the martian stereomart


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.


I visited the Martian Stereomart in Eridânia,
where the upper crust shop for fashionable
cryo-pastries from Terra, and in my meanders
à la mode, I found a bargain:

Synaptic inhalants at a one-day-only price,
mental modifications for the illusional
in a range of peachy retro flavors,
designer thoughts with after wheels for breakfast
and cardboard charioteers.

I selected
from a Pisa Tower
of sprays in shades
of blue, and accidentally
sent them tumbling to the floor.

As I began rebuilding, a chromatic stranger
paused to watch my progress,
and I babbled thoughtfully.

I fear that these synaptic sprays are more than
temporary illusions. My mind’s a jacket, torn,
re-stitched and stitched again,
alterations made to fit a shapeless void inside.

Those are not inhalants, the stranger warned,
they’re cleaning fluid for Martian windows,
but let me set your mind at ease.

When you gaze at your reflection in my mirrored eyes,
when you hear me tell you I am Deija Thoris,
the vitreous Martian Princess,
your mind is altered. With every sense perception,
your mind is altered. That is why you’re staring.

I checked the label on the spray
that I’d already sampled.
Her logic was imperturbable,
and not without contextual tragedy.

I’m as derivative as a featherless parrot,
disproportionate in every word I speak,
yet I recall that once we nearly met.
It was the day your royal guard 
invaded Wollongong,
ravaged it with solar-powered death rays.

So many conquests, I’m afraid it doesn’t ring a bell.

I shrugged. It’s a place that isn’t easy to remember,
and I almost thought a little further.
I’d caught a glimpse of a consequential path,
a promenade of reflections.


the night’s reflections (detail above) from VEE, the visual evolution engine, and TIM, the illustrated mind (EEG).


29 thoughts on “the martian stereomart

    • Sometimes I think before and wind up babbling anyway. Most of the time actually. Thank you Sascha.

      All good. What has happened is that WP once a week has pushed out my long-term goals. I am hoping WP once a fortnight (with everything) will be enough for me to make some real progress, although looking at what I want to do realistically, it will still be a struggle. Perhaps I will run shorter posts over two instalments and use two different parts of one artwork. I may have to delay the lunar railgun launch anyway. 😸

      Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think I explained clearly enough. I’ll try again. Let’s start with the equation of the universe: 0=0. Then by induction, we have squirrels, axolotls and fish, but the unknown variable x wants to fit in somewhere. Now we have a problem because the Greek Alphabet only goes from alpha to omega, and there is no place for x, even though you can find it in axolotls. That is because there are no Greek axolotls. I hope that clarifies.😸

      Liked by 2 people

  1. i love a place i can let my madness lose and not be asked why or how. chromatic and synaptic, a recovering asthmatic living in permanent discord, the inhalant has a secret ingredient, am I right?!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The picture is awe inspiring, but the poem, brilliant as it is , is way above my head. It is very clever but again too complex for my tiny brain to take in.
    Keep going Steve. I’m sorry you will only be in touch once a fortnight.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Margaret. I’m pretty sure that if you knew what was going on inside my head you’d be disappointed, it’s mostly hollow. I will try to keep up with once a fortnight; it’s valuable for me to do it, in many ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those synaptic inhalers seem toxic and addictive… same with the Martian princess, perhaps?
    It’s too bad you’ll only be posting once every two weeks, but we all need to prioritize according to our goals. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Margarisa. When one is young and innocent, fantasies of Martian princesses can be both of those things. Fantasy has its place, but one has to know where that is. Now where is my green paint? Time to cosplay a Martian Warrior. 😸

      Thanks, and yes, with the fortnightly WordPress, it’s all about priorities – it is too easy to put short-term goals above long-term simply because they are short-term.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I fear the royal guard may have misread their maps with that one, Frank. An error in the galactic coordinates, out by a planet or two.

      With WordPress, I’m slower than I’d like to be. I have to wind it back, although I love doing it all. Apparently you’re not supposed to post so infrequently, but I’m hoping it’s better than not at all. PS: new avatar, maybe? Very writerly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Many demands on a fellow, Steve. You can only do what you can do.

      I think these creative forms move in cycles. It’ll come back when you’re ready for to.

      Yes to the avatar. I’m messing around with looks and presentation and author pages and images. No doubt there will be more change to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, when I accidentally bumble and send things into all kinds of disarray, I can usually only come up with, “er, sorry”, or if particularly articulate that day, maybe, “oops”. I must write these lines on my hand.
    I love how the stranger interrupted such profound thoughts…there’s an existential crisis in aisle 6 but forget that, we have products to sell, and to sell accurately.
    I love this art too!
    I am not talented enough to appreciate your work fully, but one of my life goals is to find the perfect coffee to help me bluff my way through life at a better level 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Me too with regularly creating mini-disasters — usually I say, “Whoopsie.” I’ve actually become pretty good at catching things as they fall, with so much practice. The soldering iron was a mistake, I only managed to catch the hot end. That was a long time ago but I haven’t forgotten.

      Perfect coffee and perfect wine are worthy goals, Vanessa, and bluffing works fine for me. All you have to do is expound some random mixture of dreams, misunderstandings, and inane obscurities, and then fake wisdom by remaining silent when people wonder what on earth you are talking about.


  5. To neither dissipate nor propagate. Hmmmm… Is that what you call stasis? Contextual tragedy abounds it seems. Probably always has. But you put it so originally. Tumbling things and trying to rebuild… As for the graphic; the simplicity is striking. Thanks for the lovely read, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it could be a kind of stasis of life, but I see it as different to remaining in one place, not moving, i.e., not the same as being frozen.

      Thank you, BG. Yes, tragedy is part of living for most of us. When one discovers that one’s understanding of a context is completely flawed (apart from drinking window cleaner by mistake) that can fit the definition pretty well.

      The artwork called to me when I saw it, something to do with where my mind was at. My pleasure, of course, BG.


    • There’s a sepia photograph of a 100 year old sulphur-crested cockatoo in a museum– homestead near where I live. It had a feather or two in its crest, but that was it. 100 years: nothing to complain about.

      The David Bowie Mars question. I say “yes,” I agree with Edgar Rice Burroughs. I sometimes wonder whether there is life on earth, though. 😸 Thank you, Jim.


  6. Inspiring art work, thanks, Steve. A poem that is thought-provoking and fun in equal measure. I’ve been absent from blogging world for a while and have missed your unique style of writing. I empathise with you about the time consuming nature of blogging and hope your fortnightly posts continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Nikita, glad you enjoyed. I understand and agree. I enjoy the time I give to WordPress, although it was taking more and more for various reasons. I’d like to say it helps to keep me sane, but perhaps sanity is overrated. In any case, I hope to continue somehow even if it’s with delays.

      Liked by 1 person

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