It’s as if I’m alive, I’m almost sure.
Strangers know me at the supermarket,
people 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 without a flower,
I curled up 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.
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.
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.
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.