… meet the zeroth law of motion.
We’re dropping out of hyper now
into normal space,
the words of Azulinha, the fluidic pilot,
flashed inside my head,
and don’t touch that,
it’s not a percolator.
Soon there’d be no more
chromatic thought transference—
empathic rivers of the gaseous mind.
It would all be stuttering and stumbling
with optics and acoustics
on the surface of the planet.
There’s something unfortunate about seven a.m.,
when the dreams of worlds that might have been
ascend into the vanishment.
As I traveled the Redfern Rail one night,
through tunnels that smelled of soot and ghosts of steam,
I chatted with a stranger. Her auburn hair was wound
with a golden asp, and she told me this:
Your mind’s your own, to do with as you will.
I saved mine for special occasions,
believed in pixels and maquillage,
bowed and chanted to great Osiris,
but I know better now.
There is a place where all imagination ends.
There is a frontier beyond which
nothing is comprehensible.
Who will tell me what lies in between?
Diurnal hours on planet earth
It’s as if I’m alive, I’m almost sure.
Strangers know me at the supermarket,
even family knock and peer through windows,
ask me why I wasn’t where I should have been
by rote and custom.
Yet I know when I awaken every day,
I’m here for the very first time.
Chalcedony, a distant and unfriendly planet,
orbits an old-fashioned chartreuse sun
in an unsociable spiral galaxy.
It’s a centimeter or two away from earth
on a standard map of the universe,
In a café on the planet’s surface,
it’s Monday morning, neither late nor early,
and Manique, of humanoid appearance,
is sipping a humanoid coffee.
She’s putting on her armor just before the sun up,
with a snap of latches, and the buzz of her
In the far field, stuttering unsteadiness,
in the near field, delicate slivers of glass.
He knows that he is not himself, someone else
inside authoritates the wine list
and whispers to the pillow:
a loquacious tropical parrot will emerge
and leave a chrysalis remainder.
In my mind I’m in a granite tower, fog and raindrops,
lichen and moss. The sea above its maritime level
is scattered and forgetful, tiny fish have fins
for swimming and for flight.
I chose a basement cavern and pretense,
Martyrdom Lite with a flower,
I curled on the runway where interstellar flights were landing
and bathed in temporal trickles,
lacking seriousness and gravitation,
factualising while my compass spun.
The planet’s hold had waned,
Newton’s fruit was drifting to the West
and ripening, yet I remained
while those around me rose.
There are certain places and certain moments
when a single word you speak will evaporate
your flesh and reveal what lies beneath.
In the distance everything is magnified, desires that
we cannot reach, immensities, improbabilities.
The mountains of dawn are hidden from me now,
but I will see them again.
Some people think we’re all the same beneath our hair,
they hope the thoughts they fear inside their head
are just a common cold. Others, that their
special vision of dominions and desires
is not a stuffy nose.
But I remember turquoise afternoons
when everything was intermediate,
and you and I could be by being,
when all our past was yet to happen
and even sins were innocent.
Thought bubbles must be punctured gently,
deflated with a fine molecular needle.
She lets me do the shopping at the markets,
the hens are in my charge, I sweep the floors,
but I’m a prisoner in her house.
On the crooked kitchen shelving, potions bright,
alluring clues, magic herbs and condiments.
To prepare Bahian fish, she says.
Her eyes are jungle camouflage, her tidal laughter
breaks in waves when nothing is amusing,
mysteries are woven in her hair.
Many things, amongst them, Martians,
are allegorically immune,
just and only themselves.
What might now be learned?
Shall we hang our knowledge bright
on wooden poles, defiant glows beneath the arc
of Google Sky?
When the ladybugs conquered my kitchen
their ultimatum made reference to aphids and fleas,
and so with the Martians—a hunger for
Ghosted fashion, sunglasses of darker mist,
and a bridge to be traversed,
although arrivals on a further shore
are never the ones who left.
For her, no warm embraces,
no distant tears;
without a moment’s regretful hesitation
she begins her journey.
The river far below is flowing russet, jetsam waves,
and tiny stars above are
little suns that can’t grow up, afterimages of
a universe long lost, afloat in panoramic darkness.
They’re digging at Sandringham, open cut,
the hunt for the lost Six Ten
that diverted from its accustomed route
and burrowed in the sand.
This morning from my cottage
on the edge of the Sandringham pit
I saw pantographs protruding,
spines of a fossilized dinosaur,
and now the spools on cranes are
grinding sure and slow, steel cables taut,
extracting the commuter carriages
with unexpected tenderness,
not to rend their couplings.
For thirteen years it’s traveled far below,
but today the sunlight’s harsh reality
will illuminate the Sandringham Six Ten.
Once the sun was planetary, with
the earth its moon.
Once gravity followed a different rule
and the morning’s colors mattered.
Now the earth falls round the sun,
the moon around the earth,
but while our memories echo
with violets and fragrance, fragments of volition,
come with me, my friend.
In the photocopied forest,
where origami birds shed origami feathers,
where duplicates with papered eyes
riffle through the files of our dreaming,
where carbon copied life is rampant,
Rosalyn shows me a quick start guide
for human prototypes,
their care and feeding, how to keep them far
from wheels and fire,
and recirculant mechanics.
Our bonsai minds are caged and shaped,
replicas in miniature of something greater:
trains, the sky, and lightning.
I didn’t pay the bills electric,
now no lights electric,
just a fluid glimmer—
the ghosts from yesterday
illuminate my ectoplasmic reading.
Outside a spinning wind is rising,
furrowing the earth and sky,
and on the far horizon, mechanical invaders
with razored paddle wheels
scalpel air to vortices,
curling slinkies that cannot be
Do spaces matter without context?
Atoms to cells to Wilma to planets
and beyond more empty spaces.
All might be forgiven today,
prescriptive facts unfaced,
turned to continuous movement
in a land of distant windmills.