Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Among the Indispensable Elements"

This poem came out of the October 1, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] pantha, [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart, and [personal profile] erulisse. It also fills the "balance" square in my 10-1-19 card for the Fall Festival Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Finn Family and Marionettes threads of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"Among the Indispensable Elements"

[Tuesday, March 24, 2015]

Bog_Standard: I'm so frustrated.
Why do fairytales have to be so gendered?
Folklore needs more balance than it has
.

Think_Ahead: What has you focused
on this subject at the moment?


Bog_Standard: I'm studying
European politics and I can
see how gender issues have
messed up the whole history
.

Think_Ahead: Ah yes. Gender-equality,
supremacy of law, political participation,
civil society, and transparency are among
the indispensable elements that are
the imperatives of civilization
.

Bog_Standard: I just want
genderflexy stories, darn it!


Dapper_Dyke: Sometimes,
you have to make your own stories
.

Filament_Spark: I know! We can
each contribute a character. I want
to see Simple Simon as a heronet
.

Think_Ahead: Lu Man is a Chinese herix
who presents as half-man, half-woman
.

Dapper_Dyke: Armend is
an Albanian sworn virgin.


Bog_Standard: Sharp Sula
is an ace/aro princess who
makes up impossible quests
because she doesn't really
want to marry ANYONE. I'm
riffing on the Albanian fairytale
"The Beauty" to go with Armend
.

Think_Ahead: Once upon a time,
the herix Lu Man left China in search
of someone who'd accept them
as both male and female
.

Filament_Spark: Simple Simon
was lonely because everyone
made fun of how he saw the world
.

Bog_Standard: When the two of them
met at an inn, Lu Man said, "Greetings.
I am Lu Man, a herix from China. I
use 'they' instead of 'he' or 'she'."


Filament_Spark: Simple Simon said,
"All right. I am looking for friends
who won't make fun of me."


Think_Ahead: Lu Man said,
"I won't make fun of you.
Let's go have an adventure!
Those are more fun with friends."


Bog_Standard: So Simple Simon
and Lu Man traveled together
until they came to a castle.


Dapper_Dyke: Where they
met Armend, who was trying
to win the hand of the princess
called Sharp Sula, but worried
that her father wouldn't like him
because he was a sworn virgin.


Bog_Standard: "That's silly!"
said Simple Simon. "It isn't
the king that Armend
wants to marry."


Think_Ahead: "Will
you try to win the hand of
the princess, Simple Simon?"
Lu Man asked him
.

Bog_Standard: "Oh, no,"
said Simple Simon. "She is
ever so clever, and I am
ever so simple. We wouldn't
suit at all. I prefer going on
adventures with you."


Dapper_Dyke: "I would
rather be going on adventures,
too," said Armend. "I think
even Sharp Sula would prefer it!"


Filament_Spark: "I have an idea

Bog_Standard: "I have an idea

Filament_Spark: You first, Bog_Standard.
This is supposed to be your fairytale.


Bog_Standard: It's everyone's story
now. You go ahead, your line
started appearing before mine
.

Filament_Spark: "I have an idea,"
said Simple Simon. "Why don't
Armend and Sharp Sula simply
join us on our adventures?"


Think_Ahead: "We could
all have adventures
together," said Lu Man.


Dapper_Dyke: "I'll ask
Sharp Sula if she wants
to run away and become
an adventurer," said Armend.


Bog_Standard: "Why didn't I think of
that?" said Sharp Sula. "I'd love to go on
adventures with you. I knew that Armend
was smart, but I don't really want to marry
anyone. I would rather just be friends."


Filament_Spark: "I can use all the friends
I can get," said Simple Simon
.

Bog_Standard: "It might
be hard to escape from
my father, though. He's
the one who taught me to see
everything," said Sharp Sula.


Dapper_Dyke: "Not everything,"
said Armend. "I can call in
some favors to hide us,
but we'll need a distraction."


Filament_Spark: "I can
be very distracting!"
said Simple Simon.


Dapper_Dyke: So they
set the plan in motion, and
Simple Simon began juggling
ridiculous things in the courtyard,
so that everyone leaned out to see
him throwing eggs, pickles, and
even a mug of beer in the air
.

Bog_Standard: While the king
was thoroughly distracted by
observing the juggling show,
Armend called in his favors
and they slipped away.


Filament_Spark: Then
Simple Simon tried juggling
live geese, who of course
flew away. He ran to chase
the geese, and the king was
laughing so hard that he didn't
even realize everyone had escaped
.

Bog_Standard: The four of them
met on the road beyond the town
.

Dapper_Dyke: "What shall we do now?"
said Sharp Sula. "I don't really know
how to be anything other than a princess."


Think_Ahead: "I can teach you how
to defend yourself," said Lu Man.


Dapper_Dyke: "I can teach you how
to smoke, wind a pocket watch, and
read a contract," said Armend
.

Filament_Spark: "I can teach you
how to juggle," said Simple Simon.
"Though perhaps not live geese."


Think_Ahead: "Well, your geese
saved the day, so I think that was
clever instead of silly!" said Lu Man
.

Bog_Standard: "Is it true that you
did not try for my hand, when
everyone else wanted to try?"
Sharp Sula asked Simple Simon
.

Dapper_Dyke: "Yes. I know you
are far too clever for me. You deserve
someone else clever, like Armend.
I prefer Lu Man, who loves me
simple as I am. Though I don't
know why," said Simple Simon
.

Think_Ahead: "Because when I
told you my pronouns, you were
the only person who said, 'All right,'
instead of 'That's ridiculous.' I think
I began to fall in love with you at
that moment," said Lu Man
.

Bog_Standard: "I don't think
it matters how other people see us,"
said Armend. "What matters is
how we see ourselves, and
that we love each other."


Filament_Spark: "I think we
should just be one big family, and
go have adventures, instead of
worrying about other people,"
said Simple Simon
.

Bog_Standard: "And so
they lived happily ever after."


Filament_Spark: Yay!

Dapper_Dyke: Are you
feeling better, Bog_Standard?


Bog_Standard: Yeah, I think so.
It's a lot more balanced now.
I just needed a reminder of
the indispensable elements --
love, friendship, and adventures
.

* * *

Notes:

BlackSheep handles:
Bog_Standard is Halley Finn.
Filament_Spark is Edison Finn.
Dapper_Dyke is TyLa, a Marionette formerly from the Ebonies & Ivories.
Think_Ahead is Agricane, a Marionette formerly from Japan.


TyLa (Tyrone Latonya Taubman) -- She has butterscotch skin, brown eyes, and long brown dreadlocks. Tattoos scrawl across both arms. Her heritage is primarily African and American, a little Manx, and one Sicilian great-grandfather whom she barely remembers but deeply adored. TyLa is a butch lesbian. Her childhood was miserable due to her grandparents pressuring her to be a girly girl and also straight, while her parents simply didn't stand up for her. So she got involved in gangs, where her dapper dress and excellent observational skills made her popular as a button woman. Originally TyLa lived in Omaha, Nebraska and worked for Boss White in the Ebonies & Ivories. When he saw that she fit better with the Marionettes, he sent her to them as a gift, which has worked out well for everyone. There TyLa met her comare, a Moorish femme named Dhayl Alayza. They both enjoy singing opera, but Dhayl is better than TyLa. TyLa's BlackSheep handle is Dapper_Dyke.
Qualities: Good (+2) Button Woman, Good (+2) Dapper, Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Observant, Good (+2) Opera Singer
Poor (-2) Past Gender Abuse

Agricane -- He has deep golden skin, almond-shaped black eyes, and long straight black hair often put up in a topknot. Once, he was a protegee of Shigeru Fukui, but after Agricane's power emerged, it created static with Mr. Fukui's Super-Wristvid and vice-versa. Agricane is Think_Ahead on BlackSheep.
Agricane is a Japanese businessman, a gift to the Puppetmaster from Shigeru Fukui at Lucky Frog. Rinaldo was a gift from Koroleva. Agricane, Orlando, and Alcina do not get along well.
Origin: He attended a Samurai Businessman retreat that included intense physical challenges, long hours of meditation, teambuilding exercises, and lectures on executive tactics and strategy. By the time he came home, he was getting premonitions about the future.
Uniform: Agricane loves Japanese clothing, even in Italy. He favors hakama and other skirt-pants, and for more formal occasions, full kimono. He has some more casual kimonos too, and some Italian clothes that he's picked up along the way. He likes stark contrasts such as black and white, and wears neutrals more often than bright colors.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Japanese Businessman,
Poor (-2) Strained Relationship with Japanese Family
Powers: Good (+2) Foresight
Limitation: Agricane can see glimpses of the most likely futures, but primarily in business and economics rather than everything.
Weakness: His power tends to conflict unpleasantly with other futuristic gifts, even super-gizmological ones.
Motivation: Honor.

Hakama are a traditional Japanese garment worn by men, sort of a cross between a skirt and trousers. They are worn on various occasions. See an example.

Modern fashions often combine masculine and feminine elements. Skirts are becoming more popular among men.

Agricane has two hairpins, both made of jade, one white and one so dark green it's almost black.
Agricane's Green and White Jade Hairpins
A Chinese white jade hairpin, late 20th Century, with carved phoenix head finial above a pierced openwork and spiral shaft, length approx 24cm, together with a similar green jade hairpin, length approx 23cm.

* * *

"Similarly, gender-equality, supremacy of law, political participation, civil society, and transparency are among the indispensable elements that are the imperatives of democratization."
-- Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Lu Man
Lu is the pinyin and Wade–Giles romanization of the Chinese surname written 陆 in simplified character and 陸 in traditional character.


1. land; continent; mainland
2. Short for 中國大陸/中国大陆 (Zhōngguó dàlù, “mainland China”).
3. Short for 陸軍/陆军 (lùjūn, “army”).
4. A surname.

Wan, Man, Mon, Won (Ten Thousand)

The Disney movie Mulan includes some images of the main character as half-male, half-female.

Albanian sworn virgins, or burrnesha in Albanian, are women who take a vow of chastity and perform a masculine role in society.

"The Beauty" is an Albanian fairytale.

ARMEND m Albanian
Means "golden mind", from the Albanian ar meaning "gold, golden" and mend meaning "mind".
ARMINDA f Albanian
Possibly a feminine form of Armend.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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