The serene world of electrical circuits and steel stanchions and railway lines | unagitated by running deer or by wonky metaphysics | The marble floors of stations, these are hands | A spew of wires from servers, these are eyes | Dawn over the city, gold tips church vanes and temple pinnacles | The girl whose body | was turning to crystal | inside her | The dates, the names, the maps, the graves: ancestral data | pixels and vellum | limestone and Indian ink | that is to say | inanimate things | Their trail leads to the heart of the problem | Archaeologists of the future may stumble on | the factory | where sometimes there are workers, regulations concerning the control of dust; sometimes | there are stains and pools | where water has entered the building after long neglect, and sparrows nest among the girders | The mineral creep of semen, the relation of ideas to stone | The great cemeteries of the living brain, each idea a grave | The great hospitals of the living brain, each idea a child | Coffins and cots, coffins and cots…

It had been a long bus journey, and she’d dozed in a room with dark red roses on cream wallpaper, then woken, half, then slipped away into the ordinary, dimensionless world of sleep again, then woken… | Why was she dreaming so much? | The bus rumbled and droned around her, and the vehicle’s ambient vibrations ran through her body, cupped her / She felt terribly deflated | Love was over for her, she would never love again | Now there was just sorting through things, so many | things | Moving articles around in the morning | storing them | maintaining them | keeping them clean | disposing of them when they ceased to work | She would have to think, to be hurt, to deal with colleagues at work, but without love | it was more arranging of atoms, obedience to rules | She would function, she would appear | She would fulfill her obligations, fill out the forms, pay her taxes, vote, but without love | there was a zombie quality to these events | the tiny, hot, raw purpose of her life had gone, and with it | the beginning and the end, from now on | her story would be all middle | digression, back-story, but it would all | be oddly plotless | There would still be tides, still be Jupiter and Neptune, her flat would still have a number, a post-code, but without love | she would be absent from her own world, there would just be translucent husks of routines and motions | Instincts would flicker like dials, reminding her | she was most certainly alive, but her heart | was disconnected, now, it had fallen into the world of orbits and mass, velocity and inertia, other people’s laws | The bus rumbled | Rumbled, rumbled… | The traffic thickened, the bus slowed, idled | Why was she dreaming so much? | While she slept, she was young, and she was in love




from Semapolis | City of Signs (series of poems, unfinished, 2012–present)