Synopsis of Hero Apomixis by C.A. Seller

Hero Apomixis is a work of stream of consciousness written over 22 months while the author was incarcerated in Attica Correctional Facility in 2000/01. A story of tortuous experience at the hands of a broken social services system, bad parenting, and the Prison Industrial Complex, Hero begins to lose his mind as evidenced by fantacide and dreamories only interrupted by prison feedings. Hero is either a victim or a sociopath. The book challenges us to ask, “What would you do?”

“If you like Dante, if you like Bosch, if you like Burroughs, you’ll dig the brutally dark brilliance of C.A. Seller’s HERO APOMIXIS. A rare stroke of ever darkening courage. Welcome to hell.” Ron Whitehead*Version*=1&*entries*=0





It had begun to rain. The double glass panes with chicken

wire in between them were fogged over. Hero kept still,

the yard bell rang, he didn’t think too many guys would

be going outside though. The last part of the poem “For

Whom The Bell Tolls” kept repeating itself over and over

again in his mind.

“ .. any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in

Mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the

bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

Hero saw the running feet and craned necks of school boys,

Saturday-Sunday drivers and convicts as they all scrambled

to see who it was fighting or, “is that a car wreck?!” inside

Hero’s head.

“Move! I can’t see!”

When he was a boy, the adults all looked older. Maybe

it was only the way they carried themselves or his own young

interpretations but now that he was a grown man all

the adults looked to him like nothing more than big juvenile

delinquents with full beards, bad manners and dangerous toys.

Very few men had ever impressed Hero – few that he’d met

anyway. Of course he hadn’t been in the most opportune

of places, usually, for meeting anyone of any great caliber –

and that opened yet another Pandora’s Box in his mental

house of horrors. And, just whose scale were these men to

be measured on anyway?

“All the good girls in church.”

At least that’s what he’d heard a lot of cons saying for

years though Hero wasn’t very inclined to go looking

for any new friends in church. Besides, it appeared as if

the Christians were having a bad year, what with someone

having declared it open season on them and all. Thousands

of them were praying in stadiums and at roadside shrines,

on the loading docks of countless Winn Dixie Supermarkets and

in the schools: morning prayer would now, finally, be

recognized as the country’s last hope in its battle with

Satan. And, given the opportunity, Hero would have told them:

“Don’t blame God.”

Not for the bad and not for the good. He’d lived with Born

Again Christians and learned that everything they had that

was good was always worthy of an, “Amen, Praise Jesus,”

but they’d missed the next few levels of perception and

interpretation that logically said,

“God sent it All.”

That explained why they’d invented the Devil: to take up

God’s slack and eventually they gave him his own franchise

on BAD sort of like a Mary Kay Cadillac only in black.

Another con once waived a receipt for a money order he’d

received that day, telling Hero,

“See how God works?!”

Hero looked at the ecstatic idiot and just couldn’t resist,

“Yeah, God and the United States Postal Service”

The joke had been wasted on the greedy fat fuck. It had

sailed right over his head twice and would have landed there

but for the huge hole.

Some guys in prison always had to go to church on Sunday.

Some went to get a hand job from one of the homo’s in the

last pew while others more daring would try for a little

back door action in the bathroom. The rest had their gang

meetings or conducted drug deals and guys like Paddy McGuire

held court amongst the white boys, keeping up with all the

latest wires and whatnot and a very small percentage went

to actually try and settle their accounts with “The Man

upstairs” which to Hero meant the armed cop up on the catwalk

watching the chapel and  God, who was rumored

to be more of a pimp than the cop, but then again they were

running pretty much neck and neck about that time.

Whenever he heard that someone was going to church, Hero

would say,

“Yo, you see God down there, tell’em I said,

‘Wussup?! ‘“

And after church, he’d tell them,

“Yo! You just missed him!”


“God! Who else? But, yo, don’t even sweat it, I seen

him, he wasn’t all that.”

Some dudes used to get really offended by him saying these

things to them when they were so seriously trying to get

some religion back in their lives – which made doing it all

that much more fun. They wanted to believe. Then, if they

could get the Parole Board to believe, they were all set.

Hero recalled the story of some miserable piece of shit

that thought he’d got religion. When he came back from the

board he threw that bible clear across the dorm. Amen.

Hero told a group of them once,

“It is part and parcel of the whole that is the hypocrisy

in all these Christians,”

not so much because it was true – which it wasn’t – in fact

it was pure caca but because it sounded so damn good and

he figured that if 2% of the cons listening had understood

what he’d said in the first place, why, it would have been

a miracle as worthy of ecumenical investigation as the

recent report of a purple assed baboon with the sign of

the stigmata – or – an icon in Kazakhstan hidden somewhere

beneath the Caspian Sea that cried tears of Marvel Mystery Oil

and VOS shampoo – alternately – according to the phases

of the moon. Of all these truisms didst Hero telleth them,

and of many things didst he speaketh in those days of terrible


Hero thought of the church as a big haunted house. He

believed that Christ, and most of the other prophets (white

and black), had lived and done miraculous things in the

service of their fellow man but none of that other crap

they’d added, no sir, all that extortion shit had turned

Him into nothing but a po’-pimp’s lookout man. Sheeeit.

Unconditional love. Period. Hero believed in the same

Great Spirit as the American Indians (North and South).

Very simple and very basic yet omnipotent. The great shifting

power, gigantic and crushing, indifferent. The antithesis

of what the “first” Europeans in the “New World” had brought

with them – besides disease that is. Hero could hear them

trying to desperately cop a plea without sounding as if

they didn’t mean it. They didn’t do too good.

“We were wrong, OK?! Sorry! Jesus, it’s not like you never

made any mistakes you know.”

And a defective clone of Cindy Brady they’d sent as a

representative would stick her tongue out backed by her

entire head, pigtails flying every which way, turn around and

march off, another perfect specimen of this civilization’s

latest incarnation of consumer coercion. Five motherfucking

centuries of selling each other shit and lies and then more

shit. The word “penitentiary” came from the word “penance.”

Although Hero thought that maybe something had been lost

in the translation.

“Why, yes .. you’re right, the translation, of course .. you’re

a genius, man! How could we have been so blind?! You’ll

see a Nobel Prize at the very least, my boy!”

“Satan is God with a hangover,” Hero said to his shoe.

“What’s ‘at?” Q asked him.

“My shoe .. uh, nothin’, Q, I was just thinkin’ out loud, s’all.

“Satan is God when he’s drunk.”

“What? Hero, you call me?”

“Huh? Nah, sorry, Q.”

Hero and Q never spoke very much and that’s probably why

they’d gotten along so well for so long; they even arranged

their meals via passed notes for more privacy. If he was

lonely, or maybe just masochistic, Hero could always talk

to Jughead, but why? Within ten minutes he’d be thinking

about slitting his own wrists, frustrated that he couldn’t

get to Jughead’s. It always ended in an argument even when

Hero didn’t argue. “ JugFacts” left unanswered and unchallenged

would hang palpably between their cells until the words

that Hero hadn’t spoken to give Jughead the argument he

so desperately yearned for would drive him to start yet

another”academic discussion.”

“Piece of shit.”

“Dat was you, Hero?”

“Eh? Nothin’.”

Hero had come to notice how all the bullshit artists he’d been forced to listen to in his life, they’d all shared the peculiar habit of telling some ridiculous lie or another and then pause, intensely studying the poor bastard they were holding hostage by exploiting his good manners. What the fuck were they looking for? Such exchanges were unnerving, like the discovery of a cockroach in your bed: you wondered how long had it been there?

This was the same thing Jughead would arrange on the gate

only he wasn’t able to see Hero so he had to relish in

his frustration as reflected by the length of time before

he gave him any answer. Meanwhile, Hero prayed to every

God he could think of that, at the very least, Jughead would

have a speech paralyzing stroke  that very moment. Sometimes

Jughead would hold up his small plastic mirror in front

of Hero’s cell and motion in the reflection with his free

hand for him to come closer so no one would hear whatever

nonsense it was that he so clandestinely had to communicate.

Then, while looking at him in the mirror, he would

speak without making any sound so that Hero was expected

to read his lips. He always became very annoyed with Hero’s

inability to understand him. Hero didn’t like speaking eye

to eye with people he wasn’t intimate with in the first place,

never mind that he couldn’t stand having to look at Jughead

murmuring at him in that tiny mirror. He enjoyed a more

broken up eye contact that was part of a totally enveloping

communication which included body language, gesticulation

and vibe. He believed a field of energy existed around everyone

and everything, we just tended to ignore it in our gross

average methods of movement which were too often governed

by base desire; which was ok with Hero, too. He liked himself

in these rare glimpses, this overview as it were, of his

perceived humanity in all its scope. Perceived because

he believed that there was always more and that was the

magic that kept him going. His own worst enemy – his very

best friend. That was part of being all “growed-up” as he’d

recently wrote to an old friend. Your life was a given

when you were eighteen; for Hero it had been a nightmare

struggle of looking inside from out, a social retard with

tools but no experience in their use. Naive, he never thought

he was immortal  but things had definitely been easier on

the physical tip than they were now at thirty-five and he

wanted to make sure he lived as long as he could, he wanted

to see what was going to happen next.

“Never trust anyone over thirty,” the kids had said when

Hero was a little boy. Now, forty was right around the corner

and it had taken him thirty-five years and the threat of

an early death at the hands of his own dirty blood and a

disease that had no cure to realize it. Thirty-five years

and Mr. Death kicking back on his liver like it was a fucking

BarcoLounger reminded him that he was mature enough to

care and to think that he just might need a plan to provide

for his comfort later. Hero thought about older guys he’d

known who had fallen on “hard times” (which was just a polite

way of saying that they’d fucked-up). He was looking at

a coin with saw tooth edges. It wasn’t a very pretty picture,

not at all. That wasn’t for him, no way. He figured he still

had about two years to get ready, get set, and Go!


Art: Dan Reece




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