from THE CO-ORDINATES OF DOUBT

'Most of us spend much of our time in spaces made and previously occupied by other people, usually people of the more or less distant past. We might reasonably expect our everyday surroundings to feel haunted but, by and large, they don't. Haunting is still relatively unsusual. We all live, as far as we know, in the present...'
   - Patrick Keiller, 'The Robinson Institute'

'Can there really exist a word in such close proximity to our own, one that seethes with such strange life, one that was possibly here before our own city and yet we know absolutely nothing about it?'
     - Michael Ajvaz, The Other City

'A place is altered because a picture happened there'
   - Brian O'Doherty, 'A Visit to Wyeth Country'




DREAM TICKET

A one in a zillionth chance turned out to be something that happened to me. As wealth moved nearer to me the colours of my life changed and I became happy. A large house, several dogs and some sports cars later it still seems like a dream, though sometimes out of the corner of my eye I see a servant girl running down the corridor or disappearing into a door.

We hardly ever go upstairs. We don't need the room and there is something unloved and unloving about the second floor rooms and landing. The stairs creak out a broken lament for something unnamed, there is a damp patch that cannot be dried out or painted over. Who in time does not detect shadows and echoes, wires of time under tension, an archive of the senses?



EYE CONTACT

Dr. Abrahim Opez Le Hatile Mêlée Nitisho-Sanchez was a Professor of Oculesics at The Institute for Agonic Regeneration in Brussels before the abduction. When he was found four days later naked, in the Sonian Forest, the police noticed that the word 'Same' had been etched in blood on his forehead. When asked his name, he said 'Same'.

Same was transported by ambulance to the University Hospital Brussels where he was examined, kept overnight and released. Same felt good, calm and at one with the world. He had no memories, no doubts, no aspirations and certainly neither expectation nor anxiety. He walked and smiled, making eye contact ever gently with people as they passed.

For the next several weeks, the police became preoccupied with waves of abductions, each exactly as the next. There were hundreds of abductions, all leading to the Sonian Forest. All the abductees were found naked with the word 'Same' etched in blood on their foreheads. Each abductee was examined, kept overnight in the hospital and released.

Within months, the ethos and status quo of former Dr. Nitisho-Sanchez's society had changed. Commerce began to slow, as did traffic, until there was neither commerce nor traffic. Thousands of people all named Same walked through the city streets making eye contact ever gently with other people named Same as they passed. Perfection was burgeoning. Differences were being erased. Peace was at hand. The Sames were smiling.



ANNOUNCEMENT

Thee Faithfull Skolars of Zero would like to announce, nay insist upon announcing, that they have perpetrated said crimes, namely the abduction and branding of those we insist are all the same.

Once we were different, but now all we ghosts should wise up and admit our common heritage and failings. We are all none with the moon and planets, all none with the sea and forest. Become zero with us and join our binary age. We are all one, we are all none.

Thee Faithfull Skolars of Zero will take the blame, but we are all to blame. You are to blame, he is to blame, she is to blame, the past is to blame. Only the future may see vacuum and emptiness within us all. When we are nothing the world will burn and we will bask in the afterglow. We have to get it over: we are all the same.

Read nothing, understand nothing, believe nothing. Thee Faithfull Skolars of Zero are silent and stand empty. We have nothing more to say.



PSALM

I. Remembering names to invent, the failures still keep you unfinished.

II. Your voice is in the pocket of a black coat your ancestors passed from hand to hand.

III. Ceasing to exist, you become a deity on the way to words.

IV. Your last prophets have fallen without rings.

V. In the museum of skeletons, gaunt singers remember what you've forgotten in last rites too soon.  

VI. You're nothing less than an undusted replica among the vanished on the edge of the bog in the rain.

VII. The vanished are incurables in a ceremony of marble.

VIII. To your hirelings, the way back to the beginning is broken with outstretched arms.

IX. The end is a calendar of missed appointments you've relegated to strangers on Nothing Street.

X. You mistake worship for the threshold of mortality and blame everyone but yourself.



THE SOUND OF DECAY

The sound of energy: electrical and surface tension effects.
The sound of my voice: hide me from the counsel of the wicked.
The sound of the universe: the quantum foam of space and time.
The sound of arrows: turn your muscles into a band of merry men.
The sound of the earth: a love story set against a backdrop of war.
The sound of confusion: bottlenecks on the grid and near paralysis.
The sound of laughter: it is not known whether this was actual event.
The sound of alarm: the difference between burnt toast and a house fire.
The sound of thunder: relationships that inspire and empower children.
The sound of anticipation: then out into the yellow August afternoon.
The sound of the past: everything that made this era so exceptional.
The sound of its own making: escaping the economy of domination.
The sound of sweet nothing: I put my faith in something unknown.
The sound of memory: the operating system is larger than what is.
The sound of heavy rain: unnatural darkness in the afternoon.
The sound of decay: a comedy from an original script.
The sound of hope: the greatest juggler ever.



PSALM

We are wraith-like in the aftermath of a plume of steam. How about that for an example of the ephemeral you great haemorrhaging leak of compression? I can't even employ basic names anymore in your regard. How about that for long-suffering and Old Testament fear? I know you've stopped listening. It's been millennia upon millennia.

Me? I'm just a blundering flywheel. You know the kind. We procreate, a lot. Lots of genealogies, family albums: in fact, our biggest event of the year was Facebook.

It's impossible to doubt the world. Now that would be something. You could address me as Mr. Albino Descartes, a man for all catastrophes. We could share a smoky Merlot at a fine California-style French restaurant and talk football and parousia.     

I'm getting lethal, right? You want me to check my blood pressure kind of thing. Do I want to see old age? Well, certainly older than this!

It's all about air moving through a stone on a stone, because it is irrevocable. I thought that you'd say something like that and repeat myself. I hate repeating myself and have done it twice in a mere couple days.

We are wraith-like in the aftermath of a plume of steam.



LOWLAND

Readiness scrubbed, plundered, squandered in a zone lower than the base zone and below. Even the shallows are hollow, their yellows removed from their hazy glow of nothing. I walked here before my best ailments were removed: asthma, sinus infection, heart burn and sour stomach.



FIRESTORM

Burn this heresy, fire this corpulent bloat of words, string Messrs. Jackdaw and Bruiser up from the rafters. We will have none of this in our cabin in the sky, will take the long way home through the fields and lanes. These are our songs of suicide and joy: their lives in our hands, our ghosts despatched and destroyed, our history exorcised and renewed.

It is all or nothing, or we shall have to go back to the beginning again.


     Daniel Y Harris & Rupert M Loydell 2015