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  • Writer's pictureEdward McColgan

Where Are G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. Right Now?

Updated: May 31, 2023

There is not a reason to put forward for writing this piece (of news), blue and disjointed reassurances granted in a state of bewilderment. When we search for G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S., they are no place to be found. They present themselves in anagrammatological disharmonies and contagious disjunctions of anticipated rhythm. They fold themselves into the pages of brand new books in the form of a missing stitch. They are currently on the phone with the IRS on your behalf, all records of this conversation will be lost, but the consequences, nonetheless, will be severe. Severance pay is never guaranteed unless of course your lawyer hasn’t got a gig with G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S.

Your lawyer doesn’t talk anymore, it’s far too troubling and loosely defined within the rulebook. The game must carry on in a suspense of disclosure where sleep is found beneath the eaves, dropping little hints as to the whereabouts of her diary of confessions. Her therapist is a very dangerous man. He has many clients with similar stories to tell, similar backgrounds. Stories about the difficulties of immigration, the severance of G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. in a familial context, a shoddy recontextualization, subjugating every body in it’s path to disenfranchisement and prefornicatory misplacements of a generational compass lost to time in feverishly recondite lackluster performances in the locker room, on the city bus, at the center of the sewage system, knocking out recondite lackluster performance after recondite lackluster performance but not thorough with the decadence of depression, something more mysterious, something objectively lacking in purpose driving the city bus across the bridge with sweating brow, so shameful. So, recondite lackluster performances perforate the edges of our vision as one might see the G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. in the mirror. The more mere mortal man waits, the more mere mortal man receives recondite lackluster performances in response to self same visionary expositions.

Intent upon escape from the room below the kitchen, the one where you can smell the filth in pipes. Down below, a maneuvering is necessitated by the noise above. The noise of conflict, disinterest and shame. The shame, the bathroom, the confessional, the public park, the invisible figure in the arcade. Arcady and Araby, apposite, originally misplacements of the same-self-same-abnegation.

Recondite lackluster performances pulled apart the wings of a moth and felt the dust on their fingertips. Upon licking their fingertips, their entire body goes numb and they fall into a state of seizure encountering a state of same-self-same-abnegation. The horror is only experienced by the room full of onlookers. The horror of the room as opposed to that of the individual. The aristocracy of knick knacks and food processors. Why did recondite lackluster performances feel the need to catch the moth before the flame? Some resultant jealousy, a promethean self inflīct.

New methods of data collection are developed by investigating the memorial stimuli of sleep and so, I recommend a new method for the recollection of dreams. Instead of recalling what you can remember, recall what you can’t. The G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. in your dream will eat that which is simple, like the man with the scar on his face who coldly murdered your black lover and then commenced to chase you in your shorts back to the jesuit boy’s school where you flew up to the steeple point just to find a lonesomeness unbecoming to the kind of brave soul which deserves to die by murder in the flesh. You descend from the steeple only to find that the man with the scar on his face has lost interest in you as victim, his menace proving a farce.

What is to be sought that wouldn’t better be found out at the bottom of the ocean? Must the murky depths be forever tainted by mercurial shift and licentious presuppositions? Must my mother never figure out, that her phone may be a listening device but the government does not employ enough agents to keep tabs on every dog walker and part time used car salesman. Mother, sleeper, tired boy, broken teeth, sidewalk.

During the lockdown, my five ought housemates began to cough as a method of communication after the initial attempts at entertaining one another through conversation proved unfruitful. Coughing from room to room became the focal mode of communication like a decameron of expectoration, a diabolically tongue tied quarantine. There was one Chinese pianist and he would sneeze and then look toward his cellphone or his laptop wearily. He moved back home in august never to be seen or heard from again. He couldn’t bear to wait for the results of the election. The day before the election, my lawyer attempted to have my case dismissed, she appeared to be on the verge of tears in the group phone call working as a makeshift courtroom. A shadow play of sonorities, the consequences of which were potentially severe. After the election, she no longer answered my emails or my phone calls.

Emerging from a world of neon Victorianism, all that we have left to do is decay. Fragmentation, malevolence, mercurial juxtapositions of thought and premise mercurial as well:

“Heaven and Hell in the hands, a spell to combine the Gods.

Sublimate the odds, two globes divine, synchronize

the lobes Vesica contained, consonance attained the two snakes

born of the womb. We spill out of the fish turn Pisces to twins,

divide twelve into six, two halves of a whole tug at a singular

soul wound round a staff. Two snakes compete for control, the two snakes

cognitive dissidence of the soul let them struggle to eat it whole.

So let the hands of fate slither like a snake, constrict around the earth

strangled by its girth plant the staff genesis. A tree plant, a serpent

seed into the mind to bleed wisdom unwind to the dark concede to retreat

from light to one side. Confined the two snakes, canons and cancrizans

tempo in time mezzo in space and face south to climb twelve strings

serpentine cadence condense but unwind the snakes refrain a fugue to see

we are blind. The two snakes' spagyric spirit addition begun manifold

within springs the bind, undone Manichean dream turn the halves to one.

All the stars combine to a single sun, lies to truth and dust to life,

close the whole and bring black to white, boil the fire and drink the flames,

detach from life to live free again the two snakes.” -Some rando on the internet attempting to transcribe the lyrics to the song "Two Snakes" by Fucked Up.

-I pulled the wings off of the moth before the flame. I became long in the tooth. I slept beneath a bush at Miami Beach and took a frightened trip back up the coast. I hadn’t seen the south before. The storybook south of France has vineyards and yachts and men and women smiling in stripes, striving toward something less bullshit, more hygienic, enviable but not entirely, nor entirely plausible or accessible. One entertains in G.R.E.M.L.I.N. country sour notes like those of wine but drifting like C-Town sewer cap emissions. That acrid smog, why was it just in C-Town? We’d wonder if it had something to do with the cuisine but we couldn’t wrap our heads around it. I’d never met a streetwalker before we moved to C-Town.

Lemon yellow candy, the strange racialisations of an urban memory, the quality of things remembered ham/hat as Irish, Italian, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Brazilian, Albanian, Turkish, Moroccan, Haitian, Jamaican breaking down into a new locality, that of mutual disappointment, a global disappointment. Is there always going to be a father in the room of disappointment? Does he stand to appoint while the mother sits? Does the mother do something motherlike and aging like knitting or kneading ground corn and why are all of my memories of television? Why does one emerge from sleep feeling the need to punish oneself-same other with an idea likely shared the night before? Now processed in similarity, what is the danger in similarity? A disembodied similarity, the slow development of criterion that future engagement must depend upon, chic fatalisms geared toward market prediction.

Becoming snob, I found myself in more and more expensive bookstores until I had been made thoroughly converted to rejection. I wondered if I might be syphilitic. I lost all of my sympathies in favor of a blood lust empathy, nothing was real that didn’t anger easily, that didn’t boil at the door of the city bus, that didn’t beg to be let in to any shelter, any place that fell away from the city, always waiting for the gunshots. They had to come in the middle of the summer sure as money. The money always comes in the summer and everybody’s got something to say on the hottest day of the year but here the G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. steal your tongue. They steal your tongue leaving you sublingual which outside of G.R.E.M.L.I.N. country ends with speaking in tongues-plural but here there’s just the one-tongue, no dreams in Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, Portuguese, Creole. No English accented every which way. Nothing is said in dreams at all except when the river says in the dead of winter, “Give the unborn back to the creator” and you respond, “What unborn?” And the river says, “He lives.” and you say, “Where does he live?” and the river says “He lives in me.” and you say, “Who are you?” and the river says, “People know me.”.

Some river, some dream, some say that you shouldn’t. I’ve tried not to before. I’ve committed myself to meditation. I’ve been vegan, I’ve teatotalled, I've been constantly at work. I didn’t own a television set but still, I was sure that nothing would change without. I met no one. I could hardly see a face. It was like living without a sense of smell. I couldn’t orient or relate. I saw nothing but light and so much light must mean that there is the same amount of non light which I ignored when I could not. I systematically set out to as much as possible, I failed as much as I could. If I were to find sainthood, I would find it in this decadence. I began to drink excessively. I began to read tabloid magazines. I began sleeping with people I disagreed with, people who were meant for other people in ways I couldn’t understand (I was a thief!) and frequently I found the way that they smelt to be repugnant (in my most severe moments of doubt, I found relief in my own armpits). Some of them had bad hygiene, some of them smelt too simply of cocoa butter or lotion and nothing else, some of them had skin that was too soft or eyes which didn’t reveal any kind of interiority and I began to remember in my discomfort. I remembered a snake in the desert and a woman in a veil and a fire burning someplace in the distance. I remembered in a room in an old tenement house in central mass an obsidian man with a face like a dog. He stood there in the corner of my room which had been in the corner of the building, far away from the gas stove heater at the center. I had been terrified of the shower in that house, shadowy figures moved on the other side of the curtain. The room had been just 35 degrees above 0 when I remembered the dog faced man. He was standing in the corner of my bedroom, my bed was four cornered as is usually the norm. The echo there was none. In this room I was a spy on a mission of observation. Suburbia, it seems, was not suburban after all. It was a mismatch, a clash of colors and intent, holding in it’s safe stead forbearance on all of the loans that an individual may have been expected to pay back, that is, of course, if said individual’s status as such held. One could only guess and I had made a name for myself by this time in the art of guesswork. Men and women clamored at my door. They begged that I might gander and guess a bit before the spouse came home.

Coming home, that seemed to be a recondite lackluster performance in the city of G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. In that place where none could be too certain, curtains closed against the dawn, the rising sun, with his butterist's hands and soft felt understanding of the circus coming to town. The one thing that I could be certain of was that it had something to do with coming, commingling in nascent resentment, recognized in the image of a pretty girl, a handsome boy, walking down the street hand in hand, dreaming of the day when they might be armed, attempting to determine what it might be that they might be armed against and for, attempting choice with regard to against and for, that had been the ticket, anyone without that in hand had been turned away and wondering now which path they chose, I am afraid but know not why. What is there to be afraid for or against? Aft or be? So many questions, so many opportunities giving rise to nil. It’s not me, it’s you, one says to the other as a kind of rehearsal, a confused perversion. What can come after a confused perversion? What cone then sprouts into a tree? What miraculous form can make it’s presence felt in such a context? What laughter? What tears? what kind of guy might stand opposed to such a sentiment? Why must these cats hate G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. so that they can love every other aspect of corruption (save the parrot)? It’s the individual agent, the saboteur and in particular the saboteur without an agency which they have fond memories of snuffing out to no end but that of corruption. Nothing was taken at the time of the hunt, only frozen meat from grocery stores, but they conspired to invigorate their haul and still they are victorious this very day (when victory is found within an ongoing sense thereof).

G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. are on the phone with the IRS on your behalf, no record of the conversation will be kept, nonetheless the repercussions will invade your bank account. You will cower in fear. You will feel betrayed. Your mother will call you on the phone but you will believe it to be another’s mother and what it is no man can say but shriek back to the receiver. I have got it. It came in the mail just as you said it would. It has arrived. It has arms and legs. It will learn to stand on two feet. It will make my mother proud and when we sail as I’m sure we will, we will sail on hulls made artisan in correspondence to the most perfect detail. They will know just what it was that your kind father said, that your kind mother said. They will know that no such thing could have been said in any other context. They will know. They will know that you have been off sleeping with the enemy. They will know the enemy. They will know the enemy because the two of them have still been friends. It was all a ploy that they set up in their college years. They’d grown tired of suspicions of torture levied against their unity and G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. cannot stand atop a pogo stick for long. It’s got something to do with the weakness in their knees. They bow. They call Xt or Mx or some such thing which turns the pogo stick upon it’s side or upside down but we want a pogo stick which bounds with no place to keep our feet or hands, no place to touch upon the sidewalk, no place to sleep. Let your disappointment unify in opposition to the sleeping pogo stick.

The innkeeper allowed the young mother keep within the barn. He was a terrible man and then a baby’s born and covered in perfume. Animals have allergies as well, G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. on the other hand, if they can be said to have been shifting, then they were but not for anyone. They mostly spend their time alone. We imagine that they might be happy animals enacting a revolutionary tribalism but I feel forlorn to say that neigh, nary’s the time that G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. find an opportunity within which to rejoice. They seldom barbecue. It might be simply that we don’t know anything about what they appreciate. Their tastebuds, when their tongues are cut, disappear with incredible rapidity. They sleep out of sight and hoist against the recollection of dreams an unwavering flag of disapproval. They eat nothing in front of one another. They believe that they are different to such an extreme degree that it is often found that if the birth is expected to be of twins then a G.R.E.M.L.I.N. is born double sized and later on the mother may pick bones out of her urine. Some might call this soup but it’s not so.

The air that I breathe is tainted but I cannot whinge. I cannot play the game that everybody else appears to be playing. I left my hands in the car. The burgundy carpet is not wine and the center cannot hold. We ask, what is it that the center holds for? What spins around on the outskirts? A dandelion cityscape, the skyscrapers plucked from the inferno. One man might have been ashamed had he known what would become of his torture chamber but the Sunday paper is still delivered on a Sunday, spun through history like a whirling top. The city flew on decadence but was not thusly named prior to an oppurtune collapse and who whimpers along these lines? One should either be cunning or useless and there should be no compromise, from these two points of vantage we can see the cowardly world, the world that does not ask how it has arrived, buildings turning back into the trees that they once were but not as compost instead newly recognized as trees. Burdening beasts reduced to combustible vapors in a heap of rot and wrong mindedness.

We find here a place where G.R.E.M.L.I.N.S. weep at waste and warp and wear their cigarettes like earmuffs stubbed in wrong holes, wrong holes being the opposite of a hole which is not a protrusion or a smooth surface but a hole collapsing into presentability, a dignified sort of character with head shaved for the electric chair moving further and faster, moving with more grace, more elegance like a motorized shangri las, like an expensive household pet, directionless and unobtrusive, allowing all the diplomats to diplomat expediently without a frame of reference. A generational politics of absurdity, an art whose history must remain occulted and shambolic, a senate of Neil Hamburgers, a hamburger house of representatives. A titillating frontispiece of anti historical juxtapositions of credulity and negligence resulting in a softline communitarianism regrown atop a wetland construct. I’d appreciate an accusation of cyclical renegation if you wouldn’t mind, you wouldn’t. What’s the use in scatterplot detail systems? Fragmental interpolations? Intentional obfuscations? Iridescent rectitudes? Omnidirectional miscommunications? Perhaps, we ditch communion altogether and we find there no opponents. What then? There’s nothing but a one that thinks another at the glassy G.R.E.M.L.I.N. church.


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