Mathias Svalina



You are building a ladder that reaches to the bottom of everything. It goes so deep that it reaches the future & there you find all the people who loved you & you gather them in one room & you ask them questions like What had I hoped to live? & Where could I have walked? In the future all the ladders arrive from the past & the people step off of them, tired & dirty from their long journeys down, rubbing their eyes with their wrists. In the future all the people who loved you are growing larger & larger, too large to remember you, too true to remain in the past.


You are an island. People live on you; things grow on you; people build things on you. Half of the people carry compasses, the other half mechanical pencils. You might have to say a few things about love here. You tap your foot gently on the hardwood floor. You have a mechanical pencil with no more leads; you repeatedly press your thumb to the eraser & it clicks. A high-pitched whine oscillates in & out of your range of hearing. You have lost your compass. It is up to those people who live on you, building their theme parks in the shape of beached frigates, to find the direction & to write it down. About love, the more said, the better.

Mathias Svalina is the author of three books, most recently The Explosions from Subito Press. He is a part of Team Octopus.