An Alien Arrives


For S. I think it is maybe like this:
A thumb, her thumb, walked off down the street.
But this thumb is still connected to her nervous system.
The thumb says: “Tschüss…!” And off it goes.
“But does it really have eyes and ears?”
“Don’t I have to use my eyes and ears to protect it?”
“If it gets squished by a bus
that thumb’s nerves, its pain, its hopes
are all still wired directly into my nervous system.”

But for me, it’s different.
It’s more like a ‘something’ arrived in my life.
A kind of hard-to-believe thing.
A Wunder.

“Who are you?
Oh… you don’t know…
Ah… I see, you’re not actually a ‘who’ yet,
you’re building yourself a ‘who’…
Wow, that’s crazy how you’re doing that – and so fast!
I’m starting to see you now – like a Cheshire Cat in reverse.
Slowly appearing – the opposite of evaporating.”

And so I trust this Cheshire Cat grin.
It’s building itself so fast out of air and sugar.
Just watching a few times how the Earthlings do things, say things…
And then, in a wobbly kind of way, doing its own version.
But laughing like hell at the new discoveries that it makes,
the new ways that it’s found to climb stairs.
Ways that no one till now had tried, or even thought of.
And so it feels like:
“Alien… you probably have a position on how we might have more fun doing this…?
Eating this bread, throwing this stick.
I’m with you…!”

A friend described the echo-scan of a heartbeat deep inside her
as being like the sound of a tiny pony.
Galloping impossibly fast across a dark prairie.
Always a little nearer
Night, after night, after night.

When my alien arrived it had a pointed head
squished by the forces of entry.
Pushing, and being pushed
through a wormhole in time
and the feverish folds of a body.
So when she emerged onto our planet
a tiny alien head had been extruded out
into a purple cone of indignation.
A squeezed exclamation mark.

She shuddered with the aftershocks
of contact with our atmosphere.
She lay helpless in our gravity,
away from the liquid of her vessel.

I was asked to cut the link
that led back through space and time.
The tool that was handed to me
was a different kind of technology.
Metal blades – scientifically sharp.
I struggled to cut the sinewy cord,
a twisted coil of extraterrestrial gristle
that had wormed its way here from other dimensions.


An alien is put in my arms.
An exhausted and shocked placeholder.
A messy feedback-loop of pain and inputs.
It would ask a million questions if it could
but it hasn’t wired itself yet.
It hasn’t cohered itself a centre, from which to ask.
A screaming mess of questions without form, without subject.

Looking down, I am lost for words.
My thoughts have dissolved like sugar
– lost their language.
Standing in awe, speechless from what has just happened
– unable to fathom this event.

Perhaps men are just shocked.
They can’t see how an intelligence, and a perception,
and joy, and sadness and fear
are all going to precipitate out of this soft, oozing machine.
Unable to look into the future with their flesh
and perceive the being who will be emerging in this space.

A being is making themselves before their eyes.
A being that will slowly be borrowing,
or stealing their minders’ genes.
Pilfering them late at night,
whilst they’re trying to dance the screaming bundle to sleep.
Spinning around the living room,
using animal rhythms to lull the little animal.

A middle-of-the-night-man in a Berlin flat.
Spinning, dancing, dipping
willing sleep into a tangle of fluids and dreams.
Distracting her with motion.
Weaving her sensory inputs into braids of rhythm and pattern.
Trying to remember the movement of the orbits
around the strange planets of the night
from where she came.

Another middle-of-the-night-man in a parallel universe
at a small lit-window on the other side of the street,
a silhouette in the night – waves to us.
A man from another dimension, another time.
We wave back.
Or at least I do,
because at the moment she’s not yet human.
But she’s working on it fast…

“Did she just wave?
I think I saw her wave…”
come easy at this time of night
time of year,
time of life.
I should tell the man across the street
but the light is gone.

And now she’s bigger, lither and full of language.
She’s perfecting things and slowly forgetting from where she came.
She’s laughing and hurtling and growing so fast.
She’s understanding things that I’d forgotten.
She’s asking questions that are shockingly wise
and painfully stupid
and doomed to be perfectly true.

She’s developing ways to extract the maximum fun:
From chocolates (peeling away the layers one, by one, by one).
From baths (tsunami-ing water through the high-seas of her mind).
From walking (backwards, crackwards, gapwards, anything but efficiently TO-wards).
From bodies (farting, squeezing, shivering, slithering).
From limbs (dangling, tangling and always gambling with her old space-pal: Gravity).
From talking (to no-one – with pleasure – for hours).
Or talking to her audience of cuddly friends.
Or talking to her huddle of Earthling comrades
and sometimes (very occasionally) talking to her tired minders.

“Why is it seven o’clock?”
“Why are goblins so bad?”
“Why should I use a fork?”
“Why are your parents dead?”
“Why is B. a boy?”

And everything gets a name.
Your hippo becomes: ‘Pink Rainbow’
Your huge fluffy dog: ’Donnalotto’(from where did you dream that name…?)
Beetles are christened (if only for a few minutes).
Caterpillars, clouds, rocks – every thing is potentially a friend.
Every thing might be a playmate
to live and laugh with in this second.

No: ‘this moment’.

Seconds mean nothing to you.
Minutes are meaningless ages.
Hours are the glacial creep of adult schedules.
Weeks are the tectonic drift of planning.
Space-girls live only now.
The time-marking from where you came is not measured on cogs or circuits.
It flows through bodies or in the eddies of dreams.
Swirling and meandering through your opening eyes.
Time is a rhythm not an accumulation to be ticked off.
A syncopation of now.

She’s been dreaming of eating clouds
And finally in a gondola above the High Alps
I open a window so she can grab handfuls of the stuff.
“How do they taste?” I ask.
“Cloudy” she replies…

And now she’s here.
The future girl
– projected back from a time and space I will never know.
Her eyes, like dark tunnels
have learnt to see in our light.
And she passes amongst other futures
and holding us tight.
Seeing with a wisdom bourn of years that are yet to be lived.
Tears that are yet to be shed.
Sighs that are yet to be breath.

Related Works & Projects

    [p2p_connected type=projects_to_works mode=tmb][p2p_connected type=projects_to_projects mode=tmb][p2p_connected type=projects_to_publications mode=tmb][p2p_connected type=projects_to_ideas mode=tmb][p2p_connected type=works_to_ideas mode=tmb][p2p_connected type=works_to_works mode=tmb][p2p_connected type=drawingcycles_to_projects mode=tmb][p2p_connected type=drawingcycles_to_publications mode=tmb]