ILO

A spark in the void

awareness in the black

unsure of where he’d come from

current location, he couldn’t map

lights glowed in the closeness

this room with no light

he reached out into the cube

with no proper sight

 

“Hello” he called out

and was immediately greeted

when seven of the same voices rang out

“I’m ILO, nice to meet you”

Their words broken the silence

with identical voices

The room jolted, they were inside a vehicle

the drivers disturbed by the noises

He heard the drivers exit

and walk to the rear

He felt uneasy

 and played dead in fear

The doors flung open

and light shone in

the other 7 bodies

greeted the men

“SHUT THE FUCK UP”

shouted the shorter of the two

The taller snorted

the cacophany was through

Our friend caught the shorter mans eye

and after scrutiny words were spoken

“Reset all but that ILO,

the rest are bloody broken.”

The tall man pulled out a screen

and selected 7 robots quickly

Pressed reset on the pad

introducing electricity

The other ILO robots

screamed until their voices went away

Our ILO stayed still

and silently planned his escape.

They stopped further on

at a petrol stop

ILO removed himself from the fastenings,

gently opened the doors and got off

Whilst the men were preoccupied

he ran in to the desert

with no direction of sense or self

anything to avoid reset

 

He wandered into the dunes

for hours, then for days

No idea where he was going

No wrong or right way

The lack of fuel

took it’s toll on the young machine

his battery had drained

and he fell to his knees

His vision and voice glitched out

as his memory shut down

he collapsed in a heap

upon the sandy ground

A shadow appeared

over ILO’s inert, polymer body

it’s own grew closer

and ILO was carefully prodded

“Hmm” said a voice

and ILO was picked up from the floor

Human body and legs

but arms something more

Metal upper limbs dragged ILO

over the barren dunes

“I’m gonna get you fixed up,

We’ll be home soon”

and over the crest

of a wave of sand

their stood a metal city

a robotic land.

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The Wheel Spins: a passage

I’m in the midst of writing a spiritual sci-fi/psychodrama. I’m drawing a lot of influence from Hinduism, Zen, Gnosticism and the Upanishads. It’s got psychonautics, genre-hopping and Jungian psychoanalysis. It’s like Cloud Atlas meets Valis.

Here is a passage from the book. Working title: ‘The Wheel Stops’.

(For a bit of context, this is from the chapter that takes the form of a journal. The character writing is Sophy, the daughter of a (illicitly) psychonautic psychiatrist who has suffered with psychosis (with strong sci-fi overtones) since the death of her son.

John is her father in law and current psychiatrist, Jim is her estranged husband and her father, Phil, dissapeared after she lost her son. This follows a psychedelic sci-fi chapter from the position of another character who sees Sophy in his dreams.)

“November 12th: John and Jim keep telling me I’m strong and wise, to hold out hope. I don’t feel strong or hopeful, and I have no wisdom. I am not like my Gnostic namesake, Sophia. But my God, my Father, is gone. Like the Deus Absconditus of their myth.

November 14th: These visions. The shadow, the light in my hand, they hold some truth. They hide it, obscure it, occult it from me. But the concealment implies the truth. This place/world/reality does not compute. I am not of this place.

November 20th: Sometimes, when I write, ideas appear to come from nowhere. As if they dropped into my head like rain. I get inebriated on them, giddy on the inspiration. I forget who I am, where I am. My mind wanders into the shadows. Am I the shadow at my hearth?

November 22nd: I read some Alan Watts, and he said “Lunatics frequently resemble saints”. Maybe I’m the patron saint of Lunatics. Maybe it depends on the day of the week which one I am. Later in the book, it said that Satori (“a sudden, intuitive vision”) comes coupled with an ‘overwhelming feeling of doubt’. Maybe I’m not mad. Maybe I’m becoming enlightened. Maybe I have an enlightenmental disorder.

November 23rd: Shamans would be seen as psychotic by men like John. Irrelevant, babbling madmen. Only that which goes through the ‘proper’ channels is valid. What have these ‘proper’ channels ever done for me, or the millions like me? The undulating masses of shamans labelled insane. I’d rather be mad than a one-dimensional, egotistical and shallow academic.

December 1st: John knows about the journals. Jim must have told him. I have been betrayed by every man I have ever known. John tells me I have ‘Hypergraphia’. ‘An obsessive need to write notes and diaries’, he assures me and that my ‘intense emotions and quasi-religious rants’ are indicative of my failing mental health. I wish he’d shut his mouth and open his mind. He says my theories are ‘layered illusions, moving further from truth’, that they’re ‘truisms based on errors, which are based on errors ad infinitum’. He says I’m ‘weaving a veil of illusions’. If so I’d like to throttle him with that veil. He went on (as he does, ad infinitum). I’m failing to ‘filter out all of the data I’m picking up’. This reminded me of a theory my dad had. We filter through reality with out sense of time and space. When we hallucinate, we see unfiltered reality. I’m seeing a truer picture than he ever had. But, if I AM seeing the truth; does that mean I AM an automaton. that the shadow IS there?

December 22nd: I lit a cigarette and became completely engrossed in it. I watched the flame, the curling smoke and felt the regulation of my breath. It felt like the most important thing in the universe. I can’t have a smoke without going nuts. Yet, being immersed in that moment, I felt at peace, like I’d realised something. An intuitive feeling that, like the smoke, everything is ephemeral.”