the quiet hours

The rain was running late, still pattering
on the muddy puddles of the city sky,
and the street was smeared with cloud
star-ridden with mercury lamps—
a world as dreary as long-lost
infatuation, as a friend’s anger,
as empty jealousy.

Like a moth attracted
to the flickers of fluorescent lights,
I chose a frayed café where
my dairy-whitened instant coffee
with artificial sweetener
—all its chemical delights—
put me in the writing mood.

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Blade Walker’s plan

Previously on Blade Walker: the earth is inhabited by extraterrestrials, who are minding the planet after humans failed in their duty of care. Blade Walker (human) and Alícia (alien) are having coffee at one of the Café Économique franchises. The first episode is here.

It was all the usual at the Café:
an earthenware urn of tired umbrellas,
sprouting branches and plastic flowers,
tattered pigeons hoping for a snack;
at the other tables, Saurons sipping bluegas,
the odd Solarian, naturally luminous,
and sentient crustacea on a break
from breaking crockery.

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a goanna, a penguin, and Blade Walker

Previously on Blade Walker: the earth is inhabited by extraterrestrials, and humans are an endangered species. Blade Walker (human) and Alícia (alien) have been freed from mind-controlling insects by an electromagnet in Rick’s scrapyard. The previous episode is here.

Alícia was always herself,
and now I was me again as well,
following my path of faux pas.
But I wasn’t a shallow as I used to be,
because I had a secret.

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Blade Walker and the vector mind space

Previously on Blade Walker: the earth is inhabited by extraterrestrials, and humans are an endangered species. Blade Walker (human) and Alícia (alien) have escaped a sinkhole and a swarm of enormous wasps. Now thousands of tiny magnetic insects on their heads are attempting to control them. Here are episodes one, two and three.

The silvery insectile helmet suited Alícia.

“My mind is strong enough to deal with the insects.
Your mind … well, it’s anybody’s guess.
Just try to ignore any foreign desires.”

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writing tips

Previously on Blade Walker: Blade Walker and Alícia Arrepio were eating mangoes by a river when a sinkhole opened nearby and a factory disappeared into it.

“When I’m waiting for the bus
at the railway station,
I often wonder what’s hiding
in the ground beneath my feet.

“When I’m walking the dog
with my yo-yo as well.

“Most of the time, actually.”

Alícia nodded.
“You’re human, aren’t you?”

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blade walker

The midday insects buzzed in the gum trees,
and invisible heat refracted distant waterfowl.

With the scenery out of the way,
I approached a stranger seated
at the water’s edge.

“I’ve come to warn you.
The river’s flow is orthogonal
between its shores,
and its cloudy blue is beyond
all that is natural.

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Delfina and the auk

After crossing from Australia with the help of the Von-Bingen reality shifter, Delfina and the protagonist, Pierrot, have arrived in Auckland, the Land of the Great Auks. Meanwhile, the narrator has grown impatient. The previous instalment is here.

While I read the introduction,
a bearded gentleman
with a dodo bird on a leash
strolled past.

“Auckland? I thought we were heading
for the South Island.”

“This reality must be a little different.”

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opacity, translucency and Delfina

Delfina and Pierrot are on their way to New Zealand, travelling backwards through time inside a cardboard box that was meant for a fridge. Pierrot became a translucent alien like Delfina when she buried him in sephine. The previous instalment is here.

Delfina explained time travel
à la mode.

“As we travel, our presence creates
new timelines, more realities
in the eternal infinities.

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impreteritive

 

On nights when distant thunder
tore the canvas clouds,
Efedrina’s thoughts drifted far away.

“I miss the bismuth sun
and the overwritten sky.
The Wheel of Metâdia
is always turning.
The fire lilies drift skyward
to herald the summer,
and soft woolen dreams
become fish, fallen
from the winter sky.”

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alphabetic fish C

Previously on Alphabetic Fish: the protagonist has vowed to renew himself, but has done very little except write his diary. He met an alien called Efedrina at the pharmacy. Part A is here, and Part B is here.

I thought I knew my purpose,
so clear it was:
books were pages I might turn
to learn,
and never a moment
for artichokes I might deflower,
petal by petal,
dipped in lemon juice and oil.

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alphabetic fish B

Previously on Alphabetic Fish: there were no such fish, but the forlorn protagonist made a vow to turn over a new leaf, or any leaf, as long as he overcame his shallowness. The previous episode is here.

Today I will begin my real life,
the life that’s tailor-made for me.
But first off, I’ll check the weather,
innocuous conversation might be on the cards.

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refrigerator designs and delfina

Delfina and Pierrot have decided to forgo the pleasures of Dapto, which has been barbecued by the Martian Battle Fleet, and visit New Zealand instead. Delfina has selected a large flattened cardboard box to transport them with the Von Bingen Drive. The previous episode is here.

Technical Note: the Von Bingen shifts travelers to successive alternate timelines where they are closer to their chosen destination.

“Sit down beside me,
I’ll explain how this works
on the way.

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delfina & co.

Previously on Delfina: Pierrot and Delfina are stuck in Dapto, and to make matters slightly worse, Deija, the Martian Princess of Glass, has arrived with her battle fleet, armed with infrared energy weapons. They’re burning Dapto to the ground. Meanwhile, Delfina is chatting on the phone in a foreign language. The previous episode is here.

“Caio.”

She turned to me.

“That was Deija. She’s apologised
and invited us to her Dapto castle-warming
next week.

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the purpose of reality

I have signed up with the magical Meerkat Press to produce a two volume set entitled The Purpose of Reality: Lunar, a collection of poetry, and Solar, a collection of short stories, both with artworks.

The mellifluous Meerkat published the Love Hurts anthology, where my story Jacinta’s Lovers appeared, and it is a great pleasure to work with them again on The Purpose, which will be edited by the talented and thaumaturgical Tricia Reeks.

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