life as we know it 2

secret_nights_s

Rewired reverie

After meeting with an apparent monk who painted the windscreen of his Vauxhall with seagulls, a motorist has morphed into a pedestrian on a pilgrimage. Part 1 is here.

For me, no peak modernity, no dream of
orbital ecliptics, no F-sharp metal on my tongue,
I’d been summoned to Port Botany,
where flightless cranes raise riveted beaks,
bow and curtsy in their dainty dances,
where cirrus kerosene streaks the flammable sky,
and I might find a natural ellipsis,
a powdered hesitation by the sea.

~/~

I traversed the factual world
in steps and their diagonals,
through interleaves of days in nights,
not at all like chocolate layer cake,
although I would have liked a slice,
until I came to midweek midnight
in a rainy council carpark,
where I chanced upon the spherical
polar spirits, Azimuth and Altitude,
who ignored me when I coughed politely.

Azimuth:

Dear sister, won’t you tell me, what brings us
to this desperate monoscape?
I’d prefer the ice and snow,
the never-ending sunlit land,
its crucibles of white-hot fire.

Altitude:

The stranger walks in tangles,
he never reads a street sign.
We must guide him
to his rain-checked fate
in a firm but gentle manner.

I had some slight foreboding,
but I knew better than to argue
with auroral beings from the realms beyond,
and the sisters had their way.

~/~

At every intersection where I erred,
whenever I would hesitate,
whenever I would stray
in search of chocolate cake,
Altitude and Azimuth took turns in training me—
friendly sparks of electrostatic encouragement,
five coronal kilovolts from their flashing cattle prods.

While the spirits circled on their lightning wings,
down below, jumpered and restarted,
I balanced on a wire between sleeping and awake,
until the frizzled sunrise
showed my future in a cutscene dream:
an espresso would be mine,
I would meet the Medusa,
and debate transcendence
with a soggy piece of cardboard.


to continue

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artwork secret nights (detail above)

22 thoughts on “life as we know it 2

  1. Pingback: life as we know it 2 — inconstant light | Fantasy Gift Sources: Book Reviews, Article Resources, News

  2. “…until the frizzled sunrise, showed my future in a cutscene dream”…great choice of words, Steve.
    “I would meet the Medusa, and debate transcendence”…please make sure you do not gaze at her face 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. we have magnetism and polarity within ourselves, your verse amplifies this inherent attraction we have to certain people and places, I could be wrong but I believe in this more than destiny or fate. Mathematics is always precise in predicting yet it can never force our free will and we always end up making lousy choices when we rationalise the facts. I love these two guides, with electrical currents they manouver your journey and keep you from falling off the globe, do you emit a glow when prodded? That would be amazing!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Gina. Whatever causes it, I definitely agree with ‘inherent attraction.” At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s possible to be truly human and completely rational and logical. It’s easy to find examples where acting according to pure logic would destroy us.

      I don’t know about glowing, but I’ve always been fascinated with all things electric. I had a small Van de Graaff generator when I was young, I would charge myself, illuminate fluorescent tubes and light the stove with a spark from my finger.

      Liked by 3 people

      • funny you mention pure logic, i am reading about Asperger’s and someone commented exactly that, Logic and impulsiveness guided by that logic does not always end well for those afflicted by degrees of autism. it can destroy themselves and the people around them too. It’s been a fascinating read for me to delve deeper into the minds of those that cannot see abstract just pure logic.

        haha, i messed around with that van de graff a lot too and made my teacher’s crazy. it’s many years later now and so I can confess it was me that caused a mini fire in science lab with the bunsen burner. like you i was a bright spark!! was it a gas stove that you lit up too?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, being human is a complicated business. Fascinating about the Van de Graaff, you’re the first person I’ve come across. I remember my ‘experiment” very clearly. I stood on a pile of magazines and comics for insulators, charged myself up, went into the kitchen where my mother was preparing dinner, said something like “watch this,” and lit the gas stove with my finger. My parents were very kind to me, they let me do whatever I wanted.

          Liked by 2 people

        • good parents produce some really good offspring! mine parents were too busy with their own and i was left to my experiments and pushing the boundaries, so now in retrospect how could i scold my own kids for testing the limits too?hmmm… life is complicated, scientific experiments gave me a bit of structure to chaos. I imagine you were like a magician, you must have felt like that when the stove lit up! i had some burns on my feet from that episode, even though i wore rubber soles, i am naturally full of static so sitting next to me on a dry day can be very electrifying, (i have been told) so I always figured that was what helped ignite the bunsen burner.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. “where cirrus kerosene streaks the flammable sky”, “five coronal kilovolts from their flashing cattle prods”, that last line has such a musical bounce to it. I read this a number of times…this to me is like the best Bob Dylan (“Changing of the Guards”) or Leonard Cohen (almost anything) where I don’t care about what it means, I just read or listen for the sheer pleasure of the language.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. you – and your readers – make me think: i’m thinking language itself, being symbolic of, contains all that the universe contains and by definition must be made of the same stuff – what then in each word is the fundamental underneath rationale, between the lines of science, that communicates, satisfies and sings to us? Why do I get the feeling that every human machination only fragments the solution to this problem and that there is a simple central idea mocking and rebuking us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Okay, I think my head is on fire, but here are some of my thoughts. For me, our communication is pretty dubious when it comes to the universe, there’s a lot of hubris out there. We think that if we give something a label, classified it, it means we know what it is, I hear/read that a lot.

      I think maybe it’s humanity, sharing, commonality, even in science, that calls to us. Even the feeling that somewhere hidden there exist elegant and beautiful explanations and solutions (a la Plato), is very human, and I still remember, in the physics context, Robert May telling my class that it ain’t necessarily so.

      Liked by 2 people

      • All our collective physical efforts will be to no avail unless we use them to extend consciousness off the planet – colonise the universe, how’s that for an ambition to unite mankind? Else we secure Earth and stick to navel gazing, a virtual search for the hidden beauty/explanation! Personally, I think consciousness exists in all energy itself and we are just freaks with an organ in our heads that somehow focuses it to no avail 🤔 But I am a well known stoic/cynic so don’t mind me…

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Auroral beings from the realms beyond may not be beyond reproach. 😉
    What’s wrong with looking for chocolate cake during one’s pilgrimage? One needs sustenance on such a long journey.
    I wouldn’t drink an espresso without some cake to go along with it.

    Liked by 2 people

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