Spiral by Stephen Hastings-King

When collapse is a wave that curls the floor under itself I give myself to it and fall through a white void where the only differentiation is a black square that recedes at a speed greater than that of my descent; it trails long thin clouds that buckle and collapse in the viscosity of the air, gardens of absence I hurtle through, the boundary conditions of an empire of scatter where waveforms and their collisions open onto plains and cities and languages and the ways each dissolves into possibilities. In one of them I sit in a chair and read “When collapse is a wave that curls the floor under itself.” I look across a white room at the black square on the wall then back at the page. I give myself to it and fall into the white spaces between the letters. Aerial, I turn to watch backward sentences recede. Beneath them trail long thin clouds that wave slowly back and forth in the viscosity of the air. I inhale them. When I look up again from the page and across the room at the black square on the wall I hear collapse approaching. When it is a wave I give myself.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Spiral by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. Randal Houle

    The looseness of this one really lends to the theme of floating away.

  2. Len

    normally it’s hard to make repetition like that work but yours does and it’s central to the piece. nice building of tension from beginning to end.

  3. Stephen Hawkings meets Alice in Wonderland. Nice one.

  4. very unusual and literally coming undone, cyclical like life. Bravo!

  5. stephen

    thanks very much for the reads and lovely comments. i was wondering how far i could go with this kind of recursion and remain inside the constraints. glad that it works for you.

  6. guy

    I was thinking about this on the drive home tonight. I was trying to reconstruct it. Not easy.

    I like your take on the theme. Well played.

  7. Liked this on fn, and like it even more on the reread. This was a difficult construction, but you played it perfectly. Peace…

  8. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  9. stephen

    thanks much for the reads and comments. it all started with a very big storm that sent wind screaming off the water and straight at my little tree fort. it made the floor rattle and shake and at some points i felt like the building was about to lift off the ground. …

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