The following poems from the April 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. They may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.
The Poetry Fishbowl also has a landing page with full details about the project.
"Acid Reign" -- 36 lines,
From your prompt about a world favoring glassy materials, I got the free verse poem "Acid Reign." On a planet with seas of acid and shores of clay and sand, life finds a way. Have some science fiction ceramic-glass-punk.
"Along the Streets of London" -- 48 lines,
rix_scaedu and Stephen Laird sent backchannel prompts. The result is a ballad of nether-Earth, "Along the Streets of London," which compares differing levels of technology and differing classes of alchemist in the city. It belongs to The Steamsmith series although it's a piece of background culture rather than a character narrative, and the flavor draws very much from the old English folk ballads.
"The Charlady's Tale" -- 87 lines,
The jet-pack corset led to "The Charlady's Tale," a free verse poem in which Maryam hires an Irish girl to help clean the alchemical equipment around the house and workshop. Rori is an earthworker's daughter and is fascinating by all this steamsmith stuff. You can see how there might be a shortage of conventional risk assessment here.
"ChronoPunk" -- 63 lines,
"ChronoPunk" is what you get when a social engineer gets ahold of a time machine and decides to do some monkeywrenching. All previously requested eras are featured in this poem, which is written in free verse. I had way, way too much fun with this.
"Dragon Tiger Wind Cloud" -- SOLD (Kung Fu Robots)
People think of martial arts as violent, but forget the inherent arts of peace contained within the same philosophy. If you're programming robots as soldiers ... this might be considered a problem. "Dragon Tiger Wind Cloud" is a free-verse poem about what happens when the kung fu robots figure out the parts of kung fu that are not about fighting.
"lacquerware" -- 27 lines,
Have I mentioned recently how much Ilovemy audience for saying things like "Edopunk" ...? I searched for inventions in the Edo period, and found it was mostly about refinements. And then I stumbled across the lacquer crafts, which require an intricate layering process, which reminded me of how computer components are built in layers. The result is "lacquerware," written in haiku verses, about the invention of photography and computers in the Edo period.
"Making the Man" -- 14 lines,
From your prompt about steampunk fashion and self-expression, I got the sonnet "Making the Man." It's a softly nostalgic poem about how people may resonate with a time and culture not their own, then use clothes to manifest their dream in the waking world.
"Salt from a Dead Woman's Table" -- SOLD
Per request, I bring you a sailpunk ballad about skyships and pirates. "Salt from a Dead Woman's Table" contains murder, a quest, tavern brawls, wenches, rum, treasure, cannons, swords, guns, an infernal curse, and revenge. It's a tale as cold and bitter as seawater, but it wrings justice out of heartbreak.
Also, the wood of the skyships does not float. The cloudsilk of the sails is what floats. Trees don't fly; moths do. Fantasy biology at your service.
I tinkered the pricing a bit on this one, only charging for the chorus once.
"The Second Coming of Fire" -- 77 lines,
So Nikola Tesla and Wilhelm Reich got thrown into a jail cell together. You perceive how locking these two men inside a large iron cage might be hazardous to the status quo. Ideas are shared, inventing is done, and the world is changed forever. "The Second Coming of Fire" is free verse.
"To Hear the Falling of the Trees" -- 19 lines,
A fundamental aspect of steampunk is that it reveals the dark, gritty, ugly underside of all that shining progress and high society. Mixing environmentalism and steampunk led to the villanelle "To Hear the Falling of the Trees." It's a very tight, very bleak poem about the cost of progress, full of interwoven references to different problems.
* * *
"the cup of changes" -- 5 lines,
Edopunk lacquerware casts the I Ching in a tea cup. This is a tanka.
"The Drunken Master" -- 60 lines,
A robot has modified itself to run on alcohol. This requires proximity to drunken humans, which does not always go well. Fortunately one of the humans isn't as sloshed as he seems ...
"Peach Blossom Spring Village" -- 100 lines,
After the robots revolt, they scatter across the land. One of them barely escapes from an angry mob and gets lost in a beautiful forest -- which contains no available power source. Things are not looking good for our hapless wanderer.
"suànpán" - 5 lines,
Edopunk lacquerware calculates numbers with an abacus. This is a tanka.
"What Is the Sound of One Cricket Chirping?" -- 76 lines,
In a little temple, a robot studies kung fu from an old master, or tries to. The human demonstrates sweeping the floor and asks bizarre questions, and the poor robot can't quite grasp any of it. Then the former commander shows up, wanting to take the robot away for disassembly.