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by Hakim Bey

Invented by the Chinese but never developed for war - a fine example of Poetic Terrorism - a weapon used to trigger aesthetic shock rather than to kill - the Chinese hated war and used to go into mourning when armies were raised - gunpowder more useful to frighten, malign demons, delight children, fill the air with brave and risky-smelling haze.

Class C Thunder Bombs from Kwantung, bottlerockets, butterflies, M-80's, sunflowers, "A Forest In Springtime" - revolution weather - light your cigarette from the sizzling fuse of a Haymarket- black bomb - imagine the air full of lamiae and succubi, oppressive spirits, police-ghosts.

Call some kid with a smoldering punk or kitchen match - shaman- apostle of summer gunpowder plots - shatter the heavy night with pinched stars and pumped stars, arsenic and antimony, sodium and calomel, a blitz of magnesium and shrill picrate of potash.

Spur-fire (lampblack and saltpeter) portfire and iron filings - attack your local bank or ugly church with roman candles and purple-gold skyrockets, impromptu and anonymous (perhaps launch from back of pick-up truck.)

Build frame-lattice lancework set-pieces on the roofs of insurance buildings or schools - a Kundalini snake or Chaos-dragon coiled barium-green against a background of sodium-oxalate yellow - Don't Tread On Me - or copulating monsters shooting wads of jizm- fire at a Baptists old folks home. Cloud-sculpture, smoke sculpture and flags = Air Art. Earthworks. Fountains = Water Art. And Fireworks. Don't perform with Rockefeller grants and police permits for audiences of culture-lovers. Evanescent incendiary mind-bombs, scary mandalas flaring up on smug suburban nights, alien green thunderheads of emotional plague blasted by orgone-blue vajra-rays of lasered "feux d'artifice".

Comets that explode with the odor
of hashish and radioactive charcoal
- swampghouls and will-o'-the- wisps haunting public parks - fake St. Elmo's fire flickering over the architecture of the bourgeoisie - strings of lady-fingers falling on the Legislature floor - salamander- elementals attack well-known moral reformers.

Blazing shellac, sugar of milk, strontium, pitch, gum water, gerbs of chinese fire - for a few moments the air is ozone-sharp - drifting opal cloud of pungent dragon/ phoenix smoke. For an instant the Empire falls, its princes and governors flee to their stygian muck, plumes of sulphur from elf-flamethrowers burning their pinched asses as they retreat. The Assassin-child, psyche of fire, holds sway for one brief dogstar-hot night.


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