City that encloses many other cities, like a lunch pail filled with multiple containers, each of which holds a prescribed number of foodstuffs – nuts, sultanas, rice, meatstuffs, tapioca, croutons, larvae. An anticity formed from invisible matter, shifting its colours and contours, blown by desert winds and dream tornadoes. An atrocity filled with horrors, spikes and black smoke, spewing out deformed mutants and scar slogans, calling to the darkness within your ventricles. An audacity stretched like a dare from the limb of a still-green tree, or coiled in the bottom of a soul boat, ready to be thrown, fastened or used to hang other cities from. A basicity of which it is not necessary to speak, or even dream, hidden inside another city whose governmental complexes defy the bureaucratic imagination, if it even exists. A caducity so moribund its whimpers sound like stolen curses, hampered by sticky constraints and medical technicalities, falling through sleep into a deep well of madness, covered in ash. A capacity for evil that no one ever suspected still lives but does, in nature reserves and traffic islands, quarantine areas and no-fishing zones. A clonicity that attempts to duplicate even itself, leading to a long litany of missing parts, overpasses to nowhere, riffs on postmodernism and galaxies of cul de sacs. A conicity that sweeps up all in its path, even the sleeping terminal attendants, and creates new weather patterns, based on its architect’s original intentions, now buried beneath the horror of gated communities, rifle ranges and toxic spillways. A cubicity fashioned from rafts and steel wires, held together by desire, persisting as a tightly-strung circus tent, under which its animals graze and gaze. A duplicity that’s breathtaking in its grandeur, though the logic is wrong and the adjustments made by engineers will never obtain council approval. An edacity whose subway systems interconnect only on the hour, causing entropy and unexpected life encounters, especially a midnight. An ethnicity of which one can only dream, lodged as it is between the scions of restriction and the tremors of united stations, partly built, in space. A felicity like a feel-good balm upon the lips, pursed in preparation for the sanction of this candidate or that, but forever silent, alert, armed. A feracity of slow waltzes and miniature parades, submerged loudspeakers and surveillance blockbusters, concealed romantics and open-faced laughter, grinding down its teeth on the harbour’s edge. A ferocity astonishing even to its own inhabitants, in the way its snow-squalls whip the skin from the face, its rain lances the windshields of automobiles, its radiant heat blisters streetsigns, its moonbeams suck the very fluids from my body. A fugacity trenchant, exposing hypocricy and mending tortured limbs, beyond all meaning and enveloped in smog, blinking towers that glow and laser surgeries housed in shadow bunkers. A helicity whose blades puncture drums and contaminate dry zones, filled with the urgent squealing of atomic clocks, marked by its denizens’ wearing of orange armbands, and the bandannas of the military, striped and saturated with sweaty grease. An iconicity characterised by icicle statues, advertising rays and sugar bays, curled up like a homeless wish on the steps of cold justice, populated by boys with bloated stomachs and sorry wires. An intercity blown to smithereens by repeated invasions, now located somewhere in the asteroid bell we all call home but haunted, still, by the steel consistency of its barricaded islands, its musuem shell. An ionicity bombed and reconstructed, all of its former plans and colonies lost, piles of cardboard boxes in the central station concourse, blue paint in the air and sideways glances everywhere. A loquacity harbouring refugees from free thought, bunkered down in the eerie neon snow, diseased and canned, preserving only our final breaths in its shafts and risers. A lubricity that slips like chance encounters between the lips, down the throat and into the farthest reaches of our corpuscles, arriving finally at the fingertips, where it sits, like a spider monkey, and waits. A megacity etched from the walls of a giant transdermal prison, its ringroads and rotaries like omniscient eyes in the face of human traffic, cordoned off and blind. A mendacity cutting itself repeatedly on barbed wire, changing its name, denying its own complicity, saving that rebuttal for the final appearance of bone, shattered sinews and tendons of hope. A mendicity all of its own, a pride like a billowing blue cloud, a miasma of swamplands and flooded wharves, coming alive only after the heat of the day has vanished. A minacity deathless, frontierless, plain – existing only in the eternity-bound wagons of the last black train, housing prisoners from cities whose names cannot be uttered, tied with string and bound by codes of brotherhood, sisterhood, nationhood, belief. A multicity referring and cataloguing itself again and again, until even the patterns of its forced assimilations begin to resemble constellations, beehives, shrouds, lives.

Express yourself