2 Shards by Stephen Hastings-King


Part of an arrangement of trapezoids and triangles, lines and loops I move across the water.

The sky is a field of cracks. Pieces come loose and fall. Some land on the deck.

Nearby string musicians play the same chord again and again. They sing the same phrase again and again. Something about a spirit. Their heads are turned away.

Beyond the holes in the sky is a map of the stars.


Asleep on a schooner dreaming I am on a schooner. A transistor radio below sprays an ant colony of voices, an everywhere haze of tiny grey lines. I move through its eddies and flows, dead spots and gardens. My movements open environments.

There is a trajectory painted on the grass: I follow it along a long white rail fence that separates one pasture from another. At the end of the fence a small solar panel, its edges an intermittent painted frame around an assemblage of irregular forms suspended in electric blue amber.

When I correlate the forms they give way to aspects of a ghost room. Packages of continuity piled and numbered and noted. Schematics on the walls and tables. I wait for its surfaces to stabilize and spread myself across them like rain.

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7 responses to “2 Shards by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. guy

    There are parts of this that i like immediately, e.g., “Asleep on a schooner dreaming I am on a schooner. A transistor radio below sprays an ant colony of voices, an everywhere haze of tiny grey lines.” Then i come to a dropoff point like “My movements open environments” and the bottom drops out of the scene. I’m not sure what to make of these modulations of abstract and concrete, but by the end, where the abstract and some sort of ego-effect are intertwining, i’m thinking that i like that play. I’ll confess to having trouble with the abstraction of words like ‘correlate’, ‘surfaces’ and ‘aspects’ but then i think that the shifting topography of the piece could not be possible with a more ontic vocabulary in those slots. The literal dissolution of the i wouldn’t have happened either, and that is one of the things i particularly like about this one.

  2. Beautifully written. The first shard in particular resonates, especially the last line. Peace…

  3. stephen

    Thanks very much for the comments.

    This is a curious piece. Parts of it come from spending an evening on a schooner floating around Gloucester harbor; others from details (an old solar panel tacked to a white rail fence that kinda glows blue. I pass it when i walk the wonder husky that way.) When I started arranging the pieces, I wrote alot to connect them & took most of it back out again. But somehow what remained wasn’t the same as what I started with. It reads to me like a dream of a dream.

  4. Kelly Grotke

    I like the last sentence, shard 2, very much – maybe because it is the gathering point of the abstractions

  5. Pingback: Week #15 – Sleep « 52|250 A Year of Flash

  6. to date, solar panels which generate more than 100Watts are still expensive but hopefully they are getting cheaper each day ..

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