August 23rd, 2015

neutral

On the Darkness of Art

Here's an essay that defends two of the greatest purposes in literature: to show the ugliness that humanity can manifest, and to make people think  about it.  This is true throughout art, whether it be genre literature or great paintings or whatever.  It's not supposed to come with a canned meaning.  It's supposed to provoke you, make you feel things, sometimes dark and sometimes light and quite often both at the same time.

I like exploring intense topics.  Some of them are bright, like building intimacy.  Some of them are dark, like when characters give in to base impulses and really hurt someone.  You can usually tell which things are good or bad ideas as you read them.  But the characters  don't always know that.  Sometimes what I write is disturbing precisely because it depicts something horrible through the perspective of someone who thinks is a grand idea.  Officer RAT, for instance, thinks that his prejudices make the world a better place by coming down hard on bad guys.  I rarely come right out and say something like, "Don't murder people; that is bad and wrong."  If you look at the action, however, you'll see that murder tends to have undesirable outcomes.  A lot of my characters are very mixed.  Look at, say, Steel and Dr. Infanta -- they can get incredibly violent if you trigger them.  But that happens because of how badly other people have torn them up in the past.  With people they care about, they're both quite protective.  That invites readers to think about where they draw the lines of what is justified or unjustified, who is a hero and who is a villain, and why.

Don't ever let anyone take that away from you.
polychrome

Poem: "Light the Match"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, somewhat inspired by conversations with [personal profile] technoshaman. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] lone_cat.


"Light the Match"
-- a villanelle


Light the match and step away
Supervillains know the game
Live to fight another day.

Strike a pose and make them pay
See your future in the flame
Light the match and step away

Even in the hottest fray
There's no need to kill or maim
Live to fight another day

Always there's another way
Of recourse on those to blame
Light the match and step away

Let them chase you as they may
In the end it's all the same
Live to fight another day

Doesn't matter what they say
Choose your target, take your aim
Light the match and step away
Live to fight another day

* * *

Notes:

In entertainment, this pattern appears as We Will Meet Again.  In nature, it's a dominance fight.  The point is to win a conflict which grants access to desired resources, not usually to maim or kill anyone.  It's why so many superheroes and principled supervillains pull their punches, use equipment that nerfs their powers, and/or otherwise stop short of total annihilation. 

Not part of the original inspiration, but absolutely apt is the song "Black Swan Blues" as referenced by </user></user>[personal profile] technoshaman.
polychrome

Poem: "Where We Love Is Home"

This poem is spillover from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] moongoddessgirl. It also fills the "families" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [Unknown LJ tag]. It belongs to the Danso and Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Collapse )
polychrome

Poem: "The Breaking of the Shell"

This poem came out of the June 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "torture" square in my 7-31-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest, and the "worry" square in my 6-1-15 card for the June Relationship Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Pain's Gray thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem is heavy-duty hurt/comfort with content that some readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It contains betrayal by a friend, interrogation by means of crude physical torture, kidnapping, nonconsensual bondage, traumatic manifestation of a superpower, uncontrolled use of a superpower which winds up hurting several people, temporary resistance to desired help, some messy medical details, a crappy non-apology, deliberate use of a superpower for harm, revenge, angst over potential drawbacks of the change in power status, and other challenges. Conversely, once the backup arrives there is some really sweet aid-and-comfort. If those are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Collapse )Collapse )Collapse )Collapse )
polychrome

Poem: "To Keep Growing"

This poem came out of the June 2, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] mdlbear. It also fills the "socialize" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Danso and Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, this time featuring Cassandra and Groundhog.

Collapse )