Previously on the rewound world: at a café in the Nullarbor Plain, four post-apocalyptic travelers were transmuted into two, Autónomo and Primaverity, by the insignificantly bearded waiter. The first episode is here.
We bid the waiter farewell, thanked him
out of misguided courtesy, and he returned
our diary, responsibly accepted
We journeyed to the north,
and on a Sunday evening,
we reached a castle
made of sand or ice or quartz.
The battlements and ramparts were festooned
with ash and glitter, and from each turret,
bright auroral fireworks shot into the waning sky,
a welcome or a warning from the occupants.
You’re a dreadful notetaker,
Discontinuous and ambiguous.
There exist unreachable realms,
lost through searching
for the mirage of truth.
In one of them, we’d been together,
Primaverity and I, not driven
from each other by the fear
of unexpected transmutation.
The halogenic realms are borderless,
as uncertain of their form as bromine,
and there, all sounds are whispers
beside you on the pillow.
We are of our bodies, the voices say,
chemical compositions with a middle eight.
Do you remember what might have been
before the soft apocalypse?
Did you go forward with a weighing
of abstention and acceptance?
In two ways, you may face the incomprehensible:
—turn back to safety, cradling your misunderstandings
—embrace its mystery with feline curiosity
Primaverity pressed a buzzer or rang a bell
or disturbed a cicada by the door.
From within the frozen castle (where all fantasies
begin and end), footsteps approached.
Tragic melodrama is redundant
in this world, said Primaverity,
and you’re still a terrible notetaker.
- The town of Nullarbor in South Australia broke state temperature records this week, reaching 49.9C. Many more records will be broken during the soft apocalypse of anthropogenic climate change.
- the previous transmutation
- Residences at the North Pole are a fantasy staple; one of my favorites appeared in Frankenstein Unbound by Brian Aldiss (1973).
- Michael Dransfield, who came from another planet; one of his insights into existence is revealed in Pas de Deux for Lovers (Collected Poems, University of Queensland Press, 1987). Here is an extract:
Morning ought not
to be complex.
The sun is a seed
cast at dawn into the long
furrow of history.
alternating realms, youtube video made with VEE, the visual evolution engine.