rewound world 11: mergers

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.

to continue


  • Some Velvet Morning, music and lyrics by Lee Hazelwood (1967)
  • pantograph
  • ancient angels in rewound world
  • Lamia, John Keats (1820)
  • Early Morning Rain, music and lyrics by Gordon Lightfoot (1966)



Articulate Turns Nine is running in Sydney until 22 December. Kaosa, a video made in collaboration with the wizardly Paul Sutton (insta) is playing in the dark under the staircase.


pathways, made with VEE, the visual evolution engine, and EMMA, the entropy min-max algorithm (HD works best).




26 thoughts on “rewound world 11: mergers

  1. Love the video. Reminds me of boundaries dissolving on a map. The line that resonated most with me was “and you’ll walk the middle path between
    illusion and delusion.”. Strangely I was just wondering yesterday what is the difference between illusion and delusion????

    Liked by 3 people

    • Glad you like it, Nikita. A good question about delusion and illusion. For me, delusion has a negative aspect when it’s used: something that doesn’t agree with reality and is judged as bad. Whereas an illusion can be neutral, and even shift towards a common Spanish meaning: a hope, an expectation that may become real in the future. Anyway that’s what I think, although it may be the Latino influence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So now we’re down to two… I think I will avoid that café, as I am not really into being condensed and repackaged. At least the waiter was honest, it was unwanted.

    • I’ve never experienced it, but I’m inclined to agree. I imagine the waiter felt he was in control at that stage and could afford to be honest. Curiously, that doesn’t seem to happen with politicians. 😸


  3. -Amazing! A very enjoyable read. Hope you are not suffering from the smoke of fires. We have floods here but according to D Trump climate change is a hoax!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Margaret. It is not just incredible with Trump, but people actually believe it. I suffer from asthma but I’m okay: I have particulate masks for outside when it’s extreme. Hope you enjoy the holiday season and all the best for 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Clarissa: comparison with the Canterbury Tales, I’m flattered. Perhaps there is a certain moral element, coming from the purportedly wise bearded waiter.

      I find Hazelwood’s song intriguing. Apart from the sixties/flower people etc references, there seems to be something else.

      Anyway, leaving that mystery aside, I’d like to wish you an enjoyable holiday season and all the best in 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Paul. Ha. I am becoming more and more convinced that our existence is a mistake. Tomorrow the heat wave moving across Australia will reach us in Sydney. New climate records are being set day after day and we are moving into uncharted territory. On the other hand, I have a glass of Shiraz and there is still some in the bottle.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Those poor travelers didn’t even order dessert, but got it anyway. Soon, we’ll share their fate, dissolving into the cosmic sea.
    On that happy note, hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful festive period!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. a sinister turn, Steve, once the word “tetrafluoro” appears, bad things happen. “tinkling glass inside the rain” is a beautiful image.
    Waiters are never what they appear to be…as always your imagination astounds me… JIM

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Jim. I am playing catch up as usual. Yes, tetrafluoro is helping to destroy the world. It has a pleasant rhythm though. 👻

      I think a lot of what I write comes from particular indelible memories, such as the tinkling glass (thanks for noticing). From my unreliable memory, the Beatles’ “Here Comes to Sun” was on the radio.


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