by Kelson Vibber

Stream. Video falling like leaves through the list of paper — dang it! Yahoo, Lycos, 6:50 as the whatever of writing paper lifts, soaring across the sky as a sunbeam tower construction workers fall to the safety net, running from the nameless terror, Cthulhu sleeping beneath the sea, chained to the Rock of Prometheus, digitally bringing fire to the stars beyond the rim of the world - Salvator Rosa, Salvador Dali — St. John the Baptist in the wilderness of Arcadia, falling slowly, gently to the flowing stream of bits, data like water, drip, drip, trickling, babbling, voices crowding, incessant — Click! Off! Click! Off! Slowly, one by one, isolating and eliminating each voice, until only one remains. Only one — which I have lost. A voice that cut itself silent just as I would discover, a voice I may or may not ever know again. The emptiness, the aching emptiness of silence, as I strain to find the voices I lost — the voices I pushed away until I could no longer find them. Time — there will be too much to write, too much to glue, too much... and never, never enough to do that which I seek to complete, the process eternal, waves upon the shore, crashing, the blue-green minty glow at night as the plankton give into the roaring force, crashing upon the sand, a girl dives in, unaware of the others looking at her like a fool and staying safe, dry, and I among them, who might have joined her save I did not want to be wet all evening until going home — but the van, driving slowly beneath the stars, blazing fiercely in their heavens above, shining, twinkling, yet each powerful, far more powerful than thousands of our own world, yet dimmed by distance, each potentially the home of other worlds, worlds that may exist, worlds we may never see, never know. Ice. Floes of the South Pole, frozen, itself a world unto itself — hidden, barely penetrable, barely explored — unknown — the last unknown land, calling to us, calling “Tourists! Bring on those who would brave the cold, who wish to see the Earth of the ice age!” Then a berg falls from cliffs of ice to the ocean, and it flows, off into the distance, a navigation hazard and, like the stars, a world unto itself.

October 1998