Walk 3.01


Alone, she would be three lights ahead and going sideways between a lamppost and a garbage bin to get ahead of that slow-moving family.

Instead his arm is a leash and when she tries to hurry at the end of the walk signals his disparagement has her ashamed at consideration for others. Never mind personal safety, or respect for the rules of the road.

She should not be proactive about trying to move out of the way of people’s pictures. She should not try to pull him back from a subway map when others are trying to look too.

He sees her half-assed, and struggling against instincts for speed, for politeness.

He isn’t there when her ankles are flashing, her chin up and eyes scanning. Anticipating when the lights will turn. He doesn’t see her weaving through a crowd, or skirting two girls taking pictures on the bridge, without breaking stride. Zipping down the stairs into the park.

He doesn’t know what she is like when she is walking without him.

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Gastropod FTL transmission


He eats only from 600 terahertz bowls to skirt

Transmitters in cartons and plastics

Swapping shoes, swabbing doorjams

And cultivating a queue of nervous ticks

That he sets on aleatory

Mountains out of radula; he has no idea

How we function, after all

He thinks sand can run backward

If we decide or fail to decide

Either way, he keeps unearthing packets

And he is eroding precious coastlines

With his paranoia

Maybe the worst thing we could do

Is to address the problem

Agreed. If nothing were to change

His fellows still would not take him seriously

And our C-Class Conservation Programme

Would maintain net welfare gains so tiny

That no one would take notice

In the Plenary Budget

Let’s go with that, but tell me again

Why we bother with hominids

Cocktail calculus


“What have you got there?”
It was too early in the night for him to be surprised that she was leaning on the end of the counter, chin in her hands, watching avidly as he poured the contents of the shaker into his glass. Her fingers tapped out a message, the contents of which he’d be wondering about for days.
He tried to concentrate on the canary-coloured half-rainbow spilling into his tumbler, a parabola restricted before its peak.
“Whiskey sour. Want to try it?” By habit, he offered it to her before taking a drink himself.
The dimple at the center of her upper lip, a local minimum, quirked delightfully as she mulled it over. He could make cocktail after cocktail to watch her mouth do that.
After a long moment she made her approval known through the shifting xyz coordinates of her body shifting towards his. She deposited the glass back on the counter before him, remarking, “I didn’t know that you could make cocktails.”
“I can make you one.”
“Thanks, but I’m already double-fisting.” Droll, she pulled, from somewhere, a half-full bottle of beer and a glass of water topped with ice. The ice cubes, perfectly square, rattled against the sides.
There was a derivative to be taken somewhere in her words, but he was struck by the familiar sense that he’d be the only one doing any math.
He drank his whiskey sour from where her lip chap had left nigh-invisible smudges on the rim.

The Crone of the Westward Hunch


Image result for hills sunset

Image from Mickey Shannon Photography

The Crone of the Westward Hunch

For her Eastern twin went searching

And beneath her no road rushed

And none was long kept waiting

She took the lonely mountain paths

And the cowherd’s grassy trail

Towns and thoroughfares she passed

By day and starlight pale

 

Rare was the one who, pausing

Heard more than the branches sigh

In a wind down from the highlands

When the Westward Crone was nigh Continue reading “The Crone of the Westward Hunch”

Venus Shipwrecked


What pitch of entropy, what glassy trumpet call

The roar and rolling of a mindless sea

Drowning men of words and beasts of calm

No constant but constant mercury

Shatter there upon the rocks and rise again

To resound, a death knell for death’s rest

That peace which might have been our lot

Between cauldron’s boil and thorny crest

What fury roused and left unanswered!

What ardor, fear, and stark unknowing

Whether against the swell or drifting apart

She cradles – ever sinking, ever floating

 

Ksarveel


Ksarveel, splayed fingers,

and breath arrested, staring

through the void both near and far,

in alien lights yet glistening

she recalls the warmth of a star

But there Earth’s detritus spinning

about a whorl of Lethe’s conception

rocks and silky gravel hissing

without sound upon the Sun’s extinction

all about its inky heart and rim

She, naught but ambient life

in food plucked and flesh contrived

knows death by nanoseconds of non-light

bursting lungs through photons sinking

from star to maw, from day to night