Act 1

Stephen Muecke

The computer, Alpha Soixante, said in 1965: Reality is too complex for oral communication. But legend embodies it in a form which enables it to spread around the world. Since then, Big Dada, today, has an even more dangerous fantasy:

The fantasy of the double-click and the normative system; immediate access and a code that needs no deciphering.

But Lemmy Caution fights the normative system; he knows he can break it, because Alpha Soixante doesn’t know that it is poetry that can turn night into day. Alpha Soixante thinks Lemmy is lying.

There are breaks, hiatuses, in the codes.

The normative system will always fail; it is the descending arc of time.

Only in the breaks does the system reveal its workings, as other systems come into play: You suddenly lose connectivity on your device. It asks for a password. You ring your provider. You reboot. You restore factory settings and lose all data. Your son provides you with a cheat; you can relax back into the normative system of the double click.

But now you are a little wiser to the tricks of that nervous system. Every trick has its price. Every hiatus you survive leads to new attachments. You gather them like shields and spears, in love and in hatred; the legend re-forms.

The value lies not in the gap of the break, but in the energetics of reattachment. Do you know.

Act 2

Jamie Wang

i. Natacha

In the beginning there was God,
or Ying and Yang, or Com-pu-ter,
It was nothing, then it is everything.
from molar to molecular, a quantum void filled with
meaningful emptiness

Darkness followed by the present, pixelated,

then I see her, the partial woman of a memory
or maybe my partial memory, I am uncertain
as I was warned of a tendency of humanising the ones
other than my kin
this invalidates my reminiscence
constitutes my recount
a mad person’s talking

I imagine, to remember

I call her Natacha, I follow her
one blink at a time,
to collect pieces of shadows with diminishing words/concepts
moving in and out of her porous body that
she sometimes rotates (?)
the green of her bangles flickers
the same hue of the raw stone I saw
on the edge of the city, now of her eyes.

I must imagine more, to recast

broken voices cut through the frail walls (wave wall),
skeletons are braver, always talk louder
Natacha listens, and traces with her tentacles
bent like ancient monsters, spreading out
through the whitewater of white lines
before waves rise and
rise and break,
conjure diffracted bits of scenes

I sew my body with her fragments
She, they, inside me
One and many.

ii. Kookaburra

They refuse to believe
(as if I were trying to be foreign or naïve)
that I have not seen a Kookaburra, till now

I am old and so delighted
when I see you move your eyes
with your neck and snuggly chest

I’ve heard part of you
when you swoop and laugh among the ancient
like Natacha or my memory

I feed you the skin of the fish I half enjoyed
a token of my love
you keep banging the thin piece at the wooden ledge
as if it were not residual but a whole
alive and needed to be re-killed,
together we tell the story of a failed land

I begin to lose track of what’ve been erased
and the woman I followed
Between a shadow and a sound, the shadow of the sound
is a planet to rescue.

iii. Revolution

Our lungs drink air, hot,
Heat compresses the atmosphere into a smudged palette
— spit out colours

Red makes us nervous
green is nervous

Shadows unravel, grow tall, rip my skin open
as those soil-less plants break up the walls of pots,
as unfinished questions walk out of the paper jar

half words were killed and half of us left, no more

In turn

We step out of the causality
Nature is queer, tears need to be wept before the disappearance, then
the woman will be back.

No reversibility of the modern
You will become something worse than death… Monsieur Lemmy Caution.

We must, reset.