A Mirage

by Amanda Preston

Arrival is impossible, a failure
in all measurable forms
so symbols, delusions, will have to do.
These letters, carriers — variables —
are sent to infect receivers; the speaker
contains nothing, somehow, as the source.
Within this trick no soul resides;
it is dead or at least unliving —
no place, no time, no being, no breath
swells up — what’s between and unsaid.
Waves accumulate, cast off, exiled,
their traces — scratches in quicksand,
are enslaved as they are borne to ground,
to an invisible end, racing, unfounded,
from a projector — a simulation thrown
upon extraterrestrial dimensions,
surfaces immaterial as charges, sound
with both high and low resolution.

It’s a wonder — how such empty shells
can rattle without any seeds of their own.
There is nothing there to perceive
or cut open or crack or leave — too soft —
still, strange tags hang on ash-colored trees
that grow down into the body, the gut,
from the apple’s stem, its head unplucked.
From the rhizome — expression — a threaded
neck with its cover loosened, emptied
out into an open vessel, a mouth, a moment:
a spell, a solution overflowing whatever
dancing horizon glimmers beyond itself;
believed, it feels like reason before it’s gone.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

Amanda Preston is Visiting Scholar and Professor of English & Literature at Eastfield College, and is currently working on a second Master's in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience at UT Dallas. Her poetry has been translated and read in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Anthropology and at the Goethe Language Institute, with print and web publications both at home and abroad.

Preston additionally reads and installs work in exhibition spaces across the Dallas metroplex, working with interdisciplinary and multimedia arts collectives to create dialogic spaces out of otherwise static galleries. Her poetry has been featured by the Danielle Georgiou Dance Company, arts collective Muscle Nation, the Go West Fest Oakcliff invitational, Ro2 Art Gallery's Acoustic Synergy, CentralTrak's One Song, Three Composers exhibition, and the ritual performance installation Harakiri: To Die for Performances.