dream interpreter – Part 1 : 78-79

78.

They all followed her, mesmerised,
to the sooty innards of the kasbah
slanting up the side of the hill
as if fleeing an ancestral tsunami.

Confronting the steppe, its echo,
towering above it, the city was
doubly castled, with slit avenues
breaking free of the older town.

79.

Apple-tree covers along the walls,
mountains holding on the roots
of the seemingly endless steppe,
it was a shape-shifting, eerie place.

Then the voice of the beggar called.
Now soft, now commandeering, with
chanted words and many tones, it
drew them underground to a catacomb.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 51-59

51.

Then the summer came, and time went by,
carelessly they drifted across the steppe
riding past large assemblies of flamingos,
toward the mountains and the rising sun.

Marco found the time to soothe his pain,
his guilt was gnawing at him: he could
relate to Dream-eater, and he became her
friend. The sister kept a watchful eye.

52.

They left the horde – and for the young
horseback riders that was a rite of passage.
Dream-eater had no interest in power,
since she had killed her father – well –

for other reasons. Leaving the tribe
was the easiest thing in the world,
as the age had dared them to leap,
so the three Saka youngsters leapt.

53.

They flew off as a young sparrow
finally leaving the nest after having
been nursed by an unwilling and sour
old man, yet somehow loving of the

small bird. Off, into the summer air,
off – presumably to finding love,
and death, and casualty, leaving
dead and broken siblings behind.

54.

Animals get one chance to fly away,
just at the cusp of meaningful age,
that one opportunity often fails to
reveal itself, and the moment passes,

the small creature in the cage is never
freed, its soul dies at last on a winter
day, no longer pining for dreams that
never existed, accepting a dead life.

55.

The young warrior followed the two
sisters on their journey, and Marco
could not believe his luck, the power
dynamic having changed, and him assuming

the role of guide in this wide world away
from the horse riding tribes, and into
the unknown, where was wont to find fortune
and favour, for a demon was on his side.

56.

Or so he thought. As a child in Venice
he had met a fortune-teller, and she had
been shocked and horrified by his demeanor,
she said: “How can you be so carelessly calm

walking around with a demon on your back,
how can you be so innocent, and so sweet,
yet having a monster whispering in your
ear? One day you might fall prey to sin.”

57.

That distant memory was a long-lost bourdon
note, and Venice felt as if it never existed; now
the mountains were rising ahead, snow capped,
a large forest loomed in between, and Marco

felt an emotion he had forgotten, though
he could not place it. He badly wanted to
share his story with these his fellow
adventurers, and yet he hated himself.

58.

He could not bear to change their favourable
opinion, though clearly the witch sister
was ever watching him; he felt her magic
touching ever tendril of his soul, and the

song that defined who he was kept beating
the drum in his head, and his head hurt from
too much lyric-munching, the same words
kept spinning inside his soul, surely that

59.

was the demon’s work. On occasion he remembered
everything; he could almost touch Dream-eater’s
own pain, and the sister’s heavenly mind, or
the young warrior’s purity: he felt great shame.

As they entered the forest ahead, they went in on
foot, leading the horses into a strange darkness,
a great all-encompassing stillness. It felt like time
had inched on; a tiny, imperceptible tick forward.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 45-50

45.

Then the next dream sequence popped in:
a wedding was taking place. Dream-eater
scoffed, there were more crafty half-men
trying and failing to catch her on horseback.

But they were on foot, while the assembly
was burdened by the knowledge of a plague
that had been known to spread in the land,
and yet the festivities continued unheeding.

46.

The next thing she knew, she was carrying
her sister who had taken ill down a country
lane, the time of the apocalypse had come,
the gods had been angered and they had sent

a deadly malady throughout the world, now
all pretence of human life had been wiped,
survivors sought random escape, Dream-eater
anxiously inching on toward the last pier.

47.

Her sister pleaded, then cursed, then pleaded
again. What makes vampires of us all, we
wonder. Dream-eater tried to avoid her bite,
all bitterness instilled in the madly burning

red eyes, hallmark of spiritual possession,
the much-loved sister no longer herself but
now a sub-human growling creature, scarred
over her body with pustules, bleeding wounds.

48.

Dream-eater abandoned her family, she left her
friend. She ran for her life toward the harbour,
wondering whether she had been infected, if
she would see the light of another day, at last

reaching the final bend along the road,
high oak-trees hiding the ship leaving west.
As she boarded the vessel fearing the sea,
for she had never sailed, the waves roared.

49.

Then the ship groaned and cracked in half,
and the curse of her loved one once again
echoed in the maddening dusk, and the waters
rushed in; one half of the ship floated away

to liberation and such. But Dream-eater was
on the half that sunk, hopelessly watching
all the sins of her existence that had led to
that cursed moment. A huge mouth of water

50.

yawned, soared high, then closed. Drowning,
the last thing she saw was her sister’s face,
eyes glowing, sore with hatred. She woke up.
Dream-eater had now been lying, her eyes

close for quite some time, dreading
that this might not have been a dream,
her sister’s eyes might still burn on,
aching, wondering if the curse was on.

Fiddling while Rome burns #3

The forth day
of the new year: what better day
to journey East, flower-bound?

The Piraeus Lion radiant as Baldr,
believing itself to be invulnerable.

Time is teaching it drawn-out lessons,
soon to take one last bow before the
crowd caught in Loke’s fishing net.

Venetians, washed-up con-artists
botching the art of murder and
rehearsing forgetfulness, way
overboard if seeking validation.

The forth wall prays and weeps:
the perils of ‘true’ friendship,
of golden hypocrisy, of sweet hubris.

Everything is only for a day,
‘member?

 

Fiddling while Rome burns #2

moon in a cloud murk

 

Venice, September 1998

 

whirling scorpions
in bursting half-lights

An endless pit
advancing in darkness

A bleak-twist ageing
beyond a sudden murk

Sneering and lecherous
Pregnant with doubts
and with morose love

Brimming with cynical pietas
Steeped in Christian hypocrisy

 

a satellite moon

 

it gazes and scorns this

in the gasping purple night

it scorns the endless prattle
of every unknown sad fuck

Ruthlessly tickling off
much like a bomb

it picks off the false
from every anguish

and casts it in its great chasm
an intimate Doric vertigo
of human sorrows

In a roundabout bend
the torn bulk
of heavenly light
is suddenly freed
and roars out

It waits it waits it waits

and then it starts

And stares sideways to examine

in its light

the chemistry of our being

the origin of our species

fixing its sunken eyes

to pierce us through

beating upon stultified brows

some Moth-Indigo Truth

the insignificance

of specks of our nothingness

shouting back, we hear howls
of age-old rugged souls

that suddenly shiver
and call out in pain

those frigid
buried people of yesterday

inhabiting
some half-mysterious night

who though living dead
actively stare at each other
in candid glassy torpor

looking for signs in us of
recognition of the rot

the rot of the perennial
philosophy deliriously melting

of polymorphous poems dithering

the nurture of commercial baseness

of dull dreams driven to dust
by a jingoistic Nature

jigging and mocking the intellect

beating it off the wall
with sticky cloudy claws

hence the fixed stars clash
with the unhappy planet
in celebration of a
most cruel April
and of the frontiers of
every ex-animate pleasure

Now agape
in wounded proud absinth
an amorphous Galathean
peers at the light-stone

from a lowly bed
from a humble Stygian

And in turn, the moon is
most vexed and unrepentant

it beams bitter tears
it asserts its irreplaceable
arrogance, its untamed
haughtiness

stuck in blue

the rest

the sidereal cytoplasm
is beyond
its sphere of numinous magnetism

 

Sketches on Treason #2

Scene: La Canea, a seaport in Crete

Time: Somewhere in the 1600s

Character: Lorenzo, some years on.

Basking in the noontide sun, I count off the false worshippers. There is a silent war between those who mean business, and those who cloy with much, pine for more, and account for nothing. I am a trader by ancestry, and we Venetians earned the right to opium solely by our wits and enterprise. There are those who mean harm to me and my shop, and to those I say – wait for my blade, because I will not be hindered. Or at least that’s what I say to myself on a day such as this, when the sun is high and everything is supposedly fine with the world.

After the shock of the storm and the shipwreck, I have changed. I am afraid. I didn’t use to be a religious man, but with age comes idiocy. It is the curse of my service to God and country that I should forever be transiently here and there. Death is close, and so are great treasures, hence we forget death, lest our troubled minds care.

At night, I stay up along with thieves and poets watching the moon rise and fall. La Canea is almost like home, but not quite. If I look across the harbour squinting with one sore-feeling eye, I can almost imagine that I am home. Those noble Venetian Gothic windows betray the mind, and the soul grows ill.

There is a big thief that robbed high heaven. His name is Time. Hail, Muse, daughter of Memory! With you as resident thief in charge, I forget everything. Every thing is only for a day. I forget the whole plot, everyday.

Every day all starts anew: every false day. That which remembers, and that which is remembered, are both beginning and ending with forgetfulness. Or so my true friend Marcus Aurelius tells me. I am a slave to my vessel. Much like my wares. My home is where my wares are, and so: I am home. I should not waste the remainder of my life in thoughts about what others might do or think. I am a man of action.

I so loathed to dwell in my native land, hence I parted with the sad prison, and came to silently wonder at the dim thickness of Greeks, and what their traitor eye encloses. If it were for them, we’d be betrayed for half a penny to the benefit of the Turks. And, I… mark my words… I am supposed to give myself up to Clotho, and allow her to spin my thread in whatever way she pleases. I think not.

I might yet die a pirate in this sorry excuse of a backyard, stuck in a past well beyond our means of survival. But now, after a good meal my comrades, my friends come to converse with me on this fine day, about the weather, the trade, the empire, and our little lives.

I curse the day we were born, friends.

 

 

glass bodies 351 360

Being together through long periods of deep-space silence made us intolerant of each other’s convictions. Thinking back on the Engineer’s new ways, the vanishing flatness of disgust. As a man of knowledge, he has achieved recognition from the Academy of Laputa, one certificate at a time. The radiant fabric of Steve’s suit is a stark reminder of our extinguished paths. When we last saw him, he had an ascetic aspect, and the only thing he said to us was that he was going to clean out the universe, one rubbish bin at a time. His back was hunched in an imperceptible fall, and his eyes were ray-less and stricken. Father back, at the end of them, was a mournful gloom tempered with the bitterness of living. As we sail on the mission to rescue Kyniska, we are diminished, we are so few. The spaceship plows on, swinging from side to side, an ambling gait picked up at the harbour, its self-awareness, a game of dominoes.

The Taoist, alone in the immensity of unstained light was ready to go out suddenly. A good south wind came from behind his meditation. The albatross of the mind did follow. His grief was centered, his anger in decay, and the noises in his head were many. They cracked and growled, his loneliness was vertical like hollow moon-shine. He was concentrating on shame, on the consequences of betrayal. An infection plagues us, and every cross-bow in every mind shoots endless arrows into the bloody sun. The light in his cell is all-powerful, because his eyes are closed. His copper eyelids are shut, and his legs are crossed; his back is hunched. He slumps forward, a hollow hiss follows forward into the silent dampness. A breeze does not blow, the furrow in his furnace-face deepens, white foam flows from his mouth. The poison in his mind is echoed by the dimmest gut gurgles. Through fog and mists he sees the farthest shore, a place where he knows he can find rest. The clock on the prison-wall keeps on ticking.

They made me watch.

glass bodies 341 350

the soldier debates

As a conscript, I have been a cruising yawl, snaking my way up the river in search of mythical prophets. What a failure I have been. What a scarcity of real teachers there really is. One of them is rotting in gaol, a false teacher in a false age.

At gun school, I’ve learnt how to shoot crack and feel my head bloat till my testicles exploded. They don’t teach you that in nursery school, but death is the best anesthetic. Scale a fortress, or a nunnery, or a book. I’ve learnt it all. Then I was sent to Enceladus, and I have been freezing my mind in God’s shame in the wonders of isolation ever since. Never mind my spell in the rebellion. I have always been a yes man, and now I don’t take yes for an answer. The tide has turned. The middle class railings next door make me mad. My neighbours want more. My window overlooks the well-built city. I don’t hear the sounds of the Albatross, but the faint flash of bomb-lightning reminds me that we are at war with the Eastern Empire. The Penmynydd Empire is in crisis. I’m bound down the river, along with the bodies. I could sit here, and debate the pros and cons of war, and I will, but I know you are pressed for time, and you need an answer. I will help you rescue the half wit, beg pardon, the half dead. But first you need to listen to my lecture.

The Empire insists on the mistakes in words. The lack of history is methodically researched. Cultural hegemony is imposed by the promise of the forever young, by the immediacy of communication, by the invasion, occupation and annexation of our minds. As a soldier, I have fought for the Empire in the West, for the way things are – for the way the things were. In the absence of limits, the public and the private merge in universal stream of consciousness, where the narrative is dictated by the absence of content, by structural enforcement of the fake. The fake is everything. East or West, the fake rules our constituents, and the soldiers are the theoretical application of cultural domination. The other side, is the complete and perennial uprooting of ideas by a tsunami of emoticons, an electric shock of enforced perception of want. Warfare is waged on the twittosphere, and the unconsciousness is forged one child at a time. I used to be a soldier, now I am an intellectual on the brink of extinction. My social order is brought about by fast riding Amazons in brown packages. The Tudors are down, seven times, the commotion caused is not more than a whimper. The Eastern Empire is looking for recruits. When Perseus learned of the conspiracy, the turned himself into stone on the spot.

Follow the winged horse till the tallest tower on Enceladus. There in the castle without a view, you shall find Kyniska sleeping in the power of light, scaly serpents overlooking her tomb. When the Eastern Empire comes, you rebels will have your heads cut off, snakes that we are.

“And through the drifts the snowy clifts

Did send a dismal sheen:

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken


The ice was all between.”

 

Get thee to Enceladus,

fellow-student.

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.