Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Corona Diaries – a Short Short Story

Kathilda watched the needle move into position to penetrate her eyeball. She knew she had to be awake for the procedure. There was no other way. The millions of nanoparticle antennae being injected into her ocular fluid had to be linked with the brain chip and monitored during injection to avoid over treatment. The margin was very narrow: too little and no x-ray or gamma ray vision. Too much and she was blind with no way back.

“No. Wait!”

“We told you everybody reaches this stage. You have to push through it.”

“Fuck you, I want out. Now!”

As she watched the needle retract into the cage at the end of the machine’s robotic arm, Kathilda began to see new shapes shimmer into being in the operating room. The medical devices and monitors all appeared normal but pale shadows inside the bodies of the nurses and her surgeon began to surface.

“Oh. My. God.”

“What is happening, Kathilda?”

“I can see your brain. It’s beautiful!”

A slivery, white sea creature swam inside the head of Dr. Mathers. It moved with her, coral-like in its innocent majesty.

“You asshole! You did it anyway!”

“The human mind cannot accept this type of bodily insult while it happens so we have to time shift you. The procedure happened while you believed you were living in the world of thirty seconds earlier. The brain chip does the time shift and also the jump ahead after its over.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because if the mind knows ahead of time, it somehow compensates. We aren’t sure how.”

As Kathilda rubbed her sore neck she noticed, beneath the all-business demeanor, Dr. Mathers was hiding something. Kathilda could make out the soft outlines of breast implants beneath Dr. Mathers surgical scrubs. This new world would take some getting used to.

Relative by Partaw Naderi, translated by Sarah McGuire

I know the language of the mirror –

its perplexities and mine
spring from one race

our roots can be traced
to the ancient tribe of truth

February, 1994

(with thank to the Poetry Translation Centre)

Original poem written in non-roman script

The Divine Willy on Opportunity

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on… we must take the current where it serves or lose our venture.”

—Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Everglade Days

The mangrove holds the ocean back,
but takes the sea into its nostrils.

Roots reflected in the water,
a spiny möbius
sipping the tea colored sea.

The night sky bends down under my kayak,
a man in a mosquito tent buffaloes all night next to me.

The prince of storms
is tuning up to the south

like a chorus in Aida
or Sikorsky helicopters shuffling cards.

Tomorrow my pea pod vessel
must bear the weight of my fears.

Planxty Pete Seegar

If there is a world a hundred years from now, it will be in part because of banjo.

–Pete Seeger, 1919-2014