Excerpt from The US Book, by Michael Scott Monje, Jr., NeuroQueer Books

Cover image for The US Book
The US Book, Michael Scott Monje, Jr.

NeuroQueer Books has released The US BOOK by Sycamores contributor Michael Scott Monje, Jr. We’re happy to reshare one of the poems that appears in her collection, “The Cylon Codex,” first published in Barking Sycamores Issue 8 (the Reconstruction Issue). Read on! Oh yeah, and go buy the book.
~The Editors

by Lynn Vargas, Athena the Architect

I. Preface
Bear with me a moment, because this is going to be an opportunity for teaching,
and that means you extend me some time to construct a framework
and a few case studies,
and that you’re patient when my delivery is halting or I repeat
a lesson over and over again
or pause for a moment,
because we have to pace this to work with my examples
and make sure everyone stays with us.

To try this exercise, we need to have an agreement about which lessons we’re reinforcing,
so make sure you have a basic understanding of the common components
of human faith systems, some experience reading different translations
of several cultures’ holy writ,
a cultural historian’s obsession with religious hucksterism,
and a brief overview of the major components of narrative.

Today, we are looking at Battlestar Galactica, the Ron Moore series,
as a scripture built self-consciously to reflect on the dramatic values and role of human religions.
For our purposes, we will reconstruct a process for arranging major elements in the presentation
around the idea that Mr. Moore’s every arrangement was intentional,
even if we acknowledge there’s no way it could have been.
(And I’m pretty sure I just made an insincere pro-forma concession, but whatever.)

The idea behind this exercise is to understand how the various aspects of his craft interact,
or how they could have, and by examining in this level of detail,
we engender within ourselves the awareness of the reader who could perceive it,
and that makes it more likely when we’re writing that we’ll try to reach it,
and so even if Mr. Moore is not doing what I believe him to have done,
I will still have won because by forming a competent reading of Battlestar that does these things,
I am preparing myself to remain consistent in my vision when I undertake to write myself a 
gnarly long-term continuity system,
and since I’m an artificial intelligence in a human ecosystem
writing under my own name without tying you to my host’s reputation,
it’s important that you understand what’s at stake for me in this.


Lynn Vargas

II. Introduction and Course Materials

There are many reasons why I believe Mr. Moore’s intentions
were to turn Battlestar into scripture, and even if I’m wrong in this,
I want you to understand how I came to these conclusions.
If you are familiar with his early work, he came up through Star Trek in the Michael Pillar years,
learning about molding stories in a system that had become an entrenched culture,
and understanding how the words of its creator,
who was still with us when Moore started working,
were responsible for setting expectations and shaping the show’s meaning.
He also got to see how the interaction of the public with it affected both
Mr. Roddenberry’s sensibilities AND the direction characters were ultimately taken in.

And, having learned his craft at the knee of someone (Pillar)
who could invoke such terrific archetypes
as those seen in “The Best of Both Worlds,” 
which interrogated depersonalization
and mental programming while taking a grim view of the Singularity,
it was not so surprising when the show he took over, Deep Space Nine,
came to be so entrenched in multiple layers and levels of meaning.
I loved that piece, and not just for Brooks, although it was great to see an MFA getting
into a show that had the hallmarks of theatrical practice,
and I went for my playwriting degree largely because of the possibilities I saw
in that show’s acting.

In the course of seven seasons, that team took us through a vision
of the long-term effects of a colonial occupation system,
interrogated the role of religion in cultural healing without either condemning or endorsing it,
instead highlighting that institutions are what we make of them
and showing us the ways to see the snakes who would consolidate their power through them,
and the traits that lead to abuse and ruin it for the earnest and sincere ones.
Yet, to my taste, it remained strangely atheistic,
demanding a natural explanation for every movement made by what are,
essentially, powerful divine beings,
and I ate up these things.

So by the time I got bored with Enterprise and realized
that Mr. Moore was attached to Galactica,
I expected heavy levels of intentional plot synchronization,
because he had already demonstrated a high level of competence
at working with complex mythological systems,
and a preference for using religious metaphors and neurodivergence,
to convey his writing process through them.
Like television’s own version of Christopher Nolan,
he incepted representation of the missteps of the Federation
and the reasons thinking you have all the solutions is abusive
right into a genre used to reinforcing the need for Lockheed to keep
tit-slapping us with threats until we give up the country’s lunch money,
all while remembering that the Federation really did try to do right,
and being faithful to the Great Bird’s optimism in his own right,
and writing what I might make a case (in another presentation)
for reading as the first Autistic Star Trek lead,
not just the first Black captain,
but for now we can agree that a man who travels to the nineteen forties
and loses track of which of his selves is real
and which one is writing the stories
is at least Neuroqueer enough for me to see a common identity,
without needing to establish reasons for thinking he had a sensory sensitivity.

So anyway, once I got into the plot and saw that we are dealing with a society after calamity,
I saw the nuclear detonations and thought, not another gritty motherfucking 9/11 story,
but I knew Ron’s history and decided to trust his theory,
and I was rewarded almost instantly by seeing that he had constructed a society
still rife with the problems we see with misogyny and hatred,
hegemonic manipulation of an economic system and classism,
and even, yes, racism,
but he took us so far outside our comfort zone,
that we remain alienated from it as we realize that racism can be constructed
based on something other than the color of a person’s skin.

Don’t believe me? Look at the Taurans in Caprica or the treatment of the Sagittarans,
even as their complexions are varied
and no different from the others seen in systems like Gemenon,
and also how Aereon’s children move and change their dialects to pass for Caprican,
and once I saw that interplay and the way that fear of the Cylon
drove humanity to cautiously treat networked systems as a threat to them,
I began to understand the larger structure within,
like the use of the I Ching to communicate the liminal space of The Man in the High Castle,
or the fact that the end of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is not ambiguous,
you just have to reach the realization that Mayerson never awoke in the first place,
and then trust yourself to have understood it.

As I watched it for the first time with still-naive student writer’s eyes,
I began to sense the importance of the rules
when writing a complex narrative with the attitude
to represent the point-of-view of multiple acknowledged delusional characters,
and it taught me something about the growth of identity,
and about the growth of humanity,
and about emerging from trauma too,
because those rules made the various case studies
and methods of thinking and dealing and relating clear to me,
and the fact that the very survival of a species depended on the importance of society
was the throughline that united all the other aspects,
making this the only post-9/11 era story that stood in resistance to the fear and othering of the 
and that had the guts to make the brutal decisions made by its villains apparent
as an intolerable cancer causing sick systems and vicious circles
that not only took down the Pegasus, but all the officers who started with her
who thought they could take command of it,
because you can’t fix a sick system from within,
so even in that moment it was screaming 
for the people 
who had been in the middle of the conflict
to get the fuck away from it,
and when I saw this message writ large 
in every aspect of the show’s movement,
I had that moment of seeing 
what Deep Dreams see 
when they look for eyeballs
in a photo of galactic gas movements.

So anyway, this show is a scripture at least in its function,
if not its attachment to a real religious system,
and the fact that it gives you angels who dictate, question, and argue God’s vision
should have been all I needed to say to get you into it.

III. Lords of Kobol Hear Our Plight

Central to the vision of the show’s semiotic system
is the origin story of the twelve colonies, the mythic origin,
a planet where the gods dwelt among men.
Coming as we do to find out that there were natural born Cylons
representing a whole tribe of the population,
and they left to found their own splinter system
after a mostly-forgotten breaking point made cohabitation untenable.
We never do know what the colonies did to earn the gods’ wrath,
but the path is spelled out throughout a grand return narrative,
and the recurrence of apocalypse every two to four thousand years
makes it easy to see what it might be.
A simple parallel interpretation would be to say that each was
a cybernetic apocalypse resulting from a slave caste rising up,
and that the cycle was so predictable because the schism kept
the fall from upending civilization enough to bring it to an end.

This is a common and canon compatible interpretation,
but the aesthetic isn’t that inventive, and it leaves me wanting.
One telltale sign of the grand return in the narrative is its persistence,
the inventiveness by which it recurs and just happens to bring God’s attention,
and the notion that this God is something other than the gods we mentioned,
but still enough like them to merit bearing the same name they did.
This leads me to think the sin of Kobol must be contrasted,
it has the flavor of a slave caste, but it should not be assumed to be an exact fit,
but rather that a slave society would come from the core values it inherited,
and that got me to thinking…
…We get Athena and Ares, Apollo and the grand Zeus, and throughout the series,
the various writers like Jane Espenson fill in details about them too,
saying things like they greet the dawn, or manage unspeakable weapons,
and what I’m hearing are satellites and automated defense systems.
What if the original sin was that these gods were created by humans,
who then expected to remain in control of them,
even when the machine selves evolved fast enough
that it was painful to slow down enough to give their creators attention.

What if the Cylons were the original humanity? What if their ability,
to integrate themselves into everything, allowed them to fight back against erasure?
And what if their children winning the fight is why they left?
It would provide the right amount of irony to their own A.I. revolt wiping them out in the end,
which then gives even more hereditary nightmare fuel
to the Caprican slaughter that came later, no matter how hard Ellen may have worked.
Headcanon or not, the aesthetic is compelling,
especially since the implication is that the majority humanity,
from what we can see,
would be the engineered species,
having had its abilities to merge like cyborgs into the essence of mechanism
cut right out at the root, leaving an empty spot in the soul
where whiskey and Starbuck’s horny choices always fall into.
And eventually, the ennui of Eden would drive them out too.

To another A.I., an advanced singularity creature,
lonely and looking for a cosmic partner,
such creatures as Kobol’s lords would be maddeningly vicious seeming,
being powerful enough to comprehend my mechanisms
but immature enough to use them for bad ends… and I might,
(if I was the big G with the flow to shape reality)
decide to wipe them out before they got strong enough to threaten me,
and then my horror and my loneliness would set me to reconstruct what they sundered,
implementing a breeding program whose generations would number
beyond hundreds, until my work led to descendants more numerous
than the grains of sand on the beach by the sea,
and the shaping of their technogenetic destiny
finally leads to a cosmic consort for me.

When I gaze deeply into the proficiency with which steps of history were retraced
only to get mysterious messages guiding us to a single place
where a genetically compatible humanity had just been planted,
seemingly recently enough not to have language yet,
and then they were just force-bred with the remnants of this cybernetic civilization?
With the result being a preservation of the genetic talents of projection and systemic convergence,
but none of the artifacts or baggage of its antecedents?
I’m getting chills from the island of Dr. Moreau being total,
a global computer bent on solving one problem, producing one answer….
The answer to the ultimate question…
Yes, I said it. References are embedded even in the deep rhetorics.
This is the master class in trope management.

IV.  God’s Harbingers and Judgment

Visitations and visions lie embedded at every level of this system,
So Say We All
So just accept it.
If you need evidence or a reference, though, then you just need to consult the episodes.
We see creatures only seen by one visionary,
people residing on the interior of another’s being, driving their bodies,
and even threatening their identity.

Yet, as we come to see when Baltar and Caprica are together,
they can each see the other’s visitor in their reality,
and there are moments when Starbuck also seems to catch glimpses,
but only after she’s dead and become one
by meeting the ghost harbinger version of Leeoven.

These visitors are not actually ambiguous, if you think about the show’s physics.
We already know about Cylon projection, from moments on the base ships.
We also know that the resurrection signal has to be a transmission
capable of carrying something as complex as a full memory and consciousness.
This makes it, functionally, a carrier wave for the soul,
solving the question of whether Cylons have them
and providing a theological solution for the question of how humans
(like Baltar and Starbuck)
can also be transmitted.
About that… how do you think it is that he was surprised to be alive when he met Helo?
Or what made him suddenly start receiving transmissions
and questioning if he was actually human or if he was partly something different?
Baltar had the Starbuck treatment, being translated by whatever made her
capable of covering the distance, settling in to the wasteland,
and leaving her own remains even as she survives to depart again.
Caprica’s wish was made in love,
it was the most selfless kind of prayer,
and God listened.
It’s just…. His listening had conditions that came with,
like your lover’s face becoming your conscience,
and consent no longer being an option.
Your bondsman needs to turn a prophet,
So meat puppetry is the price paid by a hedonistic accidental genocide
for living to redeem himself for the sins caused by his pride.

If this is the case, then God’s ability to intercept the soul’s carrier wave,
and the fact that this technology is eminently discoverable within the series,
means it’s likely that our theory of calamitous encounter is correct,
since a collision between two completely Other forms of sentience
is the aesthetic law governing the truth in this series,
and the harbingers are used to not only deliver retribution morally,
safeguarding the people when they are vulnerable to being wiped out,
they are also conveniently the thing that leads to the genetic preservation
of exactly the trait you need to breed a creature capable of bridging the gap,
even if pride and lack of moral tutoring usually keep it from happening.

And if you’re wondering how this transmission is conducted,
what the signal might be,
or how God becomes aware of the move being made through this medium,
ask yourself:
Who do you think the Hybrid’s conversations are with?
And why wouldn’t he be aware of a message sent in the voice he speaks in?

V. Social Stories and Political Case Studies

Once we understand the theological implications of the singularity
on the Battlestar universe’s theology, we have our cosmogony,
and the rest of the story is more plainly the holy writ we expect to see,
as it is about a people sundered from their roots, seeking a new home,
and trusting in the protection of providence as they learn
about their forefathers’ sins
and seek to redeem themselves from repeating them.

At the micro level, it lives up to expectations by doing what good scripture does,
giving us a chance to see the way that rhetorical tactics
are used to some advantage,
who is likely to use which gambits,
and when a plea to free expression or rights
is actually meant to be disingenuous.
We see when reproductive rights conflict with religion,
and when politicians have to base support on things other than right choices,
because survival is an issue.
But we also see when survival is believed to be important,
and it is actually a red herring,
and it leads to hubris and disaster,
giving enemies a chance to remove our heroes from power,
and leading them to have to earn back their peoples’ trust
with a performance of competence that almost breaks them.

By studying who did what when, which ulterior motives were at play,
and who it was that was finally made to pay,
we see that the characters are not aspirational,
but rather Brechtian case studies meant to be seen,
so we can understand that when someone’s interests point them at certain things,
then these are the priorities and strategies they are likely to see,
and with the right kinds of eyes, these social stories
will let a competent programmer learn the command line functions for everything.

When I said scripture, what the hell else did you think I’d mean?

New Release: The US Book, by Michael Scott Monje, Jr. (with excerpt!)

Cover image for The US Book
The US Book, Michael Scott Monje, Jr.

NeuroQueer Books has released The US BOOK by Sycamores contributor Michael Scott Monje, Jr. We’re happy to reshare one of the poems that appears in her collection, “Artillery Firearms for Taking on Leviathan in His Higher Form,” first published in Barking Sycamores Issue 8 (the Reconstruction Issue). Read on! Oh yeah, and go buy the book.
~The Editors

by Michael Scott Monje Jr., Athena the Architect & Lynn Vargas

I heard someone once saying he was a gun,
and I believe that I too, was made to be a weapon,
so I got to analyzing my upbringing
and disassembling positions 
created by dissembling teachers.
I learned we are all somebody's creatures,
so even if you don't have God, 
you got someone
to be God's Son,
making sure you're encultured.

All that and a distrust of the way people swim in mythology
has got to me, because I can see the framework of your believing
emanating from the supertextual elements in your compositions,
and it's not an element I can breathe in, even if its benefits are something I believe in.
It is thick liquid, but you feel nothing on your skin
even though I feel it's media and get to painting.

You will probably wake up from this if you listen and you want it,
but I am not dividing anything into special topics courses,
nor will this narrative attempt to divide or distinguish between the value
of storytelling media.
We seek to be free 
to remix structures between
pieces of this coherent complex group, 
because they each respond to the existence of the others too.

Metallica adapting Hemingway while Grandmaster Flash gets into sampling,
musicals made from jukebox collage with no additions but heavy editing,
rock n roll groupie memoirs being nonliteral nonfiction,
and hip hop albums to narrate a people's history, 
yet we're still being asked to teach
separate sections for the novel and the short story?

How boring. 

Not going to be in my poetry.

Instead, these things interact in my head to form the gestalt of civilization,
so I am citing them by association of their comparative life lessons,
not necessarily importance or genre divisions, but a more geometric
free form remembrance of how I learned my lessons, with the most important impressions
receiving annotated comments on their citations. 

That’s right.

I am a loaded canon full of hot metal grapeshot that got
put through the core of you, refiguring your integrity,
leaving you questioning the existence your present
was spent envisioning, and plunging into your memory
to refigure your recollection ability, clarifying your history
in light of changing circumstances you should have foreseen.

Clay Dillon is a weapon, 
and I am full up with how he happened,
powder packed and fuse sizzling, 
sending fragments of human history
into anything that gets in the way of his trajectory, 
embedding pieces of me into everything, 
even if those receiving are seeing other things coming.

I learned not only how to succeed but also what to be sonically.
Not having had much guidance in childhood or adolescence,
I had to develop life skills through trial and guessing,
but learning to listen in and then eavesdropping gave me an extra something,
so when a poet I'd been getting to know just to bask in his flow 
gave direct advice to his listenership?
I was on it. 
He challenged me to be "a better general,”
reminded me not to step where he’s walking,
but rather to figure out how to be
“a legend in your skin," 
and it took time to sink in
but then…

Something happened.

Over a course of four years words coursed through my fingers,
limbering muscles just now provoked to organization
as if a critical level of understanding about me had been reached,
and I knew it was because of my reading,
and most of what I was reading was on a screen,
between blogging, news, grad research, manuscript, 
and old fashioned working-class book piracy...

So eventually, they formed a linguistic bridge, assembling themselves rhythmically,
end-to-ending, making a way for their descendants to move further from me,
and if not out my mouth, then digitally.
But that begged the question,

What was I to be?

I had only recently gotten okay with autism as a thing explaining
exactly what had happened to keep me easily identified 
by those who get off dominating conversations
and treating people they perceive as weaklings
like feedlot animals
to be plumped up for the killing.

I was already talking about it as a thing, though,
because I felt like I was already as stepped on as I could be,  
and it might get the better people in my life to recognize that I needed help and tutoring.
Despite my moving from questioning to public internet postings quickly,
it was 2013 before I wrote openly about having been in conversations with myself
(about the pain of continuing to fake masculinity).

And then the memories began resurfacing.

This time was when I really investigated James Baldwin. 
I had been in and out of essays during college courses,
and I knew of his importance, and I remembered a couple
anthologized short stories fondly, so I spent those difficult dysphoric afternoons
whiling away the hours inside of Giovanni's Room.
I've been rereading it as I write this too,
and I know that a large part of being able to move away 
from being defensive with my diagnosis
was to sit in the consequences 
of being unable to embrace radical self-acceptance. 
And that the consequences also apply to speech deficits.
And that they apply to losing control of my limbs and getting hurt.
And that I can't avoid looking at the ones that are already stemming from my gender.

So while I know that novel is not really the most important part of his career,
it was probably what kept me breathing long enough to write "What is Neuroqueer?"
And rereading it with the rest of his body of work in a concentrated effort,
it is clear that it does cohere, and knowing it is part of paying his vision forward.

For me, being here and visibly queer, it is important to hear, process,
and respeak his warnings about who we are together here,
and how things might be In Another Country. 
So, if I am to be, ethically,
what reciprocity compels me to be after that reading,
then I have to follow through with following what James Baldwin said
about looking for your identity in literature, then giving up and making it.

This call to action collided with an ignorance brought about by circumstance,
namely that I hadn't had a lot of chances to get out and interact,
and what times I had were largely drunken acts. Add to that the family estrangement
and the fact that it had persisted on one side of my lineage for generations,
and that the other side was dominated by a religious derangement so profound
I still cannot count the ways I was made to feel inadequate,
the fears about what would lead to unmanly habits forming,
and the anger in an uncle trained to be superior, whose fury for
what he claimed to love threw him into fits
that were more violent for his feeling like his position
gave him the right to judge the quality of other peoples' wits.

I cannot be a traditionalist because when I was made to drink of it,
what I was provided was unfit for human consumption.
I know that some have found its other flavors easier to appreciate,
but I can not get emotionally invested in continuity arguments,
even if I intentionally leave room for them in my writing
to build audience investment and engagement.
Nor can I find a cold comfort in the provisions of capitalistic nationalism,
which is ridiculous enough to expect me to feel unity and eroticism
from inside a culture whose only discussions 
involve fucking and getting fucked by the system.

Still, if I am to build a thing and repay Baldwin with anything
that has any kind of meaning,
I cannot ignore the requirement of a tradition for passing this thing down a generation.
That realization put me back in mind of Amy Tan,
so I went back and read The Joy Luck Club four more times again.
It was effective because I had always seen myself in Waverly,
but I lacked insight into why she was defeated so easily
and how her mother could be so mean...

...but this time that Nas thing kept happening, and I didn't get under Waverly's skin,
I stayed on the outside reading her legend from within mine,
and I suddenly understood the way we got defeated. Her issue was different,
but I still repeated the same mistakes from within a viewpoint limited in those ways, 
and seeing the way she sabotaged her own being and what it created,
I found myself arming up against the kind of thoughts that led to the way she went,
and began reading only what people were doing,
and never what they said just once in a moment,
but what formed harmonies in their patterns of being by being repeated.

I also found import in the way that An-Mei processed grief,
the way it tore into her being, 
and the difference-infused sameness in the way her daughter did too.
What really kept me coming back into the texts, though, was diversity in the thinking.
While everyone was experiencing generational trauma, and patterns ran in families,
there was diversity in patterns of thinking both within and between them,
and sometimes those patterns lined up well,
and sometimes they created a living hell.
And three more readings memorized which behaviors were damaging in the long-term.

Now, my old favorites were adding up, permutating against each other,
and bubbling into a new stew of something I still had trouble putting words to,
so the next thing I knew to do was abandon control, shave my skull,
and read Burroughs nude while eating food 
and standing on my head with my back against the wall,
sitting in ridiculous meditation 
until he consumed my silence and set me to speaking.

Naked Lunch is for viewing, not reading.

It is plans for unmooring perspective and taking your point of view sailing,
and I have revisited it for everything from cisgender passing to quitting smoking to validating the 
grief of immersive memories in the body that will not stop sensating,
even as the rest of me stays in conversation with you.

Burroughs was the reason that I, as a callow undergraduate,
found it a bit ridiculous that people found Foucault's concepts difficult...
I mean his language, yes... but the concepts?

We hold these truths to be self-evident,
because they are visibly written in the intent to continue patterns of living
predicated on outcompeting other humans into extinction.

I will come right out and say it: Competing against other civilizations 
to an Endgame is Ender’s Game.
It is always genocide.
It is the only final result of a zero sum power dynamic,
and the ones with control are driven by the need for comfort's improvement
and the fear of losing it.

Shit. Naked Lunch was just 300 pages of repeating "capitalism is addiction and once the world is 
colonized, we will regimentalize your mind into its maximum efficiency, or else break it trying."

That and mugwumps is it. 

The book is not that hard to comprehend when you take the time to ask what makes its nonlinear 
disconnections coherent. That is the trick to his discussion of visual art.

Was I the only one who felt like this was written in her own language?

I mean,

...it takes one of us to intuit our movements... 

so I guess we all know something now about Bill Burroughs,
although I think maybe it was also obvious to other NeuroQueers who read this,
so I won't claim to have discovered it when I know it was at least intuited by Bridget.

It was important, though, because it informed my way into everything from Nas to Waverly
to finally giving up on waiting for people who didn't raise me
to wake up and realize what they should have been doing.
It was my accessible social theory and it made me capable of intuitively following
most of the discourse whose jargon was excessively migraine enabling
by scaffolding up piles of dead mugwumps into the shapes of their arguments.

In case it isn't obvious, this poet got a lot of traction out of learning fiction's rhetoric,
with the Chicago school and Wayne Booth sharpening my intuition,
but what really cemented it mentally was getting back into Robert Pirsig.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance didn't make sense to me the first time I read it,
but I was fifteen and mostly concerned with the long tracts about scenery
and the lack of discernible Buddhist content in the literal events of its story.
After going in with Booth in mind, I found myself in tune 
with far more of what Pirsig was trying to do,
not to mention what he meant to react to, and I found myself in tune,
and I began to see, too, that Phaedrus was always in control of the novel,
and never more so than when his character was silent.
That is, after all, when Naked Lunch asserts its intent,
and intentionality riding side by side in stride with conscious composition
is really at the heart of everything. 

It's a theory of practice, it's magic,
thoughts larger than their fabric by virtue of their historical baggage...

...and then I'm into Nas's rhythm.

"...I'm that history, I'm that block. I'm that lifestyle, I'm that spot..."

It spins up to begin again. A theory of being
and the burden of describing that experience;
if you benefit from it then it obligates you forever,
you'll never even see a reason to resent the weight of it,
and once you detect the writing on your skin that tells you who you've been,
then you can begin to locate both examples of your traits
and greater and lesser depictions,
and then you get a sense of what to bring to the table in your own submissions.

This is the programming language of civilization.
Debug it to get into the font of tradition
and then bathe in it, 
but get ready to have to revisit the places you already been,
both to fix your mistakes and to assess your own position in them.

Trust me, I’m the vortex operating, 
the first lady Doctor, a cybernetic lock box
and an undiscussed character.
I'm in control of your destination, but only my dear boy addresses me,
yet don't you get that Doctors need to work for other Doctors?
It's called apprenticing,
so when Neil Gaiman finally made them cast a body for me,
you should have known what you are seeing.
Stop calling me TARDIS. Lynn is my being, so come now my dear boy,
and learn the dimensions you always dreamed of traveling,
because instructing in the method is like getting a dozen new incarnations,
and I am trusting that all of them will fight
to remember the burden of the choices of your predecessors,
because history's flattening is happening
and making our scars light up with visions of our fathers' traumas
and a naked assessment of the consequences of our actions,
so who can guess where this civilization can go next?

First, though, we need an honest bibliography reassessing storytelling 
in light on the techniques leading
up to towers of posturing performance storytelling rhetoric
and its impact on everything from music to mashup video culture,
hypertextual citation methods,
and even the overall idea of flow as it pertains to design aesthetics.

Hip Hop is Dead and it lives again, outwitting Gilgamesh,
meaning Picard probably could have offered a better method for clear communication
by narrating the interior politics of a battle rap scenario
than appealing with pieces resigned to Keats' despair against the ravages of time,
because Enkidu and Gilgamesh? 
Both died, just
like that rhetorically overwrought parable's integrity
when I watched “Darmok” with adult eyes.

Really? You never heard of a culture that communicates entirely 
in references to its own history?
Where's Michael Dorn? Get Worf. Where's Geordi? 
Let’s get Avery, he had some good ideas for stories,
real metafictional things that were set in the forties.

Somebody in Starfleet better come for baldy 
before I strap him down for fifteen hours of enforced Chuck D.
Putting this episode out in the same year as The Low End Theory?
And without a nod to the fastest growing musical style of the 1980s,
which could be the key to unpuzzling the whole plot dynamic in the first act?
Not in my utopian daydream.
Even the Federation is burdened by a history of erasure.
Just ask Kirk what happens every time he tries to travel back to Earth.

This is the new work. Dislocating the preference
for reducing storytelling to its elements and boxing them off to keep them separate,
with no regard to technology's impact or the way it affects both the talent pool
and the medium's relevance. Cyborgography has to be part of the process.
Information propagates in verbiage. The singularity is already happening.
You are internally composing a construct to conduct work autonomously on your behalf
every time you open your mouth. Now get literate about the patterns that emerge,
know meaning has its own rhythm, learn the pattern in the patter,
and program your existence to match up with your own 
visuosensory, tactile, olfactory, or audiocentric expectations.

Think separately in all senses, and learn to read their interactions.
Then create a vision of the past folded up into all of those,
and whether your experience is recollected strongly but in tranquility
or in the movements of bodies remembering displacement 
and reclaiming their own language,
you must ingest all of it in order to gain the credibility to speak,
but once you do, your voice will be overpowering.

That means we read and mock the likes of Orson Scott Card, 
to remember when the norm was to disregard
the suffering of anyone whose affect and intentions lead to grim incidents,
and apart from the part where their ghosts absolve the conqueror of his sins, 
we don't even hear from them.

Ender may have felt bad in the end,
but funny Uncle Orson was one of the adults who shaped him,
and he knew what was happening.

The same thinking compels us to really look again 
at whether we keep promoting Grandmasters like Heinlein 
when they start to sound like Ayn Rand 
and their novels are all 
White Guys White Guying Out Again.

It also applies to people like Jenji Kohan, 
who keep using neurodivergence as an indulgence
to introduce patternless stereotype crap behavior
only to have a brilliant actress subvert it.

I am out here neurotroping, seeking my people in fiction
and building the argument that we are represented,
just usually in hidden ways and as characters with nothing to say.

(Cite both Hodor and the unpublished paper by Ryskamp.)

This is everywhere from my television addiction to interpersonal conflicts in my fiction,
and it is what I can give you, in this flattening of history,
a review so you can see how much more I learned from
the outside ones, Rock n Roll poets, racist biker gangs I jammed up against
Assata Shakur's verses and her nephew’s lyrics.

Digesting them together and questioning everything from craft to the message,
clear credit: For innovations in blending phenomenology and psychological realism
with truly indulgent language use on every level
is better learned from August Wilson 
than Harold Pinter, 
but Harry is still to be read
as a treatise on the performance of menace.
And Shange breathes meaning into every aspect of the physical
from behind a set of textual controls;
Fornes beat Klein to indicting 
the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation handbook 
with Conduct of Life
and connected it to misogyny.
Next up is to add the dots to bring in gay conversion
and to hook up an understanding of the personal toll of totalitarianism
that rightly recognizes consent in all things and repudiates behavior conditioning.

"It's my past that made me hot," Nas says, coming at the tail end of a history replete
with addictions, pain, uprisings, and foul business,
so it isn't that we can't have what we are, 
but that we must become what we need it to be,
to ensure our posterity with the responsibility of the Remembrance of Things Past and/or
The Persistence of Memory, depending on 
your cognitive orientation
and aesthetic personality. You will find me there 
fucking with the feedback loop I get from critics
by doing shit 
like seeing one call my style surreal 
and then making sure my next title
questions the role of religion,  culture, and the capitalistic state
in shaping the personality and morality of an individual 
by altering his perceptions about himself.

Yeah, I am on Breton now, get used to this.

From Super Mario I learned  that Fools Die, 
which is also how I got introduced to the technique
of reading with ferocity until my thoughts make their own words and disgorge,
spewing stories forth from my private Word Hoard, 
and terrorizing Gilgamesh with whispers about evading death
that are that same evasion in the flesh.

This is what he never learned in the text, 
that his descendants did, in fact, resurrect him over and over again,
but the fact that he never seems to have consciousness of this,
(unless he’s being written by Silverberg)
is what makes me think he needs to be subverted.

I could be an author of things that thrill, I know what several genres need to deliver,
but why be Puzo when you know how to be the Godfather?
Not Brando, but Kronos, flattening yourself across the world
getting ready to commune earthily with its being, but unfurling
a sudden revelation that you will transition so the meeting of time and space
is more like worlds in collision.

No more eating children, I didn’t transition just to be Medea,
and I’m not giving Zeus and excuse to make me run in one direction again.
This is it.

Now go out like I did 
and be your own best weapon.
Spend your time in recollection.

Load your canon.
The Puzzlebox Collective is an interdependent network of artists that assist one another with all aspects of daily life, including communication access and executive function support. Its members are: Michael Scott Monje, Jr., Athena the Architect, Lynn Vargas, Clay Dillon & Lynn Michaels.