Brightburner

From the womb the creature came, naked and squealing, fording the waters of life-knowing, ill-formed and strange to himself. Blurry sights and sounds echoed all around the small and squirming being, obfuscating the world through their eminence. Words there entailed and them amenable to the creature’s unfurling sensibilities: Miras, Miras, Miras. “My name,” the creature thought, “Such is my name.” Other sensations filtered in thereafter; from the outside.

Cold.

Damp.

Distance.

Presence.

Weight of biomass.

A lingering emptiness.

Alienation subsumed him and he cried out, grasping through the foggy amniotic sludge, stretching his bony, slathered hands to that which hung above, enveloping everything; the ambit of all his world. His caterwauling availess. Great arms there embraced him and a voice, lofty and sonorous spake with tender concern. “Hush and be still, dear Miras. I am here.” Miras smiled and closed his unburnished eyes and rested his malformed and twisted bulk upon the breast of the great being and fell to a slumber that was of a thousand years. When he awoke it were as if the passage of time had skipped him over.

She was nowhere to be seen.

Miras unfurled himself from the filthy ground and stretched as light filtered in from a billion radiant spheres. Luminance blinding. Raising one of his small, fleshy protrusions, the creature slithered-flopped across the ground, moving towards the source of the radiance in the far-flung distance. He desired to know the generative nexus of the lights and the wherefore of his cradle’s vanishing. A pain gripped the beast then, shattering the splendor of his idle and rending confusion whole. A horrid pulsation in the pit of the creature’s abdomen.

Hunger.

His ill-formed fangs clattered dully with nervous agitation as he scanned the barren, rocky terrain of the cavern surrounding. No sustenance. Only stones and darkness.

I must leave this place. I must devour.

Pace quickened. Within. Without. Shortly, the sanctuary came to an end and Miras, called by his hunger, beheld a great chasm of white, as if a terrible wound in the face of the holo. Light like blood spilling through it, cascading upon and over and through his sensorium – needle piercing his marrow with understanding and filling him up with frightful wonderment.

Descending through the portal, the creature emerged entire unto the plane of light that appeared scall’d by some calamity beyond all reckoning. The air was thick with voice. A hundred thousand million screams. All at odds with the other, jockeying for position as if in the midst of some great competition. Miras dragged himself through the blackened silt of the barren waste, following the voices, and beheld a great tower in the distance and it in ruins and upon it’s 99 terraces great creatures with slithering faces and mighty wings perched silently, beholding, below them, workers who heaved stone after stone up great dusty ramps to their fellows above them on parapets and they in turn hefted them higher still to those above them. All the men at the bottom were of standing equal to those at the middle and those at the middle to those above, but all listened to the mighty beasts who sat upon the towers, silently blending into the endless red and boiling sky.

Suddenly, one of the workers – young and emaciated – collapsed from the stain of his labors, the heavy stone he’d hefted falling with a dull thud upon the ashen ground before the tower and him likewise following. A hush fell over the crowd and the people made a circle clear before him. One of the beasts descended and inspected the organism with it’s odious tendrils and then lifted him up and shook him til his body snapped and then slid the man into it’s enormous maw with a clatter of broken bones.

Miras, horrified, slithered behind the closest rock, fast as his stunted flippers would carry him, as the great beast turned to scan the place where he had been, as if it knew it were being watched by the outside. Then all the toilers threw themselves at the monster’s feet and began to chant in strange tongues as the beast stretched its wings and ascended to the skies which whorled with sanguine hues. Blood rained and the ground squirmed with small, hissing creatures without eyes, muti-colored and with jaws distended, who licked up the blood before them with long channeled tongues and feasted upon the remains.

Despite his horror, Miras swiftly seized his chance for sustenance and dove at the first of the wormy, long-tongued beings. He was surprised how easily he tore them to pieces and how sweet their sticky insides tasted upon his palate. He grew quickly in size and wobbled about the same height as the slaves; he began to eat them too and soon he was nearly big as the slither-faced and winged sovereigns who perched as yet upon their spindly thrones. Watching. Waiting. Gone were the flabby flippers, replaced now by powerful arms and legs and retractable claws; the mushy slurping maw now chiseled and extended, eyes sharpening against the harsh glare of the light which bathed the rutted plain with sterile effulgence. Being yet unbecome; his hunger lingered still, this of a different grade and it burning in his now fully formed loins. He clamber quickly, bipedal-sleek, up the first dusty ramp and there took one of the workers and pressed him down and satisfied himself to his cavities and ate him. The brightness would not abate and though less than previously, still it burned Miras’ eyes and he moved up to the next ramp and continued his work til there were no slaves remaining, and upon the third, a female laborer he took, and she pressing her fragile limbs against his mighty frame, cawing, “Consume me not! For consume I then cannot,” And he did not and instead extended his tongue across and within her and tasted her over and coiled the organism into his own and, with his pulsing hardness, met her slick holes and filled her with his seed. As they twined upon the ground in feral embrace, the beasts flew down from the tower and assailed the tresspasser, for the stones were no longer ferried and all advance had ceased. Strike as he may, Miras could harm them not and shortly, they tore him to pieces and the woman slumped upon the ground, eyes wide and stomach vast and from her womb, a river of blood and a tiny form that sucked the light down from the sky. It stood up on meshy flippers from the rent husk of its mother and gazed about with sorry eyes.

I must leave this place. I must devour.

INTERVAL ONE | THE SEVERING

IN MY DREAM | I lay upon a bed, hard and uncomfortable, unable to sleep, swaddled in darkness. After a single heart’s beating the wall to my abode exploded in tandem with a furious howl that left a dreadful ringing to hover ghastly upon the air. A strange, dim, reddish light flooded the room. Stunned, I rose and slid off the bed, feeling something sticky, something wet.

Blood.

Aghast I fled out of the hole in the ruined tenement but emerged only into a yet larger pool of blood. So shocked was I at the heinous fluid that I neglected immediacy and surroundings both and when I took in what lay before me, horror subsumed all.

A hundred thousand bodies, in various states of undress, hung from great sheets of barbed wire that stretched for miles in either direction, so thick that the grisly conglomeration blotted out the horizon; their blood spooling out from pierced and maggot-ridden flesh like huge, undulating worms. Approaching the closest column of twisted steel I reached out my hand to touch one of the corpses thereupon. Before my hand could clasp its decaying and sanguine flesh it hissed and squirmed and reached out towards me.

Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.

Breath caught in throat, heart thundered in chest, eyes bulged and hairs stood on end. I left off out the scene and tore across the seemingly endless field of blood as the grey and wasted clouds parted from the sky, revealing a black sphere, like a tiny imploded sun, which oozed with a black and viscous substance that drizzled out over the ruptured skin of the world. Miles upon miles of seething black liquid scorching all.

Suddenly a howl erupted from behind me. Low, furious and vaguely human.

I turned to behold a man, wrapt all in bloody bandages, wadding through the life waters with single minded purpose, his movements ferine and jittering; the creature’s eyes nothing more than pools of void, lightless as the star-rent welkin and his mouth sewn shut with strands of its own hair. Behind him he dragged a thick and wooden club to which was affixed a sharp and heavy stone. Another howl and the crude ax sliced through the left side of my abdomen. I leapt aback and cried out for aid. Cried out in vain, splashing through the blood and rheum and suddenly then the chittering of teeth as eyes and hands and tongues and distended chest cavities filled over with multiplying strands of heaving hair rose up from out of the ruddy filth and slithered about my chassis as the ululatious axman brought his cudgel down into my skull.

Then, nothing.

The Beautiful Syncretism of Tatsuo Horiuchi: A Introspection On Progressive & Purest Artists & Their Failings

Kaiga (絵画) or Japanese painting is among the oldest of the Land of the Rising Sun’s visual arts and has had a tremendous impact upon both Japanese culture as well as the artistic culture of The West. There are many different variations and permutations to Kaiga, however, the most well known variant, Sumi-e, was traditionally created via ink and brush on washi (hand processed Japanese paper, tougher than mechanically processed paper which is made from local materials).

However, one man has taken the traditional style of Japanese painting and merged it with modern technology in both a technically impressive and aesthetically pleasing fashion. His name is Tatsuo Horiuchi, a 77 year old painter from Nagano, Japan. After retiring, Mr. Horiuchi decided that he wished to spend his waning years painting but was possessed of both a shrewd and experimental mind and thus decided that traditional methods of brush, oil, ink and canvas were far to messy and, more crucially, expensive, so he set himself to discovering how he could “paint” with his computer. Whilst there are no shortage of art creation programs, they are, just like traditional methods, extremely expensive (although generally cheaper in the long run). Thus he decided to simply use a program which was already installed on his computer.

Microsoft Excel.

YUMENOtomonoura
Yume no Ura (A 
view from Cherry Blossoms and the Oiseiro) Cherry blossom and the superb view from the veranda of Taichoro / Hukuzenji temple at Tomomachi in Hukuyama.

Whilst Microsoft Excel is generally utilized for business purposes, such a spreadsheet graphs for presentations. Mr. Horiuchi, in a recent interview for Colossal Magazine, stated that little by little, he figured out how to both layer, shade and colorize the images with a extremely high degree of precision. This precision (which in his old age would have been rather difficult to achieve with a brush and ink) combined with the ability to print out any number of the same image and the lack of need for paint mixing (a lengthy and expensive process) made him choose the medium.

yukinoookuraD2
Snow’s Okura (Intermontane river in snow).

The majority of Mr. Horiuchi’s painting focus on the beauty of Japan, primarily it’s mythic landscapes, though he also, occasionally turns his eye toward rural life in the island nation as well.

hinodetokodomo
A child who delights in the sunrise cold early in the morning
(MountTukuba).

It is a difficult thing, to properly navigate the realms of the artistic Purest and the artistic Progressive. The devout Purest – the pure Purest, if you will – raises all art from a particular time and place upon a pedestal and denigrates all others. This strain of thought is particularly apparent in Classicist circles wherein modern music is considered bad because it utilizes computers which makes the music “inauthentic” or “inorganic.” Yet when asked why computer programs are somehow more inauthentic or inorganic than, say, a violin or a trumpet, you will more likely than not be met with silence. The Purest problem lies in it’s complete and utter inability to change, for in refusing to change one refuses to adapt. Whether in art or politics the inability to adapt to change is paramount to suicide. No army brandishing sticks and stones and sheets of bark as shields, however well trained, can hope to best a modern militarized platoon equipped with Twaron and Kevlar body-armor who carrying M16 5.56 caliber rifles nor can any artist, no matter how “pure” his traditional artistic methods, capture the attention and imagination of his compatriots if he does not attune his style to the frequency of his world’s own bio-hum, to hear it’s spirit and feel the vibrations of it’s essence.

odori&momiji
Odori & Momiji.

Whereas the Purest fails because he cannot change, the Progressive artist fails because all he can do is change. In constantly seeking “originality” he ends up viewing originality itself as the highest aim for art which births one of the greatest problems in modern art: The pursuit of originality for originality’s sake. So chaotic is the mind of the Progressive artist that he cannot moor himself to ANY values concurrent with his social milieu and thus he abandons the pursuit of value entirely and instead focuses on novelty. Such works are as quickly forgotten as they are produced (how many pop songs can you recite in whole or part after a single listening? My assumption would be very few – and how many of them would you really go out of your way to play again?).

Mr. Horiuchi deftly weaves together both the traditional style of his people and the modernist technology of The West to form a beautiful synchronicity that dodges the pitfalls of the Purest or the Progressive. From thrift and dedication, a simple but timeless and idyllic idealization of the Land of the Rising Sun in it’s most resplendent serendipity. A echoing reflection of national pride. Confident and content in one’s placing without waxing braggadocios.