fênix 1: the wave

destabilisation_s1

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.

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other reasons

cloud_control_s

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 Respondent’s names have been replaced by pseudonyms to preserve inmate anonymity.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.

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return to the lost planet

anesthetic_runes_s

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
galloping behind.

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seekers of yesterday

water_panes_s

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.

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the o’connell street tides

possible_showers_s

I’m not quite comfortable with that fireplace, amor,
or the smoke from all the books you’re burning.

I was working through the Dewey Decimals,
I’d kept a little eight two one.

You told me everything defined is lost
by definition,
a soul’s reflection in a mirror.
I thought it best to undefine myself.

We need a chimenea.
I’ll remodel with the chainsaw.

The chainsaw roars, she says a little more
I cannot hear.

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nocturnia

the_last_days_of_the_moon_s

A small symbolic light above the planar world,
the curveless planetary horizon
and yapping dogs on the wind,
run I walk I queue I
grow tired, eyes close and flicker,
yet every photon tells a tale
of a restless luminous voyage.

After midnight I wander under
sodium doublet illumination
to the very end of the street.

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hourglass particulars

lumens_on_parade_detail

plagiarism on a beach in france

I’ve imaginated death:
dark rivers, darker seas,
the luminiferous earth,
its plantations
growing to that darkness
in headlong blind embrace.

I share my thoughts with Joana.

Oh how you’ve changed, amor.
The city is to blame,
its exhumations and exhalations,
obsidian and glass.

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girasol

waterfall_s

I want you to live without me,
the time has come for you to spread your petals,
to hop and flutter.

I knew I couldn’t fly
but still I left her, not without regrets
or longing, but knowing I was
so much more than the helianthus
I once was.

I was ready to seek another light.

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from zero to decaf latte

the_improbable_castle_s

It starts with fire and ends with rain,
zero is infinity
and my home
is filled with strangers,
yet their strangeness is not reciprocal.

zero
Everything’s unpointed,
worth the special introductory
price of free.

The scientist Irene in white
peered over her half-moons.

Let’s apply a little logic: if everything
is worthless, so is that idea.
Come with me to Improbable Park.

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the river and the wind

sound_waves_s

… meet the zeroth law of motion.

We’re dropping out of hyper now
into normal space,
the words of Azulinha, the fluidic pilot,
flashed inside my head,
and don’t touch that,
it’s not a percolator.

Soon there’d be no more
chromatic thought transference—
empathic rivers of the gaseous mind.
It would all be stuttering and stumbling
with optics and acoustics
on the surface of the planet.

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rain on the sea

what_is_on_tv_re-ev_s

There’s something unfortunate about seven a.m.,
when the dreams of worlds that might have been
ascend into the vanishment.

~/~

As I traveled the Redfern Rail one night,
through tunnels that smelled of soot and ghosts of steam,
I chatted with a stranger. Her auburn hair was wound
with a golden asp, and she told me this:

Your mind’s your own, to do with as you will.
I saved mine for special occasions,
believed in pixels and maquillage,
bowed and chanted to great Osiris,
but I know better now.

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the harvest

after_all_s

There is a place where all imagination ends.
There is a frontier beyond which
nothing is comprehensible.
Who will tell me what lies in between?

~/~

Diurnal hours on planet earth

It’s as if I’m alive, I’m almost sure.
Strangers know me at the supermarket,
even family 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.

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