06/22/15

skins and seas

My short poem “Skin Ashore” is up at inkscrawl! It’s got a selkie and consonance and difficult life choices.

And my longer poem “Singing Her Body Oceanic” is up at Liminality with mermaids and tattoos and yearning for something new.

Along with “stone” that makes three poems published this month (!), all with S titles and all featuring changing skin. They were all written in different years so that’s quite some coincidence there. I feel like I should probably understand poetry better now but most of it is just ??? to me still.

Short notes:
The supralittoral zone sits above high tide and is regularly splashed.
The photic zone is well-lit.
The mesopelagic aka the twilight zone is 200 to 1000 metres below the surface.
The bathyal zone aka the midnight zone is 1000 to 4000 metres below the surface; sunlight does not breach it.

06/10/15

stone

My hypertext poem “stone” is up at Interfictions Online! I hope you enjoy it!

In the portion of my life between working out that I wasn’t straight and finding the word “aromantic”, all I knew was that I wasn’t normal. It’s not uncommon amongst aromantics: feeling alone, broken, inhuman, monstrous, alien. I’ve written about it before, in “Even Robots Learn”, but “stone” is more personalised. If I wasn’t human, if I didn’t have a normal human’s normal heart, then I had to be stone. Even though I loved my family and my friends, even though I cared about people and engaged with people, the fact that I could not love in this very particular way meant I didn’t love at all. My heart was concrete, my body was rock, my flesh was stone. I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t love, I couldn’t be hurt. It was an incredibly toxic, unhealthy, self-destructive way of thinking, and it took me years to recover from it.

“stone” is a scar of my lithic years, and I show it to you because it is starkly visible against my heart, my human heart full of love and confidence.

Getting into the more technical side of things, why hypertext? Well, I was looking through some writing drafts when I found a document with the first few lines in it. I had no memory of writing them, no idea what ideas were supposed to follow them. I liked the lines–there was a solid aro sentiment that echoed my late teens, and of course some consonance–but I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I added to them, cautiously, and soon emerged something that was a bit similar to “She is, there–amongst the Mango Trees–a Flytrap Garden”. I decided to bam it up a notch with more elaborate repeating clauses but it soon became obvious that trying to rely on simple formatting like in “Flytrap” would just end in unintelligible mess. I tried different things in Word before I remembered Twine.

Twine creates choose-your-own-adventure stories and games such as Depression Quest. I’d never used it before so I had fun adventures figuring out the basics and getting it to do what I wanted it to do, but it does it superbly. I’ve got some rough ideas for more things I’d like to try in Twine someday! In “stone” I’ve not really delved into what the format’s capable of, but ohh the things it is capable of if you try.

Thank you to the friends who encouraged me while I was experimenting with this poem’s presentation!

11/11/14

More Embers than Feathers Filled the Firmament

My consonance-based story “More Embers than Feathers Filled the Firmament” is online for everyone to read in Lackington’s issue 4! With stunning art by Kat Weaver! *___* There is some beautiful prose in this issue, as there has been in the previous issues! I’m so happy to be part of such a luscious endeavour.

(A-and it got such a nice review at Clavis Aurea, bwee!)

One note for the curious: “carnivore demon ducks” refers to the extinct Bullockornis planei, nicknamed the “Demon duck of doom”, the 2.5 metre tall carnivorous duck. There’s a collection of them at Kings Park.

I wrote a bit about the journey of “More Embers” earlier, and there’s the very short genesis of the birds’ war if you would like some more weirdy birdy words.

I don’t know anything about wagtails outside of Australia (didn’t even knew they existed until a few months ago!) but it’s difficult to imagine life without willie wagtails. They’re tiny, adorable, inquisitive and utterly fierce. They’ll attack any kookaburras, magpies (also wow non-Australian magpies are weird, I don’t know how youse cope), crows, falcons, eagles that get too close to their nests. And they’ll follow you around the garden as you weed, hopping about and wagging back and forth.

08/28/14

the white-vested story-teller

I am so immensely happy to say that my bird consonance story “More Embers Than Feathers Filled The Firmament” will appear in Lackington’s Issue 4 later this year. Here is a preview of the willie wagtail’s tale for you!

For once that last dusk of buried dead ducks had ended we discussed what to do, and though diplomat pigeon was our planned decision, the sneaky penguin clan acceded not. Secretly the salt-sea birds sent an assassin siskin, skilled in shadow-killing, to savagely avenge their cousins. Since she travelled solo and lacked restrictive bureaucrats, the blood-letting siskin reached the lupus lair well before our patch-winged pigeons gained pig-faced wolf’s favour for a conference

I started “More Embers” seven years ago and, before finishing it a couple months back, hadn’t touched it for four or five years. Originally it had been a challenge to myself! I had written some short things indulging in my love of sounds, phrases constructed out of alliteration, consonance and assonance, growing into sentences and paragraphs fuelled by combinations of lovely sounds.

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04/7/13

A Wagtail’s Wail

A Wagtail’s Wail
fantasy, surrealism, birds; 2007; 200 words

“To wit!” wailed a Willy-tail. “Westward toward wild laid-back drawling droving brethren we wish. Whether we shall sever summer’s ever-very-vast straining constriction never will we know. When wily coyote to canyons cavernous sent the Swan twins searching, gnarly gnome-nemesis satan assailed our silver city tree, each leaf laid down with yon wild betrayal twisting aside safe nests. Stunned, soon stenching, once-starry stencils staunchly stemmed the drawn demon tide.”
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