The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

unmentionable spheres

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Psychological exhaustion, physical decline, and lowered expectations define me. Pedantic depression, paranoid wonderings, and oblique idiocy fills me. Aberrant behavior, heretical ideations, and thought crimes form and obviate into self fulfilling prophecies of dire future tidings. So doomed, your humble narrator nevertheless wanders the concrete devastation of the Newtown Pentacle, seeking what might find him.


It would not be the first time his sensations had been forced to bide uninterpreted—for was not his very act of plunging into the polyglot abyss of New York’s underworld a freak beyond sensible explanation? What could he tell the prosaic of the antique witcheries and grotesque marvels discernible to sensitive eyes amidst the poison cauldron where all the varied dregs of unwholesome ages mix their venom and perpetuate their obscene terrors? He had seen the hellish green flame of secret wonder in this blatant, evasive welter of outward greed and inward blasphemy, and had smiled gently when all the New-Yorkers he knew scoffed at his experiment in police work. They had been very witty and cynical, deriding his fantastic pursuit of unknowable mysteries and assuring him that in these days New York held nothing but cheapness and vulgarity.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Embarrassed and awkward, the narration and conduct of interested enthusiasts and tourists on excursions through these blasted heaths and valleys surrounding a historical morass called the Newtown Creek over the last year has ameliorated the caul of profound loneliness one such as myself was born with. That interval, however, is at an end- for now- and omnipresent realities once again rule the day and torment the night. Sleep is no longer eagerly sought, the air is chill, and darkness arrives too early for my taste. All is not right.


I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night. I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard. A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places. There was a daemoniac alteration in the sequence of the seasons—the autumn heat lingered fearsomely, and everyone felt that the world and perhaps the universe had passed from the control of known gods or forces to that of gods or forces which were unknown.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Blissful and willful ignorance is craved, and my plans for the immediate future involve fading into the worm eaten woodwork for a time. Missives will continue to be offered at this location, but only by an accident or unforeseen coincidence will they describe interaction with others. Disgusting, the vast human hive has no claims on me for an interval, and into a calcified shell will your humble narrator withdraw.


The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To the graveyards, and beneath the bridges will your humble narrator hie, where hideous countenance and bizarre behaviors will go unnoticed. Sallow and shrunken, diseased and confused, once more shall only a filthy black raincoat be noticed as it flaps away in those shrill winds which plague and scourge the ancient towns and villages surrounding the Newtown Creek. Always must I remain, appropriately, an outsider.


I had known that he now remained mostly shut in the attic laboratory with that accursed electrical machine, eating little and excluding even the servants, but I had not thought that a brief period of ten weeks could so alter and disfigure any human creature. It is not pleasant to see a stout man suddenly grown thin, and it is even worse when the baggy skin becomes yellowed or greyed, the eyes sunken, circled, and uncannily glowing, the forehead veined and corrugated, and the hands tremulous and twitching. And if added to this there be a repellent unkemptness; a wild disorder of dress, a bushiness of dark hair white at the roots, and an unchecked growth of pure white beard on a face once clean-shaven, the cumulative effect is quite shocking.


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