A few years ago my good friends and colleagues Alicia Sometimes, Sean M Whelan and Paul Mitchel formed Science in The Dark a collaborative directed by Alicia Sometimes to put on Elemental, Poetry At The Planetarium. It was a show as part of the Melb International Arts Festival in late 2009. Poets worked with filmakers and musicians including Nat Bates (Liquid Architecture) and Lawrence English (Room 40) to create one piece each on a scientific theory which was then projected onto the huge dome screens of the planetarium. It was pretty rad. We also commissioned an original composition from British experimental group Nurse With Wound to give us The Big Bang (which naturally opened the show.) Each poet chose a theory to work with, I chose Dark Matter, cause it was mysterious and no-one to this day knows what the hell it is. I did alot of reading and listened to interviews with this wild scientist Bernard Heishe (The God Theory) who suggested that Dark Matter lives here on earth and that it's the actual stuff of God.
I wrote this poem while I was travelling through the ancient ruins of Mexico, I looked right into the eyes of history which were so deep and dark they made the bottom of the ocean appear like a glass of water. There's still so much more to explore, but I had to start somewhere...
There are 13 dimensions in the universe; four to be exact,
three plus one.
1. Dark matter woke up the day that light slipped into consciousness.
Travelling at the speed of time, entering through the god-beasts – Man.
In the beginning, when an ocean was just a glint in an asteroid’s eye.
2. In utter blackness the only thing that exists is possibility.
3. There can’t be possibility without imagination. There is no imagination without consciousness. There is no God without imagination.
4. With our thoughts we make the world – Buddha
Once upon a time, a man accidently wandered into Paradise and fell asleep under a big oak tree. When he awoke he felt so hungry he wished for food, and in Paradise anything you desire appears, so magically a delicious meal came out of nowhere. The man ate. He was too hungry to question its origin. (When your stomach is empty, you are not too philosophical.) After his hunger abated he felt thirst and thought a drink would be nice. Suddenly, precious wine appeared before him and he grew suspicious – what was this place? Why are things materialising? It must be haunted! And instantly, ghosts appeared. Ghosts, he thought, are bad news. So the ghosts became ferocious and horrible. Surely I will die! he thought. And with that he was gone.
All that is, is the result of what we have thought – Buddha
The universe is expanding like a mind. Every idea breathes it just that little bit wider. Dark matter existed before anything went bang. Before a rock knew what it was, before time uncurled and opened its deep black mouth to yawn out the multiverse. In the beginning even nothingness was not: but that doesn’t Matter.
5. The god-beasts think it’s a coincidence that lungs resemble trees in autumn, that land has veins, that the sea looks like an aerial map of human skin,
an elephant detail, a thirsty universe of pathways as long as DNA.
They are clearly a consequence of the whole; everything in existence has no choice. We share the same mother, we spin around the same star.
When a snake eats a deer, it becomes the deer, it becomes the grass it chewed, the mother it grew in, the water it drank, the river it traveled, the pink of its skin, the frost of its breath – all now sleep inside the snake.
6. When everything is so overwhelming you can’t breathe, when you feel genuinely astounded by a frog’s skeleton, or you are frozen by the grandeur of a moose, the breathtaking magnitude of Saturn, or the dizzying complications of a flower, and don’t know what your place is in this world is:
look to corn.
Its young seedlings poking out of the earth like a tongue. Unfolding into inevitability, a sculpture in reverse. It knows what it’s going to be, it just has to make its destined shape. It goes about its husky purpose; magical silk fingers move in night winds collecting wet powdered sex to make its tiny soft, sweet bumps. It dreams of nothing but the sun, it dreams in yellow. Corn knows what’s going to happen and its death is a thousand different afterlives, a universe of papery speckled seeds floating in the blue of its earthbound heaven.
Corn knows not to worry.
7. Man started off big, likening themselves to the earth, to the holy mountains, to the sky, till Copernicus stubbed a beautiful and unique snowflake out on their holy books, and Einstein showed them that space is as bendy as fishnet. It was the sun heaven revolved around, not them.
8. They found themselves small, smaller than an eyelash, so small they can slide on an amoeba’s skin gloss, swim the rivers on the palm of a child’s hand, sail the Nile of their lifeline. They found themselves as important as a tealeaf in a whale, a string inside an electron, a quantum haiku lost in the geometry of language.
But size doesn’t Matter.
Early on, just after the monkey wore off, Man asked: What is air? Then, What is water? What is space? What is the fractional dimension hiding the squirming neutrino particles traveling through your skin, breathing with you, swimming on your brainwaves like microscopic ducks? They built lakes to watch the stars, traced patterns, carved fortunes. Understood the nausea of prophesy, fought wars, drank blood straight from the hearts of their enemies, and eventually all had to ask: Who was this one god dripping with gold and gore hanging on the southern cross, with hazelnuts for eyes? He is a suffering mess and we are expected to worship him? You throw away the soul of fire, the essence of rain, the mother of the gods. You mutilate our idols, smash in each and every one of their faces and build a haunted church from the rubble where your god hangs like a curtain?
9. Time is squashed inside all of us like tobacco into a cigarette.
10. God laughed, a big white Santa laugh, and said: ‘It’s a whole Galileo of possibilities.’
11. It’s the thing that’s around you now, the one you don’t have a mouth for, the chi, anah, ki, mana, pranamaya-kosha. It’s the gap between the sun drinking a sacrifice off an altar, leaving behind soft crunchy flakes like garlic paper.
It’s underground sulphuric prayers, offerings of boiling black rain, the making of land, a billion-year heartbeat, a trillion primordial fireballs leaving space stains. It’s the clicking of a cursed skeleton in the back of an anthropologist’s car.
It’s a disappointed scientist’s heart collapsing like wet origami.
12. The man in Paradise didn’t know he was in Paradise. Had he known his thoughts could determine his fate, he may have thought of the hardest thing any man can ever think of: Nothing.
13. Man didn’t know time would determine God and God didn’t know man would take everything so literally.
Before you knew what you were, the sun had determined your shape, it pulled life out of the ocean and made it duplicate and writhe.
For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life – William Blake.
There can be no possibility without consciousness. In the beginning, even nothingness was not. It’s just a Matter of time.
See the video of all the poems here