Caught by the River

In A Wonderland We Lie

Michael Smith | 30th October 2022

Noble rot, liberty caps, and mulchy forest floors: Michael Smith sends word from the web of cosmic consciousness.

Every once in a while, me and my friend the chef indulge in a bit of ketamine and vintage wine, sitting in the garden on our Sunday evenings off. The petrichor smells that develop after 30 years in a bottle send us into the rhapsodies only wine snobs know: the smells of wet earth after the rain, of fallen leaves on mulchy forest floors, the mysteries of the deep soil, and of time, the refined and noble rot of time: grapes turning into raisins, fruit turning into leather, cigar boxes, antique wooden chests, while tiny bumps of ketamine send us on our wonky way, and we slowly devolve into nodes on the web of cosmic consciousness: we go beyond ourselves, and I feel like I’m just the words, and what I’m saying is already written in some cosmic Book of Ages, and as the words roll out of my mouth trying to explain it like déjà vu, the chef says, “I knew you were about to say that…” 

In a wonderland we lie, time and space and consciousness gone wonky, and there’s a gnosis in the wonk, and we drink our rare old reds from truffle country, wines that seem to suggest the secret life of fungi, and the lattice of interconnectedness they weave through the living soil…

And by Halloween, this hidden lattice of living connectedness is made explicit, revealed to us by the liberty caps that grow everywhere here, when the veil is lifted, and we see the living, breathing flesh behind the world of appearances…me and the the chef go foraging for them in the woods around this time, and all through the winter I eat little pinches of my stash, just small enough and just big enough, and I hunker up in the flat, wearing my polka dot Noel Coward pyjamas, watching Poirot and finishing off the block of Foie Gras and the dessert wine, and life, what is it, but a dream?


Me and Steve Queralt from Ride have just put out a four track EP, with me reading stories over Steve’s enchanting shades-of-evening compositions. This piece of writing forms part of the last track, ‘In a Wonderland’. I know I’m not supposed to say this, but I think what we’ve done is great. Here’s a link to it. 

hope you enjoy it,

Michael Smith