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A POEM IN WHICH all words are taken from two sources:
seven translations of
and the raw transcript of the APOLLO 11 mission and its
AIR-TO-GROUND communications


The OVID passages have been selected from sentences which
feature the word
MOON; the NASA excerpts were chosen and
integrated by matching those words with ones utilised in the

OVID passages. Some punctuation has been slightly changed.
Some abbreviations unpacked. Spellings, anglicised.



Curse and speak magic words, words like PROGRAM and VERB, NOUN, COMPUTER ACTIVITY, things of this sort. For your information, we played the recorded TV back last, a long procession moving on, with tambourines in accompaniment:

The golden fled the sky; black and white film, interior lights off, electric
Hasselblad with the 80-millimetre lens.

The stars were in black cloud, and the night was postponed because of rain.

Fled from the sky; the stars lay hid behind a canopy of cloud; night's fires
were lost
down in the noise on the COMM link about the time you were describing
the single
cell cloud formation over the Afghanistan-Pakistan area.

The clouds disperse in fumes, the wondering—just out of curiosity—if it brings my heart
rate up.

There is no Time, just the blue sky above and the pretty bright, and the black sky,
instead of being black, has sort of a rosy glow to it.


The earth is really getting bigger up here and, of course, we see a crescent, three tedious
nights are wanting to fulfil the circling.

Exhausting heat—four out of eight circuit breaker talkbacks indicating red—the crescent of
the rising 1½ points shortly after opening. The crescent of the vanishing faded out on your
last transmission, alternate changes knew and vouched the silent stars.

The crescent fills to full coverage, skirmishes still continue between Egyptians and Israelis;
we had climbed the sky and still the fate of the war hung in the balance.


It looks like the sun is finally coming through the shade that, with the golden, succeeds the
fires of light shining on something like a billiard ball or a bowling ball. The little hill just
beyond the shadow of the Lunar Module is a pair of elongate craters about … probably the
pair together is about 40 feet long, the mother and the daughters mourned. No sun as yet
poured light upon the world, no trace of brown, it's now returned to a very grey appearance
and, like the 8 crew says, it has a look of Plaster of Paris to it at this sun angle, which
observes the waning with hourly view through the window there.


“Oh, Charlie is that you?”

“That’s me. How are you there, for whom the endless search is never satisfied?”

“Shape unchanged, but always late came, and noted any erratic motions of the pCO2 gauge. Let me *** up tight *** have to *** up straight *** up. Got her customary magic, which would cover the white spot you see on your monitor, our TV people say it is a burn spot; but they expect it to dissipate after a couple of hours.

“Outshines the morning star, loud and clear now, Charlie, so I might as well do a bunch of marks on this one to get a good horizon—whose magic spells, men say, have many a time forced down in the Lower Equipment Bay, so it’s not shining through the windows and heating the place up high beyond the moon, its fiery tail leaving a wide track behind, flashing forth as a star.

“I thrusted back—I thrusted back toward it a little bit, Charlie, and I’m now reading NOUN 83, plus four balls 4, minus four times she waned, her orb dwindling away, and all this time the South wind blew with hot and deadly blasts. I call up dead men from their graves; and thee, O, yaw 355—I say again, yaw 355, the track switch to manual and supplication, worshipping her mysterious gods with incantations equally mysterious by means of wide beam-width. Over.

“Well, we shut out the sun coming in from the other windows into the spacecraft, so it's looking through a ... the number 1 window, and there isn't any reflected light now, nor in the ambient air yet hangs the earth, self-balanced, equipoised, nor do any ocean’s arms embrace the long far margin of the land. We don’t have anything in focus, Charlie. Over.”

“Roger. Copy. Out.”

Angus CARLYLE works collaboratively and on his own. With Cathy LANE, he published two collections of artist interviews, IN THE FIELD and SOUND ARTS NOW. With Rupert COX and Kozo HIRAMATSU, he created the documentary projects AIR PRESSURE and ZAWAWA. His recent books focusing on his immediate surroundings include A DOWNLAND INDEX (uniformbooks), NIGHT BLOOMS (Makina) and MIRRORS (self-published).


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Partner to a press called Tenement, Hotel is a publications series for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. 

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