Thursday, February 26, 2015

The King's Palette

My short story, The Sun Temple, is being expanded into a full-length novel—soon to be available in both print and e-book formats. Here's another sample chapter: 

…And once again I place myself under the Sun—in the vague hope that he will burn away the impurities in my spirit, and set me upon a more noble course—even while I realize that, in reality, the wicked often fare better than the righteous.
    But a Great Torpor stretches for miles in every direction…it holds me motionless…while it colors the sky, the streets, and the buildings in pale convalescent tones…
    And this monumental fatigue brings with it the conviction of the utter superfluousness of any undertaking. Action becomes pointless because everything has already happened—every utterance—every possible combination of words—has already been tried.
    Conversation is the most blasphemous of all:
“How are you?” “Fine, thanks—and yourself?” “Can’t complain!”
I’m afraid that I can’t muster the cheek it requires to keep this sort of thing going. And furthermore, even if I could, I would be afraid that the other person would laugh in my face at the hopeless artifice of such an attempt.
    And surrounded as I am by this desiccated shell of an apartment (it was a mistake from the beginning!)—any possible word (especially if it remains unspoken) already has a nasty, hollow ring to it.
    I regret every word that I have ever spoken! Each one was false…wrong…a miserable rehash…
And of course—at this extreme juncture—this nadir—this insult to Man and God—this is where I reach for the Soma…the Plant of Kindness...
    Relief is at hand! Cheers! Shouts! The sky has ignited within me—even as I languish in the hopeless dust and filth of the first floor!
    And again I find that I can dream in a kingly palette: I see Sandaraca, Aureolin, Celadon, and Persian Red on the miserable walls…and I can once again imagine the terracotta columns of that magnificent Truth…

"We were dead dogs, but our Lord gave us life by placing the herb of life beneath our noses." [1]

    The Haenap [2] gives me great strength (temporarily!). I feel my consciousness condense to a small silvery sphere (but with a corresponding gain in potency)—then expand out into the grid of the city…

[1] A scribe of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal recorded in 650 B.C.—referring to Hashish incense.
[2] Cannabis, from the proto-German

cannabis   ///   psychedelic   ///   fantasy


  1. A great Torpor must have infected me too, for I meant to comment admiringly weeks ago, but these things are meant to be . . . for it's only now, seeing your new post on The Fortune, that I see your writing with a new vividness, & wonder how much the influence of Fernando Pessoa has seeped into you, tho’ your style is unmistakably Späth.

  2. Thanks Vincent, I don't know to what extent Pessoa has seeped into me, but hopefully as much as possible!