The peculiar tale of the discovery and ordering of this manuscript will be told at a more convenient time. The peculiarities of its form of recording deserve their own discussion – suffice it to say that the text is a gloss of a Hittite or eastern ancient Mediterranean language unknown until the ‘Vrontin’ carving was found in the cave in mountainous central Anatolia. It is perhaps the stub of an alternative development of a primitive religion, although the inclusion of unparsable terms makes its translation very difficult. To aid in comprehension, we have entered the most likely English counterparts, although it should be remembered that, for example, the goose noted in 15  is probably not any species of goose that the reader will be familiar with, although similar behaviours have been found to exist in aggregate over many populations of goose across the world. The most difficult term to translate was found in carving 3.1, where a term for emotional brain capacity was found wanting. We have used the vastly unsatisfactory ‘limbic system’ as a stand in, waiting for a time when a translator with the right powers of sight can offer up a more fitting word.
Memory danger. It’s a pinch.
They’re in our heads, in our bodies –
they could strike at any time. Know:
Memories are dangerous things.
They wrench our heads through time, it’s worse
even than the ground opening
and letting you plummet away,
just to jangle from side to side
from rock face to rock face – insults
raining from their mouths. “Good lord, boy,
Call that falling!? A downy scrap
of feather would do it better.
Call that hitting your head? Go on…
Pull the other one! Try again –
Oof but that was okay, good byeeee!
AND THE DARKNESS SWALLOWS YOU UP.
So, melodramatic, but yeah.
It’s like the world is scattered all
with massive invisible traps.
Bear traps with a ghost chain attached.
And then you drag the ghost around
as it complains mightily – “Please,
I’m as tired as you, my liege. But
can’t you stop that racket I’m sick”
When mercury was first designed,
it was as a lesson. Silver
and undulant like nothing else,
disguised as a solid jewel
Have you ever spilled it? It’s like
letting out a secret, unthought
and feeling the moral landscape
shift and set snare traps in your gut.
It’s fractal ’til it disappears,
like the ramifications of
any action. It rolls across
the surfaces with great interest.
It’s vapours send us mad, and fish
become mercurial in this
disregard they have of our minds.
To be quite fair, who could blame them.
In landfill sites across the world
it falls, year after year, into
the sources of our deepest fear.
Our breath stutters at its slick thought.
‘This is a tricky thing’ they said.
Listing it on the slate of things –
alongside sex, and time, and dreams,
and cave paintings, and tv
The wood gate is crisp
driftwood’s dry mirror –
and the church behind
is the rock upon
which the waves crash hard.
This hubbub decries –
with the tree’s creaking –
those who seek a peace.
Really there is no
well chiselled message;
In the graveyard hear
soft undefined hums
of voice and organ
mixing in hollows –
hear wind whistle through.
Hear your insecure
thoughts tapping upon
the stained glass dust – hear
choral doom and then
lays of the bright voice;
in time’s long empire
has brought the air here
and the soft water