain sputtering against the windows of the train. I remember the stains I leave on the seats, I remember nobody paying any notice whatsoever. People still do not see me. As I walk home from the train station, the rain washes off the worst of the dirt. It is still pouring intensely, even here. I reach my apartment, the door is still open. Without conscious decision, I step into the shower and mechanically clean my body. The sun is setting. I collapse onto my bed.

I just woke up, there was no dream, no visions, not the slightest disturbance of my deep, exhausted sleep. I just woke up, and I still remember everything.

I don’t know what to do now. I can not go back and live my normal life again. I don’t know what to do.

I remember everything.

I understand nothing.

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