Previously on Darklight: a traveller, the Ibid Bird, and a railway guard, set out for the Inverse Realms, where time ostensibly runs backwards. The traveller would like to find Selena, but on the way, there may be triffids. The first episode is here.
The journey to the Realms meandered
through pointless snippets of conversation,
without a cup of coffee or a saving grace.
Previously on Darklight: a traveller accompanied by the Ibid Bird is searching for Selena. At Lunar Central Station, he discussed his life with a guard at the gate and found out that she had returned to the Inverse Realms. The first episode is here.
The Inverse Realms. Of course.
The Bird saw through my deception,
and somewhat explained.
Inconstant light will update fortnightly from today. This has little to do with Mars. It is a consequence of irreversible thermodynamics, evolution beyond the axolotl, and causation.
With strong and weak nuclear forces,
you might try to bind every atom of your being,
to neither dissipate nor propagate. To build a bulwark
against living’s effervescence, you might try.
A library visitor with unpaid casual employment shelving returns encountered a solar lifeform. Part 1 is here.
We ride the solar winds to
to the frigid outer reaches.
We’ve been coming here since
your fictional history began.
The natives are charmingly photogenic,
but they evaporate too easily.
Your eyes are very special.
Three café explorations.
“Reality serves at memory’s pleasure,”
something I read somewhere.
I have a tattoo with the very same words.
Quite the coincidence.
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.
on an unremarkable planet
Contessa Isabela fluttered a manicured hand.
Divers divas and devices,
glorified in dullness.
I crave novelty.
We’ll send someone to Planet Sauria
whence no-one has returned.
We might get lucky this time.
… 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.
Through the window, washes
on a watercolor planet,
rainy autumn shades in spring, and
in the early evening, scattered photon showers
are forecast, a luminous return of light
from the shadow sun.
Indoors there are smaller mysteries,
trailing motes in negative space—
leaving lamps and bulbs,
domesticities and peripherals,
drawn out between the curtains
to the shadow sun.
The Martian Princess of Glass visits Wollongong, her hometown.
The fans that line the streets wave mirrors and Windex™,
she smiles all blue and chromed,
removes reflective lenses
with flashes sunborne from reflective eyes.
I remember when she was just the Martian
down the street.
How I planned to meet her,
how every day I practiced her name—
Deija, ¤≈ℑξ ϖ¿ in Martian, hard to pronounce.
You humans are all alike, no time no time,
no time is beautiful, before birth and after life.
My pancakes are shallow thoughts
stacked in the kitchen,
she adds a little honey.
I’m late for work at the hardware store,
mostly robots looking for spare parts.
They’re not like her.
I have a list of pastimes on a piece of paper
in case a stranger asks about them,
or what’s written on the paper.
One of them is making lists,
and one of them describes
the things I cannot understand—
• with more buttons than a penguin can count
• using the word quantum
• named Sonia
• and so on.
Last night I dreamt we went together to the sea
and joined the others gathered on the beach,
figures made of sand who dreamed within a dream
of alluvial forgiveness.
From the kitchen doorway
a flock of shadows flies out on the ridge,
and in the gullies yellowed smog
is bleeding from the ground.
The earth is sick, reclaiming its own,
and the far horizon is a never ending fuse,
unquenchable linear fire.
The i-coupé makes its debut.
So silvery and sleek, and quiet
as a mouse trying to purr,
no steering, no gearstick or pedals.
The salesperson kept on talking,
but I was already sold.
It doesn’t have a motor at all.
A universal transport moves you
to a nearby timeline, where
the i-coupé’s a little further
down the street.
What are you up to, Victor?
I’m writing a poem, Eloise,
something about love.
His felt-tip pen was hovering
over a page of crossings out,
where white-out streaks had
turned to snow capped ridges.
So much for having writ moves on.
When I see two Siamese cats,
bookends on the porch,
when I find two stoves boiling
spinach in the kitchen,
when I meet myself pulling weeds
out of the garden,
I know it must be Célia, and
she’s switched herself again.