Sights.

What are you afraid of,
I know that you are
Keep it in your sights now
and don’t let it go far
 – London Grammar
 
It is approximately two years since I did any serious writing. It has been awful. Even by extensive procrastination periods, this has been a record breaker. It is like I have been in hibernation, a long hibernation which defies biology. Buried deep in the ground never daring to raise my head up.
So what have been doing all this time not writing. Well, I have designed. Beautiful websites and applications, learnt a new language (Python). Promptly dropped it. Old unlikable PHP still does wonders in legacy systems. Wandered around jobs. Kept wondering how I got here. Quit them, stayed home and gazed at the stars searching for Alpha Centauri and Betelgeuse. Never found them. Stocked my library, read new experiences. Got hooked to Charles Stross and Neal Stephenson. Had an existential crisis, got over it. After all we all heading to the big black. Why sweat it?
I have listened to less and less music. Later settling on two bands which seem to resonate with me on a level I can’t quite grasp. Of Monsters And Men and London Grammar. Give them a ear, they will not disappoint, oh, and Mayonde.
I usually don’t do(did) short posts. This is a new ground which I am not treading again. It has been hard to put up whatever sh*t I have churned out. I haven’t submitted anything to magazines too. Blame it on the crippling self doubt which I would like to imagine I am crushing it right now with a vice.
I am dusting several halfway done manuscripts and typing word after word until I am done. Every two weeks I am putting up something. I was born to do this, dammit!

Klexos

Klexosthe art of dwelling in the past.We think of memories as a work of art – and a work of art is never finished. Only abandoned.

Giant Bio mech squid

 

Down town Nairobi bustles with activity. It’s midnight but the absence of planetary light has rendered nights negligible. It is now about the bottom line. Keeping the city’s economy alive and making a mark in the archives lest you be forgotten like a gust of wind. The open air market is crazy as usual. Shouts, haggling, collisions and secretion of bodily fluids.  Something which has not changed for over ten thousand years, or so, the memory banks have this for a fact. Early 19th century had humans travel to market centres and trade. That has not changed at all. There is foot and air traffic as well as constant chings here and there. The city lords have banned mechanical traffic from some of the sections. They say it corrupts, fills an otherwise great trade with a background buzz or drone which is impossible to eradicate from the transaction. These include but not limited to hover cars, drone-suits, and jump bikes. One common denominator is that they are all the products of the past centuries. They have refused to die with time and instead adapted, one could say they have evolved.

They are being replaced by super squids. The semi biological fast moving, flying and swimming contraptions. They are even being used for orbital transfers. The diamond wisp stretching up to the moon is becoming old fashioned, and cheap.

Kora doesn’t like Nairobi. She doesn’t like her family too. It’s understandable she is at that stage of life. It is too crowded for her liking. The comm links in her hypothalamus keep chiming. Installed at birth, she can never get away. Unless she goes off world. The major one. Moving off system where solar noise is none existent.

To be continued

 

The Rain Ceased

My first attempt at poetry in more than three years. This is short.Be kind, and brutal.

The Rain Ceased

It no longer rains in my chair
I seem to have rescinded my share
The gods have requested for a hiatus
and it’s all gone, the care
I curse the wisps of the sun
the accompanying scorching heat
But my words, oh dear
I need a cursing megaphone
Or a new voice, the old is tiring
I am done, because the rain no longer rains upon my head.
My scalp is dry, sahara in harmattan looks better
I need some moisture, I can’t even lap on the dew

The Absence – Part 1

There was an eerie look around the village. Dusty paths Meadows filled with sand soil. In addition to making them difficult for transit, they gave it a rather rusty feel. Like it had seen the better days. A feeling that once upon a time prosperity had made this a home. Then came a time to move on. Leaving trails of dust and hopelessness. I  was seated alone in the back of the old struggling bus which managed to find extra energy after every few minutes to move ahead. I was aprehensive of everything. The weird quiet soundings which had an occasional hoot of a barn owl. We came upon a dry riverbed where the bus had more than it’s fair deal of the labourous journey. Passengers got out to give it a push, will it to expend any remaining energy and if like Jeremy says it has soul; find within it’s nooks and cranes for that extra will power to get through the sand. I did not disembark because my body was not willing to. Hours of hard bumping and slipping in and out of consciousness had worn me out.
 
We were on the road again in no time and for some reason my eyes were fixed on the left window staring far in to the distant hills. In between I could see huts which had smoke billowing. A notification that it was already lunchtime and I had had few scraps for the last 36 hours. A few of the huts had white flags on the roofs. A common protective feature for a community which had completely refused to move with times and adopt imported religions. Shrines where the gods resided where hallowed ground and it would be an anathema if an outsider like me got to peek in to one.
 
The drone of the bus, occasioned by the constant scuffles as it hit massive potholes was hypnotizing. The drone was a cue to get asleep, bumps woke me up with a start or sometimes they didn’t. The last bump made me bite my tongue, for the umpteenth time. With the trend going on I could be devoid of speech functions in the next few hours.
 
I was running in the beach barefooted. Hazy and dreamy filled with love. A scenario I witness in romantic movies when couples are watching the beautiful orange tropical sun set. I was doing the same thing, only this time the sun was not setting in-font of me. Up in the sky were rockets and space-ships constantly breaking out of earth’s atmosphere and transforming in to fiery fireballs albeit for few seconds. They created a spectacular aurora which was amplified by the dying streaks from the sun. It was a beautiful sight. I realised I had a camera in my hands and I went on a photography rampage. This went on for so long until I realised there was no end to the rockets departing. A thought dawned. None of them was coming back. All around me now was sand, dunes and more sand. Then there were numerous ground space stations where the ships were being launched from. The noise emanating from the anti-matter engines was deafening. I covered my ears but it would not stop. Then there was a whizzing sound for a few seconds, my ear drums burst. I was back on the beach, seated on the cool sand and watching the sky. The lights now were much less than before. I saw one burn and burn, then instead of dissapearing in to the outer space it plummeted back to the surface. It streaked like a shooting star but only growing bigger and brighter. It hit the ocean at some point and fizzled out. My thoughts formed, a sort of eureka moment which was a little too late.Every living soul was vacating earth, vacating the solar system. The sun was dying and with it support for  any life here. Billions of humans left to search for habitable planets far away. In multi generational ships for journeys which would take centuries and if the luck was still a bitch, millenniums.
They ships engineered for the purpose. I had briefly worked on Kano both on the Indian ocean and the low earth orbit. 
I was the only soul left on earth, freezing…I bit my tongue again really hard and woke up.
 
Maybe I will get my teeth clipped when I am back in the city. I did not know how long I had been asleep and dreaming but the landscape had not changed a bit and the bus drone was still disturbing.
‘Tell me about it’. I turned to my right to find an old lady holding a kyondo of apples staring at me apprehensively. Apples which made me salivate and had my stomach rumbling and squeaking in all sorts of funny noises ‘uh?’ I stared back at her blankly. ‘Tell me about your dream young man, in exchange of  some apples’. She said. ‘Was I mumbling in my sleep? I am sorry for that’ I said. ‘Nothing of the sort young human, I can tell you were dreaming, tell me about it’.Her eyes lay deep in their sockets, bright and constantly searching my face. I thought, what the hell. It was just a stupid dream and I would murder for some of those apples so here it comes old lady. I told her about my dream without leaving any detail. What surprised me was that I was able to remember everything about it with vivid clarity whilst I  always have problems recalling my dreams even the ones I really struggle to remember. She listened and nodded and in between she offered me an apple which fuelled the story. If I could really sell my dreams at a price then maybe I wouldn’t be so distraught and broke like I was. When the story was over I guess she was disappointed just as I was. If I could stretch it to several hours maybe I could end up with the whole basket. It was a disappointment. Was I willing myself to fall asleep and dream just for an apple? 
 
This was eerily weired. Who was this old hag anyway? Her complexion was dark and for some reason her face seemed cloudy. Her nose was long and her eyes were the only clearly discernible feature of the wrinkled face. When she spoke her voice was crisp clear, strong and commanding. She had a musky, old smell which should have been disturbing, but it wasn’t. Where had she come from? I couldn’t remember her embarking in to the bus when the journey commenced and sure as hell she did not get on at one of the numerous stops. I could have seen that. 
 
I had set out for this journey as a soul searching mission. A washed up journalist who was in and out jobs making enemies with editors on nearly daily basis. The journey which was now on it’s second month had fleeced my accounts and now I was traveling on a shoestring budget. Food had become a luxury and my stomach was constantly rumbling. The hag couldn’t have been here at a better time.
 
I don’t remember when I fell asleep again but I woke up with a shudder after we hit a rather massive pothole. This was an empty piece of sleep. No dreams at all and no memory of how it was. This did strike me as odd but who was I going to lodge a complain to? The old lady who was staring at me uncomfortably? I said hello once again. ‘Sorry ma, no dreams’ I said with a shy smile. “I know”. The reply. 

Ruining the country high.

Once in a while I lift myself right out the sand, shake my head and drop the grains as I walk to the village podium to know what’s up. This time is the hell hole which has been opened by Uhuru and co and systematic fuckery happening to our dear beloved economy.
Uhuru is a swell guy, neatly pressed suits and the stoic of a gentleman. He is the sort of chap you would request for a president anytime. If your idea of a country was a small fishing island deep in Lake Victoria. Sure, you would lose many catches to his goons, but the country’s population would be so negligible that your cache would seep back to you sooner or later. I think he keeps discovering new ways of running and ruining this country every waking moment. It doesn’t help matters that he is so stuck up that a million Gastroenterologists  could not pull his face out in time to save it from reverse digestion.
anne-waiguru-corruption-scandal
He has a well oiled publicity machinery made up of chaps who seem to have donated their conscience and souls to deep sea mantis shrimp. Once in a while they dive in to check that care is being administered but they leave them there. This explains the zeal and gusto they defend the machine with once it is implicated in yet another scandal. They have become experts in feeding the wrong information in carefully calculated timely manner. If the blatant ignorance displayed in the social media is anything to go by, they have a 101% success rate.
One chap running for a republican nomination in the U.S, Ben Carson, wants to implement a taxation plan based on  biblical tithing. Basically take economic lessons from a country whose entire G.D.P was one golden calf. This is wrong on so many levels without even going in to details. We seem to have picked a worse policy than that in the past few years. In Biblical Carson’s policy, you give ten percent and forget about it. No questions asked. Here we are giving blood, tears and sweat then spectating as our offering is mixed with dirt and blasted in to swiss accounts space.
The absurdity of it all seems to go unnoticed by the powers that be. This is is because they are the same people owning the shell corps which are being paid in billions for ghost services and products.
I could go on complaining but I am too old for this shit. I have gone back to my burrow for a snooze in the hope that I slipped in to a alternate universe and any second now I will wake up in the real Kenya.

Tokyo bar

The crackling neon sign said Tokyo bar, I assumed the owner was a depressed Wombats fan who couldn’t make it to Japan. Just like I couldn’t. There was a point of our connection. The air was humid and the usual ‘helper’ robot was guarding the entrance. Helper security robots. Made by TransIndianOcean Robotics (T.IO.R). The marketing guys there had come up with a very stupid slogan. Helper robots, A.I so good they can smell your blood. This was a fat lie. They were specifically made to disable skull guns. Skull guns were a fad among the hipsters and misguided teens.

The hidden weapons could tear a large chunk of flesh from your face as well as roast it to professional chef acceptable levels. If the chef was in to that sort of thing. The robot scanned me and let me in. Few tense minutes. I was testing the new tech of hiding the guns and I had already been in to several bars without any detection. Tokyo was smoky and disorganized. A lone stripper was on the pole dancing melancholically. I couldn’t tell if she was human or a bot from my position but who cares? All of them were the same save for the sometimes overzealous bots who could rip your head off. Bachelor parties had become something of a risk. The lighting in the smoky interior wasn’t helping matters. I think a good minute or so went by before my eyes could become accustomed. It was sparsely populated and most of the patrons looked moderately drunk. They were on the phase where you are trying to keep your dignity tucked on yourself while your drunk self is threatening to kill it. Kind of a bad struggle.

I chose an empty table near a window so that I could get a view of what was happening in the street below. I had to be careful, T.IO.R might be already on the hunt. A floating bot with a naked torso wheezed towards me balancing a drinks tray on one hand. Its legs were absent so instead of projecting the sexy appeal it was intended for it was just outright creepy. The guys at T.IO.R were outdoing themselves every waking moment. The waiter alone was capable of giving a several decades before time traveler a massive heart attack if they dared show up at this era. I chose my usual poison, whisky on the rocks. You can never go wrong with it. The reason I was relaxed enough to drink is that I was done being an alpha tester. It was a shitty job where I was working odd hours and getting paid peanuts for all the risk I went through. Tomorrow I was going to tender my resignation to the MENA Intelligence Consortium human resources office and get done with it. Life was short to spend it in fear of being ripped apart by robots and I did not have enough bit coins to go on a deep space mission and cheat time in the process.

I let the liquid flow and daze my mind, I was loving it. The bar was getting louder and the occasional bottle or chair was smashing the walls at irregular intervals. That is why I was prepared when one came flying my way, I ducked and held my drink tightly. It smashed  the window leaving very little damage. I looked for the culprit. Damn MENA IC, after all I was leaving. It couldn’t hurt to hurt some few idiots who thought the skinny guy was somebody to be toyed with. I saw him. The Mohawk, tattooed arms and face, muscles tearing the clothes away and the scar on the back of his neck which signified he was a member of one of the numerous Nairobi underground gangs. He had thrown off the stripper from the lone pole available on the bar and he was drunkenly dancing. I picked him out and with a precision of the sniper who took out JFK those many years ago. I fired my gun……

Sense8 and the Failure of Global Imagination

Couldn’t have put it better.

thenerdsofcolor

How do you imagine a life you could never live? Though not really a theme, this problem is at the heart of Netflix’s new original series Sense8, created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, and heavily influenced by Tom Tykwer. Like many fantastical or science fictional premises, Sense8’s premise is a wish fulfillment: not — as is typical of this genre and the Wachowskis’ earlier work — the wish fulfillment of the disempowered middle school nerd stuffed into a locker, but rather the Mary Sue desire of a mature, white American writer/auteur who has discovered that an entire world is “out there,” one that the maker doesn’t know how to imagine.

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