The perennial machinery must be serviced once a year,
today’s the day, and the job is mine.
I have a manual with clear instructions,
watery words on transparent paper,
and I study them closely with the tip of my nose—
when you’re done, don’t forget the disco ball,
although that might be written on the wall behind.
It’s time to consult my idea head,
neurons and neutrons orbiting on the shelf,
a capricious blend of memory and melancholy.
Broadcast live from earth, ionic slivers inside skulls—
visions wired to words, stuttering, sparking, and Sereia.
She’s painted the refrigerator red, the television too,
but at least it’s just the screen.
The sound’s a little damp, a little scarlet.
She must have done the audio as well.
The rail clatters its rhythms but the carriages never move.
They’re always here, and through a frame, a door,
a window, a hole cut in a rainy mirror,
you can see them waiting.
Telma was painting the feature wall
with essence of vanilla. Joanne was reading
a possible book, perhaps the persistence of trains,
or a painting, the persimmonence of time.
She’d need her glasses to be sure.
This is what Jandira told me—
The invisibilities will ascend from ground and green,
from fields of stubbled corn and furrowed dirt,
from the Amazonic jungle
through the tree lines to the turbulence above.
Now I’m perched in a jacaranda,
and set to fade like Carroll’s cat, the great auk and the dodo,
with my telescope trained on the far horizon
where the welded night’s creation is rising with the dawn.
The furthest sky at night is
the ceiling of our dreams,
the enticing soft geometry
of desire, and we know
its brightness, sight unseen.
The frozen stars, the years of light,
of interstellar vacuum, once swirled
with all my childish magic,
but now those future ghosts are gone,
their tinsel’s faded to a glimmer.
in the age of hollow copies.
On nights when mirrored waves of air
are breaking in the clouds, the woolen ghosts
seep out of cast-off clothes, and squeeze
beneath the laundry door to loiter
in the garden.
They dance and laugh and play
strange games non-woolen people
cannot understand, and just
last week they rearranged the magnet
letters on my tumble dryer—
The i-coupé makes its debut.
So silvery and sleek, and quiet
as a mouse trying to purr,
no steering, no gearstick or pedals.
The salesperson kept on talking,
but I was already sold.
It doesn’t have a motor at all.
A universal transport moves you
to a nearby timeline, where
the i-coupé’s a little further
down the street.
What are you up to, Victor?
I’m writing a poem, Eloise,
something about love.
His felt-tip pen was hovering
over a page of crossings out,
where white-out streaks had
turned to snow capped ridges.
So much for having writ moves on.
When I see two Siamese cats,
bookends on the porch,
when I find two stoves boiling
spinach in the kitchen,
when I meet myself pulling weeds
out of the garden,
I know it must be Célia, and
she’s switched herself again.
He stood at the door with a forlorn smile
and a hand-drawn mustache—
a comically tragic pastiche wearing
nothing but tennis shorts and socks.
My name is Rodney, might I
I know who you are. You see
my name is Rodney as well.
Everything is ordinary, the rain birds
said, and I believed them, though
the morning breeze had blown
my cat away, and the wasps set up
a circus in the bedroom.
When I voiced a few concerns, they told
me that the wasp show must go on,
and when I hinted at a discount on the door,
they insisted I must pay full price.
Time is not a river in the mind,
it runs in agitated swirls and eddies,
with a little fabric softener.
We’re pebbles skimmed across its waves,
seabirds too ungainly to find its sky,
who skate along time’s surface, and
never understand its heights
They call the parasitium a paradise, they
tell us we’re all safe beneath its dome,
but I’ve heard rumors there’s another
land outside—if we can only loose the ties
of our dependency—a place where each
wild star might cast its light.
By day I wander in the markets,
stop before the soap box preacher
who swears that only those without
a heart are truly pure, that they
alone will know a rational salvation
in the world beyond the plastic.
I live in a house on Inconstant
Street, with weeds for a garden
and shutters that always stay shut.
I know for a fact that the world is
my oyster—it’s glued to a rock
and I can’t prise it open.
Penny Lope left a note in everyone’s mail,
an invite to a party to be held
in the street. But I didn’t get one,
so I asked her the reason.
Seven memorable days in the Orion Spiral for $99/night all meals incl.
In twenty sixteen, three craft from
deep space appeared over Earth
on discrete stratospheric
We tracked them with lasers,
and launched several missiles
that turned the three ships to a
luminous mist, and a sunset
in glorious colors.
Found this in my letterbox addressed ‘To the Occupant’:
Write by the numbers, typing monkey,
and do not try to fly.
Tread lightly, soft machine,
the fires blaze below.
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?
‘The Third Dimension’ will appear in Plasma Frequency Magazine. PFM re-emerged in 2016 with help from Kickstarter, and they’ve introduced a number of new features including a rookie author program, revamped editorial process, and broad reading choices with stories free on-line as well as in print and ebook editions.
‘The Third Dimension’ is pretty much sci fi, as long as you can suspend your disbelief—I find a glass of wine helps, except with politicians—and it owes something to Ian R MacLeod’s magical novel The Light Ages, plus a few other works that I won’t name to avoid spoilers.
‘Danta in Black’ will appear in Chappy Fiction’s time travel anthology. Chappy Fiction is a new publisher, and they’re off to a great start as far as I’m concerned. Firstly because time travel, and secondly because they’re paying professional rates to authors.
I connected my apocalypsometer to a print out of ‘Danta in Black’ and the needle jumped around all over the place, so I can’t say whether it’s apocalyptic or not, but unsurprisingly, it’s about time travel.
‘The Phantasms of Tocantins’ will appear in Sci Phi Journal, where science fiction and philosophy meet and mingle in interesting ways. All the stories have a write-up about their philosophical underpinnings at the end, and with Phantasms it’s about time, one of my favourite topics. Continue reading