The normal dimensions vanished long ago,
and except for secrets covered in a skin
of words, we were left with only three.
Under every door in Marimbondo,
a letter of demand appeared, stamped
By hydraulic decree, the Itaipu
catchment will expand.
Marimbondo will be submerged
and you must leave.
You’ll be rehoused in tents at Alta Vista.
At the Café Économique,
they serve one class of patron,
one strength of resteamed coffee grounds,
a minor bird is hopping on a plastic olive branch
and a mangy city cat is watching.
I’m seated at a likeness of a table
reading faded scrawls on a communal
unimportant safety information
On my journeys through forgotten nights
I collect my dreams,
trade them for indulgences and bitcoins
with the goddess of the godless:
the deity of pillows,
of changing sheets, of hiding,
commander and distracter,
of games and roles,
played and yet to be.
The detective has left the building and the world. With a coterie of penguins and axolotls, his client has gone on without him, heading to a post-apocalyptic crystal city. The story began here.
We journey onward to the west, finding
country corners and strangers
who make believe their ordinary lives
have not been lost:
motels with sewing kits and swimming pools for guests,
where the penguins jump and splash,
dance their stately dances,
raise their beaks to the stars
with enthusiastic cries of ‘encore’
from the axolotls.*
The detective and his client continue their post-apocalyptic search for what lies beyond the obvious sea. For implausible reasons, the detective wrote a fantasy of his own death in his diary which he passed to his client, who is now keeping a record of their journey. The Detective started off here.
It was no-one’s fault, not his nor mine;
even the bivalves weren’t to blame.
They have capabilities beyond
our human constructs
yet they’re living creatures,
borne below and risen
from deep within the earth.
A detective and his client are seeking what lies beyond the obvious sea. The detective is in a supermarket, the usual refuge in case of an apocalypse, and his client has wisely left the building. (The detective sequence starts here.)
The ceiling and the roof have vanished,
breakfast for a bivalve, and a curling snake
of sulphurous vapor scorches my eyes,
runs bitter in my nose, my throat,
like the small red chillies
one should never purchase.
A detective and his client journey through the post-apocalypse, seeking what lies beyond the obvious sea. Here is part 1.
We walk for hours towards a hidden horizon
where the distant bivalves are silvery phantoms,
in the darkness.
My client has her axolotl armaments,
and I might be brave, but I’m myself—
a frightened woodland creature
seeking refuge from the restless night.
She makes a stop sign with her hand,
although it’s not hexagonal.
Over there a building stands.
We’ll rest until the daylight.
In a post-apocalyptic world, a detective and his client seek to discover what lies beyond the obvious sea. Part 1 and part 2 already happened.
I follow her, wander through
the ravaged landscape
searching for her dream, a fantasy
from long ago.
At dusk, we reach a silent square
of broken swings and slippery dips,
of roundabouts and culs-de-sac,
where all the fallen houses
are numbered zero.
A detective, his client, the mystery of what lies beyond the quotidian sea, and a marginally relevant precedent.
The sunlight hurts my eyes,
I’m unaccustomed to the lack of walls,
and I miss the certainties
my office prison offered me.
My client gives me glasses, dark,
and thoughtfully plasters zinc cream
on my nose,
but the world is not as I expected.
I wake up slowly in the soft infinity,
to discover I’m a dried out coffee stain
on the office floor.
By eight o’clock, I’ve morphed into a forgettable insect;
in half an hour, give or take, I’m a currawong
with a broken wing that fluttered through a window;
and when a customer knocks at nine,
I’m vaguely human, vaguely a detective,
polite, denatured, and unnatural.
on an evening in the soft infinity.
The sheeting rain outside
is a comfort and a warning
while I solder in a copper tangle:
connections from the future to the past,
with an insulating bypass round the present.
In the stormy world outdoors,
bright cascades of lightning challenge
my pretense, until a sudden surge and roar
redacts the copper to smoke and honey,
and a circuit breaker trips.
While forests of rain
are tumbling from the clouds,
From each exhaled breath,
swarms of insects, transparent to opaque,
spiral fluttering, butterflies to birds
to armadillo exhalations.
And soon there will be humans
in the aisles of nature’s
In a flurry of her own creations,
the goddess wakes.
I will not take that path again.
in São Paulo
My night thoughts spider scuttle
to the web of thoughts,
to be forgotten in the halogenic daylight.
Pigeon heralds coo chromatic arches of the dawn,
and by the afternoon’s descent,
a gentle samba on a headland far away
calls in the rain.
Lightning flashes in the belly of the city sky,
deus irae in smoky yellow,
and castle clouds are falling
in plastotechnic raindrops
that merge and rise to build again
as solid as the world.
My phone politely starts my Sunday:
Good morning human,
your mission is to find out
whether purpose matters.
Where subdivided paths marked
I saw enough to know
the truth of almost nothing.
Where falling cartoon clocks shattered
into bells and spiral springs,
I waited for a gentle sound.
Where graduated tick marks
switched the traffic lights,
I stopped to contemplate my lies.
At night when everything was hissing,
pressurized and leaking air,
colors came around, reefs of golden green,
and in the distance,
pages tore like thunder.
A rider on an insipid horse galloped
by my bedroom,
and my dream woke up
while I still slept.
After parts three, two, one, a flashback to the home of the crayfish on their reformed moon.
We live in a concrete paradise,
we must show the galaxy,
attract discerning tourists
and credit cards.