Someone in a Chrysler Valiant driving along the Botany Bay shoreline has picked up a couple of skeletal hitchhikers who have come from the sea. The first part is here.
We are Sam and Sammy,
please drive us to the West,
to invoices and wheat fields,
where desiccants and accountancy abound,
and everything is warm and flocculant.
My preference was a Saturday by the Bay,
with silvered cathode glows, the comatose
and disrespectful dressed in colored vapors,
some wearing kangaroo ears
and hopping on the beach.
The passengers took note of my reluctance,
as I coasted up to every petulant traffic light,
hoping I might linger in its blush.
They entertained me with forgettable stories,
and made a promise they would stop
if I would only shift the Valiant
out of second gear.
A dream come almost true,
a stranger who spoke in silence—
the universal tongue.
We stood together in silhouette,
making stark impressions on the wind,
shadows of dead trees
cast upon the dance floor.
On a night of incense,
après-candlelight in echoes,
and moths with feathery antennas,
she wove a mesh of hemp and air,
and spoke with sounds for the very first time.
I’ve prepared a plan, a new design
for a world in blue. Could you build it for me?
I studied her schematics from various positions,
back-to-front, upside-down, and lotus,
without a glimmer of understanding.
Why not? I said.
For days, I struggled with her skyward plan,
ex machina pipework planes
and winding underflows through clouds,
all driven by a solar ratchet
from the sun on her ecliptic.
I finished late one afternoon,
turned a handle, threw a switch,
but the mechanism jammed
with a shudder and a thunderous roar.
The sunset paused in anxious hesitation,
caught up with itself in a headlong rush,
and the dusk came crashing down around me.
I awoke to find that I was mildly alive,
and my part-time dream was dabbing me
I brought you back with an incantation
and a double shot espresso.
But contravening nature always has a price.
Over at the coffee shop,
they’re waiting to be paid.
She told me that the afternoon had fallen
on the morning, and pressed it through the night,
that the witching seasons would begin,
that one should never trust a dream,
and left me.
Was Sam’s short tale based on real events?
And what about Pythagoras, humanity, and the world?
I can only add that somewhere
in between a stranger and the universal,
I’d set the Valiant to autopilot,
and fallen fast asleep.
The sun might be turned around the world by a machine.
As far as I know, the Chrysler Valiant has no autopilot.
four witching seasons (autumn above)