Kip's Auto Dome

I stand in white tennis shoes, as fresh sacrifice, outside double glass doors. Through a center crack, quality controlled air blasts from my reflected street portrait. I strain, like so many before me, for clarity beyond the tinted glass.
 
I cast hard toward colorful shapes in their crackerjack midnight blue, green, and silver shimmer. I see vibrant, static lines—these petrol-powered puffs of metal lounge in motionless motion. My eyes nibble at their form, but... I will not enter this place.
 
Steel and gloss wait like royal cherries. I understand they are here for the gaze of anyone.
 
I suck air to my brain and curl sweaty fingers to summon this crude cathedral door; the handle pulls at heart level. I place my meek sneakers gently inside, so as not to stir distant overlords.
 
Like a newborn yak, on wobbling leg, I stand stupid—for I’ve landed squarely on a stargate. The floor owns such shine, I see down to the core of the earth, down to where goblins live... they balance this platter of chariots on their shoulders.
 
In tandem, I see the heavens, braced by earth’s beloved sky, filled with blue oxygen.  Parallel realities polarized in divine axiom, captured below my feet, in this silent lake.
 
Instantly drunk, I gently stagger in this Palace of Pending Price. Quick—an idea starts to expand—it grows toes and eyelashes. Suddenly, I am a different organism, still hovering between dimensions like a wayward stick figure.
 
I unravel in holy transition. The cells of my body cook a new beast, my five-sense reality shatters. The entire movie of my life flashes with simple lines and vague dashes—now almost erased by a bright new future.
 
I smell dark rubber, chewy and black, rich and simple—like a babe born in mother’s mucus.
 
I will not kick its rind like so many boots do—this sideways licorice halo will hurtle this bulk of glamour down a dotted lane, and it’s mass weighs only a single stone when liberated to its right glory. I kneel my weak, pant-suited knees on the buffed salver beneath me....
 
Suddenly, like Heathcliff darting through the moors, I see lambchop sideburns. I’ve been spotted. Before having learned my Christian name he lunges to embrace my essence in his tartan plaid aura! His white loafers swing alabaster tassels as he lapses to an easy trot, toward me—the one in sweet chrysalis.
 
I am the gelatinous one, of half baked opinion. I know he loves me exactly as I am now. I, the singing harp, with weak gurgle of song, now face to face with this calculating lord who lay coiled in his cubicle just moments before!
 
I look longingly at a small machine in the corner spitting throw-away goblets of hazelnut coffee.
 
With only two parts of a greased second to compute a result for the whole of humanity, I remain in squat by my metal cousin, barely upright, no umbilical to any sense of that which is real.
 
With his muse perched on his shoulder, the overlord babbles a liturgy—
 
“ENOUGH!” I burst out. Into his drugstore readers I say: “Yes, okay. Unless you give me reason to disembark this magic, run amok, steedless with torn purse, my ether split from nerves... unless you give me reason... Yes! I will… for this year of 2000 and 16... I promise I shall, as I squeeze square meaning from this wicked and beautiful day... with deep promise to fellow travelers reliant on liquefied pterodactyl... who nurse addiction of hand-stitched real simulated factory vinyl leather,  tangled heartlessly in the reverie of rust protection and dual airbags... as homage to my bicycle... Yes, I will! In fact, I will... I will... I will...
 
LEASE! And not BUY!”
 
 
© Bonnie Lykes 2016

Kip's Auto Dome

I stand in white tennis shoes, as fresh sacrifice, outside double glass doors. Through a center crack, quality controlled air blasts from my reflected street portrait. I strain, like so many before me, for clarity beyond the tinted glass.
 
I cast hard toward colorful shapes in their crackerjack midnight blue, green, and silver shimmer. I see vibrant, static lines—these petrol-powered puffs of metal lounge in motionless motion. My eyes nibble at their form, but... I will not enter this place.
 
Steel and gloss wait like royal cherries. I understand they are here for the gaze of anyone.
 
I suck air to my brain and curl sweaty fingers to summon this crude cathedral door; the handle pulls at heart level. I place my meek sneakers gently inside, so as not to stir distant overlords.
 
Like a newborn yak, on wobbling leg, I stand stupid—for I’ve landed squarely on a stargate. The floor owns such shine, I see down to the core of the earth, down to where goblins live... they balance this platter of chariots on their shoulders.
 
In tandem, I see the heavens, braced by earth’s beloved sky, filled with blue oxygen.  Parallel realities polarized in divine axiom, captured below my feet, in this silent lake.
 
Instantly drunk, I gently stagger in this Palace of Pending Price. Quick—an idea starts to expand—it grows toes and eyelashes. Suddenly, I am a different organism, still hovering between dimensions like a wayward stick figure.
 
I unravel in holy transition. The cells of my body cook a new beast, my five-sense reality shatters. The entire movie of my life flashes with simple lines and vague dashes—now almost erased by a bright new future.
 
I smell dark rubber, chewy and black, rich and simple—like a babe born in mother’s mucus.
 
I will not kick its rind like so many boots do—this sideways licorice halo will hurtle this bulk of glamour down a dotted lane, and it’s mass weighs only a single stone when liberated to its right glory. I kneel my weak, pant-suited knees on the buffed salver beneath me....
 
Suddenly, like Heathcliff darting through the moors, I see lambchop sideburns. I’ve been spotted. Before having learned my Christian name he lunges to embrace my essence in his tartan plaid aura! His white loafers swing alabaster tassels as he lapses to an easy trot, toward me—the one in sweet chrysalis.
 
I am the gelatinous one, of half baked opinion. I know he loves me exactly as I am now. I, the singing harp, with weak gurgle of song, now face to face with this calculating lord who lay coiled in his cubicle just moments before!
 
I look longingly at a small machine in the corner spitting throw-away goblets of hazelnut coffee.
 
With only two parts of a greased second to compute a result for the whole of humanity, I remain in squat by my metal cousin, barely upright, no umbilical to any sense of that which is real.
 
With his muse perched on his shoulder, the overlord babbles a liturgy—
 
“ENOUGH!” I burst out. Into his drugstore readers I say: “Yes, okay. Unless you give me reason to disembark this magic, run amok, steedless with torn purse, my ether split from nerves... unless you give me reason... Yes! I will… for this year of 2000 and 16... I promise I shall, as I squeeze square meaning from this wicked and beautiful day... with deep promise to fellow travelers reliant on liquefied pterodactyl... who nurse addiction of hand-stitched real simulated factory vinyl leather,  tangled heartlessly in the reverie of rust protection and dual airbags... as homage to my bicycle... Yes, I will! In fact, I will... I will... I will...
 
LEASE! And not BUY!”
 
 
© Bonnie Lykes 2016

POST RECITAL

Talk Icon

TALK

BR: I’m both a passenger and an interviewer today. I’m talking with the story’s author, Bonnie Lykes, as she drives me around the streets of Synecdoche, New York, in her new Subaru.
 
So, Bonnie, thanks for agreeing to do this today.
 
BL: Oh, my pleasure! I love to drive!
 
BR: Oops, sorry… would you mind turning off the radio first, so we can get a better recording?
 
BL: No problem!
 
Radio music disappears.
 
BR: Okay, tell me… this is a new car - did you lease or buy? And why?
 
BL: Oh, I definitely leased, because A - lower monthly payments with a low down payment; and number Two, you can drive a much nicer car for less money. And C, lower repair costs, because, you know…
 
BR: But what about the fact that at the end of the lease, you don’t own the car? You’ve just rented it.
 
BL: Oh, well…. Yeah, I guess… Hmm, really?
 
BR: Okay, now we’re going to reveal the truth: that was not really Bonnie speaking… or was it? Bonnie, what is the relationship between the so-called “real you” and the characters you portray?
 
BL: Well this character is passionate about parallel dimensions and operating heavy machinery that she thinks is pretty.
 
BR: Okay, now, I know some of your poetry has been traditionally published as text. But, as a performance artist, are you always writing with the end goal of performing the work? And how is that different from other writing?
 
Turn signal.
 
BL: Oh, hold on a second… let me make this turn...
 
Okay. So… having my stuff on only a two-dimensional surface is sometimes a necessary evil - and I must confess performance is the best way for any of us to feel alive in this 3D container of ever-shifting molecules, without the use of any outside substances.
 
BR: Okay, let’s go a little deeper now. So Kip’s Auto Dome… the mundane becomes bizarrely mystical… a car dealership as a sacred temple of consumerism… salesman as dark priest with sexual overtones… customer as gullible worshipper and, in the end, victim. Am I getting this right? Can you say more?
 
BL: Mm gosh, I don’t think she’s a victim. She’s just in what I call a “self marketing world” that just sounds like torture for a second. You know, all of us are, when we buy a vehicle. And didn’t you know Brent, that car salesmen are actually alien gods that arrive here through an underground tunnel beneath all Men’s Wearhouse locations? You’ve really got to learn to love and accept them.
 
BR: Okay… Well I don't know, some might say this is sort of a harsh social criticism. Does our culture really warrant that?
 
BL: Warrant? Who’s got a warrant?
 
Brake squeal, loud honking.
 
BR: Whoa, what the hell!
 
BL: Hey! Learn to drive, you jerk!
 
Sorry about that.
 
Anyway, as I was saying…uh…I’m not sure I understand the question. Are other dimensional realities harsh to this one because they’re different? Or, I shouldn’t really be making fun of hypnotized consumerism or  loafers with tassels? You know, they’re all moving targets that promise energy well spent, in my opinion.
 
BR: Okay, well Bonnie, this has been a fascinating discussion, not to mention, um, life-threatening. I see we’re now heading west on Manifest Destiny Boulevard, and our destination is just ahead - the Palace of Materialized Dreams. Just one more question: did you buy this car at Kip’s Auto Dome?
 
BL: Of course, where else?
 
BR: Indeed. Thank you so much for your time, your thoughts, and your driving!
 
BL: Thank you for allowing me to drive you around today, Brent. And you should really wear your safety belt, dear.
 
BR: Oh yes, thank you.
 
Click of seat belt buckle.
 
Music.
 
Car door closes, car drives away.
 
BR: Hey, Tom.
 
TN: Hey. Do you want to get a coffee or something?
 
BR: Yeah, or maybe a whisky.
 
TN: Did you get the interview?
 
BR: Yeah, the interview went fine, but….
 
TN: What?
 
BR: I don’t know man, something very weird happened. I gotta sit down.
 
TN: Was it an accident?
 
BR: No. I mean, yeah, almost, but it’s not that, it’s what happened later.
 
TN: What happened?
 
BR: I must’ve blacked out or something. It was like a dream, but real.
 
TN: Tell me about it.
 
BR: Okay, we were on our way back here. Bonnie told me I should fasten my safety belt, so I did. And then it was like… wow, I wonder if I had a psychotic break or something.
 
TN: Can you describe it?
 
BR: I looked up from the seat belt and there was a plant growing out of the glove box. Like… a vine. And so fast, like in seconds, thousands of vines and leaves grew out of everywhere and I was not in the car anymore at all. I was walking. I was walking through a jungle.
 
TN: Really.
 
BR: And then I looked down at myself and I wasn’t me. I was mostly naked, with brown skin. Younger, more muscular. And barefoot. I never go barefoot except on a beach. And there were others like me, all walking in a line… on a trail. Through a jungle. With monkey sounds and birds and stuff.
 
TN: Wow.
 
BR: And it seemed like a really long time, you know? I mean we walked, and it went from afternoon to dusk. Hours. It was getting dark under the trees, and then I smelled smoke. We came into a clearing by a river, and there was a big campfire burning. This guy with feathers on his head turned around and greeted us. His face was painted with white stripes.
 
TN: No shit.
 
BR: The guy was dancing and chanting, and I understood him. The mother will teach us, he was saying. And then he passed around a wooden bowl of something that everyone was drinking from. He handed it to me and looked straight at me with these eyes that were… really bright and sharp, like he totally knew me. And that’s all I remember.
 
TN: And then you woke up?
 
BR: Well, I never felt asleep. I mean I just… there I was, suddenly standing on the street and Bonnie was driving away, and it was all just a few seconds. And then I saw you, and here we are.
 
TN: I think you’re right. You're losing your mind.

BR: I’m both a passenger and an interviewer today. I’m talking with the story’s author, Bonnie Lykes, as she drives me around the streets of Synecdoche, New York, in her new Subaru.
 
So, Bonnie, thanks for agreeing to do this today.
 
BL: Oh, my pleasure! I love to drive!
 
BR: Oops, sorry… would you mind turning off the radio first, so we can get a better recording?
 
BL: No problem!
 
Radio music disappears.
 
BR: Okay, tell me… this is a new car - did you lease or buy? And why?
 
BL: Oh, I definitely leased, because A - lower monthly payments with a low down payment; and number Two, you can drive a much nicer car for less money. And C, lower repair costs, because, you know…
 
BR: But what about the fact that at the end of the lease, you don’t own the car? You’ve just rented it.
 
BL: Oh, well…. Yeah, I guess… Hmm, really?
 
BR: Okay, now we’re going to reveal the truth: that was not really Bonnie speaking… or was it? Bonnie, what is the relationship between the so-called “real you” and the characters you portray?
 
BL: Well this character is passionate about parallel dimensions and operating heavy machinery that she thinks is pretty.
 
BR: Okay, now, I know some of your poetry has been traditionally published as text. But, as a performance artist, are you always writing with the end goal of performing the work? And how is that different from other writing?
 
Turn signal.
 
BL: Oh, hold on a second… let me make this turn...
 
Okay. So… having my stuff on only a two-dimensional surface is sometimes a necessary evil - and I must confess performance is the best way for any of us to feel alive in this 3D container of ever-shifting molecules, without the use of any outside substances.
 
BR: Okay, let’s go a little deeper now. So Kip’s Auto Dome… the mundane becomes bizarrely mystical… a car dealership as a sacred temple of consumerism… salesman as dark priest with sexual overtones… customer as gullible worshipper and, in the end, victim. Am I getting this right? Can you say more?
 
BL: Mm gosh, I don’t think she’s a victim. She’s just in what I call a “self marketing world” that just sounds like torture for a second. You know, all of us are, when we buy a vehicle. And didn’t you know Brent, that car salesmen are actually alien gods that arrive here through an underground tunnel beneath all Men’s Wearhouse locations? You’ve really got to learn to love and accept them.
 
BR: Okay… Well I don't know, some might say this is sort of a harsh social criticism. Does our culture really warrant that?
 
BL: Warrant? Who’s got a warrant?
 
Brake squeal, loud honking.
 
BR: Whoa, what the hell!
 
BL: Hey! Learn to drive, you jerk!
 
Sorry about that.
 
Anyway, as I was saying…uh…I’m not sure I understand the question. Are other dimensional realities harsh to this one because they’re different? Or, I shouldn’t really be making fun of hypnotized consumerism or  loafers with tassels? You know, they’re all moving targets that promise energy well spent, in my opinion.
 
BR: Okay, well Bonnie, this has been a fascinating discussion, not to mention, um, life-threatening. I see we’re now heading west on Manifest Destiny Boulevard, and our destination is just ahead - the Palace of Materialized Dreams. Just one more question: did you buy this car at Kip’s Auto Dome?
 
BL: Of course, where else?
 
BR: Indeed. Thank you so much for your time, your thoughts, and your driving!
 
BL: Thank you for allowing me to drive you around today, Brent. And you should really wear your safety belt, dear.
 
BR: Oh yes, thank you.
 
Click of seat belt buckle.
 
Music.
 
Car door closes, car drives away.
 
BR: Hey, Tom.
 
TN: Hey. Do you want to get a coffee or something?
 
BR: Yeah, or maybe a whisky.
 
TN: Did you get the interview?
 
BR: Yeah, the interview went fine, but….
 
TN: What?
 
BR: I don’t know man, something very weird happened. I gotta sit down.
 
TN: Was it an accident?
 
BR: No. I mean, yeah, almost, but it’s not that, it’s what happened later.
 
TN: What happened?
 
BR: I must’ve blacked out or something. It was like a dream, but real.
 
TN: Tell me about it.
 
BR: Okay, we were on our way back here. Bonnie told me I should fasten my safety belt, so I did. And then it was like… wow, I wonder if I had a psychotic break or something.
 
TN: Can you describe it?
 
BR: I looked up from the seat belt and there was a plant growing out of the glove box. Like… a vine. And so fast, like in seconds, thousands of vines and leaves grew out of everywhere and I was not in the car anymore at all. I was walking. I was walking through a jungle.
 
TN: Really.
 
BR: And then I looked down at myself and I wasn’t me. I was mostly naked, with brown skin. Younger, more muscular. And barefoot. I never go barefoot except on a beach. And there were others like me, all walking in a line… on a trail. Through a jungle. With monkey sounds and birds and stuff.
 
TN: Wow.
 
BR: And it seemed like a really long time, you know? I mean we walked, and it went from afternoon to dusk. Hours. It was getting dark under the trees, and then I smelled smoke. We came into a clearing by a river, and there was a big campfire burning. This guy with feathers on his head turned around and greeted us. His face was painted with white stripes.
 
TN: No shit.
 
BR: The guy was dancing and chanting, and I understood him. The mother will teach us, he was saying. And then he passed around a wooden bowl of something that everyone was drinking from. He handed it to me and looked straight at me with these eyes that were… really bright and sharp, like he totally knew me. And that’s all I remember.
 
TN: And then you woke up?
 
BR: Well, I never felt asleep. I mean I just… there I was, suddenly standing on the street and Bonnie was driving away, and it was all just a few seconds. And then I saw you, and here we are.
 
TN: I think you’re right. You're losing your mind.

Music on this episode:

The Angels Weep - by Audionautix

Super Anti Hero - by Satellite Paradiso

They Have Gone - by PUC

THE STRANGE RECITAL

episode 16121

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