July 27th, 2021


Poem: "The People Who Give You Their Food"

This poem came out of the May 2021 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] fuzzyred. It also fills the "activists" square in my 5-1-21 card for the Leaky Pipeline Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] bairnsidhe, [personal profile] erulisse, and [personal profile] edorfaus. It belongs to the Rutledge thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It is the sixth in a set, after "Escape a Thousand Memories," "Who Can Create the Future," "Good Food Choices Are Good Investments," "Layering Flavors, Tastes, and Textures," and "A Vibrant Symbol of the American Dream."

Warning: This poem contains intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes the Syrian civil war, the aftermath of a battle, questionable ethical behavior, Syrian terrorists, a mixed-cape team of soups, looting the terrorists of everything but the clothes on their backs, vulgar language, somewhat rough treatment of prisoners, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, August 3

This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, August 3 2021 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "Asexual / Demisexual Intimacy Pr0n." I'll be soliciting ideas for people on the ace-aro spectrum, dance partners, beat partners, leader-follower partners, housemates, communards, comares, superheroes, supervillains, introverts, activists, counselors, other people who promote nonsexual intimacies, creating intimacy, making friends, getting to know each other, growing closer, moving in together, formalizing a relationship, fumbling for vocabulary, starting a family, cooking together, discovering things, troubleshooting, improvising, adapting, cooperating, bartering, taking over in an emergency, discovering yourself, studying others, testing boundaries, coming of age, learning what you can (and can't) do, sharing, fixing what's broke, upsetting the status quo, changing the world, accomplishing the impossible, recovering from setbacks, sharehouses, schools, clubs, quiet rooms, workplaces, kitchens, campsites, laboratories, makerspaces, nonhuman environments, gardens, other places where people interact closely, family dynamics, partnerships not based on sex/romance, layered personal boundaries, emotional closeness, first contact, interspecies relationships, trial and error, lab conditions are not field conditions, innovation, skin hunger, loneliness, problems that can't be solved by hitting, teamwork, found family, complementary strengths and weaknesses, personal growth, and poetic forms in particular.

Consider "Asexual / Demisexual" as shorthand for the whole ace-aro spectrum.  Characters do not have to be acespec to participate in this event.  Other types of partnership and attraction are welcome.  Intimacy pr0n focuses on close personal connections. It can be exciting to acespec people much as genital pr0n is exciting to allosexual people, just in some way other than sex/romance.  Look at nonsexual intimacies and Five Moments of Intimacy for inspiration.  This is a previous FMI bingo card from a fest on Allbingo.  The overall goal of this theme is to promote storylines not based on sex/romance that bring characters closer together.

Among my more relevant series for the main theme:

The Blueshift Troupers travel in a living ship and are a very tight-knit group.

A Conflagration of Dragons has the Six Races (plus the dragons) who all have different cultures regarding relationships.  This often poses challenges for the refugees.

Daughters of the Apocalypse has people trying to survive, when they absolutely must depend on each other.

Fledgling Grace involves a lot of spiritual intimacy.

Frankenstein's Family features two scientists running a valley in historic Romania, plus werewolves, vampires, and a mummy for all kinds of atypical intimacy.

Hart's Farm is a free love community with diverse bonding methods.

The Moon Door mixes a women's chronic pain group and lycanthropy, so it's all about sharing.

Not Quite Kansas has out-of-place humans forced to rely on each other, plus a demon for soul intimacy.

Polychrome Heroics has ordinary humans, supernaries, blue-plate specials, superheroes, supervillains, primal and animal soups all of whom have their own interpersonal expectations.

Schrodinger's Heroes save the world from alternate dimensions, and they're a very diverse group in a very conservative area.

Or you can ask for something new.

I have a linkback poem, "Begin to Understand Ourselves" (8 verses, An Army of One).

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts. I am now.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

I'm going to host a Poetry Fishbowl on my blog on Tuesday, August 3. I'll be soliciting ideas for thematic characters, plots, settings, objects, and poetic forms in particular. Chances are I'll spend a good chunk of the day, from afternoon to evening or more, alternating between this site and doing stuff offline so my back doesn't weld itself to the chair.

Perks: I will post at least one of the resulting fishbowl poems on the blog for everyone to enjoy, and an extra one if there's at least one new prompter or donor. The rest will be available for audience members to buy, and whatever's left over will go into my archive for magazine submission.

If donations total $100 then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl. These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size. If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; four of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be four months in a row. Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day. If donations reach $300, there will be a half-price sale in one series.

I want to promote linkbacks pointing people to the "Fishbowl Open" post on Tuesday. I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of "Ouroboros Insects" (standalone). One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Twitter or LiveJournal, rather than all on Dreamwidth.

(See the complete list of current perks.)

If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to promote interest in nonsexual intimacies -- please mark the fishbowl date on your calendar. Drop by and give me some ideas, comment on the posted poetry, encourage people to come look, whatever tickles your fancy. I hope to see you then!


Today is warm and muggy.

I fed the birds.  I've seen a large flock of house finches, a few doves, and a squirrel.

While we were out driving, I saw a meadowlark again in the same spot by the drainage ditch.  :D  I'd like to mention the value of occasional tall plants in a grassy area.  To humans, they're weeds, but to birds, they're furniture -- a welcome place to perch. 

Poem: "Without Stable Shelter"

This poem is spillover from the December 1, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] hangingbyastitch and [personal profile] bairnsidhe. It also fills the "Silver and Gold" square in my 12-1-20 card for the Winter Fest Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] bairnsidhe, [personal profile] erulisse, and [personal profile] edorfaus. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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