Previously on the Rewound World: while I looked on, four trepid post-apocalyptic travelers wandering in the Nullarbor Plain defeated the internet. Episode One is here.
Over there, do you see?
Ada’s vision was terrascopic.
An effulgence is rising in unsingable blues
The flaring light was visible to each of us
according to our dreams and secrets.
Ada, Deirdre, John P, Paulo, and I were crossing the Nullarbor plain when the internet’s voracious cables rose from the underworld and embroiled us in serpentine data. Episode one is here.
I cleared my throat.
I’m okay, Paulo said.
Deirdre swatted at a social media invite.
This gloomy internet knows that it’s alive,
but it doesn’t understand the counterweight
of living: the partial sum of life, its passing.
Although they didn’t play any instruments, a band of post-apocalyptic travellers was crossing the Nullarbor plain. On a lunch break, one of them, the humorless John Person, addressed my alternate. The first episode is here.
You’re a quiet one.
I nodded, and while Ada told her story,
I thought about epoxy resin,
Araldite in two parts, one of which
was always empty first.
The first episode was set two weeks ago in the future Nullarbor Plain. Cassette players, deceased goannas, and kookaburras were not mentioned. Written in the past, it dealt with present-day reminiscences in the apocalyptic future. The wind was blowing, water was scarce, and nothing happened. Episode 2 is similar.
Words arise from other words, a twisting,
an entanglement that never completes itself.
Thoughts I’ve disinterred I recite with fake solemnity.
The kookas on the clothesline emit embarrassed laughs
and find the sky.
Isabela, leader of the infernal army from Omégaville and winner of the Succubus of the Year Award, has been interviewed by a panel of celebrities, and now she’s having a little ‘me’ time. Part one is here.
Another bar, on a rooftop
far beneath the overworld,
another tissue paper town,
another rooster tail or two.
Isabela was staring down the unrepentant butterfly,
while I was writing up her interview.
Led by Isabela, the underworld army from Omégaville has marched across the land. Isabela has won the coveted Succubus of the Year Award and is about to be interviewed on the Tonight Tonight Show. Part 1 is here.
Four wise media personalities filed onto the set,
wearing numbered T-shirts.
Number one took a sip of water,
cleared her throat, and began.
Through the magic of fiction, all lifeforms in Omégaville have been transformed into creatures of the underworld. They are miffed because the military’s missiles incinerated their township. Part 1 is here.
I’d never really liked my neighbor, Maria Isabela,
endlessly complaining about my midnight bagpipes,
until she became a succubus with eyes
like sinful turn signals, flashing left and right,
In Omégaville, humans and other lifeforms are misbehaving. Instead of chasing each other or watching tv, they’re climbing upward as best they can and occasionally howling at the moon. The local government representative advised that action (unspecified) would be taken. The first part is here.
A committee in the hollow halls of government
met in secret and agreed in unanimity
that every living creature in Omégaville
was unnatural, illegal,*
and with surprising prescience,
most likely dangerous.
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.
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.
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.
This is the third part. Tenuously connected first and second parts are stored as data on a server.
A pointless unnamed human
was locked in stasis by Célia,
an interstellar traveler
who has a name.
A week and forty years pass by
in a single line of text.
The stasis ends, and one apartment block
still stands on planet earth.
A mostly irrelevant first instalment exists.
An aerial steam train winds across
the Kangaroo Valley skyline
with interstellar Célia and
a nameless human on board.
On the ground, a stray sheep comments:
looks like a little smoky weather on the way,
and high above,
like a Canterbury pilgrim conglomerate,
Célia tells her tales.