The Rhyme of the Ancient Space Mariner #2

Everyone (at a certain moment) was sound in mind and body.
Repeat this 30 times.

— Tristan Tzara






Todd said, “One of them knows where she was.

Cherenkov-something. Near ground control.

Makes sense. Blokes like that don’t work on jobs.

Not these blokes.”

This time she’s keeping her thought reasonable again:

Todd is an adult. She can look after herself.

And, more than a little crazy, she can taxi in in a few minutes.

Simply that, & a few words. But not Bierce!

She’s counting the days now. Todd unhinged her.

But here was a case of the pins on. Or was it?

The Man wouldn’t like Martians & Todd was one.

What do you care?

But why did The Man upsmile to herself?









Peter Bies © 2010



The Rhyme of the Ancient Space Mariner

Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes. — Kurt Vonnegut






“A pageant of asteroids, see, growing there, silent,

rolling sheethingness it was. I caught a sight

of a violent sputnik – three hammocks thrashed

into craters, were savaged, ions and gamma rain –

some giant had gas. I tried to imagine white confetti,

white confetti had been in the slopes, nesting

mollminds bogged down. I knew their names,

any one of them. The moons of Mars mauled us fast,

& the mist us a whole. It was a weird mountain

heaving, growing out of space. It was strewn 

with fantastic fissures as though shapers had scoured

it with a particle beam, sculptured by vac to sprinkle

its sleet and hailyhawk, I guess. How many lightyears

this one? Chiselling, by & by. They were in all savage

enough to hit out on a tee like c-speed in the dark of space.”









Peter Bies © 2010



No More Translucent

“Nothing is always absolutely so.”

— Theodore Sturgeon





the fire you create, Elaine,


your shadow flux of words


shall flee our hearts/


the shallow lust you moonlight


a glaze of seeping slime/


& the dusk I smell fell blue


no more translucent




I enjoy the late light













Peter Bies © 2010



Dog Star Night

“A life which is amorphous, plastic and crystalline. What am I talking about? Copula Maritalis? Or from alcohol to alkahest. Can you tell me?…”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano






 green ghosts

 & cold fusion:

the shadows I absorb

 ignite the limbic heat

of dream state serendipity:

flying bugs on the flowers

 hot faces near the light

 & memories of water –

 undoing my past

 the pleasure











Peter Bies © 2010


The Lost Metaphor

Latent structure is master of obvious structure. — Heraclitus




trying to recall


a broken promise
trying to remember


the lost metaphor




cold clouds


dull whorls


my fingertips


growing old


in time lapse


while the rain fell


on empty hands


& into brackish water


(walking out of this world:
a phone ringing somewhere)


“Go without luggage!”


& the night will come


glowing in the trees


& I’m talking to empty graves


before the shadows enter




trying to recall
memories of water













Words: Peter Bies © 2010

Photography: Peter Carstens (peckmaster) © 2010


A Dry Steady Wind

 Insane people – psychologically defined, not legally defined – are not in touch with reality.

— Philip K. Dick, Valis





big leeches near the sea & quiet hooks on the flock/

& clouded grieving brilliant brains away from home:

no way out of this opaque & intangible b/w dream/

where I know no-one/ life is fleeing sinister & low/

quaking against a huge sky & meaning/ old shiva!

find the road back glowing rats below the towers!

& icons in the fire battle tiny globes/ draw peaceful

eye before the sky stone dream-like hands among

the clouds dry stroke the sirens/ over reek of dank

demons dark & tiny in the slime/ lustful eruptions

of electric animals/ crying eyeless/ & I forgot to go

home & listened to the whisper of a dry steady wind – 









Peter Bies © 2010



A Stir Of Unease

“It was, as if I had been shaking all my life, from a chronic undercurrent of fear.”

— Philip K. Dick, Valis





Frozen beneath the sheets

I reach out for fading stars –

& our love is patiently dying.


Love, mildewed flower –

you’re bright delusions

& a stir of unease!


We are strangers, Elaine,

you & I – losing our way

while the worlds change.











Peter Bies © 2010





(Photo by Peckmaster)