Poem – “Machine”

CW: Gore, death

The Machine
By Anthony Jutz

The rusting, ancient hulk,
It hungers for our bones and gore.

Caked with bile,
Its gears grind our rotting flesh.

The Machine,
Older than any of us can remember.

It powers our rotting city,
Huffing mold and mildew through its vents.

We feed it our dead and dying,
Yet it still hungers and groans.

Its crusted parts screech in agony,
Yearning for more than we can give.

We call out the barred windows of our city,
That not even our hottest torches can melt through.

This ancient, rusted god,
Providing power to our home and prison.

One day I will feed it, too,
My gangrenous corpse fueling it for one final hour.

In hopes, we grind,
Perchance, to find:

A way out.

Prose – The Builders

Hey friends! Here’s a short story I wrote about a year ago and never really did anything with. I’ve not been into the writing thing for a while now, but figure this is worth sharing, anyway. I hope you enjoy it!


The Builders

By Anthony Jutz

It was a cold morning, mist flowing away from the base of the clouds, the day the Builders came. Their human forms were sealed within living plant-steel, giant biomechanical exoskeletons comprised of living metal. Their grasping claws and tendrils dragging deep trenches in the muck. They came to reform the world into a facsimile of their god, into a glowing mechanical orb-mind of industrious waste and rebirth. Our home was the next stop along their path of destruction.

With a chorus of violence, the Builders reshaped our valley, our families, into a lake of blood. My mother, the moon, guided the few of us who made it away into the wilds on the other side of the fractal mountains. The beasts there still tasted of earth, unlike the tarnished copper-steel that would have washed over my home.

It wouldn’t be long until their foul alchemy would transform this planet into a metallic husk, just like the others. But until then, we would save what we could and live our best. Fate comes whether we want it to or not, but the boldest of us know to ride the waves through their crest.

Through the forest of skulls, we faced our deepest, darkest fears and desires. We could take the burden of the Builders upon our own shoulders. It would be exhilarating. Destroying and rebuilding brings with it the rush of both carnage and creation. Alas, being at the will of rampant gods never was on our table. Even so, it is titillating.

My brother, the bold one–the blue one–is the one who spotted it. Our cousins’ village at long last. We had time to live a little, love a little. The Builders work slowly and methodically, sometimes so slow they’re forgotten. Which would be a mistake. Their inhuman plant-steel machinery consumes all.

Seventeen years later, everyone else had forgotten. It’s easy to not see the shadow creeping along the horizon until it’s consumed all the light around you. I was prepared for that day, as much as one could be. It was not enough.

I run again and again, leaving more family and love and life behind me. To be consumed. They say a cornered beast is the most dangerous, the beast with nothing left to lose. I am not yet that beast–I have more to sacrifice before that final hurrah.

The rancid mist surrounds me, acrid and murderous. I can see my mother, the moon, gazing down upon me, before she too disappears into the shadows. This is what I’ve been preparing for. I pierce my heart with a plant-steel spike and feel the taste of copper and murder flood my mouth.

My limbs twist and break, rending my form asunder. I am becoming.

Faster and faster, earth-metal crunches and scrapes below my feet. The Builders are slow and methodical, whereas I am speed and fury. They do not see me coming. I use my pain to disassemble their cursed tools of re-creation. They don’t feel a thing.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but they were already dead inside. Lost to their ravenous greed, their inconsideration for life. They were but a cog in the cruel machine of rebirth.

The Builders lay in yet another glistening lake of blood as I lay my foes to rest. This is but temporary, a victory of the pyrrhic sort. Their gods shall send another. The cycle, never-ending. I will be ready.

December Update + The Machine Awakens Released!

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve checked or updated this blog. Most of my goings-on are on my Patreon lately. But, I’ve been pretty busy and I’ll get into a bit of what I’ve been up to here. There’s nothing quite like having a personal website to call home.

First of all: I made and released my first ever album, called The Machine Awakens! I participated in National Solo Album Month (NaSoAlMo) in November and found that a deadline (plus better mental health) actually does help a fair bit. It’s about putting something out in the world, not aiming for perfection. Perfectionism just seems like another form of vague idealism that doesn’t give me a real goal. So, better to just hammer something out!

Here’s a link to the album on Bandcamp! I’m proud of how it came out. My last couple years of practicing and poking around have paid off. I’m planning on releasing a bunch of loose songs I have from the past couple years at some point, too.

Here’s a link to the album on Soundcloud too, in case you’d rather listen there since there’s no play limit.

On the art front, I’ve been keeping it pretty low-key. I’ve had some (routine and not-scary) medical stuff going on that’s taken a lot of focus. It seems to be getting better now though, so we’ll see how things go from here.

I did do a bunch of tiny paintings and such though!

[Image Descriptions: Top left is a rocky desert scene with flowering plants. Top middle is a butte with a cloudy skyscape. Top right is three buttes with a clear skyscape that contains a bright sun. Bottom left is more cloudy desert. Bottom middle is a foreground of rocks and trees with a giant sun behind it. Bottom right is four brush pen trees ketches of both leafy and bare trees with rocks at their base.]

Through October and November, I did some Inktense and colored pencil sketch, some brush pen stuff from imagination… mostly just tiny experiments that the sketch card tier patrons I have might like.

This month, December, I plan on doing more brush pen experiments. I want to work up to doing a larger illustration or two in prep for a commission I have. It’s kinda nice just poking away at things and having the goal of finishing something to keep me on task.

Anyway, that’s it for this time. I hope y’all have a wonderful holiday season and rest of the year!

Summer Art Update

Hey friends! It’s been *several* months since my latest update here. I’ve been doing a bunch of sketching and music, but most of that’s ended up over on Patreon (behind a 3-day delay between sharing and being public).

Anyway, here’s some art!

As you can see, I’ve been developing much more confidence and competence in my line work and painting now that I’ve gotten back into watercolors! I’ve found my happiness in it, at long last.

Anyway, that’s all for now! I’ll try to be better about updating this page more frequently in the future.

Small Update

I just realized it’s been about two months since I’ve updated my blog. I haven’t forgotten it, there just hasn’t really been all that much to share due to illness and tech issues.

am working on a short comic project though, so whenever that’s done it’ll be posted here.

Steal Like An Artist and Other Things

So, it’s been an eventful few days, after a rough patch last week (which I posted about for my Patreon subscribers). I’m doing better now, however, and am making changes to my life to hopefully prevent or lessen the impact of such an episode in the future.

Such changes include my giving up alcohol for good. It’s been doing me no favors and I’ve wasted too much money on it. There’s little point in consuming something so unhealthy, anyway. I’d rather drink tea instead, so I will.

I’ve also been changing my inner self-talk. I used to use very demeaning language when talking to myself, particularly when I’ve made an error or remembered a past one. Instead, I’m just shrugging things off and taking them as a note to do better in the future. Live and learn, eh?

On top of all that, I’ve picked up my copy of Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon (who you should really give a follow on Twitter) again. This book is full of amazing creative advice for artists. There’s no shame in “stealing” things and making them your own. Now, neither I nor the book mean in the sense of plagiarism. It’s all about taking some cool shit and mashing them together into something new, interesting, and our own.

Other than that, I’ve been laying more groundwork for my fifth rewrite of Recompense, a story I’ve had in the works for like four years now. I’m hoping to make the best out of it I can this time, and know I will. This story deserves it. I deserve it, too, for all the effort I’ve been putting in. Heck yeah, getting better at a skill.

I haven’t done any noteworthy art this past week, but I’ll get back on the horse sooner or later. Getting some space from such things lets me come back with more fondness and eagerness than before.

Anyway, I hope you all are well and will catch you later!

-Jank/Anthony