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!”

glass bodies 260 271

“I pray every day in this major sink, you fairest creatures,
that the ancient Giants may stay soundly asleep. Your lusty
days are numbered, halophytic plants feed on your light-flames.”

Foe or friend, the marsh holds grip on the twelve rebel-aliens,
immigrants to this planet, roaming, still hoping crystalline-eyed.
Half a local, Wyrd sprung from salt and from a cow’s tongue,
symbiotic with metalloid winters and potential consequences.

Soft, syrupy waters; the stench of adaptive response bogs.
Deep trenches in the field of beauty. Broken stones of marble,
bending back from a past where a civilization existed here. In the
hot steamy air, a splutter of arthropods, busy with gaudy spring.

The formerly superior formerly mother nun plods forth laden
with indecision and forgetfulness. The leeches murmur at her slow
skin, acne butters her face and arms. She is helplessly itchy sore,
angry but has forgotten why. Her heart misses a step then quietens,
a throb of contemplation relaxes into a meditative stroll.

Wyrd leads the way in this scarcely existing planet where the
rebel aliens have sky-crashed, bruised on land and friendless water.

“Many winters, creepers. That [he points to the ruins] is the work
of Giants. We tender heirs might bear their memory, chuckle.”

the hollowed out Gothic architecture is a carcass sunk in the jungle
around like a begging ship

“We needs others to satisfy our rebel fantasies, do we not?” It mocks
them, intellectually. They are stoned dry in a haze of contaminated
shame, all east due toward biophysical catastrophes. Wyrd’s tongue
occasionally clicks with gusto. His theatrics are lost on them. One
by one, they have been picked off by fantasy and despair. Reactive
oxygen species lead them to have no remembrance of what was,
what could be or will be. The missing aspects of future studies are
the gap where the heroes of this story have fallen into. What
random text can be reassembled from the Archive of Myth lost

“We shall seek to regroup in laboratory studies and manna dew
will fall, we will make sweet flowers distilled from this air. We’ll
storm out of this planet like glass clouds full of thunder, filled with
ice vehicles and rain forbidden usury on the empire’s summer.”

“We have a mission.” He laughs.

“We should seek shelter and food, forget this salt marsh nonsense.”

Kyniska nods, but she falls asleep, her eyes still of crystal.

The soldier wanders off, much like the long-lost Taoist before he
disappeared in his mind’s eye. Microbial activities in the walls
of water around them, Arion recalls the poisoning of their souls
which was perpetrated on them by what they thought was a
survivor of an earlier crash but had turned out to be an emissary
of the emperor, disguised as platinum beauty and influencer beast.
She had come to offer terms. But his warning against her had
fallen on deaf ears, so they had become liquid prisoners to this
energy sapping estuarine photosynthetic ambience, where, on them
photosystem II microtowers were heaping such murderous shame.

glass bodies 251 260

They do not know how hate can burn in hearts once changed from soft to stern. Studying this planet’s ocean, I tend to encounter my own deep-down wells.”

The Taoist walks the streets of a ruined city. He reflects on the company of rebels, the empire, and his ability to control destiny. Except, of course, he wouldn’t want to.

“I induce a sense of disbelief, I deduce the inclinations of the stars. From the angle of this shadow, I can calculate the multi-verse’s circumference. The ecology student was a student of mine, and now he is someone else’s. We are a company of such Panglossery. Anguish, prayer, the lord of Love. We fight for nothing. Not fate. You, my love, were there. And now you are not.”

He talks to himself, muttering under his breath. The strange undergrowth of the grassland they are traversing is mutating into a marsh, but his thoughts are locked onto the ocean. He has strayed far off from earshot, blind to the needs of others.

“The desecration of tombs, all the novelty of the multi-verse technology logged onto your hands, the screaming advertisement, drunk teenagers wave-split their minds open, alcohol in hand, the dead rising. I have seen their desperation at dusk, cursed with the shining of enjoying every moment, seeking the True Romance, unaware of the zombie landscape of unworkers and slaves assorted. Past Karma lingers, history burdens. But this place has no history, so I carry all history in my entrails, hidden massacres and all. In the last days of Troy, the sun was brightest.”

Blue eyes in the marsh weird him out, and he cowers. There comes a little creature ambling forth, unearthly and especially creepy.

My name is “Wyrd”, it says. An alienating silence. Eyes of reptile, body amphibian, perfect speech. Head disproportionate, hand-like paws with numerous fingers, twitching.

The Taoist feels at ease: he commands attention, at last. God, breathlessness. “I wonder where the others are”, he stumbles forth, unsure of his fate. In days archaic, a person’s destiny was a noun. Now it is just a label. Now is the future; little old creature creeps out of the marshes and lets forth tremendous wit, and the Taoist is charmed. What a conversation; though you shan’t hear it. The Taoist indulges in past memories, and the creature cozies up to him, cat-like and lizard-averse. The days of amphibians are yet to come.

Meanwhile, separated from nobody’s spiritual leader, the other rebels are enduring the marshes, on an unknown planet, in a hostile multi-verse. A multi-screen would come in handy, but those are controlled by the empire.

Without a sense of direction, the scientific and the mythical have merged. The Joyride is so far removed from this place. The reed rotting, the water-lapping papyrus, an alkaline flood. Salinity unchanged, aerenchyma breathing, the rhizosphere as anaerobic as their minds. Air-filled cavities dictate their thinking, adventurous though they may have been, their spiritual effort now is seeking alternative electron acceptors.

Kyniska forgets her love, Arion forgets his anger. Xin forgets his new identity, the man of rubbish forgets his tolerance. Europa is no longer a goddess, the engineer is no longer thinking, the soldier is no longer cursing. The student finds himself buoyant, quite the botanist he is. He understand that the manganese precipitates are affecting their minds, and the low oxygen is stimulating their eventual enlightenment.

glass bodies 241 250

the nun’s tale

She was a short, angry woman with a leaky voice. High morals were seeping through her constructed sentences, and a sense of resentment was evident in everything she did. At the table, she was sitting directly across me and her patience seemed to boil over when the astronomer began speaking. Shortly after our land-crash, we set out toward the moors, arriving early at the foot of the hill. It is said that Richard the Second had stayed at the castle on the hill, now in ruins. The wind was blazing strong, and this band of rebels was defeated, but not defiant. Only Arion seemed to want to put up a fight. Most of us had already given up.

The nun had something grandiose in her. Her short, fidgety fingers always seemed to linger as if on a button for Truth. It seemed, in youth, she had had a romantic relationship with the astronomer. It seemed ancient Egyptian history from that vantage point.

The evening was coming in, and the multiple stars in the sky seemed to burn a little less intensely, and the empty space above us was suddenly flooded with the most diverse range of hues. Murmuring softly, the wind was calling us to a rest. We wanted to reach the coast, but as we arrived at the hill’s foot everything seemed to make sense and we camped up. There was deep sadness in each and everyone of us. We were in mourning. We felt wronged by fate, and those of us that did not believe in fate felt wronged by the empire. I believed in fate, then.

The nun began talking, and we all went hush. She had been a beautiful petite child, but somehow she had stopped growing, she informed us. Digging deep into pockets of the soul, she was pouring forth years of resentment, and was letting go the image she had of herself. She had visited a monastery in her youth, and then she had been taken in by nuns, and then she had been constantly psychologically abused by them. Life had had to move on. We listened, without pity or any particular feeling, half bored with our own lives. There was not much else to do entertainment-wise.

Suddenly, she broke off, and almost in tears, she began reciting a poem, and she revealed to us that all of the young women she had been in charge of had been killed in a raid. I didn’t feel anything. I just looked at her, I could see her wrinkles wrinkling up evermore.

I stopped listening, because I had been reminded of my own life events,. It is odd how at times, when sharing life experiences, the flow of energy momentarily bursts through, and we are alive for a short moment, and all the meaningful moments in our existence become presently interconnected, and we are all-aware for that one short moment. And for a brief candle the soul feels light, and then it feels the chain anew. All those moments are inter-linked, and I like to think that somehow they constitute a hidden layer to the multiverse, and they give us purpose. Somehow, looking back, looking forward, it all makes sense, this ruse of a story, this poetic narrative with no end. Not a linear story, not a hyperbole, not a circular ploy.

The nun had been a steady force in our ranks, and her death marked a heavy loss on our side in the war. We did not know it then, but she would become quite the hero. We all thought better of her after the event, but even then we could sense that there was something special in that resentment, in that sense of injured, broken justice. Not the broken love of the astronomer’s selfishness, but the broken dream of a young child, who had seen God and had genuinely tried.

glass bodies 221 230

S: Hello, my name is Steve. I am a rubbish collector. I detoxify the city. I see you looking at these houses, there is no way for you to move in. The people who live here are a closed community.

A: Hello, my name is Angel, but I used to be called Xin.

S: Hello, I am a rubbish collector by vocation. And who are you? Are you nobody, too?

A: There is a pair of us.

S: Let me buy you a pint, and tell you my story.

A: Let me beg for forgiveness, and tell you mine.

S: I’m working class.

A: I’m upper middle, I used to be a slave. How is that possible. The wonders of the empire.

S: I watch a lot of movies, and feelies, too. I am very busy. But I am very busy. I mean lonely.

A: I am too busy to be lonely, but I feel broken. I used to hate the Joyride, now I am one of ’em.

S: One of what? We are all one in our ecological rubbish dump. We are all in the gutter…

A: But some of us feel guilt.

S: I don’t feel guilt, I don’t think there is anything unfair about the multi-verse.

A: I used to be a child with a red-passion track suit. Now I am trapped in a grey flannel suit.

S: But you are still that child. Just remember to take one step at a time, and breathe.

A: I can’t breathe, at times. I don’t gamble so much more, anyway, but no matter how much money I spend, I feel empty. I am not sure why I am talking to you like this. Do y’know, I used to be in the army? They told me: “In your mind, you may think you are a woman. But in the army, you are just a faggot.” They beat me, because I was reading a book. Savagely.

S: What was the book?

A: King Lear.

S: I grew up around here, I was an orphan.

A: My father killed himself, so I grew up amidst women on Rex Nebular. My mother hated me every minute of her life. I was born with a genetic mutation.

S: What was the mutation?

A: I was born a man in a world of women. I tried to please the community of women that my mother belonged to, I had to change my sex. But they still hated me. They called me a genderbender. So they sold me into slavery at the age of twelve. I have been on the run from them all my life. I think the miner’s colony was better. Then there was the rebellion. Then… then, I forget. Was I in gaol before or after that? I think I was tortured. I don’t remember much. I think I was in a war.

S: What you need, is a bit of the old detoxification. You need to go out and live in the woods. Plant trees. Watch flowers grow.

A: I have business to attend to.

S: Money doesn’t sing.

A: My mother wouldn’t approve.

S: And your father wouldn’t mind.

A: Don’t talk about my father. I hate him. He was an immigrant on a planet of women, and he killed himself. He left me there.

S: You are not a child anymore.

A: Says who? I thought you just said that I still am that child.

S; You can’t be. Not after everything that’s happened to you.

A: I just want to get even. Sorry, I have to go now. There are people that work for me that I need to punish. They are slackers, and they waste my money and time. Forget what I said.

S: I will be here next week. I always go for walkies. See you around.

A: See you. The next time you can tell me about yourself… sorry.

glass bodies 201 210

An imperial trooper

The national anthem is sung with the low murmur of extra-terrestrial beetles, I feel my head spin. We are explorers on Mars; proud solid men cloud-bursting, wandering and confused by the spin of gravitational waves. A group of kids scurrying in the canyons; here and there we rush into a little skirmish with the local tribes. Five hundred years ago, a Conquistador explorer came here, looking for lost cities. He left a trail of little trinkets. Finders, keepers; losers, weepers. I guess that’s why we are here, really. Treasure.

My father entrusted me with the fate of the nation, as well as sperming-on the dynasty. I am a good soldier, I am. He was an archaeologist, in search of a Faith. He found a silver coin in a needle-cave on a spear-shaped island, and I have admired him ever since for his bravery, tomfoolery and audacity. I have been educated with she-books carrying images of Byronic scenes of battle: the losers and the lost, the Turkish and the Russian, the Persian and the Greek.

The traitorous Alp, a long way away from the twisted city surrounded by walls of water, Herodotus at Thermopylae, and all the rest. In victory, I have found that coal is a long-lost commodity on this side of the diamond-studded sky. In defeat, we empirical soldiers have followed the way of the Little Bighorn. But now I am a winner, a gold-showered recruit in the imperial troops, fresh from days of jubilant massacre.

The undead rebels may be wallowing in the basalt marshes, or rising in the wasteland, weathered in the alkaline dust of native tribes. The curse of the living carries on. I am as tense as violin string, that’s why in fifth grade my school-teacher chose yours truly as an ambassador of the Truth-nation. The eternal monkey stares at me through this thin carbon dioxide atmosphere (sprinkled with argon), and as we trek across the wide craters, the long valleys, the ginormous volcanoes towering, full many an imaginary gem bursts from the crust’s dread mouth.

As recruits, we walk in pairs, in utter silence, almost tip-toeing hand in hand. I am a sailor of the Empire’s Class-Xenophon Frigate, driven by guilt, fear and worthlessness. These are my favorite emotions. Everything I do, everything I own is tinged by the colour of these thinly scraped emotions. My space suit is replete with shame to the brim, my cosmic gait is somewhat slow and immodest at the same time as being irrelevant. Our black uniforms absorb the light of the not-so-distant star; inwardly we decry imperial meritocracy and corruption. But then we slither on, lacking the humour to complete this morning’s walkies, an unremarkable task unsuited for us superior centaurs of unremarkable prowess.

glass bodies 191 200

A rebel

We had provisions enough to last a few days. We were boarded by a
clumsy deep-space galleon of some Galactic Conquistadores, needing
a fix of murder. The night of dark space was more loving than any
rising star. I was a young man, stupid and in awe of the multiverse.
Everything was so fresh, so surprising, so venturesome, so interesting.
After being captured, my consolation was that I formed ideas about
evil and wealth, and these will tell you everything you need to know
about what it means to be involved in imperial politics. But our ideal,
the revolutionary man, does not aspire to be a leader in a perished search.

The story goes also that within echo-memory, in my early days as a “Caelum
nostrum” sailor, I fought bravely. Those who have read any account of my
buccaneering this side of the Sulaco federation, will know that the
prevailing tone of those stories is far from calm, and that a vast gulf
was formed in my chest where once my heart might have been. Autres
gentilhommes! In a caustic tone my guilt hangs over my head, still.
All of what you think is made possible by class-conventions and settled
modes of thinking. When captured, we sailed past the Azuera belt,
a wild chaos of sharp asteroids and stony moons which were cut about
the time of the Carrero Blanco rule, and now, many years afterwards,
the ecological destruction of that part of the galaxy lingers on.

The Conquistadores had particle revolvers at their belts. They had started
to chop their way through strange gaseous self-energy coasts by the stars.
Ominous shadows lay in the sunken rocks and galactic particle tempests
seemed to assemble in the distance. On the quantumeous shores, the Sulaco
federation had found an artistic mine. They were digging for a bit of Anglo-Saxon
spirit, which would have allowed them to hang on their Conquistador dream.

But this is the idlest of dreams; for already then I understood perfectly well
that imperialists are just buccaneers in disguise, with an added touch
of Scalping philosophy, the latest stage of multiversal Capital worship,
which was taking shape across galaxies as ethnic cleansing of the Ute,
and many other outer frontier tribes.

A long becalmed photonic gale made us unable to move at all, and our galleon
would lie becalmed, where your modern ship built on gravitons would exploit
the curvature of space-time and sail on. As a young man looking ahead in anger
I understood perfectly, if scornfully, the fate of rebels such as we were.

glass bodies 181 190

a farmer growing rotifers

planets are wanderers in space, bright matter-wave
soliton trains whose long-standing question is
whether to tilt, elongate, compress, vacillate,
run out of course, spontaneously form or dissolve.

my job is to rapidly harness repulsive to attractive
quenched interactions from ultra-cold atomic gases,
grow a Rotifer farm, crystal vases from another sea,
transparently gliding, Leviathans from the deep.

I am a Leviathan farmer on Triton; we have been
captured by Poseidon in our quest for a better
ecology. My husband died while working the
cryovolcanic vents, sublimated nitrogen had him.

Like Io and Europa, Triton has an inner life, and
while we dream on a surface of frozen nitrogen,
sipping water-ice cocktails from ice-seven,
ice-eight and ice-ten crystalline forms, our

disordered hydrogen bonding has led our
Conochilus colonies to be to be ripe and
supple, and metastable ices made our
eco-farming techniques very sophisticated.

Kyniska and her solitary cosmographical
boy-friend are often far and away on their
Mount Meru metaphysical searches, or
relieving imperial ships of their dark matter.

glass bodies 171 180


Look up in perfect silence at the intergalactic medium: dark matter, energy bundles, dust and gas scattered by the rocking and rolling of cosmic rays, stellar winds, gravitational fields. If you have the inclinations of a poet, you may be able to trace the flow of baryons in Zeus’s vomit. Sailing across the hydrogen and helium persisting from the fall of the Titans, we navigate various oceanic energy densities.
Our ship feeds on lapping thermal ocean waves, bulk kinetic space testosterone, cosmic ray beauty, magnetic devotion, and photonic energy.  That is what divides us from the brutes of the colonising empire, the jokes of the salesmen of the corporation, the plethora of advertising leer-seers and the marketeering agents. We space buccaneers bounce off the thin galaxy oscillating, scintillating at some indiscriminate speed across the shimmering kiloparsec distance. As I sit here at the intergalactic window and watch the cosmic microwave background, the far-infrared emission from dust, as I watch the starlight, I know every reflection bobs and ebbs toward the red, and I shift the ship’s cosmic gear to chase a thermodynamic nonequilibrium. Our efforts are not in vain, we like to think. In zero gravity flight, our candles burn all across, a hazy halo of fire. My love for Kyniska is undiminished. The ocean waves, the rain, and many earth days have lapped by and gone. We are still here. As the engine maintains a steady input of free energy from ultraviolet radiation emitted by naughty stars, there is a hefty contribution of kinetic energy from high velocity gas ejecta straight from supernovae’s mouths. I fight for a living, and anger is what drives me. I have been betrayed by comets and by aliens, by humans and by spacetime. A small telescope is not enough to chart my eroticosm. A black spot is upon me, I fret at the myriad ways we could shipwreck. Old songs waken from enclouded nebulae, tunes of death and defiance. Rich entanglements. Particle by particle, we are leaking freedom all over the multiverse. Stuck in my piratical ear, a tune most ominous and drear. Examining memory is the most critical skill for any Buccaneer hacking through space. Rare dreams beyond dreams. Empty space is hypnotic, a metaphysical hyperspace. The rare cosmos of our knowledge is routinely sucked back into the original jester’s bubble along with hydrogen, helium and the whole abundance of heavy elements in the interstellar medium: C, O, Mg, Si, and Fe. There is a declining function of distance from the Galactic Center, or God’s arsehole. The abundance of imperial and East India corporate twerps near the Sun (galactocentric radius R ≈ 8.5 kpc) being about half their foresaken abundance in the Galactic Center region. And of course, all is sucked back into the original jester’s bubble. That is what God is to me.

glass bodies 161 170

the corporation’s interrogator

aboard this keepsake ship, torn between death and life you stand naked before the Emperor’s Truth. your rebel assault has failed, Xin. that was your name, was it not? i have been instructed to break you, and to give you a new name. i may choose to throw you overboard into the zero kelvin unknown. the cosmic freeze may yet force your tighest door. trust me, your perceptions are false. as your interrogator, i have a right to your requiem. for your transgendery, you will be punished with chechen relish – but the empire is merciful, and the corporation is only interested in your likes and dislikes. we have great use for people such as yourself. you may yet choose to join our chase, and aboard this ship complete the revelation. here are your ghosts, a flurry of hunger-like illusions. to begin with, all the relations between your particles, and your emotional ancestry. we shall carry out the test for you to join the corporation’s workforce: you may yet ascend to pinnacles of salesmanship still unknown. you do want to become successful,  do you not? my understading is that that is what drives you. you no longer wish to be a servant. but why, I wonder… this choice of transgendery? it does not seem to harmonize with your goals. something other than yourself is what gets in the way of getting what you want. you do want to be accepted, to be liked even. to be worshipped, perhaps?


The conqueror worm has you. Suffocate me, or force me to imitate the bear. I find comfort in my bad luck with the dice, with love, with my miserly parents. There’s nothing that you can witty out of me with your creative multi-screen, I have built the damn things. I know every withering silicate memory in the cycle, there are no tricks left that you can play on me.