Nebuchadnezzar was full of grief, and the form of his visage was suddenly changed against Meshach: therefore he spake and said “I’m crying, little brother. They are in a meeting waiting for me. While I’m mourning they get together to plot against me. What a great sadness, melancholy, depression! Where would I go for support? Who would I tell? When I cry it is for you to grow and mature, little brother” Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of Meshach, and spake, and said “Little brother, I do not want another person, that’s my feature. Even in garbage I see great value. By God, I am satisfied, yet you don’t believe me. Come on, I’m surprised you still hate me. The key to blessing is gratitude and I am grateful, little brother. I extend my hands to you, knowing my destiny is upon you. Nothing is perfect, nothing. He who surpasses your beauty, none, little brother.”

Meshach answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, I am not careful to answer you in this matter. We are all weak creatures compared to you. Your glory alone is yours. No one likes to be burdened by evil and also he who knows the meaning of love is perishable. Yet there are those who want their love to be ruined, again and again they will go to their end to find out. That’s what their souls are like, and bad things follow. O great King, keep me from knowing love like theirs”

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said, “The key to goodness is patience and I have patience. Even though you are good, little brother, you are praying so that I may be harmed. You are inventing a false secret for yourself. Be patient and let me tell you the truth.

It is better for you to not bring me down” Then the king commanded the most mighty man that was in his army to undress Meshach, and Meshach was undressed, his coat, his hosen, and his hat, and all his other garments. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, “Your eyes do not look at me, little brother. Why do they not look at me? I shall pour for you a good wine so that you may see me clearly. You do not know what God’s purpose is for you. This is how it is, little brother. Do you remember the note found near Tenco? It said he had decided to kill himself as a protest against the jury and members of the public who had voted against him. Look at me, little brother. Why do you not look at me?”

Then Meshach looked upon Nebuchadnezzar and said to him, “When the war started all the people looked with hope to Tenco. They spoke for him, they prayed for him, they sung for him, they did everything to hold up his hands, as Aaron did for Moses, but whilst they were praying for his success you were undermining the fabric of your own kingdom by playing the fool with me, having me advise you, having me telling you what to do, having me undressed. It is better to deserve me, and to go without, than to have me undeserved.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with a great dark passion and kissed Meshach on the lips, and spake, and said, “Deserve has nothing to do with it, little brother. You found me enjoying a good life, you literally requested to command me and I accepted. You found me enjoying wealth, and asked to take over control and I accepted. I bought myself a Mercedes Benz and asked you that we go out for fun. When we reached the road side you ordered that I take you back where you had been so that people would think it was you who bought this car. Little brother, deserve has nothing to do with it. Yet I pray that it stays this way, and the days will pass until the end of time. It’s time you learned to be a man, but such a thing is impossible, and when I kiss your lips I am sure of it. Little brother, go back to your parents home, there you will find your childhood bed. Your body is still youthful and beautiful but you have destroyed my face. Your habits have destroyed my face. Today problems, tomorrow problems, I’m tired, little brother. Today fighting, tomorrow quarreling, I hate it, little brother. This life has become unbearable to me. Forgive me!”

Thus Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down into the midst of a burning fiery furnace and was killed, and the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, said to each other upon hearing the news, “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”

Text: Ian Memgard
Image: Pierre-Louis Herold

Gates of Darkness

I attended a meeting with some psychology students as for a long time I’d felt rather crazy. They showed me drawings I’d made as a child, and asked me about their meaning. They wanted to know who was king at the gates of darkness. “Answer us!” said the leader of the research group, who with his bloodshot eyes really seemed to be at the precipice of insanity. But my child psychology was a fantastic enigma and not so easily solved – neither through image therapy, IQ testing, or mysterious phrenological readings of the shape of my skull. Like when you put something in a safe place, not to lose it, and hide it so safely that you can’t even find it yourself, I’d outsmarted myself along with everybody else.

Instead I started thinking of the day I saw a sexy dad in the full force of the sun while I queued endlessly to pick up a package at the post office. Sometimes it’s so funny to be a man who looks at other men… especially now, when I’ve got a moustache, and because being outside of your home is a little taboo. My gaze penetrated his ass. Neither him, nor his Capri Sonne-drinking child noticed my lustful eyes. I felt the corona dust in the heat and combined with the sweet shame, it made me cough. On my way home, I thought about when Verlaine went to confess, and the priest said, “at least you’ve never had sex with an animal, right?”

I started thinking about tinder. All homosexuals nowadays seem to have very advanced names. Bollo, Trollo, Sonquisolo – those are your names! Without progress, life would be unbearable, and I guess the same applies to homosexual men and their names. This development makes me happy. Sometimes I just walk around in my flat with a glass of plum wine and pronounce their names: “Good evening, Bollo, and good evening to you too, Trollo,” I say to myself and have a good laugh. There’s no doubt about it – I really know how to have fun.

I started thinking about the darkness, about the gates of darkness. My mum once said to me, “All good things start by turning away from the gates of darkness.” But what about all the bad things? I’m starting to think they start with having good taste. The only reason I’ve done the things I’ve done is good taste. When I have sex it’s in good taste. I never lie there after sex is over and congratulate myself and my fucker on how good we’ve fucked each other. The sensation and pleasure quickly fade and often I feel quite alien from what I’ve just participated in. The appeal of the gates subsides as quickly when you’ve taken the step and found yourself on the other side of them – in hell. “Is everything okay?” asks he who lies next to me. I’ve grown tired of being my own life. A person is their life and your life is your self but I’m damn tired of it.

I thought about he who tried to shut the gates of darkness. How the endless light of the sun burnt his skin and turned him into a petrified pillar of salt in the desert. Then I thought about the guy in the döner kiosk downstairs and how his long eyelashes met the skin on his round cheeks, and I thought about many other guys I’d seen, and I thought about what it’d be like to live in the middle ages and maybe only see a new hot guy maybe once a year, like at some annual farmer’s market. What an experience it must have been! Maybe that’s why they wrote epic poems about heaven and hell while we write songs about how wet our pussies are, even though they’re not at all wet but dry like the desert.

Then who was the king at the gates of darkness? “Who can be lord over such a situation?” I said to these psychology students. Nobody can shut the gates of darkness, they can never be closed. No king in the world could have managed it, because the powers of darkness are as eternal as those of goodness, and they both press at the gates from each side. But we, at least, have the choice to turn away from the gates of darkness. Turn away from the gates of darkness, god damn it! I stopped meeting these manic psychology students, and my life once again seemed normal, but in the end nothing is normal neither is God.

Text: Ian Memgard
Image: Zola Gorgon

Purgatorial fires

Dear reader,

Do You seem to find Yourself in a sort of eternal purgatory?

Do You find it hard to turn away from the Gates of Darkness and into the Heavenly Glory, regardless of how hard you try?

Do You sometimes come across people and phenomena You suspect of being cloaked demons sent out on some mysterious mission to challenge You, or perhaps agents carrying messages You don’t know how to decode?

Does Your every day life seem more and more allegorical?

And have You perhaps even started to suspect that You are chained to this earthly existence, trapped in a world made out of dark materia created by a malicious god, with the light of truth nothing but a distant memory, a flickering flame in the soul growing weaker and blurrier?

This text was written for You!

There is a turning point when the tram turns the corner as the bikes ring their bells as someone, in the background, yells – at whom? at you? – and the moment you see the car in the periphery, which desperately brakes not to kill you, at exactly the moment it occurs to you that you might, oh wow, die, exactly in that moment something happens to the light on the corner of the house and you get the same impression of the world as you might have if you were a completely indifferent ghost – not at all bitter towards the living, too immaterial to have any feelings at all, but still in general pretty good humoured in the same way rain or air can be good humoured, plucked out of time and out of everything in human affairs that makes things “matter”.

So you see all of this – the angles of the windows and the balconies, people’s angry or happy or often stressed out faces, the lights, the signs, the puddles, the stores, every vehicle on the street that endangers your life, the dog shit, the trash, the cobblestones, the construction workers, the lanterns, the houses in their silent attitudes – for what it is, as if nothing carried any kind of value. Immaterial and plucked out of time you cannot judge it. And you don’t have to judge it. Everything just is, and extremely much so, and if you could really leave the body, like the dead maybe do, and just fly around and indifferently observe the people and what they do for all eternity it would be… it would be…

Almost like a crack, not in the clouds but in what’s above the clouds and inside the clouds and also everywhere beneath them;

The car brakes an inch before it strikes you, the driver curses and you feel really fucking stupid, for being so close to causing an accident, for always walking around with your head in the clouds instead of in the real world.

Then you think about that instead, and forget about what you’ve caught a glimpse of.

Well, there are many things you can do to forget about what you’ve seen and repressed the knowledge of so hard that you’ve almost entirely forgotten it. You can eat thai food, read things on the internet, think about which fellow travellers on public transport you’d like to fuck, which ones you wouldn’t like to fuck, and why. And you can see your friends, diet, masturbate, remember your memories, wash windows, go to the gym, watch TV shows, learn about the history of nutmeg, and if you do enough things perhaps you’ll be tired enough afterwards to fall asleep like a lil piglet between extremely material, real sheets, and not at all have to deal with THAT OTHER THING which tugs at you like a hook in the heart and leaves you neither sleep nor peace, because moods and impressions can chase you all the way into your dreams.

Okay, and what then? Why would we even have the ability to wish that there is more than “this”, if we aren’t then also able to experience that little extra thing? What a condemned existence that would be, arisen out of something cold hearted and cruel. It takes less than that to make you beg for god, any god, to reach down with a really big fork and impale your heart, to let you know what it really means to be. Let’s say that in principle, like in the corny allegory, there are two wolves inside of you, one that dutifully works on keeping the other chained, like a builder building the same wall every single day, and then there’s the other one which, if you heard it’s ecstatic howling, would drive you so crazy that you could never work again or use a telephone in the socially accepted manner. As to which one wins? Dear reader, choose carefully!

Text and image: Zola Gorgon