12 thoughts on “The Drone Outside

    Pages 7 – 9

    Against my wont, I found myself reading this three or four times. And sensed it was a tale of when the Machine finally Stops, and when it Stops we forget it ever Started. But which of us Stopped it? Happily Howard’s End?
    108 = 9 x 12 (sixth day of June, as sixth month, with 6 + 6 = 12)

    “One of us, someone from the tribe of susceptibles.”

    Pages 10 – 11

    “I have seen them, spoken to them, loved them. They are hiding in the midst and the ferns until our civilization stops. Today they are the Homeless – tomorrow —–“
    From ‘The Machine Stops’

    “Why can’t we be friends now?” said the other, holding him affectionately. “It’s what I want. It’s what you want.” But the horses didn’t want it — they swerved apart: the earth didn’t want it, sending up rocks through which riders must pass single file;”
    From ‘A Passage to India’

    Pages 16 – 19

    A striking vision. A black mould (‘mold’ is the alternative spelling here) that prevents your dreaming in colour. Mark Samuels’ ‘The Black Mould’? Or the green mould that Trump’s darker mould will soon subsume? The spreading green mould with Demons and Angels in Fracassi’s Civil War Battle of SHILOH (incredibly a day or so ago reviewed here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/12/16/shiloh-philip-fracassi/) Or, rather, it is the black mould WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD (“She tore the letter into little pieces and scattered it over the mould.” EM Forster in his novel with that title.)


    “obsessed with wanting a view—“

    We return to the 9 x 12 =108 focal point of the first work in this chapbook, here the brutalism of demolition (often a theme in EMF fiction) and shown here as a matter of bombs or an apocalyose and a heatwave seen through the letters to its victims in rooms, letters sent by someone who seems to be a drone-operating photographer.

  5. I read and reviewed the next (longer) KOM piece in June 2016, having read it in MARKED TO DIE (Tribute to Mark Samuels), the same book wherein my only recent published piece — THE BIG-HEADED PEOPLE (recently republished as a Eibonvale chapbook at double its original length) — was also printed. This is what I wrote about the KOM piece at that time:


    THE EARLY SIGNS OF BLIGHT by Kristine Ong Muslim

    “the bad man’s rot seeping in”

    A very intriguing take upon OCD, even the synaesthesia of paper publications themselves, a shared OCD between a mother and her son, the latter haunted (and thus haunting us) by a recurrent bad man in the closet of childhood’s Pooh lamplit bedroom… Their backstory, even in this relatively brief text, we gradually learn to learn about amid a hypothesis of chaos theory behind it that makes this story linger on with us.


    “, their interiors buzzing with the collective drone…”

    Incarceration-fiction, also deployed by Beckett, Evenson, Samuels – and this KOM version is a fine example in perfect tune with this book’s Machine Stops Gestalt.
    Also see the broadcast essay by Forster headed “Self and Neighbours”, although not sure that was his own title for it or someone else’s. Also EMF’s ‘The Other Side of the Hedge’ which by a pedometer’s tally possibly matches Samuels’ incarcerative ‘In The Complex’ https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/the-prozess-manifestations-mark-samuels/#comment-11410 that I read yesterday.


    “Like other middle-class families, the Machins conserved energy and only resorted to their meager light sources when necessary.”

    Not only the Machine, but now the Machins stop… or inevitably they default that way eventually. Empathising with their five year old daughter, we vividly experience our earth’s increasing darkness and perhaps also the implications of using ‘vividly’ at all in that context. Mourning Becomes Electra.

  8. The Machine Stops: “A remarkable foreshadowing of the internet, tablet computers and artificial intelligence from a century ago: E.M. Forster’s 1909 short story.”
    And hence the BOLTZMANN BRAIN, the title of this chapbook’s last story….A sense of a brain remaining after all that darkness, global warming and Boltzmann’s understanding of entropy etc. And now 70 year old Trump’s nurturing of globular warming….

    “On this day 70 years ago,…”

    In a few days I am 70, and once spent 22 years “in one of the world’s megacities or hunched in capitalist enclaves toiling to earn…”
    A remarkable refocussing here, at new coordinates to replace those of 108 = 9 x 12, a new triangulation of a broadcasting base like this site where you read my transmissions. Are you out there, despite apocalypse?
    YES, I AM, the Drone Outside.
    You will have your own triangulation on this series of short works. Each reader will have one, and mine is not necessarily sacrosanct. The beauty of these works.

    “It is still relatively dark outside the vault. It is always relatively dark.”


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