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.

I knew she’d leave soon enough,
soon enough I’d play the game, pretend I wanted her to go—
that’s how shallow I am.

She melded days with nights,
the phases of the earth and all things turning,
sun light, sun dark, candle lit, candle

You plan to forget me,
human, but I’m coming back,
so forget your plan.

She could freeze a butterfly above her open hand,
its wings of flight, each shining scale.

She pulled its time away, she told me,
left it not a second to beat against the air,
but I know it was something she did to my eyes
to make them see.

She took the bus to Uluru, said she was going to
write a little poetry. I cried in the kitchen,
splashes in my Pinot Grigio.

Some possibilities are too extreme even for speculative fiction, like diluting perfectly good Pinot Grigio.

My short story The Phantasms of Tocantins has appeared at Sci Phi Journal and is now free to read on-line. Continues →

whether—ten percent chance of liquid metal showers in the afternoon. Some detail below, as well as phantasma featuring three of the ghosts from Phantasms of Tocantins.

42 thoughts on “humans

  1. us humans eh? going about a-b & pro-creating without any creating, all for the satisfaction of the act. another densely marauding poem, pillaging a pack of satisfying images. quality as always Steve. i don’t drink wine, coffee is already bitter so best for crying into.

    • Thanks, Sascha. I’m a bit hit and miss, depending on factors like how much Pinot is in the fridge and whether I’ve had an apocalyptic day or not, but I was pleased with the pancakes. I particularly liked and admired your unflinching Bridge piece, Steve.

    • Your comment just that makes me wish that I had a few more moments to read more of your blog….to see how much is Pinot or not. And, thank you; you’re very kind for commenting on my piece. I look forward to reading more of your work. I don’t think I’m anywhere near your caliber, but maybe there’s osmosis. 🙂

    • Thanks Saynotoclowns, and from now on I will always say no to them. Unless they are the barista and they call out my name. This is the exception that proves the rule.

    • Please speak slowly, caffeine has not been administered yet…
      prove as in test…then yes…this is quite a quandary…the title came up when i thought no one would actually read my stuff, it was a reminder to myself as I have never liked them. Then all of that clown bizarring started happening in the US…and now, another layer. The caffeine thing is a serious consideration though! if it’s easier, you can call me Vanessa. 🙂

    • I really like the title, the first thing I noticed about your site. It’s a winner–original and layers of meaning. As a name though, Vanessa is definitely better :).

    • Thanks. A good question that I could say a lot about except the internet would fall asleep.

      For me, Now is when we see, feel , touch, live in the world, but the ‘we’ is a complication. I think we’re made of time, created by our past, and that creation, together with dreams and aspirations for the future, determines how the Now affects us, right down to how we perceive each moment.

      I’ll stop now, I can hear distant snoring. :).

  2. “before birth and after life” in my own work, I’ve always imagined these times of non-existence to be akin to a perfect contemplation of peace — almost a kind of meditation with an utter lack of any thought or personal presence, the kind found almost each night in black, dreamless sleep. From such a standpoint, perhaps the fleeting moments of one’s consciousness begin to feel like the aberration disturbing the peace, creating inconsequent and short-lived ripples between twin-unchanging eternities.

    • Beautifully expressed, and I agree. I imagine that the state of nirvana reached through meditative practice is a place of being without the self and without the dual disturbances of time: the past with its memories and all we attach to them, or the future of hopes, fears, dreams, and so on. For me the nature of time is of great interest (and a mystery). ⏳

    • Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed. The artwork is done by Florence, the computer, and Vee, the visual evolution engine. I let them know you liked it. 😸

  3. Congratulations Steve! Words and thoughts connected, explosions of visuals. Your works have all these layers, I can never just read it once for my mind pops off the page with your visuals.
    Eg. “before birth and after life”, and
    “she could freeze a butterfly above her open hand” wheww you certainly do create paintings with your words.
    Loved it.

    • Thank you, Tamaya, glad you enjoyed. Those particular ideas about time that you quoted have been with me for a while, in my short stories as well. Time as a fluid, that might be drawn away and restored, has always appealed to me. How amazing it would be to have the ability to do that.

    • I have just watched a movie on netflix titled ANON. It’s about altering and erasing time, very interesting. I will not go any further for I don’t want to spoil any of it for you.

    • Well this is a bit embarrassing. I searched through, and the story was called “Low Tide.” My records show that I sent it to a publisher but they never responded. I could put it up here on Inconstant Light, but I still have a faint hope that one day I will find time to send stories like this to other publishers (although it’s been two years now and I haven’t). I apologise, Sobhana.

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