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"The Experiment" was first published in the UK in The Purple Hours; it was published in the US by Raw Bone in 1986 and is also included in Gerald England's collection Stealing Kisses.

Gerald is a British poet, living on the edge of the Pennines with his lace-making wife, a son and a Manchester terrier. He has been active on the small press scene for over 27 years and edits New Hope International. He has published ten collections of poetry and been translated into several languages. His work has also appeared on various websites and he is a member of Cyberscribers, a group of writers on the Internet.


Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-1997 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

The Experiment

by Gerald England

    The experiment
    was conceived
    out of two minds
    not as a game
    like chess
    to give further excitement

    exactness
    two minds
    so tuned together
    they gave birth
    to a single thought of death
    And when one died
    the other knew
    not only the thoughts
    of the dying
    but for just a moment,
    after the heart stopped,
    before the blood of the brain
    congealed,
    the first telepathed thoughts
    from beyond the point of death.
    For a long time
    he did not stir.
    Did not
    then
    speak
    but before he went
    into the sleep that became
    nonrecovering coma
    he left two scribbled sheets,
    the result of the experiment,
    the sight of infinity.
    She knew the content of the notes
    even before they were removed
    to her handbag.
    Some weeks later a car
    crashed on the motorway
    the driver having fallen asleep at the wheel.
    Some charred pieces of paper were found
    in the burnt-out wreckage.
    There was a half-smile on her face.