After meeting with an apparent monk who painted the windscreen of his Vauxhall with seagulls, a motorist has morphed into a pedestrian on a pilgrimage. Part 1 is here.
For me, no peak modernity, no dream of
orbital ecliptics, no F-sharp metal on my tongue,
I’d been summoned to Port Botany,
where flightless cranes raise riveted beaks,
bow and curtsy in their dainty dances,
where cirrus kerosene streaks the flammable sky,
and I might find a natural ellipsis,
a powdered hesitation by the sea.
(Voice over) Previously on Solar Disenchantment: a hamster or an acquaintance of Deija Thoris has parachuted from a bus and landed on a minigolf course, where he will attend a conference in a normal-size hotel. The unrelated first part is here.
The conference venue was virtual de luxo,
with non-removable coat hangers
and a sparkling mineral spa,
all a-bubble with sulphuretted hydrogen,
widely recommended as a curative
for common floral ailments.
Someone in a Chrysler Valiant driving along the Botany Bay shoreline has picked up a couple of skeletal hitchhikers who have come from the sea. The first part is here.
We are Sam and Sammy,
please drive us to the West,
to invoices and wheat fields,
where desiccants and accountancy abound,
and everything is warm and flocculant.
Imagine meeting you here, it’s been forever,
and never in this reality.
Do you still have that sinusoidal staircase,
with beds beneath the maxima?
Let’s dispense with arbitrary greetings,
the usual meteorology and meander.
I’m marketing linoleum, perhaps you might
be interested in purchasing a tessellation?
And yet you’re glowing, sunlit gold,
photoshopped and pasted by the seaside
for our chance encounter.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The seasons sometimes dawdle, hesitate at the door,
run and stumble
when they’re late to catch
the Keplerian train.
Winter’s ice cracks in glasses,
spring’s choirs sing,
summer’s orchestras tune their instruments.
I do not listen.
She said I was a baboon
dangling without a vine,
but I’m a crayfish stranded on the land.
I will punish myself today
for my regrets and future errors,
the accumulated consequence
of antithoughts and indecisions.
To find employment and the truth
I read the classifieds in tea leaves—
symbol seeking an equation
clothesline seeking washing
objectified stranger seeking life
I’ll try again tomorrow,
investigate the websites in the clouds,
where my skill
at staring into light and dark
might be less superfluous.
I remember when we lived
with our language suited
to the fatuous and fantastic.
When we never wondered
what our slide rules might not measure,
we saw our ambit through camerae obscurae,
pinpoints of the truth inverted.