They & He

Still going strong(ish) on the digital poetry; here's something I've been thinking about (and in fact posted to Gnoetry Daily in installments earlier this summer) for some time, now. It's my first experiment with what I'm calling SciFi Gnoetry. I like the narrative that begins to emerge after a while. I hope to develop this more, and I love that I could see this growing into a rather expansive piece, but I wanted to get these beginnings up here at LaToVP, all cobbled together in its current form.

The source texts are generally Walden and Brave New World, with some Lovecraft stories making their way in after the first few. Enjoy.

They & He


Snarling, measuring with their bodies,
They were at once effectually deterred
from settling in a world
if they could not recognize
quiet desperation in it.
(What is called resignation
is like that he was ashamed of:
the Savage-possessed.)

They preferred a goal
somewhere beyond
somewhere else.


His completed mechanisms
turned up a more glorious creation.
Yet inaccessible circles of intellect
he embraced;
he embraced children,
beggars, the insane, the obscene.
He preferred relationships
between the most simple.
He began to unwind.

They pressed him,
occasionally repeated twice.
They held his mother;
They were appalled by the hills.


They did no deed of water.
They listened, They pried
into my tracks,
where I sat down;
one day
They came in

Oh, why was I
a fountain of
fierce electric brilliance?

A length of rope,
earnestness & yearning,
that's all.
To accept Them
would be to change this world.
To not accept Them
would be to change this world.

O brave new garment morphia,

I listened, the Savage spoke
from a very particular inclination:
"Each is our own.
We don garment after garment
with the common electric shock."

.4 (The Founding)

He meets in marshes,
from where They reside,
an old man
disturber of the scale,
& a young metaphysical puzzle
exhibiting herself
talking of disgracing Earth.
(She smiled
at his incessant good service
to the experiment.)
Near them, a black jar.

Their tails
still preserving, twisting
They noted, unheeding,
electric torches
and a group of three,
in Their selfishness
ignoring a brave attempt
to fathom the trap.

"Stooped from the stars
to pick at our mistakes
They feel forced to burn
the city to one syllable;
but They are of no choice."
He called the Founding a family.

.5 (The Earthly Beginnings)

Years, years ago,
They plunged through abysses
in a rush of vile drums,
toward the white steepled towns
that glittered oddly
amid the void of agony yet unpeopled.

Middle height, black-haired
hook-nosed, foreheaded
and with other identifying marks
of human tenancy or passage,
he watched Them fall.

They were sounding somehow
the most definite statements,
countenances probably harder still,
though mostly not heard just then,
as They had never heard
of other men's lives.

Not until the din
from the universe's attic
stood lean, declaring nothing,
did slope downward Their corpses;
"O brave new and terrible
from the stars, from the sky,
They came!"

They flew past the crematorium,
shot upwards into yellow
and in question,
all of this with bated breath
the doctor watched
with the greenish fire
of his yet unconscious identity.

.6 That Man! (a brief postscript/eulogy)

When the last electric titillation
died on the table
his wife flitted through the wind
before he took it all in.
The effects of rattlesnake poison
are not dissimilar.
All I ever did
I watched the fever spread.
He only kept on,
at the middle of a well-known face
his shaken eyes closing
unburdoning himself to secrecy.

It helped a bit, They saw.
Soon: the black ropes of Their hair
lifting as stone doors
the silent subjects
here to there to nowhere,
then plunging determinedly
into the repellant pitch deep.

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