PALEOTECHNICS

Matthew Ashton

 

 

The end of the world has already happened

Countless times before

 

It ended just before midday yesterday

And some 65 million years earlier

It ended on October 10, 1492

It ended on January 26, 1788

It ended on April 10, 1815

It ended on August 6, 1945

It ended on January 12,  2010

 

Sometimes its occurrence goes by unnoticed

A gentle breeze from an unfamiliar origin

A slight drop in air pressure

An increase in temperature

A birdsong out of season

The cries of an unsettled cat

And the world ends in loneliness

Somewhere

 

At other times it comes like a tempest

A ravaging gale, a vengeful sea

A violent geologic force

Brutally rupturing the earth

Remaking it anew

 

The end is a place, a time, an event

Recorded in absence

In emptiness

In nonexistence

Of Life

Of People

Of Language

 

The end is a rift, a void, a cavity

A space reinforced by its own lack

A negated city

An empire of nothing

But as one world ends another is forged

A constant process of destruction and production

The possibility of another world haunts us

Stalking in the shadows of reality 

 

Sometimes we encounter it in dreams

Wandering the plains of the unconscious 

Or glimpse it while awake

A ghostly presence

A glitch in the program

A peek behind the drapes of our lived fictions

 

A moment of intense clarity

A moment of total confusion

A moment of escape

A second, a minute, an hour, a day

A week, a month, a year, a millennium

A lifetime

 

Time does not stand still, time is restored

Replenished, released, emancipated

From the shackles of civilization

Free to cascade forth

 

Unhindered

Unorganized

Unmanaged

Unplanned

Uncalculated

 

Time endowed once more with mystery

With ambivalence,imagination and possibility

Like before when the future still existed

And the world was made of water and stone.