The Winter Tree, by Amal El-Mohtar

May. 22nd, 2015 10:38 am
ironed_orchid: tree with an open book at the end of it's topmost branch (books where fruit should be)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] poetry
It is like this.

There is a tree in me; slim as a wrist
it branches, and leaves obscure the bark.
It is dense and rich, a fine home
for robins, finches – colours dart
between my ribs, thread golds and scarlets
around my bones, spill in and out of flight
as I breathe.

I look at you, and it winters.

Bare-boughed, skeletal crookings claw
into my throat, clatter cold,
send frosted silver spindling ache
into the smell of smoke,
the taste of snow. A wind
stiff as your spine
whimpers the buds to tightness,
coaxes sleep without dreams
of other seasons.

And it is beautiful, understand,
it is so beautiful,
a sky empty as broken glass
a sun streaking ice-light in my skin –
it is beautiful as tears are beautiful
in stories: diamantine,
crystal
adamant
with liquid at its heart
and salt.

Sometimes the tree is a wound.
Sometimes it is an etching in my chest
a tidal river shaped in branches,
silted low, flooded high,
inviting in the sea –

sometimes, the tree speaks
without a mouth. Sometimes
it rustles twig-talk at your eyes,
reaching for a green, for a summer
that could have been.

Sometimes, the tree sings,
keens broken lines and lullabies,
murder-ballads, loneliness,
paper-bark and thorns.

It sings,

I will be a tree of salt for you –
of waves and wanting, washing clean –
and grow to the light of the moon you are,
wax and wane through briny roots
that leech the lymph from me.

I will be a tree of salt for you
because for all that I look back, and back,
I am never made a pillar,
and any step I take
will be away from you.

I will be a tree of salt for you,
and this ache I bear
will be the sky.


When the tree is quiet,
I sleep.

WisCon39 Schedule

May. 20th, 2015 03:20 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Here's my schedule for this WisCon!

Bridging the Generation Gap at WisCon
Sat, 1:00–2:15 pm, Capitol A
One of WisCon's greatest strengths is its generational diversity. For one weekend a year, feminist fans of all ages come together to share their common interests, from today's teens and tweens all the way through millennials, Generation X, baby boomers, and beyond. But despite the close confines of the Concourse hotel, inter-generational mingling is sometimes limited, and divides over media popularity, waves of feminism, different reactions to "fails", and how to "do" fandom can sometimes split the community. How does the perspective on these things change if you're 70, 50, 30, 20? This panel seeks to interrogate how and why these divides happen, and how we might bridge those gaps so that WisCon-goers of all ages can learn from each other.
Fellow Panelists: Eileen Gunn (M), Pat Murphy, Orange Mike, Jackie M

Intersectionality Is Not a Crossroads, It's a Venn Diagram
Sat, 4:00–5:15 pm, Capitol B
We talk a lot about intersectionality these days, but the concept is often confused with a hierarchy of oppression. Let's talk about the origins of the word, and what is meant by it.
Fellow panelists: Victor Raymond (M), Moondancer Drake, Beth Plutchak

Identity outside the United States
Sun, 4:00–5:15 pm, Senate A
Most panels at WisCon are dominated by the perspective of those from the United States. How do people from other countries experience and talk about race, culture, ethnicity, and the other issues we regularly discuss?
Fellow panelists: SoosheBot (M), Alex Gurevich

Mulan Movie Marathon
Sun, 8:45 pm–Mon, 3:00 am, Conference 3
Most people are familiar with Disney's Mulan, and this movie marathon will screen multiple versions of the same story, based on the famous Ballad of Mulan! We will start on familiar ground with the Disney movie, then straight into Jingle Ma's tearjerker, and finish with the Shaw Brothers's adaptation of the Huangmei Opera version. If you ever wanted to know how Mulan is represented in China, come and see!
Note: WEAR YOUR COMFY JAMMIES! And bring Kleenex.
I'm also looking for someone who has a laptop that can read Region 3 DVDs with a VGA hookup.

On Hugs:
I am hug-friendly. I am also a hug-giver (especially for POC). If you ask for a hug, I will give you a full-body hug. If you don't like full-body hugs, you probably should not touch me =(

On Food:
I am a meat-eater. I have a lot of issues with food texture, thus cannot eat vegetables as a result. I do like vegetable soup though. I also love sweeties, and I rather liked the hot chocolate at Michaelangelo's, the last time I was there!

On Pronouns:
I am cisgender so don't worry on my account here =)

Obligatory WisCon Post

May. 20th, 2015 04:29 pm
karnythia: (Default)
[personal profile] karnythia
So this year I'm co-chairing and you would think that would be enough to do. But I'm smart so I'm also doing 4 panels, a reading, & may pull a safety shift or two. I am contemplating baking cupcakes tonight too, but that probably won't happen.

Cultural Literacy or Cultural Appropriation? Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm Capitol B

In our diverse culture all thinking and reading individuals are influenced by a wide range of heritages, histories, and mythologies. Let's talk about how to articulate the boundaries and borders of what’s appropriative and what’s okay in fiction, dance, craft, and other art. In the end, who gets paid? And who gets propped up as an "expert"? In what ways can artists and creators engage with cultures without being harmful and destructive?

THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL
Sat, 4:00–5:15 pm Wisconsin


The seventh installment of this popular and amazing panel! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it's true. But, at the end of the day, being a "person of color" is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it's very flattering to be asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn't it be nice for multiple writers and fans of color to sit on a panel that isn't about race at all? Here's our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers and fans of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics—none of them race related.

Call Out Culture II: Follow-up to the Discussion Held at WisCon 38 Sun, 10:00–11:15 am Senate A

Let's follow up the discussion of call-out culture that began at the WisCon 38 panel "Call Out Culture in Social Justice Movements." This year we will expand our conversation to online life, covering discussions about social justice movements that are already happening and places where the discourse is still getting off the ground.

Reading Divas Sun, 2:30–3:45 pm Michelangelos

These amazing and diverse voice will entice your imagination. Each reading a unique and rare pleasure in speculative fiction.

What Happened With WisCon Last Summer? Sun, 4:00–5:15 pm Capitol A

In the interests of transparency and straightforwardness with the WisCon community, let's discuss how and why WisCon leadership changed so abruptly between W38 and W39.

Get Jade Yeo for free

May. 18th, 2015 09:04 pm
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

And help young Bulgarian writer Haralambi Markov get to World Fantasy Con!

The World SF Travel Fund has set up a Kickstarter to fund Haralambi’s attendance at WFC, along with next year’s recipient. It’s a great initiative that has so far sent international SFF readers/writers/editors/fans Charles Tan (Philippines), Karin Tidbeck and Nene Ormes (Sweden), Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Philippines/Netherland) and Csilla Kleinheincz (Hungary) to conventions.

I’m donating the ebook of The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo as a reward, which you’ll get if you back the fundraiser at any level. Put the world in World Fantasy Con and get a free ebook! \o/ I am going to fix some typos in it (thanks, Punk!), so you know it is a great deal.

And there are some other rewards, too, I guess, like copies of The Apex Book of World SF 1, 2 and 3, and ebook bundles from Angry Robot, Solaris, Prime Books and Twelfth Planet Press. Check it out!

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

how doth your garden grow

May. 18th, 2015 11:19 am
surpassingly: (uni: we've survived our fairy tales)
[personal profile] surpassingly
Depression is currently kicking my ass. I had around two weeks of amazing wonderful lovely indescribably good creativity at my new studio, but now I'm having to confront my impending trip to the Philippines, which will mean I'll be gone from my beloved and my studio and my pommas and all the things I have worked so hard to build into some sort of coherent, livable life-- I'll be gone from everything, my home, and back in the motherland I have missed desperately, the motherland that almost killed me. So feelings... feelings are being had.

(Cy has been a thousand kinds of wonderful all throughout. It hurts my heart to think I'll be away from her.)

So right now I am doing this thing where I am railing against depression, clenched fist waving in the air, and so I am going to post... garden pictures! I raised everything in it (except the capsicum seedling, which was a birthday gift) from seed. And look, they are now alive and sprouting, blooming even! I have raised flowering plants from seed! When I'm able to enjoy the garden, I'm pretty proud of myself.

I raised the seeds in little pots and planters, and then I moved them to the ground when I was done procrastinating for weeks they were ready. This little garden patch was nothing but dry grass when we moved here. Now, of course, there are my plants, and a ton of enterprising weeds, most of which I'm not removing because I think they look nice. I had some reservations about planting in the ground, because I won't be able to take these plants with me when we move, but... it's okay. I'll just plant more stuff. And for some reason, having a garden in the ground, not just in containers, makes me happy. It gives me a feeling of rootedness.

My garden is mostly for cuteness, for looking at and babying and taking pleasure in the flowers. I have realized that I am someone who gardens mostly for mental health, because she thinks plants are beautiful, and I don't do as well when I garden because I want to grow crops. I made an attempt to choose seeds for herbs and things -- I have this one broccoli plant that's thriving, for instance, for all that it was actually a random seed that got accidentally moved from a pot to a different planter and absolutely loved that -- but I can't deny that my enthusiasm for gardening is pretty much motivated by cuteness. (When I played MMOs I used to have a motto, "cuteness > all" -- it's funny that twelve years later it still applies!) So even though I think Growstuff is great, it's not exactly for me.



...quite contrary! )

Zero Motivation (2014)

May. 17th, 2015 02:19 pm
marina: (colonel)
[personal profile] marina
I guess it's finally time I review Zero Motivation. Like all reviews about things I actually love and that affect me profoundly, the review will be relatively short (see also: Top of the Lake which I still only have drafts for).

There are two kinds of people in the world - people who've seen the trailer for this movie and people who haven't.

women in the military )

To Myself by Franz Wright

May. 15th, 2015 10:20 pm
taiga13: by elleth (moon over ruins)
[personal profile] taiga13 posting in [community profile] poetry
Pulitzer Prize winning (American) poet Franz Wright died today.  

You are riding the bus again
burrowing into the blackness of Interstate 80, 
the sole passenger
 
with an overhead light on. 
And I am with you.
I’m the interminable fields you can’t see,
 
the little lights off in the distance 
(in one of those rooms we are 
living) and I am the rain
 
and the others all
around you, and the loneliness you love,
and the universe that loves you specifically, maybe,
 
and the catastrophic dawn,
the nicotine crawling on your skin—
and when you begin
 
to cough I won’t cover my face,
and if you vomit this time I will hold you: 
everything’s going to be fine
 
I will whisper.
It won’t always be like this.
I am going to buy you a sandwich. 

(no subject)

May. 14th, 2015 09:50 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
So! Today was "wear something you wouldn't normally wear" day for the fashion theory seminar I'm auditing! I wore a red baju kurung I've carted with me over the years and continents but wear only for special occasions (not that there's anything particularly special about it). Everyone else (but one, who forgot) also wore similarly different things and we talked about how our outfits, how we felt different in them. A lot of us were PHYSICALLY comfortable, but SOCIALLY uncomfortable. Even the prof was wearing something different! (She wore a sweater and jeans.)

Folks were very impressed all day. Unfortunately, it was an incredibly cold evening and despite my outfit being a full-body dress, it was not enough to ward off the cold. My shoes are also too small, and it had rained during the day, which meant that I had to walk on the flooded path because walking on the side (which I normally do) was impossible, since my heels sank into the muddy ground. So I walked through the cold water. Which would have been fine except I now have a cold.

I meant to start grading today but a student from the previous quarter came in to talk about the current quarter and ranted for some two and a half hours. She's not the first student, worryingly. But I don't really know what to do.

(no subject)

May. 14th, 2015 08:07 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
10.45am - actually made it out for the meeting with the guest speaker of the department. She was super nice! She was also quite interesting, wish I had the chance to talk to her more.

12pm - her talk!

1pm - the mid-term!

2pm - the aftermath of the midterm! mostly me and Mark sorting the papers into alphabetical order, then coming up with answers for the papers.

3.30pm - the panel on Race and SF. The guest speakers were coming over from EagleCon for some reason to do with collaboration, I guess. It was Isiah Lavender III and Minister Faust. I'd never met Minister Faust before, so that was cool.

5pm - meeting with Dr. R about the papers to establish common grading ground.

6pm - some downtime and a lot of waiting for the bus to get out to dinner with the SF folks. Eric was gonna pick me up but I caught the bus just before.

~7pm - Finally, dinner.

8.30pm - dinner over, Eric and I went to a record store before he dropped me off home.

I feel so knackered. And this weekend I have to make stuff for WisCon! Aaaaaaaaaaaaa.....

(no subject)

May. 13th, 2015 08:37 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
- Finished sorting Dr. Shapiro's books on Monday. There are actually 12 boxes, a whole 5 of them dedicated to French books.

- Yesterday I kind of just hung out and got people to take more books, and consolidated the boxes even more. Dr. Bloom was in a dither trying to figure out which should stay and which should go. The CPLT library is running out of room and we really should sort through it at some point as a department.

- I also delivered the mid-term review on Monday, and I was really underprepared for it, come to think of it. I talked too fast, babbled too much (and the prof objected to my swearing in class), and the powerpoint had too much stuff. Students kept trying to take pictures of the slides after I'd asked them not to -_-

Anyway, mid-term is today and we'll see how the students do this time.

Today there's also a speaker on postcolonialism, a panel on race and SF, and dinner with the panelists, and I've got to sort the midterm papers alphabetically with my co-TA somewhere in between and have a chat with the prof about it.
marina: (?!)
[personal profile] marina
I really have no context for this story other than Only in Israel, so I'm just going to share it as is.

A few months ago my work was organizing a major event on campus, and we had a lot of temporary workers - students, mostly, who in this country are usually in their mid to late twenties - doing a lot of various menial labor jobs.

mentions of bodily harm and military-related content )

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

May. 10th, 2015 09:47 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I watched this movie in lieu of doing anything actually useful with my life for those 1.5 hours, so I guess I can at least make a short post about what I found interesting in this generally not at all recommended movie.

spoilers )
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