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Var Martialis

by Stelios Hadjithomas

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    Have you ever wondered how human efforts to reach and colonize Mars would be recorded in the memory of the humanoids and anthropomorphic machines we could soon be sending into space?
    'Var Martialis' is an interdisciplinary digital release, crossing the boundaries of poetry/sound poetry and sound art. It consists of a performance of the five-part poem 'Elon Musk Wants to Send Us to Mars' by Stelios Hadjithomas (performed by Microsoft David), and a hidden/bonus track. Bonus items also include an unreleased PDF version of the poem 'Elon Musk Wants to Send Us to Mars', as well as the video teaser for 'Var Martialis'.
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Elon Musk wants to send us to Mars One Mythologyborne Pegasus, son of Poseidon, identical brother of Chrysaor the forgotten of Perseus who killed your mother, Camelopardalis of Ursa Major, Canis Minor and Canis Major of Orion the hunter, Crux and Cygnus of the genus Hercules the laborer, son of Zeus Cassiopeia, queen of Eritrea, mother of Andromeda of Perseus, Andromeda, bride of Perseus, daughter of Cassiopeia, Ophiuchus, bearer of Serpens of the genus Hercules the half-blood Monoceros of the genus Orion, nearby resident of Orion, Canis Minor and Canis Major, significant half of the winged unicorn, Perseus of Perseus, slayer of Medusa, initiator of Pegasus O great Orion of Orion–– O Gods, Elon Musk wants to send us to Mars. Asterisk But he doesn’t know That we were there before. I had a dream. Pressurization initiated. Asterisk I woke up at noon In a world with two moons and orange sky. This was the time of sepia as imagined by the singular sapience of a singular mind Gaining momentum in the ordinary time of space exploration. Asterisk The windblown sand of the sandstorm flirts with my white dress. First violently, then soft, then violently again. Interchangeably. It tries to steal the red roses’ imprint. Poor darlings, I will protect you. As I stand in the midst of a decimated land in the shadow of the sons of War On a surface of rust, I fear nothing but satellite – but I have courage, and courage is stronger in the face of the unsparing. Phobos and Deimos – Fear and Terror, another dizygotic offspring Come down my lunar love, I’ll show you a world where fragile life outlives mythology. You’re not going anywhere. Running in circles Chasing yourselves, until you blow up with no apparent reason but bearing twice the burden of existence Moon debris, my little tiny ships of cinder and dust I try to bring you home Or bring home to you. I dream In perpetuity The wetlands where my roses will grow. Pressurization complete. Elon Musk wants to send us to Mars. Welcome to the star of death
Two Instructions for spacewalkers? Less than one light year away. Light can travel around the Earth approximately eight times in one second. Light can travel around the Earth approximately two hundred forty eight million times in one year. That’s how far you are. Instruction no.1: Do not attempt to fathom the distance. You will most likely give yourself a panic attack. Instruction no.2: But by all means, look up the sky and stare at the Earth. Like all things in life, you don’t really appreciate what you have until you’ve lost it. Instruction no.3: Nowhere is everywhere and everywhere is nowhere. Make sure your boots are strapped on and locked in the ground. Close your eyes and hold still. Now take a deep breath. And another. Where are you? Instruction no.4: Imagine the possibility. Find release in your absence from future and the absence of gravity. What do you see? Instruction no.5: Remember to enjoy your walk. Skip. Mars’s gravity is sixty-two per cent less than Earth’s gravity. Find joy in skipping. Instruction no.6: Dance. I won’t try to explain. Just dance. Instruction no.7: Don't wear sunblock. It won’t protect you from solar flares or gamma radiation. Instruction no.8: But make sure you look good. All eyes are on you, you’re the star of the adventure. Instruction no. 9: If you need to sneeze, don't. You’ll only make a mess out of it. Try to hold it until you return home. Instruction no.10: Don't try to cry. Just the same, your tears won’t fall easily. This will all be over and soon you will be back in the safety of your pressurized habitat. Instruction no.11: Accept certainty. A goldfish can’t live outside the bowl more than a few seconds. In the eventful case it does, it will most likely be covered with slime and will have already suffered a great deal. Instruction no.12: And water my roses. Once every 6 sols. Soil, radiation, and temperature will affect how much water my roses will need. Keep in mind they might need additional water if the soil is extremely dry. Instruction no.13: If you succeed in doing these––– Welcome to the star of death.
Three Magic and star, life in transit A star collides with a celestial body and then there's life. Chaos sires order. Elliptical helix Pangaea The product of an erratic chain reaction floats in orbit. Asterisk We landed in Tinjar Valles. And then there was life. Moving Organic Scalable Life. (7 stranded planetary wanderers And me) Intelligent, organized, logical, technological, optimistic, ignorant, dangerous, threatening, cosmic, asteroid, beautiful, evolving (it is questionable), healthy (it is questionable), pioneering (it is questionable), persistent, tenacious, colorful, flaring, amiable, Life. Asterisk I see the colossus watching us through the glass. The glass our common pathway. I close my eyes, Shattered glass. Welcome to the star of death. And O havoc. No roses. Asterisk Simpson Desert, Australia Red Desert, Wyoming Registan Desert, Afghanistan Tinjar Valles, Amenthes Tinjar Valles, Amenthes Tinjar Valles, Amenthes Tinjar Valles, Amenthes Tinjar Valles, Amenthes Arid river channels where there was once Water? Glacier? Lava? Terra Mater, what damaged you? Who built you? And why are you here? Large tracts of desert surrounded by large craters Sand dunes, And saline materials; nutrients necessary for the growth of roses. Dry land, waiting patiently. Asterisk The red desert hosts an abundance of wildlife, despite the shortage of water and poor vegetation.
Four Rosa stellata var martialis, gravity like a drug Rosa stellata var martialis is a bushy plant Which grows on dry rocky and sandy places, And thrives in sub-zero temperatures. It is chiefly found in canyons and the streambeds of outflow channels. It has commonly bloody mauve, purple or burgundy flowers and bears reddish brown prickles On the petioles and stems. The plant is harvested biannually for its anti-viral properties And fighting off the adverse effects Of customary skipping in conditions with weak gravity forces. Approach with caution. It is heavily armed and ready to fight.
Five The plain of paradise, the door of the desert The core of my core in the core of Lazarus planet: Terra Mater, I’m here. I’m here. Receive me. Terra Mater, I’m here. Receive me. Lo and behold, it speaks. Welcome to the Lazarus star.


Var Martialis, a debut EP release by Stelios Hadjithomas.

24-bit audio quality / contains low frequencies / best experienced through a headset.

About the artist:
Stelios Hadjithomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans, and experiments with, genres and mediums. He mainly works with text, speech, sound, and new media.

Haunted by Freud's thesis* his work seeks to mediate conscious/unconscious narratives, question the existential, and confront the nihilistic.

His poetry has been published in various literary journals online and in print in Ireland and the UK, and he is currently seeking a publisher for his debut poetry collection.

‘Var Martialis’ is his first standalone work to be released to the public.

*Whatever is conscious wears out. What is unconscious remains unalterable. But once it is freed, it too falls to ruin.


released June 1, 2017

Recorded, mixed & produced by Stelios Hadjithomas
Artwork by Stelios Hadjithomas
Video Teaser: youtu.be/nI1_rAyxPUA


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Stelios Hadjithomas Dublin, Ireland

Stelios Hadjithomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans, and experiments with, genres and mediums. His poetry has been published in various literary journals online and in print in Ireland and the UK.

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