The ether wave swept through and swept away
intangible imaginings: shimmers from the overworld,
refractions risen from the subterrain,
and the sephine webs connecting them.
When the wave had passed, the town of Fênix
was no longer cloaked in mystery and fantasy,
only naked objectivity remained,
a brutal realism that no-one could withstand.
If none of (a) to (f) apply, please explain your reasons in writing in the space labelled “Other.” Inmates are not permitted additional pages.
[A selection of “Other” responses follows. Respondent’s names have been replaced by pseudonyms to preserve inmate anonymity. Comments scratched into the wall and/or with rows of indecipherable symbols were excluded.]
“Anonímia de Tal”
I measured my expectancies—
mantras, books, and pills in quantized repetition,
overtime and undertime spent flickering from pillow to post,
leaping with the pendulous clock,
though in a temporary lapse,
I once considered skin mites, so fearsome microscopically,
and the sparrows pecking hair lying fallen at my feet.
While I was washing roses by the gate
with a dash of liquid Omo on a toothbrush,
fish-heads came to mind,
and I began a metaphysical meander
with just the two of us: my neighbor’s cat and I.
Two chords for self-taught breathing,
causality’s unwound tidal oscillations,
nor birds nor raindrops nor Pangaea:
everyone is waiting for a doorway in the wind,
feather-dusting the furniture for departure.
Now there are two version of Proteus, the Jurassic prototype human. Proteus, the original, made of liquids, solids, and a not insignificant amount of gas, and the ionized and luminous Proteus II, created by Proteus when he said his own name. Proteus speaks with glowing lights, and conversely, the plasmoid Proteus II speaks with sounds that condense solids. Archie, the talking archaeopteryx pointed this out, but neither version of Proteus grasped its significance. Part one is here.
Don’t you see, you prehistoric buffoons?
If Proteus II recites the name “Evita,”
she’ll coalesce in flesh and fluid form.
Proteus, the Jurassic prototype human, speaks with luminous shapes, not sounds. The shapes melded to form two plasma creatures, Evita and Adamstown, who ran away together. His companion Archie, an ancient bird who now has the power of speech, knows how Proteus can be reunited with his beloved Evita. Part one is here.
There’s a way for you to join Evita,
who’s shockingly electric,
and would stop your heart
at the slightest touch.
Proteus is a prototype human (beta release) living in Gondwanaland in the Jurassic era. Part one is here.
As it happened, Proteus could not speak with sounds:
when he opened his mouth and set his throat to vibrate,
glowing bubbles, leafy baubles, necklaced seeds,
a myriad of elemental protozoan shapes,
floated from his lips, sparking, drifting through the trees.
The intrepid binary pair, Librarian Millie and the employee who is searching for mythical Sheridarp, have reached the roof of the Dreamwalk Library. Rather than the urban environment they’d expected, their surroundings are desolate, and an unfriendly cloud of wasps is approaching. Part 1 is here.
Imperturbable Millie ignored the fearsome kilowasp.
I’m thinking that your so-called Sheridarp
is just a symbol, merely naming
what your soggy heart is seeking.
It stands for what you’ve never found.
Millie, the librarian, and the employee who is seeking mythical Sheridarp have been debating whether it can be found on the rooftop of their Dreamwalk Library. Part 1 is here.
Certainty’s uncertain, I’m almost sure.
Lesser libraries might be networked to the greater,
according to the principle of megawasps,
and Dreamwalk might be part of Sonandinho.
So please, dear Millie, my librarian, my master,
might we go together to the rooftop?
Microscopic particles of time
rain upon our lives.
Paper promises grow brittle,
mapped forgiveness folds, unfolds,
frays and tears along the creases.
Our memories refract through prisms
until the brightest day is lost
in anesthetic runes.
I heard a motor revving in the carport,
and from my gate,
I watched my Kia Starfish drive away,
with the spindly legged carport
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.