Martin Edmond


the fire, the long ice. Antic clashing among the
shadowy rocks. At the beginning, before what would be.
After the ice, water. Abracadabras of flannel flowers,
doves erupting from the sleeve of god. Apples of Sodom.
Arrival of the always that went everywhere. Après le
… a forgetting, a wandering wondering where are
the true states of mind. Among the myriad that we pass
through, or that pass through us, each minute, hour,
day, which are real? Areal?

forgetting is remembering. Before remembering, mind.
Before mind … god? Bruised beyond redemption, broken in
pity, biblical. Besotted, fearful, today you remember
everything. Bountiful memory! Bright lie! Begin at the
beginning and go all the way to the end that has not
yet come. Bolder than bold, blacker than black, botched
or not, the whole kit and caboodle stretches out before
and behind you. Both the track and the tears; landscape
and inscape.

it be so? Child of god, where do you wonder? Can you
say or is it a conundrum without issue? Cordillera in
the consciousness, cliffs of fall, concussive
recitative … let us wander the shores of unknown seas.
Cross into the beyond of yesterday, that future lost
forever in the past. Criminal, coeval, conspiratorial,
caught. Carelessly scattering the vowels and consonants
that hithertofore we have clung to, or exchanged.
Clouds of unknowing call us.

is the fate of those who abandon god. Does the same
apply to we who have been abandoned by god? Do you know
the answer to this riddle, strange traveller? Dolce et
decorum est pro patria mori
. Don’t forget: the last
refuge of a scoundrel. Days and nights in the
wilderness. Daguerreotypes of ghosts never before seen,
never seen again. Down is the name of a country we
cannot live in or leave. Delights of paradise whispered
in the ears of the damned.

mass at the doors of perception. Endlessly suggestive
of that which might have been, might yet be. Eidetic,
erogenous, never less than weird. Except that … who can
say what form a phantom or a spectre might take when
seen from the other side of forever? Eye of god,
inhuman, pitiless, empty of sentiment, stark as the
last sunlight on Girdlestone peak … execrable. Exiting
that gaze into the malign uncertainties of our own,
persuading us of the existence of angels.

there was nothing. Finally, nothing again. From then to
now to when, what? Fandangos of god’s superlative
elegance, or the finangling of demons? Fricassees of
atomic moles, genetic soup, hollow cell membranes
frozen inside meteors dropping into Canadian lakes. Fur
flies in the north. Fivestones. Fissile material. From
the far reaches, a murmur of voices, cosmic weeping at
the margins of the black forest, the black ocean, the
black sky. For what did we come? For why?

’s blood runs in your veins. God’s wounds are your
wounds. God’s gonads too. Gnomon of the inarticulate
sun, guide of the lost, globule of the death star.
Given that these are your words, is this then your
world? Going towards followed by coming away from.
Ground of meaning turned over to an archaeology of
exchange in which the other is always substituted for
the one. Gloss of an expunged text, grisaille of
infinity, cadaver of the perfected body.

is the absence of god. Here and now, you suffer all
possible torments. Hush-a-bye baby on the tree top.
Hoarstones trouble your sleep, the nightmare shrieks
down the alleys of your mind. Hope there is in both
hopeful and hopeless. Happiness cannot be pursued, not
any longer. However it comes, that is how it will go.
Higher than light, into the hypnagogia, that sphere
beyond spheres, your haploid self ascends. Head in
hand, hand to heart, heart in mouth, mouthing.

accused of unspeakable acts in the forum, sent into
exile. Ithyphallic god of nomads at the edge of the
Imperium. Isinglass, mica, finings, glue. In this wine
we drown, by this ivy we are strangled, on this isthmus
we shall forever stray. Irrefragable, the doom written
in the irade: I do not wish ever to hear his name
. In that moment, a chorus of sighs rose from all
around, the voices of stones saying over and over again
the one impossible word, incunabula of his loss.

lives. Jesters unique as kings, one for each. Joking
aside, there is no other way of understanding the
loneliness of regency. Journeying, sharing the
jeroboam, the fool and the monarch shudder to an
alcoholic halt under jacinth skies. Jimson weed sends
you blind. Jiving with Jesus sends you … just a closer
walk with thee … through this world mysterious and
… Juxtapose half of six billion with their other
halves, what do you get? … juvenescence of the
year/Came Christ the tiger

was something he was always out of, in the same way
that he was never kempt. Kissed the Blarney Stone,
lying on his back and stretching out over the void to
place his lips where god could not reach them. Knew
that he would never be lost for words again. Keening.
Killing him softly with their song. Kurdaitcha man came
one night, stole a kidney, since then, the other has
been working overtime. K.O. is O.K. backwards.
Kilometres to go before we sleep.

late walking in the aisles of rain. Light of evening,
Lissadell. Lissom, lubricious, licit … lost. Limbo of
libido, Limpopo of lust exiled to the dead heart, limit
of thought, god’s lying end. Landloper’s song fades
past Tungsten Gate where Xanthe waits no more at the
caravanserai. Loveless, lovelorn, lovesick, yet still
you love. Lustra pass. Luteous years, tawny with
longing. Later, after the rain and the tears and the
night’s white sighs, you learn again how to listen.

paths, through coral, through mind, winding. My god, my
god, why hast though forsaken me
? Meaning does not
inhere. Memory wastes. Materiality fades in the face of
the monstrance. Moon, moraine, monosyncline, monsoon.
Make of this what you can, for it is certain that you
will (l)anguish without protection once god has died.
Moreover, he dies again each time he is denied. Mons
, unclimbable. Mourning. Miracle is not to have
been born at all.

reflect upon diplomatic slights, remembered for
centuries. Nuncupate wills bequeath only resentment.
No-one knows how to end the blood feud between god and
the gods. Nor even God himself … not love that I’m
running from, just the heartache I know will come
Nepenthes priced beyond your range, nates of loss,
neuralgia of the wizened hand. Never again, never
before, never more, never never. Nymph in thy orisons
Now anticipates next, next recalls last.

of the masses, law of the discarded middle, oxygen of
love, orisons, torsions … O.K. means orl korrect
(joc.). On the far side of the ocean, a chemical sea,
washing the ferrous sand with its salts. Oleaginous
life, clinging to the margins. O western wind, when
wilt thou blow
? Omphalos. Omit no time. Oligocene to
now, epoch of the primates. Opus terminus of the god of
all this … order. Or chaos, whichever you prefer. Orb
and oblate of the orient. Enceinte.

of all England, a monkey in robes, wearing a mitre.
Primordial delusion, priapic vanity, primum mobile.
Perhaps it is time to leave the gods to their own
devices, perhaps god’s away on business. Pulsars at the
furthest edge of the universe engage his attention.
Persuasion will do no good, prayer is useless, promises
will not be kept. Puer aeternis in a gavotte with a
senescent priest. Pinions engage the clockwork of
creation. Plangent, placid, all played out.

of the imaginary, quatorzain of love, quaternary
delusion. Quite why we are here nobody really knows.
Quantity or quality remains an incommensurable choice.
Quavery voice of the aeons proclaims the eternal
recurrence of all things. Questions without answers,
answers without questions. Quandary: quarks quark,
queers queer, quid or quiddity? Qur’an is god’s last
book? Quiet of evening, stillness of water, faint
braille of stars on black quilt of sky.

retreats of ice recall earlier epochs, a watery world.
Radio love broadcasts on all frequencies, without
ratiocination. Railways run to the end of the earth, a
train leaves the last platform and climbs into the sky.
Round the rugged rocks the ragged rascals … three,
three the rivals
. Rapturing in a ratskeller. Raucous
birds calling from the future, the one god will not
see. Reptiles wore feathers in the Jurassic, a
rubefaction of time. Rehearsal for undermining,
catastrophic reprise.

in the garden, saying: Ye shall not surely die. Seismic
shift, shatter of bones, eyes opening on the unseen.
Saying: Seek and ye shall find. Serein, falling from a
cloudless sky, at evening. Saraband or serenade,
swansdown of sublunary light, skin sere like old
leather. Shofar sounds on the baked plains of Jericho,
walls do not fall. Sheer drop, shot silk, satin and
lace. Seductive world, how could she not eat of god’s
apple? Sea pink, sea kale, sea angel, sea horse. Silver
and gold.

of gods, who shall we examine first? Take which fiction
to task? Tragacanth for the holy spirit will come, by
tumbrel, from the west. Twice told tales of fathers and
sons. Tryst or triste? Tomb of reality, trapeze without
net, machine without a ghost: this Universe. Tuberous
spring, tubercular summer, tumult of autumn, winter of
total war. Tessera to enter the Coliseum, where tranced
men and beasts contend. Tertian fever. Trumpery of a
tired theology.

dark. Understanding nothing but, yes, standing under
the stars. Unreal City, the capital of Ultima Thule.
Unmarked trams spark through the murk, rendezvousing
with the Underground at Central. Until you have been
unsexed you will not know god’s uttermost ecstasy.
Utopia the last stop on the suburban line. Uvular
speech. Usurious, uxorious, useless man. Undine spoke
last of all, what she said made no sense to anyone not
already a water nymph.

inspection of Earth discloses conditions inimical to
life as they know it. Verglas clogs in their lungs.
Viruses insinuate themselves into their DNA, visiting
the future by proxy. Vaster than empires and more slow.
Voluptuous time, veridical miracle. Vomer broken by a
blow to the face. Vulgarity of blood on god’s lips.
Vatic speech interrupted in the forum by an irruption
of Goths, Huns, Vandals. Vulcanized rubber on wheels of
carts trundling towards eternity.

glazed with yellow light on god’s last afternoon in the
world. Worth every minute, it was. Wandered into the
Wendy house, looking for laughter. Wasn’t there. When,
when and whenever death closes our eyelids
… We cannot
say why, nor can we stop asking. Wolfram mined in dark
valleys, welded to make the adamantine gates, out in
the autonomous zone. Whirled beyond the stars, wreathed
in sorrow, wrecked. Wraiths at his wittering lips,
awaiting the end.

heartless, unfaithful, beautiful, where did you go?
Xoanon of some mysterious god, fallen from heaven,
worshipped by barbarians, why? X marks the spot where I
wept for you, the yellow acids of the earth staining my
skin. Xenophobes gather under the portico, announcing
my exile. X rays of my heart show a blackened core,
drier than dust. Xeroxs of you proliferate everywhere I
go, copies of copies of copies, each generation a
little more blurred than the last.

yare, good Iras; quick
. Ytterbium or yttrium? You
cannot say where in the lanthanides this silvery or
greyish metal occurs. Years later, we come again to the
yarborough where no number over nine is admitted.
Yardbirds rehearse their back and forth, endlessly.
Youth is wasted on the young; yet how could it be
otherwise? Yawing of a yacht from its course; yaws,
passed venereally, colouring the skin red. Yea, the
godly light. Y chromosome, yearning for an X.

tanner, a sixpence for her shoe ... Zener cards prove
that intuition exists, zig-zagging through
consciousness like an unused road. Zenith of
possibility, zen of nullity, immured in the zenana.
Zodiacal light in the east, tall triangle, after
sunset. Zircon nights we danced heedlessly away, in
another time, before we lost each other unaccountably
and forever. Zygote of the single flight, zeroth of
love, gamin inexistent and desired as god, unzip my
chest and so remove my heart.

Martin Edmond drives taxis & Luca Antara, dérives & White City. His most recent book is Luca Antara. He's working on White City.

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