I have signed up with the magical Meerkat Press to produce a two volume set entitled The Purpose of Reality: Lunar, a collection of poetry, and Solar, a collection of short stories, both with artworks.
The mellifluous Meerkat published the Love Hurts anthology, where my story Jacinta’s Lovers appeared, and it is a great pleasure to work with them again on The Purpose, which will be edited by the talented and thaumaturgical Tricia Reeks.
The planet is cocooned in a hydrolithic sheath,
formed from the vaporized detritus
of ancient modern living.
Its mysterious condensates and fractionated hydrocarbons
hide the Martian battle fleet, hovering above
in orbital geostasis.
My neighbors came to me on a quiet Sunday morning.
An intervention, they informed me,
because I’d been infected by Deija Thoris.
One packed toothpaste and a sewing kit
for essential sutures.
“Space-time, its nature is undeniable,”
(in lieu of a goodbye) and that one headed off
towards tomorrow’s sunrise.
The one indoors was waving from a window.
“Everything may be cleaved in two,
so it is with digital computation.”
The air is curdled and afraid, stinging in my throat.
I fall asleep, return to fantasy that once was truth,
tumble to the world where Moorcock’s misplaced
Their flickering uncertainty illuminates the overgrowing vines,
and they bleed their forlorn magic to the earth,
creating lesser mammals that frolic for a moment
in a second dawn.
When fantasy disappeared from Fênix and everyone left, Sorry, who fell out of the sky with her Subaru, and a possibly undead storyteller, were left behind. She warned him of an imminent electrified dystopia, and they sought sanctuary in Guarapuava. On the way, they saw herds of armadillos ridden by sephine spiders. Part One is here.
Luck was with us when we arrived in Guarapuava:
the world had not yet ended, and by the teary shores of
the Lagoa das Lágrimas, we came across
the Pensive Teahouse, open after midnight.
When the realms of imagination were lost from Fênix, a furtive storyteller and Sorry, who fell out of the sky with her Subaru, were left behind. An electrical dystopia is on the way, and she is taking him to a sanctuary. It turned out that there was more in the sky than anyone expected, and a light rain of dead people has just fallen. Details of the artwork, which is part of the Selfie Exhibition, are given below.
The visitors from Nocturnia, the land
beyond the light of life, milled about
on the road, despite the Subaru’s
When fantasy was lost from Fênix, the residents fled, but Sorry and an anxious storyteller were left behind. Sorry, formerly known as Madeleine, is possibly an extraterrestrial. She warned that an electrical dystopia was on the way, bringing polarized chaos and wild electricity. The storyteller has agreed to accompany Sorry to a possible sanctuary. Part one is here.
We travelled mostly southward, and through
rust holes in the floor of Sorry’s Subaru,
I watched the gravel bumping past beneath us.
Fantasy has been lost from Fênix, swept away by a wave in the ether. Most of the residents have fled, but Sorry and a wanderer were left behind.
The blind storms drifted overhead,
and in a sudden burst of bottled lightning,
Sorry flickered and disappeared.
The two of us had been no more than strangers.
I knew she wasn’t Brazilian, from her stripes,
her rows of sharply pointed teeth,
but I realized that I missed her.
A wave of cold reality has swept through the township of Fênix and almost everyone has fled. One unlucky person was made to stay behind because their fingerprints were unsatisfactory.
I tell no-one that my thoughts are rain and glass,
frivolous on a foggy day, but I will sit and wait
for isentropic meaning to appear, from within
or from without, and after sleeping,
recollect a question from my dreams.
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.
A childhood reconfigured, a child who could never be,
with cardboard carts of stones and stamps,
bundled with a string, with wooden wired
contrivances hidden from the world,
and yet the others whispered in his ears.
They told him of a place where wild basalt seas
crashed down upon the shattered mirror beaches,
and sleepless carriages fled the stations of existence.
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.
Classrooms buried underground,
a breath, a cough, a teacher,
where every window was a riddle
and we were mute behind the glass,
where the chord of chords still sounded
from each bell to the last.
I was frail paper with pencilled veins,
a helpless diorama, a divide by zero,
an overflow and underflow,
a distillation of reticence and fear,
listening for the silent voice.
Late Friday coffee.
It’s time for me to go.
Haven’t you seen the news?
The Venusians are invading.
They’ve been studying us for years,
collecting all our confidential thoughts.
Their conquest of the earth is under way,
with their gaudy starlit tentacles,
their stellarators and imitation science.
Lately yesterday, lost in thoughts
of solar unattainment, I met the windwalkers,
copper blood and lightning’s megahertz whispers.
An intergalactic basket, delivered to the wrong address,
a three much like an eight,
turned out to be a hamster who used to be a synonym,
five parts fantasy, each alone and falling.
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.