December 20th, 2013

polychrome

Poem: "The Hardest Part"

This poem is one of several that followed a Superman comic and a discussion with johnpalmer on the nature of superhero work ... and its limitations.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles.  It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: The following poem contains intense and serious topics. The following poem contains college-related distress, failure, character death, depression, and the aftermath of witnessing trauma. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.

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Moral Villains

Here are some good tips on how to write moral villains. They are more complex, compelling, and challenging to the hero than cardboard villains.

But my favorite motif isn't on the list.  That's when the villain is right.  Take Magneto.  He's lived through one genocide already and doesn't want to do it again; he can spot the human/mutant conflict decades in advance.  While his methods  of addressing this problem are often reprehensible, he has grounds to be concerned that humans will try to obliterate (yet another of) his people from the face of the Earth.  Professor X is a darling idealist who, unless he gets his head out of the sand, could very well damn mutants to extinction.  They make a wonderful matched set.  I love this dynamic with a deep and fiery passion.  I haven't done much with this, but on a somewhat similar note, A Conflagration of Dragons has the dragons operating on a biological imperative rather than random violence.  They could  try trading or other nonviolent methods to meet their needs, but they choose violence because most of them enjoy it.

Another version I like is when the person is a hero or a villain, depending on who you ask about them.  Robin Hood is a classic example.  He was an outlaw because he robbed from the rich to give to the poor.  The rich hated him; the poor loved him.  My Dr. Infanta in "Lifeyears" is like this; her ghastly past makes her willing to do horrific things, but she also has a lot of compassion and helps people who are on her side.

What things do you love in a villain?
Karavai

Poem: "Swift Travelers"

This poem is from the April 2013 torn_world Muse Fusion.  It was inspired by a prompt from wyld_dandelyon.  It also fills the #15 Swift slot in the Rainbowfic Sunlight list.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the shared world project Torn World.


Swift Travelers

[1511]

Nleimen draws cartoons
in her sketchbook

of insect tourists
at a rail station:

sticklegs at a picnic table,
holding their lunchboxes

nuttery grubs on ladders,
climbing down from oak trees

half-legs hobbling on crutches,
clutching their exemption licenses.

The cartoons are funny,
but the topic is serious:

these swift travelers
cause a lot of trouble.

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Poem: "The Field of Phantasmagoria"

This poem came out of the May 2013 crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from siege.  It fills the #8 Phantasmagoria slot in the Rainbowfic Moonlight list.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


The Field of Phantasmagoria


The spectrum is twisted and bent
like the arc of a golden torc, its two ends
snarling at each other across the gap.

On the right side lie science and logic;
on the left side lie magic and intuition.
Their practioners mumble and glare,
each believing the other a fool.

Every once in a while,
a sorcerer explores methodology,
a scientist experiments with mystery.

They are thought mad,
who leap into the gap between the ends,
but in truth they are the rare masters
of the field of phantasmagoria
which draws its strength
from the spectrum entire.

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Poem: "Liminal Gifts"

This poem came out of the May 2013 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] elliemurasaki. It also fills the #1 Liminal slot in the [community profile] rainbowfic Moonlight list. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


"Liminal Gifts"


Each new age awakens
new abilities within the human spirit --
someone must have been
the first to work fire magic,
air's original archer.
Someone learned to blend
the elements with pottery and smithcraft.

The earliest technomancers
had to invent their own medium,
creating computers and programs and cyberspace
from the spit and spark of electricity and dumb machines.

Only then could their creations begin to speak.
Only then could the technomancers begin to listen.
People called them "computer wizards"
out of blind ignorance,
but it was so.

Today, technomancy is just one more talent,
sprung up from handfuls of far-flung seeds
scattered across infant minds as children
grow up with wonders that their parents
could scarcely conceive.

They hold lightning in the palms of their hands
and whisper to it like an old friend,
familiar as any household servant,
like fire has become long since.

But never forget,
it is the liminal gifts
that light the way
into this brightening future,
the work of those who go first
and are thought mad.

* * *

Notes:

Technomancy is the junction between science and magic, using technology to work enchantments or vice versa.  Computers are really made of magic.  Technoshamanism adds a dimension of spirituality.  You can find books on technomagick.



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Poem: "Woman's Best Friend"

This poem came out of the September 2013 crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a sculpture by Choi Xoo Ang.  It also fills the "grief" square in my 8-12-13 card for the Hurt/Comfort Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the series Diminished Expectations.

WARNING: Although the primary relationship in this poem is enjoyed by both parties, one of them owns the other.  There is also protective violence, and a pretty crummy society.  If these are sensitive issues for you, think carefully about whether you want to read further.

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Poem: "Printing Errors"

This poem came out of the November 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from Trevor Edwards and my_partner_doug.  It also fills the "experiments by evil scientists" square in my 6-10-13 card for the Hurt/Comfort Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the series Diminished Expectations.

WARNING: The following poem (along with its notes) contains unethical science, human experimentation, extreme ableism, violence against women, child harm and child death -- plus people working against those things.  Consider your tastes and current mindstate before deciding whether to read onward.

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Poem: "Conduct Unbecoming an Officer"

This poem is from the January 8, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] wytchcroft. It also fills the "fuck or die" square in my 1-2-13 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

WARNING: The following poem contains seriously dark material. These include vulgar language, use of a biochemical weapon, impaired consent, sexual complications, body horror, mockery, unprofessional behavior, disfiguration, suicide and other death, relationship damage, war and related violence. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.

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Poem: "Gathering Family"

This poem is spillover from the November 3, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from rix_scaedu, siege, mdlbear, and janetmiles.  It also fills the "nightmares" square in my 8-12-13 card for the Hurt/Comfort Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the series The Godship Wanderers, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.

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