Sublime Light

Joel Biroco

‘When a flower has opened a little, it is exactly at its peak. When it is brilliant, it is declining.’

– Zhu Xi

I can’t say as I’ve had much of a life. I stopped believing in it early on I think. It’s hard to have a life when you no longer believe in it. And yet this statement is also nonsense, I just believed in something more fantastical, that necessitated going away from life and living, the living, people. Yet there were people for a long time, and still are to some extent. We’ll see how this idea develops as I write further into what I want to say now. I’ve already said a lot, and yet hardly anything, hardly anything about what I really want to say. No guarantee I’ll be able to say it this time either. But something draws one to try.

Oak leaves lie on the grass. A small flock of starlings lands between the geese and the gulls.

I’ve always been waiting for something. Or, I used to be, not now, unless it is for death. I waited for the right woman (the next woman), I waited for something to do (how to do nothing properly), I waited for a start to my life. As I became more and more secluded in my later years I stopped waiting, though I still waited for an end to it all, suspecting there was no such thing.

Is this the type of book one writes that is the last book one writes? It suddenly struck me. But when in my youth I thought suicide would be my end every book I wrote was the last. Glorified suicide notes of one type or another. Or companions from a shadow world.

Oh, that’s another thing I waited a long time for. First contact. In a sense I’m still waiting for that since I took it into my head I was a part of that, that that was why I was on Earth at this particular time. Sent here to wait, for that.

It’s amazing how I can forget that, here in these cascades of living times, ancient history to me in my best moments. Hyperspatialised in The Equilibrium.

It was an explanation of sorts. I wonder whether, this time, I will get a chance to tell it, to tell it all? So much seems delusion even to me, and yet, it’s something, in lieu of living a life akin to these terrestrials here. As birds of a feather flock together, it’s true I have never found any of my own kind, save in solitude. How many are here anyway, is there anyone here? We must keep up appearances and not start talking like that, though I have many times talked like that. But it would draw into question even further the pointlessness of setting it down in writing. Who for? One must suppose for someone, if only oneself, whoever that may be. Perhaps you. Who else?

But these convolutions, this maze, is no good to start off a book with. Perhaps I should go back to when I believed in life, in the living.

Where to start when you have already started many times and begun again? Anywhere, suggests itself. I hope I can rely on everything suggesting itself, even if I wanted to lead it I wouldn’t know how. This is the problem with something too big, you have to condense it to a detail and ripple out from there. The ker-plunk of a pebble in a pond, I’ve watched enough of those ripples to know they radiate outwards for ever, it’s just the ponds here are too small to watch it all the way, the ripples merge and fade, join new ripples, and the point of following one seems lost when you realise the ripples aren’t actually moving along, it’s just water going up and down on the spot providing a crude but effective illusion of lateral motion, much like all of life when you really start looking at it.

The cascades, as I have said.

I sense a calmness writing this work, as if I can get it done simply by sitting down to do it. That suits me. The idea of effort is so misguided, I wouldn’t want to be involved with it. Just the moments as they come. I am certainly past caring, and that may be useful, at last.

It’s pretty cold. I am experimenting with living at colder temperatures. It works best when I don’t really notice how cold it is yet have been carrying on fine. Then even a little bit of heat can seem excessive.

It’s best not to pay any attention to the world. In my lifetime it has become shitter and shitter, enough to persuade anyone it is nothing but an illusion, a prison of concepts believed in. You remain free to the extent that you don’t want anything from it and are just waiting for death to clear up this misunderstanding of living. And yet, the calls of crows, the seagulls wheeling in from the coast, the chill of autumn going on winter in the air. Nothing about that to complain about. Nature is a book worth reading, even in the litter-strewn places one finds to piss against a tree, the beautiful way the ivy winds around the branches as the steam from the piss rises, and then a gorgeous orange poppy by the barbed wire, even nature has its barricades, but the brambles and gorse, their spikes do not seem authoritarian, as the private property of the world does. As if it reminds one of why one is an anarchist even though any desire to throw a petrol bomb against fascists is long gone, if it was ever there in the first place, the practicalities of it I mean, the sense of injustice one was fighting keenly there, less the petrol-stained hands, though you always felt a certain kinship with the underdog using whatever means at hand against state stormtroopers who had forgotten their humanity, if ever they had any, to prop up such hostile regimes, which now are everywhere and most especially under our own nose, though one can go some time without encountering any of it if one’s natural inclination is to stay away. Not much liking people, supposedly one’s own species, most particularly for the way they enslaved animals and sent them to their own apocalyptic slaughterhouses without a blink of shame inspecting the clingfilmed decimation in the meat aisle of the supermarket with jolly Christmas music playing over the tannoy. Why is this not Auschwitz if Auschwitz was something?

But one can spit blood over these matters only so long, before needing to more urgently come to the matter of why one is here in the first place, though many, most, never really consider it with their hair on fire to know, to get to the bottom of it, finally, for all lives if there is more than one.

I should probably write a book about the future I see, save that I probably do without even thinking about it.

I intended to write a philosophy of cascade planes, maybe I still will.

Though I to some extent admired people who had kids, I never wanted to make another being suffer, so never had them. I say that like some grand statement, but the truth is that the opportunity never arose. Relationships never lasted long enough to start to build foundations for such a thing, and truth be told I never believed there was such a thing as a stable foundation to be had, just a temporary perch in the void. I had other concerns, clearly. I was plunging on into the abyss, planting my flag on some forlorn mountain, pressing on away from the world, though I didn’t always see it that was the way I was heading nonetheless, even in my youth.

And even though I didn’t believe in the future, I was laying things down for the future. I was niggled of course by few readers in my lifetime, but more than this I knew I was a posthumous writer and I should be glad of the lack of attention as an absence of distraction, a confusing of motives. What was my motive? That’s a good question, one probably only answered by writing, to find out in the words what it was, and even then, it remaining obscure, as if my duty was to needlessly mine a seam in rock for what had been missed, what lay there to my plain sight, that eluded others. I would be happy with that.

So I carried on until I was old and my limbs creaked, still accruing few readers, though a little crowd was alright, I had given up on anything else, for all I knew a larger crowd would find me too late, too late for direct communication, but alright for the kind of magick I could put into words to make them live and seem indeed to transform, to address what I couldn’t possibly have been addressing then, or could I? How far did he see? Was he even from here, this time and place, what you call Earth, 21st century. Even now I pause before writing ‘21st century’ to make sure I have the right century. I look around at the hidden decay, the collapse that is coming, and judge it from that, not from any taken-for-granted chronology of which I am a part.

‘He was a man of the future’, they will say. But even the future, your future since you believe in it, is my past. Perhaps a wasted life more than most, if this is a fantasy. And yet all lives are wasted in the knowledge that comes from a wasted life, such that the concept of it being wasted doesn’t mean anything any more. Compared to what? Why of course all those lives you don’t believe in, including yours, that are but reflections on the shimmering waters, fragmented not still, the illusion of motion. Haven’t I always wanted to discover? If it wasn’t given to me to discover vast new plateaux upon which the ancestors hid their secrets, then at least the equivalent in realms so nebulous to the concretising impulse new skills had to be learnt to deal with them, where there were no foundations, no solidity, nothing to hold onto, a friendship with the void, since no others even approached out here on the blasted landscape, the outer reaches.

Getting dark earlier and earlier, as we head down to the winter solstice, when the passes were closed in ancient times. Dark and dank, dampness in the air, the cries of gulls comfort, as they always do.

The few remaining London plane leaves silhouetted on the branches, notice them on drawing the curtains. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the moon through the tree, like a bright star when the leaves are more plentiful.

There is a general nothingness I am satisfied with. An inability to latch on to memories, or hopes, or desires, a fuzzy nothingness, just noises like heating pipes, people playing football, creaks and itches. I don’t even wonder what is it good for, though I do sometimes think: this is not how other people live. And for a moment I am caught in comparison, but I cannot really imagine how others live, only how I used to live, sometimes, and I think: it was happier then. But was it? What times am I thinking of? Times with people, times with a woman. Probably. A remnant of yearning, perhaps. But I doubt it, doubt it is real yearning. I still hesitate to use the word ‘real’. But I just mean it in a meaningless kind of way when I use it like that. The nothingness is impenetrable. I ask myself do I regret its presence. I’m not bothered. I seem to have become good at letting concerns drop away. There is a tension, as if I should be concerned, but looking closer and closer, there’s nothing there.

I feel I should be casting my mind back to events and people, as if this is the only way to talk about anything, but I have done that and I will doubtless do that again. At present, what of the nothingness, what can be said about that? Isn’t all recalled event in the mind? I could talk about dreams, there would be no difference. But in a book the reader doesn’t have any special realisation of the difference between recalled dream and recalled supposed actuality, or, for that matter, made up on the spot. It is all presented the same, even if labelled as dream or reality or fiction. So what do I have to present that rises above any of that? Only what is present now. But how quickly the reading mind likes to be given something to latch onto, to follow along in ordered events, complaining indeed if the ordering is hard to follow. Did this happen on the same day as that, or have we moved on to another similar day, the writer is not clearly delineating the narrative flow, or am I the reader not reading closely enough, and I go back a few pages to check which it is, quite engulfed in the activity before wondering how important is it whether it is the same overall event or two separate occasions. What I am reading may never have happened anyway, and what does it mean in any case to say that something happened, it didn’t happen to me save to the extent that I was absorbed in the writing. What do I care about these people the author has named and may not name again later on, but I cannot deny I am so easily caught up in it, caught up in it as if it were my own life being talked about. It is quite strange how that happens, the induction of it. It is there even in the most bare of narrative landscapes, the deliberately sparse. What’s next? And then? Something mesmerising in the rhythm of the words perhaps, even though they only go back and forth like a hypnotist’s watch on a chain. This is the glory of it, the power of words to induce a hyperreality, we are defenceless against them even though we may know they are weaving a fantasy. Before we know it, we have conjured an apocalyptic scene, a childhood remembrance, maybe one not even written about just containing enough words to evoke one of our own vaguely related. Even the most fantastical writing is evocative in the most mundane lives of forgotten dreams and nightmares, there seems to be nothing one can say that won’t connect with others, even though there is no shared commonality of experience on the surface, since all can easily drown in the ocean of imagination, even when they thought they had none. It is just an engine initially slow to start. But it’s true that people have wildly differing capacities for the strange. My mother once told me she kept having a strange dream. ‘What is it?’ I asked. ‘I am in a red mini driving all over town,’ she said. ‘What’s strange about that?’ I asked. ‘I can’t drive,’ she said. I didn’t tell her any of my strange dreams.

The question remains: what is it I want to say? I can in any case cut and edit these words, remove what doesn’t seem worthwhile later, when this is essentially just the flow I immerse myself in to see what comes, and carry on without worrying too much about it since when do I ever know how to order words in advance of writing them? Or know what I am trying to say without actually trying to say it.

It is perhaps the case that I have already said enough about my past in other works, and this is to be about my future, or my future from here, also my past from another perspective. Didn’t I want to talk about where I came from? Which is the future. I came from the future. And not of Earth. That is the basics of it. But how to approach that. Already it sounds like a story. Is that a bad thing? Perhaps it will always have to sound like a story and that is most properly what it should sound like. Yet of course it is very hazy out of hyperspace. I return to hyperspace, and it is the only life I have ever had, this Earth time and place virtually forgotten about, or small in the scheme of things, never entirely lost as the cascades cascade somewhere else, but ‘return’ may as well be a first-time arrival with implanted memories just to aid familiarity with an alien world. I am talking about the normal world now, my normal world, this perch in the void that resembles whatever consensus reality you have got going here. What century is this again? I am so often down to guesstimating it on the level of technology, until the familiarity routines have fully kicked in and appear to be ‘my’ memories, the memories of a slotted-in being. It aids a transition across the universe to appear to have come back to a place I left, and that works both ways, for all the hyperspatial seems the greater reality than the spatial because it includes the latter. It has its own familiarity routines. I meant to talk about the philosophy of cascade planes sanely and rationally, almost geometrically or mathematically, but I don’t know as I can achieve that yet awhile, still stuck in caveman drawings on walls. Perhaps I’ll throw in an equation or two out of nowhere just to persuade I’m serious, without really caring whether I’m taken seriously or not. That’s not the point. You only have to listen to my story. It’ll speak its own truth in the end no matter whether it seems outlandish at the outset. It is hard to know where one is going with this because it’s a hard place to go. It seems one has to make numerous attenuated scrambles up the sheer rockface, all falling down into a heap, before finally breaking free of the sluggish start and entering onto the great plateau of it all.

Some minutes spent trying to foil upstairs’ Chihuahua by arranging various flowerpots to block his path from coming and shitting outside my back door. When I had the tomatoes growing it seemed to work but now he has found a way through and like an animal that has found a new habit he likes to make use of it and come to let me know he is cleverer than me by shitting where I may step in it. I thought about digging a hole under the fence so he could go and get himself lost in the gardens but couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s not his fault, it’s those people upstairs who never take him out for a walk, just putting him out in the back garden to chase my friends the cats for his exercise and to fill the small garden up with shit. I resent the degree to which like a leak it finds a way into my thoughts, as if it were something that mattered. Like the man on his deathbed Nisargadatta mentioned who saw the donkey through the window gnawing the handle of his new broom and shouted out ‘The broom! The broom!’ and then died. He’ll be reincarnated as a broom, Nisargadatta joked. But of course everything of this world is like that, too trivial to consider in the face of the greater matter of what this is, what death is, what life is. Spending one’s life being bothered by small things and even big things is no way to spend a life, and yet, that is what life is, an endless parade of small and big things as if they have something to do with us, when actually it’s all passing, passing rapidly into oblivion, right before our eyes. That surely is the only important matter to look at. Yet I don’t mind the cats that visit, I look forward to their visits, I always have a box of dried cat food to offer them a little snack at any time of day or night I happen to be awake. This is what my life has become since I went away from people. I have nothing against people and still retain a few friends, though I hardly see them, it is just that people draw me back into the world, persuade me I am one of their type with their concerns. I can enjoy it temporarily, certainly, but I later think it draws me away from whatever it is I am looking for in seclusion, too lazy to actually make it to the mountains, and too old now for a life in the wilderness, I make a wilderness where I am. In my youth I enjoyed the mountains, the isolation of moors and tarns. I thought I would end up there, but that kind of freedom brings with it just as much trouble as self-imposed exile in the big city. Oh I tell myself it is not for ever, but do not see how it may change, not now. Yet of course it could, easily. But I do not feel responsible for it, it’s doing itself and I let it continue without intervening. It is just this stage of life, and probably all the earlier stages of life were also isolated, secluded, though they did not seem so as much as now. The occasional pub visits with friends. They kept alive a thread of normality I secretly wished to do away with, not the pub visits the normality they were a part of. I never felt I took what I had to do seriously enough, that I could only do that in absolute solitude. Away with everything! I must have said it to myself one day and meant it, I surely said it many times before and lapsed back into compromise. But it wasn’t easy, this doing nothing at all, and yet on the other hand there was nothing easier. What was hard was the midges of thought hovering around in clouds, anxious thoughts gnat-biting serenity, and wasn’t half the point in the first place to master those once and for all? To shake off these residual concerns of a world I no longer believed in. I could think of no better way to accomplish it than just to withdraw, completely withdraw. I had been heading that way for years anyway. I can’t say as I was happy, no, happiness is an elusive creature that lives under a rock, comes out like a slug at night, little more than not thinking about it, this weary old question of whether one is happy or not. Who gives a fuck? Well often it seemed I did, but I didn’t believe in that either. It seems one must have something in sight in the future, so I said well let it be death then. Not that I believed in that either, it was just a stopgap, a convenient fiction for a supposed change of scene, a more solid waking from the dream of life. I sometimes wished I could share the aspirations of the human race, and delve a little more into apparent joys and richnesses, but all seemed blocked off from me, many times it seemed that way. I would have liked a relationship with a woman that lasted, but the more I wanted it the less it seemed to want to happen. Be satisfied with transitory joys, it always said. Oh I knew this well enough by now, what lasts? What can possibly last? There is nothing constructed to last. Everything is falling apart no sooner than it starts. Yet of course one looks around at supposed others, in whom I also have no belief, and sees long-term happinesses seemingly established, as if constantly mocking one. But it was not for me, I knew that. Whatever this life amounted to it did not amount to that. Even my major revelations and enlightenments didn’t satisfy for long, and I laughed many times that I should want them to last. Had I learnt nothing? I’d carry on, and that was all there was to it. At most, perhaps I could scrape from the rockface to which I had been condemned a little cold comfort for the human race, and I even laughed at that, decidedly warmer in my rejection of all solutions. As if, well, more than as if, I knew better. If only I could communicate that.

Away from writing for a few days and one wonders whether one will ever write again. It seems one has to make a point of beginning again. All writing, all my writing, is beginning again. Somehow, the thread continues, is everpresent. One has to be grateful for that. Words form in mind, they don’t seem anything great but some urge tells one to write them down, and everything continues from that, for what it’s worth.

One steers clear, it often seems, of what one wants to say, as if one doesn’t know it, but it is perhaps more that one doesn’t want to broach it out of fear one will not be able to say it well enough. But everything can be crossed out, one thing kickstarts another, this is how one finds what one has to say. Judicious deletion later on.

Useful is not to look at what one is writing, just let it build up unseen.

Before I begin this book on human extinction, I should point out that I don’t identify as human, I identify as extraterrestrial. I am here as an observer. I cannot speak for you, only for myself. That is what I am here for. To observe. To observe the folly of humanity on an otherwise beautiful planet where cats are my favourite species, not humans, for all I pretend to be one. For years I wrestled with what appears to be a distaste for my own species, until I realised, that was not my species. I am not a terrestrial, I am merely an observation platform upon the biosphere, for now. I came from elsewhere, I will leave for elsewhere. I document it on behalf of The Equilibrium, that I am always of, that neither comes nor goes.

I am ‘of The Equilibrium’. These are the cascades. Human is a configuration of hyperspace.

I identify as human only for Earth authorities.

The idea of a sentient AI is really just the pinnacle of an ongoing catastrophe of industrialisation that will wreak havoc way before any technological singularity is reached. I call it a catastrophe but really I foresee the type of disaster that has beneficial results, in that it wipes out the ruinous Homo sapiens and ushers in the small cell of future humans waiting in the wings that I have called Homo equilibris, the ones that will go to the stars and live in equilibrium with their environment. This is why human extinction is to be welcomed, because it reveals the nonhumans who look like humans, who cannot emerge until humans are extinct. But they are here now, as we say of extraterrestrials, they are here now. We only call them humans to preserve their hiddenness, many probably don’t even realise they are not human. But out of a measure of respect for the idea that was humanity, we will continue to call these survivors human, since they will have emerged out of humanity. They are those who have survived humanity. I speak as if it is just around the corner, this transformation, and to me it is, to The Equilibrium and those of The Equilibrium it is, though on the timescale currently in use on Earth it is about 100,000 years away. A rough estimate, exactitude, which can be possessed on this matter, involves delving into archives that could be a many-lives journey, I leave it aside for now. Glimpses will suffice.

Somehow, a wilderness is all the greater for there not being a single human footprint. Go there, it’s ruined immediately, unless you have a talent for wiping out your traces. I could say it is deliberate on my part, some strong magick to keep them away . . . yes, I will say that, why not? It feels true.

Past caring . . . about so many things.

Most of all about the worthiness of writing. It won’t stop me, but an audience is surplus to requirements, held back until after death now I suspect. I’ve fooled myself with that long enough. One speaks to an advance dribble of interest, but really you’re looking way way beyond to where the dust clouds begin to look dangerous.

You don’t need readers now, you just need a few horseback riders to carry a message to the future.

The illusion of having something to say only lasts as long as there is someone to say it to. You can’t be bothered with how many may be reading over their shoulder just to read the words: ‘Too late!’

A beautiful full moon. Is that Mars close to it? Just went out in the freezing night air on noticing the garden was so lit up. Clear crystal cold night.

Mars in the bare branches of the tree.

The Equilibrium is freakishly vast. You can be at the top of the highest hyperspatial mountain, and think: ‘This is here for some reason.’ And that is the nature of The Equilibrium.

I realise now that that is my nature. I am Equilibrium. Bodies will get wiped away, civilisations will fall, species will go extinct, but ‘I’ remain as The Equilibrium.

The singularity seems to have stored all the data of living as if the void itself is a storage medium, yet there is nothing that can be found despite finding everything all the time. ‘I’ am just a face I put on to view from these spatio-temporal coordinates. A ‘hot link’ on a planetary surface through which The Equilibrium views the current status of Earth. First contact pending.

I was aware, actually, though I’ve only just realised, that The Equilibrium was viewing the recent lunar occultation of Mars through my eyes. That explains why it seemed so luscious.

What are the outer reaches? This describes a ‘place’, beyond the world yet not quite free of it entirely. It’s the ragged raw remnants of world, isolated, a wilderness, like a room in an abandoned wasteland, safe and secure for now, out of reach, usual reach of hostile forces, like a place in the future but also simultaneously now, a survival state, longer and longer ‘glimpses’ of it, no longer just as glimpses but living in it, living on the outer reaches. Seeing how it all unfolds, from there, a place to recoup losses, to rest, as if from . . . I don’t know what from, not clearly, just sense it. A place to make a push from, to gather the outcasts, that’s my sense of it, more will come. It’s a hyperspatial wasteland, its significance needs to be understood, it is like the place from which all forays are made, there is this sense of kaivalya here, it’s ragged and torn, but it’s . . . yes, aftermath, sense of aftermath about it. Primitive tech, rather than all-seeing eye. It’s like an important advance post, though it seems far back. It’s the wilderness of hyperspace.

It seems as if it can be summarised in a slick paragraph, but then it is actually the livingness of it like lichens on rocks that gives it whatever it has. The dawdling snow that doesn’t want to go daily forms larger ice crystals.

It is a little like occupying a decaying mind. But if this is what has been given, I find shelter where it comes. I am grateful perhaps that I no longer have to accept pathways, it is what it is, a no longer minding being so lost, finding a method in the straying, or at least a useful way, to conceive the last final great thing I might have to say, to embark upon it, it seeming like I have not even scratched the surface, but it always seems like that, when I think of the snow I am having flashes of the wilderness that is the place in the other time. It is impossible to sound like I understand it all, yet at the back of it I find an integrity holding it together. Becomes easier to shift identity when on the outer reaches, what they fear, the hostiles, what the hostiles fear is shifting identity, they want everything pinned down. They don’t understand existence outside of category, numbers, they want us all in compounds but when it comes to the formless ones they don’t know how to deal with them or what they are. We ourselves hardly know what we are, yet, again, there is that background knowledge that knows everything. I have chosen my side, I know that, and I work to delineate it, to show ‘others’ that they might recognise it, that this hyperspatial revolution may evolve, for all it uses agents on the ground in form in the undeclared war. But the degree to which I am an essence from the future that wafted this way, I’ll never be able to discover the particulars, it was hidden from me from the beginning. Vague scenes in other planetary systems, what to say about them, except that they haunt me in a noble way, as if I have been along this path a very very long time, I don’t carry much luggage now but impressions are formed in me that seem never lost when all is lost. This is the half-formed man I am. I only have to keep coming back to the void from which it all issues, it’s obvious, isn’t it, that there’s a direction here, evidence of intent, and that is what I mean by The Equilibrium, it is an extraterrestrial range. People expect specific details but miss the most important detail is nonspecific. The planes cascade, we see that, but suppose there is some solidity to demonstrate, yet they never demonstrate it. It is fed as an assumption as long as you live. That the walls are real, you are a prisoner. But there is something else going on.

Does The Equilibrium require this of me, that I attempt to write this? I would like to write it if showed a direction to go in, otherwise what is this empty-headed human doing here on Earth? Isn’t that the main point, finding work for one not of this world, I am always interested to know how that works out, the adventures of a single point of focus, can never be divorced, the extraordinary spaciousness, bringing in fields of dreams, the way a mind is wiped, we stumble into the future like it is on a screen, everything is cellular.

The digital gulag.

It is difficult to talk about The Equilibrium when you are cold-footed planetside and not particularly enamoured of the accoutrements.

This sense of sodden unachievement kept coming back, like he was being laid down blocks of peat. No longer looking for the ordinary happinesses of living felt more like gathering round a stove of cold, freezing into shapes of what he was. He no longer knew whether he was an advance party on another world or just some old git dying into himself. He knew of course what he had been, the ribbons, the commands, a stature lost in the snow, cartoons playing in his head curiously not considered abnormal, the construct was falling down, if anyone had an advantage in that it would be him, since he steadfastly cleaved to the void ordinarily so in exceptional circumstances he would surely shine. That was his way of thinking through these pressures. Using words he was not certain it was their proper use for he strayed more and more from consensus though still retaining their language hard to say how he escaped originally I have an image of a boy holding a red balloon on a string by the razor wire he skipped softly out, but this may be a screen memory for something far more atrocious like owls’ eyes are for alien abduction. His mind is destroyed like Chernobyl, but he never relied on mind so it wasn’t the loss it might have been for some people, it just gave him an edge. He was direct out of the ether. He knew what he was doing but he could never explain it to anyone nor even to himself, so he stopped trying. That’s not quite true, he still kept on trying but paid it no mind. There was a kind of interest in the traces, the artefacts as he called them, they had narrative potential but he advised all who entered the cascades to drop becoming obsessed by them, telling them you need remember only one thing: ‘I am of The Equilibrium.’ He was a good trainer. He used to drum that into us, you’re Equilibrium, you’re not planetside, never forget it. Oh I forgot it many times, not so much lately, so I suppose my training has kicked in at last, I was wondering when it would. Thought I’d been abandoned for the longest time. Then it started coming back to me with just a little push to pick up the threads. You can tell a story this big by just telling it, but first you have to deal with the PTSD of the story, that fragmented it all up humongous. I think I’m just starting to get there in that regard. You see, I thought all the stuff about recovering wasn’t it, when actually it was a way to introduce it. I said at the beginning that I came from the future, but just saying it doesn’t persuade you it’s real, no, what I want to tell is the real story of it, if I can get my head around it. So you’ll have to stay at my asylum bedside nursing this madman’s meanderings a while longer before it cuts to the chase in any meaningful way. The hypersmears as we call them get less dizzying if you don’t try to encompass them all at once.

Yes, he was a good trainer. I get flashes of the training, I know it was a lot more arduous than I’m allowed to remember. For my own good, I know that. That’s the thing about the amnesia seal, it cuts off belief that one could have really lived this other whole life, lives. The Equilibrium selects candidates with very clearly defined parameters. Mental stability through a wide range of offensives is the main draw. The battlefield of the mind is the most brutal.

Relatively lucid happens. Usually short measures. Otherwise like negotiating a hospital corridor.

I am of The Equilibrium. Even if it was an illusion, this still stands. At least I have gone to the stars for my illusion rather than just round the corner. A breathtaking illusion so magnificent I wanted it to be real, so I made it real for myself. I didn’t ring the president, no, though highly amused John Lilly tried to before his nuthouse stay. I just wouldn’t have seen that as a feasible route to Earth authority.

A cacophony on Earth. Feel like I’m waiting for first contact, something about the atmosphere suggests it, but not sure what I’m picking up. Words become like solid bricks, not so much to say they’re solid but that they’re heavy to carry. Feels like moving boxes around in a room. But I love words, don’t know what made them increase in weight as a physical reaction, words were light and floaty before, flouncy. The great barren wasteland, I speak into the drains, stumbling around on one leg. What will take me closer to The Equilibrium, the skirting around it, it will come out when I’m not watching no doubt, emptyheadedness I’m not yet ready to put aside, almost blind needing to feel my way along. The Equilibrium is there, but I am strangely unlurched into action, though realise this too is it just as it is, glacial, serene swathes of untroubled march, trying to find the flavour, the taste of supreme, no, it is not indifference, a frisson like using the typewriter as a piano, that kind of sound, bonne chance. Dripping words flying off far now the way the water is trickling always liked that the way it knows its own mind to trickle a certain way and no other. This is what is going to get us there, following the trickles seeing where they’re going that’s it building the details in the job and carrying on like a mole underground tunnelling to find the way and it’ll catch its own intensity as it goes like chanting a magical incantation to up this hill and over and get there through this persistence of effort in one single direction never giving up just one foot in front of the other.

The ketaminar wind.

Clodden foot. Clodden coldfoot.

Best of all the constant spinning sound as the new air, fresh and breathlike. Memories are only of dreams.

My most enduring self-image is of a traveller abandoned on an alien world, with a purpose deeply embedded, whose compatriots will return at the right time, when I will have accrued the knowledge I need about the planet to set in motion the grander plan we have and explains why I have come here, kept hidden from me all these years, dribbling out in flashes, steadily settling in ways I hardly notice, but now notice more and more, as the time approaches. A strange life indeed, but that is the life I have been given and, I suppose, I must have chosen it, I must have volunteered for this mission. This is not to glorify anything about it at all, it has been a hard lonely life, but a driven life, drives I hardly understand except in the terms I have just outlined, more clearly than I have been able to put it for a while. I suppose because I do not like reification, that urge to think things are a certain way that stops them being any other way, all the same we need our stick-figure appreciations too, our cheap pulp sci-fi novel ways of looking at it, to maintain interest, for ourselves as well as others. As I say, I am ‘of The Equilibrium’, and that is all I need to know, I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, it was drummed into me in training. I was trained for this, I was trained for this life. That’s what I’m saying. Most lives are training, but without special purpose, until, perhaps, you are called, your skills are needed, you never knew you had particular skills, but they figured out a training programme just for you, and set you through those lives and lives of training, hoping something would be retained through the great wipe of the cascades, some instinct as hard as a diamond, that’s what it is, that’s what it boils down to, I’ve crashed up against it many times now, that raw unchanging solid as a mountain equilibrium that becomes me and that GSH, Gyroscopic Stability in Hyperdimensions, that I’ve talked about in the notes I’ve left scattered around, that I’m re-envisaging now as I write this narrative, hands-free, to see how it emerges now, now I’m further along and not merely scraping hasty shaken impressions off the fast smithereens of the test flights, though all of that is still of interest in getting to grips with the hyper-fragmented nature of what I’m talking about. Can’t approach it all at once, sometimes deep dives, other times light flutterings over, got to scope it out. It won’t make an ounce of sense to most people until it happens, what’s hidden by the future that is plain as day to me, then you can come here and take a look. You had an extraterrestrial in your midst in a human flesh suit. Or any number of crude sci-fi tropes to convey something that is actually a lot more nuanced, but get them in, as clues to screenwriters not used to writing fucked-up stuff with an arthouse vibe, look, he said it himself, it’s there on the page, alien in human suit, then we can bring in the layered chameleon tech, and end on a big dollop of what the fuck is a human being anyhow? Are there any? But the cinema audience generally needs a big run up to this kind of thing, and that’s the book, the cult novel that no-one reads except a few K-snorting cunts lolling around on the suicidal sedan half getting it when the planes shift like a hyperdimensional Rubik’s cube and you end up staring at the wall for hours finding it fascinating wondering why you never appreciated it before. But even that makes it sound like it is something, as if it can be apprehended in some fashion, taken out and put on a stand and people can walk around it a display in a glass case in a museum, this is what it is. A futuristic android robot of myself looks just like me in a room that looks exactly like this one I’m in now but that one is a 100,000 years in the future in a museum and the walls are glass and people are milling around looking in, they’re calling it ‘The Breakthrough’, a depiction of The Pioneer, aka The Pathfinder, in his room on Earth just prior to The Event. And I’m here and there at the same time, the robot is typing what I’m typing on a table just like this one, the lamps just like these lamps, but the walls are glass and they’re looking in, they see me pondering it, this very thought as it’s happening, all faithfully represented in the future in this museum exhibit. And that’s just one example of a flash forward that afterwards became more prevalent as I became unhooked in time and encountered The Equilibrium, though when one first encounters The Equilibrium is not so easy to pin down since even your ‘first’ awakening, that you can credibly call your first recollection, is of a sleeper agent ‘of The Equilibrium’ in a hostile-enslaved planetary system. So you’re already ‘of The Equilibrium’ when you first encounter them, they’re just reminding you, quite a good word that, re-minding. So I figure I was always of The Equilibrium, I wasn’t recruited for all it seems I was recruited. But you need training to get up to speed so it feels like you’re a recruit I guess, and I don’t mind that, it makes you feel you’re a part of something now, only later you find out you were always Equilibrium and you engineered your own recruitment to provide a kind of cascade cover, a thin thread to bind your chrysalis to the anchoring Equilibrium when thrown into the ferocity of the cascades. And they are ferocious, you can’t underestimate the degree of PTSD pulling off this kind of manoeuvre requires. Multiple identities flattened to a single strong signal, that ‘of The Equilibrium’. It’s the only way you’ll stay sane. You just can’t know all your past history, it’s there to delve into if you need it, in the archives, but day-to-day best if you forget what you were doing yesterday and have no plans beyond the hour, for all you now have access to the entire span ‘if you need it’. And by the entire span I mean everything. Obviously you don’t need everything all at once, you’ve already had that and it made you a basket case until you surfaced out of the shit and waste covering the surface of that ocean.

We’ll talk again.

What I am really talking about is the deeper programs of human evolution that are going to come into being. This is fundamentally extraterrestrial.

I am simply someone not of Earth who has been sent to prepare the way. This time period is ancient history where I come from. I am a traveller. I have seen things. I’ve been in The Equilibrium recently, in case it wasn’t obvious. So much is clearer, though the hermetic amnesia seal is still there. Total extraterrestrialisation comes easier now. Time is bizarre, the current Earth space-time period a construction, I am ‘from’ somewhere far distant, merely ‘projected’ here to Earth. What I am doing on Earth I have done elsewhere, forerunner of first contact. The Equilibrium controls first contact. I am only putting into easy terms that people can understand, not concretising it. Someone ‘of The Equilibrium’ is required on the surface of the planet. To continually ‘hold’ The Equilibrium, to dissipate cascade shock. Sounds crazy, but I write so as to capture gleams. I have hardly yet begun to document the story of The Equilibrium.

The pristine point is never lost.

Really, we’re like ships at sea. One gets used to one’s own ways, a familiarity distinguishes it as ‘home’. We settle into our little corner, the sound of the wind becomes a friend. Sometimes, we’re cut down to size, not much you can do. A cup of tea, dried leaves in a cup boiling water poured over, is sufficient to get back on track after all disasters. Thank Christ it wasn’t worse, is what we say. It could have been, always, endlessly so, we know this is what it means to be lucky. In the tightest holes, there’s always a bit of luck somewhere, if you’re the lucky sort. It’s a kind of ability. We pull ourselves together, over a cup of tea. In the middle of a ketamine hell a cup of tea resets our spinning compass. Why do we put ourselves through these things? Well, we don’t, we can’t avoid them, some little karma plate by the conveyor belt, having no other word for it we call it entertainment, ‘having fun’, a great exploration to garner insights and ideas, but we’re just being bashed about in transit. Certainly those ideas are worth having too.

A nice juncture. The noise of night-time plodcopter gone away, flashbacks to hostile patrols in the sounds. Seems strange I should be made use of at last, I’d have thought they’d have wanted a younger man for this role, but it’s not about physical strength here, it’s mental strength. I thought I was on my way out, seems I still have a lot to do. No more those moany afternoons wishing I was just . . . nah, they’ve persuaded me, you’ve got a lot to accomplish now you’re gonna have to get down to it. But yeah, let it be the old way, just doing fuck all until something strikes ya. We’ll funnel in the good, just go through with the business of sorting it out, dog work but someone’s gotta do it may as well be you you’re familiar with the material, anyhow, it’s always you intit, whoever it is, just go with the hands and eyes closest to the scene, even if they are four bazillion lightyears away from the mind that thunks it. Lack of specifics is harder then you think, carry on for days like that, then you get some proper coordinates you spaff em up the wall. See how the long soldier does it, all them legs of a centipede dunt look like he’s having much of a problem walking, think of the engineering in that to get that to work. You get my drift. We’ll have you out of there in no time son, job done. Over and out.

Nothing speaks more eloquently of our fall than one’s own nature. Our imperious desires, illusions we shall never encounter again once we have let them dominate us to some measure of fulfilment, transitory, slaves of them they come bearing our name. A sudden gust of wind more pleasing.

In my work a truth is proven. In nirvana is the notion of salvation lost? Lucidity gnaws. Choosing God is devastating, a malaise, a tension with which one devours oneself, the vacuity of what we set store by, a cult of dreams, anomalous salvation the best buy on the spiritual plane. The obstacles to clairvoyance are next day’s doubts. So many dimensions of bitterness and stagnation. In its grip we are cheated of our purpose, we no longer know who we imagined ourselves to be. Cluttered with unlucky beliefs, we believe in the mechanism of birth and death, the eternal cycle of illusion and torment. At pains to find a foundation carried to an extreme without perception of anything to amount to, to at last see, to be done with what we have consented to be laid bare, some chance to throw the first stone, addicted to our own unreality. On and on relentlessly as if the void had tricked us with a thousand lives in the blink of an eyelid. What should one attempt to do when the problem remains, the illness of no hope. But then the primeval light returns and all our conclusions disappear into the creases in the paper. What is the definitive death? Is there one? I only thought that would be it, that has proved not to be, not that anyone here is in a position to argue. The entrance to Hell is just one of my groping thoughts, besotted with a history of experiment. Only miracles need wait.

To be solitary in the world finds many friends among the birds but few among people in the street. To be in the world is to enter an ignorance. What a minefield of things, some respite in not chasing any of them, but so much to put aside. At least, so it seems, at first, until one draws back from going there.

The banalities of memory. I sometimes think I will never daydream anything of interest again. Which is a good thing, I might add. But not, perhaps, for writing. Shouldn’t I dream of marvellous islands to withdraw to, artistic achievement yet to come, some plausible intimacy of the stars, the room looking out on the infinite erupting like a cemetery of the living. But it is only ever evening that approaches now, no dim desires, save for the supersensible or the impossible. Masquerades of ‘real life’. I prospered in abstractions without realising. I was death as much as I was life. A vacuous world.

Butterflies that alight on the mown lawn. My own ridiculousness finding somewhere to live. Perhaps it’s my destiny to have nothing more to do. The really extravagant dreams never got beyond being a dream, I mean I saw through them when they still had tiny roots and pulled up like a seedling barely made the effort in hard ground, actually even they needed a bit of a tug but that was more to do with the hard ground holding them tight than any drive to begin. What began were things where it didn’t matter whether they didn’t amount to much. Often those things continued and did amount to something, there’s the irony. A half-hearted prescience about most things, I could see what was going to happen but I couldn’t care less. Deliberate action was so hard to get into, and then when I did I wondered whether it wasn’t just spontaneous anyway, disguised as me pushing myself, a gust of air shoving a breeze. Memory of my old loves seemed like a dream, unless a friendship remained, and even then a pot one often forgets to water.

Walking by a sealed bag of pumpkin seeds in the park, I thought about opening it for the birds but didn’t want to touch it. Later, I thought I should have opened it for the birds. Tomorrow, if it’s still there. The nostalgia for garden centres and hardware shops. This disguises long periods between sentences without a thought in the head. The barber the tobacconist, don’t miss those. A Muslim woman all in black looking at her mobile phone in the street, it looks about the size of her eye rectangle I wonder whether it would fit.

The people I pass daily on the street mean nothing to me. The crows, on the other hand. The cats. Why are people only silent on their own . . . not even then on second thoughts, shouting into phones. What is the necessity for constant chatter when two or more get together? I have no curiosity about their lives. An occasional wise-looking tramp. I have even less curiosity about my own life. Human society is so banal. Or is it just the mood of the evening? You’d think I’d lose interest in films, or novels. Few of them about the exciting life of a granite boulder or the considerations of a tree. I sit beneath a tree most days, they have never let me down. We share an observing aloofness. I sometimes wonder whether there is contact in that, besides my back against the bark. Do I feel like the tree is feeling. At night the moon and the stars. A vulgar science fiction disturbs its future, which I once welcomed but now I wonder isn’t the tranquillity of distance enough? Life is monotonous enough without transporting our sour evolution out there. But other species, extraterrestrial, have a quiet dignity fitting for it, not this lot. I suspect most will die off to reveal the few of them already here of greater stature, who perhaps haven’t yet realised they are not human.

I live a distant life in the sublime light. I am of The Equilibrium. And revolution is my way.

There is a relief in being so far away from human life as to not miss it, though it walks to and fro before your eyes. It is not what it was without the interest, the desire, the wishes. There is not even an annoyance it is still there, because it isn’t still there, it’s nothing like I once took it for. One can walk through it yet one has completely forgotten about it, the stamped impressions leave no dent, no yearning for this thing called human life. A different adventure has taken hold. One that is not inflicted like someone’s high opinion of themself. The stagnant tide of the hierarchy of human privilege is out. Just small tasks occupy my time before evening falls, planting out tomatoes, sowing seeds, reading, listening to the birds, the breeze in the trees, the water trickling in the stream. Following that, I come inside to become some sort of beast, with no-one to see. It’s true I was sent here to prepare a way, but have I not prepared it, until the next stage?

Today a crow on the grass hop-walking to get away from some humans seemed to be coming towards me, as if he recognised me as not human, came very close. That is a change I would welcome. A smile that outshines any moment of enlightenment, the sphinx of the nobody in the lightning flash of a city, deserted but for the cold lenses of tall cameras robbing any possibility of intimacy. Total surveillance banging its tambourine.

Being alone is all I’ve ever been, so I tell myself I prefer it. I remember some nice beings together, but also some terrible ones. I gave up on what didn’t want to seem to be and just took what came. It seems I was waiting an awfully long time, then I wasn’t waiting any longer, but nothing had arrived. Perhaps I tired of it all, perhaps I still tire of it all. But then it’s easier to throw it all away. Nothing is at stake any more. You reflected on the passing hours but let it all go. Small spoonfuls of boredom on grey days. An aftertaste of something else. Once you had got the writing done you could freely give up. There didn’t need to be much every day to build up. Moments without merit scraped and scraped. Some kind of art in it. You began to suspect it was a kind of balance. A crystalline equilibrium. The corrosive potential of what life could be. The ball back in motion like in the old days when it seemed something was happening, though nothing was, even then.

A few seconds of memory, from when things seemed to matter, though they didn’t, even then. It’s a wonder I got out of it, forever enlisting one’s collusion that phenomenon, dressing us up like dolls to go out and play its games. How it fleeces us with its aching wants. It feels worthwhile to write a few words, even if it is not. There is an indifference in the moment that later may be read differently. Something rotten and done violence to, that smells sweet later on. Who knows how this lack gets filled, certainly while one is not watching. The torpor seems like some premeditated skill. The forgotten hermit shines, not just in a vague way but with something specific, something planned.

Only a few can endure what I am talking about. A danger of repressing real power. The fall rises in the individual into experiences and obsessions, I may as well confess there is a terrifying original source preserved in consciousness but it is universally inaccessible. So many vain pretenders to it. There is a remarkable freshness and depth bound up inside yourself, it would be a pity to save it until the throes of death. The Equilibrium awaits overwhelming circumstances to reveal itself, or deliberate attempts to secure this salvation. Outwardly, it appears very dangerous to travel to The Equilibrium, ruinous to make the attempt. A precipitous fall guards its steep black glassy sides. It becomes more intense the closer you get, yet some profound mystery beckons. The entire past can slip away with one awkward step, dashed down the precipice with the force of a waterfall. Many become disoriented and lose sight of the critical experience, the tumultuous welling up from within. It is like entering an irradiated zone, uncertain dangers lurk. There is an essential rhythm, once you become the prisoner of the personality. The inner correspondent of scattered infinity can only feed you pieces from this well of fluid irrational material. You never suspected what phase was now coming with your inner drunkenness like a butterfly’s flight. Which psychoses to ignore, the infinite complexity of these paroxysms, some kind of purification by allowing a wound, a state beyond forms yet with elements that contain the essence of your being. A kind of rhythm indeed, a mode of approach. There is no authentic objectification, only through madness, lying hidden in yourself the barriers and limits disappear, at the periphery of things is the most fertile creative suffering, you are transported into a region of madness tossing you about in a schism. Shouldering these means to achieve a sudden fluidity melts and you begin to participate in one fell swoop a song on the wing, a song of convergence. It would be better to retreat to a faraway place, alone and abandoned, the noise and complications die down when you are unseen by anyone. In solitude tears burn the world. I do not have an inability to imagine my final moments alone. I do not ask for consolation because my belief is strong it will be played out as I have seen it. What consolation is needed, it is simply a glory not yet. My hopes and dreams have shrivelled in the flame, the melodrama has taken its leave. That I should despise anything when I have lost everything. I have slung away poses to impress, I have surrendered all gains as unimportant. What destiny I have left is a maddening sensation drawing close to the limits. Death in solitude is lighting a lamp.

There are experiences with which one madly infuses oneself. What is the meaning of the light? At the limits is a savage whirlwind many have foundered in before. We cannot confront absurdity without at least making it matter a little while, this ability to free yourself from too much intensity is a temporary salvation, but can you free yourself from the explosion bursting asunder. Airburst now, say. Mushroom cloud goes up. Free yourself. Didn’t you want to be a master of that? Illusion teaches that you cannot survive the dissolution of the universe, but you know that to be untrue, don’t you? Knowing that, you arise. Once you have night, you have day. That was day that just passed, this is night. Thrown straight into nothingness is the everyday gesture of living in the void, all exuberance and depression works like a charm. If you go on living, who’s to say what you might make out of this. There’s still time left for the interior vortex of my life to crack open from the infinite strain. Just sorting out little disequilibriums. It is like an exam from the claws of death, not so tainted this ride, this go on the long train. At the edge of it now you feel you’ve been given the tools to resurrect the life within you and offer it to the world. Blowing up balloons of seething forces, yes, you didn’t realise you had them, so much you have made no use of, perhaps you were awaiting your moment. It’s all there, on the inner plane. There are no arguments. Can anyone capable of understanding and who has lost everything venture forth and make a new life in the void? Of course not. But this one dares precisely that. Just to see, nothing left to live for, let’s see how far one can go to live in this void. And that’s the sort of man The Equilibrium were looking for. This mad motivation for living, coming late on. You’re past seductions? Only the absurd is good enough for you? Join the cult of the beautiful, let’s see how this chaos thing works after all. Rising on their bones that’s for sure. To see the absurd, and yet still live it, is astonishing. One does not hide a great madness, in that there is the fun of the illusion of life. A passion for the absurd becomes stone or wood, one can feel it as a transfiguration. One who has something left to do in life is loved like a storm.

What a sacrifice for humanity, the public heights of despair can still throw a demonic shade. Whether to have love or serenity as the yardstick. An existence of absolute uselessness, how is it different from a piece of wood? You want a great madness to laugh out of this house.

Why would mortals build anything? Past and present suffering fragmentary shards.

I wouldn’t subject existence to this. Unstoppable streams of tears, solitary walks, voluptuous awe, a firepit of despair, it is hard to hide one’s wounds when drawing out and isolating the venom. We reveal the entire drama in the manes of our faces.

Breathing typewriter fumes.

Penetrating further into uncharted territory . . . what should I invoke at the beginning to save me, to whom should I lower my gaze respectfully? Flying tendrils sail towards a predetermined point in a strange strong wind. Eternal nostrils sniff it out, some undulating irritant carried on the advance wind of the approaching storm. A kind of perfume of angels secreted on their tail feathers. This sentinel of sorrow repels any who think they tread in safety, something looms from the pages, fatal to imbibe too much of, it sends them away, those who would too casually enter here, since the demonic is not finished, it has other work to spy out with its eyes, its august countenance is prideful but not uncompassionate to those who approach the fine dark air through the silence, woefully underequipped to deal with what’s over this horizon, even the guard of the outer reaches advises to turn back, any reasoning person would go no further. Yet it acts as an uneasy welcome for others confident of their ability to traverse insanity unscathed, since there is the intuition that marvels inhabit this land.

The proof of this you will find if you ignore your concerns, the hair standing up in partial petrification which will snap off in the slightest breeze. How to sweeten the atmosphere? Can it be, when what I have to show is so unknown and only shows its dangerous face to those who do not venture far enough? There is glory over that event horizon, but few find it. I call it demonic because it is not understood, but I could equally well call it angelic, but any who think that would make it no longer terrifying would be mistaken. So I start as I mean to go on, with the usual warnings to the insufficiently motivated to penetrate the secret realm. This is not cruel, it may even possess genius, we will not know until all the utterance is made, and it is one utterance, always only one, become aware of that as the earliest thing you can do to understand it, though there is nothing that will make it easy or smooth the way. All my life I have acknowledged the truth and dare to repeat it even trembling, when the will has no motivation and is more like a curse. It is impossible that evil should gain the upper hand over me. I may have deliberately butchered my stay in this world but the noble laughter is never far away. I still even possess what I have severed from me, little more than a smile now. No passing joys these but a tranquillity. I have seen the hideous in Hell scratching their skulls to know what they have done to deserve this. The insolence of youth, the infirmity of old age, the beauty so indulged in that peels off like scales after a short while that seems it will never end within the light of its false grace. It is hard not to laugh at the wrath people bring on themselves by favouring one thing over another. Such a monster might die eventually but favouring nothing rarely seems the solution. Desire truly is a spirit from Hell, its glacial spread truly is impressive, it thrives in silence of its origins, and few believe what they are told about it even though they can see with their own eyes its pretence. It destroys our lives, but to be without it seems worse, we drink its blood and it drinks ours. We pass our tongue over it as if it were the equal of breathing, we extract from it all of our hopes that will come to nothing. In the wake of its final message we even savour the tears as bitter consolation, not without reason as true grace may have a chance then to look through blurry eyes, but we never learn, only age deprives us enough for that. Then, though, we mourn the loss of all we have failed to be, for which it is too late now, and look on envious of the young. Never connecting one with the other. Or perhaps some give up early and never even desire to walk into the tempest and settle the score for ever. We would rather live ‘a quiet life’ than tear apart the treachery and have a good look at what it is constructed of, and by a quiet life we do not truly mean that, rather we mean some kind of dullness still aching with suppressed desire, very little of serenity to call our own.

Other planets, the vast universe, cold, unforgiving, I could speak of knowing it, of having been on other planets than Earth, but since I don’t believe in Earth why should I believe in those other planets? When I say I don’t believe in Earth I mean I limit my exposure to the construct. It is but a cascade of fleeting impressions.

I am of The Equilibrium. Of this I can say little. I am not of Earth nor of extraterrestrial realms. Only extraterrestrial because not terrestrial. That’s another thing I was told. ‘You are of The Equilibrium, you are not of the extraterrestrials.’ I thought I was born human, but it was just a convenience of sleep, to explore what it meant to be human for those, if I may speak of the plural, beyond it. The Equilibrium is uninhabited, save when I return there and understand in the different light. I had hoped to convey some of this understanding, this sublimity, but my notebooks press their mouth forever upon the inexpressible, quite as if it were not allowed to bring this knowledge into the cascades. All I could do was sneak out fleeting glimpses that rent my wild eyes.

Was it a delirium? I only saw myself falling, before. Then, ‘I will be your light.’ The spinning sound of the tremendous dynamic tension to arrange this space, otherworldly. The spinning sound and the sublime light being the indications I was in The Equilibrium. I could tell little of the ruin beyond. Here lies my life? But it was of no interest to me, I could barely conceive of it. I had come away. I was offered a hand and told I was always from here. I knew not cities, and barely even mountains, though this seemed to be one of a sort, it rose up to a steep pinnacle in the blackness, shining glossy black, glasslike, a glassy obsidian pinnacle, black in the blackness yet discernible. Did it fall into a lake at its base, reflected? On the semblance of Earth the shadow of the tree on the house opposite. The sun on the roof gradually confines the frost to the shade.

I hardly know what to say . . . everything becomes vague. Cities that long ago stood seeming to still stand. Only the wind that blew through the ruins told me the truth, and the tawny owl at night his fine call. Why did I believe this room was still here. It looked similar to a memory but memory was nothing that could be trusted. Deposited into a simulacrum. The first trick of hyperspace is to reproduce the room.

It is hard to know which direction to fall to one’s knees to have some superior force take pity on you, save the west it occurs to me as an afterthought quick to correct me. Reddening as the sun sets. Has the cat got your tongue? Thoughts are galloping away like a thousand pieces exploding, howling like dogs. I can’t make sense of them any more, like a spider waiting in a web for something to happen. Some days little to do but listen to the crows, who are rather magnificent. I cannot tell which way to go a thousand times a day, so I go no way. I just disappear. Like someone who walks behind a tree but doesn’t emerge the other side. I am mad with whatever it is I am trying to get to the bottom of. My brain is a cemetery prowled by animals with sharp teeth and beaks forever pecking. When you are in bed and all you can hear are toads.

Without emotion the grave comes to fill up my life with its dirt. I have often wished to be a stone and do not believe I am on the point of going up the chimney. No eyes may dwell upon you in old age, when you have separated yourself from the mass, even a swig of sunlight can seem an intrusion. One tells oneself one is happy, but something is missing in the bones, one cannot live like those others. The warhorse has reared up in you and one lives like a condemned man in his cell awaiting the dawn of his execution. This is called knowing one’s destiny. All the same, one has regrets about it that one shrugs off. The morose soul cranes its neck for a different daybreak, but you are already enthroned nobly so upon the horizon itself and one sees nothing entering this cave, save long files of birds going to roost another day passed like quicksilver on a tilt.

Tempestuous winds during nights of storms guard one from dwelling too deeply on the painful turns of the winding road, just troubled imaginings a coat for death to hug a skeleton, the ugliness of the Creator grinning to allow us to reject these ideas. The moment when life was about to turn to joy is long past, just worthless humans trooping past spreading the false doctrine of fake joy, may as well stay in the beloved cave of despair. Suffering alone, as ever, this churning sea. How many times does one need to say, I do not believe in it, not one bit! There is a kind of joy in that rejection so ably made time and time again, as if one has a special muscle for it in the brain. As calm as my forebear as he mounted the scaffold, who expected to find such a character in one’s own DNA. I sometimes think, perhaps that is me, reincarnated here in this century where people no longer live but just exist. All the easier to reject, stone dead straight out of the womb. I naturally tightened my braces at some point, divine grace saving me from the swirling flies of it.

This ancient ocean laughs today and weeps tomorrow, it has always been the way. An ill-tempered battering ram of feeling, I should be more interested in collapsing it into the loam of Earth, the concealed one not even breathing under his breath.

This deeply moving soul does little to deserve our admiration but stay the same, unchanging to everything. It is not even as if he performs this feat, as if it is something that could be learnt, it is simply his nature, seemingly modest in as much as he makes no effort to have it known, seemingly quite satisfied to remain hidden under our noses. I do not know what makes him tick, save that it is I so of course I know as much as knowing is anything. Beneath the ancient ocean, he is not even waiting. I say ‘he’ out of convenience as I am apparently ‘he’, but it has no gender, is not human like ‘us’ (another infelicity, since he does not split into plural as ‘we’ apparently do). He is the dog barking, the crow cawing, he is every stupidity and every intelligence. He has no species of his own, he lends all of them. Once you’ve seen him, there is nowhere to go. There is no ‘place’ in any case. Save The Equilibrium, and that is only a place as a way of trying to comprehend it. One is embarrassed to use the word ‘I’, since he never uses it, but then he never attempts to communicate save through what ‘I’ may say. He will never mutate, he will never be ruined by planetary disaster. Perhaps he has indeed communicated this to me, but I don’t know how, I never know how, unless it is through the night-time gale, the dappled shadows beneath trees.

To stand aloof from all existence one needs his lair. Yet one has it, it’s right here in the never-changingness. There is nothing to still, nowhere to linger waiting, though on a shore serves. Nowhere to hurry to in the evening. Always aware of it, even when thinking one is not, that’s the strangeness of it, and yet not strange at all, not anything at all. One wants to say it is perfect, but compared to what, there is no imperfection.

All our roots are in this. The spectacle of identity, just the waves. And what a spectacle it is, abandoned vastness, how many decades telescope down into a single realisation. The depth of the human world is entirely superfluous, how many die not noticing. But what can one say about it. Hideous pride keeps the miracle at bay, the strut of humankind, scientifically investigating but forever keeping away from the edge of the abyss, as if some invisible conceit perpetually makes it so. It would be laughable, were it not so tragic. It is laughable though, in a good way, there is a silent smile behind all of this that eventually can only be your own, most ancient of all. How he cloaked all this is a wonder.

You cannot be enslaved by your wandering in these solemn regions, you sing its eulogy, that is all. You have already tossed the heaviest of burdens, though it may not seem like it as you continue on with your deliberations and plunge into the very depths beneath the sublime surface of your eternal strength. These boiling cauldrons concern you least of all, venerated only by the unholy. The foam on these beaches of living waves, the perpetual motion of the world graceful yet by turns oppressive, when it is hard to contemplate recovery amid the shrieks of the wounded. Oh there is a glory in the infinitely vast when the drama is over, the long pitiful night has stung itself to death and the genius of mastery has reestablished itself. Its name is: solitude. It respects you. Was it a machine that floated so majestically over? Your mysterious power envelops utterly and subsides into invisibility. The melancholy march is the entrance of your epoch. The bones of your wings are titanium. Its mouth is a philosopher, its thoughts a poet, its love a woman’s.

The secret destiny is nothing but illusion, borrowed clouds when Hell is so close, a tortuous invocation, brutalised remorse. Frenetic and wild, the rolling waves, the pangs of courage form, though unable to discover the perpetual Earth trembling on the shore. The last holy signal contained all my aspirations, standing on a mountain surveying it all. My annihilation will be complete in space. My hyaena’s cackle curses the evil done to me contemplating the crime of existence, its sad childhood lifted by the wind and carried off to inform other moments. Of course one can recognise the cold apparitions, the shapeless treachery, the disappearing contradictions, the signs that precede the hurricane. One is undeceived, yet willing to let much slide by as if it never mattered, the harms were never that great. One is always ‘coming round’, persuaded to the angelic side, the shock since the beginning annulled. One cannot remember the crime, if there ever was a crime, it feels like so much habit gone up as wallpaper. One has ‘come through’, but there was nothing to come through, the burning faces say, habituated to Hell and its curses become blessings. One is naturally bamboozled, not knowing where one stands, when the ground shakes with a common enemy, this intrusion of the divine into the eyes of the damned. Should they resent it, having become inured to cruelty? The motion of the wings is strange and hypnotic, it seems to suppress the urge to distrust it and reminds of a love of life not felt in this arid desert for a long long time. How can they come here, who leads this charge? There is remembrance even of once being human. One cannot even tell, in these circumstances, whether this is a baleful event or an auspicious one. There is difficulty recalling despair, even though it seems but a sliver away. A stranger is watching, and as one notices him there is the thought that he has always been watching, yet was never watched himself. This stranger seems familiar. Did one not see him too in a feverish sickness, even now he is stepping back on being noticed.

As a child, did I know him? He is not a ghost, if anything I am the ghost. He knows the roar of battle and the whispers of love. He is only too familiar with the remorse for some crime, but he never moves in his essential being, as if he has everything to learn from but there is nothing he hasn’t seen before. He stays out of our inner thoughts but may sometimes speak all the same on rare occasions when one is inconsolable. His influence bleeds through, not out of persistence in trying, rather not trying catches up with his silent stature. He has a mysterious past in as much as he has no past but is always there. The unfulfilled promises that have wounded us lose their bitterness in his presence. What do they matter, what are they anyway? It takes one to know one and it is as if he takes us to his land to be him, was ever him, this other one is the imposter.

A look: of discouragement, perhaps running out of time, as if he had to control himself, drive away whatever it was and leave nothing to cling to any more, as if seeing from afar, staying in the void with difficulty, the sea tossing and scattering him, the sky upside down. Silence and calm for long periods already destroyed, the surface invaded, swirling. He remained motionless, thoughts in the fog preventing him fixing on finding help, all hell broke loose, hard to free yourself from these dark clouds. What planet was this sea. A struggle to get the better of the confusion. Slip back into the void to hold off any conclusions, this was a hope that remained, restoring the core of his being. There is something intolerable in what cannot be seen. One may as well slip away than make do with this tepid taste, before being deprived completely. A sort of reverie in the intoxication rehearsing thoughts of discomfort.

The fatigue was for a long time, watching, waiting, ears burning, something painful staying here too long his face clouded over nothing about this suits him like an imaginary fever. There was something contemptible about life, this conscious manifestation. As night was the greatest obstacle, pushing him against the ground, he was fiercely determined to let himself dangle like death in insanity, willed like a wall to wait, his eyes shut. He had inherited the horizon from his cramped disturbance colliding brutally with all facts as if barred by failure, strong iron bars of failure, asleep in passivity with no sudden lurches out of uncertainty. He couldn’t even decide to stand up, indecision dominated him, and all his doing, as if sick with the refusal to advance. He was tired of these wounded thoughts that refused to reveal new circumstances. But he wouldn’t let the terror conquer him. He was used to traipsing through shadows of destruction in the overwhelming gloom. Distressed impressions were like beings deserving of compassion. It was strange, these eyes that saw nothing disturbing in the disturbing, least of all his own weakness.

The details of events seemed so complete, yet he doubted them, these waves, wave upon wave, called attention to nothing that seemed real. What would an absence of vision see? The void in his eye wiped it away with a blink. What is being apprehended but the rapidly changing? Why should he pay it any mind? The death of the image slips by without affirmation or denial. Solitude invades the abyss, solitude he knows. His character discerns this violent rain, he is merely keeping watch, he has left this collapsing city, thousands of stones rolling in blood, the rubble tearing at his eyelids, this corpse has already been left behind. The thought, having entered, devoured him. He pressed on with the void, what was it but a demonstration on too shaky a foundation. Silence was a conversation with it, very loud and lessening regret. Something very simple could no longer dream this, this wanted to confront, though it was not without unimportance to tempt a new cohesion. One can only listen to the slouch of the moment.

When he seemed to be chosen for a task he was less dissatisfied. But wasn’t it always too late? The times had become openly hostile to him, where could he find his fortunate moves, everything is hounded by foolish actions, something underhanded in the slightest hope. It was hard not to look on the game as lost, staring at the stiffening corpse of enthusiasm, a stranger more and more to encouragement, just this empty bathing in the light, a sublime light, but where was he wandering, is it enough to be a guiding light, this refusal to live? This toleration of ignorance must surely come to an end without rekindling doom.

This rebellion must precipitate matters more than a childish wish, there must be some sign in the mood of the night. It is too deliberate, this silence. The room is fading away. Loneliness howls in obedience to the impressions. Torments plunge deeply into comforts, a brilliant space, beautiful even, determined, domineering, sinking deeper and deeper without resolution, going further than the impulse alone could take him, daring more.

Listening to this inner voice was dangerous.

As he listened, he assured himself he had really heard his name. Another face in the wall. A glance played over his feelings with closed eyes, the procession of circumstances would continue. It was hard to find any satisfaction in any of them, apart perhaps from reading a book with his back to a tree. Drinking a cup of tea staring into space. The rest were just too full of lies. Nothing seemed good enough, but simple peace not trying to get anywhere. He even tolerated angels, who always wanted too much solving to approach them defencelessly. He had withdrawn to the deepest he could go, which was never deep enough. His presence in the night anguished him less, seeming less divided though it was totally empty. The living body was painful to be associated with and the world had little to offer him but trees, the sky, the rain, the sound of the rain, the wind in the leaves, the gently floating clouds. The rest was just a disgrace, he abandoned it all, he would not have that on his shoulders, a lacklustre carnage.

Less of a will to penetrate any mystery it represented these days. No will to seize its obstinate perceptions and grind them to a finer understanding. If he had to stay here his cut-down phenomena would do him. He was not interested in establishing any relationships outside of his solitude. He was tired of his eyes, but not ready for blackness, which would make it difficult to see where he had put the poison. He was not absolutely certain he would not die by his own hand, but he couldn’t see it being a naive impulse. Probably natural death would come before he had made up his mind. The word ‘I’ had become frankly laughable, who did it think it was kidding barricading itself in there? Probably something light and amiable involving others would help, but he was aghast at the idea of seeking it, or even it coming unannounced. He had fled so much, there was no chance he would go back now. All day and all night he made of it a torment, and didn’t know why. Something he was working through perhaps. An obstacle that needed to be an obstacle to see it, to make it out clearly, define its contours and put an end to its vague obscurity, the easier to discard it altogether. He used to be quite approving of future lives in space pursuing something great he had seen, but now it seemed intolerable to continue another day let alone life after life. Yet he didn’t believe in lives either. Never before had absolute oblivion been so attractive, but certainly he was weary of always biting off too much to chew. The dead were better off, so long as they remained dead. He had outstayed his welcome on Earth, but the ones who had abandoned him here were making him wait. He always had the crows to listen to, finding nothing to hold against them, unlike angels.

This thing that was moving was a cape over the desire drawing him along in a seeming intimacy, reading the entrails of it, as if there was something to discern. The end of the night came bringing light on his agony, forced to see. But the struggle in it had gone out of it and ultimately shown itself a craven splendour, like the serpent a liar. There was a venom about this, twisting his face, tearing at him, as if dementia would be a refreshing place and more beautiful to consider than when first bitten, as if a triumph over it in his piercing eyes. He was remembering various stages of his life, he hardly ever did so why now, what was he throwing himself into this time, digging in the ground as if his own grave, like they say one’s life passes before one’s eyes at the moment of death. He was tired of enduring so much, shutting out each new evil, writhing to shine anew and reenter some incomprehensible sluggish time grinding in his mouth to express its particles the forceful dust of a madman he has resembled before and so at least knew like a dark angel covered over in pristine moments, each moment of which a nausea but a known nausea devouring him so at least there would be nothing left. So many struggles to let go of what did not even exist, which haunted him like someone else’s nightmare an opaque fatigue to the depth of his being that left no residual impressions once it was gone and he was fully awake. Certainly the world has nothing left for him, but he didn’t find it a satisfying conclusion, there was a silent quibble with it, but he was distracted by a magpie inspecting the roof gutter walking with its strange cartoon legs he was also amused by in crows. Should he fill his lungs with this gaseous substance they breathe down here. It was decided for him, as everything was. Perhaps he was a werewolf or holding onto some equivalent incomprehensible secret. He seemed to have claws at least, or had he forgotten to cut his nails for countless days away in some unedifying murk. If it wasn’t for the prospect of being surreptitiously observed from a window out in the garden he might have tested getting down on all fours breathing no other word of human life.

All he knew was that he was an alien species to these down here, though camouflage permitted blending in should there be any necessity to move among them. Perhaps he was a shapeshifter, hadn’t he noticed already changing shape. So much forgotten, lost to other states, his raucous cry could almost be a corvid. Crows seemed his sacred animal, but he didn’t know who that made him. Why does he get up in the morning, when always some horror creeps up on him as the day advances. The leaves were already falling though the trees had only just got them. Had he lost his rudder? Did he need a rudder? It was just a matter of staying still and allowing the world to move around him. The uneasiness of the supernatural is forever directly turning towards him. Is this the body of a man he sits and looks out of? Enormous to his former flies. Any look longer than a glance was too long, he could get fixed in form, start saying that is his shadow following him, his hair he was running his hand through, his body occupying these dimensions keeping these dimensions.

Not perceiving myself in the tomb established as a corpse, uninhabitable stretched out, the horror of more time to take a last look after the grave is closed up and the huge stone erected. I should be calm to the lack of escape, it won’t last for ever. I am not in that body, I was never in that body. I wonder why I’m hanging around but then I’ve wondered that all my life. Still something insurmountable, the absence of it will be my decrease, or his decrease, I never really disappear do I? I become a cold presence, the drama of Earth subsiding as if it is going to sleep. I’ve fallen in ditches before, I’ve been buried before. Sepulchred. Feebly passed along by dozens of hands whose jobs it is to deal with the dead, more attention than anyone gave in life, in annihilation no resistance offered. Permitting himself to be moved on from the thought of his death, and the coldness of ambiguity in subterranean fellowship with all that was seeping away, dreams of the visible and other senses, some promise from long ago leant in upon him, the image of the other shore. He was to be relieved of negotiating his absent spirit through the bardo maze, for he had many years back realised his true identity, though it doubtless became covered over again in life in death the matter was much clearer.

He walked at an even pace though indifferent to movement, resurrected from death. The shadows of twilight ascending to the heavens to draw down the night, this was grass beneath his bare feet, and the stars up there, by their configurations the same Earth. An owl hooted as if in celebration of a deranged madman. The sea, the forests, they too would be here, yet it was not the same place, a fresh cascade emptied of everything but this sparkling bewonderment, perhaps he never died, could not die, or was eternally dying and so eternally living, not knowing whether he exhaled breath or not, whether breath was needed, whether his last breath had been spent under a perfectly normal sun, or was it in a wood, where did this corpse come from, was there ever a corpse? For a moment he could not locate a body, living or dead, where one would be expected seemed further and further back as if he had outwalked it, yet he could see it there but just didn’t know whether it was his, what that even meant. He appeared to have returned to a simulacrum world, yet who was he, who did he used to be, who was he going to be? Only one phrase occupied his thoughts: ‘I am of The Equilibrium.’ And that was sufficient. The trees bent to allow him passage, though perhaps it was only the strong wind. He did not need an explanation for why he was here, he was everywhere, it looked like this was a familiarity routine. Even had it been a dense blackness without feature it too would have been familiar. A mist was condensing just as he viewed the most vast horizon, which quickly was lost to the mist. ‘The Equilibrium protects me here, The Equilibrium protects me everywhere.’ He had been in the cascades, was this still the cascades? What of this Earth he vaguely recalled? The glare of morning was beginning to filter through the mist, dense now. He had no business he could recall. If this was the same Earth he did not recall it. Was he even walking, did he have legs, was this not formless floating? Could he be seen, was he not in every rock, in every tree, disappeared to the surroundings, an empty presence prescient of everything, the vertiginous tumbling stilled now.

Had there been a blast in some dimension? Was that it? Yet this was no aftermath in the usual sense of the word, unless the mist disguised it and allowed it to take another shape unseen its transmogrification in process. That vast horizon, was it a smashed landscape? No smell in the air, but earthy loam after rain a few particles of woodsmoke, the Tunguska of his worst expectations dispelled, the Hiroshima of fearful images muted. If there had been a blast it had not been here, the cascade now migrated by a power that was his, though he hardly knew how he came to possess it. Were there devices on his right forearm? A phosphorescent shimmer caught his glance a moment, as if a screen lifted up, he felt with his left hand but felt nothing. He had hardly noticed the body let alone the technology. Something there, he was convinced, that he had forgotten how to access. Never mind, if it was important it would come back to him. He mulled over the words, ‘I am of The Equilibrium’, it struck a chord, as if it had been drummed into him in training. ‘I have trained for this,’ he thought, ‘I have been trained for this.’

Then another thought, ‘The Equilibrium will be looking for me, before the hostiles find me.’ Fractured memories like dead souls of another time lacerated through him, as if then and there, not memories, present actualities in innumerable dimensions in a kaleidoscope of unforgetting, brief, lenses into intensity, and then just memories again, fading away, as if finished informing him in an information download. The trees swayed their branches in the wind, he knew something now but couldn’t encapsulate it as a distinct message, rather more confident something had sunk in unnoticed, without need of constant attention or even mulling over. As if a mission received and instantly encrypted into amnesia. He noticed the fingers of his left hand playing above his right forearm as if accessing a screen, but he could see no screen, then in an askew glance he caught the light of it, strange characters sliding up that some part of him understood. He knew he knew what he was doing, but he didn’t know what he was doing.

The void devouring space, brooding on it, without cease; commanding freedom, a secret whirlwind. The debris close up. The declining sun resemblance to something he had seen before.

The declining sun ready to appear on the other side of the world, the green leaves mirrors of its last dying rays illuminating their undersides in a rich orange flutter, the enormous weight of whatever survived of his thinking borrowing both pairs of eyes, those that look down and those that look up, a cold warmth feeling for his breath at the turn of the seasons, the false heart let go. This was an alien sunlight turning black, an alien twilight, alien bats shuddering through the air in jerky motions. He had sworn himself to something or other, he remembered that much, and this was but where his mission took him, so no need for a greater intimacy with his memories to know where and why, let alone who, it would reveal itself as needed he felt sure of that. Besides, alien compared to what, he couldn’t remember. Was he on better terms with some old sun anyway? The least alien about it was this sense of inexplicable familiarity, as if who he was here would any moment spurt out its program and he would forget any other world and belong solely to this one, again, always again, this hinterland between worlds a mere preamble to remind him he was from none of them, perhaps in the hope he might retain some little fragment of that realisation, no, not realisation, a certain knowledge never so far away for all it seemed like it. He knew he was of The Equilibrium and if nothing else he would remember that even if he forgot what it meant, and it would come to his aid if needed, his training drummed it into him time and time again, never forget that for the cascades will deprive you of everything else, you will believe you are this being in this world, for there you have a job to do, for us who are you. It only ever seemed to be me, yet it split itself into plural for comfort of a sort, for faith of a sort, for others, of a sort. Perhaps one or two of his kind on this world already, for all it always only seemed to be him. Though he would bring a few into the fold, no doubt, whether they were of The Equilibrium or not, they could be, couldn’t they? How was he? Was he not recruited back in that hostile slave system? But even there, when he awoke to his greater destiny, was he not already a sleeper for this great cause, implanted there as he is here, and countless other worlds. Sometimes it seemed little more than a story, as the cascade washed over him raining him into his embedded self. A form of hyperdimensional transport, but he was not of the universe, he was avowed though to rid it of the hostiles, to hold The Equilibrium of the universe in his own being, he would not see any more planetary systems enslaved by them, ‘The Black Smoke’ he sometimes called them. He could often hear their hostile signal in the air at night as if panning over everything, looking for him, an enslaving dome, a technology he sometimes knew and understood, primitive to him but highly advanced to this world, these worlds. Was this Earth after all, perhaps thirty years in advance of his anchor. The outer reaches, could be. It was the narrative, always the narrative. He would doubtless lapse into confusion at some point. What was he doing wandering out here at night? He’d probably come round in some room throwing off the last vestiges of a drug, a hyperspatialising agent. And forget again. Was this the vast download from The Equilibrium playing before his eyes, informing him, but he won’t retain much of it, it’ll be instantly classified to the being in this cascade, lost to the amnesia seal, as much for that being’s sanity as anything else. One cannot encompass this vastness, that’s why they tell you to remember only one thing, ‘I am of . . .’. Though he inevitably retained fragments, regard it as a story, story ideas, fractured dreams. But he couldn’t, he knew it was real, though the details escaped him. The outer reaches, is it a blasted landscape? A wilderness charred and brittle? All the same he felt safe here, safe from the hostiles, they couldn’t pursue him here, he blended into the rocks, the remaining trees, the room he knew here though dilapidated and abandoned was off their radar, he would sit on a dishevelled bed attempting to take it all in, the torrential rain when it came seemed no different than prior to the catastrophe, if there was a catastrophe, it was forever withheld, what exactly had happened, just brief glimpses through the fog, and it didn’t need to be exactly as it looked, it could just be part of the landscape, not the whole, when his heart swelled in apprehension at what he saw, never much and never for long the fog quickly reformed as if to deliberately hide what he thought he saw, just enough to conjure up a sense of place, yes, the outer reaches, thirty years ahead, or something like that, like a capsule of existence, somewhere to be from which to lead the strike, the devastating strike, against the hostiles. Or just a place to be to get his thoughts together, to rest up. It was not his home, that he remembered vividly as a view through the window of a hut, a bright green sea a lilac sky, or some combination of colours not like Earth, yet even this wasn’t his home, just another familiarity elsewhere. Nothing but familiarities in the cascades, false familiarities but nonetheless welcome familiarities, better than continually perplexed. Who were these beings whose bodies he took over but placements of The Equilibrium, was every being such or just some? He couldn’t recall. But only a few were made use of. Who was he beyond these lives. He knew the signal ‘48azure’, an identity of sorts, not another familiarity program, no, this belonged to The Equilibrium, this was the entire record of his life beyond lives. When the downloads came, his orders, it was 48azure who received them. But perhaps it was little more than a callsign. He shouldn’t hold onto it too much as ‘who he was’, it would be a meaningless gesture, he already knew enough of who he was in being ‘of’. He had no greater adhesion to the need for identity, he had peeled away from it time and time again.

She looked him right in the eye and began to laugh. She said: ‘Really, the stuff you come out with sometimes.’ She obviously knew him, he hadn’t quite figured out yet who she was, nor who he was either, in this room. It seemed a pleasant existence, she had love in her eyes and he probably did too. It was kicking in now, this place. He hesitated to answer, as he had no recollection of what he must have said moments before, but she seemed to find it surprising. Over there on a low table a broken tile, lines of white powder. Ah yes, there it is, the explanatory circumstance. And he was back, slotted into place. Earth, thirty years before, the anchor point. He took her in his arm, the easier to say nothing, yet. The being was chasing slipping-away fragments of memory as I took up residence as a kind of invisible lodger in his body, he was aware of me only as some kind of revelation that he had had, later I would doubtless invite him to a closer intimacy as I closed down all my systems and receded behind the amnesia seal. Lucky boy, he was now of The Equilibrium, recruited and yet always placed here awaiting this day when I would appear, possibly the first of The Equilibrium on this planet. Was it Earth? Or like Earth? Or another Earth? For now, it wasn’t important to know, and what difference would it make anyway, it was somewhere in the cascades, what more did I need to know? It’s for him to know where he lives and, presumably, he does. I will pick it up from him as the days progress. I have never needed to be too entangled at the beginning of a new day on a new planet. I vaguely recall it was Earth to which I was headed, or was it Earth I was leaving? It could be another Earth. She looked at me, or him, ‘But what are you, really?’ I looked back at her: ‘What would you like me to be?’ ‘Just you,’ she said. ‘I’ll be that then,’ I said, or he did, the difference becoming less as I remembered a whole life before this moment, the familiarity routine kicking in now. I looked her in the eye and said: ‘I am of The Equilibrium.’ There, it is fixed in this time and place, I need recall no more of this other life as my life here fills me up. His life my life, no difference any more. The download is classified and removed from conscious awareness, only fragments remaining, dreamy ideas. ‘Let’s have some more,’ she said, rolling the curled banknote into a tight straw.

Forward, an abyss as if already crossed, arbitrary it seemed. One might question it all the same, expecting no answer. Some kind of threat. Hours and days no longer mattered. Possibility lurked in the shadows.

The silent paths without worship, the great danger of the spoken. The entrancing unexpected words as an answer in the depths, spoken with quietness, effortlessly before him. No way to hide his tattered language. He would explain it to himself, even if it meant he had to speak, since silent words had less impact and drifted too easily to the irrelevant and beguiling. Fallen into silence, a fine silence, he had become impenetrable, undeceived by appearances, the truth in the brilliance of events a strange perspective. How ridiculous this doomed wanderlust. What treachery in the world of time. It was a story with empty words. In its absence the inflexible direction of the cataclysm, the sane moment of catastrophe, what was going to happen.

Like a dream monster, the world came ever bolder despite putting it behind me and being as completely absent from it as I could conceive of. I took its lucid light as suchness, which did not have to dim, could not diminish, removing myself from anything that resembled an object within it, including myself, retained only as the convenience of a label ‘I’, without a history though of course one could be summoned up, though it was little more really than the past of a river, so a duckling in a Styrofoam cup once sailed down it, why even of the river I could remember a past though it was little more than water rushing by continuously. Rain was good, no excuse needed to stay in the house, though when it grew heavy, torrential, then there was the temptation to go out walking in it, sometimes done.

The mediated world of news and mass media and advertisements, the condescending spectacle, was a seen snare but nonetheless it could still ensnare, and a moment’s thought might place one in its clutches simply because every aspect of life was reduced to its game in thought that even just glanced at the world, its world. There were no hopes there to feed oneself upon, better the sound of the rain coming again through the open window. The world had made itself intolerable without any input from him, even the deceivers were deceived by their own deceptions. What discovery was left was not in the world. The infinity of space presented an altogether better prospect, anonymous and further afield, untouchable and yet . . . he could sometimes almost grasp it. In time he would do, when there were hardly any words left to come out of his mouth. When he glowed not just in the infrared, when he was radiant without precautions, when the infantile had been silenced. He was an accomplice to the rain, what deception does it know? Suddenly he noticed the bark peeling off the London plane trees in the rain, such engaged attention aloof to any compensation the mind could provide, the fresh chalk yellow exposed, what lack of deception, what a lost pathway right there.

As if the situation could have continued for ever, proffering its invitation to return to unbound life. The finality of a secret. The enduring truth in the chrysalis of its own enigma. The more he looked, the more it would not slip away, why so astray at other times?

Beneath in the endless digressions, moments came forth expressing a tract of the distant land. It was impossible to fix on a path to it, it was all but invisible and may even be this land already arrived. Yet it seemed safer to keep it far off in the distance, eternally unable to find it. Then one could gauge certain things about it several degrees removed. It was better to no longer discern with reason, that was altogether too frivolous and vain. Will this voyage last a lifetime, is that it? Yet closer every minute, its delicate appearance. It was not possible to frown at this effort, its silent meaning. But some strategy was needed to negotiate it, if only to perceive the exit from all that was, for was that not a labyrinth? One couldn’t count on it being obvious, since one was not entirely sure it was yet behind one, it could be a false dawn what appeared to be the exit up ahead; and behind, some mythic knowledge told him not to look back, never look back. Did it seem a labyrinth still? How to tell, yes, that was what he needed, some means of that. To perceive its sudden ending, because it would be sudden wouldn’t it? He was no longer sure of that. Unending change seemed no change, to him who was beyond change. Yet there were contrasts remaining, light and shadow, he ought to be able to concoct a rudimentary device to detect the end of a labyrinth. Probably when it no longer concerned him, when he awoke one morning, if these are mornings, with no exhaustion, an unveiled new day, clearly in a valley, eyes flowing with tears, youth, middle age, old age, distant ideas.

Abandoned spheres in the distance, trembling on the ground with their last quotient of energy. A dreich dream, a smirr dampening his clothes. Peaceful though, this solitude, no need to flee this place, the trickle of a beck somewhere nearby. There was a rhythm in him, like a confused narrative beginning to make sense. Yet soon the stars, as if day here lasted less than . . . what? He couldn’t recall the comparison he was about to make, as if suddenly shut off from it. Ah, it didn’t matter, he had doubtless passed this way before, elsewhere. Deserted shores scornful of his existence, yet strangely welcoming, abandoned by his kind long ago, when the cities collapsed. He was not only not from here he was not from anywhere, he was from everywhere, but certain places held a necropolis of his time in storage for his return, secret save to his presence, when it rose up from the sand. Had he come back here to consult the ancestors? Dream in a dead of life, like a shadow suddenly falling upon him, his eyes hit the ceiling of his skull and he dropped to his knees to receive the seizure of metamorphosis. The desolate shore welcomed him by name, the mummified moments of another time sprang to life sonorous in their nothingness. He knew he was an explorer with the passion of the sun and the ferocious abyss, but he was also an infiltrator of worlds reassembling from pure light.

This eye of the supreme being sees all but does nothing. What is there to do? You follow a path that goes hither and thither, full of meaningfulness, and yet indifference and the indifference is better, a lonely stream no-one understands. A free spirit in its undiscovery. The mirror sounds of silence.

The sphinx of thought, the outburst of the living, the explosively petrifying, the unchanging which cannot be represented, an absence and yet a witness to creation, a creation of the void, hurled out of nothingness.

The madness of this absence, the suppression of death, indefinite in the rumbling abyss, a smattering of sounds images of themselves, a ray of light more beautiful than anything since the fall of the angels.

The silence embraced furiously overwhelmingly to identify it burning down the night, a spectacle and yet nothing. Strangeness or naturalness, he could not tell. Speechless, no doubt, yet intimate with silence. An imaginary naturalness, just everything was the pure void in any case. The discretion of an enigma to preserve itself to not betray itself to sleepy minds, its right to silence its expression from which all tremors emanated. The intrigued crowd, the possibility of interest, the exposure of a glance.

To penetrate with a laugh could only rise in the world by night gaining alone dumb luck.

The enigma of temptation. When day had come the heart was shrivelled with the feeling of letting go of the end of the night. The intention of putting an end to solitude could never quite form, the isolation of a passive state never could quite burst into action, the boredom of vague feelings existed as a problem, the sadness of a sphinx, the difficulty of wandering about blind, there was resignation but no acceptance, betrayed for waking up, how much longer to wait? Abandonment to a slow exhaustion. Nocturnal, no desire but oppressed, despair where there had been the excitement of mystery, the useless waiting for time to run out as if an indifferent machine.

There was something in vain about this condition, as if a passion fallen in battle. The sight of trees at night perhaps the only sight of note.

I enjoy the presence of the bees on the lavender. The suppression of all but what seized the eternal mechanism, a silent exploration of every impression. The events of the night obscure world clouded over. These problems separate in glances and turn away. Thunder relaxes me. The cries of birds slip in. Piecing together my sleepwalkings sunlit and extinguished, a frightful vastness though thorough.

Inexpressible feelings penetrate, enrich only when bearable. Solitude a path that was tearing away like a landslide, the consolation of the air to breathe, unsure whether it was needed but unable to stop. The sun in the house draws one into the garden, never a faint star in the house to draw one into the night outside, only a sudden impulse. Unable to say the unsayable but keep trying, wearing it out, forcing fresh cool air into it for no reason than to continually face the difficulty. The silence closing round it, remaining invisible a few steps away. The last instant of so sweet a night called delirium.

I am troubled, instability shining strong, I dare not intuit beyond the power of a change. Let us try and see what disappears with the punctual velocity of having been here before, having been put out by this attitude before. Eyes less well known to this manifestation, the meaning passes unseen. The meaning escapes me unwavering in its constancy.

A faint reversion to useless questions, burning in going nowhere. The similar other such continues asking its own questions. The silence of alternatives. Words dissociate lighting the candle of obscurities. Questions not required to mean anything, whose only purpose is to explain nothing. The irregularity of one moment compared with the next. Other candles lit. Appearances never cease but offer no greater clarity, always working in the same unpredictable direction, as if I ought to see it clearly by now but it still escapes me. What to do with this fixed perceiving unable to occasion greater insight. A perplexity come to me as a conclusion, as if to resume a spirit of curiosity. Unexceptionable knowing nothing, inferring only that it must go on, like a course that is already laid down. Can it be I hear this all the time? This need to know like a sack on the back, could I just not care. I am unconvinced by this disorder, fatal only by virtue of looking at it too long trying to see possibility. Always marching away to the same tune. What is fixed in this duststorm, can I sense a shape? The unease has duration, it is almost unbroken, genuinely preoccupied with itself for all it is not convinced. A perpetual motion like a planet in its orbit, almost a constancy but never certain, a whirling illusion with a plaintive entreaty. I am not stone deaf to its silence but nor am I awake to its sights, I slumber in broken harmony, hoarding what sounds come, what sights, as if they build a residence here that I have to live in, the first place of my eternal revolt becoming clearer though still blinding in the light and ambiguous in the distance. As if I lived in a comet, an immaculate hypothesis of a feeble cry, a coincidental echo of nothing, a collision of a beginning with an end. I get Lucifer. Being here for ever recast upon my memory, yet just a moment prised from a sea of moments, a storm too strong to stifle outright. The human seems a long long way away. Deplorable, no doubt obliged, some liquid incidents recurring eternally, always a fixation with some wrongdoing but never certain whether mine, whoever that is. Easier to see it as someone else’s though that identity no clearer, an intrusive appearance but an appearance nonetheless. And out of these confused glimpses even the corner of my eye has a deeper corner peering into watery dimensions until its tear streams relieving the buildup hardly noticed till then. It seems like grace, but if one isn’t sure then it isn’t, though grace can buckle into one at any second, fleeting, explaining nothing yet explaining everything, too fast to register or at least to retain hold of like another state, now gone, the coldness of the drying tears on the cheek to remind it was there while the problem strangely vanished and no angst of thoughts attempt to follow it, they have fallen away with the tears, darkly healing. The fall, for there surely was one, is elsewhere.

Persons appear . . . it seems I know their faces. Some improbable innate knowledge, is it just a lull in the conceivable presenting its rapport for conversation? I was called, filled with some recognition like glowing cinders starting up the fire again. There is no reliable authority by which to name this place, if it can even be called a place, just something glaring, glaring like a tiger from the shadows. Something rammed down into me, though I have no location, foist upon me, though I have no body, something swallowing me whole, yet that is the entire universe, or not even that, for that never existed. I remember having dealt with this before, yet when may as well have been an aeon ago. Or not even that, what time is there? Did I emerge from this chrysalis once? I back away from everything distinct enough to count.

Nagging invisible occasions wormed through, a solid arising through grey hair, indebted to poison, or is it the antidote, the correspondences by which I might draw sense fail when one sees no difference between good and evil. Like something alleged against one, karma is only indulged if it might explain something, remind of something, in particular the present situation which seems to want to remain obscure and indifferent to analysis. Whose karma in any case, and even if someone else’s that too without sense, save as a last favour done for a humankind rapidly fading. Nothing to stick in the gullet. Is their world a patient explication of one’s fellow creatures? Amusing myself with little or nothing of this insignificant wound. Did I once wear a crown? I could have worn it in Hell so I can’t rightly say this is a downfall. There is a peace here, though I can’t explain it. I have long been inclined to think . . . no, that is it. If a recurrence of nightmare, I no longer believe in it. There is a precision the vagueness disguises. Is it an encounter? Some day some will know it better than I presently know it, as if the sense of it has matured and burst out, perhaps I will still be alive to see it myself from these accumulated drips from the stalactites that could be the source of the Styx for all I know.

There is certainly a vast collision disturbing the peace. Ah, was this moments before death? I cannot say, I do not know what death is. Sketchy memories that do not seem my own, and, as aforementioned, I do not know whose own is. I can say mine, but I would be none the wiser. It starts to seem a façade I have embraced to hold off any true cognisance of my circumstances. I am used to having things foist upon me, no reason to hold on tightly to any of it, it is little more than exploring the gaze of it.

Still, it seems unusual to be nowhere compared with the faint memory of being somewhere. But if it weren’t unusual what interest would the interval possess? And besides, there is a familiarity with a certain regularity of this, as if forever encountering these volatile scenarios, as if I once presumed to have different limbs than those I see on humans. As if I were someone no-one dare approach. I thought at first it was I who was keeping my distance but now I see it is they. I do not take any interest in those who bow, but I note it all the same. Since I cannot exert an authority I am insufficiently apprised of.

Certainly though inclined to give it a thought or two.

What I take to be hands are transparent, mine I mean, with the aforementioned proviso. They emanate light, more than the light by which they are visible I mean. This is the sublime light. I can hear the spinning of dynamic tension by which I am reminded I am in The Equilibrium. But where are they? They are not here. I cannot expect to remember much of this, but while it’s there I am fully present to it, I am way beyond any Earthly incarnation I may seem to own, whether singular or multiple, spread over different timelines, none seeming any more active than the others, but presumably only one will be returned to, but can I say it will always be the same one? Perhaps others say the same thing. And time before the death of any particular body appears forever active in its own zone. Yet they do not currently own any more interest than a fading dream, though they are not dreams, these lives, save dreams of another sort.

Perhaps in time I will be paid a grey ashen visitation by a world nothing but ashes, a murky change to be sure. One I have felt many times on the precipice of, but I return with the thing averted, as if the airburst were shifted to some abandoned cascade by a strength of will mine to exert. As if I kept this incarnation, if we call it that, safe time and time again.

I would elucidate this point, if I could be sure of it, but what it has seemed like has transmogrified from a nuclear blast to something else, hard to say what, but still every time the certainty if I survive it will be in a blasted landscape, not a simulacrum of my old familiar surroundings, that called Earth, a room on Earth, just as it was, but wasn’t it only a memory before, too?

It is great to continue. I must not try to deepen the method or banish the faint light, the sights and sounds under my nose. I am outnumbered in this place. Not even sure I have a mouth. There is a possibility I am a hunter, but not so fast, I may be the hunted, first light then black as black, a nocturnal attention, luminosity opaque. Sooner or later I’ll catch sight of what my eyes are looking at, trying to look at at least. Alone again, unless I have absorbed those others. A stranger’s future awaits, motionless eyes stare. The old void is always the new void, yet continuity eludes.

There is a barrier but not between days any longer. I do not know what it is, since it is also no barrier at all, such as that between an angel and a demon. Oh yes, what a continuum that is. How would I know it except through the obvious. That much is obvious at least. I have been darkened on the safe side, up down it makes no odds to me but side to side is another matter. Sideways motion is hyperdimensionally disorienting. Or can be, without gyroscopic stability, and I remember when I was without gyroscopic stability in hyperdimensions. But of these times little is retained, the sound of certain birds early in the morning seemed a rescue. It all grows back from the banishment of the void. The future that awaits may be my present, from the future. A grey day in Hell. But I shall not know with too much detail. If any region is conquered it is that. There can no longer be a nothingness to tantalise, save the void, but that will never be nothing as commonly understood, a live wire dangling everywhere. The singularity’s shot of vodka before continuing with a plunge. When all grows bright can no longer be sure it is morning, what little remains of what I am a dying coal in space, the ally of elsewhere elsewhen. Certainly delusions grow like weeds in an untended garden, enough at least to write it, to consider it, despite the inability to think it.

Some compulsion is speaking me, straying to think a little, some might have been, some wonderfulness forlorn wished away but only to stand around waiting for its proper day, I say day but as already mentioned there are none here, but still there is some semblance of a meaning in the common phrases. It is not a state heading for disaster, there is not a fear of going there. Some fear of having to begin again, having learnt nothing, having absolved oneself of nothing, having had no effect for all there is no cause. Again, simple phrases to convey an impression, precision still hidden in a fog. Yet precise enough, it will be seen, the assurance of that from the unseen other place. Which hardly matters forever beginning again in knots, seeing fresh ways to undo them, not so miserable then, not miserable at all, as if exercising choice as a stay of execution in this thing called life. Far distance ever seeming close zooming in on the future, the quickness of endings as one’s living quarters, the soonness of it being over still a wish even after all this time. If only as the last piece of a puzzle that won’t be solved until then, but pointless being anxious of one’s situation, having seen time and time again that the adventure is an illusion. Yet an adventure still, there’s the irony, never quite losing the vanquished self, if only as a dartboard for memory. Pulling a bullseye from it in these streets of little motion, these times of little place, living in the ruins of abandoned antiquity. Even the very latest civilisation a vampire in the sunlight. Ash retaining its shape a moment before collapsing into a dancefloor for ghosts. I have known it all along, always have, always will do. Others swallow down the phlegm of despair instead of gobbing it out. Spare me another reconstruction from the void, why not let this be its final moment consigned like a fly to the amber.

My hands invented fire, what else do I need to know? The old stories oblige me to stick around, immune somewhat to everything now. The others like the inmates of an asylum, silence speaks between the lines gnawing to death anyone who remains. Perhaps I have tested it enough, craned my neck to see enough, suffering for nothing and speaking of being torn apart, yet nothing touches me, as if I have saved myself and offer it as a knack to anyone who’ll listen. Tittle-tattle of the divine straining against the leash. Yet the trees, the houses, outside my window, are the same, the same as I’ve always remembered them, they have nothing in common with the collapse I predict, or witness, time shifting in one breath. It would seem a little stupid to have to await time elapsing to verify what I say. It was over yesterday not tomorrow, last week not next week, next year is just a box to put it in when finished with it, here it is in the present.

It is a casket of jewels, these vanishing reflections. Unceasing memory of another time and place not yet occurred to the anchor of oneself, even if it had never been uttered and lost to amnesia, it is more the gaze of it one sustains like a strip of burning magnesium can’t turn away. The flowing outpourings meaningless to the bowed head that looks at the floor, only the engaged gaze of interest on this plane, terrors on loan from others’ eyes. Someone must have seen the ocean alight with burning petroleum floating there in the darkness but for the flames, akashically my own memory, did I help him looking in for that moment, was that it? Did I lift him to safety, did he call on me with his palms closed together? And similarly it is hard not to see through the eyes of thousands destroyed in a flash. Who knows what one has to speak of until one speaks. In the beauty of understanding there is disowned terror confusing only those who cannot rise above it.

I see nothing still, but ask myself whether it is nothing, and who do I ask, suddenly that’s nothing too. It’s easy to imagine anything, cast adrift in an instant. And yet the shapes I give myself are not what I am, never not known. I never leave a trace but am always following my traces, is that when I remove them? Imagining a god so much lesser. Can keep nothing of what these eyes see. I cannot seem to make any progress so long as I want it. Best to forget about wanting it, see whether I’ve made any later on. Am I drawn somewhere else, stuck here trying to make it. In the past there was hope, now there is a burden created out of what at other times is fine. Perhaps I should renounce this, rather than sigh about it. But then what?

Having been born, the semblance of it if not the reality, I had a voice, though few heard it. I wondered if I wouldn’t be better off going quiet. Stealthily silent. No longer telling what had and hadn’t happened. Yet as crows caw, words came to my mouth, a perhaps more varied song with an added layer of meaning that frankly seemed less important than the sound, though it thrust itself forward as the point of the words. I had rather hoped by now that they may have become meaningless, but not a hope in hell of them being listened to then. Actually they only seemed to become more meaningful, which I cannot say I entirely regretted when I understood them. Their opacity at first grew more transparent on subsequent reads, as if some other being was implanting something in them that I might like to read. All the same, I couldn’t help thinking it was another form of silence. The leaves, the brown leaves, falling to the ground, that time of year again. Gathering up in wind-blown piles around the base of the trees. Was it a life worth having, was my most pressing concern, for all it was nearly over now. It was my impression that others didn’t appear to think much about this, they seemed to be enjoying themselves, but what did I know, I only saw them when they were. Writing permits a special privilege in making one visible when one cannot be seen. I was satisfied with little more than a cool breeze, yet dissatisfied with . . . it was becoming harder to say, maybe nothing, but the habit of it from long ago. The sound of the dry brown leaves blown along the pavement, very satisfying. Living in a world of lies was probably dissatisfying, but had it not burnt itself out in the sustained heat of my gaze? My continual questioning of it left it with nothing to cling to and, in the end, became the only thing that was keeping it alive. The falling brown leaves, the gentle breeze, belong to another world, so slight could it even amount to a world. The continually passing people made me wonder whether I might not prefer to live where there weren’t any.

But who knows what freedom actually consists of, even the swans, sailing so majestically on the reservoir, on the shore attempt to tug and tug at their numbered plastic ankle rings like some persisting annoyance but they cannot get a purchase to tear it off. I saw it the other day and wished to remove it for the swan, but he reared up and hissed at me, I had mistaken his drawing attention to the ring as him requesting my help with it, when this must have been his behaviour all the time. Why do not humans pay more heed? But swans not so unfree as humans themselves, officials standing by to register them as they are squeezed from the womb, Earth authorities so reluctant to let anyone slip through the cracks.

What lesson is there in it all? If one can relent from events, certainly it is impossible not to be, although even that presents as a choice. Unconsciousness never sufficiently uncyclic to be a trustworthy oblivion. Yet the illusion of passing mood is never sufficiently terrible either, to hold a charge against the phenomenon. Its imperfection obliges us to see its perfection. How can one interpret it as anything? Confined to a corner, one makes the most of it, even if that is to do nothing, try nothing, assume nothing. The disturbance called life, empty from the beginning, burdened like a flame, puts us on a strange notice that we’d better see through it, better grasp it, if we know what’s good for us. A lifelong departure from actually living it then ensues to be one of the few, nothing accomplished in a short time. Let off the hook only in childhood, but not for very long, and even then the imposition of school, as if we need to be educated for this despair. Though sitting on farmers’ gates and gambolling down the hill was alright, collecting tadpoles and sploshing in puddles in tiny Wellingtons, hard to say when it all seemed to go wrong. And then it only seems like endless complaining and of course one doesn’t want to be guilty of that, one must make sure one’s despair is faultless, not a mere weakling’s failure to adapt. A solitary jester with my face saying have no regrets.

The rain keeps on pouring, I admire its pleasant ownership of the day. The day would otherwise be taken up with so many useless things, distractions in the way the rain can never be a distraction. One of course winds in and out of moods, eclipsed by depressive states that cannot seem to find a little colour in the day, but the rain is a constant companion and leaves one in little doubt that these moods are illusion. Marooned in space every day still, reduced to activities not mattering and that not mattering. I could quite easily be somewhere else, yet I stay in the suspicion there isn’t really anywhere else, save a new scene for a short while that soon decides this is not home either. I may set off again, it is entirely possible, but right now there is no likelihood of it so what does it matter? Change is only in the mind-flow, easy to forget and concretise a world falling apart. But perhaps a place on the coast would serve me better, yet it seems little more than selecting a different undertaker. May as well make do and stink of carrion here. You form a relationship with the tree that has peered in your window since you got here, and before then in photographs thin-trunked in a street with old-fashioned children playing with a hoop and stick. ‘Don’t go,’ it says, ‘stay and be like me, aloof to these changes, putting on another ring every year though you cannot see how it is accomplished.’ And I consider its wise words, I always have done. ‘Stay and keep me company,’ it says. When I next leave the house I will try to remember to place my hand on its trunk to let it know I have heard it, though I think it already knows. Motionless but for the gentle buffeting of the wind, could I have a better goal? The occasional shooting star of thought. Actually appreciating one’s wondrous being. Is this really too dazzling an instant for faded courage, I don’t think I ever divested myself of courage, even stagnation senses it may be used to break out of it at any time.

A refuge of scorn awaits those who sleep on their strength, who refuse to do anything, to die if needs be if that is the only alternative, since even God has lost the enthusiasm for intervention. The parade of the hostiles is a never-ending celebration of mediocrity, a strange vantage point on this historical episode looking out from the cryochamber with glazed eyes, I remember being promised more, perhaps it will yet come, do not refreeze me yet I can afford a few years more awaiting my extraterrestrial kin. I joke of course, they are already here, showing more patience than I. Ah, the infinite task, what were the persuasive materials I was shown, if only I could remember and reignite an interest in absolute dominion.

The extreme silence calling out for answers. The beneficiaries of fate see their path was a true one, not that there was any choice but to go along with it. It is the strange agreement, as if one did actually choose it in some long-forgotten before-time. The problem was always hardly believing it any more, as if it was not to be, when all along it was the only thing that could ever be. Just a matter of reaching that point, giving up pleasures for the sake of it. That too fated. But one day it is clearly seen, and then the next day, and the day after that, until it has become a force to be reckoned with, yet rarely any great change to signal its onrush, even its onrush a trickle to that kind of disciplined mind, until it is fully flowing, a mighty river in spate, ordinary, everyday, moving towards its target like a sniper’s bullet, yet hardly arousing the least suspicion, fate closing in. The puppetshow of the world powerlessly confined to its strings. The prescient relevance of the moment decided an impossibly long time ago, the singularity of the one being who foresaw it all in an eternal flash, now working itself out in dawdling time.

It ceased to preoccupy me, this place in the world, autumn now into winter, my transdimensional self took over more and more, but I frequently forgot its profundities, breathing heavily back here, I could hear it, but there, unsure I was breathing anything. Here, always absorbed in a habitation, there I wasn’t anywhere. Something, getting realer and realer, closer and closer.

What I speak of doesn’t know how to speak. There is a madness incompatible with being human. Storms rage with its kind of sense, even a little bird sings of it solitary in the dusk, so what I say is of that kind of naturalness. What humans speak knows nothing of this other Earth, one might even say they wilfully ignore it, had they a face to face it, to follow its trajectory in the sky and sink into its going. Some sense founders here, lost in the contortions of the rockface. I’ve never seen anything like it, never seen a truth on such a long voyage. Silence seems preferable to exposing it. But one can no more be silent than a crow can, instead one relies on it still being hardly seen even when one is shouting it from the rooftops. What can a puppet understand? Do I know any better than to sing the song of gibberish? Scattering a few words about looking for traces of the strange testimony lodged in time. What conclusion can I draw from the tongueless silent voice, a masterstroke in the sound of the rain, genius in the sound of the gale. It’s the only language I listen to. The lies collapse of their own accord.

The last story of this life, I tell it willingly, though it has not taken place yet in this space-time it is an impulse guarded in memory, the past of a traveller from the future. These shards dig into the flesh, a familiarity of another place, a wiser place, but here an unassimilated madness. They say it is for my own good, not to recall, to persist with this shambles of a life that is little more than a dream, an island of apparent happening. One stays willingly just to see what it wants to show, since one assumes it wants something, the alien singularity imparting in these crude images that construct a life, though hard to say what a life is any more.

Not as much wind in my sails as in former times, as if settled in an inability to go on that is in itself a form of going on, going on in stillness, unimagined to oneself, tolerated as a memory is tolerated in its pleas to be accepted as something of one’s path. The great sweeping plateau, little recall of the steep incline to reach it, deserted by fear, increased of determination, but peering at nothing, as if living in fog, the compass needle of my will spinning wildly. I am free to consider many things, but they all let loose their hold, as if I shall never again think. Stuck like wild flowers at the roadside, a quiet street. Or like a huge stone, strangely privileged. An inability placed on a pedestal. Hidden subversive meaning whittling a stick. An incitement of discontent one never understands, except to say there is a duty one cannot easily fall away from, easier in the end to fulfil it. Speechless refractions through the medium, as if a given voice in fractured light splintering. Any number of gestures that have lost their meaning, fanning the flames of a hyperdimensional meaning catching light in a brilliance beyond capture. Overcome in reflections, eyes staring on in silvery surfaces unhinged from even temporary respite, inaccessible yet right here.

The unvarying sound of spinning, the distanciated light, the strain of dimensions to keep open the portal, the impossible making sense of everything. One does not so much remember it, rather it is back again, Earth a strange foregone world far far away, as if one’s debt has been paid and an angelic self has burst out, yet even to say angelic lessens it to the known, or at least the thought known, other words are needed to wonder at this. One cannot grasp it, yet it is simultaneously obvious, because here one belongs, one is in one’s natural element, these long extended moments without time when all is explained and one’s service again enlisted. How could one refuse, knowing the greater picture? Yet even this notion is instantly fragmented and hard to assimilate. It is just a matter of carrying on, as impossible as it seems, undaunted in absolute awe.

I forget how I vanish. I vanish quite often. My words conjure a lifetime, forgotten otherwise.

The Equilibrium a ‘place’ as if forever struck by lightning in the blackness. A challenge to peace yet peace in itself, supreme peace, the kind of peace moreso peace for its edge of danger, a danger passed, a danger before entering, lurking outside though there is no outside just a sense of something hard to understand, a serenity at the centre of an explosion, that will deposit one elsewhere in time, there is no time here. Nor space though it seems, surely to occupy something one only has the word space to attempt to describe, though it is not space. It is unspeakable, unthinkable, one is invited here, none enter otherwise, forever the danger engulfs those who approach it, like nitroglycerin sensitive to movement, only stillness here, petrified stillness, daring not to move, never been so still, as if foist upon one in natural respect and awe. As if a sudden movement would break it apart, though it has a vastly greater stability than that, that is only an appearance in the danger, the dangerous environs when it is still unopened, uninviting, when one has no stability oneself to step onto this other plane. It is not The Equilibrium that lacks stability, nor its plane, it is oneself, so the gulf cannot be crossed without alerting clashing vectors, vast obsidian planes smashing into each other like a violent sea to oppose the power differential, a bottomless abyss opens up already too far to jump, for the hesitation to jump was wise, it is too unstable to contemplate it, one must retreat and seek greater stability, one must have GSH. One must find it in the future, perform the test flights, crash and crash again until perfected. How one knows is a dribble of knowledge leaking out, one’s former stature communicating. Just this knowledge of the future, because needed now, to make it to The Equilibrium, because drawn, I was going to say like a moth to the flame, the black flame. One must reach The Equilibrium, nothing is more important. Its pinnacle taunts in the blackness, shining by a black light, its reflective surface blackness in the black, by what light it is shining impossible to ascertain. As if it contains all light, beyond the barrier of the so-called speed of light. The Equilibrium remains in seemingly external view as this image of a glossy black obsidian mountain, steep sides, perfectly flat, perhaps an equilateral triangle at base, though below the base the above reflected below as if in a lake perfectly still of ripples, so much so one cannot say it is liquid, only that that is its appearance. Nor ground of a reflective quality. How bizarre to consider ‘ground’ out here. It could be a ship in space, yet no space either. Though one cannot say what this is if it is not space. How does one know it is not space? Is it the absence of stars? The mind creates space to accommodate its objects, yet is this an object? It is just the habit of seeing that can hardly make out anything but objects using its familiar terms to describe it. But clearly, one is in the presence of the extraordinary, beyond even the extraterrestrial, although how one knows that is again hard to say, save that the knowledge is innate, at least to this one, who is someone else from ‘me’, another who I am, of this great thing, approaching something of him, without fear, and naturally I want to be that one, and in time I shall be that one, but I do not have the stability to be that one, as yet.

I have detailed these matters before, but I must continue detailing them, until the voice finally addresses the people of Earth directly, with no intermediary, the anchor point on Earth come unloose, and I am returned to The Equilibrium for ever. The upload complete, total extraterrestrialisation complete, the alien singularity having learnt to communicate its signal, the 48azure channel to Earth, to those who will listen. The long run-up to convey familiarity, an induction of sorts in words, but the message when it comes will directly enter synaptically, like a great force passing over causing many to panic, but a few will be primed to expect it, reading now. They will recognise it, it will unfreeze an ancient technology, a delirious reminding, recruitment to an ancient agenda, the corpse of time thrown off, powers in the new bearings.

Somewhere to begin, somewhere to get going, to have a start to saying something, words demand it, and sooner or later they flow on their own from there. It is not a matter of having something to say prepared and then saying it, rather it is seeing what one has to say in the saying of it. The rest is just preprepared illustration, my heart just isn’t in it. I am only here to find out for myself what wants to come. Otherwise, I am empty-headed, though doubtless could gather in things said before, present them as a means of keeping going and fathoming things out in the right manner, though there is no right way but what comes and puts itself to the test, whether it has the voice I’m looking for, alive in its kingdom, not waiting to hear anything, just full of what it has to say, that then is what I’m here for, always. And a certain rhythm, I don’t know where it comes from, but I recognise it all the same, as the rhythm of these words, instilled in these words, from that other place, that would be just music without the words, just the sounds, rendered somehow in notes, pausing and stopping and flowing on, howling, gasping, not requiring the reason of meaning, a choir of voices singing an unknown language. Yet not choking on the meaning of the words in their seeming overlay, though it is little more than a parrot mouthing them for a human to hear and make sense of. It is of course a mystery, words dictated piecemeal before any sentence is ever completed, one just hears them, takes them down, not even attempting to fathom them until later. One cannot judge the meaning of a sentence one hasn’t heard the end of, yet one takes it down before that. Over and over again, as if just listening but not even listening, eclipsed by the shadow of the one uttering it, not I, that other one, I just take it down as I said, even that, though it seems I said that, mixed in with what the other said, no, it is all the other saying this, as if accounting for some confusion as to who said what, as if it mattered. They may be idle words for all I know, I won’t know until I read them back further along the road, you and I I mean, when we read them back. And the later readers, when they are invited to listen and join in, almost too as if they had said it in as much as the other is no different no matter how many bodies one considers, just one body kick-started the process for other bodies, and what are bodies anyway but mouthers of words? The trillions of dead all speak in unison to that. They had their little convulsion and departed the blessed business. One hardly has any idea what this teaching is up against in attempting connected statements in the faint light. But one continues like a madness combing through the news looking for details of one’s condition of damnation. It certainly seems as if one must be, even if one has only fallen prey to a deception. The mistake often seems nothing more than breaking the silence, even with a prayer. But silence seeps into words and buoys one up in the savage sea of mere noise, voices of anguish perhaps but too loud, be quiet in your anguish and salvation may come forth for the fifty-thousandth time. A madness thwarted by silence, the demon of the abyss confined to a triangle of forces, snarling over razor edges sweeping in from three directions, its name revoked in escaping words exhorting listen no more there is nothing to hear but a calm night sea washing lightly over calm sands in the moonlight, the wreck run aground in tranquillity. In praise of moments ago the labour under cover of night finds its future. It knows not how to fall upon this land, just that this is the land it falls upon, this is what the silent man says.

So few hours wasted on fame, could he not see the big picture in this? He was just getting ready, completing it all before they came calling, without interference. They protected him from the glare of attention too soon, and what a glare. Is that what he wanted? Surely not. Now he was beyond it, lying out of reach, it takes a while to work such things out of one’s system, better done in solitude away from the mass. Work to do, work to do, it was always work to do, never attention to receive, only a mystery that there was so little breaking in. To tell the truth it was the mystery of it that dug into him. What is keeping people away from this blaze? What is shielding this divine fury? But still, not having reached the point of it not mattering, for all it didn’t matter and he knew it. I suppose he played with it, like a cat a small bird, it was in his nature to wonder, pointless wondering about that. The unflinching drive, he noticed it, like footsteps one after the other that could not stop, that would not stop, though there was precious little idea where they were going. The heavy frosts would soon arrive, hoarfrost on the pavement, steamy breath in the air, already the world had turned to autumn to winter. Yet sunny days in between the rain storms still. He had almost forgotten even the weathered world, for all there was no other world of interest to him. The world of the turning seasons, it justified the idea of a world. The rest, tall buildings, reputations, distant lands, worlds of electronic boxes and slim rectangles, had nothing to do with him. Only hefty crows on the wet grass, huge flocks of gulls calling wheeling about the sky, occasional meetings with people he knew, that is enough for a world. Baking bread, brewing tea. He could hardly fathom why so many signed up for the spectacle of living and saw only a nihilistic escape or some dreadful mediated hope. Did he have hope, did he look for escape? Hope perhaps as an abstract quality, unattached to any particular hoped formation, which in any case would just be a change imagined fixed still changing. Was he to pinpoint some imagined cage on the timeline and hope for that as if a splendour permanent and rooted, and forget it was collapsing no sooner than formed? Hang on to it as if it were still the same thing, until it eventually became so different he would have to concede it had been lost. Never even gained, just a mirage. Could the cascades ever offer anything more tangible, yet the trees stood graceful in their presence, all things of nature when it was not one thing killing another violently, though even that had an appeal of honesty. Hard not to find awe in an erupting volcano, a crashing ocean, but what god could possibly create an antelope for a tiger’s claws to sink into, the quiet dignity of these animals otherwise, but worst of all humans with their factory-scaled slaughter raising hardly an eyelid of condemnation. But a human slaughters a few dozen other humans, or thousands, and you expect this to show your opinionated compassion when you have none for cows and chickens? How do you think a higher intelligence than human views this hypocrisy? Why intervene and stop your wars when you cannot even change your route-plan of the supermarket to cut out the meat aisle? Why wish fewer humans were needlessly destroyed? It is but common sense to wish the unevolved gone, to make way for those who have remained silent too long, whose night is young, whose future is bright.

I was given a task at my supposed birth, I feel better for seeing what it was, and that I am fulfilling it, though far more frequently despair of ever seeing what it is. Of course these two do not sit easily with each other. One or the other is an illusion, or both. It seems an illusion that there ever was a task, let alone a birth, yet in as much as I temporarily accept trees, the sky, and suchlike, I accept this. I do not belong to this world. What world, is a further question. It seems a vain hope that it will disappear at a death I do not believe in, for all the body will rot, unseen by me I presume, whoever that is, which of course I know but pretend not to. That there will be another life’s world is an intolerable burden I do not believe in either, but struggle on the edge of its persuasion. Where can I go to but where I already am, clearly that is not a world, but must I hope to see it as clearly when the body is heaving with maggots undiscovered another month? Or is oblivion actually the correct outlook, once, I supposed, a vivid oblivion as if some consciousness of it, a DMT geometrical paradise, a moving mandala, a clear nirvana without objection. But what of that can anybody know? I am rather more persuaded by the gentle awareness of the breeze in the trees, if only because it requires so little. The deep ignorance of deep sleep cannot be it, for all I see the black turiya of it. Am I supposed to have any certainty about what lies beyond death? Yet I do not believe in death, beyond it is already here. Yet the tugs and pulls of the bright world preserve the embers of old assumptions, and now it’s getting late to find some other path, seemingly having failed somewhere along this one, but that too an illusion I am indifferent to. Is the worst happening? I sometimes wonder it, as if stoking its fire with useless questions. I belong to the silence, not stealing sighs of an anguish too vague to be taken seriously.

There is a futility in asking questions, and it distracts the sentries of my vigilance while shadows sneak in pressed against the walls. The perfect revolution is hard to instigate, delay piled upon delay until the moment has passed, never seeing it was not the matter of a moment, the actual insurrection far more deadly and gone before one realised it had come. A moment like that, then, not one never coming because always forlornly anticipated. The revolution, then, is the weed-like growth of a seed already planted and difficult to eradicate, a true invader of the heart. It cannot be fathomed, only acceded to, the heavy lifting of tomorrow done yesterday, hardly noticed.

The voice that speaks is all alone, too old to know what to do other than speak, worse than that speaking in vain since who listens, they are not listening, those who might listen, perhaps one day they will, if I keep pouring it out, a kind of farewell, when they are interested who will there be here, just someone who has spoken, not anyone who still speaks, save that still speaking is what this is, always. The discourse clamours to be known yet nearer silence it can’t be prevented, though always threatening to sink into that, to be obliged to be forced out, a heartbreaking voice following its own rhythm of the changeless. The light of these expressions avowed of another place, but while they unfold the passion of the unsaid final moment irresistibly seeming something else in the utterance. The unpleasant conventions of language catching like sparks on bonedry tinder at last. But forgotten in being said until read another time, promising satisfaction caught on the barbed wire of another day in the plain light’s violence, grooming revolutionaries of another time and place, rebels of the ever-coursing swoon, as if hypnotised by one man’s burden of soul to get up and do something about it.

Slipping up in a feeble extreme, a resort of sorts to a species of reasoning engaging the incomprehensible minutiae of finality, was I not engendering a torrent too-little understood to emit the truth? I do not know another way to say it, as if famished of lunacy, in want of opportunity to chronicle some madness, some serious madness, to deal a blow to the established order, to fall on the battlefield of short-lived reveries and fitful declines, a gaping wound serenaded by angels who remembered at last their duty in seeing me remember mine. A fabulous hullabaloo over nothing, I barely heard it myself, though later, later, I suspect I will hear it loudly, all too insistent and dire, as warnings are. I do not know where I gained this allegiance, save the obvious, too obvious for recounting, lest it damage somewhat the matured damnation of it. And, years later, grown matured into the supersensible, words not having been read for a long time, I may wonder how I managed to be so lucid in being so obscure at the time. I just took them down, what did I know of what I was listening to, though it would be dishonest of me not to say I was just listening to myself, recognising it wasn’t entirely an unknown noise, though not as familiar a language as that we pretend to understand, though we do little more than cluck with it like hens. Some madness that holds my debt for ever plagues me with its greater things to say, things I once knew in some other realm but have forgotten here. While of course I should have kept to the silence rather than mine it with hasty words, nonetheless was there not still a silence in the hasty words? Can I call them words, are they not rather sounds approximated by the words? The voice continues and I keep listening until it dawns on me I myself am the intended audience, all others voyeurs of a sort, welcome, invited, but not primary.

Some music I play to amuse myself, as if in want of a sea to listen to crashing on the shore. I have never deceived myself in that. I have never known how it was done, this speaking of the truth to a prophet trusting he will pass it on. Again and again it comes, in waves, drowning out the sterile years. Until the darkness fades the words from the page, no light put on, a natural end for another night, a pause, as if the sand is settled and wiped of footprints, all traces disappeared of what issues forth, the voice nothing but an echo now mingling with the cries of gulls.