Friday, July 21, 2017

UltraRag

UltraRag
by William D. Tucker

Scavenging dollar bins of comic book stores,
Usually a glut of garbage from the 1990s
Muscle assholes with gatling guns and battleaxes and cybereyes and command and control brains
So why fuck with the medieval implements?
Why dally with the berserker charge into the gates of Valhalla?
No need for trench warfare
When you can drop a digital dime
Call in the airstrike
Summon the orbital death-ray

And nobody ever gets laid in these 1990s rags
Men and women alike
In pristine, chemically amplified physical shape
Everyone’s done up in outlandish fetish gear,
With wildass full-body paint
And no one fucks.
They punch each other through walls,
Nuke entire downtown metropolitan zones,
Resurrect from the dead in multiple simultaneous cyborg bodies,
Bodyswap through instantaneous arcane mind transfer apparatus,
Mow down scores of faceless, pop-up bad guy cannon fodder targets,
Not one kiss, not one hand held, not one tongue in any orifice, and forget any penetration and/or manual stimulation explicit or implied.

Everyone fights.
No one fucks.
I double check the rags to make sure I didn’t blunder into a batch of Christian Comics,
Nope.
These are all classic 1990s dark and gritty edgy independent comics
Created via corporate models of management, execution, and distribution,
Derived from the long-standing editorial, story, and art policies
Long established by DC and Marvel comics.

Everyone fights.
No one fucks.
It’s worse than a re-run of Moonlighting.
Or a scene outta my parents’ home lives.

But not all dollar bins are created equal.
And as the economy has recessed, contracted, and settled into a New Fake Normal,
More provocative and outre stuff
Winds up in the dollar bins,
Some Robert Crumb reprints,
a back issue of American Splendor here and there,
some arty porn books,
a really offbeat Dracula book with time travel, vampire hunting steampunk robots,
they even got Scott McCloud to do a deconstructionist fill-in issue-

-but to tell you the truth
I just edit together my own versions of those rags
Into one giant MEGARAG.
Sounds insane,
But I see each issue as a lost chapter
Out of some  monumental ULTRANOVEL (or ULTRARAG)
that can only exist within some Platonic Zone of Perfect Forms.
Each lost chapter
Is debased and degraded
Infected with tacky advertisements, subpar layouts and compositions,
and Execrable Writing,
Shit noise of vomit crapitalism sharpens the senses,
makes you work for that signal.

But it isn’t all the writers’ and artists’ fault.
All their efforts are sincere,
if debased, unskilled, and sub-literate
attempts to capture the atomic starblast perfection
of each of those divine sparks
of Ideal Formal Chapters outta the ULTRANOVEL(or ULTRARAG),
the One True Book,
so the strategic mutilations I practice upon these rags,
boxcutter, stick glue, straight edge to hand,
It’s medical, surgical, cosmetic, and spiritual all at once.
Slicing away the gunk and shit and tumors and idiocies
to surface some of that divine brilliance
impossible
but a worthy obsession
since I never know when some random slice
might cut loose a bit of that ULTRABOOK(or ULTRARAG) . . .

People been trying to steal my Ultrarags.
So I built a reinforced wall
Outta numerous copies
Of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book
Not because I’m Maoist at Heart,
Although I rather liked that movie Maoist at Heart,
directed by Chairman David Lynch?
It was basically The Wizard of Oz,
but everyone’s in olive drab,
the Wizard gets locked in a tiny cage at the end,
bullet fired into the base of his skull,
Sorry!
Trigger Warning.
Sorry . . .

But such madness has its uses.
I’ve built walls out of Bibles, copies of the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, bulk batches of books by Bill O’Reilly, Anne Coulter, Sean Hannity-the whole Fox News Neo-Fascist Crowd, the works of Ayn Rand, the Marquis de Sade, Whitley Streiber, L. Ron Hubbard, Mein Kampf,
you gotta build the right kind of wall,
out of the right kind of materials,
to scare away the thieves and adventurers,
and to scare up a conscript army of true believers.

Now,
the people you gotta worry about
are the folks who don’t scare, or don't join when they come across a wall of madness like that.
That’s why I got this here long, finely honed fingernail on my pinky.
Jam it up in the eye socket just so-
shrlluutt!-
That’s what I call a Kung Fu Lobotomy right there, cousin!
Thieves and adventurers get a whole lot calmer
post-procedure like that.
And then I put ‘em to work
Organizing my Illuminati New World Order gaming trading cards
Man, I wish they kept on making those INWO cards,
They had such clever art,
they inoculate your brain against conspiracy theory horseshit,
while also teaching you how to manipulate the true believer mindless motherfucks.
It’s terrible when really artistic projects just don’t pan out financially.

One of these days,
though,
I figure someone will come over the wall,
get my ULTRABOOK(OR ULTRARAG)-in-progress.
Even I have to sleep.
Well,
as long as they don’t slit my throat,
and pour several gallons of Tab into my system,
they can take it.
‘Cause this ain’t about materialism,
or collectorism,
or commodity fetishism,
or whatevs.
Lately,
I’ve noticed if I just go through a pantomime of reduction process
of cutting out the relevant best-of pages and panels from the debased rags
it gives me about the same level of satisfaction as crafting a physical artifact.
I call that P-GUF:
Pantomime Grabs Ultra Form.
All those lame old rags
they’re just mystical fetish items
focus for the will of the Chosen Revelator!

P-GUF-4-LYFE, cousin!
-June-July 2015

Copyright 2015 by William D. Tucker. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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