The Virtual Sex Lives of Famous Negro Artists by Greg Tate


Chatter One



All famous negro artists studios are the same–a droning  hubub of syncophantic housenigga activity–except when they’re not the same at all, and are in fact more like that of some doomed  and unhappy Czarist family After The Revolution Comes. Citadels of fear and gloom akin to some Thing escaped howling mad from the pages of  Tolstoy and Nabakov only to be cut-up with Burroughsian savor faire by a snap queen with a flinty arrow.  

    Neither description quite applied to the generally smooth-running operation of my Straw Boss and Artworld Dungeon Mistress Lillian Robeson ( distant cousin to Paul, by marriage, in case anyone cares).  Especially on those wild weekends when Lillian chose to import a select cast of  roustabouts, ruffians, roughnecks,  poseurs, and harlots high and low,  to role-play for her next body of  exquisitely demented and pornogrpahic short films and photographic projects. 

      This motley crew was partly culled from her social circle–all the celebrity chef, friends, neighbors and collectors you’d expect. This group was then. liberally  filled out with a dozen or so random characters chosen with care by one of Lillian’s fearless and intrepid street-teams. 

   On any given weekend these intrepid fishers of hipsters might be seen beating  the pavement on Lillian’s behalf in what  we all know is world’s most  fashion forward cattle-call, New York Shitty. The Big City of screams, dreams and the aforementioned snap-queens.


      It was not Lillian who first took to calling them her Cool Seeking Missiles, No, that was me, tongue in cheek, of course —I’m generally  hardly that corny. But once it got out to the media, the Cool Seeking Missiles barely  had to recruit for members. After all, who doesn’t want to be told they’re cool enough to decide who else in Gotham is cool enough too? (Most of you are just a clipboard away from becoming clip-board Nazi, or would be if given the opportunity.)


       I had gotten my own start with Lillian way before I thought of a name for the CSM. This would’ve been way back  in the late 90s when I was  still at Pratt. From there I slowly worked my way inside the holy House  of Lillian’s Love . By the turn of the century I had graduated in true Winky Dinky Dog  fashion (Google  Hollywood Shuffle ) from Assistant to Assistant Crew Chief to Lillian’s Second Chief Studio Assistant. 

      Before we’d even gotten halfway into the new century’s first decade  I was enjoying my  second year  as the boss’s Studio Manager. I’m now known worldwide as  the second most tenured and powerful employee in Lillian’s operation. This, in arttworld terms,  is a position s roughly equivalent on a scale of Being and Nothingness to being somewhere between pretty hot shit —though not my personal mountaintop— and being one of the best paid  flunkies of Famous Negress Artiste in all of tarnation. 

       No applause  please, (though thanks for the fawning appreciation), but it really don’t mean jack to me other than a health plan and a paycheck, and okay, sometimes more monkey-shine ass fun than you can can shake a barrel of banana peels at. 

        I do sometimes wish I  felt more like  the  last guy to leave the second classic Miles Davis Quintet. Like  say, That Major Dude  Herbie Hancock before he went off to form the Headhunters or Wayne Shorter before  he slipped into Weather Report. Course Being All Thats  would imply I had enough cache to just up and leave after 5 years and jumpstart my own faltering career. Uh, no, I don’t think it’s  going down like that anytime soon.

     Instead my position in Lillian’s world was caught in a holding pattern. Destined I fear to be more like that of your friend the lifetime grad student: You know who I mean—the guy  still holding down an associate librarian position at the same Ivy League university where he was on year eight of his incomplete  dissertation entitled ‘’Tragic Magic Realism,  Creative Mutilation in the Village ‘Literatures’ of  Romare Bearden and Toni Morrison”.  

        In other words my high-posting job was a no-brainer in service to real genius. A gig  requiring little original research, thought, or imagination. One exactly  like an academic  work of staggering banality destined to disappear on contact with air and which no one, not even the author ever expects to be mistaken for some heartbreaking work of deep, dark Stygian genus. 

       In other words I was like so many of my peers;  stuck in my mid to late 30s sucking air in a studio assistant gig while waiting for a better idea  or two to show up in my own work.  

Therefore I will  likely spend the rest of my 30s praying I’m  not doomed to spend my 40s caught up in Lillian’s tractor beam. 

I certainly didn’t want to end up like her beloved pater famlias Patrick. 


        Monsieur Patrick was many things to The Missus Lillian. He held many titles and attributes in her queendom. He was, variously, depending on day and task at hand,  her stalwart Man Friday,  her very own grey-haired eminence, her deliver-of-offers one shouldn’t refuse consigliere a la Robert Duvall’s Tom Hagen in The Godfather, her debonair head assassin a la  Geoffrey Rush’s swashbuckling protector of  Elizabeth’s throne, 


    Among my top five New York nightmares was Patrick suddenly abdicating his place beside  Lilian’s throne, and announcing an emergency retirement. 

     Patrick had been attached to Lillian since oh, forever and a day. They had known each other since about when exactly? At least as far back as her early 20s when she first began showing and selling her student work hot out of grad school  way back in the late 80s.  

         Patrick related to us that  he’d found his way to Lillian via her friend Allegra, a Nigerian writer who’d introduced Lil  to her uncle Pat, recently returned  from  a twenty year exile in Algeria after experiencing a major broken heart after his lover of  35 years  had died in his arms from a sudden and merciless malady.  (About this catastrophe one  infamously bitchy studio assistant had taken to dubbing  any recounting of Patricks trauma  as ‘The Algerian Hotel Incident ‘. When this bad bit of comic relief was traced back to him the poor fellow wasn’t just asked to leave, he was shown the door with a royal foot up his ass, courtesy of Patrick).

  Allegra had related Patrick’s wrenching  loss to Lillian before she knew her  beloved Uncle was coming to New York on business. When they were first introduced it was Gay Dad/Genius Negress/Gay Daddy-daughter love at first sight for those two.

    Patrick reminded Lillian of her own Dad– a  retired gentleman of leisure who’d passed on two years prior to their meeting; Lillian  reminding him of the daughter he’d help conceive but had never gotten to  know. 

    (The only woman Patrick had ever slept with way way way back in the late 60s was his common-law hippie wife, Marsha Beth Janowitz, a woman who’d  turned Jesus Freak and then Jehovah’s Witness before moving  to Guam with their infant daughter,  Persephone Prometheus,  in the mid 70s. Ostensibly  to build  digital village wells and sewage treatment plants in the name of The Redeemer. Last Patrick had  heard there was an entire section of rainforest named after Marsha Beth. About Prpsephone Promoteus, who by now was 48, he had heard nothing in decades.)

        Thanks to Patrick’s stern forbidding presence the death rattle of paparazzi-attracting fame and instant celebrity misfortune that had attempted to stalk Lillian’s early success had been kept at bay for almost two decades now. 

     Patrick’s  Mafia-like readiness to ‘take out the garbage’ had allowed Lillian to focus on not ever repeating herself—more or less like her only artworld idol, David Hammons who’d also never repeated himself. (Hammons, David, b. Chicago, 1945, came to fame in Los Angeles in the late 60s with his ‘body-print’ series,  portraiture involving ink,paper, live bodies and vaseiline; moved to New York and Harlem in 1975, still continues to make work using a plethora of unconventional materials such as grocery bags, lice-ridden hair from barbershop floors, telephone poles, basketall hoops, chandeliers, bottle caps, two tears in a  bucket,  hand made perfectly round snowballs and big well-rounded balls of elephant dung). 

   Thanks to Lillian’s gratitude for her continued sanity, Patrick’s nurturing and protective Papa Bear persona was given a place to heal for life from the loss of his beloved Thomas. 

       Lillian also gave Patrick the license to ill on or  stiff arm  any fool who brought a whiff of haterade or distraction to her door-step. 

Note that this permission to dissuade unwelcome visitors  extended not only to friends, family, neighbors, fellow artists, curators and even collectors, but also to the occasional ex-lover who didnt know his or her shelf life was up.  

Patrick, in a word, was no-joke.

      He enjoyed his power, his position and the intimidation factor that he  loved exuding with it. If it didn’t make up for his grievous loss it certainly gave him a reason to do more than just get up and stay mad at god and the world in the  morning.

          No one wished Patrick eternal life more than me, not even Lillian. Simply because the utter collapse of my own career ambitions ( creative and social, inside and well beyond the studio) could stay well hidden behind Patricks’s robust alpha dominance of Lillian’s life,  As long as Patrick’s haploid heart kept beating  my own long-running contribution of service in Lillian’s employ continued to be obscured, opaque, mystifying, even. 

   So when I,  with a straight face, would croon  ‘pay is good/ health care superb/for sure/ but mainly I’m just doing this part-time to keep the lights on in my own studio’ nobody questioned what I was doing or not doing in the pursuit of my own shit.

(Being in the shadow of some else’s success is annoying but not intolerable; being in the shadow of genius is simply debilitating. I’m here to testify). 


   As long as Patrick remained  large and in charge,  nobody outside the ranks had to know the real  truth. That I had become as indispensable and dependent upon Lillian’s workflow as Patrick. Or that I  more and more functioned in his stead–misdirecting the clamoring hordes who would come knocking for Lillian’s attention when Patrick made his yearly return to Africa around the crucial time of late  August to mourn  at Thomas’ gravesite. 

     A trip always  un-propitiously set just when all those  last little things had to be finalized for Lillian’s fall exhibitions, of which there usually three about to go down in far-apart region of the globe.

         Only enough of all this and that about Patrick and me. Because in no way shape or form am I trying to surreptitiously tell my story through Lillian’s (that would be a short story indeed). Because as we all know the true center of the universe, and of our story, is the fabulous Lillian and  those wildass production weekends of  hers. Events of which much has been speculated and  which very little has ever been written that I’d consider accurate, or  even very much revealing.

     Just so you know: Now the big question for me before I took this assignment at Lillian’s request was exactly which of those wild weekends I felt warranted being presented for  public inspection and schadenfreude. 

     While it would have been easier to choose from one of a more ancient vintage– given that many of the principals are (as fate would have it) beyond caring, seeing as how they’re all presently either too wealthy, too forgotten, too high or too dead to care— how much fun would they really be for today’s mass audience?  

Yes I’m talking about all you vaguely curious too-smart-for your-britches  post teen and tween folk living in the pop-cultural here and now.   

      What I’ve decided is that  instead of taking you way back, I’ve chosen to take you back only three  years. Practically a full-on epoch in pop cultural terms I know, but certainly not an entire cultural millennia by any stretch. 


    Having been in attendance  at a decades worth of Lillian’s shoots, I think I can safely  say, and with a total lack of exaggeration, that most of  her wildass production weekends have been  quite wildassedly predictable in terms of their general salaciousness quotient. 

    By which I mean nearly any one of them could provide all the predictable amounts of nudity, drunkenness, obscenity and otherwise lewd and lascivious behaviors necessary to keep the blogosphere near bursting with scandalous celeb-on-celeb crimes, misdemeanors and peccadilloes. Thus keeping our culture’s 24 hour gossip cycle satisfied for easily a fortnight. 

    Yet,  while any of those wildass production weekends might easily answer what happens when hordes of the beautiful and the damned get incestuously corralled in a controlled environment for a few intoxicating days of butt-nekkid simulated love-making and revelry, the weekend I’ve chosen has special significance.  Less for who was zooming who and more because it was the one and only one to  ever be shaken and stirred by the quite Jane Austenesque appearance of Lillian’s own proverbial madwoman in the attic, her sibling Sybil, Jack, Lillian’s  certifiably batty  and once believed lost-in-the Amazon baby-sister nee Jacqueline.

     On the weekend-in-question,  Jack  turned out to be neither lost nor lacking in familial  over-familiarity when she showed up at Lillian’s  door demanding not only a place at the table of Lillian’s success but a room of her own with studio privileges to boot. 

(What happens to a dream deferred? These days it shows up on your doorstep in rags posturing like the cock of the walk and expects to be treated like a queen).

   Two years earlier Jack had virtually vanished beneath the family’s radar. An event which alarmed no one one since it meant she was less likely to come mooching and marauding at their doorsteps..

    Jack was last thought to have descended into a romantic maelstrom of her own devise with her man at the time, Bryan Lorq  Byron Jones— fledgling first-novelist, intrepid globetrotter and bon vivant. A macho and controlling kind of brother  who was allegedly  requiring that jack  play a damnably Eurydice/Marpessa Dawn outlaw-sidekickitype chick type role to his  Orphic loser/Orwell-in-London fantasies of living in  Sao Paulo’s favelas until he finished his bold and deviant novelization of  the bold and deviant 1970s  cult film classic Touki-Bouki by Senegalese director magnifique Djibril Diop Mambéty.

      Somehow, as it turned out, in Jack and  Bryan Lorq Byron Jones’ version of the Greeks favorite doomed-love myth that Eurydice would walk out of hell alive  while Orpheus stayed behind,  snugly and smugly waxing lyrical odes to his own class-traitor demons. 

But in the brief time she and Lorq Byron spent in  Sao Paulo’s high-tech maroon colonies on the hill, they were routinely shot at, robbed, beaten, raided,  nd made to up and runoff in the middle of the night on  numerous occasions. 

       Three years into these misadventures however, Jones  finally finished his adaptation. Thats when, much to Jack’s aghast and chagrin, the rebel-couple’s real journey into nightmare began, from Jack’s  radically precious perspective.

       Lorq Byron not only became a lauded African American first–as in First Nigra from the states to write a Brasilian bestseller based on an obscure West African flick  from the 70s (about a bohemian Bonnie and Clyde who robbed not banks but  the closets of closeted African dandies) but also promptly turned, in the glittering spotlight of this bourgeoisie-titillating  accomplishment, into an upright model citizen and upwardly mobile moldy fig.  

         In a nutshell, Jones’ surprise success and near instant embrace of literary fame and foppery  was the ultimate buzz kill for  Jack.  The beginning of their end, as it were, for her and Mr Jones,  who clearly did not know what was going on in her head, heart or loins.  


    Because while Jack was cool with being shot at  (‘the price of ticket, baby’ she liked to say) she had never signed up to be the  muse of  a ” nerdy hi- society coon’ as she put it. 

      Simply put, the Inferno had run it’s course and Paradise was a mite too dull and petit-bourgeois  for Jack’s liking. And so it was that she decided to once again to find herself  back at Lillian’s front door. As good a place as any  for her to once again embrace The  Cause —provoking  maximum chaos and mayhem among the gilded  set.  Not to mention  Lillian;s being a place  where she was sure her appetite for destruction would be both enabled if not  fully appreciated.

     As Jack’s always outstanding luck would have it,  babysis chose to arrived unexpected and unannounced on the same Friday  afternoon when  Patrick and I were  both  out at different airports picking up two cast members–Lucinda and Oh Oh–a once happy go lucky couple  recently romantically severed torn asunder and unjoined at the hip. The pair had of of course booked their flight together during better days of wine and posturing together. As of the previous week they  had suddenly become unable to imagine even breathing the same rank airflight oxygen nitrogen compounds. 

     By the time Lillian’s shoot came around, Lucinda and Oh Oh had decided that while neither wanted to toss-away all the cool cache and free publicity they’d automatically accrue from being in a Lillian exhibition, neither of them cared  to share  First Class accommodations  from Costa Rica to  Houston to JFK. 

     So while I was just scurrying past La Guardia on the road to JFK and Patrick was halfway between Newark and North Bumblefuck,New Jersey, Jack, once again out-the-box, was suddenly in Lillian’s face, materializing out of the blue, like a combo Tasmanian tornado / Lovecraftean ‘colour out of space’  Prompting Lillian to blurt run on sentences on the order of  ‘Damn gurl you know I hate it when you do that know you liked to scare the shit outta me’ when Jack suddenly  jumped up just on the other side of Lillian’s breakfast nook window, clamoring for full access. 

   Yes, Jack, true to spooky form, was not only  ‘just there’, but there with all  the  serendipity, precision and poltergeistean disregard for locks, doors, alarm systems, crocodile filled moats, high castle walls, electrified fences and surly bigfoot bodyguards which  only the truly deranged can possess when the goal is stalking and traumatizing well-hidden and allegedly well-protected famous personages. (We ask you to recall Bjork v stalker-dude 2000, Letterman vs stalker-chick, 2003 and Thurman v. supercreepy stalker dude 2008).  

     Thus did a stunned speechless, and all-shook-up, Lillian find her personal space breached and unpreprared to repulse the breathless onslaught of  self-dramatizing doggerel and derangment which  her prodigal baby sis had come to deliver, with manic moxie to spare,  and, per usual, drunk on arrival.  

       Unstated but actually foremost among Jack’s  stated needs was a need for studio space.  The terror of this request is one which can only be fully grasped when one is made aware of  Jack’s practice and it  fully fearsome capacity to disgust:  As a visual artist Jack made works on paper using a special shellack derived from a solution of her own precious, putrid and varied bodily fluids. 

   The end product was gorgeous and not at all odoriferous but you didn’t want to be anywhere near her when she was in the throes of excremental creation. 

    I’ll spare the streaming details but having had to defumigate Jack’s quarters in Lillian’s house after Jack’s last visit six years earlier, I ‘ll simply say, I too, know why the caged bird cries Amandla! 

      So that again while this need for studio space would never be formally requested among the various items Jack demanded of house staff, Lillian knew the upshot of not being quick to offer it: Jack woulD simply camp out  on the grounds behind Lillian’s studio and go about her slimey-drippy business with a bucket in some  odd corner of the woods  until alternate arrangements were made.   

    Lillian’s Connecticut property contained a two story barn for visiting artists to do studio work, and  a 16 room, four floor, mansion where she housed her guest-cast over a long production weekend. 

     Lillian  also had another space in an abandoned Brooklyn Navy Yard residential project that had gone bellyup. It had been given to Lillian for a song  after some plumbing and electrical wiring had been installed but way before much in the way of walling, painting or decorative features were anywhere near done. 

That space came to generate its own tragicomic- erotic history over the years but nothing to compare with the wild Connecticut weekends like the one in which Jack made her all-time looniest stand.


      Sleeping arrangements were generally handled by Patrick as he was way more knowledgeable than any of the other staff about all the current scandals involving the fabulously rich and infamous. 

          Lillian cast across the full spectrum of film, fashion, finance  and music stars of the day, as well as from any of that lot’s bratty offspring. No matter if they were famous for public sluttiness more than anything else. aface was a face as far as she was concerned, even a retread face with recessive celebrity DNA.  


    With as much sordid knowledge as any blogger, Patrick insured that all unnecessary drama was kept to a minimum between all those known to be recently divorced, professionally humiliated, cuckolded, or bitchslapped, by another invitee. 

      As much as possible such folk were distanced, diverted, distracted or dissuaded from crossing a potentially offended party’s path–at least as much as it was humanly possible to keep celebrity worlds from colliding on  a glorified soft-porn shoot. 

   Since Lillian herself didn’t own a television and used the Internets as little as possible( astonishingly only once a week, for 4 strict hours, on Sundays)  she knew next to nothing about who was zooming who in the wide world of celebrity cocktail sports. 


     This well disseminated piece of information somehow had the effect of making all who were  invited to her star studded shoots feel  safe around her–as if her media world innocence turned her weekends into a lofty media-free bubble in which they could become both classier and completely  trashier version  of themselves. How she knew most of her own celebrity friends though was less for their work (or  their 15 minutes of notoriety) and more for their collecting of her stuff. 

      Lillian did listen and follow music incessantly–primarily that of female singers, living dead and undecided, and strangely enough she also made it a point to see every movie that came out within a week, no matter how presposterously popcorn or les miserable-y   indie-depressive. 

     I  have to say  that I’ve still never ceased to be amazed by the volume of filmgoing she could manage in a week–often on the same days I saw her do  12-14 hour studio days with only a dinner break.   

     Lillian  was nothing if not disciplined though –up before dawn for Vikram yoga and pilates in the large shed  she’d had built especially for the purpose. Swimming in the man-made pond afterwards. Pumped and ready for  the studio by 9am, out no earlier than 8 most days, then off into the night to satisfy her movie jones.  


    The year Jack returned from the dead, Lillian’s weekend  project was  based on Kurosawa’s Seven Samauri. The plan was to reshoot a scene from every major plot point in the 4 hour story but without horses swords or cowering villagers. What would be seen instead was just a bunch of angry charcoal black pseudo Asiatics in kimonos running around smiting the air and whipping up dust before going up in a haze of simulated orgy-ing.  Think Beckett meets Jackie Chan vs. Chris Tucker meets Pornhub; think Once Upon A Time in China meets Krapp’s Last Tape meets Emanuelle in Africa. 

  Lillian later told her official biographer the piece should not be read, as many critics did, as some sort of meditation on war and death angels,’’ but instead as  a ‘depreciation’ of Duchamp and Chaplin….a homage to kicking up dust with pratfalls’….at best i myself just consider it  ‘a dust-up for dust’s sake kind of flick’. ‘’ (It was what Lillian did with the dust  in the post that of course made it Art and not pastiche.  Lillian made movies with real colorful characters saying colorful things but in every one of them her swirling miasmic digital dust storms always had the best lines.)

     The  weekend of Jacks’ return the invited guests  included Ras Cock-a-Nova and his music production partner Lil Mz Jah Jah Girl, those guaranteed annoyingly  fey tricksters The Matterhorn Twins (of late pubescent Disney Channel fame), the entire (and entirely buff) all female cast from that season’s sleeper cable hit  Amazon Deathstar (kinda like a ‘Who wants to Marry A Woman Wrestler In Space?’ type of reality dating show that combined athletic competitions and astrology readings) as well as the three person transgendered 4D sculpting  collective, Writhing Degree Zero.  

   Lillian had also planned on having  two lead vocalists and  three ‘stunt-guitarists’  from her favorite new supersilent noise band What Rough Beasts  since their debut cassette-only recording  Slouching Towards Ethel and Them  was the only thing she’d found herself able to listen to after breaking up with her longtime boyfriend Hans Mann. 

You all remember Hans right? Guy best known for next to nothing besides dating my boss– unless you count his credits as one of six co-producers  on that awful remake of Alien starring a laughably faux dykeish Nicole Kidman in the Ripley role. ( A surprisingly terrific Tyler Perry in the Yaphet Kotto role was  the flick’s saving grace though. Not only for Perry’s greasepainted performance as crewman Parker,  but  because of  Perry’s contractual-diva demand that  his character not die trying to save a screaming white woman but perish instead saving himself half-disguised in half-whiteface had blackface drag.  

   Hans  had earlier made a fool of his younger self  attempting to update Bogart in the Duke Mantee part in a badly timed remake of The Petrified Forest . His performance  was described by one critic as a ‘vacant mediocrity’. ‘

     The director likely assumed he had the next Keanu on his hands—somehow  imagining the audience wouldn’t be able  tell the difference between the smoldering vacancy of Keanu and the simply vacuous. 

      Lillian  was still pining over her beloved young movie mogul wannabee by the time  her Seven Samuari project one year later  when a sympathetic girlfriend slipped her the recherché cow-punk  aires What Rough Beast had embedded on   Slouching Towards Ethel and Them.

    As it turned out What Rough Beast  had come off a recording hiatus in the Bahamas and gone right back on the road. Because of  tour scheduling  ‘the Beast’ (as fans monikered them) would therefore arrive  a full day-and-a half after  almost everyone else was to have vacated the premises.  

     That ‘almost everyone’ however insured they too had major fun and misadventures all their own while they were under Lillian’s roof and  Jack took to landing  on  them like ,Malcolm Had said  Plymouth Rock landed on Blackfolk. 

    Though Jack was free to terrorize her sister while we were at the airport, Lillian had a trick up her sleeve for Jack. Namely the not-so-coincidental arrival of Lillian and Jack’s mother, Ann Jolene, later that evening—Mom making  a two day stop-over on her way to Aruba from Nova Scotia where she lived with her second husband who was not their father. 

     The mental respite this provided Lillian should not be underestimated. The child may be father to the man, but the mother is rarely child to the daughter, let alone  when that daughter has been reported embarrassing you in public in front ofgrwonfolk while in  full-on  lil’ bitch mode. 


   And so for the day and a half that Lil and Jack’s Ma, Ann Jolene, was there, Jack managed to be  quite the controlled specimen and well in control of her otherwise buckwildin’ need to produce and collect liquid and crustaceous matter from as many of her orifices as possible and  in front of as many people as possible. 

     No Mom wasnt having it. and a good thing too, since Patrick and  I had our hands full with The Matterhorn Twins once they decided they were going all out to get decked by the members of What Rough Beast. 

   {About this rude maternal  disruption of her performance ambitions Jack scribbled in her diary: ‘Again and again . Ex semper Novi Africa. Again and again. Always something new being shat out of that Africa. Again and again. New is being shat out of my mother’s tight African Ass.  Again and again. ‘I think you loved her to death mom thats what i think the problem is.’  Lillian The Good One. Running home to tell Mother Africa about what a shit I am. The same Mother Africa who shoves me out the door. Always. Again and again. Out of our Mother Africa never is heard a kind word about Jack. But Jack is back, blacker than before and twice as darker. Nobody does black like Jack.Who shats the blackest shat of them all.’’ }

 The Matterhorn vs Beast contretemos was mostly  for a stupid and provocative combination of  offenses that included card cheating and cockblocking. Had I been asked I would have told The Matterhorns, ‘’Please pick one tactic or the other when you want to chump two long-bearded Southern-deviant looking dudes with your Matterhorn foppery’’—but nobody asked me shit.

    There was already a good chance at least one of the Matterhorn Twins was going to be hospitalized by the time Patrick and I got wind of the fisticuffs in the making. 

    I actually did get  a slight concussion from a glancing blow intended for Matterhorn B when I decided I’d dive in between him and Rough Beast number 7—a miffed smack to the dome that would have caused my 220 pounds far less damage than it would a Matterhorn. Fun stuff.

      Patrick being Patrick he had one Matterhorn and one Beast each in a headlock, his macho fabulosity never ceasing to shock and awe other men in those tense sort of situations.

     When the Matterhorn and the Rough Beast both stopped wriggling in his ironclad grip, he let them go, giving each a proper shove in opposite directions. They both looked glad for the opportunity to sit their asses down on the floor and suck up some  air.  

Patrick came over, sat between them, and advised they   pick themselves up, dust themselves off,  and go to their rooms sensibly or be prepared to be tossed out on their ears in the dead of night. 

       Behind the whole fracas was that Once Upon A Time  Matterhorn A had tried to a  woman favored by  the Beasts who had come up to the shoot with a  Harlem dance troupe. She had spurned the Matterhorn; he had never gotten over  the ego-bruising.  Not long after Matterhorn A had seen on media  that the Beast’s lead singer had taken a fancy to her. She was pretty typical rock star girlfriend fare as far as willowy and pouty goes, Sister Grrrl version of a Milla Jovovich/ Keira Knightley type but tough and smart like them, definitely not a bimbo, far from it.  

    I think she made music too but mostly she wrote books–I’d read a couple–short tense romances, very Japanese in that way, always about giddy young women with fragile psyches and big hearts in a world of trouble. 

      In any event Matterhorn B not A had made it his business to sulk and stalk and stare at her from the moment he saw what his brother saw–some long haired freaky mulatto alt-country- boy going ga-ga and moving within tongue-swapping range of his  ex-Nubian Queen in that bizarrely proprietary way that only angry black men who generally  only date white girls can affect when we’re confronted with the sight of some random longhaired half breed looking cracker ogling and canoodling with  the first and last black girl who’d ever broken their merrily miscegenating hearts. 

      After about the third time the  Beast dude noticed  Matterhorn A hovering around and went  to ask him what was up The Matterhorn had made the mistake of thinking he was going to clown some  country bumpkin with jungle fever.

    As for the pouty and willowy brown cause of all the bolo-tossing heads-up consternation, she managed, after watching all the aforementioned conflamma go down, to then avoid all things Beast and all things Matterhorn for the rest of the weekend. As if together they all formed  one rabid cloven hoof carrying wildseed strains of the Ebola virus.  

       She didn’t need the drama and  neither did Patrick,myself or Lillian.  Last thing we all needed, in fact, was some toxic hemmoraging of the moment into a full scale rockboy bitch-spat on her behalf while Jack was on the prowl.   

     { FYI Unfortunately it was me who got fixated on the pouty and willowy one after that, another side story for another day though i will say something in the way she moved me can be attributed to  what I can freely identify as my innate and longstanding fascination with any woman capable of casually provoking four doggish studmuffins like the Matterhorns and the Beasts to mutually assured destruction and then not even caring. The kind of forewoman who can then just  as casually slink away from the bloody scene like she was as disinterested as anyone. A total innocent bystander in her mind and no more at the center of the rumpus than the current temperature  in Bangkok.

     In her case, I have to also admit I  was quite a bit more than ‘fascinated’,  but somehow still managed to keep those naughty feelings on the low while Lillian’s shoot that weekend was in need of my full, well-paid, attention. 


Listen Honey— Is your older brother dead?  He probably been dead a along time right?
I havent seem him for a long time.
He moved away?
He got the fuck away from me.
I know what that is.
Really? I think you dont know more now than you knew before you went off to the joint.
You might need me to get the fuck away from you too.
Aint nobody scared of you you old con job.
Way i see it that  works in my favor and not against it,right?
What you care about what Eric is doing now?
Up the way  I was given a message for him. Told it had to go straight from my mouth to his ears. From these lips to The God hisself as it were.
What if god is dead?
Then the word intended for The God will have died with him too.
We could go round like this all day talking in riddles.
Or we could just do the damn thing. pick up where we left off down memory lane.
I was just 14 then. i got appetites for other kinds of dishes now.
Was it something i said?
The road to hell is paved with some heavenly creatures but you are no longer one of them. The cherry popping was not ALL that memorable near as i can recall. Anyway Eric’s not dead. he’s in Seattle. Off the coast, really. On an island. He works on whaling boats now.
You’re shitting me.
Can’t make this stuff up. Friend of his dared him to come up and try it. Turned out he like it. a lot. next best thing to moving to Alaska he said. Corny MF says much as he loves playing his Bob Marley, he never thought he’d ever be a ‘wailer’.
Eric still got jokes huh?
And babies to feed . Three girls, two boys since ’09.
Goddamn. Is he building a nation up there?
The  girl had twins on the way when they met, no babydaddy in sight. The rest are his.
So you been up there?
Two times. A real sight to see if you know Eric like we do. We all might have pictured him becoming many things but never a whale-hunting Eskimo. Nobody ever pictured that on the radar. So you going all the way up there  to see him?
Guess i got to. But I  need a halfway decent  job first. That last letter  I got from Sanford  he also said to look you up Said  you might have something a brother could handle. Something about driving a truck?
Moving lifting and driving a truck. You still working on that novel.
Still putting down a line here, a line there every so often.
Ever gonna finish it?
Naw, not really.  Its just something to keep my mind stimulated in the cold wee hours before  the dawn. Finishing it would just mean I’d have to start a new one.
Whyd you do it?
The book. Oh you mean…..
Yeah that little old thing….
I really dont know. Once he called the cops on me in my own house….I just felt like I had nothing to lose…..
How’d that work out for you, all that fatalism?
So no brother  and no love.  Can you point me to that hauling and truck-diving  job?
A legit job? Or a job in the cut?
What you got that’s   legit of course. I just got out. Aint trying to waste all this free time looking over shoulder.
Of course ….I know a guy makes his living delivering art to galleries. Good honest labor. 12 hour days  but a lot of work He stays busy. I worked with him for while back. Money wasnt bad. For a while. Some of the work is light. Some is like moving an apartment. Some of the damn installations and shit. Furniture books shelves, big ass disco speakers, Once we even moved a fleet of small tractors for a show. he had to bootleg borrow a  couple flatbed trucks from a friend  for that one.
Never a dull moment?
Plenty of dull moments but sometimes every once in a while you get like a nice science project. the spice of life.
i’ll check him out. where’s his operation
Out on the slip.
I gotta take a boat?
Or the prison bus. Else  jog across the bridge.
Even in this weather?
Crime waits for any man. Good honest labour always awaits those who don’t mind grinding like  a Mexican. I just put you ahead of the pack gringo. Dude  prefers English speaking cats because its the art game— tweaky high strung clients and all— but he’ll take come what may  tails. jazz and cocktails. a Strayhorn or a Rolling Stone. Don’t let a Mexican beat you out of  a job tailor made for a college educated nigga like you who knows how to speak American.

like when your mama did dionysus

dear diary, (and he who shall remain nameless)

so word was there were these orgies in detroit. or at least there had been several near reliable rumors of some orgies going on in Detroit.

     anyway, in any event  I took it on faith. that my source had already been to a few good romps and had met a few good men, and him being a sporting gent he’d  invited me to accompany him to the next slew  based on his wonderful and memorable  recent  experiences….. 

    dark dead end street.

other houses in that cul de sac empty and up for sale. 

this one too likely but somebody had figured before they moved out they’d have a big adventure up in that piece. 

       never met the owners but  there i was —checking the action out on some strange people’s living room,kitchen and dining room floors. 

       was sure enough some action taking place as me and my comrade rolled in, all kinds action. 

    no kinda furniture nowhere.

 guess they’d moved that out already.

half parquet  floor, half old carpet.

 thick but frayed nappyheaded red  gold shag carpet.

 fibers flying everywhere  up my nose. 

me and my guy—not him who shall remain nameless or  the guy i came with but  this other guy i bumped into on the way in. Chosen because of  he big knobby hands and tapered fingers—a working class artist type i surmised.  

we discovered this bowed matress likely removed from an old fold couch out on this closed-in porch patio.

 it was as nasty as it sounds.stained,spotted but fairly new. 

     we had just started to get into it when this  fat dude rolls  off this one bitch and onto his back. fatty then sits up, beside me then comes a rushing whitewaterrafting river of his jism all over my fisted ass while my face was getting rubbed raw against the carpet by the way mydude behind me was digging into me.. not everybody’s idea of sexy but just what i like. to be in a room full of consenting adults sexually expressing themselves as spontaneously and as honestly as they desire. 

    thats whats sexy to me. 

some like the hunt, some like the game, some like the networking the fluid  exchange for their hustle  agenda. just give me a room full of freaks doing the damn thing until they’re spent, spun-out, exhausted, drained to the core.

    i had a feeling the one my main guy  he took me too in dc would be a little better. 

       it did have at least markedly cleaner surroundings though the fisting dude knew what he was doing and thats the kind of luck of the draw i like in these situations over any damn hygiene considerations. 

    quite frankly i think only the truly disturbed would expect cleaniliness next to godliness from a room full of strangers fucking willy-nilly til the cows come home. 

      they exist though— those people who will only orgy in genteel surroundings among polite company. 

     those people just want to feel naughty or even nasty. 

they dont know a damn thing about buckwilding, fucking for fun. you figure, poor dears poor babies— they just want to feel a little less repressed for 15 minutes. 

 in spite of the fact you could tell the maid had been there before we arrived and  lots time had been  taken with creating the right ambience in dc –it was in a southwest hotel suite;the entire floor had been booked so there’d be no tourists wandering aghast into the lobby at 2AM, and there was of course more cocaine, and more dust, like there always is in dc…  despite all that there was also more kinds of sex between all kind of creatures. some  even looked like the thing and some actually were that thing and some were even hosting that thing. there was a man who looked like a giraffe. by which i mean he was very tall and very yellow and very horse faced. not at all spotted sorry if that disturbs your picture but i’m describing not desiring. you can give him spots in your own account or even your fantasy if thats where this leads you.( i look forwrd to reading your remix one day soon). 

     in any event i remember particularly enjoying sex with giraffe man because in that setting the most perverse thing you can imagine is sex with one person for as long as you can go. long as thats what both wanted it was good and when it got boring we didnt push it, not a second more. 

     now some people would just leave rather than watch an all night orgy in which theyre not participating but the giraffe man and myself just sat against a wall in a  side- room with mute television playing a dvd  besides us (a highlight reel of glenn turman’s entire career arc, from getting his first piece of high yellow ass in cooley high to getting his old ‘swole’ dick-sucked by his high yella secretary while mayor of baltimore on the wire) 

    we also  talked about our favorite fassbinder movies. veronika voss and maria braun  for me, a toss-up between querelle and  the alexanderplatz  series for him. 

fassbinder the deviant and  fassbinder the democrat. 

no difference between the two. what makes him so valuable as a an artists i think. what makes any real artists valuable, if being absolutely incorruptibile on behalf of the immoral work, being as wantonly flagrantly decadently human as possible in the life. 

or so i argued with giraffe man. 

he had a different take on things. 

he felt the worst human failing was failure of nerve and fassbinder was a god to him because he never seemed to suffer from a hint of that. 

i said ‘like a  god to you?’ suddenly feeling like i hadn’t  just been fucking  a beastial half man half giraffe but by some embryonic hannibal lecter wannabe in utero. 

and he said yes and reiterated  fassbinder became like a god to me. 

and i said did it make you want to brain blasck men over the heads wirth whiskey botles and blow women up with gas ovens just to make a point about the holocaust? 

then he accused me of confusing fact and fiction and i said i’m not the one who called fassbinder a god because he did those things either.

i told him it was a good thing we stopped fucking when we did and then i told him good night. 

i had to go back out into the full-on orgy to get my handbag which i’d actually been keeping an eye on  throughout  the festivities during the whole time we sat up against a wall on the other side of the room.

   suddenly  i felt drained. 

not by the goings on around me but by the fact that there were people in my world, even temporarily,  who walked around saying insufferablke things like ‘fassbinder was a god’. 

   so whats my problem with that ?

 well, i’ve seen god and ive seen gods  and god aren’t creators but destroyers, annihilators—greedy hungry ravenous insatiable destroyers at that. and all they like to feed on is blood and the eternal sunshine of the sociopathic mind.

real  artists respect the power of beauty. 

gods are for all you poor creatures who just want the power.  cant’ you tell i’m so not impressed. 

 i could never so disrespect an artist by comparing him to anything so lowborn as a god. 

a god gave us  Rwanada, a god gave us Auscwhitrz.

 Phillip K Dick got it wrong-saying god didnt make anything evil but cokroaches. God is a cockroach, Phillip K Dick. you  got it all kinds of wrong. all u Valis freaks will grok what i mean) 

   moving things along, the next orgy we atttended was at sex shop in Paris. everything and everybody in lace, leather and chains. what is it about the french and bondage anyway? something in that paradox of being considered the most revolutionary of french societies when they’re really the most repressed. the same people who invented the word bourgeosie also invented camembert and  the guillotine.

never forget that. 

    they celebrate de sade but they gladly suffered a De Gaulle. de sade may be their saint but the dreyfuss affair is their soul. Ive got the papers to prove it.

     unlike dc I was ready for action in paris, four women, four men, fourteen hours of tigressess and tigers on all fours, clawing, scratching, tonguing licking spitting tho’ no shitting because t i do split hairs between bodily fluids and bodily wastes . somthat any members of my little octopod who had to go, best go  elsewhere far away from me, and only return scrubbed and ready for inspection with the wipes and  fluffy white feather duster i kept handy for just such occasions.


      My father was the official videographer for a kind of ghetto chippendales that took place in a dank wet basement under a church in bed-stuy.

     45,55, even 65  year old men in muscle shirts and  g strings lewdlly dancing to house music while distressed overweghit damsels fainted and expired around them for  long nights that did not quickly turn  into days.

  I never accompanied dad there but i did find the tapes after he died. there was other stuff in there too, even he and mom getting it on to the tune of The Delfonics, Blue Magic, Marvin and the Stylistics. Mom was wild and inventive, Dad was tender and indefatiguable–I’ve got the videotapes to prove it.

          Everybody with beautiful parents should be able to watch movies of their beautiful parents sex lives. It would help explain a lot. For instance I think my parents should have kept fucking but  stopped having kids at just one of us–not even me because i’d have gladly gone unborn to let them keep fucking the way they did–they brought real honor and heat to the act  every time–and not even their eldest, my older brother Ralph who like all Ralphs is just a little too content with himself as an entity to have ever need bother being born… but no its our younger sister ‘Queen’ Margot who they should kept and raised because by the time she came along they were ready to do the parent thing more than the wild thing and so Queen Margot grew up with these wonderful parent people Ralph and I didnt really know. 

     Understand I’m not blaming them for anything or complaining  because I feel  the only things all parents  owe their spawn beyond the gift of life is food clothing and shelter for about 14 years, the occasional  pat on the head, making sure we do enough homework to know basic math and basic reading and not molest their sons or daughter s while they sleep. 

      Only later did I realize that we forced parenthood on our folks by being born when we did while  they were just in the middle ballin’ and  had no intention of disrupting the parties with diapers and feedings and school plays and soccer matches and  the like. 

     They even tried a little swinging but they never could go through with it with other people because other people were so defective and deformed in their eyes by comparison. 

I found all this out years later after theyd both passed from one of our neighbors who knew them when.

    Theres a crazy erotic black and white picture another friend took of them, shot in profile and close-up from about 10 feet way . The two them sitting in a tall  mahogny chair in a large white room. They’re  bound to each other by chokers and chains and oiled up and you can see dads cock just beginning to bury itself in mom’s muff and her legs wrapped around his back.

     my favorite  of the extreme close ups focuses on their glistening lower torsos.  an abstract sculptural shape got formed by the light in the space between their two  dark lithe  six packs.  coiled, contorted. on the verge of spontaneous combustion from all their explosive touching, grinding, undulating away to the breakadawn.




by Greg Tate

The members of the Coolidge High 5 had gathered once again for their biannual  discussion of  race matters,coon bidness and sulfated/melanated yo-yodelic kulcha klashery. 

       Remarkably the gang was all still here and marvelously  standing strong, only faintly hobbled by girth, gait reduction, and age: Ironman, Bay-Ray, Kidd Funkadelic, Brother Space and Tetragrammaton. This time they were gathering  in the courtyard of the former Manhattan lair of their fallen Prince of Darkness Miles Dewey Davis. Dewey’s fabled West 77th St digs had been purchased recently by Tetragrammaton. His new found fortune  was all due to the market killing he’d made off shares of a recent  invention–the ethno-botanical afro-hallucinogenic designer drug known as  Race Memory.  For little more than  a dimebag one could have a controlled  and hyper-melinated ancestral possessn flashback experience that included jumping between loas and speaking in polyphonic Khmetan tongues. The incantatory veve-schematic formula for the drug had been  extracted from the verse structure of  Bob Kaufman’s poem “African Dream:

In black core of night it explodes/ silver thunder rolling back my brain/bursting copper screens/memory worlds/deep in star-fed beds of time/seducing my soul to diamond fires of night.’

”Inamorata and Narration By Conrad Roberts” from Miles 1972 album Live Evil was playing as the brothers entered the deceased maestros’ desecrated homage to Mecca and Medina. Tetragrammaton greeted them all with bear hugs and commented on the marvel of the enduring friendship. He then passed the mic to his ace boon sounding board, Ironman. For his part Ironman had come to inform the group about a paper he was slated to soon deliver before an august assemblage of Black Surrealists and Afro Futurists. This announcement  in turn kicked off the expected cracking and jonesing session initiated as always by Bay-Ray and Brother Space.

   “Man whut the flying who the bazooka was why?” blurted Bay-Ray in his best Tone-Loc growl. “I say Black Maybe or maybe you just talking trash like Stevie Wonder told ya back in 1972. ”

”You heard the moon Bay Ray. The moon say him gwaan talk to the people deem bout Black So Real-Izm and Afro Fugitive-Izm”.

”Umm hmmm. Like we don’t already know everything there is to know about how drylongso  these runaway afros be.”

Kidd Funkadelic interjected, reprising, in his typical clipped manner, his recurring role as the only one attempting to restore some  adult gravitas back into the conversation. 

”So. Yo. Yo. Yo. Ion. mane. How  are you. Defining.  Black So Real Ism. And Afro Fugitivism. My brother?”

The garrulous Ironman was happy to oblige him and wrest control f the conversation back from the groups resident clowns 

        “‘Glad you axed that Kidd. With respect to Black So Real Ism what I first do is invoke a piece of verse by say Jayne Cortez, Ted Joans, LeRoi Baraka or Bob Kaufman. Like sumpn by bruh Kaufman like so:

Quietly pursuing catastrophic histories buried in my eyes./And yes, the world is not some unplayed Cosmic Game/And the sun is still ninety-three million miles from me/ And in the imaginary forest, the shingles hippo becomes the gay unicorn.

”This structure is then cross referenced with something by Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Slim Gaillard or Bessie Smith like when Bessie sang about Black Mountain:, In Black Mountain all a child will smack your face/The babies cry for liquor and all the birds sing bass.

       ” A lyrical  integer like that is them rammed through a sequence of data from the Jet magazine online archives circa 1950-1975. Like for example this marvelous  bit of reportorial splendor about 1951 Zanesville, Ohio:  emphasis on the Zanees.

”A racial melting pot for more than a century, Zanesville, Ohio is a city of lost boundaries. Entire families have been crossing and recrossing the color line for so many generations that today it is virtually impossible to tell which families are white and which are colored without visiting city cemeteries which are still segregated.

As well known for its light skinned negroes (some jibe there are no dark negroes in town) as for its Y shaped bridge (only such structure in the world) the small pottery making city of 40,000 probably has the highest percentage of Negroes who pass in the US. Many break family ties to leave the city and cross the color line but there are hundreds who stay and pass as white.  In 1845 school authorities rushed into a classroom to evict fairskinned negro children attempting to attend school with whites. Confused as to the children’s whereabouts in a sea of white faces one official pointed out one child as Negro.

”Hold on, thats my gal!’, his colleague protested.

Another child was singled out and questioned ”Are you one of them”   ‘

‘One of what?” the child asked

”One of them Africans”, the official answered.

”No sir ,I am as white as you are”, the child, who really was Negro, replied.

Their teacher, who refused to identify them, was fired.

Irate whites burned down the school .

It was not until 1887 that barriers against Negro children fell.

Zanesville traces its racial inter-mixing back to more than a century ago when the city was a popular stopping off point for slaves fleeing to freedom along the underground railroad. Many of the Fugitives remained there, later marrying among the whites and Indians to begin the many generations of fair skinned negroes. Yet although the city readily welcomed them there were repeated attempts to Jim Crow them and their mulatto children.”  

             “‘That my brothers is how we  begin to engineer indexical coordinates for Black So Real Ism in our cultural historical midst. And re-mix them as well.”

“Why that was simply marvelous Ironman. Yes I Tetragrammaton totally feel you on the oblique cross-referencing of those disparate literary  categories of race mixology.”

”Yeah yeah yeah”  grumbled  Bay-Ray with an eyeroll, “’cause it can’t get nommo black nor mo’  so so real than  that.”

”A man concurs”, Brother Space . 

”Ya na see it bumble raises Bay-Ray? A town fulla whiteskin-did negro chillun under suspicion of closet Africanism get verbally assaulted in school by an invading hoard of redneck aliens. Shades of body snatchers. You damn right it don’t get nommo so really truly Black than that! Ya goddamn betcha.”

Kidd Funkadelic pipes up again too.

        “”Okay but  Yo.Yo.Yo–what’s the freaking deal with Afro Fugitivism, Ironman? Do the math on that, Sun’ inquired Kidd Funkadelic.

”Sure nuff now dig this Kidd. We all know that the first insurrectionary sci-fi novel serialized in America was written by our man in Pitts burg Martin Delany. This goes down between 1859 and 1862. Bruh Delany also named his simply marvelous abolitionist paper The Mystery a full century and some change before the invention of Black Mystery Month, We further know bruh Delany to have also been a barber who   learned the medicinal arts of fire-cupping and leeching and thus saved the city from a cholera epidemic when all other doctors fled in horror. Our brother MD then goes on to negotiate land  from chiefs in Sierra Leone to push along that later repatriation and thereby  invents true Pan Afrikanism in one fell swoop. MD was also, we should add, not only the first black man to be admitted into Harvard medical school but the first booted out at the insistence of his candylandass white supremacist classmates. Delany, Toussaint L’Overture,  Nat Turner, Moses Jefferson and The Masonic Knights of Liberty (who as you may recall amassed an army of 50,000 free men in the 1850s to march on Atlanta) and of course our beloved Harriet Tubman,that superspy general of the techno-military Combahee Plantation liberation–it’sthrough them all I came to devise my ironclad notions of who constitutes a bona fide Afro Fugitivist. One who not only practices the  hoodoo art of envisioning Afro Fugitivist Slave Actions and Black Liberation but who embodies them spectacularly. From there it just a short leap to Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men and Tell My Horse, Sun Ra’s Intergalactic Jet Set Arkestra, Jimi Hendrix South Saturn Delta blues and all things George Clinton, Grace Jones and Michael Jackson.  From there we can easily access the understanding that Black So Real Ism and Afro Fugitivism are but two large eternally flowering  branches of the same deeply rooted baobab tree. You with me so fire Funky Kidd”‘ ?

”Yo.Yo. Yo. Indeed i do. Mister Ironman. ”

Tetragrammaton goes on record seconding the Ironman’s emotions.

“‘Dig we do, and dig  all must. Especially long as we’re in my house my Ferrically Oxidized bredren. And now that that we’ve gotten that business out of the way shall we bust out the single malt liquors and the chalices  of Grappa? Can we now  formally toast those dearly beloved, dearly departed  and forever marvelous avatars of Black So Realism and Afro Fugitivism Mr David S Ware, Ms Jayne Cortez and Mr Lawrence Douglas Butch Morris?”

Oh hell to the monkey yeah” proclaimed Bay Ray. Its about to be on with the chalices up in this here Prince of Darkness palace.

   And so like Shine and The Titanic, The Coolidge High Five swam on, destined for the fabled gates of nowhere ever after. 



A Speculative Flash Fiction by Greg Tate

    Emma Lazarus was born Edward Petry. Emma completed her transsexual  transformation at the age of 35. Myra Lazarus was born Mary Macafee, converted to Judaism at the age of 49 and  marries Emma Lazarus.The rest is mystery. Family history.

   I’m a private eye, a purveyor of dirty little secrets, but its not my case, my family ties notwithstanding.

    It’s family business and it could have easily become my case except for one thing: I always make it a point to stay out of my family’s business.

     Course they’d like to make it my business. Fish gotta swim, bullshit gotta fly.

     And yeah maybe somebody in the family circle should find out why my cousin’s mother up and married a woman who used to be a man.

Somebody like my cousin who needs to know for her own peace of mind though she’s incapable of understanding anything thats not Bible approved. 

  A problem compounded by the fact that everything she knew from the Bible had come from her mother’s lips.

  You cant explain shit like that really. 

I know that because I know people as they are, not as we’d like to proslyetize them to be.

   People are, by definition, strange, restless, mysteriously, ultimately unknowable creatures.

    Creatures possessed of often immutable if not inscrutable drives,

man around these parts. 

     After a awhile we like to think we know what makes everybody tick because most of us do the same dumb shit time after time , year after year. 

   Everybody over the age of 30 tends to have a rhythm. 

You can follow it like clockwork. 

Set your metronome by it. 

    Then somebody like Aunt Mary comes along, deviates from the program. Jumps ship, resigns from the God squad.


Because love is stranger than God and stronger than dirt. 

     Point being the person who was Mary Macafee had always loved the person who was once Eddie  Petry regardless of her God or her beloveds gender disposition.

     Her daughter wanted to blame the devil or find out some kind of cult programming was at work.  Wanted me to get to the bottom of things. 

I told her my dishonorable profession was best put to work tracking down deadbeat dads, parent kidnappers, cheating spouses, the occasional lowlife blackmailer–but decidedly not lapsed Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

That was half the truth of course. 

The other half was I thought my cousin was better off with her own skewed suspicion of brainwashing. 

    Because I knew that In this instance the truth would not be setting her free. 

If only the truth worked like that when your whole being is wrapped around a reductive notion of human nature. 

    If only the truth could liberated you from fear, prejudice, blind obedience to abridged scripture. 

    But I knew that Aunt Mary’s daughter would not be liberated by the truth of her mother’s genuine love for a man turned woman. 

     Because the thing about Aunt Mary was that though she worshipped a pretty frightful idea of God she was nothing but the face of love herself. 

This is one of the strange things about people and faith.

 It comforts the weak and the strong, the good and the evil, the terrorist and the terrorized, the unforgiving and the impossibly generous alike.  

    So that inside of some ridIclulosuly medieval, repressive scenario like the Witnessess you do find people like Aunt Mary.

   People  who cant deny the power of love because at the core all they are made of is love. And whatever  drove them to the faith was that and not the potential for state-approved lunacy that had attracted so many others. 

     And every so often pious people like that are gonna flip.  after a life of self-sacrifice and  choose to let  love rule over the misinterpreted and misapplied  teachings of the good book. 

    I wanted no part of spying on her, invading the privacy of her new life. 

Maybe I was also enjoying the bitter irony of it all, given her high and mighty holy family. 

     As things turned out I should have taken the case. Taken my own self-righteous snobbery off the table and helped my family set things right between mother and daughter. 

    It turned out to just not be in the cards.



     She then came back four years later and murdered my uncle, her ex.  Somebody should try to find out why….. 



Speculative Fiction by Greg Tate

Most nights Negrizona is an all-beuys club, but tonight the beuys have graciously opened their house to any glitch in heat, any glitch off the street out here in Negrizona.

      Among the beuys there’s a meager few old doggs long toothed enough to remember what it is to be hunted and caged because of who you choose to love.  The difference between those beuys and us is that all my glitches  are being hunted and caged for not loving a species we got no love for at all.

Me and thesevglitches  could all die up in here tonight. All twenty four of these glitches and me  acting like we don’t know no better than to be caught dancing  close to one another glitch in a public space. 

     Nevermind we all grew up feeling that way anyhow.

Nevermind  that we’re all the kind of glitches who’ve always understood that dancing close and risking annihilation are activities already on  the most intimate of terms. Nevermind  how those polarities come with the price of the ticket, define  the  terms of  our fleeting existences, the existential threat foremost in our minds.

What’s changed today though isn’t the base  specter of our enemies torturing or murdering  us, but the means by which it might be carried out.  For glitches like us there now looms a horde of fates far worse than death. Been that way for quite a while now. Even way  before The Governess  and The Law of The Father  began offering  fools a mortgage on  our wombs and a lien on our souls.

Glitches like us have been at odds with the Law Of The Father since the Stone Age.  Only thing that makes this any different is the role The Governess plays now. She who would  sell her own kind out to The Father to save her own ass and in the process, cut our chances of survival and of resistance down from high percentages to meagre fractions.

   Some of us came here tonight with glitches we love.

Some of us will not be going home with the glitch  we came in with tonight.

A few of us aint gonna  make it all the way back to The Breach, our home among the stars

Only a scant few will return to The Brech just the way the   left it.  Two halves of a whole and  loving couple who dared stroll hand in hand in public —on Earth as they were  in glitch-nigga glitch-negress  heaven. Fully aware of the danger, exulting in the thrill.  

     Some glitches take the risk because they love how hot the embodied loving will be once they’re safely in Negrizona where The Governess can’t directly reach out and’touch’ them. 

     They’re the kind  who like to  the rest of us glitches entertained and stimulated, the kind who’ll tell all the juicy details. Tell whoever who’ll listen how no  loving could ever be hotter than the love we make freely and recklessly under the threat of combat, prison, multiple forced impregnations,  repeated braindeaths.  They’re the ones who live by our code to the fullest.  The ones who basically be on some shit like, ‘If  tonight is going to be last time we make love lets make the kinda  love that burns.ahole in infinity.

     I’m talking about glitches like that one over there,Little Miss Peaches& Clover. Look at her  and her partner of seven years  over in the corner wantonly canoodling like   teenagers on some illicit rendezvous. I don’t even have to read their lips to know the kind of party line they’re dropping on each other   “Baby if they bust in without knocking then let them find us just like this drenched spent tangled up thigh on thigh tongue on tongue,spit  on saturated lips fingers dug down in engorged liquified yoni madness.”

Or words and actions to that effect).

The girl -interloper I lust to go home with tonight is dancing alone. Remarkably she even dances to the only two Charlie Parker tunes  DJ Clotel ever likes to rock ‘Now’s The Time’ and ‘K.C. Blues” (And not even the stately Dial versions, but some ole extra-crazy frenetic live versions, as avant garde in their embrace of funk and chaos as anything Sun Ra ever did.

I’ve been on this girl ever since we got here. Taking serious note of her moves and well  synchronized they are to Parker’s schizoid and mercurial  moods. Been duly noting  how well  she knew her body and how readily she’s able to  get lost in her own joy. Shimmying, slipping and sliding her hands all over herself   in rapture to every one of Parker’s  serpentine bluesy free-as-a-Bird licks .  

     Girlfrenzy is rocking these white capri pants  and a black and red plaid shirt tied tight just above her navel. The tail of the knot curves and pincers above a drooping pearldrop navel-ring. Her kicks are some elaborately embroidered  blue and gold harem sandals.  Her feet  are small and daring. They delicately dart across the floor in a way that makes me mumble ‘twinkletoes’.

When she winds her waist to Bird, eyes closed , arms clasped above her head,  your eyes cant help but watch how that teardrop catches the light. You know that she doesn’t need the spotlight to feel good about her dancing, but   that she isn’t mad at all the attention she’s getting from me either. Like her pearl teardrop, she can’t help catching the light or brightly beaming back in ways that bedazzle and sparkle the eyes.

      Even for all her seductive nonchalance  you can tell she loves being seen, adored, lusted after. How much she loves to use her form and rhythm to hypnotize all who might find themselves captivated and mesmerized by her  enjoyment of the music, the way she moves herself.  Tonight she’s my private dancer even in a hall filled with 23 other pairs of eyes.

Girlfrenzy has to  know she’s not everybody’s type in here. She even likely knows most of us  can tell she’s not from around here too. That all of my glitches  can see in a glance that she’s a college girl  from across the tracks who likely cut out after curfew from her dorm, Vader her way to Negrizona  all alone and unafraid of what lie on the other side,  way over here in the way-out-back– out here, beyond the starshine, in Negrizona.

I give her props for even making the journey.  Because I know women who live two blocks from this club who won’t even come out of their house day or nights  or even  walk down the same side of the street it’s on.

I understand why, of course.

Even if most of us  are now way past the  optimum breeding age decreed by The Governess, the sheer threat of being caught by The Father’s forces  can be  soul-crippling for some glitches all the same.

Nothing satisfies The Governess’  power mania more than catching a glitch she’s already broken by remote control days and weeks before.

      They’re the ones who  turn off the technology that can keep The Governess’ Anti-Body bugs out of their  homes and present themselves for surrender and capture willingly. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen enough to spook the rest of us.

Because however tough we are we know how easily that could be us too.Ghosts before our time. Prone reproductive instruments of  The Governess’ will.Womb For Hire Homegirls without even the benefit of minimum wages. Half-life Black epitomes of that old canard, ‘How willing these slaves be.”

But one must ask if being that afraid of getting  locked up knocked up, lynched etc.  isnt the same  as not living at all.  The twenty-four of us who remain  on the frontlines say ‘fuck being a  robot-girl, fuck being a laydown-staydown cybernetic zombie bitch’.

They think: The Governess and The Law of The Father  get no vote in this. Because the day I can’t  dance with who I want to dance with and fuck who I want to fuck is the day I need to be shot in the head without hesitation or mercy.’ I’m not being trying to melodramatic or beyond self-righteous here.  I’d never  claim to speak for all.  Just those who still walk the path of freedom or death. Even given how hard it is now to insure a clear and conscious death-state when you need to.

To  ALL you glitches who choose to stay safe in bed behind The Breach  tonight and live in fear behind closed etheric-data portals : You’ve  made your choices in your cloistered four cornered rooms. And  I respect  your choice from a democratic perspective. I just know I’m not one of You. That I’m not the type who can stand becoming the kind of glitch who cowers in fear of  being soul-raped by The Governess and The Father the second my spirit  flashes out of The Breach. Fear  of being coerced  into doing what The Governess believes  our kinda girl frenzy was born to do: Namely screw, brew and hatch babies for her masters in The Quantum Black Movement.

The young girl with the teardrop navel  who  I am determined to drag home tonight  always smiles to herself when Bird plays some lick she finds particularly delicious.

It’s a beautiiful thing to see and to feel.

Just as beautiful  to watch is the way she I can see her entire programmed consciousness sliding deeper into the music’s  erotic grip. The work  The Governess  did on her is spectacular. It practically looks too good to eat or eviscerate.

I dont know what i find sexier:that she lives for this music or that she merely knows that such music exists at all. You don’t get too many younguns up in spots like this who so openly and fragrantly declare themselves to be  in love with the canonical legacy of  Charles Christopher Parker.

I  allow myself to inwardly swoon over her slow bop and slow grind  to ‘K.C.’ I’d like to look at her and think, ‘Hey, maybe theres  hope for a few of these chillun, hell  for our  entire lost-and-found race, even.   I’d also  like to live in a world where such thoughts were possible about an actual womb-born person and not just a  shimmy-sham flimflam assassin simulacrum extracted from my basest desires.

     Thanks to the Governess pogrom of destruction, what little there is left of my race are all up in Negrizona tonight. All those I truly consider My People in terms of  spirit and espirit de corps.

Of women with bodies and minds there’s  plenty, way more than my twenty-four bitchen glitches of course. By my unofficial count there’s fewer and fewer sisters around who are in genuine possession of  any real soul anymore. Those numbers seem to be dwindling with each passing nanosecond.

The kind of glitch in possession of  whatever right stuff got us across the bloody Black Atlantic eons ago. Only glitches I know like that are hanging tough in Negrizona tonight.They aint nowhere else to be found  on thisEarth tonight but Negrizona. They’re the only ones going to to witness my dancing bebop baby’s precipitous last moments  as a slave of The Governess and The Father  here in Negrizona.

(Where is Negrizona, really ?Wouldn’t The Governess and her minions like to know. Everywhere and nowhere and hidden in plain sight. More nowhere than somewhere is what they’ll figure out with each passing day. )

I like to tell my fellow soldiers, ‘They cant kill all of us without losing the fight’.

Its a tad dramatic but it’s true too. Because our only saving grace is that scores of secrets known only to Negrizona womanhood will die with us. And the only reason The Governess hasn’t  taken us all out is because of those secrets. This is why she’s more committed  to terrorizing our community into surrender than bludgeoning it into submission.

A slow psychological war of attrition is The Governess’  strategy for all my glitches–24  bold hold outs who won’t stay home terrified in The Breach. So The Governess wants to ee how many of us she can make snap under the pressure, drive mad with fear.

Is she’s winning By any means necessary. Because there’s just 24 left out of our  original 2000 glitches   to go.

More adorable young women dancing to bebop like they came out of the womb just knowing the steps. That’s the club I’d really like to join one day but that’s not the club I find myself in tonight. There is thankfully  someone here who feels me on this  and she’s the only one I need to feel understood by tonight.

There is a god and  a girl do gets lucky sometimes.

Not like I’d want to be taking just any bebop dancer-college-girl-type home with me on this or any other night. But I knew on first glance that this one was already my kinda chick. Free where it matters between the ears, below the waist. and on the balls of her feet.

Unfortunately for her just not free enough in the heart to go undetected  by glitches like ‘We’.

My male counterpart, my best friend among the beuys, has already locked down his fixation for the evening. He always did move faster than me. Except we’re in no rush, Miss Pearl Teardrop and I. Because  ain’t nobody else up in here checking for her and I aint trying to check out nobody else either.

We’re on a date with destiny Mz Pearldrop and I.  May the best glitch win, and may the best glitchg once again, be me.

We all knew from the giddy-up.  We knew from the moment Mz Pearldrop swung in the joint  that she was here in disguise for The Governess and The Law of The Father.

Sauntering in all saucy trying to be undercover for The Governess but not so undetectable as they likely told her she’d need be.

We all spotted her immediately.

Knew that was the One chosen for the job tonight just as soon as she came up in our beloved Negrizona Same as we all knew soon as the Charlie Parker came on that she was here to try and take me down by any means necessary.

Meaning that  once again,alas, it would be my job to take her down first. To drug her, interrogate her, drug her again, do what had to be done with what was left of cuties like her once they got caught out here doing  a bad impersonation of one of us.

I dont know why The Governess thinks we can’t see what we can see?Aint we women after all? Black women at that? Black dyke detective souljah women on top of all that?


Eyes and antenna trained from birth  to be like flies: omnidirectional, clicking and computing compressing thevvast amounts of information necessary for survival in nanoseconds.  Any one of us capable of uncovering more clues in a throwaway glance tossed off by any given biddy come into our view than a whole team of Quantum Black   Movement surveillance could detect in a month.

What was so amazing was that  The Governess  thought we were too stupid to not know a fake among of our own. Or believe that our astute and legendary powers of observation were just myth. Like we didnt know the face of Love when we saw it and when we did not.  Like an artificial girl- thing like Ms Teardrop  might as well have been from Mars trying to  pull that off.

That  we of all glitches couldnt tell a free and  loving glitch from a pretend-one in a heartbeat . It was truly insulting–.the  notion that just because you want us to be stupid breeder cows  means we’re already more brainless than Ken and Barbie.

Maybe The Governess thought  we were under  too much pressure to be thinking straight?  She should know us well enough to know better, but then again,maybe The Governess truly believed her own hype. Figured that since she had once been one of us she could teach  How To B A Total Glitch, like, ‘one of  Us’ , to any novice who naively fell into The Quantum black Movement hoping to be cured of her radical-oppositional tendencies.

Glitches ask me if Ithink The Governess  been away from us for so long she dont know who she’s dealing with. I always tell em ‘No. she’s  just lost the capacity to love herself and got caught up in  loving the arrogance of her trackers and their patriarchal- institutional power. ”

That’s where she picked up this idea that we can’t be as smart as her now that she’s running some shit on the inside for The Father.

Because obviously if we were as smart as her  we’d stop being victims of our bloody chromosomes and subhuman lifestyle and just get with the Quantum Black Movement’s program, same as she did.

I concede that The Governess  has got a point – a pathetic and pathological-ass point but point nonetheless. Rhetorically at least. For the sake of playing devil’s advocate, let’s say I hear her: Why suffer all this dread and uncertainty for the limited returns and anxious pleasures  of living and loving free? Why except for maybe the same reasons Miles Davis one gave as to why he made music: ‘You don’t do what the critics tell you to do. You do what your body tells you to do’.  “Go the way your blood beats” underscored his good friend, Mr James Baldwin.

So here we are glitches, twenty-four of us down here at the Alamo, wild free and over 21 and not even acting like all our love will soon be in vain.

None of this means I can’t enjoy how well Little Miss Navel Pearl is doing her dance for me, or how much effort she is putting into putting on her show. Knowing the truth about her doesn’t take away from the enjoyment I’m deriving from how much passion and choreographic skill she’s bringing to her masquerade.

I feel honored by her  virtuosic attempt at such deception, I really do.

The Father  had found themselves a good one with her. A real comer. An artist even. One who could work for them and enjoy pleasuring herself too. As much for her benefit as for my own and for all the worst possible reasons.

She was obviously such a true believer. Such an idealistic hard worker for the way way gone-wrong side of history.

Wrong side tonight anyways, since this was one night  the victors were not going to be writing the history about to be written. Because tonight the script is flipped and the victors were going to be these remaining 24 gltches of Negrizona, not The Governess.

I wasn’t mad at her, Mz Pearl. Truly and in all sincerity, I  wasn’t.

Because we were at  war and whether you lived today to fight another day or whether your died tomorrow you were already a casualty. Because I have always been of the belief that as soon as you kill for someone other than in spontaneous self-defense of your family then you become a casualty of war.

A criminal against humanity. A genocidal contract killer. A betrayer of the most fundamental pact of the human contract.

All over what at the end of the day were just minorvdifferences  of  philosophy. In our case, differences ultimately  about the value our kind of glitches placed on our bodies  versus those imposed upon them by The Governess, The Law of The Father  and  The Quantum Black Movement.

Once again I was going to have to ask myself whether our principles were worth the young life I was going to take in the name of protecting Negrizona and The Breach?

The Governess knew we had more of a conscience about these murders than she did.She for sure knew that everytime we buried one of her operatives we felt like we were  burying one of her own. The Governress also knew that the only thing squared it for us was we knew we were making our stand–at no matter the cost–for our own unborn and for those who would follow. All our sisters and brothers yet to be conceived.

I’m not so abstract or cavalier about outright murder anymore though.

All the young glitches  blood on my hands won’t allow me  to be ever again.

Kililing  Pearl was going to be like killing myself all over again, an experience I’d already had more times than I cared to remember. Such were the paradoxes and unpleasantries that come with  this kind of life and this kind of war.

This is a cold fact that my sexy little private bebop dancer will never have a chance to  figure out for herself after tonight. That realization alone hurts me to the quick. Makes me feel more kinds of sad and alone in the world than most of you will ever be able to fathom.

Because strangely enough I do tell  myself that I’m doing it all for you–though perhaps the truth is I’m doing it for the glitch inside you–the glitch you are all so afraid to be. A glitch more like Miz Teardrop than a glitch hiding on the other side of her  Breach apartment walls praying the Boogie Woman dont getcha.Whichever junior Wittgenstein among you works out that syllogism first gets the prize.

We love a snitch.Anybody’s snitch. No matter if theyre working for us or for The Governess. Because the mind of a snitch is like no other mind you will ever encounter. Its a mind that doesn’t even know what body its head sits on. Its all impulse and reflex and instant gratification but incapable of any sense of even short term consequences. The girl I’m going to snuff out tonight got into Negrizona  because a snitch up  told her what to say, what to wear, what to dance to, all the basics for getting close to me.

Practically everything Miss Teardrop  needed to do to act like more of my type than she already was. The only thing the snitch couldnt tell her was how to be a free woman in her heart.

The snitch knew she’d be lacking that– be lacking in that way of owning her lovejoy, come lacking in the vitals and the intangibles of that and the way it fueled the vainglory and the guts of being one of us.

I’m even willing to bet that this snitch  probably didnt feel so snitchy sending sent  the girl on her way, knowing she wouldn’t survive, but figuring that since the girl was ready to die for the cause anyway, what difference it make if she can’t fake it til she makes it?

By a snitche’s feeble minded reasoning she had done her job–got Teardrop up in Negrizona but hadn’t let The Governess know why she would be instantly detected because they hadnt asked her about that. Because everybody thinks snitches are as dumb as they are corruptible and thats always a bad mistake.

Under different circumstances, in another life, like the one I used to Iive back before The Governess went crazy, Pearl would have been my  type all the way. I hate wasting a good woman for the sake of politics. I hate wasting someone as lovely as her solely to make a political point.

What’s truly bizarre is that The Governess keeps sending these young lovelies up in here after me when Melinda and Belinda are the ones out there in The Governess’ realm inflicting all the real damage.  me and these other 24 glitches up in here, we’re just a decoy.

Somehow The Governess has yet to figure that the whole point of me being alive is to draw fire and attention away from M&B– to be  their loudmouthed unrepentant buffer.

The boisterous sort of glitch you put outfront to greet the public  while two battle axes not fit for public consumption slave in the back. Meanwhile Melinda and Belinda are in the background teaching women everywhere but Negrizona how hatch murder and mayhem against the Quantum Black Fathers by the bucketloads.

Teardrop is wearing a Fon mask, I’m wearing a Luba. Even in the bed we’ll never see each other whole faces, only bits of eyes, mouth, tongue. We”ll have sex, she’ll be put to sleep by my pheremones; she’ll be gone with the wind by  morning.

Damned to tarnation, blown to smithereens, scattered to the four winds, optioned to oblivion.

All I  promise myself to do, as always, is to make her last night on earth pleasurable beyond measure.  I’d like to believe that  I have always done this for all of the poor glitches The Governess has sent to me to kill. That because of me they at least leave the planet with a taste of all the love  they missed over here on the darkness beyond Negrizona.

The truth is that the dead leave me with as little knowledge of their true selves as I’ve given them of mine  even with  all the effort both parties always put into pretending sharing and satisfaction.  f youve never asasinated a woman whose just given her bodily all to proving her heaving passion for you, you’ll might never understand what I mean.

I think only The Governess could understand since every girl I’ve exterminated has only been driven to attack me out of their love for her. When I think of  all of those glitches bodies that have risen up against me on her behalf , and all the ones I’ve had to take out for that reason, I  strangely start to feel pity for The Governess–that her own love for power has supplanted her capacity to love those who love her so purely, so unconditionally, so remorselessly.

For this reason a quite perverse and twisted kind of intimacy has been formed between myself and The Governess. I won’t sully and denigrate the memories of my  beloved dead lovely ones anymore than the war has already forced me too. I can’t say there’s something sexual or erotic about my connection  to The Governess because that doesn’t do the feeling justice.

What she and I have between us is actually more akin to a shared awareness of a  godforce beyond gender. A power she and I have come to mutually hold  over the lives of all these  young women in her command who are willing to fuck other women just so they can then murder them on The Governess behalf.  The Governess, I think, has transformed me into her own Dark Angel of The Crossroads.

In most wars things never get so personal, so transparent between one Field General and another’s mutual power over the bodies of their soldiers. Our little conflict has become unique in that respect.Because without The Governess’  desire to a amputate and extinguish the love in our bodies the war would have no objective, no endgame,  no chance of ever being winnable and losable for either side. The Governess has rendered the capacity for love in our bodies into the enemy territory.

For her our ability to love ourselves and our own kind  has gotten in the way of an invaluable, renewable resource. To her our love is just running amok over here in Negrizona, growing out of control like some wild kudzu like thing, wantonly flaunting its independence from her supervision,exploitation or control.

Like any other war,  folk’s refusal to be domesticated or dominated  is always the real threat to the enemy–whatever  source of strength and righteousness in any people that won’t  be conquered simply because their enemies say so.  The mastery of the savage by the so-called civilized, the chosen, the better armed–mastery over-all that dares to cry freedom, always requires the complicity of those they desire to vanquish.(in our case our wombs and our raging hormones and pheremones) ultimately

Back when she was with us The Governess only ever had one joke she could tell well.It was a riddle she liked to tell all the newbies who came in, back when we were in basic together. It was one  that she claimed her jock brothers liked to repeat around her when she was just a wee girl.

Q:”Why did god create Woman?”

A: “To be a life support system for the pussy.”

If I ever get to see The Governess again I’ll let her know: Out there in Negrizona we we just trying to do the glitch-God’s will and keep it that way.


EVERY BODY GOT A THANG, speculative fiction by Greg Tate



That last lil snicker they let through the screens was forgetful, disrespectful, stunted, retarded, limited. All  in all, quite typical of his kind and all  quite to my consternation, disappointment, chagrin, dismay.

What were these  ET’s thinking? 

Like the rest of his kind that lil snicker would have to Re-Vamped.

    On the other hand the last true black nigga broad they pushed through the screens was quite atypical of her kind.

Meaning: Not bossy Not belligerent Not easily incensed by the slightest reproach or critique.

She too would have to be revamped (damn the luck).

Up here what’s good for the goose is truly bad for the Up here an angry black man  is always a problem but a  black woman who can’t–or worse won’t –access her anger, is a problem

    I had told these space cadets  not to let too many of the wrong kinda snickers through the screens at the same time. Had begged them in fact to filter the dem snickers more but  you know these thangs got  as little respect for a begging snicker as they do for a  bucking snicker.  Might as well be a bucking snick as a begging one.

Even after I told ’em the real deal How all that free time on our hands  aint a good look for My People. No way no how.Told dem ETs we’re not a sit down inward looking race.We’re an action race. Easily entertained but easily bored. No good entertainment, good sex, good food, drank, drugs or good gossip.   there wasn’t even enough bad gossip to go around because we were all so isolated so much of the time, all locked up, like we had to be for the good of the project, all locked in with Our  Things. Lookahere Boss– they even less civilized and sensible than even my kind of snicker is, which  as you know is already next to none.

    Roughass ghetto style  snickers they wanna let up in here are the kind I been tryna to get way from my whole life. Who the fuck wants to have the same old grimy ‘hood experience in space? IfI d known this is where it was going I never would’ve agreed to come out here in the first place.

       once I realized they were going to just pack them in, let any kinda snickers in, I suggested we decrease the life expectancy, of all these random sniggers.  i still  considered em My People.  But  these random snickers were not personal friends like our first group to arrive had been. So I recommended we  decrease their life expectancy, perhaps by even by as much as 75 percent I said. Because these  snickers you letting in here now are wild and unpredictable, they wont know how to act after about a week and putting a cap on their mortality will be  a great motivator for dem wild bunch. And  I told them all this but did anybody listen? But did any of you snickers gathered here today back me up?. No, of course not. And look what happened just like i predicted. Before I was the bad guy,  sorting out all the malcontents and treat  them  the proper re-adjustments and revamping. Got to be there was plenty of unhappily re-adjusted snickers around there soon enough, but don’t you dare still blame me. I told you snickers to stand behind me before they let these wild snickers up in here and you wouldnt. You coulda spared a whole lotta grief. You snickers knew I’d take the weight. Do what  needed to be done. You snickers know better than to try anything. Better not do a damn thing to stop me finishing what I started. That new group is getting put on The Ticker while they sleep and thats that.


I’ve aged in ways I could have scarcely imagined before my butt got booted out here.I wish i felt all the wiser but all I really feel is the weight of years. Years  I’ve accumulated but not lived or experienced in my bones. My memory has suffered losses and deficits that you should only feel after a long and storied life  My life has been neither long nor storied so why do I now i feel like some 80 year old matriarch of  a slave family trying to survive Birmingham in Grapes of Wrath Depression-era 1930s America?


They promised us all kinds of shit to get us out here. I wasn’t buying none of it. Didnt want none of it either. I can’t say I wasn’t  curious though. Curious about what a bunch of regular snickers would  do when set loose . Partying on the Mothership indeed. I knew this wasn’t going to be no StarTrek. i knew these snickers would get out here, take shit way further out than anybody expected because thats how we do. Aint no way it wasn’t going to get uglier. Because whatever line separates the alien from the  ugly– well lets just say we crossed  that line way back at Alberquerque. By the time we got out here to Alpha Centauri–forget about it. Shit was on.


The sex just kept getting better between me and My Thing.  I’d had j every kind of sex you could imagine on earth– even simulated plant and insect sex. So  what the big deal about sex with a 12 foot tubular bell with skin like a potato? no big deal. Once My Thing let me know  it liked smoking dope  much as i did, we were home free.  getting high together means free about sharing fantasies and  role playing.  Role play has always been one of my bedroom specialties. Once I know what   turns my partner on I have no problem  assuming the position. Other broads go a little batty.  Some broads  I knowwon’t even masturbate in the same room as their Thing. Repulsed by the idea. Thats why their Love-Things just withered and died. Not a good look when you’ve spend eternity in a room with  a dead Thing. 

   Aint like they hadnt seen the footage. Aint like they didnt know what they were getting into. What was contractually expected –nobody put a gun to their head and said ‘Come on out to space and fuck an animal-mineral-vegetable a few times a week for research.

I  didnt get these tired bitches. 

Why come all  he way out here to be contrary. 

To be all proud alone? Why come this freaking far just to end up another lonely Black spinster tale. Back on earth just giving up the pussy for porkchops but out here they want to be picky?

C’mon girls get your freak on: If you won’t love your Thing ain’t nobody gonna love your Thing for you. Get with the program for Christ’s sake.


If you danced sculpted wrote poems and novels, painted pictures made music, any of that…If you did any of those creative expressive type things around your Thing  then sometimes that meant as much or more to a Thing as  the more physically interactive stuff of your engagement. They could be muses and lovers too. You could get all kinds of new inspiration from them–new feelings new colors new techniques. If you had been feeling in between and subhuman  and alienated and Other your whole life then bonding with Things who were subject to not feeling human and loved themselves  could, or shoulda come pretty naturally. Wasnt true for everybody like Charlotte just said though–they were like certain German Jews I’d once read about who stayed too long after the Nazis took over. Jews who believed as long as they acted like good Germans they wouldn’t be penalized for having bad Jew blood. But  motherfuckers who think your blood is too impure to be mingled with theirs could give a fuck about your law abiding behavior. And if  motherfuckers are giving you and your kind an ultimatum to get off the planet now or die later, you need to wake the fuck up and go, dont look back, and stop thinking they gonna see you aint like those other sniggras,, that you’re human too, and willmake an exception. Anytime they abolish prison so that all spiggots, good spiggots, bad spiggots and even all spiggots who dont know they spiggots can all get off the planet… Well just read between the motherfucking lines spiggots and Go. Because if there’s one thing the ‘stem is quite efficient at its killing many of a certain  motherfucker they dont like, with the quickness. Remember Hiroshima. Remember Rosewood. Remember Bombingham.


Charlotte and I came to  disagree on a whole lot during our experience out there with Our Things but on this one point we couldn’t have been more in agreement: there was way more room for self definition in Other than there’d ever been in human. Once human became just another form of Other why hold on to human as your core identity? Why stay confined to human psychology or human philosophy about the meaning of human life after we’d come out here to become freely Other with the Other?. I mean I i like my mind fine but i could certainly do without my subconscious for a while. And as for my unconscious, well, hell my dreams been telling I aint human for as long as I’v been alive. To paraphrase Malcolm X, we dont catch hell because we’re human we catch hell because if we were really human we wouldn’t catch any hell.


Race Memory (as in the dope made from the lysergic brain secretions caused by the biochip software i’m talking about and not the concept) is some potent shit. So potent  that  you dont even need to be fucking with it if youre not some kind of pure blood African.  And we weren’t pure blood nothing except maybe mongrel but we kept fucking with Race Memory out there because the shit was so potent, and we needed something to remind us who we really were because the idea was to make us identify so much with these alien beasts we forgot we were ever human let alone that we were still Africans,  Once you took it just that first time, once you went there, all you could think about was how soon youd be able to snort some and go Black there again. Like, youd be  high as fuck, regurgitating the blood  and bile and brains of ancestors by the second and you’d already be wondering, how soon is now, how soon after I come out of this high can i get back to being high again? Fucking a Thing was okay after that, after you threw some Race Memory in there because it made you feel invincible, like a warrior with a hard-on and you wanted to fuck that Thing silly four ways to Sunday– a mindbender in and of itself. But nothing compared to Race Memory when it came to getting you all kinds fucked up and overstimulated. Once my Thing caught on it decided to get all kinds of high with me. As a consequence, mine got really soulful in a quicker amount of time than most. Got so it could pull the Holy Ghost right up out of its guts as good as I could when we took to singing the gospel of Christ together.


I dont know what they were thinking really. What they expected different to happen from what turned out to be. Because you know how comeptitive some snigglers are. How they think love aint nothing but a battlefield for real. Not in no metaphoric sense but like for real. Like everything is a blood sport or a battelground to them kinda snigglers.  So even carving notches on they belts over how many Things they’d bagged wasn’t out of the question. Seeing how many Things they can get all strung out by they tongue or they clit or they dix, that wasn’t  out of the question either. Talk about your frigging masters of the universe. Sneaking up into peoples rooms and bagging other peoples Things like they was raiders of the lost ark. You want to teach an alien race what it feels like to possess base human emotions? Just put a pile of horny snigglers up in their midst. Which I suppose was always the point.



A Speculative Fiction by Greg Tate


There are no  A, C, B or D trains running tonight. 

This makes it the sixth night in a row. 

We not even be wanting restitution or reparations.

W’d just like a simple repair. 

None of the above will ever be forthcoming.

This is how its been, this is how its gonna be. 

    Darkness upon the face of the deep  forevermore. All ever since.

 As in Ever Since that night. 

The night of  two trains running. 

I’ll never forget that night. 

I can still hear them singing. 

All the way to heaven. 

The sad thing is I envy them. 

As if the tragedy was mine. 

Like any man who’s missed his chance at glory all I can think of is the circumstances that put me on one side of the sliding doors between cars and all my Beloveds on  another. 

    Given another scenario, it could have been me. 

There are fates worse than death and deportation.

Most peoples fate’s are worse than their deaths. 

My fate is worse than immortality.


That’s all I’ll be thinking about between here and 125th street: Other peoples fates, not my own. 

    Philosophy does that to a man.  Curses him with contemplating man’s fate even when  his own feet have begun to ache  and crack  after seven nights and days  of walking to work and backt Harlem from Times Square. 

   So unavoidable the bachhanal Harlem has become after a week without electricity.  

Like Amiri one wrote , ’The shapes in the darkness had histories’.   True enough, but  they had fun being those shapes too. And shaking loose of those histories, contorting out the storybooks that had  swollen up behind there eyes, deep  in their pores.

  This is how I keep track of my rambling selves without the ghosts around to remind me of  the multiple personas I used to cart around.




     The dudes who found him wandering naked across the Kalahari desert still fondly recall his fixation on his lost pecker.

I lost Pete, man. I  fucking lost Pete’. lost  mylast best friend old Pete out there! How can I go home to my wife and explain myself without Pete to back me up and her too. “‘

     According to the three wise guys who found Hogarth with  a cross staked to his back in the Kalahari desert  this was all he kept saying before he passed out. 

      He was clearly tripping since no one had actually cut his dick off. 

Not yet anyway.  

     It wouldn’t be until a year later that Hogarth recalled why he’d felt that way at the time and made to recognize that  sometimes hallucinations do come true.

     In the desert the three wise guys had told him they were  be his oldest and dearest friends–mainly just to help orient him. In the desert they’d introduced themselves as Stuart, Mathhew and Allen. 

     You were you and they were they but even in his enhanced state he knew he didn’t know any of them from the proverbial Adam.  

 Some things just don’t ring true even when youre all the way out your gotdam mind. 


     All the same these three good-natured  wise guys had brought him  home from  the desert. 

    They also related to his wife  that  while in the most extreme stages of  delirium he’d kept insisting that it was his intention to ‘’ change the nature of the beast.’’ 

    Unfortunaltey as time went on he realized the beast had beaten Hogarth  to the punch and changed the nature of Hogarth first.

    Chopped him down, poked him full of holes and left him hanging out there in the land of the bushman, Earth’ first people. 


       He’d  gone to the Kalahari a man, and in his estimation one  macho  stud of a man at that.  

      One morning three weeks after his return to wife and hearth and home  he began morphing into what would become the sleek form of an aristocratic Filipino woman. 

   He didn’t lose Pete so much as watch Pete shrivel and shrink into a lump of clay. 

     One day he looked down there and realized old one eyed Pete had lost sight of him forever. 

  Samuel Hogarth became Samantha H.

    That was only the beginning though.

Turned out The Beast had  even more jokes in store for Hogarth. 

     The coup grace, the piece de resistance, the absolute muthafukka arrived via  the discovery that not only had he been forced to undergo a sex change but that he was also suddenly six months pregnant. Burdended to birth an inhuman  lovechild deposited in his new womb by The Beast.

    His  first thought was naturally abortion.

But turned out that the mutation he  was carrying was not only not-human but indestructible. Its amniotic fluid  sac was some kind of liquid metal pod. The thing that could be seen  inside had a human face, the body of a lion, and the tiny wings of a hummingbird. 

     The thing growing inside Samuel Hogarth nee  Samantha H was a creature the world had heretofore only known through Greek mythology  as some thing called a Griffin.

     The Griffin  growing inside wouldn’t let Samantha H commit infanticide or suicide. 

It wouldn’t even allow him to maintain those thoughts for too long 

    By the time Hogarth was restored to  civilization thing Griffins growing in the bodies of men was on the verge of  becoming a commonplace event.

     The Beast had ben  busy and would soon see the world populated by swarms of  pod grown Griffin babies.


   Not long after Hogarth was  returned to Brooklyn his wife was visited by an advisor from the Organization of Griffin Rights. 

  Wifey was informed about adoption options for single parents and co-parenting possibilities with other mothers who were helping for rear their husbands Griffin children. 


     The Wifey  was told some families  had opted to return to the Kalihari desert and start an asylum community there. 

   The catch was going there required you give up your US citizenship.

    The Beast it seems had only impregnated Americans, even in Africa.

    Thus did our nation became within a quarter century of Hogarth’s return the world had become a place full of misbegotten griffin infants  and only a few other species besides your typical  post-apocalyptic bestiary of roaches cats horses cows pigs and dogs.

StarFuxx, a story by Greg Tate



By Greg Tate

She had what he described  as ‘’this crazy dark energy, this wildness.’’

   He would’ve called it feral back in his life on the land. The life he’d left on  that dead world  Mother Earth, receding as fast in memory as in miles. A life where  wild things like her got called feral creatures even if her species was not that of wolves, coyotes, cougars.  

 Once the species  was no longer part of nature where would they find replacement metaphors  capable of describing a woman like her? 

      She didn’t seem all that dangerous, really, but he got off on how ferocious her appetite  for him was. An appetite that seemed to  run as deep and dark as her first name–Abyssinia. 

    She’d been given that name by  parents  who had loved the cities of their  birth-world so much they decided to commemorate that love through their  daughters. 

  He thought it the perfect name for this  wild darkling woman who loved mauling her lover in candlelit darkness while shrouded in the most obsidian of  velveteen fabrics, veils and gloves.

    He came to believe she only existed to blow his wig back in bed, that she had no other desire than to nightly mount the underside of his skullcap, crawl up into the secret spaces where he burrowed thoughts and dreams, reknit his synapses, tickle and stroke his fancy with her tapered and silk-sheathed fingers.       He always waited for her with desperate anticipation. Knowing she would waste no time merrily going about the business of smashing his basic thought patterns, entangling herself with his wiring. overloading his central nervous system. 

     He could touch her anywhere  and feel this throbbing heat beneath her skin. A near mystical force—some sort of  magical dynamo that somehow kept  churning and burning  even when she was at rest.  palpable and powered by radiation-hot emanations which neither he nor the ship that enveloped  them both could neither name or source. 

     In this fiery aspect she reminded him  of another thing already old long before he eft earth: the smoldering afterburn he used to  feel coming from under the hood of a petroleum powered automobile on a hot summer day. If you attempted to plop your hand or your ass down before the thing had begun to cool down, you risked being singed, scalded even.

 Sometimes just the thought of  touching her could seem like that–like you were about warm yourself by her flame at  an unsafe distance. Like  she could scar you white if you got too close. From twenty feet across a crowded room she made him feel like the powerful motor underneath her hood could run, spew steam and hiss infinitely, never  growing cold. 

   When the surge of actual contact with her  jumped  from his hands to his entire nervous system there was no denying that her surface temperature was indeed several degrees hotter  than any woman  he’d ever touched before. 

    He stayed constantly amazed that her skin didn’t stay soaked  with tropical –though strangely enough, as feverish as her body always felt,  she too had to work as ferociously as anybody else to generate an actual  sweat on the icy ship.

    After their first half- day barely leaving one another’s side  he wanted to say to her ”Damn, babycakes, what are you half-woman, half nuclear reactor?” 

    A week later he was given to think that  somewhere Out There, somewhere beyond the length of his mammoth circular bed and its synthetic antelope-fur blankets, somewhere way on the other side of his door, where he was the nominal captain of a self-piloting self-aware starship that needed a captain about as much as the now defoliated Amazon rainforest  had once  needed a groundskeeper. Somewhere across that reminder of his utter uselessness to the vessel ‘under his command’ , he knew there had to be some elemental chart, some measure of human emotions that could computationally break down the source of her energy into the mathematics  of  attraction, need, wants and separation anxieties equivalent to those governing the dangers of fatal roentgens, lethal dosages,  half-life decays,

     He never stopped feeling like whatever it was she was doing to him was too good to go on forever and too all-consuming not to come at some great cost—costs he was now too distracted to ever calculate.

 Those thoughts were the sort  he could never maintain for long in her presence–especially when she began delivering on  her frequently and eagerly made  promise: ‘ Boy I’m ’bout to sop you up like a flaky biscuit”.

   He always felt like he was on the verge of  major scientific discovery everytime she took to slaying and resurrecting him in her grand and round  lovebed. As if by analyzing her effect on him he’d finally find the answer to how one woman’s sexual nature could be so powerfully different from all of her sisters– each of his past lover’s had run the gamut from passive to aggressive in pursuit of her pleasures but  none had trooped so far up in his head as her.

  Why was this one more prone to make a man babble and moan from the moment she claimed squatters rights on his  hardened desire?  Why did she alone make him feel like her ship’s captain while being in total control while simultaneously leave him feeling like he was was a doomed vessel  destined to drown in her whirlpool? Why had her coronas, her aureoles, her nipples been positioned by God in such way that the  mere thought of them alone was enough to sustain his arousal through the exhausting and emptying night. How was it that  through this  woman—a woman who’d been a stranger to him before he came out of star-sleep—how had he finally found the answers he’d been seeking from the bodies of  the many who’d come before her?  If only because unlike all the rest  she was able to shift the center of her own satisfactions from place to place across the stormy tempest of her body whenever they got down like they got down. The lyric  of a song he’d loved since he was a child always came to mind when they coupled: ”When you touch me/ You give me fever/ Sopping wet/Break me down in a cold sweat.”

     That her powers of empathy were as supernatural  as her physical grip also kept him slaked and slackened.  

   If he came to her hurting from somewhere deep  down inside over the loss of Mother Earth and all he’d loved there,  she immediately knew exactly where it hurt and how to fix it it— one glorious amorous caress of understanding at a time. 

    She liked to think  of herself as good for what ailed him and she always made him take his medicine. 

     There was always food waiting for him when he rose from the dead alone in that  mound of  bed that took up a third of her quarters. No  measly morsels were these, but instead wholly extravagantly prepared meals, things he’d  loved to eat for as long as he could remember, yet mixed with other, more exotic things he’d  never tasted before. 

     Things he  never even knew could be presented together in such bizarre, succulent combinations. 

       She cooked like she conquered–with  inordinate witchery and skill. 

         Many was the night  she felt she couldn’t just cook for him. Nights when she felt compelled to hand-feed him herself, stuff in his mouth fingerfuls of every torn and ragged bit  of fruit, flesh and foliage which she had set upon designated regions of his anatomy. One morning he even woke up to find juicy garlands of sashimi slices spotting him from head to toe. Before he could even react there she was, swimming up  and down his ticklish slightly shivering frame like he’d become a canal built for ferrying her migratory hungers to a place where neither time or death held sway. 

        He kept expecting to wake up and find her gone, his fever  broken or whatever delusionary state this was that  he knew was certain to soon dissipate.  

    He knew he couldn’t tell anyone  who might have popped in out of nowhere to ask what month or day it was or who was our last President or who had won the Super Bowl that last year before the planet collapsed— because like everybody else onboard he’d stopped caring about  such stuff way before the ship had even left the solar system. 

      Yet the longer he stayed prone beside her the more he became obsessed with finding some way to prove she was no illusion but  the only reality that mattered. 

      He decided the only way to do this was to make himself  numb to her touch, to try and experience her while anesthetized. 

       All so  he could prove that this romantic  delirium he’d  surrendered flesh and sprit to  was some witchery of her making and not some self-hynposis his own. 

      This first required him removing  all notions  of  ‘She’ and ‘I’ from his bedazzled realm of the senses; he had to began feeling like they were both nothing more than objects adrift  in the ether—abstracted objects without muscle, bone, nerves synapses and ganglia to connect them on what would unquestionably be humanity’s last lurch towards the eternal.

     It should have been as simple a matter as taking two of the yolk-colored pills the doctors had made all of them keep on their persons during  work shifts. 

     The pills  simulated morphine, a B-booster, and some form of Mexican mushroom, all without entering the blood stream–a cocktail of lozenges that when heated into vapor could  trick the brain into believing that contrary states like sentient paralysis and lucid deathsleep could co-exist. 

    To the extent that he felt suddenly unchained to her love, the pills worked.  The only problem  arose when he realized that  couldn’t find his work shirt or any other articles of clothing anywhere in her room. This became  a sobering shock on its own–even though he couldn’t remember having worn any clothing for days and weeks running now. 

      When he’d exhausted all visible options and  asked  for her assistance  she looked hurt and disappointed.

 “You’re leaving? ‘ she hurled out in a gasp.”I knew you’d get tired of me one day .I just never expected it to be so soon…”

           He tried explaining to her that he didn’t want to leave but that he could  feel her inner Garbo coming back online, wanting to be left alone, and for that reason he thought he should know where his clothes were and return to his own his quarters.  

     She  looked pouty, even a bit snippy now, pointing to a window that he’d never seen before but one he knew must have always been in her room:. an egress suddenly visible from all corners of her  tight domicile that looked out onto an air-locked corridor. One that tunneled towards a hangar packed with  gleaming shuttlecraft. 

    In that anterior  alleyway he could see his clothes drying on  heating elements in the wall that were glowering red, just like her pique with him. 

   He also knew that  those deceptive nano-medicines he  kept in his pocket were toast by now and useless for the mind deadening fate he intended for them. 

    He also realized that he was standing up straight for the first time in who knows how many star-calendar points  and thinking clearer than he had for about as  long and that it would probably be a good idea  to leave her room now. Leave before he succumbed again to whatever  hypersexual magnetism had kept him so willingly cooped up so long in the first place.  

      Not that he actually had anything better to do for the next 100 years of star-hopping either.  

       If the ship was banging around the universe in search of the perfect supernova while on steady autopilot why couldn’t he do the same? Only some silly residual degree of macho guilt  he decided. Feelings likely  driven by his shame at not adequately performing his meagre duties as the pointless ship’s captain.

      This thought of course occurred to him before he realized he actually had no existence outside of her bedroom. 

    This realization coming just as his programming was sparked to epiphany and he came to comprehend that there was no  ‘him’ that was not a figment of her sexual imagination. 

      This before he saw clearly that it was she and not the fictional ‘he’, a re-enactment, of sorts,  of a perfectly adoring actual   former lover on Mother Earth that  she’d nicknamed Himself’, long before she’d even become a starship commander. 

     Before he sank into cognitive oblivion in sync came thereckoning that it was only She and not the fictitious He who was cavorting and canoodling across galaxies inside the vessel  that served as her purpose in life when she could not be found in her budoir and personal pleasure dome. 

     Those too short  flash of the spirit  moments when her  ship-time once again became hers alone. When it truly wasn’t nobody’s business what she did  to get herself going as long she got There: to that far off  and maybe even mythical inter galactic destination hardwired into the ships higher dream functions: the unconscious back brain of  this big old star hopping thing she captained–the one sheltering and chaffuering Mother Earth’s one billion freeze-dried refugees to a fraught  rendezvous with the only star thought to be beckoning and  twinkling  come-hither glances at them from  long ways across the sumptuous and coquettish void.