Harlem Undermind (The Black Envelope, revised)
by sadiq bey
H U: Black Envelope
‘I live with the constant threat of possession, and a constant need to escape from possession, from Control.’ William Burroughs
For the inhabitants of the black envelope, the accursed elasticity of a frail reality, inundated with the helpless rush to inhale, the atmosphere of darkness…there is no time. And, when the agents of terror find them in their lair or on the stoop of some deserted building, there, without warning, the sun remarkably appears, and there is, in fact, a light to be aware of. A body must be considered, and a world that stretches beyond 125th street. Just like that. The frozen world evaporates for the denizens of the black envelope. What is the black envelope? They say when the Zionites first saw it, they called it Babylon. It dates that far back. It is a meta-virus, chemically reanimated: drug, virus, religion, …plague, folding in on itself without end. It is the oldest incantation, read, most intense communication, spoken at the gate of God (Babel). A quasi-nightmare played off as addiction, yet it is the darkness that is the real substance of this toxicity. The compulsion of emptiness, not the process by which the “ancestor” of the voodoo tradition rides its “horse”, that requires the survival of the organism. Instead, the body becomes metabolic vehicle for the entities of the outer orbit, from whence the swarm of the black envelope descends. The “need” to be used, pimped by an undefined force, cannot be pondered by the members of this demonic cult, who aren’t even aware that the evil consuming them is evil at all! It just is. They are the atrociously abused, the incurably hostile, the abandoned. To get opened is to shed the notion of time: it is the murder of pleasure. In this field of stratagems, these individuals fly in the face of death. It is their safety net. Those few precious moments between firing and reloading the cannons, rushing directly to the black space at the mouth of the barrel, or life consuming death, is the quagmire of 148th street between Broadway and Amsterdam. It is the mess that speed makes, the residue of velocity.
Already at the limit of this techno-mystical delirium, it seems “overwhelmingly probable” that present human reality is already installed in the memory or simulated past of a future artificial intelligence. *
You are transported to the techno-surgical interface, something like an operating room, where robot surgeons wait to convert your subjective identity into a computer-compatible format. Your skull is anaesthetized, but your brain remains awake. It is scanned and destroyed by nanotechnical instruments, one layer or stratum at a time. You feel nothing, as you migrate into software that precisely models the “behavior of the scanned tissue” and its digital simulation replaces brain activity. ccru
The paradigm of progress falls away like a snake shedding its skin and Europa is finally victimized by its own design for subservient humanity. The meta-virus has slain human necessity, the need for ideas, laid to waste the project of philosophy. The colonization of the soma and all of its tenets, has been reduced to one vast, gaping wound at a million instructions per second.
There’s a weird, dark, magic cloud
Hangin’ over Harlem.
It’s payday everyday in the black market.
Franklins everywhere, from a lot of hands
To a few hands with a lot.
But, the blast don’t last,
Leaves you in the past.
Kicks you to the curb.
Makes you disappear.
Rids you of your nerve.
Fills you full of fear.
The compromise reveals its real attitude: sides being taken, fist fights to murder in the hallways. There is no honor among demons, the lean, the swift, the vain of muscle. The dark Princes of the jungle, the unwritten law. Here, no one is startled by the large supply of suckers and morons, a world, plagued. Our fundamental decay and rot, forever at the helm of trickery? Stretching every millisecond in the direction of another blast. Repast my ass. This (death) wish is the totem’s relic. So ancient, these legislative taboos. And, this is unholy ground- Unholy, black hunting ground. Eshu in the storefront window. Curses and courtesies vending the death culture, a cash economy, a wicked economy at the alter of bones. Curses and fantasies reinventing demigods and pedagogies in the automatic culture where death fuels un-life, in every living moment: the instant language, ripe for expropriation: Services rendered to the intoxicating media, keeping misery at a slight distance. The struggle in the economy of the libido: souls for sell. Besides this, we are normal. Keeping tomorrow at a slight distance. The light of day, the quest for food. The black market shakes her hips, the sun of the slightly distant day rises in the jungle where so few elect to grow. A pleasure principle black with suffering and absence. The collective dream of distant days. After all, the blast don’t last, the ceiling caves in, the known self gets raided. This, my child, is the murder of pleasure and the dumping ground of its dead: the production of altered flesh and its tribes of zombies. There’s a magically ancient, chemically strange cloud over Harlem and under its moon are the werewolves of plurality: The byproduct, no, residue of advanced technocracy. It is the boycott of the senses, the avatar’s geist, while unspoken cargo is shipped to the unknown.
There’s a spaceship over Harlem
Big, black spaceship over Harlem
It’s beamin’ ‘em up and breakin’ ‘em down
Bone crusher, bone crusher
Soul taker, soul taker
Demon maker, demon maker
There’s demons up in Harlem
All kinds of demons up in Harlem
They’re eatin up flesh and drinkin’ down blood
Blood sucker, blood suckers
Old molester, cold molester
Your fuckin’ everything that smells like shit
Sometimes the days just get too long
Sometimes you lose count of all your crimes
Reachin’ for heaven like you’ve been told
You made your heaven but now you’re sold
There’s a spaceship over Harlem
Big, black spaceship over Harlem
Bantu says there’s something wrong with the air in Harlem and that we are slowly being poisoned with something akin to radioactive weather. He says it slips into every household and hovel, undetectable. Just like the weather. When he expounds, his eyes are quickened and fix themselves on a spot in the sky, a crack in the ceiling, as though he could see this death descending from above. Bantu uses numbers with his zodiacs, quotes the Book in both languages, the Sufi of his precinct. The village soothsayer, always with a bit of wisdom, a few shocking prophecies…and even Bantu, with white whiskers and sullen eyes, answers the door of the crack house. At shift change, he frolics with the young tigers, the sons he never had. Exchanging punches and laughing like howling monkeys. He’s reached his sixties and he’s standing in the den, the unholy ground, and there is where he stopped reaching. Most practitioners carry that certain worried face. It’s called thirst. Today Bantu looks very worried. It’s not going to be a good day. In fact, the clouds are getting heavier. “They know I need the gas!” he says. “I got the message as soon as I got out of bed. Bam! It hit me and I felt it. I need to go up, I need a mega blast!”
According to Lemurian demonism, each demon is itself a swarm, or a singular coalescense, but also a component of a larger array, which can be sorted by type. The three principle demonic groupings are Chronodemons (varieties of distance within the time circuit), Amphidemons (ruptures in the time circuit, openings to the Outside) and Xenodemons (denizens of the Outer gulfs).
Demons are also grouped by phase. Each phase is opened by a door, to which is attributed a domain, a planetary affinity and a spinal level.
Demons can be characterized by the various rites (routes or routines) that they draw through the hyper-time of the maze. There is a rite for each way in which the net-span of a demon can be integrated in extension. Such rites are the basic components of demon traffic, constituting modules of practical culture, each of which is associated with an omen and a power.
In Western (hyperfictional) lore, the matrix of all demons is called the Necronomican, the Book of Dead Names, listing all that is excepted from the White Magic Book of Life. The Necronomicon is a document (specific equations) copied episodically from versions of an original text, which was itself retro-deposited out of the future into the deep past.*ccru
Let no one say this is not about suffering. Traversing a burning Earth. Bouncing back and forth until someone wakes you up asking what day it is. According to lore, there is no freedom from the external world, a cruel and articulate hand, a voodoo with living effigy, a certain quota of energy brokering dark increments in black market commodities: bodies. Food chain comes to mind. Sadness endorses these intangible documents, these greedy discourses. Economics of the libido: the product, the sex, the clouds in the ceiling, the horrible loneliness of having no money: translating the design K and K call their life. Half the day working the lookout window, the other half prowling as predators. Most likely a dollar, a bite to eat, inevitably a hit, invariably appearances and disappearances. They no longer resemble people, but caricatures, no, personages. Demons in clothes knocking at the door. This is not that bullshit. This is not faking lines for some book. This is the mix. Everywhere there is the scent of danger, the smell of the grim reaper. Enter the small room that fronts as a safe haven when the blast finds ignition. Sometimes hardly lighted, everything covered with the wax of candles. Other times so bright and hot, one must shed articles of clothing. To the left, in a chair with one broken leg, is Jerry. Jerry stares at the floor, head cocked at an angle. He lifts his left leg from the floor, gripping his ankle. He is stuck in a timeless drool. He hasn’t moved in two whole minutes. Something moves in the right corner of the room. A tall, slender, brown-skinned man is standing with both hands covering his face. He’s made a mask of his fingers. He’s peeping through the spaces between them. Who’s in there? Realize that it is not the young man standing in the corner, but a kind of scratching sound in the distance, in the next room away…on the other side of the wall. That room with the door shut tight, that room from which the scratching sound emits, is a very dark room in the unsacred ground. That space behind the door there, where the unspeakable occurs, is filled from floor to ceiling with every imaginable human waste: single shoes, shredded shirt, broken umbrellas, box tops, bottles of piss, used tampons, pencils, turds in cans, bent bicycle rims, car tires, batteries, discarded underwear, action figures without heads or arms, vomit, cardboard, plastic bags, a shopping cart with one wheel, garbage bags filled with old clothes, a torn pillow, a hairbrush, a broken clock, newspapers, a few useless books…somewhere from this room comes the scratching sound that everyone tries to ignore, pretends to not notice. Move the contents and move the room. It’s been mangled into a million shapes for a million filthy purposes. To spill semen, to behave as demons…to practice the addiction to darkness. On this side of the wall of the other room, Jerry is untying and retying his shoes over and over. The “masked” man in the corner is trying to talk but can’t. no one understands him. He points towards the other room. “What are you trying to say fool?” someone asks. He just points at the room and nods his head. He begins to tremble at the scratching sound. He’s looking at the outside world from in there, behind the mask of fingers. He’s trying to say something but no one can decipher because nobody gives a fuck. This is the beyond tragedy, the poetics of darkness. The behavior of shadowless creatures, the operating scenario of damaged goods, requires a certain psychological ratio, a curve towards the macabre, at hellishness. Pure war. The visible and the invisible. The insolvable. Here resides the lab rats of the social experiment, morphed and fragmented, lust against absence, bodies without shadows, meat puppets under the blacker rule: nightmare into mourning and every devil has its creed, its assessments from death, its didactic from heaven.
Deleuze indirectly speaks about the dangers of desire for total openness. Erich Fromm’s concern is to argue the severe dangers of undomesticated or total openness, as openness traverses death, life, outside and intensity simultaneously while bumping them into each other, opening the virulently toxic expanses before the survival and bio-ethical horizons, spreading a satanic intensity of life (which Fromm calls necrophilia, a pervert side of life itself or more precisely, its desiring space: philia) everywhere; as openness is the brutal and creative base communication of life, a confluence of non-unitary lines of philia which is interdimensional…but what lurks in the abysmal thirst for openness that makes it so dreaded? What is the shape of the Thing unleashed by total openness? Where is it? And such landscapes of epidemic, death, openness and desire dance under my skin. Necrophilia is the expanse of base participation and anonymous entities of power, interphyletic collisions and border collapse through which death is zero-becoming or the absolute silence of intensity becomes problematic. This opposition of necrophilia to death is what the Zoroastrians of ancient Persia experienced and discovered, and then, they ciphered Vendidad, the Book of Law Against Demons or Anti-Drug laws, and with it: that necrophilia and its systems of decay and germinal contamination cannot be coordinated with the other necro-oriented horizons of death. Necrophilia is life feasting on death or a life-infested death, an unthinkable intensity of life. A dimensionality wreckage of events and entities that is unendurable. A satanic plateau which the Zoroastrians called Drug-, it is the Mother of Abominations, of all contaminations. *Reza Negarestani
Sam a el is holdin’ court at Jimmy’s
Cookin’ up keys in the kitchen
Yea, sam a el spells ho’s an’ playas
Beat-up crews and killas,
Slinggas and boostas, money, money
Naked bitches everywhere
Don’t just stand there, pull up a bitch!
Sam a el got keys to the white house
Ain’t no pressure when you are the pressure.
Sam a el got keys to the Merc stretch downstairs
Ain’t no pressure when you are the pressure.
Blowin’ up keys in the kitchen, hey baby!
Ain’t no pressure when you are the pressure.
Peelin’ off dough real slow, ya know.
Sam a el he’s the banker
Got all the ho’s that’ll thank yer
Real large, delivered in a tanker.
Yo! Don’t get it fucked up! Don’t get it fucked up!
Sam Sam, Sam was born in hell
Sam Sam, Sam I am, Sam a el.
Sam Sam, Sam was made in hell
Sam Sam, play the game so well
Sam Sam, Sam came straight from hell
Yo yo, don don don’t get it fucked up!
Sam a el sucks the life out a crumb.
You won’t grow is his whole m.o.
Sam a el takes the blood and the bone,
You can’t make it living on darkness.
It’s a suicide game and everybody knows it
Shows it blows it and slows it. How goes it?
Can’t go on? Run with Sam, he flows it.
Mango crushed out another cigarette as he turned the music down…someone was knocking at the door. He didn’t want to answer it. He owed a lot of money. He had been short on the count too many times. He had been summoned by his boss, Jack, but found excuses not to show up. He knew he was in for a beat down. Everybody got one sooner or later. Everybody was strung out. They all cheated a little or a lot, as in Mango’s case, depending on if they could get away with it. And nobody got away with it. He owed money on the street and Jack couldn’t protect him from niggas he owed money to. Especially when he owed Jack all of his pay for the next two weeks. Maybe if he’d shown up for himself, he wouldn’t have it so bad right now. He comforted himself by thinking he wasn’t alone in the quicksand. The whole world was fucked up. If he didn’t show up for tenant’s court in the morning to show cause, he would definitely be living on the street, bouncing around from den to den. He had no place to move his stuff and like so many one parent people, he had shit all over his mother to be in the life. He was a skinny kid who became an even skinnier adult. He was a crack addict and an alcoholic on welfare. He sold his food stamps for crack and beer, a total mess. This poverty of the will includes hallucinations, delusions and panic. He had absolute fear of the authorities. For him, the only hole to climb in was death: everywhere the stunted mirror of impoverished dependence. Waiting for nothing to happen. Mango was a slave and what was worse, the black slave of a black master. And this, at the dawn of the new millennium, this is what it’s come to. Not every slave wants to escape. Someone was knocking at Mango’s door and he wanted to escape, to break loose from the bondage of the sick text he’d woven. Hope is a queasy feeling in Mango’s stomach, a deformed child of a sick marriage: Jack and the drug game. Look up zombie in the dictionary. Someone’s knocking and Mango’s hungry and worn out. He doesn’t want to walk to the door and look through the peep hole because whomever it is will hear his footsteps. But it could be somebody with money looking to cop drugs, or it could be Brenda bringing a trick to suck the blood from. Maybe they’ll call out his name from the other side of the door. He waits, holding his breath…but this is stupid. He has a gun and a knife and a baseball bat. He’s worn down from confrontation. He doesn’t want to fight. This insanity fleshes out to hordes of devils. The darkness settles like soot from the raging furnace of hell. He waits inside himself. He doesn’t want to answer the door of his soul. He lets no one in. He can’t figure out whose wanting to see him, to be there when he opens the door. This silence is fraught with parts: pinching energies, semi-black shadows, ferocious dialectics, mis-coded evidence, funeral arrangements. This is about the rot of the breathing corpse, not hope for Mango’s salvation. Only God could cleanse him. He is waiting to know who it is without asking. He will not open the door to his soul. But maybe Mango isn’t Mango at all. Perhaps Mr. Mango is Ron Allen, wanted for suspicion of murder. Could it be that someone has mentioned Mango’s name in connection to the murder of his ex-ho Ruby. He remains defeated. One cannot leave out the word grimy in describing Mango’s present state of suicide. Light bends at the threshold of Mango’s door. He waits for the light to say his name from the other side of the door. Not breathing, he waits inside himself, hidden away like his own fetus. Mango’s fetus knows fear and it’s knocking like it wants to get in… “This is a set up!” Mango whispers to himself. He takes off his boots and slides across the linoleum floor to the left side of the door. He waits. He listens for slight motions, he feels the rush of air between the hinges. He listens for the squeak of shoe leather against the wooden floor of the hallway outside. He is a frozen, twisted, black angle of fear against the wall.
Meanwhile, Reggie is interested in autopsy. He sits in a _____ Medical School lecture hall:
Somewhere between two and four days later, depending on prevailing weather conditions, secondary flaccidity shatters the fabled still peace of death. As the body putrefies, turning first green then purple then black, intestinal bacteria merge more closely with their host in the massive production of rancid gases which expand along the veins and arteries, bloating and rupturing tissues and organs. Yards of tightly wound intestines distend along routes of least resistance, often escaping through the vagina or rectum. While the human body displays immense enthusiasm in its own decay, for as long as a year or so, organs continue to decompose and liquefy at varying rates. *
reza reader: http://blog.urbanomic.com/cyclon/