A Space Epic Poem
The Journey to the West
written by asynonymous
readers welcome but warned:
material is uber-literature
Let it be thy earnest and incessant
care as a Roman and a man to perform
whatsoever it is that thou art about,
with true and unfeigned gravity,
natural affection, freedom and justice:
and as for all other cares, and
imaginations, how thou mayest ease
thy mind of them. Which thou shalt do;
if thou shalt go about every action
as thy last action, free from all vanity,
all passionate and wilful aberration from
reason, and from all hypocrisy, and self-love,
and dislike of those things, which by the fates
or appointment of God have happened unto thee.
Thou seest that those things, which for a man
to hold on in a prosperous course, and to live
a divine life, are requisite and necessary, are
not many, for the gods will require no more of
any man, that shall but keep and observe these things.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
segment one of the veil nebula
echoes with Zauberflote being sung;
rainbow-hued gas densities shift and
haunt her heart, but Ariadne laughs:
the sick thoughts of planets are
not discussed by the Athenian school.
That’s a clique of thought. Ariadne
is a teacher at the Borovoe space
academy. She is at a concert, and
feels as though she is surrounded
by stars, while Mozart’s acrobatics
fill the hall. Her neighbour starts
humming, her fantasy sublimes into a
state of light – a student kicks the
back of her chair, a trillion meta-
morphoses whet her mind. A memory.
John C. is setting up his computer,
wired into consciousness and memory,
which enables his terminal to log on
the solar system’s server, uploading
cellular activity to the digital frame;
his foolish idea is to delete the past.
memories on the solar-system-wide-web
are available for download, exploration
manipulation and absorption into the X.
People are soulsharing but he wishes
only to seed (share his files), so he
blocks derivative unwanted memories
Now Ariadne reclines her head
zoning out, imagining strips
of sunset vanishing in mid-air.
Memories of a delirious sky of wine,
laid to rest long ago, come alive.
Lights are awakened to the east
and the whole city stands silent.
A cloud, flower-like, curiously
advances while the clock races,
a rose fades, and Ariadne smiles.
The night is quiet, it is time
for poets to decipher existence
while the moon waltzes above our hive
This is a time in the future when the
egalitarian plateaux has been reached.
The world by people has become perfect.
Mystic music captures this pinnacle epoch.
Ariadne, would you read a book blessed with
Shakespeare’s verses? Cryptic poetry haunts,
shifts into musical variations, hooks the
mind, violin and clarinet give way to
motions coming in and out, like sea waves.
Stumbling on the divine notes,
the noise of philosophers murmurs
in the regimented academy – such
sadness is pouring forth as Mozart’s
dying genius is unravelling through
swells, flutters, cherub songs.
At the same time, in a still future
dimension, the cursor blinks on
John C’s black terminal window, the
shell of computer science’s disputes.
Log in to exist, log out to stay dead.
Children out of the window scream and
laugh, their post-modernist howls
haunt the CPU’s processing night.
The unwanted hero lives in the shell bash.
In TS Eliot’s unwanted time dimension,
disrupted voices walk via markov chains
the shortest path to hyperbolic realities:
all of existence’s permanent possibilities
are computed by g.o.d.’s algorithm. Here
everything is material. The math of it
escapes us, but the fact remains, all
is well in this time of beauty. Or is it?
John C lives in a time after perfection,
an imperfect time, where he has been
banished on a moon of Saturn, in the company
of a cat. His life is spent at a computer.
The screen vision on John C’s cursor life
scans the characters of the improvised play.
He has been downloading Ariadne’s story,
a mere diversion from the dreariness of his
existence. Ariadne has finished daydreaming
in the academy hall – the music is over –
the guests are queueing in the hall, much
like a spaceship landed in a wistful steppe.
Here, improvised learning is achieved by
golden age sergeant majors and deconvoluted
agents of governmental control who wear
make-up around their scarred lizard eyes.
Here is cadet Tierra Madre, a cynical young
student clad in black velvet, her eyes red,
soaked in boredom. Her windowless mind
whiplashes toward her only friend.
As the audience walks off, the space poetess
comes forth, she is the hidden treasure
of the academy – and a bad officer too –
her name is junior officer Desert Storm.
She walks in drunkenness with fantasies in mind,
her earthly friend shooting sideway glances to
those male officers who will not make it to the
outer galaxy, they will remain stranded
in the Yamato’s golden cave (that’s where the
academy is based). The two women share a
magnetic poetry kit, and talk only in silence.
Their friend is time – the future holds them for
interplanetary travel, Jupiter and beyond!
But they ask too many questions. The
system is skewed. Routinely, their restless
minds are monitored by the Agitation’s
central control computer, overseeing all.
The perfect future has a glitch. The music
is over, because the Sun is getting too hot.
The human species must relocate. Youths shall
be dispatched in search of another habitable
planet. John C is vividly imagining himself
on a beach right now as his cat walks in and
speaks with commanding skill. ‘In this winter,
I shall die – this is an unacceptable
liberty taken by those who dream’.
The music hall is empty, only one senior
officer sits, her hands resting in her
lap. Flexa is in the process of studying
human cerebral networking with the sun’s
magnetic field. She has failed, so far,
to retrieve the nickel core of the fiery
formula, discovering her dissent, and
pragmatically accepting the failures
of the political system, and her body’s
degenerating fluidity. Her emotional core
is still as a snowy mountain, the white
leopard is tuned to the radio’s most
violent musical, but the intellectual in her
will enthuse the heart and separate the star
from the magnet, and restore harmony
in her soul’s totipotent stare resting
at the moment in an undefined stage
of the washing-machine-like cell cycle.
This will happen before the galaxy bursts
down and out, and the solar system implodes
to a state of non-existential, unbiolitical
silence. Please listen for further announcements.
‘Kubrick’s hope’, ‘The Journey to the West’,
‘The incredible tide’, ‘A known memory’:
John C stares at the dusty books on shelf.
On Titan the weather is harsh – methane
showers, freezing temperatures and on
top of that, solitude in the high tower
of the apartment block where he resides.
His sole companion is a replicant cat,
genomed to suit the needs of a stranded
infotechnician on the shores of lake
Distress, aptly named geographical feature
on the shiny surface of Titan. Believe
it or not, but the only discussions
he entertains are with his sophisticated
replicant pet – no match for him in the
noble art of japanese Go, or poetry
writing; Chubby’s feline touch has a
much more poignant feel to it. No
matter how much he tries, John C
cannot compare with the cat’s ingenious
thinking. His memory download has been
interrupted. The uploaded memories
of Ariadne have been frozen in mid-space
somewhere between Creation and Time,
all the way before Chinese civilization
constructed myths and abstruse philosophies:
the way of the tao and the ‘chan buddhist
nihilistic sect’, as a Hare Khrishna
commentator once quipped. Ariadne is a
character in a story that was never
developed, a story that never happened;
all the way before Mr Johnson studied
the effects of double entries on
spiritual life, back when the Buddha
sat under the Bodhi tree, the serpent
rose from the pond and stroke the notes
of the Zhuangzi song, and Arjuna designed
the just war, the right treason, and
entered the state of Californian light
and magic – well before Soviet discrepancies
and European failed colonial states.
Ariadne does not exist at this present
moment. Her friend Flexa does not hold
her hand, the other members of the Academy
are not fretting about the Yamato hollow
cave, they do not worry about their
galactic future, Tierra Madre does not
hold debates between one side of her
mind and the other about the nature of
boys and girls, Jesus and consumerism.
Desert Storm does not devour chunks of text
in frantic night sessions searching
the lost icon of Hollywood, Bombay, London,
Beethoven, and all beings toward humanity.
This happens not, because Chubby has
pulled the plug on John C’s computer: now
he is Masukele-cursing, Turner-ing light
and darkness inside his 2001 soul-optimism
and thundering about the ineptitude of
programmers stationed on Pluto, Mercury
and Alpha Centauri’s forbidden planet.
Can you hear the silence? It is Jim
Morrison’s swan song of The End – lurking
in the Tierra Madre’s musical bead on air;
In Paris, before the snakes, and the nuclear
hurricanes, there was an underground
burial ground. The young cadet is drawing
a stalactite fragment depicting 21st
century Parisian skulls while studying
for midterm ‘Sky or Die’ module, her
facial features are jade-reminiscent;
she is concentrated on perfect shaping
the 3D stone etches, her eyes hurt.
Gesundheit walks in and storms the castle:
‘Cippirimerlo! Tierra! Wake up! We must
make art – the sea is beautiful today:
just log in on the Hawaii platform!
I want to escape this hollow cave. I
want to be president of the Academy.
Tierra Madre looks up, slightly annoyed.
‘Can’t you let me study and make art?
I am well aware of your condition –
it’s not my fault if the planet is
melting, and your arse is burning.’
Desert Storm walks in. ‘I am so happy,
I have discovered the Byronic path to
mathematical oblivion – it took James
Read ten years to solve it when he was
a student on Zuracornia long ago’.
‘Oh that’s impressive’, Tierra madre is
not over-awed. She wants to continue
her gridlock-carving, and these two
‘friends’ block her mind, and off-load
their insane issues on her unburden
able lap. ‘Not my problem’, is her
motto. She is not a favourite any
Academy master, as she has the habit of
being so highly
critical as to hand-grill any simulated
soul just with her fiery red-turned eyes.
Meanwhile, two archivists are discussing
love in the Yamato Cave’s Archive lobby.
Lightluck argues for enlightenment, witch
hunting, and decomposable relationships.
Her friend, Dreamer – discusses love in
the framework of survival, and her thoughts
are dark. The smell of the sea mixes in her
landlocked memory while she talks about
the ideal boy-friend. In the future they
have not solved the issue of reproduction.
Nor do they see it in a strictly Darwinian
sense, since the old hag’s theory was
completely discredited in the 25th century
(30th century according to Buddhists).
It appears that Lamarck, French hoodie, had
not been too far off the mark. Apparently
in pockets of post-nuclear Prandia (formerly
known as the UINAITE STE OF EI, or something
like it, according to fragments) they still
believe in the age-old story of Mister Bister,
the Gaseous Vertebrate. But I digress – ‘Hail
Muse! Et cetera’, quotes a certain poet. Now
the two friends, secretly lovers, design
the best spider trap to fool their latest
experiment, ‘a beddu meu’ – Sardinian for
beautiful one. They wish their heart to be
wild-woven, they wish their love to be steady.
Who wouldn’t, I wish them luck. Wish me luck,
too. I live in the 21st century, but my mind
is in the 30th, and I do desire some rest.
Too much time-travelling! Being a narrator
entails not really existing, but existing.
But Ovid would have dined, and Virgil would
have discovered, I only digress. Bless them.
That’s all I can say for now. ‘Love is great’,
argues Lightluck while she issues a text bead
to Flexa, who’s really pissed off with the
management. ‘Love is an entanglement’ replies
the dark one, (Dreamer)’and there is no exit’.
Let us leave with Flexa. She is really something,
her cortical discoveries are unparalleled,
she walks with great determination, but the
world is hardly apt to change under her feet,
which is a fact that creates great frustration.
As she walks down the panelled lanes of the
great cave, she looks up to the Sigm, the
symbol of the interplanetary human Nation.
‘What nationalist bollocks!’ she thinks.
Things never change, and they do. Now she
walks out to the air, planet earth in not
yet a hamletian tomb, despite nuclear holo
cast-gram facts. She hums ‘I Pini di Roma’,
thinking of Donald Duck, and we love her for it.
But Lissabona is her home, or not. We could
ask her for a discussion on replicant rights,
but right now she is busy. The sky looks too
radiant. The colour of a difficult sunset blames
the clouds, and all her thoughts about the
Nation disappear in union with the spiritual
level, they’ve got that in the future.
The epic music of the migrant spirit
echoes across the sea, the ocean,
the open space – one unifying sorrow:
Passacalle, down the sun-stricken
streets, in variations of violin,
crescendo, pizzicato , peaking –
the wave splashes, the surfer gulps
up water, the melody streams into
universal space, the mind expands
until all the relocated souls ignite
in unison with military marches, Figaro
suits, primadonna perfumes, and cannon calls.
Feel the wars on the tip of the tongue,
on top of the mountain, at the bottom
of dark seas, while cannonades cross the
universe, seventeenth century dames curtsey,
tracing the way back to a Monday morning
in Piazza Banchi, Genoa – where we are all
stabbed to death, Stradella-like, in Madrid,
in unknown lands. Somewhere across the
hitching universe, poets, composers, writers,
thinkers, artists are thrown in a communal
grave alongside those Jungian Things.
Meanwhile Kenya is ablaze, the elephants
are slaughtered; and Queen Mary is being
honoured for her services to her Country!
Bless the sell-outs, they compose the
human race, their rat indigestion clogs
all trespasser’s technology. The mind
does not rest, the dictator does not rest
The crocodile does not laugh, not even
in Carroll’s doubtful feminist manifesto.
But! When Venus and Adonis first made love
they knew nothing of Zhuge Liang – the
mastery of their war had not interrupted the
king’s slumber, nor had it moved in the air
subtle as a feather mind. They simply
were waiting for Black Death to
end its journey through Europe,
and then the world changed forever.
At the time of Shakespeare’s death
mandarins were still learning the
Confucian way – and now nine hundred
years into the future the ancestor-
descendants are tackling similar issues:
should we make love or not? should we
make war or not? is love a war? is
war a form of love? and somesuch
Polonius-type nonsense. There is little
point in the sexual intercourse, it
just comes as natural as death, as war.
Such are the thoughts in which Tierra Madre
is indulging, but the time is not for
cynicism, the rise of volcanic arpeggios
must be met with increasing concentration
no distraction is possible, the Placebo-Wing
is skydiving in the narrow band of existence
atmosphere, stratosphere, nose down to meet
the earth, the rocketing vortex of jungle
trees, technical musical beads on air but
there is nothing like zoning out, speeding up,
the need for adrenaline, velocity, acceleration
kettledrums, violins, violoncello, anger
thrown back at the neck of the throat
until the air breaks on the windscreen, the fire
in the eyes burns, all the aching of unacceptable
emotions swells up, why all the deceit –
Borovoe Earth Station calls – ‘Tierra Madre
call in – your epicentrics are off the chart ‘
‘Where are you going?’ Desert Storm calls her
friend, inside the cockpit of her own personal
spaceship, the Vivian-Wing. ‘Why are you
not responding?’ The level of sensed danger
is so much lower when inside the Jet Space
Charades, otherwise known as Ballerinas –
each has its own peculiar name, Tierra Madre’s
is called Placebo Wing, while Desert Storm
called hers in the name of a certain actress.
Fortune Lobo, able spaceman, calls his vehicle
Rabdoman Call Junior – don’t ask me why.
The squadron of six cadets, plus three senior
officers is navigating the atmo-strato-junglo sphere
Tierra Madre (as usual) has gone off on a tangent
While the more observant Fortune Lobo is following
orders to the letter, and today’s menu of to-do-things
include a range of philosophical discussions with
the earth’s remaining pristine ecological formations
a survey of the aquatic life forms, a monitoring of
green energy gases within the atmosphere – gee –
we don’t want to be polluting the future air, at least
a bit of decency is required from these young lobsters
playing ecological star wars inside their own atmo;
they are well away from completing their training.
Senior officer Flexa (last seen meditating on the sunset)
is having a fabulous day (I believe those are her very
words), Malthusian calculations permitting, naturally.
On golden shores, in a dark November day,
there comes a breeze reeking of old love;
the General Theory of Relativity permits
Time Travel, so we indulge in the good
old days while the Placebo Wing rests
silent, a grey shadow in a cedar cover.
Ariadne sits on a junglo mossy shore,
by a blue solitary pond, thinking that
when we die, we die alone. The
common exercise of a judicious
master being mindful of transience.
But that’s not enough, because the
mind is hampered by festering ivy woes…
Her eyes are full of sorrow, she is
forever mourning the loss of a dear one
and tries to carry the message across;
it is The Message to a Student, to a Multitude
but the carnivorous plants are just too
gaudy, and the pond may be too still
paying attention to it all may be impAssible;
tonight will be a night for love, perhaps
somewhere, far off, two lovers will bend
time and come together in a fire ball.
Tierra Madre has walked away from the
mission, her beautiful Ballerina Wing
is being guarded by her understanding
senior officer. Her suicidal tendencies
may not be acceptable for the Academy,
but Ariadne, as unfettered observer, accepts
the freshness of raw emotion, the disturbed
mind is genuinely appealing. Tierra Madre
is Ariadne’s protégée for today, then; and
the poor thing is trying to distract herself from
the sorrow of unrequited love by cataloguing
wild beasts, products of evolution on speed.
There are far too many of those, even
augmented intelligences fail to grasp the
scope of belligerent evolutionary processes.
Tierra Madre observes azure sinuous
rills, and grazing mind-bending creatures
products of evo-devolution; after the Big
Thing, aneuploidy permits hybrid vigour;
the junglosphere is gorgeous with lusty
novel life forms, a middle age bestiary
would not be enough to describe the
grace and the horror of the elephant
caterpillar, a vertical achievement of
invertebrate joy; what flattering bread
and butter fly would come from it?
And what about post-freudian limp-chimps?
Or hyperio-galactic bacterial Monod
formations, shouldering their way
in towering clusters, feeding on encysted
vertebrates, alongside half-decayed
those beautiful leafy eyes of the
junglosphere; the richness of one square
meter after another of ecological diversity
is glorious, now John C marvels at the
memory download, for a moment
he is in ecstasy, and he forgets
himself; Chubby sits at the window
and stares at the methane showers
such a solitary existence, stranded
on Titan while, in another time,
in another location, certain pioneers
of postThing world could re-discover
Earth and be terrestrial at the same
time, but not for long, because the
atmosphere definitely changed,
and because the joy of the sun
became the fear of the globe, and
all those moments of eclectic nucleic
acid mutation would have to come to
a stop, denaturation by grilling is
going to happen in that past that
John C is exploring, Tierra Madre
was living, and Ariadne was sharing
while all those Ballerinas were still
hanging in mid air with intact design
aerodynamics, with all the flutter wave
energonics allowing such acrobatics
that nanoleopardlepidopterans would just
dream of. Flexa is rather fond of nano-
that-big-long-word thing I just wrote
While she flies, she casts a wide net
for neuronological analyses of her
favourite variants, and sequence phylogenies,
(that’s just for the fun of it) routines
running parallel to those more stamp-collecting
tasks that the cadets are out there trying to
perform. She is such an enthusiastic
entomologistic feature-artist that her
kafkian mathematical representations
were exhibited last year (according to this
present junglo-time) in the Academy
Gallery, but only shortly, because
they became argument of hot political
debate: people asked ‘should we make naturalistic
analyses focussed on light only?’ Now how can
the creative portrayal of invertebrate species
be so insulting for the Nation establishment?
What was in her work that was so
reminiscent of some King-infested
maggot? I don’t know – I understand
nothing about Art, and so does Chubby
who really cares not about it. John C
is tired of all the visual glare, his eyes
are overloaded with superb variety
of sky-high flying Wings, jutted against
the ozone layer, the solar system,
and then his cortical nexus is also
plugged into Flexa’s ecological artistry,
and Tierra Madre’s meditation on sorrow
and on speciation, and also he can feel
Ariadne’s Touch of Zen High-Pitch Waiting
Too much stuff for a lowly Titan infotechnician
And his bored replicant cat, (who follows
everything carefully and happens to be sulking).
The time has come for Ariadne to act. So
she sets her depth search onto Tierra’s
ontological distress, and finds her marvelling
at natural variations colonizing the silver
lining of the manta-shaped Ballerina space
ship. ‘Tell me about your feelings, student;
open the channel onto fragility pathways,
I need to understand your heart’s content’
‘You wish to access my soul drawing, the
content of my maiden burning, at your will’
Tierra Madre having none of it. She recoils
from the senior officer’s intrusion in her
privacy. ‘Since when the older generation
finds harvest in the young uncoupling of
the Soul? Can’t you just access the X with
your own password?’ John C pauses the
memory download. The night is dark out of
his screen. He watches iridescent cloud
formations, the hydrocarbon lake in the
distance is completely still. Chubby purrs
and snugs close, surface temperature
is a chilly -180 C. ‘I remember when
I was your age, Tierra Madre’. Clouds
drift through the haze and rain falls.
John C is pervaded by a deep sadness.
Chubby is silent, the unicorn of our
own memory may come to overwhelm us
when least expected. Parallel thinking
is possible. From the corner of the
divan of Titanic saddle bags, Chubby
observes the falling thiolins, and
the echo of a paused memory has set
music in John C’s mind. His identity
may have been put at risk by soul erosion,
disk erasion – it’s really not easy
to just do a format C: of who you are,
what you have been, and the things
you have shared with those who have
been loved ones. Just as every season
monumental life renews, and yet lingers,
so our memory lingers, and life, like
art is never finished, just abandoned.
‘Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow’ Chubby
comments non-committally ‘ I might have
to do the laundry. Brief candles burn
in a brief night – and you are still here,
asking yourself who the hell you are,
and why you are stranded on Titan. So
let me get this straight. You are looking
for your identity, but you want to delete
your past. Even by human standards, you
are pretty daft, Jonny. With all your
music and your memory uploads, and down
loads and your screen savers, and your life
erasers, what happened to you? I am tired
of making coffee for you, and of watching
the decay of cyanide compounds to measure
my days, my minutes, afternoons without end.’
John C watches through the glass, the empty
glass, the water, and the decay. ‘Christiaan
Huygens would have very much liked to be in
your place, Chubby.’ His melancholy is only
growing. You have been genomed to be my
companion, but your clonal ancestor is expired
be good and love me for who I am.’ ‘Who are you?’
asks Chubby. ‘That’s what it is all about,
isn’t? That’s why we are here, that’s why
you are messing with other people’s memories,
and you are digging the empty shell of your
own dishevelled consciousness. ‘Where is the
answer, Chubby? There must be more to
existence than just all these days on end, beads
on a string.’ The replicant cat is really annoyed.
‘You watch too many virtuo-feelies, you read
far too many science-fictional beads, and
string or no string, there are no worm-holes
here to give you answers, no eminent artists
or scientists can come back from the dead
to tell you to embrace your present, to sketch
your days on a drawing book, to paint your
moments as if they were falling water drops
individual tears in a gigantic waterfall.
Dead is dead. Let the dead bury their
germplasms, as the old adage goes. My clonal
sister is gone, and so your past, and so
my patience. Can we please find a reason
to be happy?’ John C is recoiling, his mind
wants to find peace, but his vertical ego,
on a picnic on Titan, grows like daisies
in summer time, and he is clinging on to
undefined identities, and unconscious events
and supernatural fears, and sublime bygone
moments where he met the light at the source,
he talked to the X, and he loved deeply.
‘I cannot find any peace, Chubby, please
explore these new memories with me, and
allow me to upload some of my own, and
look with my eyes, dear feline companion,
my Shakespearian replicant, my sole muse.’
‘You are really pushing it, silly.’ Chubby
finally smiles. She is very sensible to
flattery. She loves and wants to be loved
like a furry glutton, and a dream chase.
‘I am a cat that likes space missions,
wind and waves, and iterative poetry.’
In a second, her eye lids start to drop
and then she is fast asleep. John C
unfreezes Ariadne in mid-speech. ‘Let
us play this game, Tierra Madre. You close
your eyes, and allow yourself to soulshare;
perhaps a little energy transfusion will
help. Please lie down.”Tierra Madre
looks at the senior officer with suspicion,
it is not uncommon for seniors to take
advantage of their rank, and it is so
easy to be afraid, so easy not to trust.
‘What the hell’, she goes. And the lies
down and closes her eyes. Ariadne allows
the tears to swell up, but they do not
fall. Her pain is far too swollen, far
too clogged. She wishes to help this
juvenile, she wishes to share what
she knows. But it is all so difficult.
‘I have watched unfamiliar materials
expand and whisper in the broken space,
and ghosts of depth-galaxies shiver in
the unbroken silence, I have witnessed
the rise of multiple stars, their
unparalleled brilliance a billion billion
light years away reminded me of my cosmic
irrelevance, and the relevance of storms
on the move. ‘Der gror ikke mos paa en
sten som ruller’, it is an old saying
from a dead language. Hyugens lander
knows (John C is surprised at these words),
the meaning of these words. There grows
no moss on a rolling stone. Tierra
Madre is fast asleep. The river words
have fallen in the path of her waves,
and she is allowing herself to trust.
A few minutes later, she wakes, and
finds Ariadne watching over her, looking
in the distance. The Placebo Wing is
shining in the glory of the day, and
the birds are in flight, and so their
companions. ‘The digital frontier,
that was the original sea – Tierra.
One day, I listened to my feelings,
and allowed unconsciousness to come
to surface – I began to take a record
of my soul. Now we can explore it,
and we can explore the ever-growing
variations within the grid. Now the
emotional fractals grow on their own,
plants in a fertile terrain. I owe much
to the digital dreams of other beings,
and to the intergalactic messages,
bottles in a maelnetwork of spring
equinox, of Shelleyian heroism,
Laoocoon desire, Grecian Urn fragility,
lips that never open, Aprils that
never blossom. Tierra, I wish for us
to understand each other. Is that possible?’
Silence ensues. ‘Imagine a desert.’
Tierra Madre lies on mutant grass
and desires to live. She daydreams,
her eyes closed, about a desert, far
off in the real realm of her beating mind.
Meanwhile, Desert Storm, her friend
and companion-in-flight, is calibrating
the trajectory of her idealistic
cannon-ballistic pirouettes in air
she is pushing her musical Vivian Wing
to the very limit of gravity, and
unspecified forces of magneto-hesitancy.
Flexa is busy measuring the existence
and bellicosity of nano-ringed creatures
in the earth’s atmosphere. She smiles,
because some progress is being made.
‘Orange skies darken, dunes redden, rocks
shelter, methane streams and I lie alone’
Chubby writes while John C has dozed off.
Arranged in a mid-air circle,
cadets float up in the empty sky,
side to side among the clouds.
The time is for discussion, an
open session of soul-searching.
The engines are silent, night
ensues, the young pilots light
brief candles in memory of
Othello and turn their eyes
toward their sole conqueror
and leader, Senior Officer Flexa.
She is very quiet today, her
anger is not quite under control;
she would like to solve matters:
take the world in her wet hands
and mould it to shape; but the
beast in the mirror won’t stop;
while the earth is broiling, the
swan song of the human species
is heard, grass is turning into
butter, the sun is growing hotter
and we’d all like to find more
amusing entertainment along
pleasanter sea-side resorts
‘What are the forces of magneto-
hesitancy?’ Who is your special
friend, Doctor Flexa? She asks a
question on which students ponder.
Fortune Lobo smiles and answers it.
‘The energy that calls us brief,
and makes the earth fall round,
and while we shine, it grows.’
Flexa’s eyes flicker. Next question.
‘Why did the Thing happen?’ RostRya
jumps in with her melodic voice.
This kind of falls flat on the
meditating circle. Flexa opens
her mouth, then shuts it, for
lack of a better option. She
is unusually upset, observing
the waves of circumnavigating
emotions closing in on her,
an apocalyptic heart of darkness
is felt in her chest, the
scream of butterfly witness
feelings grows inside of her.
‘Hello!’ Chubby cuts in, ‘would
you care for a coffee, dear JC?’
‘I don’t mind if I do, Chub.’
‘I am trying to solve g.o.d.’s
algorithm, just for the fun of
it. Do you think we could fit
this whole download on a USB-
umbrella? I think Rubik’s cube
is a fun way to solve existential
issues. I reckon the whole
download that you are absorbing
is about 17 sborabytes. Be warned
some of its content has been
labelled ‘Love Street’. You may
have trouble in de-identifying
after the absorption. Are you sure
you don’t want to log onto the X,
and access your true self?’
‘There is no true path, Chub;
I want to trim the fat, find
the garden of Love and weed it
out, briar after briar. My deadpan
mind in love has weird patterns’
‘Lala-la, la la laaa’ – Chubby purrs,
starts running with her replicant
singing; so shadows of Titan, purple
with prurience and desire, rise
and haunt the two loner souls
(do replicants have souls?) and
then the whole universe splits its
sides over, and the USB-umbrella
bends over and over again;
wormholes shake and gibber,
Mr Shakespeare squeals, and
Blade Runner Units wake up
frozen in hospital wards alongside
certain Momo-spectres till
the whole hard-disk is in
overdrive, the memory download
within the memory download
vibrates at the reality of
parallel dimensions that co-
exist under the parameters of
string theory; run run run,
alternative histories co-adapt
shadows of trees, souls trimmed
to the rock; run with us, run
with the story, hypocritical
reader, feel the breath of the
Byronic horse, get inside, get
the drama course of the Academy,
the fate of the cadets, all in the
hands of a replicant cat, all of which
existed at some point, and yet
co-exist in multiple universes.
What if we were to wake up
duplicated humans, folded out
into 22 dimensions, and the
songs of the nineteen seventies
exploded out of our skulls,
creating an echo whereby all the
negative emotions and lingering
duodecimal desires would be
obliterated? Ok. Everything
is almost done. John C argues
with Chubby over the size of
the memory download, and he
is quite unaware that he will
meet himself, when summer’s gone.
Where will he be? Where is the
Endeian Space Mission destined?
The Yamato Cave Academy, its
crew based at Borovoe Earth
Station, is not ready to take off.
But the world has almost come to
its end. The Never-ender Caravel
is about to take her maiden
voyage. Selected cadets and
officers will travel the galaxy
to select a suitable blue planet
for human colonization. But
which alien life forms will
welcome them? Out of this world,
will we be able to breathe air?
Will there ever be a morning,
for the human decaying mould?