Hot or Not in 2023

This year was a real treat. Looking back we can’t help to rejoice in love and laughter over Skärseldens Valentine’s Day Special. We also will remember the night of Love Purgatory forever! And our beautiful zines How to Flirt and Skate Boy Theory. And last but not least, the inevitable Comedown.

But never ever would we think to say our farewells to 2022 before giving you Purgatory Mags exclusive Hot or Not list!!! The only thing you really need to know is that if you’re reading this you’re Hot and generally speaking not much is Not. Let’s begin!

Hot:

  • Syrup
  • Dick girth, not length. Looking at the penis and admiring its aesthetic
  • Bill collectors
  • Traditional folk music. Have you ever experienced callous betrayal and thought to yourself, “a folk musician would never have treated me this way?” Having this to believe in makes life bearable, and so does the extreme beauty of traditional. folk. music
  • The perfect man. Since he was absent during 2022
  • Saving money. You never know what you’re gonna buy!!
  • Writing scandalously, posting scandalously
  • Going clinically insane at least once
  • Nice dancing to Congolese rumba music. Now imagine a man or a woman of pure attractiveness dancing so nicely in a bar in West Berlin, and you exclaim “My life is complete!”
  • Cinema – Our friend was so scared of the bird man in the Czechoslovak version of Beauty and the Beast that he had to look at his phone the whole time, and that’s how he learned that one of his acquintances had been beaten up, went to him at 2AM to provide emotional support, and ended up fucking him instead. This is just one example of the power of cinema.
  • Headwear – both comedic and beautiful
  • TRUST. in people
  • French cuisine
  • flirting/dating/romancing/courting with vigor and intent, put on some opera right now
  • McDonald’s is allowed
  • Final wave feminism
  • Donating to animal charities, helping the animal world
  • To stare fearlessly into the pussy during lesbian sex. What is there to be scared of? The world is your oyster.

Controversial:

  • Having your heart touched

Not:

  • A faint poop smell . If you smell like shit you’re out! Get a bidet!
  • Skater boys. Aint nobody got time for that
  • Issues from Eastern Europe, issues from wherever really
  • Longing. The time for fruitless yearning is long due, don’t you have better things to do?
  • Swish
  • Nice family life with a house. You think you’re gonna have a nice life? not on our watch
  • Getting a better understanding of yourself as you get older through Lana Del Rey’s music

The Purgatory Magazine editorial board wishes all our hot readers a HOT 2023.

My Comedown

“For the sake of my health,” I think automatically each time I pour frozen peas into my instant noodles.

Then I lie in my sarcophagus, which is my bed when it’s covered in linen sheets, when the blackout curtains are drawn and it’s dark and soft in the room like a soft grave. As the poisons leave my body, a throbbing lump of pain is formed behind my right eye, the size of a grape. Sometimes when it’s gotten really bad I’ve put a bag of frozen soy mince on my eye and felt it slowly thaw as I count down the hours. Time, my saviour. As long as the clock keeps going forward I’m not trapped in an eternal now which feels unbearable but which will be borne and over. 

It could have been worse. 2013, after an illegal rave in an abandoned mail center where malicious hallucinations chased me and spoke to me, I took a sip of orange juice in front of the mirror and spat it out immediately. It felt like my throat was closing up. I thought I was about to die. It was the acid in the oranges; I studied my palate and throat in the mirror with my mouth gaping wide. I’d smoked and gurned so badly with my tongue against the roof of my mouth that it had filled up with blisters, which had now burst. Full of little burn holes, like Freddie Krueger’s skin. 

Burnt. Everyone says they’re about to change, but they never do. The pendulum swings from action to regret. It does not go forwards, only side to side. 

Mike often used to call me late at night when he was anxious because he was coming down. He partied loads, many days in a row, because his parents lived far away from the city centre and it was so expensive to travel home. I liked his calls, I was an hour ahead of him timezone-wise and besides I was lonely in that bourgie neighbourhood where I didn’t have any friends and it was so quiet at night. I brought my phone with me to a bar and drank wine there while I talked to him, like I’d gone to the bar with a dear friend. I was happy to soothe his anxieties. I’ve got to change the way I live! he’d always say to me, but the next week he’d call again.

In my head, I see visions of gross primordial creatures, like my visual imagination is trying and not quite succeeding at remembering how things fit together. It invents living beings from scratch with only the vaguest frame of reference. Humans with too many eyes and weird tubes in their skin, or little creatures that are nothing but these weird, fleshy tubes. It’s important not to get scared by what your own mind shows you, regardless of how nasty it is. There are things you cannot help.

It’s easy to fall into a self-analysis spiral and question everything you’ve done the previous night. For most halfway functional people, booze and drugs are a way to get close to other people in an uninhibited, unforced way, where social contact becomes more open, more honest, more positively emotionally charged, and above all more stimulating. You can say anything. Right then and there a space is opened for the meeting between two souls – so it feels at the time – but afterwards, once the meeting’s over, you bitterly regret having flaunted yourself, agonizing over ugly sounds made while laughing or if you’re bad at fucking. Better not to think about those sorts of things, because it doesn’t help to obsess over yourself.

When I was around fourteen my only friend and I thought all people who drank and partied were worthless bimbos. The funnest thing we knew was eating about a kilo of pick’n’mix and playing Playstation 2 until we passed out from the sugar crash. High school was a whole different story. Indeed. Because they told me I had ADHD and prescribed me a medicine which was a slow-release amphetamine. I was so depressed that winter that I couldn’t do anything. It was so dark and cold, inside and out, and every lamp shone with a sickly yellow light that gave me nightmares about evil incidents in obscure bowling alleys and rollerskating rinks. It hurt so much. “It” was nothing in particular. “It” was everything. Sometimes I took 5-6 methylphenidate pills at once, to have the energy to perform socially, like when my friends were celebrating their birthdays. I remember once, after such a celebration, sitting awake until 6AM while everyone else was sleeping, shaking with diffuse fear, writing rambling and paranoid diary entries about a guy we met on the bus on the way home. I wrote them in Japanese, looking up each kanji individually. It was important to keep my observations top secret. When you’re coming down, you can get all sorts of strange notions. 

Methylphenidate is the worst when it comes to paranoia and anxiety during the comedown. Well, perhaps meth is worse – I don’t have a lot of experience with meth, but I definitely don’t recommend getting high on ADHD meds. They make you walk around like a robot, only talking about yourself with thousands of strangers while your heart remains ice cold and selfish. Later I started taking it just to be able to drink for longer without throwing up or falling asleep, and it worked so well I managed to give myself alcohol poisoning a number of times. Lying in bed and throwing up for days, unable to take a painkiller or even drink water, until Rhiannon came home to me with a bottle of Milk of Magnesia which tasted like mint and chalk. 

My childhood friend and I took some kind of potent dark web speed which you had to wash beforehand not to burn your nostrils. 48 hours later we still weren’t sleeping but were both paranoid as hell with our hearts thumping out 120 beats a minute. What helps against a high heart rate? we googled. Or something like, “How to support your heart”. There was something about Omega3, or maybe Omega6. Canola oil has a lot of omega fats in it, so in the end we downed a couple shots of straight cooking oil each.

All’s well that ends well. 2015, in the depths of Deptford we dressed up for Halloween and snorted really lousy MDMA and then Zeynab and her psychotic girlfriend went climbing on the scaffolding on the house next door. Her girlfriend rushed in and told us Zeynab had a fall and “bonked her head” so hard on the cement floor that she’d lost consciousness. 

“It’s cool, it’s cool!” said Zeynab and climbed through the window, then suddenly started cascade vomiting liters of hot pink Cherry Lambrini across the floor. We took her to ER and left her there, along with her psycho girlfriend, then Rachel and I went to a catholic mass, still in our halloween clothes, gurning. We thought it’d be a “funny thing to do”, but there we were, coming down in a congregation so warm and welcoming that we felt like villains. So when the socialist pastor offered me the sacrament, I said, no, just give me your blessing. Are you sure? he said so quietly no one else heard, and then he blessed my brow. I really felt it in me – that blessing. 

Writing’s always possible, once I could draw, too, but I’ve forgotten how. What people write when they come down resembles what they write when mania fades. They pick fights with their own anxiety, argue with it, try to make deals. My friend showed me a text they’d written on a comedown, four tight, incoherent pages where they’d written about me, that we were obviously both in love with each other and may God let me read their thoughts. I really got the hint and we fucked the same night, but then I went home, and came down.

Swedish teens got pissed like they wanted to die. My friend threw up on Walpurghis night, about 5-6 cigarette butts. Those of my friends who were really mental – there were a few, and they really were mental – were put into psychiatric hospitals, always in the section for psychotic patients, because nowhere else had any space. They’d end up befriending the only other normal people in the ward which were the people selling coke and heroin. 

The least you can do for yourself when you’re about to come down is taking a proper shower and then make the bed you’ll be forced to lie in. To come down is one thing, but coming down on twisted sheets, with the smell of ciggies still in your hair, is really tormenting yourself more than you’ve deserved. Oh, and it’s lovely to have a few popsicles in the fridge. Eat a salad, perhaps, but let’s be real with ourselves about who we are and what we’re going to do. If we’d been the kind of people who pick salad over instant noodles I suppose we wouldn’t be lying here now, in the dark. 

“I’m never going to drink again after last night,” Ian writes to me. But he will and I will too. Some are hit by a terrible sense of guilt whenever they’ve done anything debauched. You think you ought to be a certain way, act a certain way. During the comedown, you pray to God for forgiveness, but a week later you’re ready for the same thing all over again, you’ve already forgotten. I don’t understand why you even ought to be ashamed, what good it’s supposed to do. Shame and regret aren’t strong enough to make you change anything. Partying really can be a total riot. 


Text & Image: Zola Gorgon

Süleyman (English)

Süleyman, I cannot be expected to keep track of which dude in your harem is currently greenlit or not, so listen – why don’t you write me a list explaining who is currently good and who is bad?

“I Iove you!” he said. 

1. What you desire, you resolve to pursue; according to your resolve, so is your deed; and according to your deed, so you reap.

I said nothing for a moment, then turned with icy politeness. “Forgive my asking, but what exactly is the source of your love?” 

2. I’m trying to understand things which are really hard to understand. 

“It’s you, of course, you are the source of my love!”

“Me?” I said, trying to sound surprised.

“Yes, you!” he cried out, and looked at me wistfully, like a child asking for something it knows quite well it won’t get. My heart began to beat with pity and dismay, and so I was forced to act out a charade so diabolically improbable that it would seem out of place in one of Shakespeare’s plays.

3. As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve God. Without His sanction not even a blade of grass can move.

27. I’ll pass on, I’ll make triumph on the way. 

85. One should deliberate serious matters first completely possessed by Dionysus, then sober. 

“Sure, I love you too,” I said, hoping to be done with it, go home and get some redeeming sleep. Looking into his desperate eyes, I should have guessed what I had set in motion. Even the most ignorant catch, like dogs, the scent of thunder. A tumultuous wave lifted me onto its crest and carried me away, incessant and demanding. The storm raged on and on, for days, months – a year passed by. All prior knowledge shatters if you forget who you are, but I remembered, and lived to see the end of it. Leaving behind the wicker gate of the Garden of Evil, my heart quickened and my brothers took me in their arms and poured me a delicious wine. 

4. Brothers attended the place where I arrived. From where were they born? By what do they subsist? On what are they founded? By who regulated, can they drink so much, ye wise men?

Your wine is too strong, my brothers, to drink of it often. Still, I will come back for more. Remember, my brothers, hiccups like that are winged prayers, they can be heard even at Baalbek. 

There will always be men like him, or perhaps I should say, boys like him, who take their own measures against what’s great in you, and hate it not for what it is, but for what they themselves are, or aren’t. 

5. When I’m received among the Angels, at what times will he think of me?

They can envy even a child. They talk about reason but theirs is a lunatic sensitivity. May the saints toss them some manners before the fall. 

6. I swear that I will faithfully, loyally and honorably serve my lovers and their legitimate successors, and dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing, if necessary, my life to defend them. 

In the subway station it’s cold as marble. The jaws of the tunnel are tender and beyond must be the sea, where the storms rage. Hallelujah!

7. Make a pledge and mischief is nigh.

As his kindness ran out, I refused to surrender, no doubt magical and superstitious; nevertheless, I was only trying to be heroic. So, what am I going to do now? I intend to show that my honour is valued more highly than my own life. Love does not change, yet it is the cause of all changes.

11. Marcus, may God bless you. 

I know it’s easier to answer the prayers of a man who has answered the prayers of others.

The goddesses Anath and Astarte were blended into one deity, called Atargatis. 

I know it’s easier to answer the prayers of a man who has answered the prayers of others.

He Who Rides on the Clouds. In Phoenician he was called Baal Shamen, Lord of the Heavens. 

13. What’s the meaning of my name? Gift from God. 

95. Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär und wollt uns gar verschlingen, so fürchten wir uns nicht so sehr, es soll uns doch gelingen.

30. Who? Me? Honour, glory, and eternal victory! 

Whenever true love appears (and death shall enter in through my window) it will be its own evidence. He looks Minoan. He looks Byzantine. He looks Bactrian. He’s got the look that I like. There will be no confusion. There will be no confusion. There will be no confusion.

38. When Armenians reach the summit of their climax it really does cascade.   

39. You know, he really could have saved our friendship; he could have restored it to happiness and virtue, but would not. Coward!

62. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.

93. By means of the beautiful lips that He who created me let me possess, I kissed with my mouth: the drug dealer, the bartender, the skater dude, the architect, the painter, the diplomat, and all the other ones too. 

Now he who rose up against you, and there was evil in him, Süleyman – forget about him. Now the cakes of saffron, Süleyman. You fly as a hawk, you cackle as a goose, Süleyman. That secret shape, being your two eyebrows, Süleyman, are like the two arms of the scales weighing each day and night. What then is it, Süleyman? Your eyes flood all of our hearts with light.


Text: Ian Memgard
Image: Zola Gorgon

My Boyfriend

Watching him snort.

Maybe I should go back to my world tour.

I am stronger by it than the strong, I have power by it more than the mighty.

I’ve been provided, my boyfriend has provided it to me.

The place of restraint is opened. The place of restraint is opened to my soul.

His body is stretched out, the steps are lifted up, and so are my thighs. 

I am weak and feeble. I am weak and motionless in the presence of my boyfriend.

I have stabbed my own heart in the making, performing things for my boyfriend. 

I have opened up to myself every highway in town. 

I have become a prince. I have become glorious.

I have been provided with what is necessary. 

I have shot arrows, I have wounded the prey. 

I have been provided with a million enchantments. 

I smell the air coming forth from his nose; I am exalted by reason of this thing. 

I have made an end of my failings; I have removed all my defects. 

I am the Satrap of my boyfriend.

My poetry was so brand new that my boyfriend fucked me numerous times that night. Many people heard about it and wrote it down in their diaries. Afterwards my boyfriend said, “God can do anything – that is why carbon dating equipment works and that’s also why I can fuck you this much”. We used to live in peace for many months. Sheep played in every vale and valley. Then my boyfriend got bored. He held a conference and told all his friends about a coming war. He said the battles were, “flesh vs spirit, truth vs lies, love vs hate, sanctified angels vs demons”. The things my boyfriend told his friends really amazed me. When we got home from the conference my boyfriend pulled up a book that was lying in a pile with a bunch of papers on the table and showed it to me. 

“Let’s look at this book”, he said. 

I opened it and flipped through the pages one by one. I looked at him and asked, “Now what do you say?” 

“Have you understood what the book is about?”

“It’s a book about claims”, I replied. 

“Dude”, he said and patted me on the shoulder. Later on, after a few beers, my boyfriend started informing me about how to fill out claim documents by writing the cost of each warrant and it didn’t take me long to understand how it was done. 

“Starting tomorrow, I am asking you to come and help me with my work”, he said and looked to see if I would accept or refuse. From then on, I became his great assistant in preparing claims according to travel application documents that came from the government. I did the work with great effort and care until my boyfriend was happy.

“Now listen”, he told me one day after praying for us. “Sit here and rest. Don’t worry because here you are at home. I will take care of you, and God willing, I will get us what we need.” I thought he was joking. It is painful to think your boyfriend is joking when he is being serious. This made him very angry. “Name the market where you can buy a boyfriend, and I’ll go buy a new one for you if you can’t take me seriously!” he said and slapped me across the face. I was so surprised. I thought his hand was stuck solidly only to my heart. It surprised me even more when he called me a faggot at mass. “So if you, my dear boyfriend, the person in whom I place all my trust, start calling me a faggot during mass, let me remind you being a faggot is not a disease! You know very well that when things go from bad to worse, you’ll be seeking me out – I am gone!” I ran away in tears.

Later that evening he took me out dancing. We had such a good time I completely forgot about what had happened. If I could tolerate being called a faggot at mass, I could also tolerate a slap now and then; just a moment to donate what the heart allows. Now, if you’re listening to my story, you’ll notice I talk about memories. Is it even possible to live without belonging to anyone? My boyfriend is an ill tempered man. 

So, they say he’s a bad boy. Tell me, how bad is he exactly? People say he’s using me, and the lies they have spread have traveled all the way to Brussels, to Paris – from Paris they came back to Berlin, and from Berlin the lies even reached Tokyo! What is it with my boyfriend’s name? The clothes that he wears fit him very well and make him look good. When they see me walking next to him downtown, it troubles them. I reject the greetings of a bunch of clowns. What do they want me to tell them? After all, a person’s reputation is harmed the most by what you say to defend it. They criticize my boyfriend at night and during the day too. They do not get tired. They have disrespected my boyfriend a lot. I’m tired of these people, the kin of mosquitoes. They keep on gossiping with their friends and flatmates. Sure, my boyfriend’s conduct might be a little impudent, but his heart has never lacked principles. Has anyone else had this type of boyfriend in the last 8 years? I’m the only one, and this is my vindication, my authenticity as herald of our love. My boyfriend’s presence scares people. I don’t know why. I’m tired of telling people to leave me and my boyfriend alone, the way they left Jesus on the cross.


Text: Ian Memgard
Translation and image: Zola Gorgon

Love of my life

A friend told me that for her dad, transitioning to female meant being allowed to do whatever you wanted. I used to think the same thing about being a guy, that’s the way I pictured it. Once I saw a goth bartender smoking morosely, leaning against the counter, completely indifferent to me. It was as though the clouds parted above my head – divine revelation. The wrist of a louche goth bartender smoking – imagine possessing such a thing!

I thought: Thank you for smoking, thank you for not smiling.

Margaret Atwood said one good thing about guys: “My love for them is visual; that is the part of them I would like to possess.”

I sought the love of my life tirelessly in the mirror. Every time I remembered I couldn’t be that boy, I was devastated, as if I’d been given a hard right hook by God father himself. The point of the Quixotic project was to make the impossible real every day, for myself if not for others; to realize what being “a hot guy” meant to me and to take that into my life, that freedom –

To feel joy, to enjoy sex – to be allowed to do whatever I wanted.

Where’s the line between wanting to have and wanting to be? Do people figure that shit out on their own?

Of course, plenty of men were boring. I saw them… the men… on the street, or on the Ubahn, and I thought, I’d never want to be that one, it’d be just as bad as being me. And if I’d had to be myself but as a man – awful! I’d be short, and probably bald, like all the men in my family, with a genetic tendency to put on a beer belly and… no, that wasn’t what I wanted at all. And I know myself, so I’m sure I’d have had some sort of hang up about my cock too. 

Actually I don’t have any hang ups about my cunt which is essentially perfect.

The hottest guy I ever fucked, I mean girls went home with him if he just talked to them on the street, he had a hang up about his cock too – his cock which was essentially perfect.

A trans feminine friend told me there’s lots of things men feel they can’t do. Fair enough – lots of men are scared of being fags, for example. I would have liked to be a fag. Gay men seem to like each other and themselves and to fuck without feeling degraded by it. No one really seems to love women; not heterosexual women, not heterosexual men, and not queers either – definitely not them, for whom being a woman is cringe and basic. 

Scared of faggotry, yes – what scared men don’t understand is that fags are naturally cool and besides seem comfortable with each other and like they’re having fun, while lesbians and queers on the other hand spend most of their energy accusing each other of emotional abuse; constantly calling for retribution which will not arrive, as if the world was just, as if there was a judge or teacher who’d listen when you say what’s been done to you and dole out punishment to the deserving.

But since the people who’ve cemented their traumas left the game long ago, they only punish each other. No, it’s not as much fun to be fettered to the ground with a heavy, aching body and think about your marginalisation, as it would be to skate recklessly, do an ollie high above the setting sun – to suck cock in the gardens of paradise, before shame or misfortune.

No one knew what “nonbinary” was when I was in my late teens, fortunately, but I just refused to tell people if I was male or female, and so I lived in a true autistic one-person utopia. I loved not having to tell or to know, pure subjectivity. Then nonbinary people came along and crushed my dream by realising the project in the lamest possible way and I’ve never forgiven them for that.

The dream had something beyond that, not to put your finger on… rather to escape the finger, and the mortifying eyes of others. No boxes checked at all, rather than begging for a third choice, as if any part of your innermost soul could be validated by a form.

The joy in my life depended on how well I convinced myself that my fantasy was or would be real, to what degree it went from my dreams and into my understanding of reality. I was waiting for something good, for which I’d wait my whole life. Like awaiting the saviour. Is that what it means to have faith?

That faith is lost to me. I’ve learned a few things about men and they’re not what I thought; the woman who best can embody the glint in the eyes of a really mischievious faggot is a cool dyke who truly doesn’t give a fuck. Imagine seeing your face every day and never seeing anything, only what you wish it was. The wasted beauty of that unloved face. Instead of seeing yourself in the mirror and thinking – ah, there you are!

The love of my life.

If every soul cracked and the boundaries between the inside and the outside finally collapsed, no identity would remain, just a core of pure yearning too supermassive to fit into a human life.

At last you’re on the frequency of angels.


Text & image: Zola Gorgon

Mixed Race

How did you end up where you are?
It is said you are the emissary of your own rival.
Your pride comes from how you confuse people.
You have given yourself a command to dream big.
Your ancestors sent a Croatian writer to a Tanzanian jazz band.
I don’t have time to talk about it.
I had to travel all the way to Brussels to buy a brand new mixer I saw on TV.
It is inappropriate for me to hear that you are suffering in my abscence.
You are sulking uselessly because of how mixed race you are.
Who cares?
You wish yourself an untimeley death because of how mixed race you are.
Give me a break.
My handsome man.
The man of my heart.
Shut up.
What will I do if I break my brand new mixer?
I’m not sure your mixed race hands could repair it.
Nothing like that interests me.
What are people talking about nowadays?
Are they talking about race?
Must be some topic.


Text: Ian Memgard
Image: Saint Maurice, from the  the Liber ostensionis, 1526/27.

The Comedown

One must, in one’s life, make a choice between boredom and suffering.

Madame de Staël, 1800

Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. Win some, lose some – you do a bunch of speed and later pay the price. Flourishing decadence and drug abuse – inspired, undoubtedly, by a network of fallen angels – IS on the rise again. At Purgatory Magazine, we’re starting to believe there must be something more to the Comedown, something more to this suffering. It’s through suffering we are born; with your sacrifice, you give life to life itself. Could it perhaps be a good thing to… come down, every once in a while? After all, God himself didn’t refrain from teaching us how to snort. Together with our council of gays, Ukrainian supermodels, and other wise people, we’re going to try to answer this question once and for all, as well as provide the best tips and remedies on how to ease The Comedown. Let’s begin:

As you know, we pay a price for almost everything we get in this life. The price of fun is suffering. The price of shamelessness is shame. If you respect yourself, you will respect your own choices, pay the price and know why you are paying it. Never pretend that you didn’t have a choice.

It seems our brains are incredibly susceptible to chemical manipulation. We know this even just from personal experimentation. There are many truths available to us, like different frequencies on the radio. When you are high you are tuned into a certain frequency; the comedown tunes you into another frequency. But it is not the frequency.

Don’t think about things you said and how they were perceived, if your face looked sweaty or your breathing sounded weird. Everyone was sweaty and talking nonsense. They will not remember what you said. You do not remember what they said either. Forget trying to understand why you behaved the way you did while your your limbs were moved by a parallel power. You probably didn’t act half as badly as you think you did, but if you did do something really bad, and if you do this all the time when you’re drunk or high – stop partying with substances, because the party takes you over on its own terms and sometimes those terms are contrary to the norms of civilization.

Friendships can be – and are – forged in these circumstances,

But only some friendships.

Magnesium is always helpful, but any fool can tell you that. I recommend finding something soothing, yet boring, but not boring enough to torment you. Perhaps a podcast about the history of the Byzantine empire? A significant amount of podcast listening happens when the listener is asleep.

You will cherish this relief.

You may receive the greatest understanding from prophetic or therapeutic dreams where you relive childhood feelings of boundless rage and hopeless abandonment. It’s normal to wake up confused. The mind is hard at work. You may be asking yourself, as the night comes to its inevitable conclusion and the rude sun, however much postponed, rolls over the grey horizon – you may be asking yourself, “what am I doing with my life?”

I’m asking you this too. What are you doing with your life?

Lie in bed and really think about it, soberly, without panicking. Are there things you can do? Perhaps you can start writing your dream diary again, or rediscover your love for the violin. Remember what it was like when you were a child and you didn’t need illicit things. You could trip out in front of a VHS tape of the Moomins. But we’re not children anymore.

So, what do our battles today even amount to? What did you think real demons would look like? It was for your benefit that they fought you so fiercely. Ketamine was a divine invention, the vehicle for a fire that will destroy the fallen world. You were kicked out from heaven and down to earth, then kicked off the earth into hell, then kicked out of hell, into the club – your final battleground. When Greta Thunberg says that the world is going to end, it doesn’t mean the planet earth will cease to exist. The “world” is the world of the Demiurge; things like TikTok, war, lying, drug cartels, tinder, organized criminal gangs, seed oils, all evil, rent, Berghain, etc, will be eliminated. We all know the way Berlin was seduced with G when it snuck itself into the clubs and tempted good people with demonic possession, so stick to speed, the hot burning light of the seraphim.

The only people who are spared the worst of the Comedown are the people who are the loudest in saying that a great comedown will happen to them. As for the rest – wake up, everybody else has already gone through it! It’s over, sorry you missed it, be happy you were spared. The battle has been won.


Text: Ian Memgard & Zola Gorgon
Image: Zola Gorgon

Retreat

if i look at you now
my sentiment is this: teeth shatter,
i cower up like a dying dog
sweat trickling down my forehead like beady arrows
aiming for my
stomach growling to expedite you from my guts.
you are my swelling guilt
my mistakes past midnight

your charm, and modest provenance
drew me in inconspicuously
a dance as natural as
one fancied danced before
within the realm of predictability

yet like every dress
you hid a petticoat
far too hideous for your own reticence
my curiosity unknowingly nudging on your calves
eager to devour you
conviction and all

among my ribs you grow now
a slithering skin inside of mine
a parasite upon my flesh
as i turn into a jumbled mess of melting marrow
you wrestle control over my
willing joints

i fret at your presence,
at my own yearning,
our past and future
your journey to my lips proved far too fruitful
: we manifest as juxtapositioned beings

being better off
your worst enemy
swearing:
never having you tread the curves of my arteries again
i light a candle to my own folly
every damn time


Text: Beate Björkengren
Image: Zola Gorgon

A date with Thanatos

Through the night I walk,

empty shadows paving the way

like streetlights.

On a date with Thanatos,

his bony hands clasping mine.

A unison in life, sanctioned in death.

Promised a ring of poppy

one day (night).

He’s a mediocre magician,

getting stuck in his own escape tricks.

He lights my cigarette upside down,

happy to support a lethal habit

to see me sooner.

He lifts me up to peek over the fence.

The grass isn’t always greener,

but it is grass nonetheless.

Dipping our feet in the dark abyss, Lethe

flows by us, 

a never ending highway,

his brother skating down it.

No one can skate like him 

and yet

he only looks to skate like his brother,

forever the imitation of an Ollie.

Running past the suburban homes

housing the dead,

the dog on old man hades porch barking threefold.

For fun we smash mailboxes,

twelve times.

I run faster

but he always catches me,

cradling me in his cold embrace;

a reminder of this

once-in-a-lifetime-encounter.

Enveloped by his mother,

making love inside her womb,

this union can’t last more than

forever.

Sad to be a one-night stand,

but knowing an awkward run in IS inevitable.

The Music

What do you mean by that? You said I was joking about your new shoes. Why does the person who knows you so well say you’re a cheater? I’m a man who cares about you. I think you’re my dear darling. Something surprised me today; you came to kiss me on the mouth. You put your dick in my hand and called me your little shepherd. What are you looking for? I’ve met the other men and they say you’re okay. Stop cheating. If so, maybe it’s time to divorce her and move on. You personally inform me that your wife will send me an email to educate me. Please, tell me that story again. The Burning of the Red Lotus Temple. You’re just like that. You treat me like your very naughty child. 

My God, what a mess it is to follow you all around Berlin. My poor legs always yield to your ways. I want to tell you about all the bad things you do. I tried to do it once, on the side, after work. I hold on to Jesus and flee. I see you’re an idiot. What can I say about you? What example can you set for married men? No example. Could love be more beautiful than people consent to make it? You ask what has happened to my attitude. I’m still the same man who dies for you. The other people see us. I’m not lying to anyone. Why are you sending me an email saying you’re just kidding? Not to mention that your wife is in the hospital. You’re doing a terrible thing. You’re doing something wrong. 

The matter is set before your eyes. The matter was with the roses. The fire broke out, and you almost had us killed. The matter was settled for you to follow. Why are you with your back to me? The politics of the world has no place here. The word, the word is used interchangeably with the word. You are a swindler. Peace be upon you. In the game of, in the face of promiscuity, your hands are pale, and the bells are ringing. Why aren’t you listening to me? Some of these musicians, they become our lovers even before we meet them. Now imagine sitting in a pub somewhere in downtown Nairobi, watching him dance. 

All childhood memories come up in these songs. I was 7 years old. I wanted to quit school because of these songs. I forgive you everything when the music starts to play. That is why you want me to visit your wife in the hospital, the one with the newly installed music system. Music heals the sick you explain to me. You say you are not well briefed, so telephone me. I’ll speak to you and brief you completely until you understand. My God, I don’t know what to do. Your name is Yatsko. Have you ever heard of a man called Yatsko? Your middle name is Fabrice, so that is what I call you. You tell me you are from Venice. You say you will take me there one day. I know you are from Granada. Stop lying to me, Fabrice.

You act as though you are fighting with Napoleon. Why did you deceive your wife? You started yelling at me. Who were you challenging? I decide to leave you and you turn ill. Your complexion is now similar to that of a banana. I don’t think I’ll ever see you again. The only sorcery I have known has been to pray. You search for my replacement in vain, my dear. I hear your wife is doing better. Thank you for the photos you left me. I have certainly come to live the experience. Always faithful to your hunger, you’re still hanging around town. The taxi drivers always know where to pick you up. Having once satisfied all of your desires, in the bars that you always like to visit, the walls still report to me what you do. Good luck, Fabrice. Find a way to forgive me. 

You were not easy to deal with, but I’m the photocopy, very much your boy. What use is beauty to me when there’s no one around to admire it? You used to film me and all the funny things that I normally would do. Someone told me you were making a movie. I anticipated the situation by calling the producer at 6am to ask him if he could burn the film. He did. You want to hang me for what I’ve done, but it doesn’t matter, I already have everything. It is useless to try and remember me. My mother calls me everyday to ask me how I am doing. She makes sure that I am home by that time to answer her calls. Have you quit smoking? Are you drinking less? Are you studying? My dear son. Will you be okay? Are you still hanging around with that man? Do you need some money? I start to laugh. Don’t worry about me. Rumors.

I turn myself into a ship captain and dock at every port, where my lovers are waiting for me. We almost started a riot in Porto because we were carrying guns inside our shopping bags at the Castelo Vermelho. Big mistake. The courts will close during the day. Many people thought they would die. They saw we were looking for violence. Their hearts were pounding for us to love them. They were not afraid to eat of their love. If I love them, and they love me, where will we go for all this love? The real thing is what wonderful people they are here. The men are drunk, their brown eyes shine with… I decide to find out. It would be a crime not to go dancing with them. There’s something about his nose. I look back to the past. He reminds me of Fabrice. I push forward. The music moves me. I reach out my hand. The music moves me to do stupid things. 


Text: Ian Memgard
Image:  Juliusz Lewandowski