Previously on Alphabetic Fish: there were no such fish, but the forlorn protagonist made a vow to turn over a new leaf, or any leaf, as long as he overcame his shallowness. The previous episode is here.
Today I will begin my real life,
the life that’s tailor-made for me.
But first off, I’ll check the weather,
innocuous conversation might be on the cards.
We’re swirling leaves carried on the flow,
pebbles skimmed across the waves,
seabirds too ungainly to reach the sky.
We only touch time’s surface,
and never understand its depths.
On Friday, she knocked softly at the door.
She was elderly and frail, and she
held a schoolbook out to me.
I know that we all travel from A to B,
but C and D and fish are
forever in my thoughts.
Delfina and Pierrot have decided to forgo the pleasures of Dapto, which has been barbecued by the Martian Battle Fleet, and visit New Zealand instead. Delfina has selected a large flattened cardboard box to transport them with the Von Bingen Drive. The previous episode is here.
Technical Note: the Von Bingen shifts travelers to successive alternate timelines where they are closer to their chosen destination.
“Sit down beside me,
I’ll explain how this works
on the way.
I hear the wind trains
passing in the night.
In the west, far away,
they’re travelling to the south.
Far away and never stopping.
Previously on Delfina: Pierrot and Delfina are stuck in Dapto, and to make matters slightly worse, Deija, the Martian Princess of Glass, has arrived with her battle fleet, armed with infrared energy weapons. They’re burning Dapto to the ground. Meanwhile, Delfina is chatting on the phone in a foreign language. The previous episode is here.
She turned to me.
“That was Deija. She’s apologised
and invited us to her Dapto castle-warming
Light. A remnant from the birth
of the universe is sneaking
through the glass.
Birds. They called each other,
chirping more quickly
than they should,
a sense of urgency
because the world
Me. In a cold bed, taking notes
in shorthand, or possibly Klingon.
Delfina and the newly-pseudo human known as Pierrot are on their way to Dapto in Delfina’s trans-reality transport, a junkyard Plymouth, which gets from A to B by successively crossing to timelines where the Plymouth is closer to B. The previous episode is here.
The park left us beside a dirt track,
gravel flowed like a river,
the vines covering the Plymouth wilted,
rolling hills rippled and roiled,
eroded into scrubland.
And when the scenery stopped,
we were in Dapto,
in someone’s backyard.
Previously on Delfina: to escape the apocalypse, the unnamed protagonist allowed himself to be buried in sephine, and became somewhat translucent. He went with Delfina to the Menai, where they found her trans-reality cruiser, a junkyard Plymouth Satellite. The previous episode is here.
Delfina was in the driver’s seat.
“Do you have a name?”
Apparently, Delfina didn’t know everything.
“My name is unimportant,”
I sighed, “It gives me no pleasure,
and I’ve found no consolation in living.
I serve no purpose in the world,
and I’ve noticed that the Plymouth
has no wheels, for steering
Click image to view a 50s video excerpt from Ancient Mars II: the Apocalypse.
Lie down beside me
and we’ll gaze at the furthest sky,
where once our dreams were carried aloft
in the updraft, in the flames of our personal fire.
We’ll recall our promises and secrets,
kept and broken, reflections
in a tarnished mirror, bitter lessons
learned too late.
In an unsatisfactory narrative sequence, the forgettable protagonist, who is alone even in his dreams, realized he could hear the motor that turns the universe through timelines. A while later, an apocalypse came along, and the humanoid Delfina told him it would be best if she buried him alive in sephine.
We’d escaped the alien mechanisms,
their aleatoric annihilation of all life,
and reached a stretch of cratered
parkland at the Menai.
In a pendant past, still waiting
to become, my dreams were ever
wandering in a lifeless land:
the high night of suburbia,
where the homes were anthracite
compressed from smoke,
and the streets all ran with bitumen,
flowing over aeons to Nocturnia.
The city has no interest in my breathing,
it contaminates my lungs with anti-air,
infuses them with vacuum.
Yet, should I leave this wretchedness,
to find a place where burnt-out cars
are overgrown with vines,
where the breeze blows allergens
and dust, and determined insects
seek comfort in my flesh,
my heart would be tormented.
In the beginning, my home was a barracks
filled with strangers.
With picks and shovels in gloved hands,
we dug sephine from the earth,
from glimmering veins of pale crystals,
soft like melting snowflakes.
“I cannot find a single word
not a one, and my heart,
like a stroboscope,
“Still, I started life as a half a packet
of Tim Tams, so I have no reason
Deija, the Martian Princess of Glass, was lounging on a chaise longue in her Dapto Castle. Her butler was nearby, drinking bluegas through a striped straw.
“There’s nothing new under the sun.
Is it worth invading the rest of this sorry planet?
It might all be like Dapto. This place
has infected me. I have a rash.”