Sunklands 2022 Middle 03


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She said she lived in a motel just up Highway 12. That was a lie. She said she was behind on her payments. Another lie. She said she had a great view of Big Cedar from her room’s window. Guess what: another lie, a fib in that case but still a lie. Pattern of a deceiver.

All she was after, all along, was the big monster book about Arkansaw, stolen from the Dairocha library in what’s-its-number novel (one of the more recent ones). The one Wheeler/Alysha was still after but couldn’t find, even when she tried the invisible realm. Still not on the invisible shelf before her, no matter what kind of light partner in crime Baker Bloch used to illuminate the situation. If the library had been removed, they determined, then there was no real center to the hollowed out volcano village that is Dairocha and thus no use in hanging around there and creating more little stories and whatnot. They and their now *huge* collection of attached avatars and characters had to move on, although a return is obviously possible. Nautilus keeps surprising and surprising. Must be the outside energy of our grand US of A penetrating the whole hypercube structure. This will continue for some time. I have time. I must have patience. Relatively unyielding and begrudging characters like grown-up Tessa irk me. What happened to her that made her leave her family nest and move to high and dry Nautilus, full of basically abandoned beige ridges and better populated but heavily banned green ocean front properties? The search for Lemon World? Traces? That must be it. Holed up in a mysterious hotel in the shadow of a beige mountain obviously linked to the real world (Lemon World?). Hiding secrets in order to protect her identity and purpose. It didn’t add up to her recently-united-with cousin D’Eddy, who she knows as Edward and not Eddy. Eddy was the other cousin who was playing that fated game of Alphabet Soup to her, the one introduced at the beginning of section 1 of this here photo-novel, 33 in a series of (fill in the blank). Edward — *her* Edward (our Eddy) — similarly shows up at the beginning of section 2. And now: Tessa — Tessie. The third cousin. The most mysterious of them all. What was she hiding? The 33 year old woman didn’t live at the motel, she just stayed there.

For starters, she applies mascara one eye at a time just like the rest of them.


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She finishes prepping her wig as Jeb drives up in his beat up old red truck. She knows him by another name but we know him as Black Bart. Dairocha has followed us, the reader and writer, here to this motel out in the sticks of Nautilus, one blending into another. This is (part of) the secret. That the inside has become the outside, flipped out and away from itself. Much like her bangs.

“Darling, you in there?” Grown-up Tessa decides that the reader and writer shouldn’t see her present lover, perhaps future husband. If things work out for her. A whole castle? She can get away from it all. (knock knock knock) “Darling?”


knocking on 102


return to Rooster Peninsula

Trying out the Lebettu castle location again. Also have Fordham’s Collagesity still, although without the 3072 square meter rental connecting the high Temple of TILE (1024 sq meter parcel) to the lower rest of the town (8192 parcel). Lebettu: only a 4096, thus saving me 30 dollars hard US cash a month in the overall projected downsizing. Choices choices. But it’s all good.

The land around the castle is a little unsettled right now. How it shapes up could swing the deal either way.

Also: What to do with the Temple of TILE and all the Collagesity collage galleries? Storage? Could be.

Whatever happens, Nautilus will remain a focus and an emphasis. The blend of Our Second Lyfe with First.


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“Dub’s Jungle, eh?” said D’Eddy. But he was looking a different way now and not where neighboring Freddie was pointing, D switched with B. He becomes lost in his thoughts…

“Well guys, I’ve got to go visit my sweetie up in Dairocha. See you soon. *Losers*.”

He hopped back in his Bandit 25R sailboat and was gone.

Simple fishermen Luther and Al, formerly sharing the pier with him, didn’t say goodbye to Blackbart. They just sipped whatever was in their bottle and can respectively, thinking about the Starfish Lake or Sea arm they live on and the differences between above and below. Elbow to hand: White Elvis was all the rage and bottles were still in hand, like with Luther. Bottleball remained more popular than basketball, with its professional leagues not yet desegregated. Elbow to shoulder: Black with White. Shoulder to shoulder, like cans in a 6-pack, ready to be purchased for drink, 6th man included. Let’s see, I think Al has a Sprite, both lemon and lime; green and yellow. And that’s where we need to head next. But first…

“There’s no women left at Dairocha,” opines Luther, then knocks back a long one. “Not free ones anyway, you know what I mean, you know what I’m saying, heh heh?” He elbows Al in the ribs, who takes it good-naturedly and even elbows him back a bit. Must be a different location, Al thinks more logically than his backward fishing partner. Blackbart is hiding something.

Tessa, his Tessie, shows up, breaking his reverie. “Sorry I’m late. Setting up a castle in Lebettu. I guess you’ve heard.”

Eddy takes a breath, resetting himself. “I’ve heard there’s some unsettling stuff about the landscape around it. Sorry about that.”

“It’s okay.” She also takes a breath, recalibrates. They become related again, cousin to cousin. Our Eddy; *her* Edward. She takes a seat.

“Just having a daydream about your boyfriend,” he says, looking over at the tree again in the distance. Bud’s. “Talking to some simple fishermen on a pier, one more backwards than the other. In one arm, a fishing pole. Common denominator. But in the other: difference. One was drinking out of a bottle and the other a can. Strange fantasy, eh?”

“It’s the history of the place,” she says. She also thinks of the arm they’re situated more toward the “shoulder” of, Greek village here included with jungle, tame to wild. More oppositions, horizontal instead of vertical in that case.

After ordering a Sprite and a Coke, they talk of Starfish Lake (or Sea) for a while, then: “Oh… I almost forgot to tell you about Manassa.”

“Bull Runs?” Eddy guesses wrongly here. Tessa rolls her eyes to the sky, trying to fit that angle as well in her imagination. Both have wide ones. Yd. Yellow down. She decides it didn’t fit. Not quite yet anyhow.

“No,” she says. “Manassa *singular*. Without the ‘s’ like in the battle place in Virginia I believe.” She knew it was Virginia but didn’t want to seem too show-offy. She also knew details about the differences between Bull Run battles no. 1 and 2 but didn’t say anything about that for the same reason. No need to make Eddy, her Edward, seem lacking in comparison. They must remain even. They must remain as if cans in a 6 pack, 6th man included. Basketball not bottleball, although both involve a lot of cutting.

“Blackbart,” Freddie muttered in front of them, still pointing away from the jungle, though. “Blackbart,” he repeated, voice as even as before; no wavering in conviction. Eddy, her Edward, heard a speedboat in the distance. Blackbart, the *actual* one, had returned from wherever he came.

“Hello boys,” he spoke to Al and Luther from behind this time. “Miss me?” Their backs remain turned to him, as if they weren’t even alive, or figments of his imagination, another Yd one. Yellow down.

He peels a lemon and is gone, WOOOSH!


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Actor Lemont Sanford demonstrates how perfectly he fits the role of Blackbart in the current production of Sunklands photo-novels by laying in this pool of water exactly his length, head against stone and feet brushing wood. “Like a glove,” he speaks up to the director in charge of casting, mixing idioms of sorts.

“Well, this is where you’ll die so that’s nice.” He tries to frame the shot with his hands. “Yes, yes. Nice fit for sure, hmm. Now, how are you with claustrophobia?” he says down, knowing a coffin scene would also be involved.


missing letter

He made sure he was wearing the right colors.

We are here.

“I am looking for my red and green umbrella,” he spoke as clearly as possible through the rusty metal window.

Umbrellas, Alysha thought. But: close enough! “Come on in.” (creaaakk)

*There* you ares, he thought, spying them when entering.

Oh dear. What’s this?

“No more war. No more war! Stop *NOW*.”

“What are you *doing*. You’re going to *KILL YOURSELVES* ahhhhggg!”

“Move along. Nothing to see here. Move along.” (kkaaaerc)

“Now you know,” she said, still inside. “It’s all about Castor.”

How could he live with this?


ocean view!

Things are still a bit up in the air as far as neighbors go but it’s official. I and my family of avatars live on Rooster’s Peninsula in a castle. I’ve given up premium membership and being a land owner, renting for now (4096). I was *very* pleased how much of old Collagesity I could transfer to the new property with it well under 1/2 the size. Thing is, no galleries are present, which means I’ve decided to to make it private. It is “merely” a place to hang my hat, along with acting as occasional “movie set” for the blog — and attached photo-novels of course. How’s that going? Quite swimmingly still, thanks; although the production of posts has slowed a bit in the last month or two. May be just the sheer weight/complexity of the project as it churns on and on, now reaching almost 32 1/2 individual works. Nautilus remains a focus, as I’ve stressed recently. I still live there, just in the North instead of Lower Austra. I feel the downsize is complete. I’m very satisfied. About 400 prims (land impact units) left to work with in a skybox, etc. I have room for continued experimenting.

My Nautilus master map with its 100+ pins is still around.

My Martian “city” centered by a giant golden robot statue remains (great!).

The library is still there…

… along with its Special Collections Room.

Dungeon, Table Room, Perch: all accounted for; all part of the castle.

Abbreviated version of the Kidd Tower: a little bit awkward in placement but necessary I feel to complete the deal presently.

Now… who still lives here?? Does Man About Time remain in charge since Jeffrey Phillips went away? How about Mr. Babyface, Danny, and the rest of the identified Collagesity residents? Do they still have homes *here*? Good, solid questions to be answered soon enough, I’m supposing.

It’s a beautiful day in a wonderful world. As usual.


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The Bogota series, The Arab ponders here, studying the collage section of the blog. Half series, half not, the complexity of the photo-novels weighing in again. Since Boos, collages have depended on its now enormous (ponderous?) storyline. That was 2015. This is 2022. A long time for collages to serve another master and not themselves as completed, self contained art works, or at least self contained art series. Bogota changed all that. Bogota never had its own gallery, although I tried to make a unified sense of the whole. Didn’t work, except, a bit, for inclusive series Bogota Proper, as I call it, and, more recently — in the last year and a 1/2 or so — Picturetown, another Canadian based series like Boos before it, notably enough. But even Picturetown was different: separate it from the attached photo-novel, 24 in a series of, presently, 32, and the meaning is severely diluted, maybe irreparably damaged. Yet I still do create individual collages here and there in the ongoing process. This, I assume, will continue…

Looking back on it, audio-visual synchronicities, another kind of collage, go hand in hand with the 2d, more “regular” ones. What one might call the first true movie collage of the bunch, “Billfork” back in 2004, was created in the same year as the 1st 2d collage series in Greenup. Then, on the other side, Boos was created about the same time as the last audio-visual collages I made in 2015-2016.

Just moving down the blog headers to Reality — Reality, pheh, what a concept! — I’ve hiked almost every day since I retired March 1. I’ve included some RL photos in the blog recently, but I want to do more of that. It’s all going to a place where I concoct one of those woodsy art happenings again, like with Bigfoot-Chesterton also from 2015-2016, another of those seeming last-of-its-kind phenomenon. Truth is, I think that audio-visual synching will return, albeit in a very different and unexpected form. Collage series will continue, perhaps separating out from virtual reality again and relying more on themselves alone for meaning. Writing is very important, but art also will go on.

And I’ll probably try my hand at an actual novel sometime, sans pictures. The setting may very well be Oz.


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We live in the North now, me and my collection of avatars. Centered around Route 12. Below us are Upper Austra, Lower Austra, Wild West, and Yd Island. Between them are border areas such as Alien Island, Frog Isles, and Lands End. Surrounding it all are the Rim Islets and also Southwestern, where that big rock which obviously doubles as the oracle Carrcassonnee is located. The rock also links Nautilus to the Real World through Iowa. Most likely. Marty disappeared inside it; became one with it. He and Roger Pine Ridge drove all the way to the central square in that old, beat up Chevy that apparently didn’t go into the levy. Marty: how can interior and exterior be the same?

Maybe the answers lie here, a bit outside the defined hypercube.


Hy-Vee

The wind blows hard as we enter the village.

Well pump replaces rocket ship on the next encountered welcoming sign. The pump is a rocket?

Ah ha. Well pump standing by itself in an otherwise vacant lot more on the edge of the tiny hamlet. Launching pad?

And then another one in the exact center, blue instead of white.

Visiting Roger Pine Ridge (as it turns out) waits on a bench at the store he saw pictured on that rock, the one that absorbed Marty. Maybe Marty is here, he reasons. Might make sense. He’ll give it a couple more minutes or hours or days at least. Years.

The flapping continues. Roger is unable to light one of his personally rolled white sticks because of it. Sparks too dangerous in a spot so wooden and full of history.

(to be continued)


Spongeberg the Destroyer

“Don’t worry, Baker B.

“Grassy and I have taken care of Lower Austra for ya.”

Before the Faun, they laugh together.


Newt and Eyela (one strange rock)

“No. You go first,” she requested, not being as prepared as I wished.

“I was just going to say,” he started, probably improvising, “that you look lovely tonight.”

“Thank you (!).” Cute tittering, cute covering of mouth. “Oh, I was going to check out *Whitson* tonight,” she realized. “*Sorry*.”

“Kind of your double, I’m assuming.”

“Kind of,” she agreed. “Um… uh…”

“Well,” he decided to insert in the awkward pause. “Baker Bloch still has ties to Lower Austra, *roots*, even.”

“In Squared Root City here, yes,” she said, remembering some of her lines now thanks to the prompt. Not all, but perhaps enough to get by if she can fill in the rest with filler.

“Zero Club.” He glanced over his shoulder at the sign; another prompt. “Just like Baker was looking for. A place Baker, the male one, could Zero Out and reset everything.”

“Good to know.” She was struggling. The Whitson gaffe threw her off her game. She decides to end the scene and do some research.

—–

“I’m going into space again,” she said after learning she was. Thanks once again wikipedia! You’re a life line. “It’s a joint venture between Axiom and SpaceX.”

“So… Axis,” he responded. “Like me.”

“Wellll.”

—–

“My name is not Axis any longer. My name is Newt.”

“I know that.”

“I don’t like to be reminded of my Axis past.”

“I… won’t say anything more about it, won’t bring it up.” She cleared her throat. The research got her into hot water (!). She said his new name to reinforce her conviction. “Newt, yes I like it.” She recalled a tree growing out of his head instead of the other place. She realized she had to part with Whitson on this, Mars or no Mars. She had to choose… well pump over spaceship.

(to be continued)


disattached from land

“Can’t you pull one of your Tungaske type miracles to save my village?”

“I’m afraid not. Too small.”

She shed a tear, perhaps with more to come. Probably so. These were scientist tears, the tough ones. “Hard to believe it’s gone.”

“No one under 18. Really nothing we can do [Eyela]. (pause) I’m sorry.”


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He corrected me as soon as it came out of my mouth, perhaps before. “Bono, I’m Bono here,” he said. “And you’re Newt — we can’t change that.”

“But Peggy –”

“Peggy Smeggy.” He took a breath. “You don’t understand the implications yet. Darkside is *here*.” He looked me square in the eyes now, black inside black. He wasn’t evil but he came from a place of called Intensity. In Mississippi I believe. Very focused in his tasks, he was.

“So… you brought them here.”

“Yup,” with the “p” emphasized with a pop. I reviewed what I knew. I thought he was Nemo but he said he was Bono. Bono Jores, fresh from the bowels of Mississippi. Or was it Arkansas? Anyway, he presented me with the book; said it was the way out. He did this now.

“This is the way,” he said, scooting it toward me. “The Way.” He scooted it closer. “Open in the middle and start reading.”

“I–,” I started to protest. Closer. He even opened it for me, eyes still boring. But he was no Sherwood Anderson. Or was he?

—–

3 hours later — sunset — I finished the book that was the same as 1/2 a book. Everyone had left in the meantime, Bono to my right and Peggy Gertrude to my left. Peggy was still here with her friend over at another table in the establishment. And that’s where I headed next — to give her the good news. All was not lost.

The convincing took a while. Her hometown was still gone; I led with that. But there’s *another* hometown coming up where gravity’s not as much up in the air. “Aerial,” I said, and demonstrated with my hand.

(to be continued)


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She’d just popped down to the fire department to check her mailbox and now *this*. But she dare not remove the parking ticket and throw it away in disgust after learning it came from Zero, apparently a policeperson in this here town as well as the owner of that club. We have been reset.

Glancing over at a clearly distressed Elisa staring at the ticket on her illegally parked Mazda RX-7 sports car, Newt checks to make sure he’s off the street good and pays the parking meter before heading inside to meet the others. He understands parallel time as well as parallel parking. He’s seen three squad cars circling around the city now and knows the force is strong here, like Star Trek or Star Wars — he can never remember which one applies. Star, hmm, he then thinks. He swears this use to be Star Street instead of that long German name he doesn’t know how to translate. Why the change? He believes it may be a bad omen. Or a good one — hard to tell yet. Maybe the meeting with the 3 “witches” will clarify either way.

Uh oh. Likewise tardy Alysha coming from down the street. He pretends he doesn’t see her and rushes inside before she can catchup with him. He’d rather not have the meeting colored (red) before it began.

Just made it.

“You’re late,” black haired Fern Stalin says at the door. “And so is the other one.”

“Right behind me.”


alchemy

“Lord, lord. Lord lord lord lord lord.” She shook her head as she uttered. She looked down into her coffee which wasn’t steaming any longer, meeting stretched beyond expected. Yet Newt had forgotten about the parking meter and the need to feed past 8. Too much had happened. Clyde! It’s back! The impossibly loud sound of horseless carriages transfixed. He was almost there; just up there. He could reach into the screen and probably procure some kind of souvenir or relic to bring back to the others: Fern, Lichen… and the one who most figured in as the cause, the one who was red, the one with the awkwardly long gams (she thought), the multicolored tree on the back and the fox and the octopus up front, black and white zebra’s eyes formerly x’d shut but now wide open. He can hear, he can see. He *must* get married after this. He knows too much.

Lichen went over and exchanged wigs with her. “See?” she said, returning to her seat, spell intact.

“See?” prefigured Fern and then also leaned over and exchanged her hair with Alysha’s. “Doesn’t matter.”

It was 9 before Newt got back to the car with the inevitable ticket attached to the passenger window. “Zero strikes again,” he muttered and then crumpled it up and threw it in the gutter, knowing the thing was now worthless. Nothing mattered in this Squared Root City in this most virtual of realities. Except 3.16227766. Let’s shorten it down to 3 so we can move on…


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