The multiverse is an undeniable truth. Coincidentally, it’s also an undeniable falsehood, but we don’t need to get into philosophy or anything now–this is about poetry. And therefore, the multiverse exists, which is fortunate: post-apocalyptic poetry is downright dependent on this elemental fact-and-or-lie.
Around here, we like to think of reality as an Apeiroverse: an infinite universe of infinite universes. Totally mind-bending, right? Excellent word. The stem, apeiron, comes from the Greek, ἄπειρον–the Unending, the unlimited source of all things, as proposed by the philosopher Anaximander, teacher of Pythagoras. How’s that for a word?
“Multiverse” just seems kind of limited. What’s “multi”? Like, four? Pretty arbitrary. And our word gets the cool etymology, whereas “multi” is from the Latin multi, meaning “multi”. Yeesh.
On the other hand, the Apeiroverse is infinite in variety (by definition–reread above if you need to), with wonders and terrors to behold. Yet, it just as often presents worlds like our own. A flawed mirror. The glass crackéd and smokéd. Smashed up a bit, rearranged, and fixed with packing tape. Tapéd, one supposes.
And so too the poetry of these worlds. Familiar, but rendered strange by minds whose peaks and troughs lie in uneasy harmony with those from our own world. Like, maybe they have a rhyme for “silver” or enjoy limericks or something.
From time to time, we receive these pieces of transdimensional poesy–indeed, we harvest verse from the Apeiroverse. We have vowed to share these with our own Earth because we really don’t see any reason that we should bear this burden alone. Let us remind you that we’ve already done our damnedest to translate Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse. If that’s what a novel looks like on Earth Z, then you can probably imagine what a villanelle is gonna be.
Or can you?
We suppose it only fitting that the first selection is a meditation on the ends of worlds by the poet Bobert Frost. Frost was born in the rustic flesh markets of Borg San Chakra in 2513 (local calendar). At the age of six, he was smuggled out of BSC disguised as a roll of sausage links, and he went to live with wealthier relatives in the cave warrens of the Feckless Wastes for many years. It was there, in the chafing limestone confines of his adolescence, that young Bobert first scrawled his poetic visions using whatever was handy. Mostly air. But a few were written on the cave walls in a more durable ink–it’s probably ochre, but it kind of looks like blood.
We leave it here for you to witness.
Fire and Ice, etc.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
It’s both, actually,
And several other things that exceed
The capacity of language and conventional physics
Apocalypse must suffice.
We didn’t say it was good, and shame on you if you expected otherwise. I mean, this isn’t the Infernal Rift for nothing. It’s not even a sonnet, for Pete’s sake.
But you have to hand it to little Bobert: it’s a poem. Possibly an omen, but that’s for another day.