Thursday, 17 January 2013



"Steampunk is what happens when Goth discovers Brown." anon 

For a moment I assumed they were talking about drugs. Their inexperience; I would have termed it 'sepia' and reminisced on fading photographs of an elder generation whose ambitions and the forgotten matters of vital importance neglected, have led us to this current predicament. Perhaps it was intentional. I sift, a professional sieve, through the detritus of meaning inherent and embedded in phraseology. While layered meanings and hidden codices spark lights in the cylinders of an antiquated auto-referal... know, I am almost certain, I can taste it in the air, like the flavour of a lovers kiss, the water of his or her body, the dna encodement my taste buds decipher; I can smell it on you, breathing your truth through your pores, the animal feral truth of pheremones, attempts to mask it with lazy perfumes and dressage... you recognise my meaning when I say that at this point the vision slides. The device, an auto-referal becomes an aut-ore-feral, part critter, part clockwork; an illegal hybrid necessary for this line of work. I charge a high fee because the penalty is steep although ironically it is ministers of the gendarme who administer my costs and provide me with such utilities, confiscated from backstreet inventor-surgeons. The re-feral snarls and purrs, its soft ferret fur pulsing while its cognitive motors chime into gear, flashing wild against the cage bars and snuggling down for a sleep. Depending on its level of alertness a different reading is given, and depending on its moods a different universe stems from the moment of decisive action. No use as a truthsayer but very useful as an indicator of the target's intent, the hidden meaning beneath cautious crafted words spoken to direct attention away from the pure animal reflex instinct betraying easy liars. The sleuth is acute for its pains...

...I drift out again from that frame of reference and watch the dial turn, tweak the sensor and wait for the lights to inform me how many contexts the words triggered. The mundane version of the world ebbs and flows with the magickal, changing the fabric between paradigms so easily now since the damn wizards got their way and lit their towers of enchantment all over town. Proving their point that the mystical physics of alchemy and ritual are as lucid and real as hard rational reason. Awareness of the shift as a polished, tarnished auto-referal unit reveals its decisions, I trust my own instinct that the kids words; "...what happens when goth meets brown" is talking about colours and not drugs at all.

He wouldn't give me a name, nobody has names anymore, too risky a business in a world where the sunlight has seeped in and faded shadows necessary for seamless flow. Instead we see schemes in step-by-step rhythm, clattering their way around cog circuits this city grinds us into. Here in the dimness of gaslight and tweed, obscurity is not an option but a need. Every case a suitcase of changing identities, seeking that one simple stability that we can all rely upon to make sense of this trickery-based environment.

"Everything used to be something else." the Eye man, Minority Report

I have been wanting to do a blog about steampunk for a while, without much to say other than a growing appreciation of the style. It has a few sub-genres yet even so it seems a limited style, everything that can be written about it in its pure orthodox forms has already has been done. Admittedly a genre of re-invention, distilled through exotic laboratories of some mad crazy inventor; Egor's progeny.  

"Some art would be nice," she whispered seductively, persuasively. I do not think she had imagined then that my lazy artists hand would turn to scalpels and flesh, tanning the skins of tattoo emporium canvases (and at this stage I pursue the proper plural term for canvas', be it canvi?) for my showcase, the concentrated lamp light shines so pretty through the stretchers, don't you agree? 

In some of these, due to masterful craftsmanship, the nerves are still alive, fed by chemical nutrients extracted from secret sources; stroking the skins brings movements, the raising of hairs, the changing expression of facial features, the twitching of splayed fingers. There is worse here too, for those whose interests are exquisitely base; we can provide many exotic experiences for connoisseur clientele who appreciate, let us say the rarer pleasures our culture, of  parallel dimensional retro-Victoriana sensibilities savoured and blended with post-modern frustrations, has to offer. 

"Goths dowdy sister."  

What new could I possibly bring to this genre? Always the domain of eccentrics, less sexy than gothpunk, forsaking horror for adventure; less bdsm and more doctor jones. There seem a few core principles in what makes steampunk worth bothering with at all. 

Nevertheless, I found myself exploring it as a writing style, and some of my art lingers upon it like an overly sensual lick from a lost girl in a basement club. For 'lost' read; rapidly became the center of the universe. Generally I prefer the Blade Runneresque mythepoesis of Shadowrun, so why I am I loitering here? Naked Lunch programmed to pervert the machination and push forth progress, caught up in Metropolis mesh nets of the factory whistle mindscape. Not the place to be, I hasten onward.

Adjusting my dog-coat, mans-best-friend, wearable canine companions, setting it from black to brown, widening the lapel, feeding it tidbits into the gut-pocket; rolling a hand-rolled smoke in my fingers to ward off the chill night air scent sent me by masonic magicians intending to keep me attuned to a spectrum they can deal with, find me when they want me for some fool reason, lean against the smoothed ancient sandstone of a two-tone doorway, leading between worlds. I'm waiting and watching, watching and waiting for answers to manifest.

She steps forward through the gloom. It is like watching a flower bloom on sped-up film projected through steel wasteland. I have seen her before in some other movie, same actress perhaps, or; more likely another clone wearing the mirage-image intended for some other long forgotten primadonna. I am realising that I am the only one capable of seeing it from my point of view, that my continuum is steady and the abstract references do make sense, I stitch together threads where nobody else knows the symbols nor has the training, to break us through this. Their minds are towers and cathedrals of programs, grids that drop from me like oil sliding on glass. 

That is the sound, not the chalkboard fingernail clash, not the fingernail flesh yell of a lover releasing pent up desire in a moment of juice and liberty; this is the higher resolution, megapixel vision of an oil-lense. Somehow the auto-referal device guides me through, is training me up, honing my instincts. 

With this continuum comes responsibility; I'm stuck in a senseless world full of short-ranging zombies confused and enslaved by their crazed habits and desires. I was set the task of breaking the cycles of chaos and dogma; of forcing my own skillful patterns onto the grain of a worn out world, to make this domain my own. I truly do not believe they knew what they were giving me when they placed such an insight into my scope. She was young and hot and she stepped forward and spoke my name.

That's when I awoke. 

"Steampunk is what happens when things get squeezed in the wrong places" Razhel Dolphindark

A moment passes. A thousand years in a heartbeat, in a flicker. Flick of an eye, a hundred lashes of the tongue against a clit, the clocks reset to zero. My heart skips a beat and she presses her death cold fulsome lips against my own. She  tastes of the fog, she's everywhere in this city seeping through the gaps and into our bones. A slow killer. Cold though she is with dead sharkive eyes, her curse is the heat she needs, generated by men who she happens upon to  treat, tease and beat with her cool. My mouth waters, the dog-coat drools to the floor and lets me know how it feels. The animal reflex of the re-feral bling's with erection that this one fires on all cylinders at once. Yet somehow remains deadpan, calm and collected. 

This was not meant to be a story, but has story content, playful and needing re-editing to please readers, to make them feel snogged by the cities darkest succubi. Seeing this spirit here, knowing I will need a spiritist to help me through this adventure, I fumble upon a pocket wallet containing collected cards of contacts, a network of those who prefer to be known; the mercentile class. It figures she's not among them; an underleech of the dark sub-levels dating back aeons upon which this city is founded, held aloft by magnetism where the superstructure is rusting and crumbling away. It has been said that Nothing lasts forever. It's a lie; her kiss is intended to keep time in existence, for once having tasted eternity, a soul knows that nothing ever ends.

Her name then is told; you know it if you were paying attention and can cope with the cold. She is one of the pieces and sent to beguile and guide me. She smiles, lewdly and honest. Not a word has been spoken and yet, we know without speaking.

Endless Permutations 


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