time and air

two_sundays_s

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
timeships rest.

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.

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fênix 6: the first night of the ultraviolet forever

suburbs_s

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.

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fênix 5: new arrivals

disintegrations_of_icarus_s

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
impatient honking.

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fênix 4: afternoon showers

cloud_study

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.

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fênix 3: perspective

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.

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fênix 2: weepless willows

destabilisation_s2

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.

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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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reconciliation

amidst_s

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.

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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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homo sapiens beta 8: reciprocity

the_yellow_explanation_s

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.

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homo sapiens beta 5: the sun

xray_coastline_s

Proteus, the prototype human, was speaking with the radiant Evita when Archie, the archaeopteryx, traced out a semaphoric flight path as a warning. Lulled by the night-lit lumens of his own voice, Proteus ignored the ancient bird and continued with his exposition of the integers.

When solar rays were manifest,
Proteus had an inkling that his feeble wisdom
did not limit the world, and recognized
the twin subversions of his dreams,
ignorance and arrogance,
but the revelation came too late.

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paperback rider 4: fictional prevarication

solar_debit_s

Millie, a librarian, has been revealing aspects of her life to an employee. Soon he is going to have to earn the salary that he isn’t being paid. Part 1 is here.

Now we’ve covered everything
I care about, it’s time for you
to write your heart out on these
pillowslips and handkerchiefs.
Use this fabric pen, fill it with a dramatic color,
and let me know your chosen subject,
for shelving later on.

I needed a distraction.
Do you hear the distant screams, the sirens and the like?
Beyond the tinted windows of our bibliographic haven,
passers-by are shouting at the starblown sky,
kneeled in prayer, or searching for 
a mortal remnant
that they might have dropped.

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school days

always_sorry_s

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.

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life as we know it 6

prepackaged_s

Port Botany

A traveler is dawdling on the way to Port Botany. He’s been guided by the polar spirits, crossed paths with the alchemist Alcione, and passed through a portal into an alternate, but equally dull, reality where he had a therapy session with the Medusa, who recommended he wear a tomato. Part one is here.

I missed the world I’d left behind,
and through a day and night,
I sought another path between realities.
I opened doors and gates,
climbed over fences, in and out
of windows, all to no avail.

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when we’re real

upon_my_thoughts_s

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.

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