April 8th, 2011


Poem: "Anomalies of Mind and Time"

This poem came out of the April 5, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from ellenmillion and sponsored by kelkyagOranaan is a Torn World character with a light and flaky approach to science, who has appeared in various stories including my "It's Not Magic, It's Science!"  (To learn about the anomalies, read the article "Others.")  Now that it's sponsored, when I submit this poem to the canon board, it'll be marked for publication visible to everyone.

Anomalies of Mind and Time
-- a Torn World poem

Oranaan's wits are undeniable,
but thwarted for lack of an interface.

When he tries to push them onto the tip of his tongue,
people wrinkle their foreheads in mute confusion
or laugh at the jumble of ideas tumbling forth.

When he tries to print them out on paper,
the poor words fare no better;
they drown in the ink and die on the page.

When he tries to push them out through his fingertips,
everything he builds falls apart
and people are too busy scolding him to notice
that it was too working  for a moment there.

But they're real, his wits;
and it's real, his science --
even though nobody else understands --
as real and as powerful as the anomalies
drifting invisibly throughout the Empire,
changing everything they touch.


Health Rights

The right to health is a subset of the right to life, since health is a prerequisite for life.  If people don't have an adequate diet and health care, they die.  It angers me that some people think it's okay to let people die needlessly.  Today I came across an article with two striking quotes:

According to the World Health Organization Constitution "The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being."

However, the US Dept of Health & Human Services and US Food & Drug Administration, in a 2010 statement maintains that: "There is no right to consume or feed children any particular food; there is no generalized right to bodily and physical health."

That makes it pretty obvious which organization actually cares about the health and survival of human beings.

Poll Results: Epics Fully Funded & Monster House Perk

Based on the results of the general poll and another donation, both "Paper, Scissors, Stone" (a Monster House poem) and "The Truth in the Tower" (a Fiorenza poem) have been fully funded.  These are now completely visible online.  You can read other poems in these series by visiting the "Serial Poetry" page on my website.

The Monster House series won the poll for the new perk.  You'll be getting a free poem from that series.  Current donors will get a chance to send a prompt.

Both polls had lively participation.  I'm really pleased by that, because later in the week activity tends to be low.  I figure this means people cared about the topics this time, so yay!


Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The April theme was "mad science."  Amusingly, this month's surprise guest theme was eastereggs. A bunch of the poems had little bits of popular culture, history, mythology, or other allusions hidden within them. Several folks sent me messages about that, having spotted one or another of the eastereggs in the published poems or backchannel copies. Hee!

Regrettably LiveJournal was dysfunctional or erratic during much of the day.  This slowed down the prompts and greatly cut down on the number of comments (47).  I actually echoed the fishbowl on Dreamwidth, so some activity happened over there too.  I worked from 11:30 AM to 2:00 AM, so about 12 hours 30 minutes, allowing for breaks.  The poems ran long: there were no shorts, only two medium-short, lots of medium-long and epics, and one long.  I wrote 17 poems.  Almost all were free verse, with a couple of forms.  Some poems stacked a lot of prompts together, although others derived from a single prompt.

A total of 19 people sent prompts.  Two of these were new, stryck and meeksp.  Welcome!  Thanks to you, there's a second freebie poem.

Also, the new perk worked!  Donations reached the $150 goal.  The perk poll selected Monster House to get the free serial poem.  Donors have been invited to offer a prompt for that.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the April 2011 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:

"Anomalies of Mind and Time" (a Torn World poem)
"Dancing to the Beat"
"Dust and Shadows"
"Learning Curves"
"Science on the Chopping Block"
"Science, Unfair" (a Monster House poem)
"the two alchemists" (an Origami Mage poem)
"Where They're Coming From"

Thanks to the general poll and another donation, you can now read the complete epic poems "Paper, Scissors, Stone" (a Monster House poem) and "The Truth in the Tower" (a Fiorenza poem).

Buy Some Poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, read the list of unsold poems from April.  That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

Sponsored poems have all been posted.  Copies of other poems have been sent backchannel to their respective prompters.  The April perk-post for donors is about madness and sanity.

Donors for April include eseme, the_vulture, laffingkat, janetmiles, marina_bonomi, and kelkyag.  Thank you all for your support.  You are all awesome!

There is also a poll open regarding line numbers in epic poems. Please take a look at that and share your thoughts.

The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.

Poll: Line Numbers in Epic Poems

When I write epic poems (61+ lines), I have a tendency to put line numbers in the margin, counting off by 25.  It helps keep place in the poem and remember how many lines there are.  I've started including those when I post epic poems, rather than leaving them out.  You can see an example in "The Truth in the Tower."

Someone mentioned that such numbers could be distracting because they can look like part of the poem, although I do put them in red to distinguish them from the regular text in black.  They might be more useful on microfunded poems than poems posted whole; I find them useful on both, but other folks may vary.  I'd like to know what you think about this.

Poll #1728249 Line Numbers in Epic Poems

How do you feel about line numbers in epic poems?

They're always helpful. Keep them in all the epics.
They're always distracting. Remove them from all the epics.
They're okay on microfunding epics, but should be removed from epics posted whole.