Category Archives: random

Sestina Embers

The house was abandoned now. She recalled
her childhood, the memories dancing, empty,
through the hallways, caught up in the breathing
spiderwebs that draped the corners, the horizon
of the tiled bathroom floor was shrinking, fallen
through the trailer’s asbestos, a small void

where the animals buried themselves. A voided
utility bill with a bounced check, a stack of late fees fallen
on the bottom line, her lanterns were recalled
for trying to burn down a thrust of houses on the horizon.
Luckily they were never found again, empty.
The fires she left behind were still barely breathing

on the rooftops. Her ex-husband on the couch breathing
his favorite smoke, some brand of nihilism and a void
in his hands where he lost his zippo, an empty
gesture when she held her children, where her face had fallen.
She had to steal her own car while he slept, drove for the horizon
until she ran into her parent’s old house, if she recalled

correctly. She stood in the new dark, her past recalled
across the screen door of her eyelids. Her mother’s breathing
room–she needed to be left alone after a big fight–its horizon
lines pointed toward the red barn, the northern void
of her father’s face. She told her friends she had fallen
down a staircase, the bruises were blue and empty

enough to heal, but she wasn’t. Her mother was an empty
can of gas, a cut break line, a quivering voice that recalled
911 until they called her back, a telephone pole fallen
with a busted transformer. In that same house, breathing
the same blue-white electrical air, her own daughter’s void
clinging to her leg as she checked the broken window, the horizon

so far away she could run to it, her husband’s horizon
sent over the razor’s edge of the flat earth in her mirror’s empty
rear-view. She would not raise her children in a void.
It had been 30 years since she had been here, she recalled,
standing in the same living room, the wallpaper peeling with breath,
alive, molting the old skin of the past, the screaming fallen

with the old walls. Her daughter recalled a stark emptiness
from the corner, from before she was born, breathing on the horizon
of her memory, where the hand had fallen like a struck match through the void.




Before they knew he was dead–technomage
his face in rags, perhaps a leper
mummified with plague–he stumbled
through the city, the artificial sky
burning in the air, acrid, pumped
by concrete antennas
glittering with business,
the greasy fog lying on the street,
crawling from the sewers.
They never looked twice,

thought, perhaps, his ancient stench
was from drinking too much water,
was, as the holomyths foretold
(they used to call them books?)
a beast soaking with wisdom, freewill.
You don’t talk to those, make eye contact,
share a GUI terminal, or (market forbid!)
an oxymask. When you breathe good painkillers,
everybody knows, especially Hive,
you wouldn’t want his stench of creativity
eating at your lungs. He stumbled with an air

of antiquity, a zombie in a swarm of drones,
losing all efficiency, staring up into the future
around him, knowing it would never really come–
the anachronism of the present constantly outdated
from overbearing upgrades. His own natural skin,
a sarcophagus. They hovered past in exoskeletons,
maglifted into the void of office sectors.

In a world of immortals, DNA-mapped,
nano-gridded blood, he moaned through alleys,
laughed at like a ghost, a fairy tale.
He refused to modify his body. They smirked
every time his heart beat. They chided him,
the children unplugged long enough to point,
for having a stomach, liver, they poked
at his disconnected spleen. A man, in this world,

is a waste of time, can’t get to work fast enough,
must eat and walk covered in rags
like a mock-up, vintage cartoon ape
smoking cigarettes and slapping his own head.

When he could see the sun, through the Lucid-glass
shelling the Company in campaign ads,
(he saw it once, in the future, but it was blurry,
burning his eyes) he promised himself,
the world, as he dragged his cracked-off arm
behind him like a fermented club,
he promised no more talk of ideas
or progress, vision, happiness, fulfillment,
philosophy. He would crawl back into the shadow
like a puppet. He would strip the gauze
from his scabbed eyes, and end the curse
of overlapping past/present time, and die.

For fuck’s sake, fold his plastic halo up
between his legs, he could finally die.

cybernetic light

Image credit–

Mummy: Krysty: