Lary Timewell / Escape

“Escape” is excerpted from the series “offshore,” published in Issue 3.16 “ecologies” (2012). In it, Lary Timewell reflects on the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.



At Yahiko Shrine the raindrops are opaque, an invisible display. No one is so anthropomorphic as to think Nature is apologizing for the moment past. That is to say, any one of us born. There is this world & there is the cessation of suffering, even under shifting fault-line that obliterates time. A veil of birds passing is once again an abstraction forming on the forehead.

The ghosts were torn from the buildings; the apparatus of moonlight unlocked. There are no words for counting the days. Behind door #3, the hell-wraith of mental & material streams, but here in Niigata my nearest neighbor is the weather. The mountain appears a particle deluge, the rain constructed amorously of retinal seraphs.

My wife & son are safe in Tokyo. CNN is on anabolic steroids; the static the frayed experience raises cilia-hairs on the forearms of hope. Habitué flock to convenience stores reciting nuclear eclogues formed in the precise matrices of chrysanthemums painted on the side of a wall.

Language tastes better with the tang of wasabi, the cool of daikon. That kid with a diamond-encrusted tricycle is sunlight itself. The ululating somnambulistic of media dissipates like an involuntary communion along the auditory canal. Wooly moon through fog forms fissures on sheets, on ceiling.



the unsought for fortune &

other stray dogs


approaching snowstorm means

to know cold


flower like a pressure gauge

heart, an effort


to see in such borrowed




This excerpt was featured in the November 2021 edition of our From the Archives newsletter: on weather.

Read “offshore” through our SFU Journals archive here.


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