Previously on the rewound world: four post-apocalyptic travelers at a café in the Nullarbor Plain have had their inconvenient truths revealed by the moderately bearded waiter. Episode one is here.
No-one disagreed. With murmurings and sighs,
they accepted that which, in another world,
might have been denied with vigor, with examples
tailor-made to create a false impression.
The waiter was encouraged.
Everyone falls short, but I can help you
reach your destination. Hard truths
will be wrapped in gentle falsehoods,
and you’ll walk the middle path between
illusion and delusion.
He turned to me.
You will cease to exist, but not to worry,
I’ll keep the records for you.
Give me your pencil and your notebook.
There was a brief tussle.
The worldly-wise but modest waiter addressed his guests,
who were gathered round the ex-writer,
unconscious on the floor.
For dessert, I have an unwanted surprise.
In the kitchen, he studied readings sketched on cardboard dials,
turned a drawing of a tap, and filled the dining room
with tetrafluoro albatrossic acid vapor.
His guests dissolved like soluble aspirin,
and cocoons of DNA wove themselves
around the remnants.
After seven days or thereabouts,
on one unlikely velvet morning,
the cocoons unwound their helices
to reveal two naked humans.
Before they woke, the waiter chose their clothes:
overalls dyed with nettles and red ochre,
and stitched with customer-friendly names.
I’m more than syllogisms and schemas,
and I remember what I left behind: a car radio
tinkling glass inside the rain; the heartfelt messages
I sent myself with a pantograph.
Once I feared the natural angels, their chlorophyll and hemoglobin,
but now I see the incandescence behind their cold philosophy.
Where the early morning flights are leaving
for the dreamers’ sun, they illuminate the runway.
- Some Velvet Morning, music and lyrics by Lee Hazelwood (1967)
- ancient angels in rewound world
- Lamia, John Keats (1820)
- Early Morning Rain, music and lyrics by Gordon Lightfoot (1966)
pathways, made with VEE, the visual evolution engine, and EMMA, the entropy min-max algorithm (HD works best).