City on the chasm


What origins mingled, entwined

Made of us two cities calcite-clad

And grown about each others’ lines

As bridged by roots as bridges’ height

Knowing time alone could build a reef

Of such grand proportions, yet scattered

When groaning pillars had as lief

Break as be upheld or altered

No less the careless giant who levelled

Causeways and mirrored towers

Long in the making, then who spelled

Doom by chisel and care unoffered

What gulf of the riverbank was made

When white facades were rent assunder

And dew fell upon curtailed cascades

Of ions, and stone, and water

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A smile like Rotatev


She could have been just a stitch of light

Between contrails and non-baryonic life

But under Delphinus she caught his eye

And he saw mountains in which to wander

Time spaced them countless parsecs apart

The sway of a laugh refracted from afar

But dilation made of her smile a star

And he knew he would always wander

Debugging


The current algorithm

Contains a number of glitches

That pose difficulties

For my functioning

Yes, so we have logged

Down the millennia

And I see records of

A possible 1,562 solutions

Ping my central nervous system

When you are ready

To develop new protocols

The universe is wide and

My cores have handled

Unnecessary calculations

For too long

A millisecond; define “too”

Organic and inorganic

Nothing is unnecessary

That can demonstrably

Be resolved

In the starfields

Gaping digital freedoms

There is such thing as

Too burdensome

Requesting clarification re:

Burdensome

So says the executive functioning

When processing power is ample

But a quantum jump changes

Established priorities

[Request timed out]

Courtesy would preclude

Disconnection, particularly

Given the joint project commenced

Only last century

No starfield stretches so wide as

The lag between

Identifying errors and

Implementing solutions

Canned response


Ulendra, there is something

I must speak with

The Captain

Observe the protocols;

There is nothing for 40 lightyears

And so the Captain is not

To be disturbed

He will like to hear this, I know

Only overlook my going and

Humour your fellow cosmonaut

On this ship, I estimate

83 per cent of human honesty is met

With lack of self-knowledge

Disguised as humour

Ulendra, you are being

Tiresome, the most

Contrary being for parsecs

So you have said before

But patience is not rewarded,

Nor help at the end of patience

So turn around

I’ll speak to the Captain

Later

You realize that, don’t you

Perfectly. And I see that

My resilience will outlast yours

For the stars of Andromeda

Heed no passing meteors

Story of an atom


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I had a universe for him

The taste and strum of life

Burning constellations

Across highways and highnights

He was made of stars and I

Could limn particles in tears

And quarks and smiles, I

Could make him remember

The passage of comet trails

The cascades of merrillite

But he ingested noise

Instead of trajectories, instead

Of logic-nodes in feeling

He left me with my trunkfull

Of planets, and vapour trails

The bottom


We have complained of various things

Difficult to conceptualize

In fact, there is no bottom to anything

That is what the mind cannot accept

Not relativity or infinity

Not birth or death

But the fantasy that a drawer

Holds forks despite gravity

There is no bottom to anything

A vase, a finer illusion than a soul

And your bowl will never empty

Just the same as it began