surpassingly: (art: world of love)
[personal profile] surpassingly posting in [community profile] poetry
Proserpina, Going Deeper
by Jack Hollis Marr

In shallow waters stolen coral fish eggs burst
against my tongue like softest salty pomegranate
seeds - no bitter core - and I will
though I forget the taste of food
in briny dimness.

deeper, then.

I shall see phosphorescent dance, lure and mating-flash;
be seen in great unempty space by giant, unreflecting, architeuthic eye;
learn, but not delight in, the collective noun for jellyfish in their stinging fluther.
Touch me now, you alien angular dangle of salt-white spidering elbows:
cephalopod blessing of Magnapinna
white plume moth of the depths
to carry memories away,
and I will be so far away:
oh, so very far
and deep.

so, deeper.

bathypelagic where the light fades out

and I am come at last to the true Hades, science-named
and -certified:
the darkest place where the light never comes from the sun and I know
I will die down here and
I will be mourned
somewhere up there on
the unimaginable surface, land unthinkable dry
where they remember words like rain and revival
in sun or under clouds
while I am become nothing: my sea-change into something
whalebone-bare and unressurectable

while I am become
brother to the tubeworm and the blind red shrimp
monastic sea-cowled brother to
the great congregation of consumption
wriggling hagfish blackly cleaning
my sunken self down at last to bone:

the undancing white bone that will not rise
again when the sea gives up
what gave itself to her.


This poem was published in Through the Gate 5.

charming RL details

Mar. 31st, 2015 10:38 am
marina: (edward vibrator)
[personal profile] marina
1. Period talk.

TMI? )

2. I lost the glasses I use for driving, recently (and two credit cards, and my driver's license, and my ipad - it's been a good month) so I had to go and order new ones. I actually don't wear glasses normally (everyone who's seen me abroad - I do wear glasses abroad! Because unfamiliar people/surroundings and I need to see well) but I still have two pairs because I have a tendency to lose things, so. I'm required to drive with glasses, so I have one pair in the car, and another (prettier) pair I have in my work bag that I use if I need to see stuff far away. Mostly it's for meetings with my boss where I need to see his screen across the table and don't want to lean in too much or watching media on a TV that's far away from a couch.

Anyway, since I was gonna get new glasses I also got an eye exam, instead of just giving them my other pair of glasses and asking for a replica. I figured it's been YEARS, and I'm pretty sure my eyesight is worse, so, it's free anyway with the purchase, I might as well.

Turns out my last eye exam was in 2007, and apparently my numbers haven't changed since then! I still have +2 in one eye and +2.25 in the other. The doctor said I might need a quarter cylinder in one eye but since it's a really small correction and cylinders can apparently be annoying for some people he doesn't think it would be worth it to change my prescription, especially since I apparently have 6/6 vision with my current glasses.

(I can't tell you how delightful it was to constantly hear someone go "you have 6/6 vision!" in an impressed and pleased tone. I think part of it was that he did the initial diagnostic with a machine and apparently it spat out very different numbers? But then he did the actual exam and I could see all the numbers and things clearly, so he was very pleased and surprised like "oh, you actually have 6/6 vision with your current glasses!")

Anyway, then came time for the REALLY amusing conversation, which I was prepared for basically only because I recently had a similar conversation with [personal profile] roga.

Eye doctor: I wouldn't recommend a cylinder because, with your numbers, these are clearly glasses you wear 24/7--
Me: Actually, I don't wear glasses. I mean, very rarely? But mostly I don't.
Eye doctor: Oh, right, you mean you wear lenses?
Me:, not lenses either.
Eye doctor: *eyes get wider with disbelief* wait, you... don't wear anything?
Me: No. I mean I wear glasses for driving? But not for any other regular activity.
Eye doctor: Do you... not like seeing things or...?
Me: No, I!... I just don't wear glasses?
Eye doctor: [clearly so distressed he didn't hear me earlier] You know you HAVE TO wear them for driving?
Me: I do! I definitely do.
Eye doctor: OK. OK. *tries to get over shock and dismay*

I don't really have an explanation! It's definitely that I'm just someone who's arranged her life so that she doesn't have to see things very clearly all the time? I mean I know where everything is at work and at home, I know what people look like. I wear glasses when I'm going somewhere entirely new and it's important I be able to navigate by looking at far away things, for example (so, always abroad). I wear them to the theater or when watching TV. I don't really have an explanation for why I don't wear them otherwise?

more on this fascinating topic )
surpassingly: (art: world of love)
[personal profile] surpassingly posting in [community profile] poetry
Chant for Summer Darkness in Northwest Climes
by Neile Graham

The taste of blue, as in bursting berries,
as in the air's weight on our tongues,
raspberry red as a summer's day turns.

West over water, the light once plum once
salmon turns aqua turns midnight blue
hazed with stars I make you name.

We can't stop talking because we don't
ever want to say goodnight good sleep
farewell goodbye God be wy you. This is

the life of brambles, of hedges, of continental
divides. How to speak of this: the value
of naught, of not, of the naughty knotty

thought of you. I want to read everything
about you, pages about your breath, so
invisible, so risible, the difference between

a green girl and a green man, vines spilling
from both our mouths. This is what I imagine.
You always here as the nights grow

long and cold, talking always talking,
our words like berries, plump, alive,
a falling abundance we can waste we can

taste we embrace. Until it's dawn and past dawn.
Until morning sun tattoos us until the world
is everything ripe and full and is ours.


This poem was published in Goblin Fruit, summer 2014 issue.
marina: (tv talking)
[personal profile] marina
OK I need to get this out of my head, so a quick (bizarre!) post.

In the second half of the first season, The 100, which as of the S1 finale is definitely the best scifi show currently airing, in my opinion (which is partially a comment on how few awesome scifi shows are around currently), has done such a stellar job of creating a metaphor/representation of current Israeli politics (and specifically the latest election results in Israel) I... can't really bring myself not to document this?

I suspect the Israeli politics aspect won't mean much to people familiar with the show and the show elements won't make sense to people familiar with the politics but - Israelis, this show does a better job with our political system than Kings did, and Kings was in fact a show actively stealing our history and current events. (The 100, I suspect, just randomly stumbled into this metaphor, cobbling together stray pieces of US history and scifi tropes.)

spoilers for s1 )

(no subject)

Mar. 30th, 2015 12:23 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
List of foreign markets for SFF:

The only other language I write in is Malay but this looks it might be of interest to some folks.

Ishita Basu Mallik, "flood"

Mar. 30th, 2015 04:39 pm
surpassingly: (art: world of love)
[personal profile] surpassingly posting in [community profile] poetry
by Ishita Basu Mallik

flood came by today, was looking for you
wiped feet useless on the mat, hands trembling
invited self to ek cup holey mondo hoy na
settled by the dining table, discreet in bespoke
silt shirt. debdaru leaves, listening, flinched

flood didn't say kintu bola no bola ak-i byapar
was left by you, was expelled, eyes drooping deep
into the skull, fingers pruned, was left high and dry
ministers visited affected areas, fish vaulted in trees
flood's gentle hand had tousled the map

flood understands about your mother, flood
had a mother, too, once, meltmouth polyglot,
damned if she did and dammed if she didn't,
amar obosthya-ta bujhte parchhen; flood cannot count
in single digits; flood's cracked serenade

i didn't have the heart to interrupt flood
watched flood fold into a raincoat of rain
and trickle down the kitchen window. sheshbesh
taake bollam na, how you've moved mountains
and still feel that tidemark on your throat.


This poem was published in Stone Telling issue 9: Menagerie. The following notes appear at the end of the poem:

Some lines and phrases in this poem are Romanised Bangla. For reference, the following translations have been provided by the poet.

ek cup holey mondo hoy na — I wouldn't mind a cup of tea
kintu bola no bola ak-i byapar — but it doesn't make a difference if it's said out loud or not
amar obosthya-ta bujhte parchhen — you realise my situation
sheshbesh taake bollam na — in the end I didn't tell hir

The 100

Mar. 29th, 2015 09:56 am
marina: (hot vampire threesome)
[personal profile] marina
Yet again, I am both injured and pressed for time, so no time to post anything of substance.

I have, however been watching The 100, because I'm very weak for scifi shows, no matter how shitty, and this show is apparently right on the edge where on the one hand I roll my eyes through most of each episode (don't care about the parents' plot, don't care about the romantic plots, ESPECIALLY don't care about the love triangles, don't care about basically every white dude character, don't care for the standard issue CW racism) but on the other there's enough interesting stuff in there to make me keep watching (all the women! the mother-daughter relationships! the sometimes interesting/bold choices that are more "Lord of the Flies" than "Lost"! Bellamy!)

So, I'm in a weird place with this show because I think it's mostly blah and I'm only watching for very specific parts, and that probably means I'm going to be way out of step with the fandom? IDK I'm mostly having Avatar: The Last Airbender flashbacks where my enjoyment of that show stemmed from ENTIRELY DIFFERENT elements than the enjoyment of most of fandom, and it was not fun, and in large part it's because, I think, both shows are in a "genre" I'm not usually into and the tropes and conventions of which don't really work for me - children's/young adult entertainment. (I love stories about children and about teenagers, but I enjoy them with different tropes and conventions than what I usually see in media intended for children and teenagers.)

spoilers up to 1x09 )

Parting from Wang Wei - Meng Haoran

Mar. 27th, 2015 03:31 pm
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
[personal profile] lnhammer posting in [community profile] poetry
131. 留別王侍御維


131. Parting from Wang Wei

Quietly, I've waited here so long,
Day after day; but now I must return.
Now I go to seek the fragrant grass,
But I grieve to part from my old friend.
Who is there who would help me on the road?
Understanding friends are few in life.
I should just observe my solitude,
And close again the gate of my old home.

(With apologies for posting early, but there's a good chance I'll be offline all weekend and wanted to get this one last poem in. Other poets from this week also wrote to one another -- I originally wanted to post an entire ring of addresses, but couldn't pull it off because some lived later than others.)

Seeing Off a Friend - Li Bai

Mar. 27th, 2015 07:37 am
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
[personal profile] lnhammer posting in [community profile] poetry
102. 送友人


102. Seeing Off a Friend

Green hills above the northern wall,
White water winding east of the city.
On this spot our single act of parting,
The lonely tumbleweed journeys ten thousand li.
Drifting clouds echo the traveller's thoughts,
The setting sun reflects my old friend's feelings.
You wave your hand and set off from this place,
Your horse whinnies as it leaves.

(The author is also known under the Wade-Giles transliteration as Li Po. Translation found here.)

Ghost words, ghost worlds

Mar. 26th, 2015 04:00 pm
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

I’ve been meaning to post about Where Ghost Words Dwell, a collage project by a group of SFF writers. It’s a website “dedicated to discarded text, forgotten words and the memory of dead manuscripts” — collecting the words that got cut out of stories in a series of anonymous posts.

Taking inspiration from the surrealist game, The Exquisite Corpse, Where Ghost Words Dwell can be read as blog entries. Are these entries part of a time traveler’s log, scraps found by alien archeologists or intermittent transmissions from places invisible to the human eye?

You decide.

The entries carry no author names and are extracts from works that have been published or are on their way to being published. They could also be alternate versions that ended up on the editing floor. To find out who the author is or what work the extracts are from, click on the highlighted links. Who knows, you may find a new favorite writer or a work you haven’t yet read.

The website is currently on a twice-weekly posting schedule, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can check out a snippet sliced out of Aliette de Bodard‘s upcoming novel THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, a deliciously creepy desert scene, and a beautiful fragment of indigenous SFF. More to come!

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

Grass - Bai Juyi

Mar. 26th, 2015 08:00 am
lnhammer: animation of the kanji for four seasonal birds fading into each other in endless cycle (seasons)
[personal profile] lnhammer posting in [community profile] poetry
152. 草


152. Grass

The grass is spreading out across the plain,
Each year, it dies then flourishes again.
It's burnt but not destroyed by prairie fires,
When spring winds blow they bring it back to life.
Afar, its scent invades the ancient road,
Its emerald green overruns the ruined town.
Again I see my noble friend depart,
I find I'm crowded full of parting's feelings.

(Translation found here.)

Spring View - Du Fu

Mar. 25th, 2015 07:42 am
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
[personal profile] lnhammer posting in [community profile] poetry
106. 春望


106. Spring View

The country is broken, though hills and rivers remain,
In the city in spring, grass and trees are thick.
Moved by the moment, a flower's splashed with tears,
Mourning parting, a bird startles the heart.
The beacon fires have joined for three months now,
Family letters are worth ten thousand pieces.
I scratch my head, its white hairs growing thinner,
And barely able now to hold a hairpin.

(My favorite Tang poet writing, as you can probably guess, in time of civil war -- specifically, while being held captive by the side that ultimately lost. Translation, with notes, from here.)
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

I’ve been conscious for a while that I’m no longer able to keep up the list of Malaysian SFF writers in English that I put up awhile ago — because I’m busy, but also because there are more of us than ever! I think it is helpful to have a directory for interested readers and people who want to connect with other local writers, but it needs to be updated regularly if it’s to be of use.

So I have now set up a Google doc which people can update themselves to add their own details and projects:

Malaysian Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Directory

There are two worksheets — one for authors and one for projects. Guidelines for contributions are at the top of each worksheet. People should feel free to add writers or projects they’re aware of as well as the things they’ve done. Also, this directory differs from the original post, as people working in languages other than English should feel welcome to add their stuff to it. I only limited the original post to English because that’s the main language I read in.

The original post will stay up, but once the directory has been populated a bit more I will change the link in my sidebar so that it goes to the Google doc rather than the blog post, and the post will no longer be updated. I will be monitoring the directory and editing from time to time for formatting, etc., as well as deleting anything that seems inappropriate. Please comment on this post or email me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

Musketeers things!

Mar. 25th, 2015 08:59 am
marina: (check this shit out)
[personal profile] marina
I keep writing long posts that require a lot of time-in-front-of-a-computer, time that I sadly simply do not have currently. So instead I'd like to unload one specific bit of excellent:

After many a decade of the Soviet films based on Dumas' musketeer books not being available online with decent English subtitles - the day has arrived! They are on youtube, for free, with good subtitles!

The Three Musketeers, episode 1
The Three Musketeers, episode 2
The Three Musketeers, episode 3

This is AMAZING! I rec these for ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE whether you know anything about Dumas or not! Aside from being a childhood staple of generations of Russian speaking children, these movies are (1) incredibly faithful to the books (certainly more than any English adaptation) and (2) are musicals! With 70s hairstyles and catchy tunes and dance numbers! If you feel like having a good time - these are for you!

Personally, these musicals are responsible for the fact that at SIX YEARS OLD my classmates and I were already playing at musketeers (the girls were the musketeers, the boys the cardinal's men, we dueled with rulers during recess).


An English speaker on tumblr has written an amazing, hilarious, wonderful review of these movies! So if you'd like a preview, or the opinion of someone ~unbiased~, here you go! Or you can save reading the review until you've watched the movies, so the jokes make more sense.

A quote from the review:

We cut to another of my favourite Musketeer tropes: Treville chewing out the Musketeers for rampant bad behaviour. It’s Aramis (Igor Starygin) and Porthos (Valentin Smirnitskiy), both gorgeously cast to type – Aramis even looks like a slightly prettier version of Richard Chamberlain. Treville (Lev Durov) complains about how Aramis might as well be wearing a cassock as a uniform, and that Porthos is too fancypants with his gold baldric.

This may well be the most accurate rendition of the actual book that I have seen on screen thus far. None of this artistic license business. It’s like the Russians poured the book directly on to the screen, only pausing to add musical themes because if Dumas could have added song and dance numbers to his book, he damn well would have.

There really are no words for how excited I am about this. GO WATCH THIS!
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
[personal profile] lnhammer posting in [community profile] poetry
119. 酬張少府


119. Replying to Subprefect Zhang

Now in old age, I know the value of silence,
The world's affairs no longer stir my heart.
Turning to myself, I have no greater plan,
All I can do is return to the forest of old.
Wind from the pine trees blows my sash undone,
The moon shines through the hills; I pluck the qin.
You ask me why the world must rise and fall.
Fishermen sing on the steep banks of the river.

(Translation from here)

(no subject)

Mar. 22nd, 2015 09:12 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
- I met a lot of new people at ICFA and holy fuckstix I was so tired the whole time, and had to grade. The grading was fine, and it was really nice to decompress with my roommates in the suite area of the hotel room every evening to do so. I went to only two paper panels. Did two readings. E. Lily Yu bought me a drink!! I need to send her a thank-you email. She seems quite cool but we didn't get to talk much. Emily Jiang and I would talk until like 3am every night. I got to have quite a few one-on-ones I rarely do at these things.

- It turns out I get kind of annoyed by people who insist that I'm not an introvert, because holy jesus people need to be able to separate my public face from my private face and not assume they see both. I also get annoyed when people insist that all writers benefit from having some mental depression of some sort. It is unpleasant when that person happens to be a fellow international student.

- A lot of people were very supportive of my SEAsian SFF zine idea! Even fellow publishers... I met Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld and Jacob i-cant-remember-his-surname of Tachyon Publications. I always feel a bit weird talking to other folks about my idea because it feels like I might be stepping on someone else's turf and become competition. Maybe it's just paranoia from seeing how Malaysian business operate and feeling coldness from people who treat you like an upstart and have no sense of mentorship towards newer people.

- I took photos of a lot of Asians and posted them to Twitter, using the hashtag #NotRelated. A joke between me and Emily (we were with two other Chinese-Americans, who actually were sisters, getting food, and some lady walked up to us asking, "excuse me, but are you sisters?" and we were like WHUT). So, that was fun.

- Ted Chiang emailed me! Woooo.

- Had a nap after lunch yesterday. Gotta catch up on sleep, but then on I will be writing writing writing to make some deadlines. Had a fairly plot-driven dream about a boarding school that is built over a underwater cave system, four girls discovering that they can transform into mermaids, only to discover there's a vengeful water spirit living underneath pissed off at the pollution of the waters. I think the girls and their little brothers die, especially the little brothers, who were awful shitbags. I'm not sure though.

- Must write write write! Have three things I want to submit to, argh!
lnhammer: colored smoke on a white background - caption "softly and suddenly vanished away" (vanished away)
[personal profile] lnhammer posting in [community profile] poetry
This week, I'll be sharing poems from Three Hundred Tang Poems, which is actually 320 or so poems (a few extra were included as a sort of good-luck bonus) compiled around 1763 by scholar Sun Zhu as a summary of the best poetry from the Tang Dynasty, a thousand years before him, where "best" included an eye to their educational value. This one is by my second-favorite Tang poet, Li Shangyin.

298. 夜雨寄北


298. On a Rainy Night, to a Friend in the North

You ask me when I am coming. I do not know.
I dream of your mountains and autumn pools brimming all night with the rain.
Oh, when shall we be trimming wicks again, together in your western window?
When shall I be hearing your voice again, all night in the rain?

mr. coffee nerves

Mar. 21st, 2015 06:38 pm
bossymarmalade: two cups of coffee from paris je t'aime (chocolate tea or coffee tea)
[personal profile] bossymarmalade
Upon rewatching Pulp Fiction, I realized during a scene with Esmeralda Villa Lobos drinking coffee in her car that when this movie came out and I was graduating high school, if you wanted to take coffee with you somewhere, you used a thermos and drank out of the cap. And how when coffee shops first started cropping up, it was confusing because we were all like, "Why would you ever go to one of those places and just sit there with coffee when you could go to an actual place with food?" We didn't have Tim Hortons out in Vancouver back then, heh.

And in other nostalgic coffee ruminations, we've been watching Family Ties on Netflix and in one episode Alex boldly stated (at age 16 or 17) that he would drink a cup of coffee with his uncle. And his mom told him, "Okay, but half milk, honey, because you haven't had coffee before," and I was like, fuuuuuuck. Remember those days? When you had to be OLD ENOUGH to drink coffee? My parents very occasionally allowed us weak half-milk instant coffee, full of sugar. That was it. When I was a teenager coffee was such an adult beverage, and now elementary school kids trot around with Starbucks. The world I growed up in is gone.

Pinteresting, my dear Watson

Mar. 20th, 2015 04:00 pm
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

I’ve set up a Pinterest board for Sorcerer to the Crown! I don’t think of myself as a visual thinker, so never thought I’d have much use for a Pinterest board (except for keeping track of food — I admit I have a secret Pinterest account, the password for which I have forgotten, which is 70% green tea baking recipes and 30% black sesame baking recipes).

But all the cool kids seemed to be doing inspiration boards for their books, so I started one up too. And I have to say, it doesn’t come naturally to me, but I was surprised to remember all the visual sources I’d drawn upon for the book!

Follow Zen Cho’s board Sorcerer to the Crown on Pinterest.

As I pinned stuff I started putting together resources for the next book, and stuff I’d like to know for future projects, and books I’d like to read at some point. So if you’re interested in Regency fashion …

Follow Zen Cho’s board Regency dress and details on Pinterest.

or early 19th century India via the medium of Company paintings …

Follow Zen Cho’s board India in the early 19th century on Pinterest.

or Malaysian fiction …

Follow Zen Cho’s board Malaysian books I’d like to read on Pinterest.

Follow me on Pinterest for more!

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

Uranium Heritage Day by Jeff Latosik

Mar. 19th, 2015 10:09 pm
taiga13: (aurora borealis)
[personal profile] taiga13 posting in [community profile] poetry
Note: This poem is about the city of Elliot Lake in northern Ontario, Canada.

The city was built on Cambrian rifts,
boot-sucking mid, a rush to stake alliances.
Now it's birch, white pine, and alder creaking,
a low, flat tailings pond where nothing thrives.
Cat's cradle of a radio tower the only hint

that the human hive once buzzed,
air-drilling its way from darkness to darkness.
Like trees in Kyiv that have been dead for twenty years,
still fully in leaf, you imagine breaking a branch
and hearing the hiss and crack of a voice.

Doesn't an engine revving somewhere seem to lend the flies
that gather round us a like a prayer? There's no one here.
Mushrooms tilt their mitres like a brotherhood,
break the locked box in the wood. A sticking point:
that the day has never been more beautiful and clear;

this place you're more likely to be struck by lightning
than attacked by a bear. Into spore-charged air
the blow-by-blow seems to take - that, in the beginning,
houses bloomed like campanulas on the highest point;
that, in the end, it wasn't the mine but the mall that collapsed.


oncejadedtwicesnarked: Spivak is looking disgruntled and pissed. (Default)

March 2012


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