for Tom

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Hardly an intact neural conduit and from simulated memories striking upward I know how it is when cities kept to four horizons, the circuit of condenser coils duplicated duration, o lord the tonnage piling up in switchyards, tonnage paraphrased onto lungless other spheres.


Remaindermen dug in behind the saltworks come down knowingly or without gills to sift ashes in the valley low and far away but not as low as the strenuous atmosphere disallows or the late lunar broadcast or clockworks in the after-glimpse of our youth when gun-clouds drop, still drop, magnetic depth charges.


Invariant brain inventions, the reds or overlapping pinks of theomanic electro-dissolution, and pneumatic birds to thought processes are as chance tracings, their downward surge, their thready eye-light rolls me like a hoop, over gibberish pathways, into stalled air, sharp incurious lungs veer toward pale summation.


Its saffron beams stab out sleet, and on Io the flame pistol’s opium aim is never at a loss. Blesséd ray-drift. Any intelligent sleeper knows that this litter field with rocket ships might have been someplace. The simple cure is stubborn-block plugged with tympanic voices. Each long echo-chain of new psychoses heats to dead center until someone else wants in with a rough marching song and a fire extinguisher.


The machine is taken from us, no need to sift the ashes, each smothered mark is bygone before the swinepipe. So what’s another five, two, maybe one or more along some pincushion retrogradient? Alien ships send mapping parties to the underwatch, the lush shell-growth’s all done up with bedlamites fighting dirty in the airlock, risen to lifetimes of gagging down ambient chaff.


What’s the jabber? Flight lets fall spilt air, and in local grief-weather frozen sleepers drop ship, stone at fifty-gravities. A tiny spy-eye looks if you don’t want to, better brained than your bright listening failure. The world’s drawn out, knots snipped off and no one not become someone else, not become near-perfect, not humdrum splendacious.


What rhymes with “helpless, the rocket corps cross’t the whisper-line?” Cranked up three to one o dearest damned the sight of them on any waveband too impossible, wanting help to the happy life and a turn at the oxygen bottle.


Beg pardon in any sense that space is cloud-banked. The result, helpless. My starman has all the info he needs to cross-shift. Still, I front a cold mind and my own won’t fire. Such paranormal luxuries give out wrong numbers more than twice the time, but today would be fine. How about today? Sorry. Strange to think how nerves future on. And in the severe craters of Jotunheim, first principles give out in the jim-dandy half-light.


You said what to the sleep-gun? Then bear or be born, and in confusion too. They cut it out of you. A door behind, a door in front, a box to everlastingly hook up to. The spaceman guarding the horizontal flange is neither smart nor a poor second, and hardly noisome across the difference.


Talk about yourself now and less of others, thick, gone in, their dribbling oxygen a joke against the beam path. You are read through, your robots correct and eardrums bursting at the no. Confess the double sport, the chemical reaction that bore you down, the last machine’s streaming jetty ribbons.


One minute links up in an eye while another ten break down the tide-line. A flaw, a real requiem moment. The hydro-static shock pistol says it’s not the old space-time, head on before the dropshaft. Still, I might have stood you better. Like the next-best thing here, delirium roses as the air thins.


Straight on through seven layers of what machine cultists call the mechanico-religious frontier, it was all mathed out when a briny eighth rose up un-alphabeted. No worries. Liturgies can be salvaged from a chunk of planetoid. Wait a minute and gill-breathing re-assemblers and in-space mimeographers reconcoct the boom boom boom.


It’s my own forward-cloud and sharp reminder-ping but also a place to keep and destroy what I might still want. The harder the letter-eye frosts over the firstlier the blow that keeps resolve mechanical and pure, alive in the pretty Crab Nebula again.


The backup breather fizzes and somebody falls off the moon half-hysterical, her teleporting rag doll in tow. He paid Atahualpa’s second ransom for her, but wave-groups send mere air-spotters. The problem narrows on haste and hindsight mediated mind-exchange, out of touch and unthinkable in any color but bitterest folderol.


Here’s the spot or stain where ray-drift bends and we found Tethys’ gearbox fetus, thick-as-air machines unwind themselves higher, laugh-points bursting lost telegrams. Congratulations. Every pearly ovoid is alert now, no. Each, a speck of necrotizing calculus.


It’s no use. Black wires clap on the heat to unfamiliar moans from Mars. The better worlds or maybe just more of them and with more perfect intent rain down on poor automatic hens and electric butlers and cut them to bits already cut on their own star-maps and their small dashed heaps, by my soul.


The sodium atmosphere plays hob with thought, wait. In the skycar it takes time to adjust to flame-lock and gladly born in disaster resort to no soporific like multitudes in mirrory ego translation, what’s next? To babble past gravities and reposition with roses via split storage, otherwise bypass nostalgia? Either. Or admit the mind pauses to adjust itself.


Each proof a tar-flower and bruised. I had no reason to believe it, or to peaking blastments new hours, the ready fires for what reward, like synonymous landing places, concatenated joys.


Originally published as an e-book by Poetic Inhalation. My thanks to editors Andrew Lundwall and Jeannie Smith for their encouragement and support.
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