The Author’s Room and the Radio in Mine

Collage by Chantelle Valentin. Picture by Arron Anderson.

Collage by Chantelle Valentin. Picture by Arron Anderson.

The Author’s Room and the Radio in Mine

I return from the fringes of a dream
Remember this universe
Lie back down
And wonder what the next universe will look like

In the corner a prosaic but spectral voice
Incants a lean philosophy
Pragmatic for efficiency
Self-assured in its conceptions

Its versions loaded with malign satisfaction
Static and therefore stagnant
Conceited enlightenment

There is only the finest veil separating the days from the nightmare

The Author’s room was cluttered and in disarray
He manoeuvred towards me unsteadily
Looking as though he hadn’t slept for days
‘Where have you been?’
I enquired gently

‘Working sporadically, erratic without purpose
Brooding on the synchronisation of birds in flight
Measuring the thickness of the present
As you imagine
As you but…
An image
We traded a rib once
And now you have taken it from me.’

Through the equiprobable spectral roar
A phantom incants the daily crisis

Can common sense exclude me
If it is truly commonality?
I imagined them in a back alley
Kicking a blind tramp to death
I saw the night but could not connect
With the complacent damnation
In the disembodied voices

‘Any sane…
Any right thinking…’

I did not speak
I wanted to tell them
That I had seen the orange moon loom above a pasture
And wondered what the stars were

But I could not ask
Because they would have answered

There is only the finest veil separating my nightmare from my days

‘The world ends when sequence ends
Just as it began with it
…You know that.’

He seemed distracted, disconnected

‘Alpha, omega, et cetera, et cetera
…I’m bored.’

‘But they seem so…’ I began

‘Remember perspective!
120° binocular vision
What is common sense divided by seven billion?
Where was common sense in the Planck Epoch?
Common sense in the Sombrero Galaxy?
And when was I?
We traded in ribs once
Your image.’

I could not convince myself it was a dream
When had I been sleeping?
The Author’s room…

‘Just because you…
Just because it isn’t you…
Doesn’t mean…
I mean…
It does not prove what is out there
To cite disproof of you.’

And when he answered he seemed wild;
And after all that I had said I felt an affinity;
Was ashamed of my presumptions

‘This is a poor incarnation
Many times I have been awesome, awful
If you would have seen me your eyes would have been reduced to ash
All would coalesce into incandescence and abject terror.’


‘Is it all you?’

‘It all started in the same place
At least that’s what they say
Doesn’t that make it all the same?’

‘All you?’

‘Maybe, or all you
… I don’t know!’

He retorted with disdain

‘Ask your radio
It sounds like they know!
I am an image
As you… but an image
You gave me a rib once
I gave you a rib once
And that fucking radio a rib once
And now it just doesn’t seem so important.’

© John Lowndes 2014

This poem was published in tHE zEEN, Issue 10, April 2014.


About johnlowndes

Music and poetry. #wearepatchworkrattlebag
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