Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We Are The Sprocket Holes vol. 328: It's Happening Again... (rejected David Lynch story)

the proceeding piece was originally conceived for this David Lynch anthology. it was submitted and approved, but upon publication i discovered that it had been omitted from the final draft. when i contacted the publisher, they said that while they enjoyed my piece, the amount of submissions they received from "noted" authors couldn't allow them to publish something "unsolicited" (the dishonest word for "not part of the club", but i digress). been bitter about it for a while now, and still can't bring myself to read the book itself (even though it features writers i greatly admire).   

anyway, since the seminal Twin Peaks is returning to television in 5 days, i figured i would share the unpublished story here. my intention was not to do a David Lynch knock-off, nor was it to do some sort of fan-fictiony monster mash-up of his more memorable characters (no Frank Booth of Blue Velvet paying a visit to One-Eyed Jack's from Twin Peaks only to run afoul of the Mystery Man of Lost Highway ). what i set out to do was take some of the motifs, imagery, and themes of his work and put it into the context of my "style" of writing, while invoking certain characters through description rather than by name.

 for the sake of the nerdy, i took the liberty of adding annotations. anyway here's the piece... 

by N. Casio Poe

They bend her in a smoke ring produced by the BBQ grill’s (1) teary stones. When they force her to arch her spine, she flips her hair like an old time starlet (2).

"my hair is caught in the smoke! Look at all the grey!"

The children are waiting in line to punch her in the face (3). She smiles with cracked euphoria between every blow from a child’s fist (4). Her joy-envenomed countenance becomes swollen (5) and black-toothed, a cruel hiss of air wheezing from her crooked nose, its shape changing like mountains cut by waves. A boy kicks a football (6) into the left side of her head, which thuds off the temple and pangs onto the burning grill. The force of the blow pushed her eyeball out of the socket (7), but only slightly. The stalk of the eye gets pinned between the inflating lids. The eyeball wells up with almond milk. Her steel-wool eyebrows are dusted with the peach-leavings of dozens of erasers being furiously rubbed on the roofs of the nearby homes, brushed off by the air of swooping hands (8).

A cobalt puddle of coffee gathers in the gutter of her back. The ghostly reflection of an astral-projected child molester is rippled in all but its teeth (9). It begins to circle as if being inhaled by a drain, but the pond remains full.

Her static-eyed doppelganger (10) writhes in a cough-medicine serpentine all around the ball-fisted children. The Clone’s hair is the reverse of Smoke Girl’s hair; mostly black with hints of blond instead of mostly blond with hints of black. Smoke Girl has grey streaks where as the Clone has silver. Though still relatively youthful, portions of their skin hangs like crushed velvet (11) in soft, ribbed clumps. Her entire nude body is a violet checkerboard of abrasions (12). She opens the lipped-valve at the top of her throat, which erupts in white noise (13) and blenders that somehow makes her hair spark copper.

A plastic baggie packed with nail clippings is propping up the Smoke Girl’s skinny feet. The Clone crouches down and opens the baggie, ferreting through the clippings. She feels around for the big toe nails. When she has gathered roughly ten of them, she turns her attention to Smoke Girl’s rear end. The clone begins to place the big toe nails in the grooves of Smoke Girl’s anus.

"You’re going to like it. it’ll feel like a cat trying to pull you open and crawl inside."

At least that’s what it sounded like she said through the orchestral whirring of grounded polyps she calls a voice.

When she is finished, Smoke Girl’s asshole looks like an outsider artist’s sun bleached metal sculpture of a daisy. The clone’s nose attempts to pollinate the rectum, but to no avail. She perches up her face to suggest the sour, clasping and re-clasping her hand while lightly stomping her feet (14).

The football has completely melted on the grill, the bright brown rubber smothering charred hamburgers, cutting bubbled stars into the ruined meat. The lace is like a white caterpillar curled on a disc of sun. a beaked boy (15) hops in a circle around the grill, further fanning the smoke.

The clone snaps a water balloon on each one of her gnarled nipples. She lactates into them, filling them to such a capacity that they become a cartoonish exaggeration of her own breasts. The disproportionate features of leering nightmare faces (16) are vibrating on the pink domes, forecasting a hemorrhoidiall rupture. Milk escapes through the pinholes of their eyes, smoking when it hits the ground.

Smoke Girl’s face is now a cauliflower globe. There is still a line of children waiting to get their hits. Her popped eyeball has almost been slurped back into the socket by the welts. The clone dances to a steel guitar (17) only she can hear, singing along with the karaoke cadence of a swarm of hornets.

The next child steps up to deliver a haymaker into Smoke Girl’s bubbled skull. He's dressed in a black suit and tie, his face covered by sackcloth with a hole for his eye. He cocks his burlap head, examining Smoke Girl’s bulbous features. He pulls the sack over and off his head, revealing a tiny version of her own speedbag of a face; rocky with fist-shaped knots (18).

"is that you, mommy? Where have you been?"

This slurping voice catches the attention of the Clone, as if the record scratched on the voices in her head. She approaches the child, crouches down to his level, and gently places her hands on his shoulders, slowly craning him toward her.

When she speaks, her voice is now cleaned of all feedback choirs. What emerges is a whispery, sensual voice  that could either console or provoke.

"that’s not your momma. Momma loves you. "(19)

The boy, the clone, Smoke Girl, and all the children at the party begin laughing a tape-popping backwards track (20) of a laugh. Suddenly, Clone is distracted by a vicious thrash metal song (21) kicking in her brain.

"Oh! I love this song. You know the singer set himself on fire (22) to get his vocals for this one. Listen….."

Clone points to a layered hole where her ear used to be, little blades of grass growing like hairs in the trauma (23). The children all gather around in hopes to hear the tune. In their strain, malformed slug-like baby heads pop out from their mouths, slowly vomiting black and white film blood on their tongues (24).

"the lyrics are entries from a teenager’s rape diary (25)."

From the mass of shocked children, the guest of honor stands out for the first time since the festivities began. A lean long-haired boy, robed in denim. He contorts his face into that of a demon’s snarling orgasm (26). Lights shift on him in an epileptic strobe (27). He pulls steam out of the scalps of the prone children, swallowing it with his palms (28). After that, the children all follow his jittery gait, doing their best do adopt the mocking dread of his hellishly elastic skin. They stop in their tracks only to ravenously glower at one another in a so-crude-its-sophisticated form of communication (29).

The denim boy creepy-crawls to Clone and Smoke Girl, who are packing up to leave. He pulls them by the backs of their hair and croaks this between smoke-lunged cackles;

"Through the dark of futures past, the magician longs to see…."(30)

With honor, love, and respect to the many works of David Lynch. 


1. the settings of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks are noted for their idyllic renderings of folksy American towns, represented here by a BBQ, an image nicked from the video for "Crazy Clown Time"

2. Lynch is known for a certain reverence to classic Hollywood archetypes (lantern-jawed males, glamorous femme fatales) as well as having Lost Highway, Mullholland Dr. and Inland Empire take place in or around the entertainment industry.

3. brutal violence against women is often a central piece in many of Lynch's works, much to the chagrin of assorted critics and audiences. 

4. a reference to Dorothy Vallens reactions to being hit during foreplay in Blue Velvet

5. a defining feature on the Lady in the Radiator from Eraserhead is her swollen cheeks. 

6. the song "Football Game" from Lynch's album Crazy Clown Time. the setting of the entire story was inspired by the video for the record's title track 

7. Twin Peaks' Nadine wore an eye patch after it was shot-out during her and Ed's honeymoon. also key location of the show was One Eyed Jacks; the casino/bordello. 

8. an iconic image/sequence from Erasehead

9. a reference to BOB, the demonic villain of Twin Peaks. he appears in mirrors several times; in the episode "Lonely Souls" before he attacks Maddy, in the finale when he possesses Dale, and in Fire Walk With Me just before Laura meets her end. also a reference again to the finale's credits, when Laura's face reflects in the coffee at the Black Lodge. 

10. doppelgangers appear in Twin Peaks (Laura/Maddy), Lost Highway (Renee/Alice), Mullholland Drive (Bette/Diane), and Inland Empire (Nikki/Susan). it's also garbled by The Man From Another Place in the finale of Twin Peaks. 

11. pretty obvious reference to Blue Velvet.

12. calls back to Dorothy's breakdown in Blue Velvet.

13. many characters in the Black Lodge speak in near-indecipherable cadences, punctuated by grunts and screams. television static is also a reoccurring image in Fire Walk With Me.

14. a call back to Lil, Gordon's Mother's Sister's Girl, from Fire Walk With Me.

15. the ghost boy from Twin Peaks wore a paper-mache mask with a pointy nose. the jumping calls back to Fire Walk With Me. 

16. one of the more starting moments of Inland Empire was Laura Dern's glowering face suddenly becoming swollen and exaggerated. also in Eraserhead when the baby's head grows to the size of the apartment. 

17. Lynch's musical collaborator Angelo Badalamenti's scores have prominent steel guitar lines. 

18. a reference to John Merrick from Elephant Man

19. direct quote from Dorothy in Blue Velvet, the previous description of the voice is also meant to invoke her speaking style, as well as the speaking style of many of Lynch's femme fatales. 

20. the actors who played the denizens of the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks would speak their dialogue backwards into a recorder, which would then be played forward to create the warped cadence of the characters. 

21. the "Love Song" from Wild At Heart aka "Slaughterhouse" by Powermad.

22. fire and smoke is a reoccurring image in several of Lynch's films (Wild At Heart, Lost Highway, Fire Walk With Me)

23. a perversion of Jeffery Beaumont's discovery of a severed ear in the grass.

24. combining several key moments from Eraserhead 

25. Laura Palmer's diary. 

26. a poetically terse description of BOB from Twin Peaks. 

27. another reoccurring image in Lynch films; flashing, flickering lights. 

28. BOB does this to Windom Earle in the finale of Twin Peaks

29. another call back to the finale of Twin Peaks, when BOB possess Dale and they begin to reflect in their mannerisms. 

30. full quote from MIKE in Twin Peaks;
Through the darkness of future's past,
The magician longs to see.
One chants out between two worlds...
"Fire... walk with me."
We lived among the people.
I think you say, convenience store.
We lived above it.
I mean it like it is... like it sounds.
I too have been touched by the devilish one.
Tattoo on the left shoulder...
Oh, but when I saw the face of God, I was changed.
I took the entire arm off.
My name is MIKE.
His name is BOB.

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