Current donations: $140.50
Amount needed for $150 goal: $9.50
Amount in general fund: $20
Poems posted: 6 (plus the next 2 verses in "Paper, Scissors, Stone")
If donations reach the $150 target, you'll get a free addition to a poetic series. At this point, one $10 poem will hit the goal.
This poem came from the April 5, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by marina_bonomi. She wanted to see what would happen with a Chinese-style alchemist and our paper mages. But it turns out there are two approaches to alchemy ...
To read the other poems in the Origami Mage series, visit the "Serial Poetry" page on my website.
in the high mountains
the origami mage met
an old alchemist
he was practicing
the internal alchemy:
jing and qi and shen
they talked by his well
about their rivals and roads,
their joys and regrets
"tell my rival, if
you see him: I have found the
key to happiness"
"tell my rival, if
you see her: I am learning
all about patience"
the alchemist said:
"it would seem that we are on
the same path, my dear"
in the low valleys
the kirigami mage met
an old alchemist
he was practicing
the external alchemy:
they talked by his hearth
about their rivals and goals,
their hopes and their fears
"I want to learn how
to cut to the heart of the
matter," she whispered
"I wanted the pill
of immortality, but
I was not ready"
"if you could still die,"
asked the kirigami mage,
"would you choose to go?"
the old alchemist
nodded, so she cut for him
an eight-spoked fălún
"tell my rival, if
you see him, that he was right
after all," he said
she agreed, and said,
"I hope that you don't meet my
rival where you go"
then she loaned him her
scissors to cut himself free
of immortal life
she watched his spirit
ride the Dharma Wheel toward a
new lesson at last
prayed that her rival still walked
among the living
How could a choreographer look at that and not want to play with it? I'm not all so much of a dancer, and it's bellydance more than anything else -- but that's enough to make me think of having the dancers leap and dip to set the spirals bouncing, or braiding the hair with long rows of clicking golden beads, or putting one of the girls with mermaid hair into one of the myths about Oshun or Yemaya because French-African culture blends can be awesome.
Bah. Maybe I should just write a poem.
The $150 goal has been met, so you get a free poem from an ongoing series. For this first time, I'm going to offer you a choice of several most-popular series. Other times you might get a slightly different set of choices. You get to vote on which series will get the extra poem. Everyone is eligible to vote. I'll tally the votes on Friday evening. Then I'll ask my donors for ideas. Thank you all for your support!
Which series do you most want to get the freebie poem?
"Anomalies of Mind and Time" -- 18 lines,
To present the Torn World character Oranaan as a mad scientist, I compared his intellect to the Others. "Anomalies of Mind and Time" is written in free verse.
"Back to Back" -- 26 lines, $15
I loved the phrase "they sleep in the same bed, but never talk" so that became the core image of "Back to Back." This free-verse poem renders various branches of science and mysticism in the metaphor of a dysfunctional family. It is bitter but also a little wacky, like one of those horrible arguments you don't want to listen to but can't walk away from.
"Buggered Up" -- 15 lines, $10
The prompt about mind control and forensics led me into a wicked subtle idea, based on my awareness of how important forensic entomology is to determining time of death (and thus, the timeframe of a necessary alibi). "Buggered Up" is a rondeau about the mind control of tiny flies.aldersprig suggested the rondeau form.
"Catering to the Masses" -- 33 lines, $15
I combined the idea of mad scientists in the kitchen with aldersprig's prompt (on Dreamwidth) about bunsen burners. The result is "Catering to the Masses," a free-verse poem giving a behind-the-scenes look at a convocation of mad scientists. Because hey, somebody has to do the cooking...
"Igor's Creature" -- 110 lines,
From the prompts about Igor, Igor's view, Frankenstein, and playing God ... I got "Igor's Creature." (Okay, I also threw in some ulterior knowledge from studying the original novel with an eye toward feminist deconstruction of male privilege and class warfare.) This free-verse poem is all about the guy who does the real work while his boss goofs off, hogs the credit, and generally wreaks havoc. Of course Igor winds up cleaning up the mess, but he's also the one who realizes that the monster isn't actually a monster ...
"Lab Partners" -- 38 lines, $15
From the prompt about mad scientists and their secret society, plus others involving white hair and electricity, I got the free-verse poem "Lab Partners." It gives a glimpse of what draws mad scientists together and what their culture is like.
"Lab Rage" -- 76 lines, $38
Two different people asked about "mad as in angry" scientists. So, I give you four low-ranked and frustrated scientists who are tired of being oppressed, their high-ranked oppressors, a weird-ray, a Jesus Gun, and a fire-fight in a laboratory. "Lab Rage" is free verse and all in good fun.
"Nanny Hammer and the Dawnsday Machine" -- 113 lines, $56.50
From the prompt about a benevolent mad scientist, I got "Nanny Hammer and the Dawnsday Machine," a free-verse poem in which a mad scientist teams up with Gaia to save the world from human foolishness. There are guard critters and a two-headed robot.
"Nerds of the Vengeance" -- 69 lines, $34.50
From the prompt about the mad science of marching bands, I got the free-verse poem "Nerds of the Vengeance." Ambitions start small ... but they don't always stay that way, especially when people try to thwart them.
"Pig Tales" -- 38 lines, $15
The prompt about a guinea pig mad scientist combined with others about a spork in a lab and mad scientists with thick white hair. "Pig Tales" is a free-verse poem about the adventures of Jenny, her experiments on human subjects, and what happens when PETA shows up.
How would you like to distribute the $20?
If an epic gets $5, which should it be?
Some thoughts for improvement:
1) If someone says they don't want to do something, and it's not an emergency, don't rag them about it. Really. That's obnoxious. Respect people's boundaries, unless it's totally impossible or interferes with your own needs in some way. If there's a boundary conflict, try to discuss it in a rational manner rather than harassing the other person.
2) If you have a hard time describing something in words, try pictures. For the haircut example, that works great. Salons almost always have a pile of magazines with haircut pictures. Flip through in search of one you like or at least find tolerable.
This article offers some new ideas for planet-hunting.
NASA Telescope Ferrets Out Planet-Hunting Targets
Astronomers have come up with a new way of identifying close, faint stars with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite. The technique should help in the hunt for planets that lie beyond our solar system, because nearby, hard-to-see stars could very well be home to the easiest-to-see alien planets.
( Collapse )