Songs from River Styx

December 2, 2017

darkness where you
were lilac & poppy seed / ocean
swift-body roiling like horses
trying to shake off masters’ hands / mine
faultlines where time
had come to break itself into tangerine
blossoming roses / in
golden curls / skipping stone
jugular caesura / caesura / ceases

Natalie Wee
From: Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines

poem for the monster girls

December 2, 2017

people write poems for the pretty girls
they write poems for the heartbroken girls
so this is a poem for the girls who are neither of these
this is a poem for the monster girls, girls too terrifying to be called pretty
girls too devastating to have experienced heartbreak
here’s to the girls with ice in their hearts and fire in their veins
golden eyes hidden behind designer sunglasses
and lethal claws covered by manicures
girls who everyone and no one wants to be
mysterious girls with ancient magic coursing through their bodies
girls who aren’t truly girls at all, not even close

Sophia Anderson

dead Cthulhu waits dreaming

December 2, 2017


The main thing about HP Lovecraft is his too-muchness; he never uses three adjectives when five will do, but he writes words that haunt the memory: “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.” My recall of the multiplication table is shaky but those words disquiet me today as freshly as when I first read them.

Where did dead Cthulhu come from? Why did he rise up from the murky depths of Lovecraft’s mental ocean? I say it’s because there is a need for him and the rest of the maestro’s monsters. Why is there such an appetite, such a hunger for scary stories and films? I think there is a primal horror in us. From where? From the Big Bang when Something came out of Nothing? From the nothingness we must become at life’s end? I don’t know, but I know it’s there and we like to dress it up with a bolt through its neck or a black rubber alien suit; or as Cthulhu. Get a load of this: “A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings”, with elements of “an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature”, “but it was the general outline of the whole that made it most shockingly frightful”. Close your eyes and try to imagine this creature of non-Darwinian evolution. Just the look of this bozo is already a major horror, and we’re not even into the story yet. While he’s dead and dreaming in his house at R’lyeh (“Dun Foamin”?) his Cthulhuvibes are spreading worldwide and causing strange rites and observances here and there. Lovecraft is not everybody’s mug of Ovaltine but I have always found him horribly cosy.

Russell Hoban
H P Lovecraft
The Guardian Newspaper 14th May 2011

push it past the limits

December 2, 2017

Cyberpunk work is marked by its visionary intensity. Its writers prize the bizarre, the surreal, the formerly unthinkable. They are willing – eager, even – to take an idea and unflinchingly push it past the limits. Like J. G. Ballard – an idolized role model to many cyberpunks – they often use an unblinking, almost clinical objectivity. It is a coldly objective analysis, a technique borrowed from science, then put to literary use for classically punk shock value.

Bruce Sterling
Preface to: Mirrorshades

I gestured at my litre of fizzy red wine. “Want a drop of this?” I asked him.

“No thanks. I try not to drink at lunchtime.”

“So do I. But I never quite make it.”

“I feel like shit all day if I drink at lunchtime.”

“Me too. But I feel like shit all lunchtime if I don’t.”

“Yes, well it all comes down to choices, doesn’t it?” he said. “It’s the same in the evenings. Do you want to feel good at night or do you want to feel good in the morning? It’s the same with life. Do you want to feel good young or do you want to feel good old? One or the other, not both.”

“Isn’t it a tragedy?”

Martin Amis

A sign that says it all…

December 2, 2017