I think, in part, it’s the hunger



highway / tour bus
rogue cell phone signal
a clear, aural hallucination
hunted by sick voice speaking of mother
past the border
through ghost static land line alarm
broadcast level peaking, piercing holocaust heaven
infection from the mansion, spreading to streets
soot poisoned sidewalks, sewerage heat

school kids locked in a den of predators
something is loosed and blind in poltergeist halls
sniffing out glands and urine stench skirts
phone batt failing
torch light dying
closed door cubicle
festering abortion nest

halls unlit for decades, abusive cane stroking teeming darkness
chalk and dusters in mouths
nails on the blackboard quoting blood types
malevolent monochrome sight and

only noise keeps terror at bay
jaded crystal chalices clinking against chipped champagne glasses
bent nails rusted by haemoglobin, swirling in toxic stainless steel
grating, friction, charring screeching
keep the noise coming
or our breaths will be heard

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we make contact in an elevator, ebony tar walls, sunset light captured in fission glassware (loading bay dimensions)

she can see through synthetic skin and fabric, unhidden salient organs. I avoid my own nakedness.
(mating dance activated)

we will be bed fed, turning like anti-gravity koi with filament arms embracing.
(elevator morphs into hotel room.)

touch her face, her flesh
(rubberised, moulding, falsified accents) unwilling to break through thin layers of make up

we will make out, kissing clones of who we were


the back of minds study airfields, tombstones of fire or holographic flags flying, (something foreign descending from skies, nucleus defying, infiltration)

we will be extracted from each others’ histories, sent out by opposing missions, into red atmospheres, out as advancement (turning into wasteland failure )

love ends with smoke and current

years later i serve bucolic church
she appears as a string of numbers in a phone, then in the flesh before medication time
she pulls me away to the canal, behind the war monument wall

“you were always there when i heeded help”
(luring) there are missing speech patterns in my calculations

the people have eaten the body of the king but i have not
(she has robbed me of time, of parents, of watching the targets, front of pew)

there’s no history in her i recall loving
a stigmata / tabula rasa /
all child-ling and empty (a distraction)

under deep cover, my mission isn’t over, but here she is, asking for therapy as my mark vanishes among the servient


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pet will sense the future of our embryos in her navel

She’s a ghost eating bun
I’m a dog walking man servant
our streets don parallel identities
our paths refuse to waltz
I’m a moist bun in her dry mouth
she’s crackling leaves under wet paw
dog defecates
oblivious to the longing of our kind
I pick her up with oblong obit pages
fold her like leaves of dessert
there’s ink on my fingers
buds in her ears
we hear morse codes of crickets together
she knows I’m staring at her dress rehearsal
dog turns to pee in the dark
hear, motorcycles on distant highway
there, bun wrappers, isolated in bins
I come home to the lapping of water bowls
an ozone layer of sadness in my weak eye
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girl from car

the streets. they find you
even when one is out there in the wild

despite the desert
you cross a road
watching the black sedan
watching the truck coming up behind it

(all manner of sandstorms follow vehicles)

black door opens and a girl-child is pushed out

the truck swerves to avoid the girl
the truck hits you, but you shoulder it to a stop

there’s no blood on the girl’s face
there’s no fracture in your bones
you take her hand
with calmness, she recites her trauma

“he ties me up,
moves me around at will.
two big strips of tape on my lips.”

the pervert in you is incited
but it’s only right to bring her to the government
and not to your basement

you point

“there’s a police post over there”

you walk over with the girl in her light purple pyjama set
two plain clothes officers come through glass doors

“oh no, guys…are you closing?” they are carrying gym bags

“there are more cops inside”

we go in
there’s a crowd, a number system, an admin clerk at a desk
“fill out the form”
what form? i see no papers.
admin cannot explain clearly.
you watch an older woman write on yellow paper
You ask admin, “where are the papers?”
the admin clerk is confused

the girl is talking to a caucasian woman, in a light purple top
she has children with her, all of them the girl’s age
i’m looking for another way to report

admin says the subject matter’s state
won’t be as important as other states.

I’m annoyed.

“a predator pushes his daughter out of a car on the road.
that’s not important?”

admin says,“that’s o.k.”

i turn to find the girl.

she has gone missing.

where there are no more children

i will not speak of hazy storms
hiding the islands on the horizon
too late to say the night wind is coming
too late to warn the residents
I am sad i cannot discern the holographic planet
its veins and bodies of water, its neon jungles of life
there are vague illusions of people,
lined up on streets, awaiting inspection
I cannot inspect their bodies
because I am not one with hands or bodies
i’m forcing colours into shapes (futile)
i cannot ask for names,
I have no tongue for language
the book is lost in a cluster of meaning
its spirit, diffused
coaxed into depths too vast for being
the disciples, as children, are leaving the stations on unmarked trains
gone into vanishing horizons
there are a handful of us left, at least in this sphere of living
they are vague illusions of people, without a certain face or shadow
clothed in the trickery of rays
aged in either years or days
in a neighbourhood with no humans
only sentinels remain, concrete and looming
levels upon levels of vacancy
by the inroads
I spot temples made from heaps of broken furniture
signs of prior life, wood turning fungal in the night winds and rains
if you ask, what is shelter?
i will point you to the shore
from there at least we can wait
for the islands across the sea to reappear
for a depth of being to change or emerge
for the giantess to come through her witchcraftain portal
through that great metal complex with no door
i’ve been here before
on a white bed between the trees
before the yellow tower
i recall the dog barking at the baboon
i recall the man with the metal detector
they are not here now
no one is here but the breathing jungle
and the risen wall where the highway used to be
separating the shoreline from the terminal country
dividing state from dimension
did it occur again?
buildings launched into space?
it was funny then
but to find craters where families used to live
to find upturned streets
roots of an old sea showing like innards
black and twisted and sucking on air
one senses the inevitable loss
i’ve lost the tongue for prayer before ruined cupboards and dining tables
maybe i’ll stand, unmoving, on the sidewalks
maybe someone, dreaming in a far away place
will appear before me, in random
trying to know my name
trying to sift through illusions
trying not to speak of hazy storms that make the horizons disappear
trying not to mind the night winds
howling through the skeletons of creation and playgrounds

do human dream of robotic sleep?

new mecha division
shipped from savage war zones
but still
blue armour’s glinting
exoskeletal shine
soot washing off in the rain
bomb wounds self heal nanotech
i’m really just a boy
buying the generals’ toys
it’s that fighter jet you see?
turning gladiator, pistons firing
the wonders of massive steel shaped blades
thrust into hick, kaiju skin
into the menace of tyrant hearts
military-industrial complexes
one jumps through television
cartoons, japanese fan-made autobots
into the real, the shuddering earth
“fiction is reality from another world”
gundam blocks out the sun
we hide in the shell and safety of mecha
behind armament, a.i., desires of automaton
an extension of our animal instincts
not to stand on the shoulders of giants, but to become one

m e s s e n g e r

interview report:
number unknown. date unknown.
he is either the first or the last of the fathers.
too young to have the wisdom and comfort of age:
-to help him cope
-to help him understand elements occurring outside logic
he remembers being trapped in the net of ropes, cradling his two or five year old Son, whose face is smeared with red lipstick, whose small body is swaddled in rigor mortis
this is a warehouse. no sign of the hunter.
he speaks in monotone. without grief. pure data. pure report.
“There were small packets containing mini furniture. bed frames. simple chairs. coffee tables. other packets, serialised with knobs, pins, pegs, screws, all made of light beige wood, finely carved, sanded smooth.”
(one thinks with the perspectives of houses. doll houses. mansions. replicas. dioramas. one also thinks of hidden rooms. built to scale. far from the public eye. far some safety.)
he does not know what made them, but he knows they were made by hand, hands comfortable with wood but more so with flesh.
it is plausible, his young Sister is missing, or even the idea of a young Wife, taken. The first of the maidens, the first construct, the first of the resurrected.
“There will always be that first high, that first victim. Every other construct that follows is an exercise in evolution. I think the lipstick, maybe handed down by my young Mother, was to my Sister.”
He sees himself hung in the trapping net. the dark warehouse. those crates. The white blanket. His Son, close to his chest. The lipstick could also be blood, but he doesn’t believe the maker believes in such messy violence.
“there is no uncontrolled physical rage. Only that slow simmering of fear, induced in stages. The violence is internal. Fear eats out the girls it desires.”
It could’ve been his young Sister, ropes , her second skin. Or his beautiful Wife, fear infused in increments, trapped first in the net, then imprisoned, mentally, walls closing in, energy depleting.
“it was never interested in my Son. It only wanted to spare him the experience, the loss of auntie or Mother. But it wanted me to know, to recount, to remember, to relive vividly, the shape of rope burns, the smell of soil and fresh blood, either menstrual or a young throat slit. clean and surgical.”
It is haemoglobin filled with horrors. A potent kind of nourishment for the island, that will eventually bring all of the maidens back.
“I was never shown her body. but this body, i now know, is its messenger.”

the students

i understand why some passengers didn’t board the public / tour bus in the night.
when I got on, i could see traces of small, undigested white meat on the stairs. i went upstairs. children in uniform did not appear sick, but they had been vomiting. their shirts were soured, but they still carried their schoolbags, chittering past me like small creatures. i did not smell bile or disease, but the floor was a mess. froth and foam and clear liquid everywhere. an older generation of men sat at the back unmoving. the children continued chittering.
i couldn’t tell if the bus was lurching or at a standstill. i could not see the face of the driver. either the orange glow of the streetlights outside made the children better, or it was the cause of the outbreak. perhaps, the worst is over and I had come to survey the remains, riding with them to the end of the line.
“we have to make do with this small blackboard” i tell the students. night had transferred to a classroom. the students here are older, out of uniform. plain clothed disciples of another order. possibly the same sick ones from the that time (seconds or years ago) “at least it’s not a chalkboard, less toxins for the lungs…’ there are finely drawn, realistic portraits on the board. with a crumpled tissue, i erase them with some effort. I will find that later, using the dishcloth, it will be easier to erase some of the faces, though not all.
how many children survived that night on the bus? am i removing their futures now from the board? or am i merely erasing those who had survived and are no longer relevant?
the much older students in the class are busy chittering, and did not offer any help with my line of thinking. I am close to erasing all of the faces. i reposition the board and am ready to begin class.

the labouring woman

how familiar this filth, this jaundiced sun, this half monorail / travelator
i’ve been here before, running from gunmen, running late to weddings, scouring the backward streets for white grilled meat.
this time, i’m looking for cigarette shops, half priced due to currency exchange. I find unfamiliar coloured packs, sized larger than usual. but these stores are still selling in local dollars. i’m not deep enough across the borders.
i take the passenger train, rail structures crammed along dirty buildings, in the density of chaos cities, streets of soot and sulphur and monoxide skies. waves upon waves of overpopulation.
the brown skinned woman on the train is struggling in the crowd, holding her belly. a ladies handbag is on one of the seats. overlooking her shoulder, I see the woman point, ‘to get that thing away.’ the owner removes it, the woman sits down, blouse button open, a strange softness around her stomach
there could’ve been blood, signs of a miscarriage, a bent over kind of birthing pain. I stand before her, silent. i cannot tell what my soundless self is doing. i only know i’m not allowed to touch her.
in seconds, it’s years later, in her home
a man is standing behind a cot. I am overlooking his shoulder.
he holds a premature infant in one hand. his other hand holds up a deformed teenage girl, with no spine to sit up straight.
her body is twisted, her brain is muted and drooling, her brown scaly skin and patches of dried hair on her bald head reminds me of animals, diseased
their mother had given birth to two of kind
perhaps, special beyond human understanding
perhaps, potent and dangerous, haunted yet heavenly
am I the father or handmaiden?
I cannot tell if the mother survived.

the hangar

I didn’t see the way we were killed.
maybe it was the censors
the borg review protocol, hiding the mess on screen
or perhaps, this is what we’ve become
watchers in an ops room
post-transformation instead of termination
the last I saw was our starship – still docked, cold and immobile
the vast, almost limitless mecha hangar wasn’t really a safety zone
outside, we knew the city was in ruins, following the invasion
we were merely waiting it out
we were merely waiting for the breach
“they are here,” a voice had said.
then i saw it swimming in zero gravity
the red dragon
high-tech robotics. advanced. fluid.
three times the length of our ship.
it didn’t breathe fire
it didn’t fire
there could’ve been white nanotech intrusions into our bodies
there could’ve been hacking codes hijacking our consciousness grids
we could’ve completely eluded them, considering our current state, alive and re-watching the entry of dragons into the hangar
maybe the city outside is still intact
maybe we were remote viewing a menace happening in another solar system
maybe it was the dragons who saved our world from something bigger and unseen
I cannot determine anything
something about ultraviolet
something about the feeling inside
this sense of a distant future, a prophecy, a possibility
something about that smooth beautiful swerve
the gliding of massive dragon(s) in space
red, mythical, mechanised, majestic