Everything Is Swamp Sludge

Elizabeth B.Rico writes about sludge, when you read it you turn to sludge.

Everything is swamp sludge. The hallways are sludge. The stairs are sludge. The shoes and feet are sludge. The streets are sludge. The buildings are sludge. The cars are sludge. The drivers are sludge. The pedestrians are sludge. The shops are sludge. The banks are sludge (river and commerce sludge alike). The children are sludge becoming. Their mothers and fathers are most certainly sludge. The moths, also, sludge. The trees are sludge with sludge fronds. The sunlight is sludge, the air sludge, water sludge, time sludge.

We, the sludgey masses, are choking on these minutes and days of sludge.

Years from now these buildings, with their torrid cigarette ends and broken bottle remains and spider clusters and drunken laundry room mosquitoes and b-n-e kidz and piss drenched pools and the old kind of racists and their immigrant neighbors who invested it all in Hope, will still be sludge. From this sludge will rise a shiny and rich New City of Great White Highrises, gleaming and angular like a starved woman prisoner.

But I will still be here stuck in this sludge. All of us who are here now in the sludge forever in the sludge, stuck in the sludge, a whole sludge populous sliding gutterwise, driven by that current of the New Rich Cities churning out white boys with Hair. Oh! all those sparkling people of the New Rich Cities! All of them are woke! All of them have dental care!

The ground is hot sludge sucking me flesh-first into a dark quiet place where I am regrettably forgotten.

I am nothing. We are nothing. Nothing is dust-sludge agitating endless in the glittering black galaxy of sludge.

There is no mercy, only sludge.

Gotta love it, love it, love the sludge. The sludge loves you. The sludge loves you so much it will never let you go. Never, never, never anything but sludge. Don’t forget!–the roads are sludge! The cars are sludge! They leave rubber sludge on road-tar sludge, such fine sludge alchemy! There’s earth sludge, but best of all there’s human sludge. Everything, everything, everything is swamp sludge.

Time is a sludge you fight. Time is a sludge who beats you every time. I am a sludge who loves you. You are a sludge who has already forgotten me. Me, I, You, We are sludge together under a sludge sun sludging on planetary, rotating sludge. Oooo the air is sludge so good. Slurp that sludge! Fill a belly with sludge, get fat on sludge (you’ll never bounce back from sludge).

Know what’s not sludge though? Lizards.

Lizards have “special” suckers on their feet that let them skitter-skat across the sludge like JESUSSUPERMAN. Lizards scale time for sport. And it’s a fact that Lizards never die–that’s why there are so many of them. I watched a Lizard dive into the sludge after something I couldn’t see but that must have been sludge. Guy came up headless! pink guts spewing from the neck-hole (the guts were sludge) but oh that ever-beating Lizard heart picked up its skin and whittled itself new bones from sludge that weren’t sludge when they were bones (this is part of the mysterious magick of Lizards) and–there–a head again! O, to be an immortal Lizard, stead mere sludge. O, the wisdom and resilience of Lizards. You once called me Lizard before you dove into the sludge, but you were not a Lizard, and you did not resurface.

Elizabeth B.Rico

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