The theme of this story: surreal transformation. The main
characters: romantic thief and indecisive archivist. The start of
the story: quest. The end of the story: delusion.
The setting: Big South Sea, also known as flat screen, just after
At the desk, the romantic thief. Who is still dreaming this one
dream of the web. Ten thousand monkeys, typing. Connecting words by
the touch of his fingertip. Creating a haiku in a floating window
while inducing a tribal fusion in the background.
Click. An instant later, the screen delivers a threesome of
aching flaccid overcoats
words lick, yellow wet
A second click. A copy, a blank page, a paste. The adding of a
signature line. First name, family name. There it is. His poem for
Enter the indecisive archivist. Or rather: enter the stolen words
in the system by the indecisive archivist. File 07122006e, he names
it. Saves it, just to make sure. Then he opens the file again. To
analyze the structure. Three lines. Nine words.
The first transition is from English to German. From E to G. It’s
just one step, really. Made not by a monkey, but by a fish. There
they form. The words, wrapped in another bubble of tongue.
schmerzende schlaffe Mantelwörter lecken,
färben nasses gelb
Still nine. Still nine. The balance, though, gone. The archivist
shakes his head slightly, then tries another transition. Check.
les mots flasques faisants mal
à vide oubliés de pardessus lèchent,
Thirteen now. Les Francaises. Reflexive. Accented. Yet tres
chique, les mots flasques. He clicks a button. Then another, to
print the page. Reads the words aloud, then again in silence. Still
undecided, he arranges them in three balls of paper on a plate. Then
he strikes a match, to set the humide words on fire.
After the plate has cooled down, the indecisive archivist studies
the ashes. They hold no image. In a swift, unplanned move he licks
them from the plate, to see if the syllables left a trace of taste
in them. Of course, they didn’t. Only romantics believe such monkey
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