fênix 3: perspective

Fantasy has been lost from Fênix, swept away by a wave in the ether. Most of the residents have fled, but Sorry and a wanderer were left behind.

The blind storms drifted overhead,
and in a sudden burst of bottled lightning,
Sorry flickered and disappeared.

The two of us had been no more than strangers.
I knew she wasn’t Brazilian, from her stripes,
her rows of sharply pointed teeth,
but I realized that I missed her.


A minute later, she reappeared, and when
I voiced concern around her unexpected
vanishing, she spoke of aleatoric teleportation
and positive ions in excess, with a smoky air
of nonchalance.

I’m curious, I said, to know a little more about you.

When I was underappreciated Madeleine,
I lived on a headland washed by the ocean of the clouds.
There, I drew in others—mesmeric dream absorption
of those 
who would escape from all that is persistent
between the veil of the morning and the shattering
of the truth.

Our community was close-knit, fenceless
till the winds began to blow. Locks appeared
on doors and windows that 
rattled in their frames,
and I would lie in bed 
and wait
for an obscure shade of light.

When the ether wave arrived, I was swept away to Fênix,
my modest car as well, and despite the parabolic fall,
it runs like new.

Come with me for a drive.

I feared imprisonment in someone else’s dream,
and her vehicle had no license plates.
I hesitated, and Sorry shared a vision
of tomorrow’s world.

The distillate of humanity is polarized—
unthinking dipoles, birth and death, their trickling DNA.
When bound electrons escape their orbits
and weave their wild destruction,

no barking melodrama or eye-lined tears
will avert the dielectric chaos. 

We’re near our ending, you and I,
but before the surge of that electrified
dystopia, we may find 
a place of safety,
if you come with me.

to continue

Blind storms recycled from my short story the meeting of the waters, free electricity from the honimoon hotel.


all that is persistent

21 thoughts on “fênix 3: perspective

  1. What an amazing work–both visual and rhythmic–to absorb at 6 in the morning before caffeine. The unfamiliar words so meaningful. Looking forward to the next one, Steve!

  2. One imagines that chaos consists of fragmented and separate elements, so cohesive chaos is an interesting concept. Locks appearing on doors and windows seems so real, as well as unrealistic and being imprisoned in someone else’s dream a wonderful yet suffocating thought. You’ve done it again Steve with a completely unique poem. Bravo! as they say in France.

    • Yes, I agree, “cohesive” seems to contradict. As well as the objects in the video, I was thinking about chaos in the world, in a less literal fashion: it seems to gather to itself and grow.

      With the dream imprisonment, I think it’s quite possible in a sense. One can be swept up and carried away by someone’s vision, or draw other people into one’s own, for better or for worse. Thank you, Margaret.

  3. “I feared imprisonment in someone else’s dream…” (and no license plates either!) Pretty risky. But yet, that alluring chance of safety with another… Pretty powerful, Steve. Bound electrons breaking their orbits – what a blasted mess!

    • Running late with WordPress as usual. I hope that the mess is not a reflection of my life at present. I suspect that the more our life is a mess, the more we search for some kind of refuge.

      Anyway, if we’re not trapped in someone else’s dream , we can still get trapped in our own. Thanks, BG.

  4. i came back to read and now can comment, another masterpiece Steve, this story has such flow, i am sensing regret and a quest for redemption by being a better guide. electrons that escape their orbit can cause major destruction, I split them everyday, slowly tissue decays. out of the necrosis of these dreams a new world is forming. i so love the line “I feared imprisonment in someone else’s dream” – this is truly poetic prose at its best to me, in fact this whole piece has an enchanting melody.

    • I’m running very late as usual with WordPress. Yes, regrets and seeking salvation, spot on. I suppose it’s good to have a raison d’être.

      Love your metaphorical rays, bringing rebirth. I wonder whether the planet itself will come back long after humanity has gone.

      The dream imprisonment seems to have resonated with a few readers. It’s probably fair to say that, personally, at various times, I have been both a warden and a prisoner. Thank you so much, Gina.

  5. Sorry has a distinct voice, Clarissa above mentioned rhythm and that’s what struck me about the Sorry segments. There’s a sense of impending apocalypse about the poem, the lack of license plates is always a sign. I have no idea what “aleatoric teleportation” means, but it is very musical and rolls off the tongue! Beautiful poem Steve….hope your other projects are going well! JIM

    • My other projects are certainly keeping me busy, don’t know about going well though.

      Like you, I’m interested in the way words sound, and because of life, I have a leaning towards techno-babble. I’m not quite at the stage where I’ll just use them no matter what they mean. Not yet anyway. 😸

      Personally, I find the only way I can stop the apocalypse from impending is with coffee or wine. Thank you, Jim.

  6. In an apocalypse, those who find themselves alone with each other would definitely become more than strangers. No wonder the protagonist missed Sorry during the minute she was gone. I think he should take the risk and go for a drive with her. Surreal and profound as always, Steve.

    • Thank you, Magarisa. Yes, that’s the norm. I generally prefer that the world explodes before anyone gets to really know anyone else, 😸 and we definitely don’t want any heroes who take risks. 😸

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