scanning for other patterns…
tracing sparks across planets:
databank of ghost batteries.
curve of twin-moon signals:
names buried in circuits of rain.
bone fragments: yellow, green.
remains of a song: static bursts.
flickertext: output broken.
readout: red, blood-coded, lost.
numbers, images, darkness.
loners on Freak Street:
Angels of Trash
fashioned from electrostatic.
Projected shapes of sparkle.
Lo-tech voices of air
telling stories of analogue humans
burnt into paradise.
Neon figures in the
Glimpses. All you
semi-abandoned diamond ghosts,
to memories of dust.
Moan, sighing woman,
sing in silence of silence.
Black noise touches your skin
in old minor moon style.
Collectors are buzzing with
A measure of blue crackle fever flower
in your voice.
A ghost alone in light:
evidence of life held by a tremble
Poor murdered woman
let these stories be the flutter
of blood colours,
shivering. Find a way safe,
if you can.
Your voice seeks to move
Your face is a ballad traced from
guitar strings fading soft
in moonlit rooms.
As the city burns to dust, buy now!
One thousand transmission flowers
Yours for only…
Feel the world is dancing
With new naked living bodies not your own?
Has your head crashed?
Would you like skin that sings freely
as though clothed in light?
It’s simple. Send off now…
Is your skull home to chaos merchants?
Your mouth hacked by pirates?
Your eyes covered in slogans?
Apply now to the Flare Agencies!
Pictures will stir inside you
Like never before. All dullness nullified!
Only seven easy payments…
In a voice of gold flickering
Your overloaded flesh will glory
In moonlight, dusklight, dawnlight, daylight!
All present in the body’s luxury channels.
Once in a lifetime offer…
Our unique system will plant dream images
In your head,
Glowing images taken from history,
From ballads of angels.
Feel yourself floating aloft on messages
Borne by static,
All the way back to Edenville.
[: SOURCE :]
THE GHOST PARK KILLING
A murder has taken place. This much we know.
The body of the singer lies a short distance from the haunted tower. One rumour calls her the exiled queen of some far-off land. Tales were told of her life, her mysterious past, of the troubles that fuelled her art. Another story claims her as the child of an alchemist, a creation herself.
Sparks flicker around the victim’s mouth: the vapour of a song still clinging to the blue, frozen lips. It shimmers in the last of the moonlight.
The evidence collector searches the ghost park, looking for clues. He finds a strange pattern of dust on a wall. It looks like the image of an angel’s wing brushed against the brickwork and burnt there by heavenly power.
The magpies roosting on the park’s transformers have tracks of blood on their feathers. Ectoplasm sizzles around the bare wires of the contact nodes.
The collector bends down to the corpse to collect the vapour in the hybrid channels of his salvage device. He listens back: hearing amidst the melody something else, a distant scream, a wasteland of echo caught in the lyrics, the breath. Final fragments. A scattering of notes.
Glowbugs flutter along the canals, feeding on spectral dust, that fine silvery powder the ghosts leave behind as they move from space to space. The collector shivers. Mist rolls in, dawnlit. The tower casts a shadow, the tip of which touches the left hand of the corpse. A ring sparkles on the third finger.
A magpie descends, starts to peck at flesh. He wants the ring for his nest, this glittering emerald object.
The city’s extractor crew turns up, hoping to remove the body before the first customers arrive at the park gate. The crew’s foreman has the necessary paperwork. The collector shoos the errant bird away and pulls the Magus ring off the victim’s finger. Whatever spell killed the poor woman, its residue lies in the green stone.
The young apprentice park keeper starts his early morning cry, calling the ghosts into their day cages.
Later that morning the collector visits the central library where the city’s sleep maps are kept. He traces the pathways of the night’s dreams, hoping to find there a reason for the crime. The vapour song plays over his headset. He finds separate images recorded in different skull patterns. Taken together they form a nightmare that corresponds: the park, the damaged tower, the magpie and the strange wedding ring. The vocalist still alive, her song tempting apparitions from the shadows.
The murderer is a dark figure glimpsed in the moonlight. His face is covered in dream static, flickering with light. He wears a ring of his own, formed from the other half of the gemstone. The two fragments click together, lock.
The collector watches the killing taking place. His own face flickers with the same light, the same green sparkle on his hand, his trembling hand, the fingers bloodstained.
And he realises then: the dream is not yet done, the map of sleep is still being drawn.
The ritual begins quietly. A whirring sound, nothing more.
The woman is not yet alive, merely an image passing across a mirrored wall.
Now a steady beat on the cymbals makes a ticking heart. The electric hiss of distant freak-out creates activity on the floor, forming the undercurrent of her skull. Her shadow collects itself from dust, floating in slow jazz mode along a 5/4 bass-line.
This rhythm is the pull of her veins.
The crowd can sense her presence. They speak in murmurs, and work together to perform a rhythm body spell, willing her eyes to open, the flow of words to burst from her lips.
Can she feel herself slowing coming alive?
Guitar feedback rings out from the speaker system. Patterns of interference intersect with each other. Blood emerges from the sound itself, where it cools into liquid on contact with the air. Noise coalesces into patches of skin.
The dead woman’s breath is seen. Her mouth trembles.
She steps through into visibility, collecting globules of sweat, feeding on this, pulling sudden clicks lightly from her tongue. It sounds like ghost radar, coded messages from the other side of death: the dark ether calling, gathering echoes across space, moving in the brain, the heart. The woman tunes in, clothing herself in static.
Blood flow is magnified, loud.
Still pale, semitransparent, swaying in time, she feels the heat slowly rise within. Her lips are made for chaotic magic, dropping lyrics like crazy love. The music crushes air into new shapes. Drops of acid sizzle on the dance floor.
Now flesh takes shape on the X-Ray, conjured by the crowd’s desire. Emerging from deep in the mix, she is all that remains of a scream, amplified, alive once more.
[: SOURCE :]
The moon was clouded over.
The special FX crew occupied the square, filming a drama on chimeracam. Their apparatus held fiery apparitions aloft on golden electric wings. Speckles of light moved over the streets, cast from spectrum lamps.
I see remnants
of a woman floating,
the damaged steps
of a ghost.
Jon Brakefall watched them at work for a while and then walked on. He passed a bar where people danced outside despite the chill, their forms wrapped in heat and desire. Music played. It was nothing he recognised.
He was a stranger. He had travelled the borderzone towns for so long now, so many years, he could never hope to settle, not here, not in Central City.
The play of image in fog,
dancing in time.
This fragile body of release…
only to falter.
Midnight found him booked into a small dingy place on a side street. It was called the Lost Icon Hotel. Here he washed his face, ordered room service and tried to relax by watching static-ridden porn on cable.
He felt very little. The bodies on view stirred a memory of a memory, nothing more. This was the life into which he had drifted, and only one thing mattered to him, even now. His mind was set on endless repeat.
She was just another
the planes of a face.
Why should I care about her?
Something woke him at 2:45pm. A knocking at the door. It was the man he had travelled here to see, a low-life archiver, clothed in grey, with very little hair and even less promise. Jon had already met with many such individuals, all of them cut from the same material. This one appeared to be at least seventy years old, it was difficult to tell. A few words were spoken, money exchanged.
Jon activated the pod. The mist seeped out, what was left of it. The colours flickered and the image appeared, the dancing form of the singer. Her face was breaking apart from overuse, her body paler than it used to be. The dots of red a scattering of pixels now. She was a figure illuminated by shards of antique code: on, off, up, down, yes, no. A broken fogmap of ones and zeros, of the old-time either/or existence.
Sing your songs of blue shadows
and golden moments.
out from the video sequences.
The archiver stared at the ghostly figure for a while, for maybe five minutes without speaking, without expression. And then he whispered, hoarse from cough medicine: ‘Yes, I know her. I have knowledge of her. Of course, she’d very obscure. Not even an album. A couple of singles, that’s all.’
Jon asked, ‘You know her name?’ A nod in return. ‘And you know how she died?’ Yes, another nod.
She is singing for
the people of vapour,
those whose flesh holds
no possession, no recognition.
Night passed along. The only light was a flickering lamp across the street.
The archiver was gone, and Brakefall sat alone. Now he knew. He had the story. The woman danced, and danced on, and on. He could not bring himself to reseal her into the pod, even though he knew she would soon fade away completely. He would let this happen. He would sit here in the dimly lit room and let his skin sparkle and shine with old messages, what was left of them. He would conjure lyrics from all the many fragments he had collected on his travels, so many words to cast a spell, to allow a murdered spirit rest.
Fog dancer, fog dancer
move through shadows, dust and neonglow,
moonlit circuits, analogue burnout,
the fused wires of memory…
[: SOURCE :]