glass bodies 331 340

The nun accepts

I dreamt I fell off the ram, and drowned from here to there, in a sea of myself. As a child, I endured abuse. Quite the motivation, to become a nun, to cancel out the will of those would-be nuns, who cancelled me out. “They are coming to get you, Barbara.” And from that ghastly crew, I learned that there was no place to hide, and those that called themselves your caretakers, were in fact ill-disguised under-takers, prison guards with sadism as their weapon of choice. The higher the suffering, the closer to God, was the implied lie. There was a small nun, a smiling one; she was the most evil of them all. She’d come into my room, and re-arrange every single object in sight, and she’d smile weakly, and call me her baby, her pride and joy. She’d touch me with her soft frail fingers, and in a moment her iron grip would hold me still, and then she would let me go, with a long, languid look of hellish candour.

I was chosen to be nun, and I took my vows, and I did my best to pray and teach, teach and pray, until the day we were defeated, and I saw myself out of ordainment, and chose a life of unrepentant sin. I have embraced the science and the technology, I have two children, I have forgotten my vows. You come to me with this mission, and what you want of me I cannot give. I cannot go back to the spiritual life. I am too old, and too wrinkled for that. I have forgotten all the spells of light, and my sole concern is fighting the good fight as a medical doctor and as a scientist. My latest obsession is with vaccines, because we can never be too cautions, we need to tailor our personal genomics to our spiritual needs.

For this reason I choose to say yes to you, in spite of everything. The disease of our galactic society is microbial in nature, the White Plague that makes zombies of us all begins with the lack of spiritual vaccines. If we can save the entombed one, the one girl that has seen the other side, we might be able to develop a vaccination against this empirical malaise, which has us so haggard, and so woe-begone. The death of me as a mother is my vocation as a scientist, and the death of me as a scientist is my vocation for nunnery. I once was a superior mother, and now that my inferiority has become apparent in every way, I choose this one last mission with you former-student, to undertake what’s due before it becomes too late.

As a child, I swam the Hellespont in dreams of my own and I woke in a nightmare, and the sedge was withered from the lake, and no birds sang. I have fallen off the ram, and again and again I drown in a sea of my own.  Now, again… I have lost my name and purpose. As a child, I heard the tiger laugh at me in my sleep, and its most terrible sound, was the sound of possession and inevitable doom. The lamia sans merci… it never smiles but it kills the spirit and it owns you. It still holds power on my breath, as it inevitably sits on my right shoulder, slowing me down, hampering my every action, it will not cease to haunt, not even at my time of death. I will come with you, Student. You have my blessing, even as I am cursed.

glass bodies 321 330

The ghost of the student, mourning the present-future

I gave up the idea of ecology long ago. My graduation was both a failure and a success. Now that many years have passed, I still feel the shame of it. After receiving honours for my efforts in studying the rhyzosphere of Solaris, I went on to an adventure to the edges of this galaxy, on a spiritual quest, a young fool headed for disaster. And if that was the end, the process proved itself to be laborious, and the monster that was hatched  there and then overtook my mind, and my body. “I no longer I” became an irony and a crime scene. All that I could perceive after my adventure was that I was lost in a desperate galaxy, a knife cutting me open, everything was pain.

Now after many years, I have climbed that spiritual mountain again, and the view has changed. In fact, the view is nowhere to be seen. The higher you go, the less oxygen you fall apart with. I don’t have problems breathing right now. The edge of the galaxy has become its pivot.  There is no place for hiding anymore. As the ancient prophet Huxley observed, and his uncle before him, silence has retreated at full speed to a naked shingle.

Now I am faced with the same task I was faced with then. And alas many years have passed since Kyniska was buried alive, I have no idea of where she is, and at what fathom she lies. I have lost touch with all my former companions, and the rebellion has long been extinguished. I am determined to find them, at all costs. One after one, we all have sold out to the White Plague, to the Empire of fake reflections. And if my soul has red-shifted all the starlight in the galaxy, my blue core is more white dwarf than black hole. I will find them, and we will find her. And if she is dead, we will rescue her remains. I cannot let this pass any longer, if I were to die now that would beyond betrayal. That is my resolution from atop this mountain on Mauna Vesta, formerly on the vast edges of the galaxy, now 7.4 kilo-parsecs from Krishna’s call.

glass bodies 311 320

the baryons in the interstellar medium twinkle in a wide range of densities and temperatures. in her waking, falling dream, Kyniska burns with the ideas of the defunct. in her coffin, she wakes up and screams. Once the dead have died hard, they must take the place as they find it, for no descent can be in the same stream twice.

after the fighting, the soldier wakes up back on Enceladus, in the service of the empire. he walks toward the castle through endless corridors of ice. but the day grows darker and darker, and he knows he will never reach the front gate.

in her bed burning, Kyniska feels everything and nothing at once. she hears the pain of the outcast, who are not and never will be citizens. Yet Xin was once an outcast; she fought for her right to exist, for her identity, and now she is the commander of the anti-rebel army.

in her waking horror, Kyniska sees Arion as the antagonist, hiding far away, far forward in time, flashing back and forward with his photoionized lies, his mouth open with dense gas coming out of it, lies coloured by ultraviolet photons. in her paralyzing illness, Kyniska has chosen the path of spirituality, and the religion of fighting the white whale has led her to a faith in God which is intermingled with her hatred for Arion.

Trapped in a box, she is being fed fantasies through a multiversal screen of the kind once built by Xin. Her love lost fast fuels supernova explosions in her mind, and while she waits until she sees the sun… she remembers how it was to fall in love… to see the break of day of an emptiness so vast, so fast, and the feeling of taking off, soaring, catching shock-heated temperature drops, while connected to stellar coronal gas on time scales far greater than millions of years. and she once vowed that he’d be on his mind forever, that she’d cross the endless oceans of suffering, she’d for an instant exist without acting, that her bewildered mind should stop wandering, and arrive at the highest good.

At the time of love, the earth was rotating, and the interstellar medium was forming the stars, and the dominant source of energy was the yoga of action. the visible appearance of galaxies around her kept urging her to accept words there seemingly inconsistent, such as “I”, “love” and “you”. And as gas evolves to stars, some part of their love was ejected from the galaxy in the form of galactic winds. Upon a dream, she saw a preying mantis, she felt the hurt of loving, and in her illness now she hears a song in the background. What is it?

Young Simon, later the Taoist, while rotting in prison, meditates on his earlier incarnation as a life-luster. When confronted with his mother’s dementia he felt dead in the gut: to feel so much, and to be able to communicate so little.

Kyniska discharges fantasies of love while entombed, in the tight embrace of religion, she explores the myths and lies of her mind with open mind, like a soaring phoenix on her last flight. The regrets of lost love bundled together in the Icarus desert, the all-accepting character of the non-existent knight’s squire, the resentment toward Arion, the sinking feeling of abandonment.

The Nun and her only student left are eating in a diner somewhere in a quiet corner of the multiverse, eye to eye in a manner like some stars compressed into a very narrow space, white clouds dimming their spectroscopic minds. Or is it the soup that burns?

Xin-Angel has the makings of the antagonist. Looking over the burnt out shell of the rebel ship, she remembers the building of multiversal screens, she remembers the plagues that devastated the slave camp where she lived, she remember the narcissus flowers echoing over a dark pool, mirroring her life choices. She, too, has regrets of long lost love.

In the cosmic microwave background, the elecromagnetic radiation pervades the story, and spread-out characters are far flung onto stellar photospheres, gamma rays emitted in nuclear transitions touch the decaying souls of those non-existent people, and dark matter particles provide no well defined boundary to this story, to the fantasy, and the optical wavelength of its narrator.

now with his eyes closed the Taoist sees trimmed starry lamps, glowing in the dark. the inevitable doom that the rebels expected has fallen true.

the student in the philosopher’s garden ponders how one should know, how does one let the right one in. Doctor Firn calls him to dinner, and the large wings upon his shoulders are mine, and the dizzy sky is witness.

after the rebels’ defeat, the multiverse has grown smaller, the emperor expects that the unforeseen does not exist. this very evening, freedom in an unattainable prospect. and while Xin explores her identities in the forests of Solaris, an overnight truce has been called to cremate the dead.

The enemy must lie, it will betray you. It is in its nature. Fighting the just fight is a choice, but first drive your chariot in the middle of the field. From confusion, there is weakness of memory. Tell us, reader, where does your weakness in memory lie? What are the secrets you have buried deep down in the Solaris jungle? What have you restored to the jungle?

glass bodies 301 310

[ Setting: A rotifer farm on Triton. A middle aged couple is busy preparing dinner. They are awaiting a guest. The scene outside is bucolic. In a bubble away from the planet’s freeze, Dr Firn and Dr Jones have created an ecological island where plant life is in harmony with water and wind, and feng shui coincidentally exists. Inside the bubble, many species of trees thrive, and leaves and fruit from exotic to well-known, all waiting in a green shade, thinking of poetry and unheeded dreams. ]

Student  Good evening, Dr Firn. I hope you don’t mind I came a little early.

Dr Firn  Come in, welcome. I am just working on the carrot cake.

[ Student walks in. The living room of the rotifer farm is halfway between a laboratory and a meditation room. Many plants populate the veranda which is joined to the living room. In order to step in the living room, one has to step down, a bit like a roman bath. Down, to nature and potted dreams. Dr Jones is busy working in the laboratory side of the room, looking down microscopic creatures floating in water, architectures of otherworldly beauty ]

Dr Jones  When you hear the voice of the crane, forget the past. Pray to Poseidon of the Sea and to pure Persephone to make Demeter’s holy ecology sound and heavy.  When first you begin calibrating the geometries of rotifer life, when you hold in your hand the end of the microscope-tail and bring down your syringe on the backs of the cells as they draw on the pole-star by the whale’s way, be mindful of your environment and your self. There’s a delicate ecological balance, the spirit works in the ways of the tonoplast. Breathe in, and cosmosmois will take place.

glass bodies 291 300

silence a thousand voices in unison fire

the fall

striking solaris with crushing might

kyniska dreams entomb’d

soldiers at dawn in chase full battle array

the heart’s dearest wish self destruction

a blackhole-size cosmic galleon bobs up in the skies

wild with lights and cosmic bolt

restlessly kyniska hurts in permanent sleep

god and the prophet the living dead have sailed in

down and across crimson cloud an array of albatrosses

peddling lies for a safe passage arion flees

there was a wedding

kyniska sees the curvature of her broken dream

there is a pathogenic disease out there – the nun has methods

to resist

the undead crew thomas-mann-ing the frigate flying dutch over the whale’s way

shield shuck fighters sabre-wishing shoregunners coming ashore

rebel battle back along sea-paths sea-cliffs riddled across the shingled shore

the dauntless angel-xin commands in joyful ire she sings the songs i’ve picked for the

tarantula kyniska hurts to love you as assaulted by the praying mantis

the relentless hexapod soldiers walked with you once upon a dream

visions are seldom what the place for the dead for ever more

without eros sea-faring ships shell the land a white plague comes

with flames streaking red-shifted sea and sand sheepshank fighters

solaris is done trespassing on the beyond

the undead soldiers take the place as they find it

in the process of extinction they fight aimlessly restlessly

voluntarily embracing the good life cracking bones and head

swinging rebels and reverie across the sheer cliff flung

sea-storming limb-naked soaring pelting bullets boring through

their finely attuned war-cry sherrying under shells

shilly-shallying while gunfire shills

the shrieks of shrill rebels shright shrieks

blundering blasts shift the damned

shilpit swifter fighters a shim of life

remains brief candles shimmer

damned to journey eternally from wedding

to wedding kyniska dreams of her own infection

shock of death on a shoestring the ship split in half

waders are shot the shots sting

the stars glisten

shed blood in the waters

waves slink in silence

a blink

headlong the wolves on the buffalo go

the exhausted capitalist self immolation

too dead to live groaning shivering

kyniska sees herself begging

her ghost wants to come in the tomb

let me in

a survivor is undead

xin commands the self-explotation

captain of the capitalist black hole

spreading the infection from city to city

from marsh on solaris

to everyone’s baryon

the burnout crew on an adrenaline thrill

have disbanded the rebels

captured kyniska

burnt out the field

slaughter’s the heart’s dearest wish

god and the prophet kyniska is unsure

what to believe

corinth on siege has bent backwards

turn the wheel reader turn

glass bodies 281 290

[ Bachelor number 3: She has always been too fat, round as an orange in fact ]

The ecology student and the nun are alone in the field, chased by storm troopers.

Student: It seems that we are going to die. They will find us and send us to the merry-go-joyride.

Nun [ … ]

Student: That’s right.

[ Bachelor number 2: I wish I could see her face now that she’s old ]

Student: Do you have any conditional wishes, desires, regrets ? I am empty. I am running out of music. It was music we were making for the thrill of liberty. It now seems all so very transient. Tugging Truth from the machine…

Nun [ … ] just sit here until [ … ] let’s talk [ … ]

[ Bachelor number 1: It is important to remember, she did not stand out. In fact, she had that stupid grin on her face at all times ]

Student: What do you believe in? What did you want to be? I’ve always admired you.

Dusk in the marshes, the deafening cry of insects.

Nun: [ … ] excess and transgression [ … ] babushka [ … ] did not wait [ … ] seashells [ … ]
face down [ … ] hold fast [ … ] the road run by [ … ] desire and regret. Thus the slave [ … ]
thoughts were theorems [ … ] puzzling to me [ … ] the shimmer of night [ … ]
not ready [ … ] the Gordon’s body [ … ] in love with Danae [ … ] sinduced by a child [ … ]

Student : Our working objective is not survival, but understanding the organization and distribution of interstellar gas, dust, cosmic rays … the flow of baryons.

Nun [ … ] not freedom [ … ] came to float it  [ … ] the dead die hard. Xin [ … ]

[ Bacherlor number 3 : Talk to him. See what he has to say. I am sorry to antagonize you. I’ve always been intimidated by you. I thought I could learn something from you. My love for you has always been self-love, and self-love only. Because I see myself in you. ]


glass bodies 271 280

The only way is forward, but wisdom can be extracted
A feat most painful, Arion in old age looks backward
to the days on Solaris, to his former lover Kyniska,
before he escaped in a tin pod, before the explosions,

before they were dispersed into oblivion by the empire
before delusions overpowered them, before the
permanent sleep of Kyniska, before the delusions of

her sleep. He recalls his many nightmares, the engine

sound the only sound he could distinguish for days
for weeks, for months, that was a recurrent nightmare

The veil nebula hovered midinterstellar
in the dream he kept on walking, it was an earth June
the planet was spinning but everything had ground to
a nothing.

In the cut, flowers hanging while a song played
over and over again.

In the dead of heat, he had observed
the window’s perfect stillness, he had

remembered, not forgotten the room of
his illness, from deep-space, from the tin pod he could see
the rebel-aliens, Solaris reducing
its size smaller and smaller
until the vanishing, the banishing

hornet-filled anger passing
came hurling as tumour
solidarity would die
a cadaver obstacle among us

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes
a gift had been found
inter poenas et tormenta

In Stoke Poges, many a gem – full

In Aquae Sulis, the fall of the balcony of a man
he barely knew. The dead live on, in night-mares.
Serpents rise from the deep, coming ashore
unless you give me your own true love
in the chambers of the sea, till human voices

memories of his days with his former companions

the soldier woke up back on Enceladus
in the service of the empire
he wakes up from a nightmare, too
they had been drugged; he walks corridors of ice
in the castle snow nor packed nor groomed,
the impression of temper, the cosmos
the wrongful accusation of icicles

Kyniska in her deep sleep wakes up and screams,

her nightmare is cats on a hill, a castle by the sea, her bed burning,
the red chest of a robin burning deep into the night
in the universe, at that time, and at that space,
the outcast were not citizens – that’s not right, Kyniska knows

“it’s all so damn wrong, I am willing to clean toilets,
to work in a sugar-caning factory, to lay waste to academic
studies, to be a renegade, to throw aside all reason, to be
different, to be special, to be successful one must destroy all links to
civilization; therefore I will renege all there is to renege
I will be come a fundamental denier, I will deal in absolutes
I will see the desert and the light, the serpent shall dictate
my beliefs,

I believe in Moby Dick, in the search
I believe in crashing out of civilization
I believe in the destruction of the empire
I believe in the good savage
I deny the existence of the ideal defunct
I choose to believe that mutilating women is for their protection…”

How beautiful, the rage in youth
The absolutes, the idealistic folly,
and the resulting muscular dystrophy
when God refuses to accept what you have become

Long before that, in some deep forest infected by disease,

mosquitoes storming their bed of love
Arion and Kyniska in another age had been mating
and from the bushes, an old woman had been spying on them

But now Kyniska dreams in permanent sleep, locked in a tower
the empire retains her body and feeds her intravenously,
in her dream she rages into a new-found and new-lost religion.

Arion from the future looks back many hundred years
one of the first most religious, most Anglo-Nixon poets was buried at Whitby.
In old age, Arion hence lives in seclusion, surrounded by slaves
hiding far and away, chased by his former rebel-companions,
far forward in shadow lines, he looks back to his days in a tin pod,
when he was flashing back and flashing forward, when travelling up the river
he had been waiting;

he presently saw a star, and then he saw

the break of multiple interstellar days
he wish’d he could stop flying away, catching a billion billion tears
and every one that had been linked to betrayal and abandonment
in his sorry existence would be endlessly looping on his mind,

and so from his tin pod, he would endlessly wander-cross
because something must make you run
a rolling interstellar medium catches no moss

now that’s a dominant source of energy, it forms the stars
in the flow of baryons we all vanish , the invisible dark matter
is collisionless, and so are our emotions, our memories
the visible nature of our lives is

derived from fusion between stars
and also derived from the the release of gravitational love in accretion disks
around black holes, where we spend most of our lives spinning
around in circles, like a loopy song that’s caught in the net of our mind,

again and again it sings

our human lives are evolving as gas evolves to stars
some part of interstellar gas may be ejected
from the veil nebula and other galaxies
in the form of galactic winds, and that’s what pushes this tin pod

through the horror and the moral terror.

Now, you – friend to woman,
dig up her bones, friend!

“You! Hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, -mon frère!”