Voice of Apsu

Journal — April 6, 2017 — love, lucidity, learning

Today I had a conversation about the phenomenon I routinely experience when I see a certain woman, where I’m immediately dropped into a world of mind-shattering beauty and I’m not sure what to do about it.

Later, exactly that happened.I mean: she walked, just, right across my path. Perpendicular, even. I saw her the whole way. I couldn’t believe it.

On my way to find an anima strategy to deal with this, and following on the insight that love needs to become art, I decided to do something I’ve neverIt’s been almost three years since I wrote Their Love Is Like This, which is love prose, technically. I never tried to make it rhyme. done before: write a love poem.

God damn it. It’s come to this.

The poem is below. If you aren’t interested in commentary on it, you can just stop reading after the last line.


under your feet the world turns right

along with every step you take

another breath out of my chest

drawn tight just like all of the rest

of you in that red dress so bright

in my eyes forever awake

to see the neverending curve

across your hips I live to serve


I can name several similarities between the process of writing this, and of writing TLILT.

It was very fast, and very easy. I spent less than an hour on it.Writing TLILT, on some days I wrote more than six thousand words.

Sometimes, when I would focus on the language, the process would get more difficult; I’d get stuck on trying to find a rhyme, for some minutes. When I really felt stuck, I would just take a moment to remember what I saw, a couple hours earlier, and ask myself: what was that? How can I describe that?


The lights are very pretty and they make me want to push the buttons, but bad things happen if I do. (source)
Then it would get very easy, again. The challenge is mainly to convince myself to let go of control over what I write.

Which begs the question, of course: who is in control?

Whoever it is, I really love their writing. Both works are markedly smarter than I am. Even today, when I read TLILT, there are certain lines and paragraphs that I boggle at in sheer astonishment.

It all fits together so neatly – all the words, the grammar, the meaning, the story, the sound of it, everything – that it seems like the author had to have imagined the whole thing as one piece, but it’s 250 pages long, and, besides, I know for a fact that I never knew what the next page would contain as I was writing the previous one.Sometimes I had a guess, and I was usually wrong.

If you read this poem several times through, I think you’ll start to notice that quality.

For example, if you just read any two sequential lines, in isolation, you usually form a complete thought. I only see one exception, beginning “of you”.

NOTE: Beyond this point, you should only read if you’ve already read TLILT, from beginning to end.

What I find most interesting is that this quality is also true for the last and first lines. That means I can do this:


along with every step you take

another breath out of my chest

drawn tight just like all of the rest

of you in that red dress so bright

in my eyes forever awake

to see the neverending curve

across your hips I live to serve

under your feet the world turns right



You could write it on a Möbius strip, and spend a few minutes freaking out. (source)
This poem doesn’t actually have a beginning or an ending. It’s all one continuous loop. That was completely unexpected; I only noticed it after I’d written the whole thing.

Now, if you’ve read TLILT, this should sound familiar. It’s one of the recurring themes, connected with the Tiamat verses. It appears most distinctly in three places.


The word “ouroboros” is never actually used in TLILT, but it’s a good word to know when you’re reading it. (source)
The first appearance is in Sif and Thor, verse 28:

Sif watches as her thoughts turn around and swallow their own tail, forming a perfect, meaningless circle.

It shows up again in Eros and Hermes, verse 35:

The thoughts of Hermes swallow their own tail, forming a perfect, meaningless circle, as Tiamat happily plays with her dolls.

Finally, in Verse 63:

[Tiamat] curls around on herself, and swallows her own tail, forming a perfect, meaningless circle, without beginning or end. Without anything. With nothing.

There’s one more reference to it in Verse 37:

A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

These can be told in any order.

These are two of the most cryptic lines in the whole book. They show up without any context, and they have no connection with what comes after.


In the middle it all comes together in one big knot and almost everyone is very confused. (source)
What’s important to note is that they appear more or less in the middle of the book, and they’re the very first lines in the first verse where main characters from all three of the main storylines appear together.

The secret, of course, is that these lines aren’t at the middle, because there is no middle, nor beginning nor end. The significance of their position is that they’re on the diametrically opposite side from Verse 0:

Tiamat is alone.

Which also happens to be the first line after the intro of Tiamat, verse 1.

TLILT is a loop, too.

Almost all of the characters are unaware of this. The one exception that I can definitelyI can point to a lot more characters indefinitely, which amounts to writing fanfiction. I’d guess Hermes is aware of it at various times in his life, but it isn’t something he’s continuously conscious of, and he isn’t in an epistemological position where he can ever be 100% sure of it. Tiamat could also be an exception, but it doesn’t really make sense to talk about Tiamat as a consciousness herself – she’s more like the field in which consciousnesses exist. And there are more characters in the world of TLILT than appear in the story. point to is Apsu.

In Sif and Thor, verse 29, he says:

“You experience time as though you were hearing a story told to you, from beginning to end. I experience time as though I were reading that story in a book. I can turn to any page, as often as I like.”

There are moments when I get a glimpse of how it is to be Apsu. The thing about him is that he’s in love. The more in love I am, the more my reality resembles his.

What if you would transport the thought-patterns of the infinite mind of Apsu, as he beholds Tiamat, into the finite mind of a certain man, taking a sidelong glance at a certain woman?

Apsu’s thoughts can’t really be captured on a page, but, in principle, a finite state of mind can fit in a finite poem.


under your feet the world turns right

along with every step you take

another breath out of my chest

drawn tight just like all of the rest

of you in that red dress so bright

in my eyes forever awake

to see the neverending curve

across your hips I live to serve


I’m learning to stay in love, more.

Voice of Apsu - April 6, 2017 - Veda Cooperative