In the time of Darkness

April 17, 2020

Gears grind
beneath my skin, scraping
against bone.
I dig
through scar tissue
to silence the grating.
I find
sand rather than blood
flowing through the rotating cogs.

I am counterclockwise.

Hands crack
through my twisted core,
revealing that I am Longcase;
a black swinging pendulum
for a heart. I shift
like tectonic plates,
the flesh-Pangaea
of me because I am not skin.

I am desert.

Hushed footsteps
trample over the vastness of me,
leaving prints in the oasis of my soul.
I drift backward
on a jasmine-scented breeze
as the Earth spins forward.

In solitude I watch
stars explode and vanish my era
into darkness.

I am relic.
The horizon simmers,
marinating in a moment’s time that is unknown.
My silhouette will rumble
as I slip between the hourglass, waiting
for the world to move into the void.

I am shadow.

Sara Tantlinger

groping an aesthetic

April 17, 2020

[T S Eliot’s poems were] spoken in low tones, in whispers to a companion or confessor; their strategies make of groping an aesthetic. They advance, they hesitate, they retreat: they enact doubt in language

Louise Glück,
Invitation and Exclusion
Proofs & Theories: Essays on Poetry

diversity in sci-fi

April 17, 2020

If we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.

Jane Espenson
Interviewed by Neal Broverman for, 27th October 2011

at the edge of the woods

April 17, 2020

There is something waiting for us at the edge of the woods, and it is our fate to meet it.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Ravishment fantasies

April 17, 2020

I have fantasies about being ravished and that doesn’t make me a ‘bad feminist’. Perhaps that offends you, or maybe you agree with me, but however you react to that statement, know that it has taken a long time and a lot of work for me to be able to say it. In fact, I think I’ll say it again. My ravishment fantasies do not make me a bad feminist. I’ve had them throughout my adult life.

But, far from allowing myself to enjoy my fantasy world, for years I felt deeply embarrassed, not to mention guilty at what was going on inside my head. I worried I must be mentally unwell, or a bad person – certainly, a bad feminist. I’d tell myself I would never think about it again, that I’d be a proper feminist, and only imagine having sex on a pile of militant lesbians, whilst reading the works of Simone de Beauvoir. And yet, thoughts of being held captive on a pirate ship, being tied up by faceless barbarians, or Khal Drogo ravishing me in the bushes as the rest of the khalasar looked on, continued to run through my tormented mind, sticking two fingers up to feminism as they went.

To make matters worse, I have been the victim of sexual violence. I felt so guilty about my fantasy world that I convinced myself I had no right to be traumatised when I was attacked. It was in counselling that I finally started talking about what happened, and where I learnt these kinds of fantasies are incredibly common, that fantasies are not wish fulfilment, and that it’s ok for me to explore and enjoy this part of my sexuality. I came to understand that these fantasies are not actually about abuse, they are about power and domination. Abuse and sexual violence, by definition, are not consented to, but you are always consenting to your own fantasy. No matter how rough things may get in your head, you are in charge of what happens. I felt relieved to hear this, but also angry at the misplaced guilt I had been carrying for years. I still get angry at the suggestion women are somehow letting the side down by exploring rough sex and sexual submission.

Dr Kate Lister
Women Writing Rough Sex

These things happen…

April 17, 2020

intellect and passion

April 17, 2020

During the writing of a poem the various elements of the poet’s being are in communion with each other, and heightened. Ear and eye, intellect and passion, interrelate more subtly than at other times…In the same way, content and form are in a state of dynamic interaction; the understand of whether an experience is a linear sequence of a constellation raying out from and into a central focus or axis, for instance, is discoverable only in the work, not before it.

Denise Levertov
The Poet in the World