LiveJournal is fubar today. I have echoed this post over on my Dreamwidth account. Also, if you want a Dreamwidth invite code, I have some; just contact me backchannel or leave a comment on DW.
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! Today's theme is "Mad Science." I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.
I'm trying out a new perk this time. If donations total $150+ by Friday evening then I'll write an extra series poem after the Poetry Fishbowl, and post it for free. Everyone will get to vote which series gets a new poem. April donors will get some kind of input into the poem's content; I'm currently thinking I might ask them for prompts, but it could be something else.
What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?
Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.
In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "Mad Science." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.
I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:
1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.
98 lines, Buy It Now = $49
Amount donated = $35
Verses posted = 12 of 17
Amount remaining to fund fully = $14
Amount needed to fund next verse = $2.50
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $5.50
Here is today's first freebie. kelkyag pointed me to "The Joy of Cooking" by Janet Chui. The picture got me thinking about the early history of science, how mad scientists can be totally impractical ... but not everyone in the household is necessarily the same way.
Ever since there has been science,
some of the scientists have been mad.
There have always been men
who preferred working over a lab bench than a cobbler's bench,
who would rather drink silvered moonshine than water,
who could remember to write down lab notes but not a grocery list.
Then, too, there have always been women
who toiled in the kitchen by day
and snuck into the lab by night,
who made copper stretch farther than it should
until the lead-into-gold thing might work out ...
who occasionally got fed up with this experiment or that
and shoved the whole squiggling mass into a cookpot
and explained it away as
"There was a sale on calamari at market."
Here is today's second freebie poem, courtesy of new prompter meeksp. It was inspired by jolantru who mentioned golems and androids. I've always been intrigued by the idea that humanity's creations spring forth because the urge to create is inherent in our own creation, our own nature -- contrasted here against the idea that a copy of a copy tends to be a degenerate thing.
Legend tells of the golem,
thing of clay shaped by a rabbi's hands,
made to be a worker or a guardian --
made in man's image,
as man was made in G-d's image,
but a copy of a copy,
ever more flawed,
remaining as dumb and silent as the dust.
Today it is the android of which we whisper,
how it would save us so much work,
how it would also be such a danger to us,
this thing we might make from bright metal
that would be stronger than us should it rebel --
again, made by man in man's image,
strange shadow cast by divine light
against the coiled clay of our bones.
We too were made,
lesser things of lesser stuff,
unable to wrap our fumbling tongues
around the celestial wisdom --
yet something in us drives us to create,
shapes our clay hands around the things we make,
causes us to love even the dust and the shadows,
because there flickers in us a memory of sacred flame,
a kiln for which we reach to fire our dreams into truth --
something in us, something
that drives us mad if we deny it.