“A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.” —Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

. . . explodes out a gaping manhole, does a graceful back flip in slow-mo and lands squarely, like an Olympic gymnast, on two strong feet. he quickly cracks his neck and rearranges his tie . . . and strikes a little old bag lady underneath her chin with the blade of his hand, snapping her neck. a bloody butcher’s knife flies helplessly out of the bag lady’s dead claw as she flies end over end across the street as if awkwardly projected out of giant slingshot . . . a man in an Alfred Hitchcock fatsuit beheads three Russian mafioso thugs with a samurai sword in one swipe. the heads topple to the asphalt in slow-mo . . . speed up and splat. expressions of paralyzed confusion on their broken faces. their bodies continue to kung fu fight against the Alfred Hitchcock impersonator for 15 more minutes until they realize their heads are lying on the ground like smashed pumpkins and they no longer belong to the land of the living . . . black blood and cirrhotic innards spew out of neck holes . . . Dr. Dorian “Bling-Bling” Thunderlove dodges a deadly kick. slo-mo close-up on his livid b&w face . . . screaming ninjas in nazi uniforms flip and fly across the expanse of the neon green sky . . . boy bands do dance moves and sing songs on street corners, providing the background score for the formulaic ho-hum holocaust . . . here comes a brigade of teeth-gnashing late-nineteenth century Men of Import in bowlers and handlebar mustaches and skintight Derridian suits goosestepping down Giddyap Street . . . there goes a brigade of blank-faced futique Men of Implode in stovepipe hats and isosceles triangle chin-beards and loose-fitting Calvin Klein Mexican Tuxedos jetpacking down Horrorshow Boulevard . . . flashbulb of infinite, inexplicable grotesqueries . . . naked jailbreakers smoke hubbly-bubbly in alleyways and smoke seeps out of their twitching lips, nostrils, ears in slo-mo . . . a roided up history professor tackles two kissass students, rips off their pencil-thin limbs, growls and flexes like the Hulk. he calmly removes a pair of chopsticks from his antiquated tweed jacket and dines on their eyeballs, dry-heaving with each tasteless swallow . . . pornstars descend from the heavens, exert a powerful deus ex machina, set everything in order. politicians immediately rise out of the gutters, return everything to shit and taxes . . . and gang-rape every last hardbodied evil-doer . . . a food fight breaks out in a sausage factory inducing uncontrollable penis envy in its female workers. giant razorsharp phalluses reflexively sprout from their crotches and attack anything that threatens their authority . . . MAN GORED BY GIANT PHALLUS THAT REFLEXIVELY SPROUTS OUT CO-WORKER’S CROTCH, reads a tabloid headline long before the atrocity takes place . . . a bug-eyed monster brandishes the old two-fingered peace sign as two roadragers leap out of their Beamers and square off with samurai swords. one of the roadragers is split in two from top to bottom—his halves slide apart with a slurp, black bile and bowels flow onto the street. a tear rolls down the alien’s scaly cheek. camera pops. the alien becomes a posterboy for The Blah Blah Movement, gives motivational speeches in tall-steepled churches, sporting arenas, city squares, reality studios . . . [missing passage here: insert random act of ultraviolence] . . . purple blacklights stain the streets for miles and casts countless shadows of twitching stick figures . . . Dr. Thunderlove jabs, jabs, jabs, grins, leaps into the air, does six fasttime backflips, weaves through the maelstrom of flesh, freezeframes in midair. a random stranger scratches his head. the doctor bursts into realtime and bears down on the stranger’s midsection with a karate chop from Hell. his insides pour out his mouth like a rainbow of sewage and the stranger slumps to the pavement, an empty shell, a hollow man, a BwO . . . sentient skyscrapers spit infinite catwalks out of their window holes into the jungle of swinging construction beams outside . . . inside the skyscraper that sits on the corner of Niminy and Piminy on the 498th floor in sector 38 across from restroom 111 in cubicle 230,856, an actuary with a concave chest, chronic halitosis and asymmetrical widow’s peaks takes a delicate sip of steaming hot decaffeinated freeze-dried coffee from a thimble-sized styrofoam cup . . . wild packs of cheetahs and crocodiles gallop across the city preying on window shoppers . . . exploding fire hydrants . . . fistfuls of doll hairs . . . immeasurable breakdance and kung fu moves in slo-mo, in slower-mo . . . a thousand sleeping p.b.-pees (pseudofolliculitis barbae people) dream the exact same dream at the exact same time . . . dreaming about the doctor’s doppelgänger, Mr. Stanley “Third World” Ashenbach, everyman extraordinaire who moonlights as an urbanized übermensch, goes by the name of Bourgeois Man. in the dream Mr. Ashenbach is contemplating the art of sandwich-making as he prances down the street, pursing his lips and fluttering his eyes and carrying on like the straight up dandy he is. suddenly arch-nemesis Wigga Man descends from the sky in a neckfull of chains, a gold-plated cape, an oversized mask (a strap-on likeness of Jung Ladd a.k.a. Q. P. “Quarter Past” Nuthin), and stiffly starched tighty-whities. he’s got a mean-on and starts reeking all kinds of lexical havoc. Bourgeois Man to the rescue. no change of clothes necessary (this übermensch is always in uniform)—he makes sure his fedora is in place, leaps into the air, hauls ass across town and flies at top speed into Wigga Man, clipping him in the back with a sharp elbow and shattering his spine. Wigga Man had been machinegunning a cluster of would-be lunch-goers with a fusillade of Old English signifiers. he falls over in slo-mo, lands on the asphalt like a sack of potatoes. he gurgles blood and spits pieces of spine out of his mouth as Bourgeois Man bows to a smiling audience that nods and claps at him in fasttime by slamming strong index fingers into their wrinkled palms . . . wake up and freezeframe . . . passing out to slo-mo and the audience detonates . . . gore . . . irradiated skeletons erupting into the mirrored walls of the financial district . . . spectacle of scintillating crystals . . . spectacle of . . .

D. Harlan Wilson is a Michigan-based writer of irreal fiction. He has published over 100 stories in magazines and anthologies throughout the world. In 1997 Wilson received a M.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and in 1998 he received a M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool. Prior to that he worked as an international salesman, a model and actor, a casino dealer, a security guard, a garbage man and a flâneur. Currently he teaches creative writing at Michigan State University while writing his Ph.D. dissertation on postmodern science fiction. Here is D. Harlan Wilson on 'Intermezzo:' "This piece is rather unconventional and will appear as the central story in my next book, Pseudo-City, as a "break" from the rest of the book. It works as a stand alone narrative, I think, in a theoretical sense, but certainly not in a practical sense." Check out his webby: