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.

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the martian stereomart

the_nights_reflections_s

Inconstant light will update fortnightly from today. This has little to do with Mars. It is a consequence of irreversible thermodynamics, evolution beyond the axolotl, and causation.

With strong and weak nuclear forces,
you might try to bind every atom of your being,
to neither dissipate nor propagate. To build a bulwark
against living’s effervescence, you might try.

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reconciliation

amidst_s

A childhood reconfigured, a child who could never be,
with cardboard carts of stones and stamps,
bundled with a string, with wooden wired
contrivances hidden from the world,
and yet the others whispered in his ears.

They told him of a place where wild basalt seas
crashed down upon the shattered mirror beaches,
and sleepless carriages fled the stations of existence.

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the letter

 

It snowed along the night, piled up
to just beneath the window sills,
mostly printouts, black and white,
so we shaped an outdoor dining set
of ink and paper, and took our morning coffee
on the balcony.

Orchilla dearest, you fill my thoughts
with wasted words
that I will not share with you.
And yet for lunch, as a special surprise,
I shall prepare spaghetti macramé al dente.

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exits

three_tomatoes_s

Crossroads on the valley floor, a sign,
a part-time river colored laundry blue,
and by the water in a town, the air is scented
with hot absence, molecules in chaos
ignoring windward motion.

The parkland’s plaque is dull, I make it shine,
reflect the woken world with Brasso,
and polish out its words:

You wonder why you’re still asleep.
Your other wonders why he’s still awake.

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other reasons

cloud_control_s

If none of (a) to (f) apply, please explain your reasons in writing in the space labelled “Other.” Inmates are not permitted additional pages. 

[A selection of “Other” responses follows. Respondent’s names have been replaced by pseudonyms to preserve inmate anonymity. Comments scratched into the wall and/or with rows of indecipherable symbols were excluded.]

“Anonímia de Tal”

I measured my expectancies—
mantras, books, and pills in quantized repetition,
overtime and undertime spent flickering from pillow to post,
leaping with the pendulous clock,
though in a temporary lapse,
I once considered skin mites, so fearsome microscopically,
and the sparrows pecking hair lying fallen at my feet.

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the cat

the_future_of_green_paint_s

While I was washing roses by the gate
with a dash of liquid Omo on a toothbrush,
fish-heads came to mind,
and I began a metaphysical meander
with just the two of us: my neighbor’s cat and I.

Two chords for self-taught breathing,
causality’s unwound tidal oscillations,
nor birds nor raindrops nor Pangaea:
everyone is waiting for a doorway in the wind,
feather-dusting the furniture for departure.

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homo sapiens beta 10: diversity

entropica-s

Proteus, the Jurassic prototype person, created Proteus II, a luminous version of himself, by reciting his own name. Following the advice of Archie, the archaeopteryx, flesh-and-blood Evita was created when Proteus II recited her name. After an interlude in which questions of Jurassic fashion were resolved, Proteus II claimed that he’d created Proteus in the same way, that he came first, à la chicken and egg, and the Proteus brothers took to arguing. Part one is here

Evita found a sapling
and whipped them both
around their heads.

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homo sapiens beta 9: circularity

horizon_s

Now there are two version of Proteus, the Jurassic prototype human. Proteus, the original, made of liquids, solids, and a not insignificant amount of gas, and the ionized and luminous Proteus II, created by Proteus when he said his own name. Proteus speaks with glowing lights, and conversely, the plasmoid Proteus II speaks with sounds that condense solids. Archie, the talking archaeopteryx pointed this out, but neither version of Proteus grasped its significance. Part one is here.

Don’t you see, you prehistoric buffoons?
If Proteus II recites the name “Evita,”
she’ll coalesce in flesh and fluid form.

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homo sapiens beta 7: on the beach

proto_diplodocus_s

The radiative Evita ran off with Adamstown, and Proteus plans to knit himself a striped woolen outfit to win her back. Proteus speaks with lights (which coalesced to form both Evita and Adamstown) and, starting at the beginning of the manufacturing process, he said the word “sheep” over and over before falling asleep. Of limited relevance, when he said “lightbulb,” his companion Archie swallowed the resultant glowing shape.

Proteus was awoken by nocturnal rustles, roars, and yawns,
but not a single bleat.
We must return to the ironsand beach,
he advised his mute and mildly feathered companion,
that is where the creatures shape themselves.*

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homo sapiens beta 5: the sun

xray_coastline_s

Proteus, the prototype human, was speaking with the radiant Evita when Archie, the archaeopteryx, traced out a semaphoric flight path as a warning. Lulled by the night-lit lumens of his own voice, Proteus ignored the ancient bird and continued with his exposition of the integers.

When solar rays were manifest,
Proteus had an inkling that his feeble wisdom
did not limit the world, and recognized
the twin subversions of his dreams,
ignorance and arrogance,
but the revelation came too late.

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alícia

the night falls like fish

The wind drops violins, my ducks are misaligned,
and the day that you created is winding up
and winding down.
I’ve spread the margarine of time
across the bread and crossed it out.

I need no answers, Alícia,
to questions no-one asked.
Cakely words by Sara Lee
are baking in the oven
and I don’t know who’s to blame.

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the third dimension

ThirdDimensionThe Third Dimension appeared on-line in Plasma Frequency Magazine. PFM re-emerged in 2016 with help from Kickstarter, and they’ve introduced a number of new features including a rookie author program, revamped editorial process, and broad reading choices with stories free on-line as well as in print and ebook editions.

Note: Unfortunately PFM has now sunk again and all that is left is a terrible spam site.

‘The Third Dimension’ is pretty much sci fi, as long as you can suspend your disbelief—I find a glass of wine helps, except with politicians—and it owes something to Ian R MacLeod’s magical novel The Light Ages, plus a few other works that I won’t name to avoid spoilers.

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