new zealand electronic poetry centre

M E R E D I T H    Q U A R T E R M A I N


Discovery At Sea



I begin my search for passage, my Moby Dream.   With navigation’s star charts.   This being the real and positive state – that all celestial bodies are in motion, including you.   It has been impossible to identify a fixed point in space-time.   And the charts you have favoured me with, like Solomon, go not fully after the Lord but love 300 princesses and 700 concubines which burn incense and sacrifice to their gods.  

To speak is to dream locations, points, situs in a written city, where the speaker is a public square for festivals and processions of dancing, disintegrating, marching palabras, parole, mots.   A Piazza Navona for markets, chariot races, and the fountains of popes who taxed bread, and burned philosophers on stakes.  To speak is to navigate a vast submarine forum for agones: struggles, researches, minds, wills, uprisings, reigns of terror mired in crazy inferno.   To speak is to echolocate this city – to enter – dreaming, unconscious – the written pathways shaping the letters to follow.   From the chuman, comes the chimp and the human.   From the amniote, come the sauropsid dinosaurs and birds and the synapsid dogs, elephants, and armadillos.    But there’s no going back, only forward in the writing/ walking castle so convoluted with knees, elbows, chimneys, colonnades, balconies, stairs, dumbwaiters, trundling beeping along, a great cyborg camel, so convoluted that the Human can never catalogue all the moving parts let alone figure their levers and linkages.   To speak is to set out like a knight to good deeds, where the goods trade on every exchange.

I am turtle carrying compass/ word-house on my back, two shells signifiers/ signified bound in turtle flesh, my body a sign in mindless systems.   I speak as sleep-walker dreaming a moby dream of awakeness.   Something human beyond the anthill.   Where everything is UN-realized, opened to its illusory value – every pediment and frieze, every chapel and apse, every tuxedo and pajama, every whereas and I do hung on the racks of Value Village.  


Seeking north by northeast

Geo, Vancouver


Last updated 27 April, 2006