Previously on the Rewound World: while I looked on, four trepid post-apocalyptic travelers wandering in the Nullarbor Plain defeated the internet. Episode One is here.
Over there, do you see?
Ada’s vision was terrascopic.
An effulgence is rising in unsingable blues
The flaring light was visible to each of us
according to our dreams and secrets.
Ada, Deirdre, John P, Paulo, and I were crossing the Nullarbor plain when the internet’s voracious cables rose from the underworld and embroiled us in serpentine data. Episode one is here.
I cleared my throat.
I’m okay, Paulo said.
Deirdre swatted at a social media invite.
This gloomy internet knows that it’s alive,
but it doesn’t understand the counterweight
of living: the partial sum of life, its passing.
Although they didn’t play any instruments, a band of post-apocalyptic travellers was crossing the Nullarbor plain. On a lunch break, one of them, the humorless John Person, addressed my alternate. The first episode is here.
You’re a quiet one.
I nodded, and while Ada told her story,
I thought about epoxy resin,
Araldite in two parts, one of which
was always empty first.
The first episode was set two weeks ago in the future Nullarbor Plain. Cassette players, deceased goannas, and kookaburras were not mentioned. Written in the past, it dealt with present-day reminiscences in the apocalyptic future. The wind was blowing, water was scarce, and nothing happened. Episode 2 is similar.
Words arise from other words, a twisting,
an entanglement that never completes itself.
Thoughts I’ve disinterred I recite with fake solemnity.
The kookas on the clothesline emit embarrassed laughs
and find the sky.
reductio ad absurdum
Oh Deija, if you ever were, if you ever were right now,
would my words mean anything? I cannot speak
your mother tongue:
the language of the undimensioned realms,
your modality of erasure,
from a time when words were silent.
The air is curdled and afraid, stinging in my throat.
I fall asleep, return to fantasy that once was truth,
tumble to the world where Moorcock’s misplaced
Their flickering uncertainty illuminates the overgrowing vines,
and they bleed their forlorn magic to the earth,
creating lesser mammals that frolic for a moment
in a second dawn.
Violeta’s sweeping up the windy sand the sea
has left behind. She sees the dried and frail feathers
of what once had flown on seagull wings,
and now at rest, is thinking:
In my pseudo stasis, I have no purpose,
my birdful thoughts are beakless now,
but a splash of SA30 motor oil and I’d be
scrabbling on the beach.
When fantasy disappeared from Fênix and everyone left, Sorry, who fell out of the sky with her Subaru, and a possibly undead storyteller, were left behind. She warned him of an imminent electrified dystopia, and they sought sanctuary in Guarapuava. On the way, they saw herds of armadillos ridden by sephine spiders. Part One is here.
Luck was with us when we arrived in Guarapuava:
the world had not yet ended, and by the teary shores of
the Lagoa das Lágrimas, we came across
the Pensive Teahouse, open after midnight.
The ether wave swept through and swept away
intangible imaginings: shimmers from the overworld,
refractions risen from the subterrain,
and the sephine webs connecting them.
When the wave had passed, the town of Fênix
was no longer cloaked in mystery and fantasy,
only naked objectivity remained,
a brutal realism that no-one could withstand.
Inconstant light will update fortnightly from today. This has little to do with Mars. It is a consequence of irreversible thermodynamics, evolution beyond the axolotl, and causation.
With strong and weak nuclear forces,
you might try to bind every atom of your being,
to neither dissipate nor propagate. To build a bulwark
against living’s effervescence, you might try.
A childhood reconfigured, a child who could never be,
with cardboard carts of stones and stamps,
bundled with a string, with wooden wired
contrivances hidden from the world,
and yet the others whispered in his ears.
They told him of a place where wild basalt seas
crashed down upon the shattered mirror beaches,
and sleepless carriages fled the stations of existence.
The wind drops violins, my ducks are misaligned,
and the day that you created is winding up
and winding down.
I’ve spread the margarine of time
across the bread and crossed it out.
I need no answers, Alícia,
to questions no-one asked.
Cakely words by Sara Lee
are baking in the oven
and I don’t know who’s to blame.
Before the new days, ancient currawongs
hammering bells awoke me.
The new birds want my moto perpetuo,
my clockwork drive to nonexistence,
to eternal giving up before beginning.
I was seated at a table in bibliographic
co-ordinates, aligning ping-pong balls
in rows, to start and finish with the first.
The kraken goes shopping
I was on my way from leaving to arriving,
idling in a less-than-patient traffic queue,
when an unexpected monk
came tapping at my window.
He offered to paint my windscreen
for an altruistic price, and while he worked,
he shared the tragic story of his life.
On days when stormy ink is in the air
and the atmosphere is virtual,
precautions must be taken.
If the downpour seeks the sea
by way of dimpled rivers,
an umbrella or a rowboat will be fine.
Microscopic particles of time
rain upon our lives.
Paper promises grow brittle,
mapped forgiveness folds, unfolds,
frays and tears along the creases.
Our memories refract through prisms
until the brightest day is lost
in anesthetic runes.
I heard a motor revving in the carport,
and from my gate,
I watched my Kia Starfish drive away,
with the spindly legged carport
I sleep beneath the tire marks
on roads of eggshell bones,
carried by the bubble birds
in their serrated beaks from caves
where rainy pebbles fall,
clattering on my roof, taking fluid forms.
I was painting my house with Dulux
when a whirlpool wind came calling.
It was fleeing from the west,
from particulate mirages and miracles of water.
At the Café Économique,
they serve one class of patron,
one strength of resteamed coffee grounds,
a minor bird is hopping on a plastic olive branch
and a mangy city cat is watching.
I’m seated at a likeness of a table
reading faded scrawls on a communal
on an evening in the soft infinity.
The sheeting rain outside
is a comfort and a warning
while I solder in a copper tangle:
connections from the future to the past,
with an insulating bypass round the present.
In the stormy world outdoors,
bright cascades of lightning challenge
my pretense, until a sudden surge and roar
redacts the copper to smoke and honey,
and a circuit breaker trips.
To find employment and the truth
I read the classifieds in tea leaves—
symbol seeking an equation
clothesline seeking washing
objectified stranger seeking life
I’ll try again tomorrow,
investigate the websites in the clouds,
where my skill
at staring into light and dark
might be less superfluous.
An arid future in a waterless world,
where all our understanding wavers
on a bridge to whiteness.
We are replicants in the land
of nothing new, and the westerlies,
hot and dry, are blowing away the children.
As they fall, we fall.
Through the window, washes
on a watercolor planet,
rainy autumn shades in spring, and
in the early evening, scattered photon showers
are forecast, a luminous return of light
from the shadow sun.
Indoors there are smaller mysteries,
trailing motes in negative space—
leaving lamps and bulbs,
domesticities and peripherals,
drawn out between the curtains
to the shadow sun.
I’ve breathed the air chirped by sparrows,
critically appraised everything
I didn’t understand,
searched for magica potenta
in urban mysteries, shaded quantum clouds,
on bedroom ceilings, and found echidna quills,
kookaburra beaks, sobriety, all the words
I didn’t want to write.
Three knocks at the door-to-door,
I said I don’t want any, thank you,
not knowing what I didn’t desire.
You humans are all alike, no time no time,
no time is beautiful, before birth and after life.
My pancakes are shallow thoughts
stacked in the kitchen,
she adds a little honey.
I’m late for work at the hardware store,
mostly robots looking for spare parts.
They’re not like her.
Here are 5 reasons to make your writing incomprehensible—
- impenetrable words allow the reader to focus on the prosody
- mystification creates enigmas, unresolved mystery
- if the meaning is obscured the reader can invent their own
- writing that doesn’t make sense is more likely to be original, less likely to feel familiar
- life makes very little sense—to me at least—so why should writing?
When the realms of imagination were lost from Fênix, a furtive storyteller and Sorry, who fell out of the sky with her Subaru, were left behind. An electrical dystopia is on the way, and she is taking him to a sanctuary. It turned out that there was more in the sky than anyone expected, and a light rain of dead people has just fallen. Details of the artwork, which is part of the Selfie Exhibition, are given below.
The visitors from Nocturnia, the land
beyond the light of life, milled about
on the road, despite the Subaru’s
The Selfie Exhibition will run at the tenfortyseven creative space in Sydney from May 11 to May 26 (details below). I am interluding from the fênix serial with some selfie portraiture, old and new.
sky blue air
I seek a sunlit place where I might breathe again.
It lies beyond the end of my imagination,
and before the incomprehensible begins.
When fantasy was lost from Fênix, the residents fled, but Sorry and an anxious storyteller were left behind. Sorry, formerly known as Madeleine, is possibly an extraterrestrial. She warned that an electrical dystopia was on the way, bringing polarized chaos and wild electricity. The storyteller has agreed to accompany Sorry to a possible sanctuary. Part one is here.
We travelled mostly southward, and through
rust holes in the floor of Sorry’s Subaru,
I watched the gravel bumping past beneath us.
Fantasy has been lost from Fênix, swept away by a wave in the ether. Most of the residents have fled, but Sorry and a wanderer were left behind.
The blind storms drifted overhead,
and in a sudden burst of bottled lightning,
Sorry flickered and disappeared.
The two of us had been no more than strangers.
I knew she wasn’t Brazilian, from her stripes,
her rows of sharply pointed teeth,
but I realized that I missed her.
A wave of cold reality has swept through the township of Fênix and almost everyone has fled. One unlucky person was made to stay behind because their fingerprints were unsatisfactory.
I tell no-one that my thoughts are rain and glass,
frivolous on a foggy day, but I will sit and wait
for isentropic meaning to appear, from within
or from without, and after sleeping,
recollect a question from my dreams.
The Fontana di Trevi is waiting for
the shower of your desires,
and if you really mean it,
your dreams will coalesce.
But do you know your mind? Once I did,
and now the rain is ever falling, threading
through my hollow bones, searching for its sea.