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hatters gonna hat
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Apr 12, 2005
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1. Limited Space

Small bedroom, small house;
Tall windows, tall clouds,
Enamel blue sky.
Miles of friendly wheat,
Waves of hard- gyp heat.
Years to vest, to die.

Circle of blue flowers.
Endless, vexing hours.
Dust, sage, tickseed stars,
Rusted Santa Fe chain
Bounds my cramped domain.
Race you to the boxcars!

I'd say,
If I were ten again,
I'd say.


2. Hunger

I imagine there must come a time

a bubble of space, both, minuscule and grand,
just like the essence of me,
infinitesimally encompassing that which I am
in the eye of the Universe,

Where I shall find myself alone.

I did believe in the Universe
when World was the top of the hill,
when it lay, entire, at my feet,
as I first conjured up imagining.

I swooped down to gorge upon the limbs,
the soft flesh of the underbelly,
stringy muscles between the shoulder blades.
I gulped it all, gluttonously, unadulterated,
raw as it was down to cartilage and sinew,
to brittle bones, to the end. and still,

I continue, chasing other planets and their stars
persistent in my hunger, lapping up
huge arcs of beingness with my amoeba flaps,
osmosing darkness and light.

While, in every breath
I fear the last,
then, nothing left.


3. Prehistoric Animals

(reel one)

arrow ^ for "V"
then slideclick
to begin

(frame #2)
For 120 million years
these dinosaurs
ruled the earth

it's a painting in the background
but layered and well-done,
a lot depends on your
light source

the foreground is three dimensional
clay (or plastic, maybe) models all in color--
incidentally there were dinosaurs,
by that time my b&w mind was blown

(reel two, frame #8)
a vicious flesh eater

this monster from the past lurched up
from a blue-ish slate-grey-ish
background all bumpy skin and
bright white teeth

the thrill resonates to this day,
no batteries needed
nothing to program
no buttons to push just


(reel three, frame #16)
The monsters screamed their anger;
the earth shook.

length, width, height,
depth of field...
two T-rex's raging over the corpse
of some plant eater

it was a keyhole glimpse into another world,
a private space formed
partly in my head,
partly made of light.


4. Explorer’s End


Canopy cracked
kissing stars
moments distraction
almost the end.

Now a run for home
the bubble of humanity.

All for plasma
to power
faster than light
galactic search.

Each jump spreads
the spiders web.

No time to scan
look for life
find those precious
Earth likes.

Only time to

For the unmistakeable
low hiss
of escaping air
but ears report nothing

Blink, blink red
brings back focus.

Warns of the void
ready to steal me
from pilots seat
suck life.

Though quick,
too alone.

No-one to know
of prizes found
colourful worlds
of life.

All data gone
for mindless moment.

No fame
from long journey,
bragging rights
of elite status.

Just begin again
as game resets.


5. Finding Ancestors on the Internet


Like spent stars,
the long-dead have reached me,
names, places, years of tenancy
on earth:
Devonshire villagers, Askeys and Lapthorns,
native growth of Ermington, Holbeton,
Stoke Damerel:
Avis, Agness, Eliza, William and George,
Mary nee Bowden, John,
Woolson and Margaret's son.

If I sat down among them,
thatchers, laborers, stone-masons,
mothers of half-dozen broods,
and told how it was I learned of them,
they would listen amused to the tale,
their minds translating
screens, keyboards and webs
into shapes they recognized,
candle-lit faces looking back
across a baby's head, a mug of tea,
smiling to hear something new and strange
from a traveler passing their way.

Next morning, they would see me off,
believing, as they always had,
their names and histories would last
until weather wore them from the stone.
And that would be the end of it,
on earth.


6. Untitled


your smile
haloed by morning orange
seen above the gray sea of cubes.
Between us, lemmings mashing keys,
the sick green buzzing fog, the
shrill klaxons of commerce ring.
And then, we rise, our glances bump
my heart’s expanding echo, signaling yours’
if there’s
any room
in there
for me


7. Appalachian Playlist: Mahler


Urlicht. First light.
Morning blue huddled
under the long green vista
repeats on distant mountains.

Flowered verges, dew strewn.
Waldmärchen ruminates;
trees pile richly against
supple chords.

The Song of the Earth,
subtle, fluid,
hovers over that which
is not yet ruined.

Resurrection Symphony.
Sun trumpets through black space
into haze. Cloud. Sky.
Choral blessing.


8. Give Me Space

knocked out of orbit
a failure of all systems

you say it's time
to abandon ship

but there's only one

and you're wearing it

endless expanse
floats past
deadened eyes

there is no air
for panicked lungs
to gasp

no gravity to anchor
this body spinning out
into nothingness

just silent screams

by space


9. Notification of Recall


This notice is to inform you that
a problem has been identified in
a number of GM Quantum Drives.
A full list of the affected models follows.

The problem identified is a
very slight probability of the drive
not shutting down at the precise
terminus of a warp sequence.

This can result in unwarranted exponential
feedback causing a situation where
the endpoint of a given travel segment
is outside known space and time.

We apologize for any inconvenience
and ask that you bring your craft
to any of the billions of GM Service centers
located throughout the known universe.


10. The Infinity of Minutes
William Haskins


Love was a razor
she pressed to her neck
and it shivered with every
heartbeat. Incisions
invisible played on her throat
like a bow across trembling strings.

At six thirty-two, the telephone rings.


Convinced that the world would cease to exist
precisely at six thirty-three,
she conjured her courage, balled up her fist
and knocked the sun into the sea.

But when the time came and then the time passed,
no clock could reveal on its face
the life that was scattered, cold atoms cast
so carelessly back into space.


At what might have been
six thirty-four, she
gathers herself
from nebulae strewn,

presses her essence,
some whispering echo,
flush against a
lusterless window

through which she sees
a universe new,
burgeoning and untold,
a place where she

might dare to dream
to once again be whole.


11. The Wonders of Space

Have you heard about space?
No? I'm amazed.
The thing I love about space
is that it's a mysterious place.

There's the moon, Jupiter and Mars.
There are a lot of pretty stars.
It makes our problems feel so insignificant.
But we're all connected - like the strum of a guitar.

Space doesn't suck, but a black hole does.
The moon's first visitor was a bro named Buzz.
To infinity and beyond into space
because that's what NASA does.

There's no telling the limits of space.
If you weren't before, I'm sure you're now amazed.
But if you're telling me that you don't like space,
I will punch you square in the fucking face.

Mo fuggin' Pluto.


12. Making Space


Do you laugh?
Ludicrous, absurd, to think
we manufacture
essential absence.

In July here the day's
heavy heat lays
a stupefying soggy quilt
on all the air
so any space lies dead
in the open.

In bed at night
covers, cat, companion crowd so
groggy I push, twist,
shove off weight
to make space as
downtown they demolish
the old hotel
to make more space
for money's brood

all just using
the space that's there.

Behind all that,
somewhere a spinner
finds that subtle substance
running through her fingers
off a Great Turning Wheel.
She sings as she spins:

***let there be space
so the light may rest
so the planets may have
a where to whirl
the stars, to burn
the earth, to look
up into
with dreams

let there be space
is what God said first
so that Word
could travel forth.

there is the secret
of opening and folding
of how it was
before this
and after***

And on she sings,
spinning the invisible
out of nothing.

Perhaps that is how
it is done.


13. Goodbye


I die
I shan’t regret
that I did not see
the next instalment of
that series, or complete all
the levels on those games; I shall
rue I did not spend more time loving
you, loving me, sharing space while we live.


14. Selene’s Respite


Sunlight blazes, scorches
the earth from distant
miles, the dearth of dark,
devoid of calm.
Choking dust stirs,
settles on the sphere.

Scales tip and totter,
balance, then falter
narrowing the space
between average
and insane.

But the moon returns
like a torch to
usher in the balm
of night, twinkling
fireflies alight
in trees, dazzling
through a gentle draft.

The space recedes.


15. No Title

In sui generis pause
between life and death
the votary of humanitarian cause
shall hear testimony
of a Felo De Se
of one who pleads his innocence
by being born
after he pushed a body into
the 8' x 2.5' hole
a measured space
larger than cervical exits
and then finalize
with the last witness
who can only recognize Fate
up close
from where he stands
before final adjudication


16. To Vanquish Space

There's a space within your mind
untapped, waiting to be found,
Dark and quiet, wordless,
like a songbird stripped of song.

There's a space within your heart
frozen solid like the ground,
Cold and unforgiving
like a villain's life gone wrong.

There's a space within your life
untethered, dangling around,
Doubt and hesitation
have kept it there too long.

There's a chance to vanquish space
and symphonize with sound--
Tap your mind, warm your heart,
rip doubt with a fearless prong.


17. In Admiration of Chandra X

From outer space fantastic
sounds displayed as colors blaze

in telescoping visionary flashbacks
(simulating 60’s-style sensory
overload) while celestial swells pulse

waves of cosmic glory-scenes
who surf among the stars –

back home, inner space expands
beyond a single universe.


18. Dear Sir


In reply to yer letter (and enclosed form) July 22nd 2015

I write, full of consternation
don't know 'ow you've got the face
to say yer diggin' Ethel up
'cos yer needful of the space!

I know the bloke were famous like,
could afford a nice big plot,
but three yards wide is wide enough,
he should live wi' what he's got!

I've 'eard the man's been put on ice
'til t'solution 'as been found.
Is his Rolls Royce goin' with him?
Is that why 'e needs more ground?

Our plot was chosen years ago
two doors down from brother Paul.
It breaks me 'eart to read yer want
to move 'er up against the wall

I'm sure me wife would turn in t'grave
if she knew of 'er eviction.
So I'll not be signing this 'ere form
Yours faithfully, Harold Friction.


19. Narcissus

Limbo has no boundaries,
Which leaves us with no choice
But to run it.
The plain is lit behind us,
As always, the regret
Of not running faster before.
I, effusive, rash,
Focus on the ground, the sky,
For straight ahead it’s dim,
And my eyes play tricks on me:
Certain, uncertain.
That’s the trick
Of limbo, not seeing the end.

Last time we came here
My dreams knocked
Back and forth,
Like empty shuttles
With no echo.
When I ran through them,
They were hard like hail
And I could not see you.


20. strangers in ennui


there's tile under my feet
and i run the walls with my fingers
it feels new, different
but you’d make a face if i said it

the water roasts my skin
and i am in alaska
and i am cold
but now i am in the sahara
i turn down the temperature
and i am in a pool
but you won’t enter
you’ll sunbathe with a big hat
but never in the water with me

come have an adventure
come drive all night
shoot me with toy guns
surprise me
with lingerie
or handcuffs
or in the alley
cover us in champagne and damn the mess

but you’re tired
like always
and i’m hungry and not hungry
and it’s late
and i haven’t replaced the light bulb by the armchair
and you never wear eyeliner
and i could order in
but it won’t be caviar and strawberries and shrimp cocktail and omelets and chocolate and crème brûlée

and you will fall asleep
and i won’t
and i will drink
but just one
and i will hold onto the space in my heart
and i will enter in the dark
and we won’t touch
and i will sleep.


21. Personal Space

It has no borders, no billboards, no stuff.
No clutter!
Ideally, space has no shelving, or,
If it has shelving, they are all smooth, and vertical.

Wide open, yet not lawless
There are laws; rigid black and white space laws
No cardboard
No bubble-wrap
No newspapers older than yesterday
No occupancy without purpose
In any language, the phrase: “I’ll get to it
Later”, will earn a whipping;
A pretty bad whipping.

Space is chrome clean
Not a vacuum, but frequently vacuumed
Organized, and musical
Calm, cerebrally restful. Incubatorish.
Nothing louder than a thought interrupts the music
And your soul smiles, pauses, waiting.
Barbarella’s coming…


22. Space


My bump is huge and gets in the way --
I can no longer sidle between the wall and the back of the sofa.

My lungs are compressed, which makes breathing hard.
There isn't any more space, baby -- you'll have to come out soon,
or I swear I'll swoon!

Fast forward, past a blur of nappies and zombie night feeds.

A toddler is spread-eagled upside down on our queen-sized duvet,
while we cling like goats on a mountain ledge.
Go back to your own bed -- there just isn't room!

Flicking through memories of firsts --
Tantrum (Will you be quiet a sec? I can't think!),
tooth, birthday, Christmas.
Toys piled high from well-meaning relations,
taking up so much space.

The flat's too small -- we'll have to move.

So nice to have a garden, but it's soon brimming.
Swing, slide, sandpit.
Endless balls of varying sizes.

Now we have the room, shall we go in for another?

A second life springs from ours.
Once more the busy years whiz by,
dotted with requested pets of various types.

Hamster, fish, rat, cat.
Our pet cemetery lines the border,
funeral daisies tied with twists of grass make way for brambles,
as surly teens shout, slam doors and ignore.

Then suddenly, 'I'm moving out' and 'I am too'.
Time to catch my breath and look back.

Thumbing through old photos makes me cry.

I'd planned what to do with the newly spare room --
My enthusiasm was a lie.

Oh, what I'd give for just one day,
to go back and truly appreciate
the lack of mental and physical space!

Knowing, as I do now,
that space equates to emptiness.


23. What Lies Out There

On and on, And on we spin,
Upon this rock, Waiting to begin.
You look beyond, And pray to know,
What lies out there, Where you dream to go.
The sun, the stars? A world apart?
Some unknown plane? Some cosmic art?
You look and long, And wish to see,
What lies out there. What can it be?
Well, if you must know, I'll show to you.
What waits beyond, All well and true.
"What lies out there?" You ask, my dear?
What lies out there, Is naught but fear.
We'll leave your rock, And go beyond.
Far past your moon, We'll travel on.
Some stone, some dust, Some crystalline light.
But what about it, Could bring such fright?
Well, stay alert, And keep an eye.
As we move beyond, Far past the sky.
Some planets now, Not like your own.
They're dead and barren. Just lifeless stone.
So just forget them, Nothing scary there.
We'll move along, Into the snare,
Of the darkest void, You've ever known,
A black expanse, No light has shone.
Between the world's, Between the stars.
Past Jupiter, Pluto, and Mars.
Your solar system, We've left behind.
Home to your life, And all mankind.
See how it shrinks? See how it fades?
So minuscule, In these dark glades.
Now see the stars, Each like your own.
Though some are bigger, And brighter shone.
They all have planets, All have names.
Though most aren't known yet, To such claims.
Count them all up, If you can.
Ten, twenty, thirty, Thousand in hand.
From bright to dark, And back to light.
Creation, Destruction, Expansion, Insight.
What monstrous things, What horrid life,
Do you think could exist, Amidst such strife?
The stars are oblivious, Planets care less.
Living and dying, Exist in excess.
And still they march, Ten million strong.
As billions more, Stretch on and on.
See them, know them, Mark them well,
For they share a secret, They've yet to tell.
For all you've seen, As you've looked around.
What's the one thing, You haven't found?
You've seen the stars, Their planets too.
But what of things, Like me and you?
These stars are fine, Suns shining bright.
But all these planets, They're not quite right.
All still and silent. Just empty shells.
Devoid of life, Their vastness swells.
And now you see it, Now it's laid bare,
Free from its mask, The truth I'd share.
For all that's out there, These planets and stars,
There still just isn't, One quite like ours.
The rock we call Earth, As it drifts on its way,
Is just an asylum, To hold that knowledge at bay.
So there is your answer, From it stems your fear.
What lies out there? Nothing. We're all alone here.


24. The Journey Back

Once in our house there were old photographs,
some well-read books,
and a warm lamp.

My Mother would place Juniper logs on the fire,
warming the winter tails of cats
sleeping on the stone hearth.

I listened to her read Mark Twain,
and watched frozen rivers silver
on the windows.

with the world
so full of pain,

the journey back to old spaces
seems safer
than the ones that lie ahead.


25. The Party’s Over

She always liked to dance at parties:
pressed up close--detached in pirouette,
a smile at distance, turning... twirling.

I guess the party's over now, glasses
clink as they're collected--adding song
to background chatter while a dying Summer
turns it's back too soon.

She has no need for fondness' lyrics.
No time to listen, nor warmth to want to--
and that kiss is but a moment done...

taunting farewell steps behind a cloak
of broken glow and whispering cigarettes.

I guess the party's over now, stagnant
dregs thrust to the ground--plastic cups
and bin bags waiting, knowing that this Summer
turned it's back too soon,

but in the distance of a smile turned back,
a glance is all this Autumn needs to know.


26. Galilee

Ten thousand days of silent wandering,
Cast upon the deep dark sea,
We flee to where our hearts are pondering.
We press on to Galilee.

There was no place in the home system
For simple folk with simple ways.
We would not change to suit their vision.
We could not yield to Anarch's sway.

Oh Galilee we are acoming.
Our sails o’er filled with heaven’s light.
Oh Galilee we hear you’re waiting
For us across the spangled night.

Do not weep for me my mother.
T’is to a better land we go.
With space to live a life unhindered
Far from this world of endless woe.

The way is long, and we grow weary.
Yet our hearts refuse to faint.
A star shines, for we are nearing
Sweet Galilee for which we’ve prayed.

Oh Galilee we are a coming.
Our sails o’er filled with heaven’s light.
Oh Galilee we hear you’re waiting.
For us across the spangled night.

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