the detective 7: reality and cyclicity

osmotic_ink_s

The detective has left the building and the world. With a coterie of penguins and axolotls, his client has gone on without him, heading to a post-apocalyptic crystal city. The story began here.

We journey onward to the west, finding
country corners and strangers
who make believe their ordinary lives
have not been lost:
motels with sewing kits and swimming pools for guests,
where the penguins jump and splash,
dance their stately dances,
raise their beaks to the stars
with enthusiastic cries of ‘encore’
from the axolotls.*

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the detective 6: the reliability of expectations

rain_cycle_s

The detective and his client continue their post-apocalyptic search for what lies beyond the obvious sea. For implausible reasons, the detective wrote a fantasy of his own death in his diary which he passed to his client, who is now keeping a record of their journey. The Detective started off here.

It was no-one’s fault, not his nor mine;
even the bivalves weren’t to blame.
They have capabilities beyond
our human constructs
yet they’re living creatures,
borne below and risen
from deep within the earth.

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the detective 5: unauthorized biography

alternate_realities_s

A detective and his client are seeking what lies beyond the obvious sea. The detective is in a supermarket, the usual refuge in case of an apocalypse, and his client has wisely left the building. (The detective sequence starts here.)

The ceiling and the roof have vanished,
breakfast for a bivalve, and a curling snake
of sulphurous vapor scorches my eyes,
runs bitter in my nose, my throat,
like the small red chillies
one should never purchase.

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the detective 4: safeways

after_sunfall_s

A detective and his client journey through the post-apocalypse, seeking what lies beyond the obvious sea. Here is part 1.

We walk for hours towards a hidden horizon
where the distant bivalves are silvery phantoms,
photoluminescent contradictions
in the darkness.

My client has her axolotl armaments,
and I might be brave, but I’m myself—
a frightened woodland creature
seeking refuge from the restless night.

She makes a stop sign with her hand,
although it’s not hexagonal.

Over there a building stands.
We’ll rest until the daylight.

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the detective 3: household waste

cyber_dream_s

In a post-apocalyptic world, a detective and his client seek to discover what lies beyond the obvious sea. Part 1 and part 2 already happened.

I follow her, wander through
the ravaged landscape
searching for her dream, a fantasy
from long ago.

At dusk, we reach a silent square
of broken swings and slippery dips,
of roundabouts and culs-de-sac,
where all the fallen houses
are numbered zero.

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the detective 1: horizontal departure

before_and_after_facts_s

I wake up slowly in the soft infinity,
to discover I’m a dried out coffee stain
on the office floor.

By eight o’clock, I’ve morphed into a forgettable insect;
in half an hour, give or take, I’m a currawong
with a broken wing that fluttered through a window;
and when a customer knocks at nine,
I’m vaguely human, vaguely a detective,
polite, denatured, and unnatural.

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seekers of yesterday

water_panes_s

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.

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transit authority

forests_of_rain_ns

While forests of rain
are tumbling from the clouds,
she sleeps.

From each exhaled breath,
swarms of insects, transparent to opaque,
spiral fluttering, butterflies to birds
inflating,
to armadillo exhalations.
And soon there will be humans
in the aisles of nature’s
megastore.

In a flurry of her own creations,
the goddess wakes.

I will not take that path again.

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clothes hangers

the_first_dawn_s

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.

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the shadow sun

the tower

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—
old-fashioned sunlight
leaving lamps and bulbs,
domesticities and peripherals,
drawn out between the curtains
to the shadow sun.

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the air chirped by sparrows

chirped air

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.

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humans

whether

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.

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should poetry and prose make sense?

aleotoric_evolution_ns

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?

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line drawings

sea_and_cake_s

in São Paulo

My night thoughts spider scuttle
to the web of thoughts,
to be forgotten in the halogenic daylight.
Pigeon heralds coo chromatic arches of the dawn,
and by the afternoon’s descent,
a gentle samba on a headland far away
calls in the rain.

Lightning flashes in the belly of the city sky,
deus irae in smoky yellow,
and castle clouds are falling
in plastotechnic raindrops
that merge and rise to build again
as solid as the world.

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bilocated worlds

autumn_smoke_s

My phone politely starts my Sunday:

Good morning human,
your mission is to find out
whether purpose matters.

Where subdivided paths marked
invisible demarcations,
I saw enough to know
the truth of almost nothing.

Where falling cartoon clocks shattered
into bells and spiral springs,
I waited for a gentle sound.

Where graduated tick marks
switched the traffic lights,
I stopped to contemplate my lies.

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