out in a desert forest of tenement husks, an exile-city of thrownaway NEETS freaks and hermits eternally kill time. the human detritus of the world pools here like the blood watershed of wasted lives. salt winds eroding empty dust streets & ghostly figurines, vines up sun-cracked concrete and barren cables. scurrying desert rats thriving off scraps & plastic in the landfills. dying sunbeams fan through the skyline; cactus birds nest in the vents; bedroom lanterns at dusk under arid stars. circular glasses & tobacco, hanging linens untrimmed hair and pale moonlight skimming over the red desert dunes; windswept grains of sand and ochre-black nails dancing over flutes on the rooftop at night.

this hermit tribe’s solitary ethnogenic rite is endlessly relived in cramped rooms with brows sweat-slicked pale fingers smoothing over cigarette paper & smoking hashish on hair cushions kicking anxious spasms at daylight. waking in the dark; dry-mouthed orgasms; insomnia, incoherent screaming and murmured self-talk filling the great quiet. manic dancing & doom calligraphy body painting. drowning in ramen cups & plastic waste, plates piled in the sink, eating with bare hands. passing obsessions: spree killer diets & pataphysics. self-harm and black tape over the windows. rumours in the changing taste of tapwater. unwatched bodies and inert minds fusing: external = internal. numb and shapeless perception eats sleeps swallows breathes thinks. thoughts = words = speaking through hands onto keys printing ideas into space. noise exists inside and outside the skull. noise exists. the soul is mummified in less than three years; insensate liquid perception curdles; bloodshot eyes seeing God; chrysopoeia. the lonely alchemy makes for recluse artisans scholars monks & proficients; isolation is a bad fix & the whole city’s hooked. no public houses exist here; only the uniform cells of busy bored hermits singing carving writing praying & collecting.

nocturnal artisans immured in polychrome drywall workshops - the vertebrae of the economy - chiselling alabaster busts of lovers they’ll never meet; ornate masks & ghastly ceramic figurines of apartment sprites seen dancing between the roof beams. the crudeness of trade is mediated by dusk-eyed transmigrant hires in the opium shade of tents at the caravanseray outside the city: haggling in the evening heat, electricity water canvas paper & canned soup, swapped for koan collections and woodblock prints.

dull compulsions filed perfectly sharp; obsessively sorted old-world daguerreotypes piling up in the bedroom archives of autistic librarians: moth-bitten tomes alembics astrolabes, antique brass geomantic instruments & shelves of dusty skulls. from the apartment arcologies of forum & subculture admins, an online neet aristocracy dominates distant virtual spaces; local network imageboard wars spill over into emaciated fistfights in the hallways.

ancients saw God in cave walls & silent montane ashrams; amidst the long ghostly desert nights, nearly half of hermits are monks. in one building: a disused elevator shaft filled with discarded sex organs. a monastery tower block of androgynous mystics, exporting out eerie gods to the barbarians beyond the city. tiers of anchorite cells; sand beaten balcony stylites screaming wisdoms; on the fifth floor, a livestreamed black onyx stone has become the object of webcam idolatry. hallways stinking of cassia and sandalwood hide mystery cults behind doors and secret tunnels to bricked-off service floor mithraea: a daubed eye bleeding archil watches candlelight glinting off cracked ikons of eremite saints. bronze hands burnt from incense sticks clasped in prayer. blindfolded meditation for twenty-two hours; ecstatic visions transcending the purgatory-hermitage: godly concrete pillars holding up the sky; a concentric sandstone empyrean hanging over this city of lonely rooms.

in the catacombs below, sand compacted high-rise hypogea, sun-dried bodies sleep & dream forever in boxed apartment-microcosms. the desert coils around the city endlessly like hourglass sand devouring its own tail.