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Elon Musk Wants to Send Us to Mars (II. Instructions for Spacewalkers​?​)

from Var Martialis by Stelios Hadjithomas

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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.


from Var Martialis, released June 1, 2017
Written by Stelios Hadjithomas
Performed by Microsoft David
Recorded, mixed & produced by Stelios Hadjithomas


all rights reserved



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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