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.:  The Divinity Chapters  :.
Cunto 01
Cunto 02
Cunto 03
Interview 01
Cunto 04
Cunto 05
Cunto 06
Interview 02
Cunto 07
Cunto 08
Cunto 09
Interview 03
Cunto 10
Cunto 11
Cunto 12
Interview 04
Cunto 13
A short 'mindstream' novel about a man's descent to hell and subsequent resurrection. His critical review of the novel, as captured by reporter Marvin Gander, and the 'mindstream'© process is interspersed throughout the chapters and may be included in the final work, in accordance with the author's wishes.

Any unauthorized publishing of this will precipitate excessive violence on the part of the author. Please ask. It's all ©2004.

DIVINITY

CUNTO X

Echoes through the city of Dis, memories of the courtyard where David stood, outside the palace of slaves. Child david and his creator. Reminds me of you and your maker and how much he loved you, how any master loves his child, his grandchildren.

And now, past the palisades of the iron city, the old bridge with its shopkeepers and sellers of flesh. Onto the rows of churches. Down here. Graveyards and cemeteries. Old ones, the tombs, not like our neat rows of stones at home with their well tended blades. Here we have it, old hewn rock laid high for the living to wander amidst and show reverence or youth, one or the other, according to time of day.

Rows of sepulchres. And we walk amongst them.

All these people once had bodies upon the earth.

And some still do, a voice says.

We turn, Kob ready with his disemboweler, but it is only the old gravekeeper. The groundskeeper, the only one so far who sees us. The demons and devils and damned and medusae, they are not seeing us now. We do not know why, perhaps they choose to ignore us, but they are not seeing us. They have stopped. Only this old man, with the wooden rake, a faint trail of footsteps in well tended sand behind him.

Kob speaks. His hair is white and I listen.

Who are you, old man?

I am Farinata. Gravekeeper. Groundskeeper.

You do not do much business here.

I grow the flowers. I tend the ground.

There are no flowers. The ground is rock.

It does not matter.

Why not?

The dead are not buried here, yet we have graves. All must be tended to. Without me, who would remember?

Who can remember down here? There is no one to remember, and no one who could remember. Not past the torment of all this depth, this many leagues down.

I can. I have scorn for this place, thus I remember. Without that, there would be nothing. Without my venom.

Your venom tends this place? Your venom keeps it extant?

Sometimes one must hate to remember. Love perishes here, all things perish here, except hate, so my hate flourishes. One day, I may hate enough to grow flowers.

Kob looks at him with great respect. He approaches close the man and holds him, the old grey man in his strong embrace.

One thing may last a long time, and in this place, maybe forever, says Kob. Remember this, then. We must walk on, but remember that we saw you and understand you. You may carry that for eternity and close to your heart. Ponder it, like a virgin.

You add spice to my venom, says the old man. He is smiling. His rake is loose in his hand.

Tend the trees, says Kob.

And we walk on. Another block and Kob turns to me, saying short. He was a great master.

I do not understand.

So great he can not leave.

Of course he can't leave.

He could, but he does not. He is entwined with his place, with his duty. Without his prescence, it would seem that all of hell would disappear.

But he would wish it.

Yes, but he cannot leave. And he knows all of this. We did more for his comfort today than you can know.

But I do not know. There are times when I do not understand Kob. I try. But I must admit that at times, his mastery is far greater than mine. I try to think as he does, to understand what he has said, to focus on the onethings that matter.

I think. There was a time when Mingus knew a few simple things. Fewer simple things than I now know, walking down the streets of Dis, which meant I knew more. There was a point, I am now relating, to Kob, all attentive, when I only knew one thing, when I could stare at the wall and I knew only the answer to a koan. I did not even know the koan, I was beyond the koan, i was all that was, and it was an answer and it was a strange fact, indeed.

It was a fact that meant nothing, and therefore everything more than nothing. It grounded me, moreso than the footsteps now barking off flagstones, taptap of metal on the stone. I stare at it now, a pane of glass, tangible and cannot remember how I reached the point where I could look through it and it alone, my useless answer to an unasked koan. Meaningless facts. Facts everything. More than everything. More plain than signs on the wall saying, Proserpine's Tavern: by rule of steel. More plain than all the tags Kob leaves written in blood. Plain.

The fact made me want to leave my job and my work and my writing and my poems and my wife and simply start walking, to start walking and not stop until i was dead or i could go home and be with old friends and do nothing but talk. But I knew that would not happen, by the time I was ready to go home, my parents would be dead, all my friends married and with children, old enough that I would want to have languid affairs with their daughters and tell their sons terrible stories about their fathers. I would return to nothing and be forced to walk the road again to find solace, as I walk it now, with an old friend, an old soul, newly met, and walk together as though we'd known each other for aeons, and would know each other for aeons more, though we know that when we part it will be forever and due to the fact that this conversation is just an hallucination of a solipsist nature, it will never have been or never be.

There will be no after, either, wherein we can meet again. This after is simply a velleity, the velleity of the veil, not far beyond, not so far to pierce.

The fact was this.

The plain and simple fact is that there is ice in my icebox, and it will not be removed until I remove it or the men who find my body remove it. If I am wrong, and something else happens, if it melted, I would not know it. But I know it now.

There are not many things that I know right now, but this is one of them.

I used to know a hell of a lot more, but it seems to have left me, down here.

Stop in the street.

Ask Kob What is the fucking point? I have it now, as when I was young, the frenzy of being a young madman writer with little time left to him. How long do I have? And I would think of the work ethic and how much I loved my new woman and the complete freedom of man and how there would never be any god damn difference.

And what did it matter? The fact that ice was in your icebox should have told you that it didn't matter. Nor did anything.

So why did I not just wander? Why did I not tell everyone that nothing will ever change, that there will always be religion until we can prolong life indefinitely? Why did I not do all these things? Why Kob?

But you did. You do it now.

And there is an odd sound in hell. Tintinnabulation of small platinum bells, the ringing of ballbearings striking shell casings. Is it?

Thus spake Mingus.

I wander and I speak.

Thus spake Kob.

Now you can hear the peal of bells, can you not?

And it is there, a distant sonorous hymn. There is no question as to why the churchbells ring in hell. They ring only for us. Only for the walkers. Only for the speakers. This I know. This I hear. And now I think as Kob, without thinking.




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