“Manifestation Manifesto” by Richard F. Yates (and Richard O’Brien—a bit, and against his will)

1 – [Fuzz Station U.F.O. Landing]
(Static)…brrrzzzh…to bring you this terrifying announcement. This station has now received over a dozen calls from concerned citizens who are claiming that a U.F.O. has been cited in the hills to the north of Kelso, Washington. We’ve sent several reporters to the area, but as of yet none have been able to transmit a statement or even drive near enough to the scene to produce an eye-witness account because all mechanical and electrical equipment that enters an approximate five mile radius of the supposed epicenter of the activity fails to function. No word yet from local police about this…zzzhrrrk…ththkt…(statiC)

2 – [Happy Hotdog Cart]
The day after Christmas, early in the A.M. darkness, we skipped the state and scudded into Vegas (amidst high winds and harsh turbulence.) For the next week, we were surrounded by cigarette smoke, vestigial Xmas tunes, freezing cold winds, noisy flashing machines, noisier (but less flashy) humans, and bowling—and the only thing in this swirling, maddening mass of glitz and glam that made my family (consistently) happy was a little food cart that sold beer-boiled hotdogs at about $2.50 per dog. It was quite a trip. (Maybe I’ll share some of the photos sometime—but probably not.)

3 – [Lumbering Contamination]
Vegas, like many large and too-busy cities, is a lumbering contamination rife with nicotine stains and shattered get-rich-quick dreams. I recommend that everyone visit—at least twice.

4 – [Prehistoric Butterflies]
(Meanwhile, in the Eocene era…)
Prehistoric lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) had difficulties finding adequate preservation techniques to ensure that their remains would be available for humanity to gawk at and study. Their fragile bodies and delicate wings decomposed quickly (like paper, cardboard, and digital media hosted on quixotic, corporate owned servers), and so very few examples of prehistoric butterflies can be found today. (Perhaps they didn’t think much about the possibilities of immortality.)

5 – [Brushfire Congregation!]
(A few miles east of the supposed U.F.O. landing site, a secret cult gathers around a fire made from sodden branches and gallons of blue burning fossil fuels. They chant together and sing…)
We greet the lost wings, not preserved for our loving gaze!
We have no right to demand your fluffy yet scaly presence,
And we should not mourn your demise
Oh winged ones!
As you came and went
Before we unworthy humans
Were even a thought!
We pretend to fly!
And we worship the wounds we receive
When we fall
As you all fell
And then disappeared
As we will all fall
Into the dreams of the Earth!

6 – [Anti]
In previous manifestos, I used many words to outline my philosophies (of art / life / lawn maintenance / ham) and explained my processes and defined my terms and bitched and moaned and…


How many humans read (red) the words, expanded on the philosophies, argued the terms, or acted on the (obviously brilliant) suggestions? Any? So—why die-doo-it? (So many questions, so little likelihood of finding answers. Buried in strata, lost in time, blocked by alien anti-technology fields…)

7 – [Thoughts and Nots and Kerfuffle]
Back to basics. Basics to the back.
Shop and chop and HOORAY FOR BACTERIA!
Underdone biscuits cause ruination
On a global scale
And the raw crumbs collect
In the Handbags of the Damned!

I believe in the Frostbite Blues
A mist opportunity
On the loos
No smoke without fire
Oooo-la la and Oh-low low
Lost tube (dressing on the side)
Light and fluffy transfusion
For my clog, my heart
But drinking drain-Oh-low low doesn’t help
(Does it?)
(I’m not a doctor
But I had handwriting like one
When I was drunk

Broken ladle in the soup
Kleptomaniacs, seasoned with brown bread
Living in sin.
(But don’t report the little things…
Don’t be empire’s umpires.)
Lead poisoning is not a career goal.
Stay!—until the sacrifice.

8 – [SCUM Report]
When you’ve lived in obscurity for long enough, successfully avoiding monetary gain, critical attention, building functional networks, or producing meaningful works, it becomes a simple matter to start thinking of one’s self as SCUM.

Richard O’Brien once said that SCUM stands for “Secretly Co-identified Untreatable Mollusks,” and he’s partially right, but mostly wrong. I suggest that SCUM could mean “Solid Chickens Under Magnification,” and I’m partially right, but mostly wrong.

Having lived as SCUM for several decades, I’m probably too close to the subject to accurately define it (without my biases showing.)

(No. Nope. Not.)

SCUM Report Report: Today’s SCUM is coming in from the North-East at 10 to 12 miles per hour. SCUM-down will be at 7:47 P.M. (Pacific Daylight Savings Time), and a full SCUM-bloom is expected to erupt at around dawn on the 26th of the month (so those of you who are allergic should wear the appropriate gas masks and wallet chains.) Happy SCUM-ing!

9 – [Last Place Trophy]
I know I shouldn’t bother. I know I’m a Primitive Lepidoptera in a world full of Super-Corrosives. I know my wings (paper, cardboard, and digital media hosted on quixotic, corporate owned servers) aren’t destined for fossilization—that my Last Place Trophy (for the worst work worked for the longest time in quiet desperation and without hope of commercial acceptance) has probably been lost in the mail. Nothing makes it tick. I would run away to the woods and hide, but I swore I’d never move again, and since it’s my rule, if I break it I have to kick myself out of the game. Probably for the best—or the worst (Last Place Trophy!) Either side of the spectrum is fine, as long as I don’t end up in the middle.

So much death lately—and memories are made of this. Van Gogh’s ear, Ray Johnson’s eyes, Basquiat’s teeth, Bowie’s hair… How you dress dictates how they undress you. If you remain naked all your life then you deny them the rite to make a mystery of you. (Oh winged ones!)

Bring your best mask, lie shamelessly explaining how it’s the real you, and instantly change to a new face (vehemently denying the old one) if anyone starts to believe the mask is TRUE. Sell swamp land to sailors. Bury your least interesting treasures in the deepest holes. Jettison the cargo on take-off, wear your armor while swimming, and walk off into the sunset without saving the day. There’s always tomorrow…

10 – [Corrupted Files]
I know the archive will never be complete, but does that mean I should stop collecting? Just because the bullet’s a blank doesn’t mean it can’t kill. You. I keep my candy in the freezer (and forget that it’s there.) Rapidly descending into tedium, but it was good for a bit…just a bit. And by the way, there were no U.F.O.s, only butterflies.

11 – [Sign Off]
Mistakes were made.

—Richard F. Yates

About richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)
This entry was posted in art, butterflies, immortality, manifestos, poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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