DANCING TONIGHT. The placards went up about as fast as they were torn down, and meant that the whole affair opened with a series of fistfights for the general entertainment. Mostly between the Skeleton Men on the one hand and the Button Men on the other. The rest of the lowcity kept its own council, trembled with activity, and looked to the North and the West; the directions of the Foundries. The Tellers of Stones and Bones did banner business, spilling entrails, casting marked bones, reading the skies for the signs of a Thunderbird's passing, reading the clouds and the feathers of fallen birds, creating patterns in every sign of the earth, sky and river. The low houses by the dock changed and cleaned all the glass shades of their gaslamps, shored up sodden and drooping boardwalks, tramped down the earth in front for easy access, sewed up some of the garments and shredded some others. They couldn't count on business, necessarily, but the whores were only a side-dish, an aperitif. No one came to the Lowcities /just/ for that, least of all the Dancers-- the Dancer, and all of its shining children. Why did they come? For the water, grumble the Button Men, to glut the Spider-Bitch on the blood of the lowdwellers and to eat the meat of the Beasts. What do the Skeleton Men say? Well, I shall tell you.
Why don't you tell me, baby,Why don't you tell me who you are?Why don't you tell me the name of your lightling?What did you to to get sliced up, sliced away?Why don't you tell me, baby o' baby, The City is calling you, Calling your Name...
So sitting there wasted in a bar in Berlin there is this kid called Germany, somewhere near the place that used to be the Death Strip on the Eastern Side of the Berlin Wall.I never knew this Berlin, or this Germany, this divided monster, this moth-eaten beast, ravaged and ravished till he nearly forgot who he was in a haze of drugs and booze and painkiller and as much sex and he could stomach. He is still trying to forget what was done to him, looking for a face and a costume and a dream that fits him. He is still very much alone, and no one wants to be his friend or play kickball with him anymore. So he huddles in the warm, broad breast of re-stitched Berlin, drinking in bars and looking for nightclubs and thinking he sees her smiling through her own shadows, and he puts his face in his hands and he feels old, even though he's still such a child. France, England, Spain, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland-- they just laugh and they tell him all the time, "You are such a fucking child. You'll grow up one day. You'll see."They don't pick on Italy nearly as much, all hanging out with France and being Sophisticated and lounging around Venice looking smug. They never invite Germany to their parties, saying that all Germany wants to do is drop acid and rave dance and eventually gets way too fucked up and pisses on the sofa and starts making inappropriate overtures to the dog. That only happened once, Germany insists, indignant. He's over that now. He's had rehab and is doing his steps. He's trying so hard, but the way all the other countries treat him just makes him want to take a bunch of x and fuck some willing party chick in a bathroom stall. This germany is some squalling brat I never knew. This is the kid that we kicked into shape when he was still a babe, teaching him about manliness and hatred and how they were nearly the same thing, teaching him to cut up queers with long knives and to button his collars on the right, and about the power of unity, and about power. We gave him billy clubs and jackboots and lightning bolts and told him stories about Thor and Odin and Heimdall and we left out Balder for being too femme, and he listened to us until Social Services came and took him from our care. We fucked up, and we know it. Some fucking parents. So now, removed from that role, I watch him from a distance, skulking through a still bewildered Berlin and wondering who he is, feeling like shit because I what I told him was bullshit, and we never taught him about how to see for himself.
She lit a candle and the candle went WOOSh.
Emmaline eats oranges on the edge of the city and when I say the city has an edge that was what I meant, don't think I meant anything else. On the edge of the city where the lip quivers up and if you look out over the edge you see its teeth. The city is a monster, all bloated with dark. It is a lover of the light that casts it hard on the ground and makes it crawl with the sorts of things that dwell in dark placesAnd eat oranges, And spit orange seeds of the edge of the cityAnd smile.
The higwaymen and heroes don't drink liquor,Are friends with everyone and lie to them,And differ only in the color of their horse.
She is crouched at the foot of my bed with her fangs bared and growling as if I am being murdered instead of fucked, and I am thinking, "No, no, I am not being hurt dear," (at least, not in the way you think) and She growls again as if to say, No, in exactly the way I think.And I laugh in spite of myself and the woman fucking me asks "What?" and I have to kiss her now, to prove something I don't necessarily believe and at the very least, so she doesn't get her throat ripped out (by mistake?).I can still see Her eyes in the dark, hear Her Growling, and there is comfort in the sound.
Someone was singing 'I'll go no more a'roving (with you fair maid)' a girl with a full beard on an empty street, singing out of her empty face, throwing rocks at the streetlights and not actually breaking them because they're better than that now, these days, the things that they do. They don't even cast shadows anymore, and there is nothing left to hide in the shadows even if they did. Oh yes, it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, and everything's better now. Sure it is.Belie' dat.Smash.