Salamanders for Allah

Tales on the Nature of Work


Fifth Estate # 303, October 20, 1980

“As long as the oppressive relations of capitalist production prevail, the character of work will continue to assume all of the features of a bad acid trip.”
—Karl Marx, The Communist Dreambook

Work engenders the progressive unemployment of the mind by encouraging the formation of bituminous warts hanging like dead fingernails from the brain. In severe work situations these growths may feel like entire fingers curling inward.

Work distorts one’s perceptions. It causes us to view the elaborate sexual rites of spiders involved in the spinning of webs as unmotivated mechanical labor. It deludes us into an experience of gravity, in reality a frenzied composite of libidinous desire, as a heavy burden carried by the planets. It is prophesied that with the abolition of work humanity shall begin to explore the pleasures of the body and in so doing shall dissolve into the energy strata of those rosy forces holding together the cosmos with a heavenly caress.

As a child I would often turn out the lights in the hall and imitate the fearless work of the blind peering into bellies of dark birds snuggled in their eyes.

The tasks of housewives alone with the yearnings of infectious measles are maintained by rich bankers from Wall Street as surreptitious collateral for the dollar. At a happy point in the near future we will gaze into the prismatic-windows of micro-wave ovens and watch the spotted faces of these financiers roasting amid a glowing spiderweb of wire.

Working is like climbing to the top of a gargantuan mountain occupied by starving cannibals when everything you really need is tucked away somewhere in the peaceful valley below.

The Hereditary Lemon: a fable from the heritage of work. There was once a gloriously endowed young man with kaleidoscopic pebbles embroidered in his cosmic bluejeans. These bluejeans were rumpled on the floor around-his ankles as he was just now taking a shit. His name was Luther. He was in the privy and he attained perfect enlightenment. This is a true account of the anal circus he orchestrated. No shit. If you don’t believe me, ask his mother. She was a pathological liar. Her asshole was laden with porcelain tulips. Many believe this to be the hereditary basis for Luther’s sudden inundation by a rush of bliss he regarded as an orgasm from heaven. Even those skeptical about the transmission of traits by filthy chemicals agree that Luther freaked out one day while indulging himself in the john. This is a historical fact. Luther said so. If you don’t believe him, ask his mother. She was a double agent for 97 nations concurrently. She had a zen garden of artificial flowers imbedded in the rims of her asshole. No shit. This is a true account. Luther was brushing a nest of metallic flakes from his anus in the village privy one day and he made contact with God Himself. I wasn’t there and wouldn’t want to be. To me the whole scene is disgusting. Luther made contact with God while wiping his ass on the john and God said unto Luther, “Push work, you worthless motherfucker, push work.” Luther did and the course of civilization was altered: But do not despair: there is still hope. You see, I have a plan for returning work to the anal realms from which it originates. No shit. If you don’t believe me, ask my mother. She claims to be a direct descendent of coconuts and doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground.

Work is a cheap way to get big muscles.

In many primitive cultures the work of birds during migration is held forth as tangible evidence of nirvana. The work of men, on the other hand, is said to be an unknowing sacrifice contrived by evil spirits providing for their feeding grounds.

Work is a sinister oven with radiant dials, a dial for every conceivable task. Upon succumbing to the lure of these rudimentary dials the worker finds himself unequally spread through time and space while red pools of violence descend through his mind. After thirty years of dutiful attendance he comes to envision himself as a baked turnip being pelted with gold watches.

Poetry is invisible like death. I locate poetry with an infectious flashlight which converts poems into howling laughter upon contact with its feathery beams. Many years of grabbing these slippery hysterical creatures has taught me the pleasures of working with my hands. I always store the captured poems I like in carefully arranged flasks hoping they will petrify into something substantial like teeth.

In a recent issue of Statements of the Mind, a prominent Hindu psychiatric journal, Dr. Rosenclad Deep-water discusses the octopus-like relation between psychotherapeutic endeavors and the curative possibilities of work. As Dr. Deepwater wrote, “Work is the one true remedy for the diseased mind. It is the ultimate foundation of bliss and stability. Show me a lunatic and I’ll show you a man in need of back-breaking labor.”

If I never work again, no one will notice.

Some people like to work. They remind me of Christ pinned to the cross and happily rapping into a vinegar soaked microphone about how groovy everything is gonna be. Shit. They should have made him carry the cross three more miles. Just three more miles. Shit. If they had we’d all be dressed as salamanders for Allah right now.

The most taxing work is the work of fear moving us through rooms of the brain on noisy cellophane casters.

Immediately after the advent of paradise work will be placed on a dark shelf in the basement of the Smithsonian Institute. Children under twelve will be admitted only if accompanied by a lazy adult.