Blackbox manifold

Issue 15: Mike Saunders

Monument to OS

55.9889 x -3.4310

From the north travel trees in depleted clusters

and folds, divided through isometric perspective.

What was previously a forest or a wood

becomes an elaborate swatch. Follow this

into movement, at a remove, through

differentiations of green, a knife-like transition,

into a present at odds with its evolution. Today

Inverkeithing constantly and actively funnels

between multiple striking and paralysing inboxes

while commuters egress at speed over Inchgarvie.

What remains is a type of spine, in a process

of constant replacement, structured

within an unsustainable network. Not for the first time

motion is measured within friction, or guesswork.


58.6698 x -3.0612

In specific detail crouched

against foreign weather, to mark terrain,

surrounded by canvas and the warm

hoarse breath at night from three sides,

poles above. Slice into existence

a previous triangulation.

Kept instead of a diary what

once was never described this way,

in degrees, in rock structures,

in erosion and whatever

can be seen from here:

what looks like a sheer drop

from the south is an ever flattening plateau

from the northeast.


58.6874 x -3.5663

Continue with disorganised spirit,

a somnolent & ragged flag,

through variations: sleep,

long arm of day, double dream

of amalgamation. Left

soot. Left unerasable traces

(experimenting with height)

from a bird’s eye view (if birds

saw perspective not as angled

but as planar, a loose tube,

threaded not like cotton but

like a screw). Diagrammatic plates

held in rusted place as if permanent:

as if in a variation of permanence.

Mike Saunders' work has been featured in a number of recent publications, and a pamphlet, Detent, is forthcoming from Gatehouse Press. He is currently writing about land and money and water. He runs with Angus Sinclair. He lives in Edinburgh.