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
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?'
Ajvaz, The Other City
place is altered because a picture happened there'
- Brian O'Doherty, 'A
Visit to Wyeth Country'
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?
Dr. Abrahim Opez Le Hatile Mêlée Nitisho-Sanchez was a Professor
of Oculesics at The Institute for Agonic Regeneration in Brussels before the
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.
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.
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
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
THE SOUND OF DECAY
The sound of energy: electrical and surface tension
The sound of my voice: hide me from the counsel of
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
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
The sound of the past: everything that made this
era so exceptional.
The sound of its own making: escaping the economy
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
The sound of hope: the greatest juggler ever.
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
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.
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.
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