from a feeling called heaven

I wanted to show you something that would give you pleasure

the kind of pleasure I sometimes feel listening to Joanna Brouk or standing in the middle of a gallery in the Met

not focusing on a particular art work

just standing there in the middle of the room

I wanted to show you something that would give you some kind of pleasure before the end of the world

not feeling myself capable of that much then perhaps I thought I would play you a tape of Elizabeth Clare Prophet and her congregations’ violet fire chants recorded from a public access broadcast in my hometown

something I’ve come to call ‘what I saw as a child’

as the repurposed foundation for the death of this planet in X number of years

for there’s little to be done now except love and embrace the silence of our impending destruction as a species

one that was offered the gift of consciousness through accident or divine fiat and has done little with it besides slightly lessen our own suffering over thousands of years

i.e. the bar was so low and desire so brutal

for there’s little to be done now but to await our own destruction as we spend this time together in the presence of each other

this patience then is really all that’s necessary

and not to ‘preach’ or say how the world could be better

it can’t be better

a better world isn’t possible but patience is possible

meditation on a few moments of intense deprivation is possible

perhaps that’s all that’s left

this impoverishment is all we’ve ever been given

a kind of ecstatic reduction

or a ‘feeling called heaven’

that speaks to itself of nothing but a final annihilation that comes quietly tho it remains perhaps forever in the distance

I wanted to show you something that would remind you of a time in your life before we came together as a way of finding whatever trace of pleasure or happiness we can in the presence of each other

and not thru a rejection of the world but a radical acceptance of our own impoverishment

so you can welcome this passivity

as a way of reducing both the mind and body to the minimal frequency necessary to maintain this place we now occupy together

as we wait for the true end of the world

which is already here

and yet

has only just begun

we’re only at its beginning

an end

that began without us

but because of us

and through us

and now

no longer needs us

and as such all we have to do is wait as it makes its way slowly thru each and every one of us

and each and every successive generation

this ‘feeling called heaven’

this realization that there is no outside to the world and that nothing is demanded of us to provide a modicum of calm and stability as we sit here in the company of each other

because the world is dying

at least for us

we’ve made it an inhospitable place for us

and yet there’s pleasure to be found here

a kind of pleasure at the beginning of the end of the world

and as you sit listening to my voice

speaking to you

I want you to remember

that this is only the beginning of the end

and that we’re embarking on this journey together

or more accurately

we’re engaged in a process of reduction until this human thing loses any distinction and becomes only one body among many

a material object that may have certain uses but the purpose of which has been severed from it and now merely occupies this space for a time

and in this way we’ve come to regard

this wretched little thing we call our body

this vessel or vehicle

as little more than a seat of pain and frustration

and yet

one that we hold so dear

as it shrinks in terror at night as the room in which your lying down or sitting up and listening to the sound of my voice settles around you with a noise disconnected from any discernible source and for that brief moment makes you all too aware of your own fragility

or at other times

as it swells with anxiety

something you feel welling within you

say

on the train when the arm of a stranger sitting next to you relaxes against your side gently pressing into your ribs as you resist the urge to turn your face and look at the person sitting next to you to acknowledge this physical closeness and inadvertent touch

that wants nothing from you but needs a place to rest

a space at the beginning of the end

that we cannot see

but can rest assured for this moment together in the calmness of its late arrival

and in this way you can think of my words

what I have to say to you

as constructing little more than a side altar

a place for us

to keep watch for those who will eventually come and replace us

only to keep this watch in our place

for we’re little more than surrogates

and as such have come to regard this vessel or vehicle

this wretched little thing we call our body

as something like a coat or sweater placed gently on the chair beside you in a darkened movie theater

holding this place beside you

for a friend who is on their way to meet you

but has been delayed

and whose absence gives you a reason to keep sitting where you are

and as such it occupies this space between what came before and the end that has already arrived

visualized in this way we can see that a beginning to a thing as it occurs in the distance

far from us

and has yet to arrive fully

is little more than a boundary or more accurately a wall to gently lean against

and as we sit together in each other’s company

I ask that you focus

not on the individual thoughts as they pass through your mind

but the structure of your mind as the channel that these thoughts travel through

as the unconscious communicates with the conscious mind and provides you with the meaning to all your interactions with the world

your beliefs and habits

your feelings and emotions

each individual sensation that is little more than a message

traveling thru the very material by which you’ve come to understand

say

the trauma you underwent in being born expelled from your mother’s body only to gradually assume this separate and isolated character which is little more than a faint noise in the background of your mind

as you close your eyes and listen to the sound of my voice

as my voice and your own thoughts become one

and move together

from the foreground to the background

fading into little more than a dull hum or the faint noise of atmospheric static not unlike the hum of the air conditioner that keeps the room you’re sitting in at a comfortable 70 degrees

I want you to remember that this hum is only the muted sound of our collective death

that we patiently embrace

even if unconsciously

and this knowledge

emerges as the foundation of our lives together

that not only will we perish individually

but that our time as a species is drawing to a close

and while this kind of knowledge remains unthinkable

there are moments

here

together

that we can envision the quiet that would exist without us

as the clouds break and the sun glints off pools of irradiated water outside a freeway on-ramp or hospital parking lot in which a few discarded syringes and fragments of plastic tubing bob in the light breeze that travels across a world emptied of our presence

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Joey Yearous-Algozin

Joey Yearous-Algozin is the author of twenty+ files/books and a member of the publishing collective Troll Thread.