First in the language of appearances,
which needs so little explanation.
Then comes the language of memory,
which tries to tie every future to at least one single past.
Only if you can read both at once will they cancel each
Only then is the screen of possibility clear.
See the one dead tree exploded by lightning
in the heart of a dry green forest.
Every day the needles crackle, clouds mount up
Any time it could happen again.
Poised for an idea you become that tree,
waiting for an answer to strike.
The Zone is the place where everything is permitted
but nothing is alive.
Red changes to blue; green but a passing hue.
To know what it’s like just start in the city
and walk toward the edge of town.
When you enter the brand new empty developments
filling the white spaces at the brink—of the desert, the forest, the
—you’ll be right in a landscape ready for the siege
though it easily looked as if abandoned through fear.
Careful, it could strike you down too.
You are the only thing walking alive now for miles.
These shells of our homes like the empty bodies of
cicadas clinging by only inertia to the trees,
waiting for the wind to blow them down,
except we are working ourselves down and into the ground,
farther into the future
beyond the thought of seventeen years.
Might as well stop walking here:
I have enough trouble as it is
keeping fiction out of fact.
Did the accident of ineptitude end with The Zone,
or was it an act of imagination many years back?
Memory moves the images out.
You must find a story out of what happens!
Just be sure to form it from thin air.
|1||Ten years ago the machines failed us as no one was in charge.|
|2||The looming subsumes us from war to peace.|
|3||You remember the story (it’s not yet over)|
|4||The voice of the wind,|
|5||There’s an old swing set rusting in the woods.|
|6||Someone blew up the mountain|
|7||The old order is turned asunder|
|8||A bomb left a hole gaping at the street corner|
|9||The philosopher has returned to his homeland|
|10||You enter the room and the day is still sunny|
|12||What changes is the will to change|
|13||One song after another, not to impress,|
|14||If you’re driving long enough|
|15||This age of ours always hangs on|