by Tantra Bensko


The caterpillar refused to speak nonsense, though it was expected of him. He normally had an audience of silence, which coaxed him daily into quips. He bore ruthlessly into the innards of a goose-down pillow, which had been dropped off alongside the road. On the cover, which had been torn in the fall from the wrack on the truck of the intelligentsia, was a hypnotic image of a monolith. On the monolith was engraved “If you are a nihilist, become as transparent as the darkness on a bright day.” The caterpillar climbed along the monolith, enjoying the view.

It fell off onto the road and began to get in touch with its nihilist roots.


The records of the red hall are embossed on the undeniably esoteric model of a monolith. It sits surrounded by men with canes, and blooming dandelions. A mezzo-soprano wanders up and gives a dandelion a poke. She seems to be demanding someone donate to her a beard. No one has gone any further with this, and the electricity of her song about beards, listing, growing more undulant, crescendos. The men turn away and sneer into their dandelions, one of them taking out a trumpet.

Like a dog singing with a harmonica, with duende, he wailed with her, and offered her his mustache— all he had, all he had.


The religion of the nihilist agenda, which was put forth as the answer, reeled in many curious people. And one singing dog. The records of the meetings, embossed on the plaque, tell tales of bipedal nonsense, voiced silence, dream-dragons circling the monolith made of nothing.

The monolith hovered over its reflection, the anti-monolith, and buzzed like a bee. No one for miles around knew where the answers came from in their dreams. But somehow, hazy mirages of the monolith and its upside down twin came to them, embossed with suggestions.

When they listened to the advice, they would learn to anti-swing in reflections, their movements breaking up the smooth surface, in concentric waves.