paperback rider 3: the earnest librarian

obedience_school_s

Millie, the librarian, has decided that the library’s newest eternal employee will probably have to do some writing, apart from cleaning the restrooms. Part 1 is here.

Before we ravel the tangles of your
thoughtlessness, I’ll be giving you
the benefit of my interleaved experience.
I may speak in bold occasionally.

about yours truly
I’ve adopted arrogance,
its only limit, epsilon.
I began instructing in my childhood.
My toys were most obedient,
the cat, the least.

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paperback rider 1

the_old_library_s

Before the new days, ancient currawongs
hammering bells awoke me.
The new birds want my moto perpetuo,
my clockwork drive to nonexistence,
to eternal giving up before beginning.

~/~

I was seated at a table in bibliographic
co-ordinates, aligning ping-pong balls
in rows, to start and finish with the first.

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myth of the horse king

burnt_dreams_s

From perilous dreams, the horse king
rose, so sure he’d be remembered
in the daylight.

He declared that everything was
indeterminate, unnecessary or incomplete,
and with batteries, many A’s,
he asserted iron-clad existence.

The once and never horse, ambivalence
on a bike, mentioned in a margin
for his bravery, and in a footnote,
impartially decapitated by a jury
of his peers.

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school days

always_sorry_s

Classrooms buried underground,
a breath, a cough, a teacher,
where every window was a riddle
and we were mute behind the glass,
where the chord of chords still sounded
from each bell to the last.

I was frail paper with pencilled veins,
a helpless diorama, a divide by zero,
an overflow and underflow,
a distillation of reticence and fear,
listening for the silent voice.

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life as we know it 7

riders_in_pale_cars_s

where the dream fish leap

A traveler seeking enlightenment has finally reached his destination: Port Botany. Part one is here.

Port Botany was a failure:
answers, answers, everywhere,
to questions no-one asked
and not a drop of coffee.

The voice inside my head was silent now,
my ambition was ambitionless,
and my quest would lie forgotten
in my diary if I had one.

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life as we know it 6

prepackaged_s

Port Botany

A traveler is dawdling on the way to Port Botany. He’s been guided by the polar spirits, crossed paths with the alchemist Alcione, and passed through a portal into an alternate, but equally dull, reality where he had a therapy session with the Medusa, who recommended he wear a tomato. Part one is here.

I missed the world I’d left behind,
and through a day and night,
I sought another path between realities.
I opened doors and gates,
climbed over fences, in and out
of windows, all to no avail.

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life as we know it 5

go_blithely_forward_s

nothing is true and so much left undone

After a motorway visitation, a penitent is journeying to Port Botany, seeking wisdom and a burger meal. He’s been helped along by the Polar Spirits, and he met Alcione, an alchemist. Now he’s in an angled reality discussing life with a therapist who has a serpentine hairdo. Part 1 is here.

She pried my shameful secrets
with a chisel, stole all my best delusions,
and while I waited for her stellate plan,
she whispered to her woven serpents.

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life as we know it 4

impartial_memories_s

in the bilight

A pilgrim is journeying to Port Botany in search of coffee or a revelation, and the Spherical Polar Spirits, Altitude and Ascension, are helping him along with a little tough electric love. Part 1 is here.

Swerving water, a long slow
crash of breakers on the land,
as I journeyed in the minutes
of the bilight, when the sun
was yielding to the rise and stutter
of the streetlamps,
their denatured spectral substitution.

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life as we know it 3

flightless_enlightenment_s

Alcione

A flightless penitent is journeying barefoot to Port Botany after a revelatory event on the motorway—a pseudorandom monk plagiarized The Rime of the Ancient Mariner while he painted the penitent’s windscreen with seagulls. The polar spirits, Azimuth and Altitude, are helping him stay on track with cattle prods. Part one is here.

In southern Alexandria, my electric shepherds
grudgingly approved a measured stimulation,
and I queued up at a mobile coffee truck.

Before me in the line, an impatient stranger
caught my eye, and I introduced myself
with a fictional appellation.

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life as we know it 2

secret_nights_s

Rewired reverie

After meeting with an apparent monk who painted the windscreen of his Vauxhall with seagulls, a motorist has morphed into a pedestrian on a pilgrimage. Part 1 is here.

For me, no peak modernity, no dream of
orbital ecliptics, no F-sharp metal on my tongue,
I’d been summoned to Port Botany,
where flightless cranes raise riveted beaks,
bow and curtsy in their dainty dances,
where cirrus kerosene streaks the flammable sky,
and I might find a natural ellipsis,
a powdered hesitation by the sea.

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when we’re real

upon_my_thoughts_s

Late Friday coffee.

It’s time for me to go.

Haven’t you seen the news?
The Venusians are invading.
They’ve been studying us for years,
collecting all our confidential thoughts.
Their conquest of the earth is under way,
with their gaudy starlit tentacles,
their stellarators and imitation science.

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solar disenchantment 2: episodic discontinuity

dreamless_s

(Voice over) Previously on Solar Disenchantment: a hamster or an acquaintance of Deija Thoris has parachuted from a bus and landed on a minigolf course, where he will attend a conference in a normal-size hotel. The unrelated first part is here.

The conference venue was virtual de luxo,
with non-removable coat hangers
and a sparkling mineral spa,
all a-bubble with sulphuretted hydrogen,
widely recommended as a curative
for common floral ailments.

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solar disenchantment

ask_the_fish_s

Lately yesterday, lost in thoughts
of solar unattainment, I met the windwalkers,
copper blood and lightning’s megahertz whispers.

An intergalactic basket, delivered to the wrong address,
a three much like an eight,
turned out to be a hamster who used to be a synonym,
five parts fantasy, each alone and falling.

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