NaPoWriMo Day 23 – Writing a Picture

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Here I trace the first line
as straight as I can go,
a moat between grains and glass
separating what comes now,
what came then and what comes later.

Here I move inside the first contour
as light as I can go.
A face, hands immovable moving
timed reactions framed in
blank spaces, words will come later.

Here I draw the second scene
as quiet as I can go
the sequence scuttling along
fed by salt and sand and more.
Another scene will come later.

Here I stand back for a second
as the story before
me sits, crashing and roaring
washing into another page and another
after that. More will come later.

NaPoWriMo Day 22 – He sings

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He sings. Or calls.
He is born knowing how to sing.
To sing and to fly. He knows to leap from the branch
with faith. He holds a force
and keeps it. A driving force.
He knows it.
He belongs to it.
He makes it. Flying
he makes the sky. Singing
he makes the voice of God
the bird-catcher. On the branch
God now twitches
testing the newborn Spring
to the vault of
the flower. He prays.
He does it with colour.
He does it with light.

NaPoWriMo Day 21 – Twisted Idioms (II)

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He lived in this ugly old slum
and uglier than him there were none.
With his black carapace
and his pincer-filled face -
though he was dearly loved by his mum.

Another twisted idiom from Italian, this time the Neapolitan ‘Ogni scarrafon’è (b)bello a mammà soja’, literally translated as ‘Even a cockroach is beautiful to its mum’. Not too far from ‘Face only a mother could love’, really.

NaPoWriMo Day 20 – Hop to It

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Yes I know I should’ve been writing
but yesterday was way too eggciting!
We were tracking a rabbit
and he just wouldn’t have it:
he would not give ‘em up without fighting.

Late poem in the aftermath of chocolate day. Vaguely inspired by this guy.

NaPoWriMo Day 18 – A True Fan

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You must observe the figure
take in the curvature
the refraction of light on chrome
glint of flash on tinted plastic.

You must touch the figure
insinuate your fingers beneath
panels, permeate with life
the lifeless textured plastic.

You must lick the figure
savour the sweetness of the cracks
and edges of bittersweet ratchets
and salt tears of joy and plastic.

Then, and only then
you will become what I have been.
Then, and only then
you will be.. a true fan.

Prompted by yesterday’s NaPoWriMo.net suggestion, and inspired by something that a weird fan said once, on a discussion board. Weird fans are pretty weird.

DSCN5178
“Transform me like one of your French bots”

The Unwritten: Apocalypse #4

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UnwrittenApoc4

Synopsis
“War Stories,” part 3 of 3. Sometimes the closest thing you can find to a friend is your enemy’s enemy. But when Tom tries to enlist the help of Madame Rausch, he discovers that she’s already fighting a war of her own.

Story
The final part of the first story arc of The Unwritten‘s ending rolls in, not concluding the arc at all, but rather setting up the mayhem that is sure to ensue. The Unwritten: Apocalypse #4 brings us back to Wilson’s place, with Bruckner, Miri’s ghost, Wilson himself and the five main characters discussing (or trying not to discuss) plans to take down Pullman and restore (a) reality.
But Tom will have nothing of that, nor will Bruckner or Cosi or Leon, and Wilson is told what he deserves to hear – as Tom sets by himself to meet the only improbable ally he can think of: Madame Rausch, the third, literal, puppeteer alongside Taylor and Pullman. And what do we find out? Rausch knows things. And she’s on no one’s side but her own – or is she?
Mike Carey once again sneaks in some additional subtext in the section titles, this issue plucked from Lewis Carroll’s long nonsense poem ‘The Hunting of the Snark’. Something big is brewing in the future of the series, with Rausch quite probably returning to throw some splinters in everyone’s plans.

Art
The artwork that accompanies the issue, especially in the scenes towards and during the Madame Rausch encounter, is some dazzling and dizzying work from Peter Gross, with finished once again by Ryan Kelly. The parallels between Mingus and her tail around Tom’s neck and Rausch’s new ‘pet’ were subtle, but growing by the panel. And the pages leading towards ‘Grandmother’ are mindboggling. In the best way possible.
The colours, a dominance of dark grey and greens for this aftermath from last issue, are Chris Chuckry’s task. And does he know how to add reds and yellows when the situation didn’t know it needed them (and that first dusky sky is amazing). There are also some really nice touches by letterer Todd Klein, in the section titles and captions for different characters and settings, while the rest of fonts rest untouched this time.
The cover is by the fantastic Yuko Shimizu, though flipped with last month’s due to ‘Careylessness’; check that review for a look at it, and bask in the blood-soaked glory of the atavistic Pullman on this one, being and becoming the sacrificial ox of dark, deep red.

Thoughts (May Contain Spoilers)
The issue takes a step back from the action-filled conflicts of the previous two parts of ‘War Stories’, replacing the gripping with the chilling. It’s slower, definitely, than the encounter with Pullman and the Rakes. But then, Madame Rausch has always taken her time with things, after all. The dialogue, combined with the artwork in and around the scenes with Madame Rausch in her stronghold, are actually quite terrifying, looking back on the reading. Tom Taylor still believes he is no one’s tool, while being used by everyone around him. An issue of intrigue, strategy, and actually disturbing deals – surprisingly not with the regent of Hell. That will come next month, as we get back to the rabbit that isn’t, Pauly Bruckner.

The Unwritten: Apocalypse #4 is now available in shops and digitally here.

NaPoWriMo Day 17 – A comet, they said

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They said it was a comet
smashing into the hardness of Earth
that brought water to the rocks
of our planet.

A comet, they said.
A soaring icicle of light
hurled from other stars
to here. And inside it
the law of the species, the formula
of blood and sap
the tone of every voice.

Water is the perfect key
that unlocks wild shapes.
The water we still drink
was once a train of roaming
light. Dazzling freight
in the darkness between worlds.

(Original Italian by Mariangela Gualtieri, from ‘Naturale Sconosciuto’.)

NaPoWriMo Day 16 – Nuvole

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Fletto i muscoli, e mi libro
nello spazio tra le righe
negli scoli sulla carta
tra finestre e cornici.

Salto da un lato all’altro
indagando tempi futuri
e mondi paralleli rintanati
in vecchie città, incubi
in cui ballano antichi traditori.

Passo di nascosto e mi perdo
nelle strade tracciate e pensate
da orfani, armadilli e razziatori,
vigili sentinelle di altri piani.

Mi rifugio per un giorno, libero
fra le nuvole di pensiero
e di parole – in silenzio.

NaPoWriMo Day 15 – Paralleli

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Ho camminato lungo il fiume, oggi.
L’ho tenuto sulla destra
a distanza di un braccio
e l’ho seguito, in silenzio.
Non ci ho parlato; d’altronde
uno è fiume e l’altro è uomo
una è acqua e l’altra è carne
uno è sassi e l’altro è ossa.

Con le dita ne ho seguito
il corso, tracciando il colle
al di là dell’altra riva,
percorrendo con lo sguardo
la vecchia giovinezza
della cima smussata;
ho sorriso, e mi sono passato
la mano fra i capelli.

Non ho camminato a lungo
non ne avevo il tempo.
Non l’ho seguito fino in fondo
non sono partito alla sorgente.
L’ho lasciato correre
tranquillo nel suo letto,
il fiume verso destra
io nel senso opposto
tornando verso casa.