The Necrosis of Thunder

An Experience of the Aforementioned Thunder from the Other End of the City

Those who make thunder are loathsome. And unseen. I am on the couch reading Sax Rohmer’s The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu when the weapon explodes above my head. I am already in a toxic mental atmosphere of venomous insects, opium, filth, devices of torture, assassination; a world (its ours, isn’t it?) of hidden, malevolent dangers let loose in the crevices of the domestic. Trouble sleeping brings a haggard edginess to the end of the week. July 14th is the storming of the Bastille. Is it really thunder then? Or is this a cover for the diabolical arch-villain? A poisonous scorpion-cannon? A green toxic mist in lieu of fireworks? Out to get us all…

I wonder about Rohmer’s phantasmal racism—pulp, paranoid racism, hobbyhorse of horror—but more significantly, about its relation to the poetics of the loathsome and its underworld. Depict a domestic atmosphere, delineate a picturesque moment in your mind, the most peaceful hour of the night… That is no gentle swaying tree in the rain, it is a stinking, burping device designed with intent to poison the clouds… It has not stopped raining here, in a long time… Perhaps it is not a question of the apartment upstairs re-arranging furniture, but who has been re-arranging my apartment while we are out? Or asleep…

It has not stopped raining here in a long time. We have had only four days without rain since the summer began.

What kind of weapon is thunder? It is a booby trap, clearly. Who set it? A member of a futurist party, puppeteer of an unseen and all-encroaching organization. Perhaps led by Fu-Manchu, that non-Chinese villain. Distinctly un-Chinese. Who may in fact be Jacques Vaché in disguise. This argument begins to make sense. Vaché: master of disguise, hater of western civilization, opium addict, who secretly yearned, did he not, to join a “Purposeless Chinese Secret Society in Australia”? Governor of thunder! Thunder and trenches, trench-coats, music-hall deliria…

To reiterate. Thunder: 1) unseen 2) unfriendly 3) loathsome like a bad neighbour 4) tending towards conspiracy 5) tending towards heresy 6) in the garb of costume, or furniture.

We insist with Blake that There Is No Natural Religion. Only the heresy of thunder tickles my nostrils. Insinuating itself under drugdirty nails, the culture of the West meets its archenemy in the opiate clouds. We must overdose on thunder, loathsome, addictive, poisonous thunder. Is it all in my head? You are dreaming, yes. But at will, I can render the subjective objective.

It will burst. It is us. This city has no chance. No chance for governance, for people named Smith… Thunder is a conspiracy of the loathsome that will be.


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