Poems by Amanda Stewart

Emptied Signs

1. the observer

98% junk
98% chimp
70% water
90% unconscious


2. the observed

74% empty space
74% dark energy
22% dark matter (cold hot or warm but dark)
96% dark fluid (4% matter)


3. something amiss

the noise of exchange
                                                                               recombinant absence
                                                                               shards of debris
                                                                               molecular machines

                                                                               coherence — pale and shining
                                                                               under a canopy of wars —


4. the observer/observed

a stuttering unconscious primate
makes its way through its darkened emptiness of
holes and black and junk and fluid

                                                                               contained fear

the bowl the knife the axe the cup
the bomb the pill the patent the code
                                                                               use becomes the object
                                                                               which the object forgets

the telescope the eyeglass the camera the gaze
behind before the same landscape appears appears

                                                                               a bruised twilight loops

once there was a 20th century
                                                                               and in the beginning
                                                                               the gaze was stripped bare
                                                                               in 12 tones and 4’33”
                                                                               sprays of phonemes
                                                                               untamed numbers
                                                                               buildings in code
                                                                               fort/da at the speed of thought light
                                                                               falling elsewhere
                                                                               a cat in a black box
                                                                               a particle and a wave
                                                                               reified uncertainty
                                                                               the position of the observer
                                                                               becomes part of the observed

shattered axioms
collapse and divide                                            reform

the atom the organism the subject the sign
the note the number the symbol the form

newton’s had it
mendel’s back
from peas to bees knees
joyce to stein
a modern ism’s new syntax
a talking cure
a bad tempered scale
from cézanne to bohr
saussure for sure
from flavour charge mass and spin
to SUSY and vibrating strings
pythagoras is?
no membrane magic
the mother master mystery matrix
witten’s wissenschaft
M-theory in 11 dimensions
d-branes p-branes
or something from the swampland

to bring the unsayable
to the said

sunlit multiverses
rise from the debris of repetition

god is

a market
yes                   for intelligent design

genetics gets stuck on protein
physics glows in the dark

from G.U.T. to T.O.E.
a priori fait accompli

from flat earth to universe
cold and dark and black unknown

W.I.M.P. or M.A.C.H.O.
R.A.M.B.O. D.U.N.N.O.

the exception meets and remakes the rule
the loop of relation feeds back
into the space of its own absence

the sign empties reforms
propositions dimensions of lack
sliding beneath the horizon of objects

a darkened age?
no just the same night sky

was our only hope

the possible outside the remembered
sign and system spilling at the edge of use



Tautology 11 
the relation of assumption to the form of sound
the assumption of relation between sound and form
the relation of sound to the assumption of form
the form of relation and its sound assumption
the sounded relation of form and assumption
the form of sound and its assumed relations
the sounded assumptions in formal relations
the between form of sound in relation to assumption
the between sound of form in assuming relation
between sound, form, relating assumption
the assumption of form sounding relations



Bondi rock pool. 1963.

a line across a plane
a city marked in water and eucalyptus
an efficient takeover
a funnel web enters a sock
and at the edge of sea bondi’s child
all hands and tongue sand in mouth
gathers the movement
of starfish and snails anemone and cuttle
an observer, unable to utter, takes place
a voice, silently present, observes
this child etched in salt and breath,
the child thrown up onto the shore,
the nets thrashing with slow death and light. 



Water meadow, Prater, Vienna.
Gruppen? Now?
Yes. Group 23. 20. 15. 14. 11. 12.
a present from the emperor.
a water meadow in squares.
terminals. points of exchange. war.
tight packets of rural bliss
compressed nostalgia
at the edge of kitsch
for what left long ago



“Tautology 11” and a longer version of “Emptied Signs” was published on the Home and Away pages on nzepc.