And it seems to me the struggle has to be waged
on a number of different levels:
they have computers to cast the I Ching for them
but we have yarrow stalks
and the stars
it is a battle of energies, of force-fields, what the newspapers
call a battle of ideas
-Diane DiPrima, Revolutionary Letter #45
Blow up the sun
Sun in Virgo, Full Moon in Pisces
Welcome to the first issue of the Otherworlds Review, a monthly newsletter by and for those who walk the threshold, who attend to the openings between the worlds, who wear the mask and who look beyond the veil. In the varied lineage of the underground and anarchist press, we receive and transmit communications from places unknown to readers anon. In the tradition of the various Ranters, Chronaca Sovversiva, Os Cangaceiros, Black Mask, and Walter Benjamin we hold that “the chronicler, who recounts events without distinguishing between the great and small, thereby accounts for the truth, that nothing which has ever happened is to be given as lost to history. Indeed, the past would fully befall only a resurrected humanity. Said another way: only for a resurrected humanity would its past, in each of its moments, be citable. Each of its lived moments becomes a citation a l’ordre du jour – whose day is precisely that of the Last Judgment.”
“Even sociologists agree: the united states are doomed. Unlike “some” people, we have never believed in the racist delusion of human progress. We would see the craft breweries and yuppie bars burn.”
On the 186th anniversary of Nat Turner’s Rebellion, itself incited by a solar eclipse that the visionary Turner saw as a black man’s hand seizing the sun, an unmistakeable omen appeared above the so-called united states. The Earth has seen many eclipses before, but this one traced a path above the territory claimed by the u.s.a., and no other country. Every eclipse is the convergence of multiple cosmic cycles: of the sun, the moon, and the earth. As above, so below. “Just as flowers turn their heads toward the sun, so too does that which has been turn, by virtue of a secret kind of heliotropism, towards the sun which is dawning in the sky of history.”
A frenzy of iconoclasm possesses the nation: confederate and colonialist statues toppled and beheaded, monuments defaced in many different creative-destructive ways, crowds with axes and guns defending their victory. The president of the dying empire whines about a slippery slope leading even to george washington. Let them fall. The past is ever present; the recent proliferation of attacks against the shrines of whiteness merely the latest enactment of an ancestral vengeance, simmering and periodically boiling over for centuries; the latest explosion of the unrelenting wrath of the black and brown and queer dead whose bones are embedded within this land.
The more america’s metaphysical foundations weaken, the more the spirits of anarchy and insurrection are fed and strengthened. As James Baldwin prophecied back in 1972, “there will be bloody holding actions all over the world, for years to come: but the Western party is over, and the white man’s sun has set.” Even sociologists agree: the united states are doomed. Unlike “some” people, we feel only joy at america’s death, we have never believed in the racist delusion of human progress. We would see the craft breweries and yuppie bars burn. We agree wholeheartedly with the anarchists who co-ordinated simultaneous actions in six cities and then declared: “We won’t water-down our ideas for mainstream media consumption – we really do want to destroy america.”
“In a moment which recalls the theft of Roman eagles and fasces by slave rebels, Joey Gibson’s stupid “Join or Die” hat was stolen before he was ushered to safety behind police lines.”
The two weeks since the eclipse have been marked by a series of fascist defeats at the hands of anti-fascists of all stripes, paired with an escalating and unmoored media frenzy around the spectacle of antifa. The amnesiac machine shifts effortlessly from shedding crocodile tears for Heather Heyer one week to feigned indignation for anti-fascists the next. Condemnation for those taking action to stop-at-all-costs those who would kill her a hundred times over. “Antifa” doesn’t exist, and yet the struggle continues. “The spectacle wished to make us appear dreadful. we intend to be much worse.” In San Francisco and Berkeley we saw that widespread intention bears fruit; hundreds of writers answered a call to cover the Bay Area in anti-fascist and anti-racist graffiti, medic and fight training and legal support were organized, conspiracy and hexes were laid, proud boys and boneheads were jumped at bars, a drone was knocked to the earth, weapons torn from hands and set to sky. In a moment which recalls the theft of Roman eagles and fasces by slave rebels, Joey Gibson’s stupid “Join or Die” hat was stolen before he was ushered to safety behind police lines. As put in the most recent anti-fascist spellbook by the yerbamala collective:
“WE DID NOT ASK FOR THIS WAR BUT WE BEEN PREPARING.”
The dream of abolition continues today. America is waking up to the reality of the civil war, one which never ended, one which traces the contours of the faultlines that this country was built upon, one which resonates through the bones which build the earth upon which this country rests. This is not the civil war fantasied by europhile intellectual fraternities by way of ancient Athens and continental philosophy. We are told by the poster children of the above fanboys that “every power in our sense has three dimensions – spirit, force, and richness. Its growth depends on keeping the three of them together. As a historical power, a revolutionary movement is that deployment of a spiritual expression […] of war-making capacity – which may be oriented towards attack or towards self-defense – and of an abundance of material means and places.” They warn of the dangers of separating one of these dimensions from the other and then immediately proceed, by slight of hand, in debasing spirit into to a mere intellectualism. They speak of other lives while maintaining separation. They chant in french and carry the sickle and hammer in college towns in California.
“All under the flags, affixed to bats, dyed black (we remember) to recall the blood of the communards.”
To be truly connected to spirit, especially to the war-making capacity of spirit, in the so-called United States of America, means to be enmeshed in the inescapable reality of this country’s haunting. This nation is cursed, doomed, bound by a million atrocities for which the phrases “chattel slavery” and “genocide” are paltry stand-ins. The dead remain, and only those who fight alongside them have a hope for victory. It is not enough to “mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living.” We fight for the dead too, we fight as their continuation on this earth, as their embodied accomplices in an alliance piercing the veil between this world and the next. For a moment, in the scorching heat, a hundred masked fighters drummed on the soft earth to call up their dead. Heather Heyer, John Brown, Kayla Moore, Oscar Grant, Lovelle Mixon; over and over the names intoned and the spirits called to presence. All under the flags, affixed to bats, dyed black (we remember) to recall the blood of the communards.
The elements themselves express the unfolding of the cosmic and sociopolitical situation. The global water revenge plan is in full effect in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Texas last week, appearing as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. One year since the first lockdowns at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the lifegiving and lifetaking power of water is clear as crystal. Across the Himalayan foothills floods affected 40 million, killed 1200 and made aimless 1.8 million children after 18,000 school closures. In Texas, we saw 40 inches of rainfall in 4 days and more storms approaching shore (the newest hurricane making landfall in Florida at the time of this writing, one day after the 8.1 earthquake in the states of southern mexico).
The world ended in 2012 and we are living in its aftermath. The past year of ecological disasters, crises of civilization and resistance responses to power are the swelling wake. The earth is consuming the cancers she has been cursed with at an accelerated pace now. She’s excavating civilization as we know it.
“We breathe with a prayer, we breathe with gratitude to be granted a reprieve from the clutching misery of oil, of gas, of capitalism and of the cosmically bankrupt temporality of white supremacy.”
The third coast of Turtle Island is the site of so much colonial and spiritual trauma. The Port of Galveston, in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, where the all of the water from all of so-called america all ultimately flows, has been forced into a wasteland ecology for 500 years. The Port of Galveston, where all the water here on this Turtle Island drains to create the unsayably energetic south coast, has been violently managed into becoming the site of the highest rate of sex trafficking in america. The Port of Galveston, in the tremendous subtropic gulf of the atlantic ocean, where the humid bayous hold every spirit in their lungs, was a slave port. Now the earth has stepped in with pipeline decimation, petrochemical complex meltdowns, and ecological succession on an increasingly catastrophic scale.
These are gifts as anger is a gift. Anger we didn’t ask for; anger which we didn’t begin; anger which is ours regardless. Tragedy is opportunity, devastation is growth, death is renewal. “Voidness denotes the relative, flowing, undefinable, and ungraspable nature of all things. Philosophically it represents the illusory and dream-like phenomena; psychologically it represents liberation from all bondage.”
Sandwiched between the dirt and the clouds we are the dwindling members of the end of this world. Everything is ours to take now as the earth opens its skies and its mantle for us, what we want wants us. Compared to the visible, tangible, and psychically palpable power of elements and ancestors: money is weak, so-called american magic is frail, this reality is bankrupt. The apocalypse is happening in real time and we are nothing more or less than the most recent incarnation of resistance, taking advantage of every chance to bridge the gap between this world and the next. Where we fail to bring chaos much less justice by using mortal tactics, the earth succeeds instantly. What we struggle against for centuries in the material realm, water realizes with destruction in minutes. We told you – Water is life.
Water is also death. To the culture that seeks to steal and poison it. We are feeling the reciprocal relationship of water within and without. And here our promise comes true since how or whether we sublunary ones can manage to bring about the end of abuse to life, earth, sky, and water is irrelevant. Our time here is up. We and the wild are the source of each other and create each other. Our dreams are fated to be ours, for better or worse. There is nowhere to go but on. We breathe with a prayer, we breathe with gratitude to be granted a reprieve from the clutching misery of oil, of gas, of capitalism and of the cosmically bankrupt temporality of white supremacy.
Already solar flares interrupt the reporting on the next storm, which will be bigger. And so on and so on.
Reverence to water,
we invite cleansing,
we honor the earth as she takes measures to heal herself.
ash rains from the sky and the full moon is red tonight.
Respect to those before and those beyond, pulling us sometimes quickly
sometimes slowly through these ruptures into our heaven.
Strength to the brave, the undocumented, the looters and rioters the world over.
To those with nothing who were born into nothing and who will die with
nothing, the stars see you and grant your wishes.
Your ghosts are welcome here.
* * *
Fields of yarrow bloom; a strong ally for healing wounds sustained in the fighting to come. Get organized while the sun remains in Virgo. Remember to take the armor off. Be kind and sweet to yourself and your friends.
Acknowledge the heat, fall is still far. Lights and shadows make diversions and amusements. Lay low as a cold-blooded creature if that stillness keeps you collected. Emerge as needed, be blown by the wind, savor the dreamy briefness between moon-set and sun-rise.
* * *
The Otherworlds Review is a small affinity of wanderers, ranters, dreamers, and augurs committed to the material and spiritual undoing of the existent. We hold to the etymological and eschatological truth that apocalypsis simply means unveiling. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.