Zeno by Stephen Hastings-King

Zeno is keening for shore.   Under full sail, cutting through the water, leaning in: the boat makes no headway.

Full of sail & full of rum he heads in beneath a sheet of aqua sky.  A marble in a maze pink sun traces an irregular trajectory through magnetic fields in which polarities rapidly reverse

Cutting through the water and making no headway while across the yellow sky a green disc sun rolls around a thumb-sized lighthouse in the haze and heat with the three others asleep by the wheel and empty bottles of rum on the table below, Zeno photographs the sun.  If he ever puts in he will storyboard its meanderings.  Only then will he begin to know because a knowing limited to states is not a knowing at all.

And he will tell her what happened when he sees her where she waits, in the somewhere where she waits because she has forgotten how not to and because time passes and because so much fades.

Zeno is keening for shore.  But under full sail, cutting through the water, the boat makes no headway.  The sun hesitates interminably. The three others never awaken.  The coast is always the same distance away.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Zeno by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. Kelly Grotke

    That is beautiful.

  2. guy

    Mathematics and geometry work really well with this theme. (I read it as about lost love.) Sad, but lovely. Bravo.

  3. stephen

    thanks.
    i’m kinda pleased with this one.
    it took a while to make. i got stuck on various things, like whether there should be a colon instead of a because in

    Only then will he begin to know because a knowing limited to states is not a knowing at all.

    i settled on a colon, but it’s been like that.

  4. guy

    Had i written this piece, i too would have worried about that choice. I agree that it sounds better with ‘because’. But perhaps one could reword that sentence in such a way to please the ear and eliminate that question.

    This is pretty obvious, but did you try flipping the clauses? I think i might like it better with the because clause first.

  5. stephen

    i tried alot of things, including taking it out. but it’s conceptually fundamental…zeno’s paradox in a way reduces the continuum of a line to a series of states each of which is a subdivision of the previous…so i was thinking: if you see through that paradox, there’d be motion but there wouldn’t be and the only way you could account for it would be speculatively–if only i could figure a way to document a larger or different frame than i’m trapped in, i could understand what this motion is. and it seemed to add to the frustration/pain of being stranded there and not wanting to be at all at all. i’m still playing with that sentence, but suspect it’s one of those things that i’ll figure out a while from now, after i’ve put the piece away. but who knows? thanks for the suggestion(s) tho–maybe they’ll get me started on it again.

    it’s close.
    maybe the joke’s on me.

  6. Pingback: Week #14 – I can’t wait « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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