Little Prayer

June 13, 2019

let ruin end here

let him find honey
where there was once a slaughter

let him enter the lion’s cage
& find a field of lilacs

let this be the healing
& if not let it be

Danez Smith
From the collection : Don’t Call Us Dead

These poems can’t make history vanish, but they can contend against it with the force of a restorative imagination. Smith’s work is about that imagination — its role in repairing and sustaining communities, and in making the world more bearable….Their poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy…But they also know the magic trick of making writing on the page operate like the most ecstatic speech.(The New Yorker)

Alien Abduction

June 13, 2019

I woke up in the middle of the night and everything looked odd, and strangely lit. At the end of my bed was a four-foot high grey alien. Its spindly, thin body supported a huge head with two enormous, slanted, liquid black eyes. It compelled me, telepathically, to follow and led me into a spaceship, along curved corridors to an examination room full of tables, on which other people lay. I was forced to lie down while they painfully examined me, extracted ova (or sperm) and implanted something in my nose. I could see jars containing half-human, half-alien foetuses and a nursery full of silent, sickly children. When I eventually found myself back in bed, several hours had gone by.

Susan Blackmore
Alien Abduction
New Scientist, 19 November 1994

In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, humans enhance the drudgery of their noxious worlds by dialling into a device called the “Penfield Mood Organ.” They have reached the point where they can’t experience their own emotions without the aid of an interface. When Deckard’s wife awakes in the morning, she feels nothing whatsoever but she has a vague sense of depression, so she punches a number into the mood organ, like a jukebox, and the organ channels the emotion into her. That she chooses a negative emotion attests to how detached humans have become from their feelings. Feeling depressed is almost a novelty. Deckard admits to dialling into the mood organ more often than he’d like. His number is 481 and it projects “an awareness of the manifold possibilities open to me in the future.” Or hope . . . albeit through a surrogate.

Alex Lyras
More real that real: Philip K Dick’s visionary posthumanism