Drink it all in. Let the blood darken

your face. You are breathing

language substrate. You are walking through

so many parts per million of undiscovered expression,

a hemisphere of unvoiced sound.

The smallest unit of meaning is a germ

and germs lurk everywhere,

ink spit and typeface in mirrors.

They always did. They always will

tempt you to assign value.

When you do, you inhale invisible language dust,

delusion molecules, fantasy atoms, fact iotas

and inflate yourself with them,

build dreams, hang hope off them,

act on them

and then you fall.

There’s frenetic mutation

and any number of misunderstandings

but if you’ve tried to make sense before,

you may have some immunity

or an addiction, incipient or chronic?

There is peril in pulped data,

bits and bytes,

the d.n.a. of sentences:

adenine, the letters, guanine,

cytosine, syllables, thymine,

pulverised alphabet, spores of flower verb,

proglottids of emotional worm,

‘a’s and ‘z’s, silent and transparent as air in air,

illness heralds, single cellular life.

A body clearing its throat of irritant,

life sentences pour from the mouth.

Fine numerals, hair breadths, fractional tolerances

in creation soup, gamete ideas meeting,

generating plagues and paradise,

bugs, bug fixes, zygotes, cons and lies,

health bestowing stories, awesome description,

vaccines and poisons, inoculation and possession,

abrasive punctuation, transmogrifying radiations of fear and hate,

the syntax of oppression, granular imperatives

all swirling inaudible, intangible in the bubble

that surrounds you, caught in the filters

for understanding, clogging their mesh,

short circuiting nerves.

The thread leading back through the maze

into tree clean air, is fraying, is spat on and rotting,

is being chewed by sentiment, untied by pride

and going up in smoke.

The signs billow, flutter and flow like substitute oxygen.

You need to absorb some and live for a while in delusion,

drink embarrassment and boost your signifying anti-bodies,

take the rumours and the paranoias like strychnine tonic,

the fantasies as sugar, the lies as creative,

the fear as a warning, the half truth as a half truth.

You are breathing language substrate.

You are walking through an atmosphere drenched

in undiscovered expression,

a hemisphere of the unsaid becoming extinct.

ZQ 170317 (UD June 2022 – was Drink The Embarrassment)