It was then that he first thought of crossing the city and climbing bodily up that fabulous slope into the smoke-wreathed world of dream.
Serious symptoms have manifested themselves. Whole body muscle spasms that arrived last night as I tried to go to sleep. Was in bed by 2210. Not sure when I actually got to sleep, but I know that I awoke multiple times in the night.
Went to stay at a hotel for a work trip, the room- on a floor number unknown -was reached by means of an outside scaffolding lift, one that I thought of with complete assurance as a ‘dumb waiter’ even though it was no such thing.
The stairwell was dry yellow, the walls with peeling paint and seemingly endless as I went up and down them, dressed in a full three piece black and grey suit. Odd that I should be on the stairs at all, when I was using the outside dumb waiter to get to the room. I carried a briefcase, or valise, which presumably held my clothes as well as work papers.
I met a family in that room, grew to learn to live with them. A big boned woman and her two children, a little boy and girl. They may have been twins, but the dream just said they were hers, not if they were anything else.
We had a picture of us all taken and I put it on the dressing table beside the single bed. They didn’t stay in that room, but in another somewhere else in the hotel.
At an ungodly hour, I left the hotel to go to work for some overtime hours. I don’t recall ever changing out of the full suit, but I know that I carried the valise/briefcase everywhere. Hitting the streets on foot, I wound my way along arcane bus routes that had no logical direction until I caught the right one.
Street-lamps shone sulphur red on the sidewalk* and pale was the sky, like static filtered through the blue-white of a clear November evening. My old colleague met me en route and we approached the office together.
It was a towering building, practically an eyesore. I remember that well. Blockish and wider than it was tall, sloping to one side so that it had a diagonal overhang at the front, all windows in rows on every side.
Inside, we were the only two people in the entire department. I took off my jacket and rolled up my sleeves, adjusted my grey waistcoat and black striped tie. Tired, I yawned as I sifted through the pile of post. A whole catalogue of letters from people with terminal illnesses. I had to reply to them all, as if I was an agony aunt for a popular newspaper.
I fell asleep at the desk for an hour, and when I awoke my colleague was gone. I wondered if I would still get my overtime pay, what with having fallen asleep, which was no doubt recorded on the CCTV of the office.
There was no such thing as time following that, only the void.
Awake all those nights,
Hearing the unseen voices,
Ripping up a sleep model
Made standard by one removal.
Envelopes of dreams,
Dances amidst doldrums,
Tripping on angel’s hair
Left in their windless wake.
Books barely told
Of such possibilities
Fables rolled and hand-held,
Dense knotted mysteries.
The glass city,
Cat’s eyes hover above
Ramparts, the dark clear walls,
Trips raving too fast.
Stay where you are.
Illumination across the desert,
Badlands of whisper quiet,
The bass vibrations of old feet
Rumbling in older walks
As our running tongues turn dry
For the remembrance
Of tales forgotten and vanished,
These hallowed halls of lies
Suddenly populated after time.
Silver nitrate production,
Lines arrayed on the walls,
Crystals glittering in the flashpoint,
An event horizon made
Of feline eyes fleetingly bright
As the sleepless gaze roves
This way, understanding racing
To the heat of the rising sun.
Soon shall the Fire God awaken,
Make light this land,
Prove foundless our night fears,
Yet naught for the foreign
Aspects buried in sleepless
Moments hanging upside down,
Bats fleeing before cats
In the city of glass
p.s. – the majority of this was written with a cheap biro on the back of a post office receipt whilst on the bus at 7am in the morning
Lurid, orange, yellow
And neon red,
A nuclear sunset
That colours a strange horizon.
Shades from an alien spectrum,
Light coronas fed from
Unknown star stuff
Glimmering around a velvet black veil.
Illumination of a kind unexpected,
The coming of change approved
By barely conscious minds,
Used to simpler finds.
Looking past the veil
We glimpse the odd visions
Of other worlds, non-Euclidean landscapes,
The nuclear sunset making new shapes.
We can measure you
Equal amounts at 2
No mas, the equipment
Lacks such further subtlety
And skeletons vary.
Bases make the means
For the end product variation
To tip scales.
Compounds expanded onward,
The limit in the manufactory,
It makes physics.
Pereira never knew such weights,
Magic in micrograms and structure,
The quaintness in a drachm.
Amnesiacs wilting in torrid summer sun,
We stumble en route to the stream
Coloured in shades softly forgotten and running
Like the tones tied to unworldly dreams.
Tripping up the superstructure skyscrapers
We look to the rails below, unsupported
With wires and betwixt them soaring higher
Other travellers along lines from flesh unfettered.
Level 5, hyper-dimensional complexity,
Totally real, the ultimate state of void worship,
A goal end reached in brain-centricity,
Calcium channels shut down, the ions licked.
Where are we now? See the wall?
What means the infinite door?
Reach forth, grasp that handle,
Pull and downward tumble…
Butterfly rust, a sparkle in dust
Taut dancers in winter sun,
Faded when heat sucks
At melting concrete, knocking sense
From heads held in heat up too long.
When will the bees awaken
From winter’s hibernative slumber?
Now that summer has come,
Spring a strange foreigner,
Bypassed and the icy rivulets away run,
When will the bees awaken?
Shh! Do you hear that?
Gandharvas mayhap, in the forest,
A signal told in whispering leaves,
Echoing in the boughs, the eaves,
Wind sighs a song apropos of now,
Of love and laughter heard hollow.
Rust falls in hoary flakes of red
From the backs of butterflies,
Out there with wings outspread,
Looking for precious nectar,
Yet I wonder, when those others
Shall awake, and come back for theirs.
SHH!! I think I hear that, a new song,
The blue blur of bee wings
Brr’ing quiet and long.