Vernix Moon

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

There was once a moon that orbited nothing. A shale-strewn grey sphere hung wedged in the sticky primordial trap of a very particular gravitational crossroads.

A lifeless nothing that became a fertile canal. A moistened fingertip with which to turn a final page.

On exactly opposing sides of its enormous equator plunge equally titanic craters. Not forged by impact nor internal tectonic caress — they are nonetheless fashioned for purpose.

As a blacksmith pounds beaming steel across an anvils rearing horn.
As a mother cups her belly and feeds with her fingers the festering cell that grows within.

Two bites from a lovers apple.

One crater suckles the dead from the darkness and the other spit-gushes newly primed life through a pulsing chamber rich with mucilage and wax.

We are again birthed upon the sheet plain. Bathed beneath the dancing beams that skim the rampart wall that severs this universe from that that is the next.

This is the estuary of a birth canal from where space thins and the dead can peer through and down and into their own flesh. Into the wilting tree of its capillary bloom and out along the gentle stretch of their ever-long fingers — as they reach up and move like the torn threadbare tips of a battle-worn pennant. Nails brush against the face of that which lays slowly stirring through the pane of the celestial cot so very close, but so very far from ours.

The crater creators began as microbes. Infinitely tiny creatures circling a single grain of sand on exactly opposite sides of this rock. They spun and they spun and wore into the grey until the effort became too much and so they each divided into two. And then two again and again until a great sweeping swath army had formed. The deeper they dug the more they evolved and legs grew where none were before and arms sprouted with claws at their tips.

Millennia folded into millennia and still the creatures dug and claws became razor-edged shovels that they used to gash openings between their own legs and into these jagged slits they shovelled the slag and it raged in the furnace of their core. And the detritus it did render to gossamer ash that the creatures then bawled out in agonising prayer and it floated away in flutes of glittering fumes — as if multicoloured diesel oil caught in the flow of a mighty cosmic stream.

As they worked they sung a beautiful pulsing rhythm and in the brief moments that they paused they looked up and saw the toil light of the other side and it made them smile.


Once the craters were complete the things each took to burrowing at their centres. Digging ever deeper into the moon and those that died were stripped of their silica shells and they were laid and embedded into the cup of the great craters earth-facing scoop.

There came a day when the core was met and once sharp but now dulled fingers also met. A day when a cavern was formed and the things began to disassemble each other and the final part of the purpose ensued. They did pull away limbs and redirect veins and arteries until nothing of themselves was left.

Nothing of their memories.
Nothing of their purpose.
Nothing of their self.

All that was left was a machine. And it slowly began to turn and the bones clicked and sheared until they whirred into a perfect vacuum hum.

I do not know why but this moon it gathers souls — for want of a better word. It gathers the dust of humanity’s spent existence and pulls it through a hollowed moon and places us here. Not as babes, but as we were. Faces split with age, ripped by violence or taken by cancerous rot and we are flung into a field of sweet smelling wax.

I am standing next to an young woman from Hranie. She smiles and shows me the sickle edge that cupped and gouged into the gentle wave of her teenage belly. And she inhales and her head fills with sickly smoke as the barn burns and the smoulder cinders fall upon her families jag shaped ruin.

I am nothing.
I am worthless and my reflection sews the vomit into my mouth.

The next world sags above my head. A bulbous belly ready to split and offer nothing but endless beautiful hope.

I don’t know why I am here.

And She is.

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer


I creep up vast multitudes of inky hills though they are not hills but rather mountains of soot and slowly I sink ever down into their glue.

My face is a hollow thing that has two windows and out of them I can see wells with stars that shine in the pit of their pits.

I have been on this vessel for so very long.

My name is a thing that I pluck and twist upon the sweetly embroidered rectangle of my uniform breast and yet it has long since failed to fill my ear.

But I know who I am.
But am I who I know?

She and she is me.
Me and she is she.

She is a thing that whispers into my fingers as they caress the data and adjust trajectory to the ebb and tidal pull of this fathomless cosmic nothing.

She is the dead girl I found with her fingers curled against the glass of her cannister.

She is my future daughter sitting on a rain-flecked curb carving my neglect into her arm in beautiful cursive font with a needle she found in the gutter.

She is the seed that died in the soil, its reach curdling just below of the surface.

She is this ship.

I want to know her more than I do. I want to wow her with my looks. I want her to find solace in scanning every inch of my body as I undress and step into the shower flute. And as I then lay alone upon my empty crib, still swaddled in towels and beading from the heat of the jets — I want her to watch.

My ship is folding in space and the space in my head is folding ever so neatly into that space.

Such obnoxious and vile calm perverted perfection.

Most days I run my long since chewed away nails across the screen. I drag shards of my protruding dried flesh and follow our projected path back to Earth and I think of the beach at the end of the cliff-top road.


I remember how long ago a girl laid me down upon the concrete roof of the war-time bunker. A relic all but completely suckled into the roaming sand. She with eyes as grey as the grains — she who took me whole.

I want to be taken again.
I want to be taken whole.
I want to be taken home.


Departing: One Zero Nine

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

There is a house that grows like a jar of cancer-rimmed razors from the very top of my head. I wear it like a hat and when it rains its central courtyard fills with water and makes my skull feel soggy with its burden and my neck hurts and cracks when it twists.

This house is where I was born and into it trickled the very first of my memories or at least those that I have been groomed not to forget.

Pretty things like the man with the buckle-head snake whose tail bound at his knuckles and swung and pirouetted at his thigh. It was vicious and it bit but I used it. I did and it distracted from the stains that bloomed and dripped from the cotton.

I have just boarded and been seated upon the transport and already feel the vibration between my legs as its mighty engines thrum and clamber in anticipation of lift-off.

It has been a long time coming but it will be this craft that finally pulls me away from my home and the creeping wet mould it has sown in the grooves of my mind.

I rest my forehead against my portholes cooling compress and my eyes dart to the side and for an instant in the cursive colours I can see the twin iron doors that lead to the boilers.

I can see the hideous verdant paint that he slashed upon them although he knew there was not enough to finish.

No care. No attention to the little things that matter. Every inch of that house splattered with spittle-lipped hate.

The constantly tinkering craftsman.

I remember the tools he used to hammer and bend and smash and… crack. Such skill as he left just enough of a gap so that the light got in and then froze and split me in two and three.

He pulverized my youth so effortlessly as he tapped his foot in time and ground me away between my tiny thumb and the swollen gorge of his forefinger grasp.

I wish I could forget that tune. Three chords are all you’ll ever need, he said. “Daddy’s lil’ girl ain’t a girl no more…”

I can feel the pincers of that house at One Zero Nine arch and dig into my sides as we power up and away and I finally am to be rid of this filthy mesa of such hopeless hope.

Its time to do the dishes.

The woman in the green knitted top that I think I remember from a pornographic clip about a polo-necked secretary who is surprised by a UPS delivery man screams at my feet.

I am a wet used sack of flesh on the floor and my peeled carcass slumps to the side and the exposed meat of my forehead feels again the cool calm compress on the portal glass and I wonder if I’ll be having the chicken or perhaps maybe the pork.

Bee You Self

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

I have an idea said the Bee, although he indeed had no method of audible speech. Just a prickle that happened to happen in her mind and spin and tickle across the surface of the sticky glossa in its face.

I believe that I will engage in a campaign of truly big-ass stinging. Not out of self-defence or predisposed attack or random malice. I think that I will just sting because…


Because I am scared. And into the gape hole of my fear I wish to place a thick and ever swelling plug. Not unlike a tampon or an unwrapped newspaper left in the rain or a new mothers belly.

I have a question? You are but a Bee. Your life is so fleeting and yet you whittle your time talking to who… who is it that you think you talk to?

Myself most probably. I do not care in the least bit, or perhaps I do most entirely. But, and there is always a but, now I ponder should I insert the jagged edge of my last ever rapier hope into the flesh of just any stranger? Or should I search out the perfect target. Perhaps it matters not who we wantonly bash.

You are a Bee. I do not know why we are even having this conversation. Is it true you guys can smell fear and how the fuck do you know where you even as you clamber and build in the hive? I lose myself on the way to the fridge.

I sting I die. But I want to live. I want to see the colours as I float and they flex and wane upon the land. I want to smell life not fear… But, I also want to hurt something. If its not me then it will be the filthy phallus missiles atop multi-wheeled transports rolling down flag-lined avenues on parade that prick and bubble your skin.

You are but a Bee. Its true today icy sabres be rattling, bullets be licked and slid into their greasy breach and upon chairs in sterilized gymnasiums needles do swim through eager fat… yet through it all I fear nothing. I ain’t gonna die. I just am not.

If I could wish for only one thing then I’d wish I could live forever… just like you, said the Bee.

Bed Sores

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

I am pulled. They grab at my dread-locked skull and I buckle and my bare breasts faze into the camera. I am plucked and fucked into the light. Adrenalin moans into the gorging veins of the hand that cuffs the ends of my spasm arms and a ready sheet is cast atop of my despair.

But I asked for this, did I not? Do I not always?

Who steps naked onto a ramping battle plain? Me, it seems. Words weren’t working and I just didn’t know what else to do. You Know? I stepped off of that bus and I walked to the wall and I stepped up upon the milk-crate and vaulted over and into the field and I tore away my clothes and screamed at the shield wall before me.

You have sustained a head injury.

I can feel the blood as it exits my nose and creeps the curve of my lip, thank you. Sorry I do not mean to condescend.

I have the utmost faith that you will make a very most probably near to as can ever be approximated semblance of let us say a type of almost recovery.


I’m kidding.

You are a bed and you play with my mind?

I am and I do. But my intentions are good.

Does it not worry you?


That you are a bed and I ask of you question and that you in turn answer.

I would have thought moreover that you as sentient would ask just why you are talking to a structure of roughly shaved wood and latticed wire. That is how you see me am I correct?

You are. This is Crimea, I can again smell the rotten mud.

No. This is not !863 and we are not doing 2 years, 5 months and 14 days of utter and I mean utter vile social collapse. I see you twitching. You are not there. You’re not. I knew you thought that you were but you are most surely not.


The flood back and forth through the gate. It used to happen to humans before the reformation but now it is a rare and much revered occurrence. You must cling to the best that the line has to offer.

I have been damaged in battle.

I am here and working to assist, my Lady.

I am talking to a fucking bed, I am lady of nothing but a fraying mind.

No Lady, you are drifting…

You are a fucking bed! Stop, just stop… talking. The hole in my head I can feel it breathing. I want to put things inside of it. I saw a woman once in a barber-shop. Her arm had been cleaved off at the shoulder and a clear plastic film was all that covered the wound. I sat next to her and she grinned and I looked inside of her.

Patient is drifting… Recommend that subjects wounds are of deep multi-temporal cerebral distress and are not affordable of due practical repair… suggest move to trier one zero nine protocol… immediate termination but primordial redeployment also an option. Please advise.