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The Celibate Misogynist

Paul Easterling lay in bed unclothed, exalted by the feeling of his cold flesh on the electric night air. It was a starry Saturday midnight and he was looking for a ship to hitch his thoughts to, something to carry him gently into sleep, the land of pipe dreams and pillow drool.

But all was not right that night, something nagged him, haunted him. He tossed and turned, listless and wired. Maybe it was the pair of double rusty nails he’d swallowed with dinner, black cod with acorn squash and peppercorn maple drizzle. His thoughts swaggered, stumbled and swooped all at once, tracing the nights events. A bourgeois meal, dull, obligatory conversation, and inevitable rejection. Her yearning face flickered in the corner of his eye, but when he turned she was not there.

He tried TV, schlepped through channels of shameless trash, halted on few tense hands of Texas Hold’em before being pulled into a vortex of nutritional blender drinks. Yawn. He clicked it off.

He tried reading. A book of poems. The words funneled off the page, into his lap and tampered something deep inside of him. He absorbed a few stanzas then suddenly more than just his thoughts were stimulated. He reached under his mattress and pulled out a crisp magazine, Wet Slot, and thumbed through a few pages. Paul could span the gamut of arousal from Anais Nin-erotica to pseudo-erotic smut and still have a hard time. But what endured after the inevitable exhalation?

He felt too much, he convinced himself. That was why tonight he left her where he had found her a week ago, at the restaurant bar. When they’d first spotted each other, across a crowded room (of course) he was compelled to have her. But her vector would run parallel to his for only a moment, just enough to motivate him to pursue her. Or was he pursuing an idea, a notion of what he thought was normal? Guy meets girl, wines girl, dines girl, gets behind girl, right? But as he sat across the table from her tonight clinging to the initial glimmer of attraction that faded with every inane comment that fell flat, he knew he could not suffer her any longer. It was painfully obvious that she held out for hope, her hand curled up on the white linen inviting his, but he pretended not to notice. After the server rushed them the cheque, they traded excuses and parted. She found a girlfriend at the bar, probably drank too much and stumbled home with some bullwhipped consolation prize. Paul drove the speed limit back to his apartment.

He hated porn for what it did to him, just as he hated all the woman hed rejected. Wet Slot hallowed him. The vacuous sneer of the oiled, writhing model expressed victimization whether by economics, abuse, or coercion and it inspired an orgasm tainted with the same flavour. She was not modeling sex, but an emotion. And it wasnt pleasure, despite what her poses, however nuanced, conveyed; it was nihilism. On her face was imprinted her emotional reality, and splayed on the page, for your pleasure, was her raw and naked story. He resented his sexual impulse because it made him a victimizer, and he hated himself for being so weak, and he hated his date for reminding him of how dysfunctional his sexuality was. And then he came. And slept. And dreamed not.

This is not the future, this is Futurism

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By F.T. Marinetti

We had stayed up all night, my friends and I, under hanging mosque lamps with domes of filigreed brass, domes starred like our spirits, shining like them with the prisoned radiance of electric hearts. For hours we had trampled our atavistic ennui into rich oriental rugs, arguing up to the last confines of logic and blackening many reams of paper with our frenzied scribbling.
An immense pride was buoying us up, because we felt ourselves alone at that hour, alone, awake, and on our feet, like proud beacons or forward sentries against an army of hostile stars glaring down at us from their celestial encampments. Alone with stokers feeding the hellish fires of great ships, alone with the black spectres who grope in the red-hot bellies of locomotives launched on their crazy courses, alone with drunkards reeling like wounded birds along the city walls.
Suddenly we jumped, hearing the mighty noise of the huge double-decker trams that rumbled by outside, ablaze with colored lights, like villages on holiday suddenly struck and uprooted by the flooding Po and dragged over falls and through gourges to the sea. Then the silence deepened. But, as we listened to the old canal muttering its feeble prayers and the creaking bones of sickly palaces above their damp green beards, under the windows we suddenly heard the famished roar of automobiles.
“Let’s go!” I said. “Friends, away! Let’s go! Mythology and the Mystic Ideal are defeated at last. We’re about to see the Centaur’s birth and, soon after, the first flight of Angels!… We must shake at the gates of life, test the bolts and hinges. Let’s go! Look there, on the earth, the very first dawn! There’s nothing to match the splendor of the sun’s red sword, slashing for the first time through our millennial gloom!”
We went up to the three snorting beasts, to lay amorous hands on their torrid breasts. I stretched out on my car like a corpse on its bier, but revived at once under the steering wheel, a guillotine blade that threatened my stomach.The raging broom of madness swept us out of ourselves and drove us through streets as rough and deep as the beds of torrents. Here and there, sick lamplight through window glass taught us to distrust the deceitful mathematics of our perishing eyes.I cried, “The scent, the scent alone is enough for our beasts.”
And like young lions we ran after Death, its dark pelt blotched with pale crosses as it escaped down the vast violet living and throbbing sky.But we had no ideal Mistress raising her divine form to the clouds, nor any cruel Queen to whom to offer our bodies, twisted like Byzantine rings! There was nothing to make us wish for death, unless the wish to be free at last from the weight of our courage!And on we raced, hurling watchdogs against doorsteps, curling them under our burning tires like collars under a flatiron. Death, domesticated, met me at every turn, gracefully holding out a paw, or once in a while hunkering down, making velvety caressing eyes at me from every puddle.“Let’s break out of the horrible shell of wisdom and throw ourselves like pride-ripened fruit into the wide, contorted mouth of the wind! Let’s give ourselves utterly to the Unknown, not in desperation but only to replenish the deep wells of the Absurd!”The words were scarcely out of my mouth when I spun my car around with the frenzy of a dog trying to bite its tail, and there, suddenly, were two cyclists coming towards me, shaking their fists, wobbling like two equally convincing but nevertheless contradictory arguments. Their stupid dilemma was blocking my way—Damn! Ouch!… I stopped short and to my disgust rolled over into a ditch with my wheels in the air…O maternal ditch, almost full of muddy water! Fair factory drain! I gulped down your nourishing sludge; and I remembered the blessed black beast of my Sudanese nurse… When I came up—torn, filthy, and stinking—from under the capsized car, I felt the white-hot iron of joy deliciously pass through my heart!A crowd of fishermen with handlines and gouty naturalists were already swarming around the prodigy. With patient, loving care those people rigged a tall derrick and iron grapnels to fish out my car, like a big beached shark. Up it came from the ditch, slowly, leaving in the bottom, like scales, its heavy framework of good sense and its soft upholstery of comfort.They thought it was dead, my beautiful shark, but a caress from me was enough to revive it; and there it was, alive again, running on its powerful fins!And so, faces smeared with good factory muck—plastered with metallic waste, with senseless sweat, with celestial soot—we, bruised, our arms in slings, but unafraid, declared our high intentions to all the living of the earth…

Welcome back Cheapswill!

What is Cheapswill? It’s a maligned plot to take over minds, to plant seeds of dissent and inspire havok. Well, at least that’s what the mission was when we created ‘Swill almost 15 years ago. We were wired and inspired, still buzzing post-pubescence, when the revelation occurred that we could be cultural tycoons; that not only would we be legends in our own minds, others would revere our wacky-fun sense of humour too! So we put all our spastic and warped vision into a 12-page zine and named it Cheapswill. Ten issues would follow over the next ten years, then suddenly without warning ‘Swill went missing. Not really, actually it just got fat and lazy and couldn’t be bothered anymore.

Now, the insatiable Cheapswill is back — resurrected.