The Conductor, Jacqueline Berger

Nov. 25th, 2015 08:32 am
saunteringfiend: (DoctorWho)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
There's no mention, of course, in the program
that the conductor has Parkinson's.
He enters the stage, stands for a moment
facing the audience,
his hands by his sides, tapping air.
Then he holds them together, an act of gratitude
—we are gathered, we can do this—
and of firmness, each hand forcing
the other to be still.
His expression, darkly bemused,
the good news/bad news:
I've lived long enough to lose so much.
Or maybe he's staving off our sympathy,
don't clap because of this.
Then he turns his back to us, begins his work.
Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony.
No baton, and from behind
his body is jerky as a boy's,
jumpy with excitement.
His hands shake when they scoop
the sections of the orchestra,
as though pulling a weighted net
from the sea. Still, I wonder if this work
is easier than taking on the ordinary
objects of a day—
buttons, keys, and pens.
I am an old man
he must think when he looks
in the mirror,
briefly naked before trading
the bathrobe for the tie and tails.
And when he turns to us again
after the last movement, he looks both
old and young, his face washed
of the expression in the program photograph,
clearly taken years before,
one eyebrow slightly raised,
his smile more satisfied than happy.
Now he shows us his innocence,
if innocence is what the face
unconstructed can be called.
What else can he do,
while his fingers tap their useless code,
while the audience, in rows, rises from their seats,
still clapping, what can he do
but show us who he is,
a man standing too close to the edge,
edge no one can call him back from.
saunteringfiend: (fireworks)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
When you show up at a bar fight
In uniform and wearing lipstick
It sends a mixed message
It’s like having a Barbie doll dressed in fatigues come to your house
I mean what would you expect her to do?
Wink at you?

So he took a swing at me.
And Oh My God, I realized we were fighting by moonlight
I thought, now he didn’t wake up this morning
Picturing himself fighting a lady cop
That beyond anything else, didn’t he just want to meet a
Nice girl and give her a pretty flower
Sure, I was a nice girl, but he wasn’t my type.

He must have loved to dance too. He had on the most
Beautiful blue cowboy boots
That he kept trying to show me.
He was built like Fred Astaire, thin
A tapered waist
Well, maybe this was his way of asking me to dance.
So we danced for a good ten minutes.

Up and down the sidewalk in and around the azalea bushes.
We did the side step, the two step
And he dipped me a few times.
Heck, I think we dipped each other. At one point he reached for some
Nearby azaleas.
And some of them ended up in my hair.
He stood me up in court the next day and I never saw him again
But My God, moonlight and love songs are never out of

The Thrush - Edward Thomas

Nov. 22nd, 2015 08:52 pm
amadi: A hand holding a fountain pen, preparing to write on a sheet of paper, with a reflection beneath. (Writing)
[personal profile] amadi posting in [community profile] poetry
When Winter's ahead,
What can you read in November
That you read in April
When Winter's dead?

I hear the thrush, and I see
Him alone at the end of the lane
Near the bare poplar's tip,
Singing continuously.

Is it more that you know
Than that, even as in April,
So in November,
Winter is gone that must go?

Or is all your lore
Not to call November November,
And April April,
And Winter Winter—no more?

But I know the months all,
And their sweet names, April,
May and June and October,
As you call and call

I must remember
What died into April
And consider what will be born
Of a fair November;

And April I love for what
It was born of, and November
For what it will die in,
What they are and what they are not,

While you love what is kind,
What you can sing in
And love and forget in
All that's ahead and behind

code push done!

Nov. 22nd, 2015 07:32 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're updating the site momentarily! Once the dust settles, please let us know if anything isn't working as expected. I'll edit the entry here if we confirm any issues.

Update, 21:45: All done!

Code push!

Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:03 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are planning to do a code push in about six hours, around 5pm Pacific time.

Most of the changes with this push are cleanup and small backend fixes, but we also have a new journal style called "Pattern" with 24 themes for you to choose from, and most excitingly, QuickReply has now been enabled for journal, day, and network views.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!

Jessica Jones

Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:50 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, I will hopefully write up a longer and more detailed review of Strange Horizons later this month, so meanwhile here are some scattered thoughts.

Briefly, this show had flaws - structurally and content-wise - but I enjoyed it a LOT. I felt like it was about 90% where it needed to be in terms of my enjoyment, which is significantly more than any MCU project so far. Ultimately I think the lacking 10% was the polish and pretty-ness that felt like it reigned in the material, but my god. MY GOD. A superpowered heroine who doesn't wear heels, or dresses and doesn't rely on her sexuality to get things, and whose narrative doesn't elevate that mode of femininity over any other. A show where the hero is damaged and fucked up and antisocial and occasionally an asshole, and still, always trying her best. A show where women are allowed to be wonderful and terrible and everything in between. MY GOD.

spoilers )

Winter - Sudeep Sen

Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:31 am
amadi: A hand holding a fountain pen, preparing to write on a sheet of paper, with a reflection beneath. (Writing)
[personal profile] amadi posting in [community profile] poetry
Couched on crimson cushions,
 pink bleeds gold

and red spills into one’s heart.
 Broad leather keeps time,

calibrating different hours
 in different zones

unaware of the grammar
 that makes sense.

Only random woofs and snores
 of two distant dogs

on a very cold night
 clears fog that is unresolved.

New plants wait for new heat —
 to grow, to mature.

An old cane recliner contains
 poetry for peace — woven

text keeping comfort in place.
 But it is the impatience of want

that keeps equations unsolved.
 Heavy, translucent, vaporous,

split red by mother tongues —
 winter’s breath is pink.
amadi: A hand holding a fountain pen, preparing to write on a sheet of paper, with a reflection beneath. (Writing)
[personal profile] amadi posting in [community profile] poetry
You asked me once,
on our way back
from the midmorning
trip to the spring:
“What do you hate,
and who do you love?”

And I answered,
from behind the eyelashes
of my surprise,
my blood rushing
like the shadow
cast by a cloud of starlings:
“I hate departure . . .
I love the spring
and the path to the spring,
and I worship the middle
hours of morning.”
And you laughed . . .
and the almond tree blossomed
and the thicket grew loud with nightingales.

. . . A question
now four decades old:
I salute that question’s answer;
and an answer
as old as your departure;
I salute that answer’s question . . .

And today,
it’s preposterous,
here we are at a friendly airport
by the slimmest of chances,
and we meet.
Ah, Lord!
we meet.
And here you are
it’s absolutely preposterous—
I recognized you
but you didn’t recognize me.
“Is it you?!”
But you wouldn’t believe it.
And suddenly
you burst out and asked:
“If you’re really you,
What do you hate
and who do you love?!”

And I answered—
my blood
fleeing the hall,
rushing in me
like the shadow
cast by a cloud of starlings:
“I hate departure,
and I love the spring,
and the path to the spring,
and I worship the middle
hours of morning.”

And you wept,
and flowers bowed their heads,
and doves in the silk of their sorrow stumbled.

LosCon Schedule

Nov. 19th, 2015 07:36 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
So, I got my LosCon schedule! I'm on 6 items, which means I'm overscheduled. Oh well!

FRI 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Boston: Sino-SciFi and Techno-Orientalism Science fiction and fantasy has always been part of the cultural landscape of Eastern Asia. With Liu Cixin's THREE BODY PROBLEM finding fame abroad, what are the challenges of the Chinese science fiction writer and/or fan, at home and in the diaspora? What common influences do we share, and where do we diverge as our experience of Chineseness affect our work? Come hear about these issues from the mouths of Chinese writers of varying backgrounds. Jaymee Goh, Laurie Tom, Rafaela Yilun Fan

FRI 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Marquis 3 (DEMO ROOM), Atlanta: Where Does The Good Ship Heart Of Gold Go? Conceivably, anywhere. Bring some stuff for inspiration (e.g. Cards Against Humanity, but any prompting prop that can be shared will do), gather around, and based on what we get, write some quick flash fiction describing where the Heart of Gold goes to! Later we'll draw a nice galactic map and fill it in with her itinerary. Jaymee Goh

SAT 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Atlanta: Fans of Color: Across Experiences Fans come from various cultural backgrounds! Fans of color will discuss what being a fan of colour in the U.S. is like: how we got into SFF, what makes it difficult being a SFF fan, how we deal with problems specific to us. Jaymee Goh, Isabel Schechter, Eric Atkinson, Arturo Garcia, Gregg Castro

SAT 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm, Atlanta: Octavia E. Butler and Emergent Strategy Session Octavia E. Butler's life and writing can be read as case studies with powerful strategies for adaptation, survival, and more. As people come together to discuss the impact of her work we can find meaningful connections between her writing and the speculative realities we wish to live in. Participants are invited to grow together through her work, exchange ideas and hear more about how her life inspired her work. Participants will leave with a new ways of approaching Octavia's work, being in community, and applying emergent strategies to their own lives and goals. Jaymee Goh, Ayana Jamieson

SAT 10:30 pm - 11:59 pm, Atlanta: Sexy vs Sexualized When does the depiction of a heroine stop being sexy and become sexualized? How would you dress you heroine for style and practicality? Jim Hines, Maria Alexander, Jaymee Goh, Martin Young, Rafaela Yilun Fan

SUN 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Atlanta: Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem This Chinese novel, translated by Ken Liu, is the first Asian novel to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel! This is THE panel to discuss it: how does it compare to Western novels? What are the differences of reading it in the original Chinese versus the translation? Jaymee Goh, Mingming Liu, Rafaela Yilun Fan

I pitched about four of these panels, and there are at least two other panels I pitched which I didn't end up on, but all my recommended people have got invites and so I'm stoked! My acquaintance Ajani Brown also pitched a BUNCH of panels and Q&A featuring local POC talent which will be so awesome. It's going to be a better LosCon than last year's, which was really really white and old.

Also, when I'm not paneling or napping, I'll be at Fan Table #9! For San Juan in 2017. And helping with the Vote SJ in KC party on Saturday night.

Birth - Süreyya Aylin Antmen

Nov. 19th, 2015 02:20 pm
amadi: A hand holding a fountain pen, preparing to write on a sheet of paper, with a reflection beneath. (Writing)
[personal profile] amadi posting in [community profile] poetry
I am in the garden of long words
oh world I am all forms of you

I will wear all of the grace I have gained with my birth
with the light of day
in the tiny window of my heart
that sweet coldness is all that is known by goodness
as the birds are ready, the sky is ready
as the whole earth is waiting in all forms
I am in the garden of long words
oh world I am all forms of you

translation by Erkan Koca

French reacquisition program

Nov. 19th, 2015 09:24 am
glass_icarus: (french quarter)
[personal profile] glass_icarus
So! 3 months into the move, I'm still living in a mostly-English-speaking bubble. This is annoying, as the language thing is really standing in the way of non-school social integration, exploration, and other things. Yesterday a friend of mine posted this Quebecois pour les nuls video, and I realized that if I can't reliably get my friends to speak French to me, there are other ways to go about it!

Therefore: any recommendations for French-language videos? Songs? Podcasts? News sources? Taking any and all suggestions, but I need to hear it more than I need to read it- I have an easier time of comprehension/recall when I have text in front of me; it's things like slang and pronunciation that trip me up.

5.7 - Sheema Kalbasi

Nov. 19th, 2015 12:41 am
amadi: A stylized photo of two calla lily flowers (Default)
[personal profile] amadi posting in [community profile] poetry
don't care if you are you and I am I. I am not some exotic flower. Whatever coat you have on, I will put it on to warm me... and the shoes however small... I will walk in them to balance our height difference. You don't need to convert for me; I have already converted to you. You see I never had a religion to begin with. I was born naked from all religions but your love.

I know that was not the point. I know there is no conversion. There is no coat, no balance, no shoes but the naked truth of me finding you first, not you finding me. You, whom will never know who I was when I was sitting on the white sheets.

Y o u, not b e s i d e m e.

And the words that are already written. The words that are already said, are already felt, and are already gone.

And I try to take them back into my empty bowl of hands. To put my hands on the chest. The chest into rest. The rest in to the heart. The beat back to the soul. The soul, back to what it was before you.

Alas! I am 5.7

The Garden by Angela Qian

Nov. 18th, 2015 09:18 pm
taiga13: by jackshoemaker (Little Red Riding Hood)
[personal profile] taiga13 posting in [community profile] poetry
My father bends over the koi pond to count the fish,
which are fewer now, dwindling in number.
First it was the birds, then it was sickness,
then age, something in the water—
Then death settled in, comfortably,
made up a bed and boiled pond scum for tea.
I watch him from the threshold: broad back and
straight shoulders—you’d hardly think he was aging, now,
hardly think of his occasionally murmuring heart and
the tooth he had pulled last year for rot.
From here, the white sun-flickers look
like they could be souls underwater.
They make a noise which sounds just like a ripple.
What could I say to them, what comfort could they give?
Have you anything to communicate to me? I ask,
as my father, suddenly near, bends,
picking up a red leaf to remark on its beauty. 

Maimed Lullaby - Tal Nitzan

Nov. 17th, 2015 04:03 am
amadi: A hand holding a fountain pen, preparing to write on a sheet of paper, with a reflection beneath. (Writing)
[personal profile] amadi posting in [community profile] poetry
To Tal Ashraf Abu Khattab, born in Gaza on May 1, 2010

The baby who bears my name is a month and two days old.
Unaware she has been born into hell, she wrinkles her tiny nose
and balls her hands into fists like babies everywhere.

Her four kilos and the cake her grandpa didn’t bake
weigh on my heart.
If I send her a teddy bear, it will sink like a stone.

The sharp fin traces its circles. I climb up,
my foot on the deck, shame and alarm on my face.
My baby has been left behind.

weekend + writing

Nov. 15th, 2015 01:38 pm
marina: (hugs)
[personal profile] marina
The weekend was lovely, if, as always, too short. On Friday I met [personal profile] roga for lunch at her place. The weather was warm and pleasant, and I came away from the week with no "debts" to pay in terms of productivity, so it was an afternoon of take out from my new favorite Mexican place and [personal profile] roga's trademark amazing salad of deliciousness, and churros for dessert. We watched some You, Me & The Apocalypse and then I went home and turned on the Buffy musical and CLEANED. ALL. THE THINGS.

I really can't tell you how amazing it was to clean my room thoroughly, top to bottom, including wiping every surface and reorganizing my entire closet now that it's sort of winter. I usually do that every other weekend, but the last month circumstances conspired and I haven't been able to do anything but mop the floor and sorta-kinda arrange things to look neat for like 5 weeks. But now everything is CLEAN and ORGANIZED and there's no excess stuff on the floor and my duvet has a pretty duvet cover, and it just makes everything better somehow. (I guess it's official, about 4 years of living on my own have turned me into a person who manages to keep their room fairly clean and neat at all times. Filed under things my younger self never thought would happen.)

Saturday was spent eating delicious food at my folks' and visiting Antipatris, which is an Ottoman fort built on top of a roman city built on top of an Egyptian palace. It's a beautiful place, not least because all those historical ruins are surrounded by a lake and some old woods, where the trees are so tall they barely fit in your camera no matter how far away you stand. It was surreal to find something so pastoral so close to Tel Aviv, and sort of weird that of course, this place is a hill near the source of the local river, and so has been a strategic settlement point for literally thousands of years. I'm not used to a major city being constructed near a place like this, instead of on it, so that was a cool thing to realize.

And of course, in the middle of all this I managed to finish going over my novella. My strategy for the next draft is:
- going over all the notes I got from betas + my own notes and organizing it into sections/actionable items (done!)
- going over the existing draft again, to remember what's there and give my brain a chance to come up with solutions on the spot (done!)
- going over all the notes again - from betas and from the reread - and trying to solve what I haven't managed to solved yet
- doing some other structural exercises that betas suggested to see if more stuff comes up/I manage to improve yet more things
- ...actually writing the next draft.
(No, I don't think the next draft will be the last one, but hopefully I'll be at a place where I can ask for prose beta rather than "what about this story doesn't work" beta.)

Anyway, while reading the novella some of my thoughts:

babbling about writing )

Gayatri by Souvankham Thammavongsa

Nov. 14th, 2015 09:01 pm
taiga13: (Ignatius O'Reilly)
[personal profile] taiga13 posting in [community profile] poetry
I have a picture of us when we are seven
but we aren't in it. At the time it was taken

we thought we were. We posed with our wide
grins and best-friends-forever certainty. I angled

the camera to capture us in front of a Christmas tree.
All the sparkling tinsel and dangling silver balls aren't there.

There is only the ceiling and the tip
of the pine needle. There isn't a star or an angel

on top. I have kept this picture of us for years,
the only one to remember and laugh at what happened

to us then. It was taken before a time when you could
see a picture on a screen, see how it turned out

and decide whether it was worth keeping. I think of you
now and again, the plain peanut butter sandwiches we ate

with apples. You said you were going to be a dentist
when you grew up, and with a fork and a spoon

you determined it was possible I would live
and sent me home with a bag full of Twizzlers and hair bands.

You Can't Have It All - Barbara Ras

Nov. 13th, 2015 10:54 am
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)
[personal profile] cadenzamuse posting in [community profile] poetry
You Can't Have It All
by Barbara Ras

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
Read more... )


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