An itinerant worker returns from a civil war that never quite happened, back through time to their partner, and on their way they see things in England that cause thoughts to occur. In sequence the field repeats, each one slightly differently. In each field a different voice, a different group. Maybe a village, or a city, or a bird. A chaos of significance.
We sleep alongside red angels who show us the desert without microscopics and without soft, sad awakenings. We sleep. A wing breaks us, escape, we have wheels older than flown feathers, lost, to explore the graveyards of slowness, the only luxury.
The bottle which surrounds the cloth of our wounds gives in to the slightest want. Let us take hearts, brains, the muscles of anger, let’s take the invisible flowers of pale little girls and tied children. Let us take the hand of memory, let us close our souvenir eyes, a theory of trees liberated by thieves hits us and divides us, all the fragments are good. Who will reassemble them: terror, suffering or disgust?
Sleep, my brothers. This inexplicable chapter has become incomprehensible. Giants pass by, breathing terrible moans, giant’s moans, moans like the dawn wants to push through them, the dawn which can’t complain anymore, after all this time, my brothers, after all this time.
Behind the facemask of my mind there isn’t a lot happening. The dullness of disaster has arrested complex thoughts with its neutralising swarm, experienced as a blank mass descending over everything like snow, or asbestos over an old factory. Which isnt to say I’m having a particularly bad time. After all kids would play in it like snow, and were presumably happy for those moments, even as the traces of later pain knitted themselves into the depths of the lung. Although I do have chronic pain of a kind, it’s really not anything to send letters home about – I can still enjoy the bubbling steam of the coffee machine that cost me £4 in a charity shop. These cheap, or at least notionally cheap pleasures help us in the mornings as they grow darker, colder, here in the north. For the best skill in life is to hold on whilst letting go, and knowing when. The chances of death are still certain etc. etc.
Stranded on the immensity of the ocean, I am treading water. The giant fish-object silhouette hovers in the deep, just on the edge of the dysphotic zone. My eyes are sliding off its almost-imperceptibility as the water laps around my ears, as the waves pull me up and down. My stomach is turning and turning to try find a way out, but of course there is none. Dread is with me in the cold water, amongst the water, invisible. My eyes are wide and cold and I am in constant tension waiting for the teeth to snag me from behind.
Then something changes. I relax, see the surface rise away from me in its liquid glass transformations of the grey clouds. I take a mouthful of water and taste its saltiness before I open my lungs and breathe it in. It is light and cool inside me and I now hover, buoyant as the water, breathing the ocean in the dark. And moods are like this, aren’t they? I suppose.
In this place rain has fallen like this forever – a mist, the monsoon downpour and white noise. Then the forest, the edge of a forest where blackbirds call meekly and woodpigeons shelter on the curved branch.
Lightning cracks through everything in vanishingly small moments. And thunder unites.
Spaced along the eternal border are houses, backing on to the woods and in each, the back door is open and swings slowly since the wind is slow. Raindrops fleck the glass, and wet the mat.
In the centre of each garden, one of the risen stands, staring into the swaying woods which moves with the shifting intensity of the rain. It is warm, and their clothes are wet. They never look away. They want nothing except to continue to look. This they are granted.
The lord’s prayer dances on their lips, but it changes nothing, and means nothing. Still they call it, whisper it, softly. Its sound is completely lost in the rain.
They seem still, and at peace. And they might be
After accomplishing feats beyond our far sight with compounds that behave like emotions, growing crisp if left alone in rain – time travel was begun.
We did not realise at first. When we become this complex, new things often appear first as violent accidents – the death of 2 by light
speed, unexpected. More – death of 1 by extreme gravity, of sudden onset, quite a surprise. With time, it was the same. The girl was unprepared.
When sped up that vastly the speed of earth through space becomes quite a sight; her laboratory jumped up, blazed like a star and was gone. No-one ever knew
Precisely seven suns fall into a bright studded ring and orbit in a long dance. Some loner catapults through the bullseye – its a hard trick but you have to impress all the space lovers some bright way –
why not that? Or gain some time by close orbit to the black. They said you were too old – well how about now, years in days. If you cut a black hole clean into two it behaves like a worm and grows thick and full
again. My world is half sea and half mirrors – it is hard to notice as it barrels around you, floating darkness unless for one small moment you notice the eye open, as it reflects my home sun
and it simply stumps gazers as they scrabble to note it – but by then the new star’s gone. My star is so bright you must wear sunglasses in the dark. My star is sentient – and sings, we note, one long, clear, beam
This star really cares for you. It sends out tiny formules to subtly alter your life – waves the size of solar fields flow through the gaps between things whilst hugging each living crowd, and silent material
indiscriminately fast. It sees oceans blasted off in clouds of silver crystals – pearlesce in the bright darkness, the mystery of the cards – that is, the infinite planes, stars arrayed in contusions.
Here, a crab, a fool, a drift of the aeons, each of which with a particular twist and flick, sends spells to raise us almost unnoticeably from the darkness – but en masse they make a thrumming cascade.
If there was not this support – each star’s clean cut influence – then the world would end, fold in. And that would be it. A proof of the love of everything for everything else, is this asteroid collapse into
“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down” – Robert Frost
Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, in the rain, on an aircraft carrier, whilst experimental jets launch fireworks into space above you
Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier that was sunk in 2004 off the coast of Florida to form the basis of a coral reef, and losing with grace
Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier in a pop-up cross-section book, and accidentally slipping off the edge and falling into the cardboard sea
Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, loose in fact, when it begins to move, blown by the air off the edge, over the sea, until it crests a wave then slowly sinks to join millions of bones on the seafloor
Writing free verse is like playing tennis, but it’s not tennis, you’re holding a pen, and you try and hit the ball but it just sticks on the end of the pen and ink dribbles down your arm to the white flagstones
Writing poetry is like playing tennis with the net down but with the net up
Sometimes I don’t know whether to plot the course of our long and varied galactic run – the stellar cultural forms we shall pass through – or to sit in the garden on softest grass, lie, gazing at daisies.
I would like to say I lack understanding of this – but that massive understatement would leave the gulf between me and this high crown of petals unaccounted for – small chips, dry stalks, and so on.
Or could I plot new courses never before flown – or ask why this ‘never before’ is quite as important to us? Or I could absorb seasons of TV as if I were the wires themselves, dark angels
Or know all this illusion is simply there to shore me with all possible solace. If I can do this, that, why am I drinking thought’s hemlock, surprised at the dull undone?
I here chronicle the events on Twitter of the 13th July 2024. I here chronicle the implosion of an industry, and the sociological deaths of at least three well know personalities. I here chronicle schadenfreude, accidental implosion, carelessness and fuck you, deserved comeuppance, and vicarious retort. I here chronicle 13,777 tweets, totalling 1,804,787 characters, being lived as 3,444 (and a quarter) human life hours. I here chronicle at least 956 subtweets, of various levels of passive aggressiveness. I here chronicle the sad tweets, alone in a desert of talk, who made comment without the full context, isolated in history, who post to advertise their blog, the promoted tweets to satisfy curiosity, to satisfy revenge as the dragon is tempted with a sweaty maiden. I here chronicle the vastly greater lurking viewers, the aeons worth of unsent messages and multiple thousand revised drafts. I here chronicle spelling mistakes noticed and unnoticed, atoned and unatoned for. I chronicle three burned meals, a stubbed toe, the faded white and blue afterimage decaying and pushing sleep, cats and dogs and fish unfed, general malaise, unlocalizable unease, no one feels like they won except the machinelike who continue to believe they have never made a mistake even as they pile up like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I chronicle the year following where 13 lost their jobs in ways directly or indirectly linked to particular tweets sent in this period. I chronicle the further deterioration of the environment over the next 100 years, the anthropocene, then the anti-anthropocene, the post-anthropocene waste. I chronicle the advent of generalised affordable commercial spaceflight whilst those with easily curable diseases continue to die due to the fact that some object by force of arms to the principle of charity. I here chronicle the sun, the sun, the sun, as it grows, as it grows, as it grows. I chronicle the messianic advent of immense power. I here chronicle that it came too late.
I here chronicle the field, in the sun, the grass waving in the warm breeze. There is no one here. The insects are silent, or gone, and occasionally a bird flies through heading elsewhere. The warmth of redness in your eyes, and the cold air’s caress of your back. The waft of your t-shirt, and the smell of spring. You look up and see immense superobjects of water vapour interact in the stinging blue.