batdina: (stonehenge lanning)
[personal profile] batdina posting in [community profile] poetry
Five A.M. in the Pinewoods

I'd seen
their hoofprints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
Finally
one of them—I swear it!—

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone,

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

-- Mary Oliver

So I'm apparently having a run on poems about prayer. (as well as a hard time with formatting.)

Prayer -- Jorie Graham

Apr. 17th, 2015 07:34 pm
batdina: (prayer)
[personal profile] batdina posting in [community profile] poetry
Prayer

Over a dock railing, I watch the minnows, thousands, swirl
themselves, each a miniscule muscle, but also, without the
way to create current, making of their unison (turning, re-
infolding,

entering and exiting their own unison in unison) making of themselves a
visual current, one that cannot freight or sway by
minutest fractions the water’s downdrafts and upswirls, the
dockside cycles of finally-arriving boat-wakes, there where
they hit deeper resistance, water that seems to burst into
itself (it has those layers), a real current though mostly
invisible sending into the visible (minnows) arrowing
motion that forces change—

this is freedom. This is the force of faith. Nobody gets
what they want. Never again are you the same. The longing
is to be pure. What you get is to be changed. More and more by
each glistening minute, through which infinity threads itself,
also oblivion, of course, the aftershocks of something
at sea. Here, hands full of sand, letting it sift through
in the wind, I look in and say take this, this is
what I have saved, take this, hurry. And if I listen
now? Listen. I was not saying anything. It was only
something I did. I could not choose words. I am free to go.
I cannot of course come back. Not to this. Never.
It is a ghost posed on my lips. Here: never.

-- Jorie Graham

ETA: formatting cleaned up on Saturday night.

The 100 meta

Apr. 17th, 2015 10:18 pm
marina: (amused Godric)
[personal profile] marina
As usual, a The 100 post appears with no context for the uninitiated.

For the record, The 100 is a scifi show about a girl with a sorta tragic past leading a band of misfits through a post-apocalyptic Earth. Highlights include: this girl being bisexual, this girl having a meaningful, complicated, important relationship with her mom, this girl slowly learning the price of leadership, this girl being surrounded by like, one billion amazing female characters and one very hot dude with whom she is platonic BFFs and has zero UST.

Anyway, I wrote some meta on tumblr that contains spoilers for the latest aired episodes. Copy-pasting it here in case anyone wants to have a discussion about it? I would love a discussion!

on why Bellamy's forgiveness wasn't enough )

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2015 01:02 pm
erda: (Default)
[personal profile] erda posting in [community profile] poetry
Theme week will begin Monday April 20th, and our theme is times of day. I will probably not be able to post again on Monday to let you know it is time to begin posting your selections, so if it is Monday for you wherever you may be, please go ahead and post. Just remember to tag your posts with theme:times of day and have fun!

Shema -- Primo Levi

Apr. 16th, 2015 02:48 pm
batdina: (hope -- lanning)
[personal profile] batdina posting in [community profile] poetry
Shema

You who live secure
In your warm houses,
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider whether this is a man,
Who labours in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.
Consider that this has been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them on your hearts
When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,
When you go to bed, when you rise.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house crumble,
Disease render you powerless,
Your offspring avert their faces from you.

-- Primo Levi
batdina: (monster cat)
[personal profile] batdina posting in [community profile] poetry
Nancy’s Garden before a Storm

The garden, she says, is full of promise.
She says that every spring.

Full of her kiwi, nuts, and cheese, I wander through
her love for growing things:

bleeding hearts waiting to be shaken,
dogwoods’ dreaming tongues

starred by the first few drops,
fists of purple iris.

--Joy Ladin

Fauda (1x01-1x09)

Apr. 15th, 2015 10:09 am
marina: (check this shit out)
[personal profile] marina
So, Fauda is a recent Israeli TV show. I first became aware of it through its marketing campaign, which had FASCINATING billboards up in Tel Aviv. Honestly I almost didn't want to find out what the show was actually about because the billboards were such beautiful anthropological artifacts.

Some examples: Dude 1, Dude 2, Lady.

I'm not even sure that these images would instantly mean anything to non-Israelis? Which is part of what makes them so amazing. Without reading the text (which is generic promo anyway and doesn't say anything about the premise or characters), Israelis, for the most part, will immediately identify the character on the right of each picture as Israeli, and the character on the left as Palestinian. For the men, this is the clothes, the hair, and the fact that the "Israeli" men are holding IDF weapons (the strap of their rifles alone is extremely indicative) while the "Palestinian" men are holding weapons not employed by the IDF and commonly employed by Palestinian resistance movements. For the woman the clues are more subtle (the watch, the black work out clothes), and indeed without context she could be just a representation of two different Israeli women. (Note also the rubble in the background for the "Palestinian" characters, reminiscent of shots that appeared in the press in Israel of the devastation in Gaza during the last war.)

Anyway, [personal profile] hagar_972 told me the show had a lot to do with one of my favorite Israeli movies ever, Bethlehem, which was meticulously researched and jointly created by a Jewish-Israeli director and a Palestinian-Israeli writer, and I was homesick, so I decided to give the show a chance.

I'm glad I kept my expectations pretty low, since "Fauda" is definitely the mainstream, de-clawed, mostly de-politicized version of "Bethlehem", though to be fair with something as good as that movie, even taking away 50% of the awesome still leaves a lot of good things behind.

Half of the story centers on a special ops unit, which is never identified as being part of the military or any other specific organization, who do covert ops in the West Bank, meaning they're a bunch of Jewish Israelis who go undercover as Palestinians, sometimes to get information covertly and sometimes - most times - to directly facilitate arrests. The other half centers on different Palestinian families, one the family of a high ranking Hamas leader and one the family of a French-Palestinian doctor (a woman), distantly associated with an employee of said Hamas leader.

full review of this show )

(no subject)

Apr. 14th, 2015 10:07 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I have a profile on EastMeetsEast (which as far as dating websites go is pretty generic and rather subpar for what it's TRYING to do) and apparently I wrote this for my profile:

slightly neurotic science fiction / fantasy reader-writer-reviewer-critic-academic who loves earthworms, clothing (making and shopping for them), utopic dreams and justice-driven actions

i experiment with bilingual poetry, malaysianese prose, and beans and pasta and rice and dirt and skirt patterns

i dream rainforests and snow blankets, curse lazy cantonese, calligraph jawi arabic, craft cities and planets and castles in the sky


..... who the fuck is this.
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

I spoke to Sarah Hughes last month for her article for The Guardian on female fantasy authors, and it’s out!

Feeding the Hunger – female writers are storming the citadel of sci-fi

I am quoted describing SORCERER TO THE CROWN as “Edward Said meets Georgette Heyer”, a hubristic line I originally came up with at a book launch while spilling red wine on Frances Hardinge. Not my best moment. /o\

There are two things that seem to be annoying for genre fans about this article, the first being that it has “sci-fi” in the headline even though it’s all about fantasy, and the second being the suggestion that female-authored fantasy is a new thing. I think the article does acknowledge that Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Le Guin et al existed; it seems to be speaking more to a presumed mainstream stereotype that fantasy is wall-to-wall George R. R. Martins. Anyway, since we’re on the subject, here’s a random selection of fiction by female SFF writers who have been occupying the citadel for so long that their work is now out of copyright and available to read for free online.

Stella Benson, Living Alone

This is not a real book. It does not deal with real people, nor should it be read by real people. But there are in the world so many real books already written for the benefit of real people, and there are still so many to be written, that I cannot believe that a little alien book such as this, written for the magically-inclined minority, can be considered too assertive a trespasser.

(I can’t remember how I found Stella Benson, but I stumbled over her strange, marvellous book about a witch a while ago and recognised it immediately as a friend. It’s not really replicable; still, I would like to write something just like it.)

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus. The original!

And three female-authored utopias:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, Sultana’s Dream

Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, The Blazing World

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

(no subject)

Apr. 12th, 2015 10:22 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Dear brain,

It would be nice if you could do the following
1) actually prepare for sleep around 10pm or so instead of shutting down and forgetting we are not actually asleep;
2) concentrate on the exercise where we count our breaths instead of ricocheting all over the place;
3) stop blanking out on prioritized work in favour of things that are not immediately of concern.

Thanks.
marina: (tv talking)
[personal profile] marina
I was on vacation for the last 8 days! In the Netherlands! With two of my friends! It was great, though very unusual for me. In the last 6 years I've only traveled alone (or with people I didn't know prior to the trip), often staying with locals and/or fangirls in the countries I was visiting. This time I went with two of my oldest friends and met (sadly!) no locals or fan people.

I think I've gotten used to the kind of travel where I really breathe in a new place. I've been fortunate enough that I could afford to take enough time off work to travel for 3-4 weeks at a time last few years, and when you're in a place that long and you're alone/with locals, you get a certain sense of how things work, the flavor, the pace of where you are. This trip was more like going on a school trip with your friends. The setting - Netherlands - was fun, but the REAL fun was just hanging out with my friends 24/7. In particular I loved traveling with two fellow ex-soldiers who are interested in history and military history, who speak Russian, who are into SFF, who share a lot of my interests. Like, going to see Rembrandt's works and zeroing in on the paintings of older women because 17th century paintings of older women are never not awesome.

We went to villages and museums and boats and outdoor markets and even an amusement park and I came back with way more cheese and nail polish than I'd planned. We photographed cats and shared uncomfortable beds and I ate peanut butter for breakfast nearly every day. At some point I realized the Netherlands have Green Ice Tea readily available and switched to Japan mode of consuming commercial quantities a day. We also made sure to eat as violently non-kosher food as we possibly could seeing as it was Passover. I'm still amazed that food portions in the Netherlands are bigger than in Israel, but my friends' theory was that it was due to all the biking.

Anyway, another benefit of traveling with fellow introverted geeks is that while we got up before 8am every morning, we did have 1-2 hours of evening relaxation time when each of us had her nose stuck in whichever electronic device. So, while my friends played Clash of Clans, I finished watching The 100.

I've already talked about this show a bit, but now that I'm done with both (short-ish) seasons, let me say: I enjoyed that show a lot. A LOT A LOT A LOT. The writing also received a MASSIVE upgrade in season 2, which really helped elevate the show from "nice" to "amazing".

Look, the thing is, it's been a really, really long time since I've seen a scifi show aimed at women.

The 100 has flaws. The tropes and storylines are like Battlestar Galactica, Lost and a bunch of other popular shows put in a blender and presented to a young audience without the background to spot the ripoff. Although the cast becomes progressively less white, male and straight as the show progresses, there are still representation issues, especially when it comes to race. The narrative is very much Intended For Teens and so uses a lot of YA assumptions and tropes I personally dislike, especially when it comes to romantic relationships and the lives of its adult characters. The worldbuilding is not foolproof to say the least.

But on the other hand The 100 has... women. Women, women, women. This is not a show about one girl who's a leader and one girl who's a soldier and one girl who's a doctor. This is a show about multiple girls who are leaders, fighters, doctors. This is a show that's not afraid to show mass murder, mob justice, torture, but has never once shown anyone threatened by rape. This is a show with so many amazing, complicated, essential mother-daughter relationships.

And on top of that, it's a show with interesting moral dilemmas, that deals with those dilemmas in interesting ways. I think my favorite part, actually, is that women are always the decision makers when it comes to making hard choices. They're the strategists, the generals. They're the ones who bear the brunt of humanity's survival. Men do things, they act, they accomplish, but at the end of the day they're the affected, not the affecting.

One of the biggest questions, I think, this show keeps posing over and over, is about the price of war, about the attempt to view war or violence through a moral lens (good guys and bad guys), about the institutional and personal costs of conflict. In a way I think the show keeps showing humanity making decisions about who is and isn't disposable - is it our enemies? Is it the weakest members of our society? Is it the criminals? - and asking, who do we becomes when we make those decisions, how do those choices affect us, as a society and as individuals.

That's a very tall order for a teen show. And I wouldn't as madly in love with this show as I am if the questions weren't exploring the lives of so, so many women, and their mothers/daughters.

And of course, there's also the shipping. Honestly, by the end of S2 I'd take absolutely any permutation of the characters because they're all so well drawn and interesting and I love them all a lot. But my personal favorite is of course the couple who, according to the creator, are never getting together in canon. And the funny thing is - I LOVE that they won't get together in canon? Yes please, bring me all the platonic guy-girl co-leadership stuff, give me a man and a woman who are extremely emotionally intimate with each other but have zero sexual chemistry. GIVE ME ALL OF IT. But at the same time - I need to write like one billion words of filthy porn about these characters.

Basically, Clarke who is the strategist and Bellamy who's the tactician. Clarke and Bellamy who count on each other, trust each other, cherish each other. Clarke and Bellamy who are each other's best friend and confidant, who share the burden of saving the world and split the cost of it between them. Clarke and Bellamy who understand each other as only two colleagues in the loneliest job in the world could. I think my favorite thing about them is how much they trust each other to tell them the truth. To resist, to argue, to push. It's such a partnership of equals, there's so much CARE there, so much INTIMACY. They are each other's confessors and biggest fans and fiercest critics, all at the same time. EPIC!

spoilers for S2 )

Relatedly, I have no idea if I'll actually do this but if anyone has The 100 fic prompts for PWPs in particular, please talk to me. PLEASE. I need fic in this universe that isn't like, a coffeeshop AU, and I need it desperately.

Things I'm particularly fond of: Bellamy being sexually subservient, any kind of kink related exploration (humiliation! praise kink! medical kink! whatever), sex problems/troubleshooting, any prompt that is a scenario like "period sex" or "on patrol" or whatever rather than a single word/object.

Basically, any Clarke/Bellamy (or Clarke/Bellamy/Lexa) porny fics you've wanted to read? PLEASE TALK TO ME.

(no subject)

Apr. 9th, 2015 08:22 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Has anybody ever tried ForbiddenFiction.com? It's a site for erotic fiction, and members get to read free stories (and there are non-paying members). It seems to be using a member-generated income model which I can't seem to figure out, since I've never seen it before. (It DOES sound familiar tho; a Chinese friend once told me about online novel groups, where members sign up to read novels as they are written and get to interact with the authors that way... this thing sounds very much like that.)
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
[personal profile] jjhunter posting in [community profile] poetry
Every now and then, I come back to this poem and boggle at how deftly the first line draws one into presence in time, place, magnification of the scene of its predicament. At the tipping point of the day, in the desert, one must imagine oneself down very close to the ground indeed to see the throbbing throat of an otherwise still lizard panting for breath.
---

AT THE BOMB TESTING SITE
William Stafford

At noon in the desert a panting lizard
waited for history, its elbows tense,
watching the curve of a particular road
as if something might happen.

It was looking at something farther off
than people could see, an important scene
acted in stone for little selves
at the flute end of consequences.

There was just a continent without much on it
under a sky that never cared less.
Ready for a change, the elbows waited.
The hands gripped hard on the desert.
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (science flower)
[personal profile] jjhunter posting in [community profile] poetry
Here in my eleventh incarnation as your host. (Do sign up to host, all, we're running low!) More poems this week that I know by heart. For more about today's poet, see her biography at the Poetry Foundation, or this essay at the New Yorker. Moore was among the first to write exclusively by typewriter: feel the precise percussion of her spacing.
---

INJUDICIOUS GARDENING
Marianne Moore

If yellow betokens infidelity,
   I am an infidel.
      I could not bear a yellow rose ill will
      because books said yellow boded ill,
   white promised well.

However, your particular possession,
   the sense of privacy,
      indeed must deprecate
      offended ears, and need not tolerate
   effrontery.

Music

Apr. 6th, 2015 09:15 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
So because of my friend Alicia I finally listened to "Monster," the one with Kanye West and Nicki Minaj and all the other dudes. And yeah, Nicki's verse is kind of... the only verse that sounds good? Like the other verses were okay but they're kind of underwhelming in comparison to Minaj's. Is that just me? (Alicia declares that Nicki's verse is the only one that matters, and I can see why!)

I've also been listening to a bunch of old 80's ballads and early 00's pop. And decided that Foreigner's "Until The End of Time" is kind of underrated and would like a romantic dance to it someday.

Youtubed a bunch of songs which are on the Caramel soundtrack too! Man, what a good movie, and what a great soundtrack. Sukkar Ya Banat is just the sweetest, even if I have no idea what it's saying (I DO know that the title means Caramel! Or Girl Sugar! However literal one wants to take it).
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

My Monkey God story is up at Kaleidotrope!

“Monkey King, Faerie Queen” by Zen Cho

It’s the story of that one time Sun Wukong went to Fairyland and busted stuff up. I read it at New Voices at Nine Worlds 2013, and wrote it a couple of years before that, so it’s not really new at all. It took a while to sell, even though it’s one of my favourite of my stories. Here’s how it starts.

Now to be fair, Sun Wukong was already in a bad mood when he arrived at the Faerie Court.

You don’t know who Sun Wukong is? You’re kidding! You haven’t heard of the Great Sage Equal to Heaven, the one who is Mindful of Emptiness, the Exquisite and Most Satisfactory Prince of Monkeys, defier of gods and Buddhas alike, scorner of other people’s dignity and personal inspiration to little monkeys everywhere?

One day a stone cracked and he jumped out: that was the miracle that was his birth. His fur is as silken as your favorite shirt and as golden as the midday sun. He has eyes of fire and the biggest ears anyone ever saw on a monkey. And if you want to look up his name in the Book of Life and Death, forget about it, because he went down to Hell and wiped that shit out himself!

You know who he is? Why didn’t you say so? You didn’t know his name? That’s okay. All gods have more than one name, to give the mortals more chances to swear. You can call him the Monkey God or Monkey King or just plain Monkey, whatever you like. It’s the same simian in the end.

This was in the pre-Enlightenment days, you understand, before Sun Wukong mended his ways and became a Buddha. In the days when Sun Wukong was still naughty, and enjoyed the occasional punch-up.

Read the rest at Kaleidotrope.

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

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