June 8th, 2011


Cold Fusion

This page describes a cold fusion process involving nickel and hydrogen, releasing a lot of heat energy.  The waste product is ... copper, a useful raw material.  The results seem to be replicable.  It would be really cool for this to pan out.  I'll keep an eye on this.

Poem: "Fiorenza and the Witch-Son"

This poem came from the June 7, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It began with a discussion between eseme and the_vulture about gender roles in Fiorenza's village and the challenges she faces in finding a mate, then drew in Don Candido the priest and possible sources for the friction between him and Fiorenza.  Furthermore, I had in mind a comment made by marina_bonomi back under "Prezzemolina" in which she mentioned the idea of a witch-son, which is another aspect that stretches gender roles a bit.  The result is a poem which takes a leisurely stroll through Fiorenza's life when there is NOT a major crisis going on, for the sake of exploring different people's roles and some ways in which gender roles can be bent without breaking altogether. 

To read other poems about Fiorenza, visit the "Serial Poetry" page on my website. (A sequel will become available after this poem is fully funded and posted, "From the Free City.") There is also a fan-written poem inspired by "Fiorenza and the Witch-Son," showing the perspective of another character; read "Don Candido muses..." by the_vulture.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The rate is $.50 per line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses. So far sponsors include: the_vulture, janetmiles, idhren24, general fund, eseme, laffingkat, marina_bonomi

132 lines, Buy It Now = $66 
Amount donated = $54.50
Verses posted = 20 of 24

Amount remaining to fund fully = $11.50
Amount needed to fund next verse = $3.50
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $2

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Call for Sponsors: "Enki's Messengers"

haikujaguar has offered to do a sketch illustrating the poem "Enki's Messengers" if someone(s) will sponsor the poem.  I think this is a cool idea -- more illustrated poetry would be fun.  This poem is 75 lines, $37.50 for the whole thing or it can be microfunded.  It features the kurgarra  and galatur  beings from "The Descent of Inanna" and looks at parts of the story not prominent in the original myth.

List of Unsold Poems from the June 7, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl

The following poems from the June 7, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. They may be sponsored via PayPal, or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

"Applied Physicists, and Friends" -- 56 lines, $20
I put your prompt for Schrodinger's Heroes  together with [info]rowyn's request for a poem without gender references. The result is "Applied Physicists, and Friends," a free-verse poem introducing the cast of the apocryphal television show Schrodinger's Heroes and their respective roles in saving the world on a weekly basis.

"Dancing on Fences" -- 29 lines, $15
The "sovereign" prompt led to the free-verse poem "Dancing on Fences," yet another highly allegorical piece. It started with the idea of sexualities as pastures, and the possibility of treating a fence as a path between them; but really it could apply to any batch of divisions.

"Enki's Messengers" -- 75 lines, Buy It Now = $37.50 SOLD
In fact, there is a myth where the hermaphrodite and the neuter appear together: "The Descent of Inanna." Some scholars feel that, based on the variable connotations of the surrounding words, and the fact that Enki gives two different names to the creatures, they are not 'two sexless beings' but rather two different alternatively sexed beings, a hermaphrodite and a neuter. "Enki's Messengers" is a free-verse poem with Sumerian flavor, filling in some of the things that go unsaid in the original myth, and connecting it with Inanna's penchant for genderflexed clergy. As for the kurgarra and the galatur, they are fascinated with each other. How could they not be?

haikujaguar has offered to do a sketch illustrating "Enki's Messengers" if someone(s) will sponsor it.

"Epistolary Adjustments" -- $5 SOLD
The prompt about a coming-out letter inspired an epistolary poem, of course. "Epistolary Adjustments" starts out formal and ends up very tongue-in-cheek (I couldn't resist the Sherlock Holmes reference) so it criticizes a couple more of society's bad habits than just expecting people to live in closets. Also, I decided to price this at $5 since line breaks are variable in prose poetry.

"Fifteen Nights and a Day" -- 74 lines, $37
I liked the prompt about the two ends of a poly V, because there's a longstanding background relationship of that formation in one of my favorite story arcs. Long before he ever meets the Waterjewel folk, Amal the bandit-lord has two wives who are very dear to him, and he comes by them in totally different ways for different reasons. "Fifteen Nights and a Day" is a free-verse poem about how Thurayyah and Rasha find their way through the shifting relationship dynamics. It's a very sweet inside look at parts of bandit life that rarely show in the open.

"Ladysmith" -- 32 lines, $15
The prompt about female-top, male-bottom got me thinking about different types of power and the ways in which people escape overly rigid gender roles. So "Ladysmith" is a poem that describes a BDSM relationship through the metaphor of a blacksmith working iron into steel. It is hot in more ways than one! This poem is free verse written in unrhymed quatrains.

"Otherlove" -- 36 lines, $15
From the prompt about loving intersexed or transgender people, I got the poem "Otherlove." It focuses on the confusion and hurt that can be caused by lack of words, or by vicious words, in the search for love away from the male/female poles. It's a haunting, bittersweet poem written in unrhymed quatrains.

"Raveling" -- 40 lines, $15 SOLD
From your listing of the Gay Agenda, I got the free-verse poem "Raveling," about destruction and recreation couched in the metaphor of fibercraft.

"Royal Affairs" -- 21 lines, $10
The prompt about a third gender observing sex from the outside got me thinking about social insects, which led to the free-verse poem "Royal Affairs." The nursemaids and the soldiers have a very alien view of sex that the human anthropologists just can't quite grasp.

"Skinfriends" -- 27 lines, $15
From the prompt about touch-need I got the free-verse poem "Skinfriends." It explores the attraction of tactile relationships, something that English doesn't spare much vocabulary for describing; and so it is framed in terms of nature and primal forces, things that existed before ever words were carved free of the wind.

"Soulspace" -- 28 lines, $15 SOLD
This thread about gender identity in cyberspace gave me an idea for a poem. "Soulspace" is free verse, written in unrhymed quatrains. It explores the idea of a space in which identity consists of what you choose to reveal through your words, not what people see when they look at your body.

"This Mellifluous Gender" -- 42 lines, $20
The prompt about fluid sexuality touches on [info]janetmiles's prompt about Hallelaine and the five genders. 

Once upon a time, I found Waterjewel, a tribe that recognizes five genders (male, female, both, neither, and I'm-not-telling). I thought that covered the bases. It doesn't. There are three other versions in the Whispering Sands desert -- and you hit one of those others. I've known for a long time that there's a bandit tribe handling gender variance with what they call "the mellifluous gender," in which someone can chose on any given day to present as man or woman, but never mixing the two. So I finally caught them on camera, as it were. Another interesting aspect is that my desertfolk don't really have the concept of sexual orientation as an identity. They express it with the same marker as for a hobby. 

So, "This Mellifluous Gender" is about a bigendered bandit and wife, and the dynamics of their relationship, which happens to involve touching only on the woman-days.

"The Twin Peoples in Love" -- 51 lines, $20 SOLD
The idea of cross-species sexuality got me thinking about the Twin Peoples, who were first introduced in "The Sky-Eyes and the Earth-Hearts." It turns out that, while they do not sexually desire members of the opposite species, both of them require stimulation by the other in order to become aroused. It's another link in their very tight biological connection. And, of course, they think the chaos of human courtship sounds lonesome and kind of creepy.

This poem has been sold to Star*Line and will appear there.

"Undercover (Wo)man" -- 88 lines, $44
From the idea of magical gender change, I got "Undercover (Wo)man," a free-verse poem about a spy who shifts sex and gender to pursue different assignments. And drifts farther and farther from conventional society as a result.

"Welcome to the Desert" -- 12 lines, $10
I actually got inspired more by the title of your comment than the content below it. I couldn't resist writing out the difference in baby-greetings between Waterjewel and two other cultures in the Whispering Sands. (I have no idea what the Tazha say, which I just noticed. Hmm. Maybe something to dig up later.) Anyhow, "Welcome to the Desert" is free verse.

"what the Xperts did not know" -- 30 lines, $15
From the prompt about Stories for Free Children I got the free-verse poem "what the Xperts did not know." It touches on the generation gap created when parents raise children without limitations, and Xperts realize that a lot more is going on than they thought.