Hidden behind history and fantasy, eventualities
bide their time; the rest is unremarkable preamble.
Ideas at mental central station
came and went, sailing carriages
on rails, propelled by fickle winds.
I might go here or there, I thought,
and didn’t wonder whose ideas they were,
or whether I should borrow them.
Through windows within windows,
made of pixels, made of glass,
made of minds and made of paper,
everyone was searching at the speed of dust,
to ease the burden at their core.
Wishes within wishes, all queued up at dusk,
some saw walls and mazes,
and some were lost inside themselves,
bound to never find another,
and never by another, to be found.
When the morning’s rays are slanting through the kitchen windows, it’s time for mathematics.
Once upon a cereal box, I read of the analytical
and inestimable Doctor Petal, who was confounded
by the nature of free will, and chose to coalesce
the time stream to make the future
as irrevocable as the past.
When the rain fell sizzling down, damp with lightning,
she observed the protozoa in each drop,
waiting to reach the underworld
to complete the polygon of life.
One packed toothpaste and a sewing kit
for essential sutures.
“Space-time, its nature is undeniable,”
(in lieu of a goodbye) and that one headed off
towards tomorrow’s sunrise.
The one indoors was waving from a window.
“Everything may be cleaved in two,
so it is with digital computation.”
Previously on the rewound world: at a café in the Nullarbor Plain, four post-apocalyptic travelers were transmuted into two, Autónomo and Primaverity, by the insignificantly bearded waiter. The first episode is here.
We bid the waiter farewell, thanked him
out of misguided courtesy, and he returned
our diary, responsibly accepted
Previously on the rewound world: four post-apocalyptic travelers at a café in the Nullarbor Plain have had their inconvenient truths revealed by the moderately bearded waiter. Episode one is here.
No-one disagreed. With murmurings and sighs,
they accepted that which, in another world,
might have been denied with vigor, with examples
tailor-made to create a false impression.
The waiter was encouraged.
Previously on the Rewound World: four travelers searching for a luminous future beyond the apocalypse were dawdling in a café with very little to offer when the bearded waiter announced that he knew all their secrets. The first episode is here.
The waiter tore off his imitation beard
with flair, uncovering a more modest
Much more will be revealed, he declared.
Previously on the rewound world: we were on our way across the Nullarbor Plain when one of our number, John Pessoa, unexpectedly became an assortment of birds. The first episode is here.
We came upon a cluster of demountables
(that had been long ago)
where we gathered sandy bolts and feathers—
a tribute to John P.
For a while, we stood around our makeshift monument
in awkwardness and silence, until Deirdre chose to speak.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
Previously on the rewound world: four travelers, including yours truly, stopped for a break at a café in the post-apocalyptic Nullarbor Plain. The ancient waiter agreed to serve us credit cards, and in exchange, we allowed him to discuss the weather. The first episode is here.
The waiter shuffled and dealt
the credit cards face down.
I had two pairs, both noble metals,
and a poker face revealing nothing.
Previously on the rewound world: five, and later, four, post-apocalyptic travelers were crossing the Nullarbor Plain, seeking a distant brightness and chatting about this and that. The first episode is here.
You’re first to my mind in the morning,
the last to leave at night; a part of me of you,
my dreams and feathers.
The bearded mariner, long gone
from the ocean, put down his quill.
He’d heard a knocking sound.
Previously on the rewound world: noble Deirdre, overclocked Ada, angel-phobic Paulo, and the irrelevant John P and I were crossing the Nullarbor plain seeking a bright earthstar (not the fungus), with little action and a lot of reminiscing. The first episode is here.
We walked beside the sunset to where
our newer dreams were waiting,
and Ada shared a little deprecated data.
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.