A Dove in Flight (poem based on works by Rene Magritte)

Through childish eyes come sirrus skies,

Mere projections which jeopardise,

To break the ties, anaesthetise,

The world from its beholder.


Where day and night capsize forever,

And looming shadows so endeavour,

To blot all pigment, pluck hue from feather,

Under the uniform gaslight haze.


And breaths collide beneath coarse fabric,

Caressing, guessing; motions tantric.

The need for flesh becoming frantic,

For love to be unmasked.


And in the footsteps of Socrates,

Forestall cave wall hypocrises,

Gaze upon these alpine mockeries,

The truth is on the canvas.


Through tempest glides the gentle dove,

As all who waver watch above,

Its azure plumage doused with love,

For a moment free again.


Continue reading “A Dove in Flight (poem based on works by Rene Magritte)”

Exquisite Corpsing (a surrealist poem)

Latent gospel plucked from slumber

Writhing as seething logic tears asunder

These retinal confessionals which drawn

From the tattered slacks of droning hacks whose dawn

Is borne from fleeting mania amongst ceaseless cognitive curfews

Where spontaneous poetic passions percolate like zeppelins doing corkscrews

Where cubist contortions reign and the blighted blatherings of historians

Wither into stony columns of drivel and whitespace – trivial emporiums

Which shy away from the kaleidoscopic sensorium of surreality

An exclusive realm of poets and purveyors of psyche, far beyond mere animality



NB: featured image is Max Ernst’s ‘triumph of surrealism’ (1937)

Dr Nathan’s journal – 1975

20/11/75 – 7.35pm. Something has been troubling me these past few weeks: if it were  possible to create a mathematical formulation of the unconscious, as so many of my colleagues are now purporting, then what are we but a complex algebra?

i have an idea as to how we might test the theory. We know that the typical psyche is expected to go through a very strict and coordinated set of familial events, this having been adopted through natural selection. But this was no doubt destabilized upon the advent of consciousness.

The test – our unique historical situation enables for potentially omniscient surveillance, and so  are surely at a point whereby the rigorous systematisation of a subject’s movement from infancy into adulthood may be undertaken: every single minute action and interaction monitored, every visually instilled familial and objective association tracked, systematised and monitored. The Oedipus complex captured on film – my what a challenge and a triumph!

22/11/75 – 11.45pm. we know symbolisation centers around vision, which subverts all other senses. this can be verified by one simple fact: no congenitally blind child has ever become schizophrenic. Could this fact alone could indeed be enough to pinpoint the exact emergence of consciousness?

inner thought is, for now, technologically inscrutable. However the subjective appropriation of the outside world which is observable enables us to observe that so crucial moment of symbolic totality – when the veil of metaphor conceals all, and the birth of consciousness in childhood emerges. To see this moment on film – is as close to seeing the creation of a universe that we will ever come.

Traven – his transformation has not yet come. his malformed symbolic constitution leaves him in a world of fragments – pieces of real and pieces of words which blur and waver. his inner world is a kaleidoscope, refracted and reconstructed to fit a unique logic. In viewing Traven’s spectacular impunity we must recall Laing’s assertion that the “the cracked mind of the schizophrenic may let in light which does not enter the intact minds of many sane people whose minds are closed”.

24/11/75 – 2.30am. the test – what is needed? Eye-cameras for symbolic tethers. 2 identical subjects, twins – we  weed out the environmental from the genetically inherited factors which could influence the development of language. we already know the Oedipus complex is nothing more than algebra, but what of the rest?


THE ACCUSED (sci-fi flash fiction)

The Decider’s ship descended through the snowstorm, coughing up a wave of ice. The haggard ship was built to withstand such conditions, its birdlike feet adjusting to the shifting shape of the ground. Seconds after landing a pole emerged slowly from the top of the ship, and reached higher and higher into the blizzard. Once fully extended it was around twice the height of the ship. Then the pole began to open out in an action much like that of an umbrella. Once opened it formed a perfect half-sphere dome which slowly lowered until it covered the ship so it looked like some colossal snow globe. Next gill-like vents on the side of the ship opened, and began pumping seething hot air into the inner globe, and soon enough, the ice started to melt, and the globe began to slowly sink deep into the ice. 
The ship continued its descent through the icy mantle, whilst the evaporating ice caused the globe to fill with steam. After a few minutes the ship’s feet touched upon a flat surface, and the steam was quickly sucked into a vacuum tube.

Total darkness. The only sound was the gentle baritone of the ship’s resting engine.

After a few moments a faint blue pulsating light began to emit from the ship, it rippled down the ship’s flanks like the neon lights of deep-sea plankton.

Then the cockpit hissed open and a walkway glided towards the ground.

The Decider disembarked.

The body of his suit was jet black, and made up of hundreds of tiny jagged intersecting plates which looked distinctly reptilian. His enormous helmet was made up of thousands of coloured gems which were patterned to look like some smirking shamanic mask. Immense tusks of some ancient beast spiralled into the air from the cranium, and a mass of leathery cords formed a mottley mane.

The Decider’s body was almost invisible in the darkened space of the dome, but the great helmet sparkled radiantly in the shimmering blue light. The head floated in the void like some tribal specter.

The Decider’s movements were quick, insectile. He seemed keen to finish his task. He knelt on the flat ground a little way from the ship, and from the thigh of his scaly armour he pulled a dagger, which started to glow with scolding heat. He delicately pressed the tip of the dagger into the ground, and after a few seconds the tip melted through the surface.

He carefully cut out a circle with the blade, and once finished he placed the dagger back in its unseen holster.

With no hesitation he jumped into the centre of the circle with all his weight, and fell through into blackness.

The Decider calmly plummeted through the dark, the scales of his suit opening like miniature ailerons to slow his descent, and within seconds he dropped lightly onto the waiting ground. The  glaring yellow eyes of his helmet lit up like spotlights so that he could see his nearby surroundings. The ground was covered in what looked like black vines, thousands upon thousands of them. He picked one up and cut through it with his heated dagger, and it let out a loud spark which momentarily lit up the pitch dark like a flare. Not vines, electrical wires.

The flash revealed a tall structure nearby which the wires seemed to move toward like the central nervous system of some sleeping god. The Decider made his way towards it nimbly across the sinewy floor.

Suddenly he heard a scuttling sound from the darkness. He glanced towards it, but the sound stopped. Whatever it was, it was beyond his range of sight. He pulled out the dagger and kept moving. His glowing eyes continued to scan the darkness like prison lights.

Then the scuttling came again, this time much closer. He snagged a wire and cut through it, again lighting up the dark like a flashbang. This time The Decider caught a glimpse of the thing in the dark. It was around a hundred feet away – a cluster of mechanical legs huddled beneath a great armoured shell, like some gargantuan robotic trilobite patrolling the ocean depths.

The Decider ran, and the trilobite instinctively gave chase.

For its size it moved with breathtaking speed, closing the gap within moments. The Decider could hear just a few feet behind, the mechanical legs clicking like a frantic typewriters as it clambered hungrily over the mesh.

The Decider sensed it was readying to strike. But before it could, he reached down and ran his dagger through the topmost wires, sending a trail of sparks like firecrackers in his wake. The trilobate gave an agonised shriek, a sound not unlike the dial-up crescendo, before receding into the pitch darkness once more.

The Decider had reached the structure at the wiry core. Here the wires raised and twisted to form a gigantic wiry stalagmite. There was no door, only a thin opening through which The Decider struggled to fit his broad horned helmet.

Once inside the floor illuminated a deep green under his footsteps. He made his way confidently through the labyrinthine passages, and soon came upon the central atrium.

In the centre of the large room was a towering statue of a figure similarly adorned to The Decider, only much more regal. This figure was cloaked, and held a hammer as long as the tallest man. His gigantic mask was encrusted with fist-sized diamonds of all different colours, and the curved ebony horns made The Decider’s look paltry by comparison. Whilst the ghostly visage depicted on The Decider’s mask was sneering, the visage on the statue was neutral, observant even.

The dim green light revealed some intricate designs on the cave walls. The wires had been warped and contorted into images depicting some seemingly ancient civilisation: thousands of figures praying to these great sacred towers, great ships and technologies which somehow seem at once natural and mechanical.

Barely perceivable at the foot of the statue, immersed in the tangle of wires like the fettered prey of a spider, were two unmoving figures. These figures were unmasked. They were hairless, their faces leached of any colour, their open eyes veiled by a thick silvery cataract. They looked like what a human might look like after adapting to living deep underground in darkness for thousands of years.

These were The Accused.

The Decider approached, and they slowly turned to face him with their empty, film-covered eyes.

Then the Decider spoke, his sonorous voice echoing through the halls.

“Awaken Accused. A decision has been made”…



NB: featured image is by Luke Fielding of deviantart, and the image comes from a series inspired by Peter V Brett’s incredible Demonwar saga – highly recommended!