Tag Archives: space

i want to be friends but i’ve touched your boobs (and other things): a (prose) poem on how to be aggressively platonic

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i) in spite of your perfect hair and the shy dimple under your left cheek i wonder if i should have put my arm around you that night because when i think of you i only want to see the way your mouth goes bright as you tell me the names of the fish skipping across the water and the way your fingers make knots in rope so easy like every simple piece of string could coil into complexity but then i remember your bright mouth on mine and the ocean roaring inside me and how you knotted our fingers together so tight so close so we wouldn’t drift apart

ii) my stride is small my voice is smaller would you hear me if i shouted across the fields over the mountains through bamboo forests clicking in the wind would you see me running with thread and needle trying to stitch our islands together

iii) these things take time i tell myself i need space you say when i breathe my lungs inflate with salt and sky there is endless seaglass inside me rolled smooth but sometimes i must dive to cold depths to see even a glimmer of a sunken star i am breaking my hands on time and space and maybe this was a mistake

iv) the thread is red i see it out the corner of my eyes but when i look too hard it vanishes and it isn’t joy i feel but i tell myself it will be

v) most people grew vocabularies for this much younger than i, learned to put out fires, learned the language of storms, learned to suture open wounds tenderly as not to leave scars and now i flounder in the shallows, water kissing the backs of my knees but drowning would be simpler than this oh drowning would be simpler

vi) so i drown. i let the you the me the us the shallow the deep the wave after wave after waving you away at the station that one afternoon drown me. i drown in remembering limbs and fingers and hands and eyes and how you said what you did in tongues i did not know tongues i got to know tongues i have come to miss and down, deep down, i start to forget.

vii) i breathe again, coming up to the surface, knots in my hair – no matter, they’ll be gone with the next haircut, drastic measures for drastic issues – and look around. the sky is gone, fallen into the ground somewhere somewhen, as i looked for you through the sheen the surf the direction of the current swirling around my thighs my knees my ankles as I step out, slowly, back to land back to safety back to me. but i look back, just once just one more time, one more look

viii) (one day i will look and there will be nothing in the way of a different you)

ix) I look up from the screen. Have I been gone that long? I mean, no one is an island, but I seem to be running on my own timezone sometimes. That long? I look up to the clock above the screen. That long. I look back down. You have replied a number of times, I’m the one ignoring you this time. I do need space. We both did. Time is not the issue, of course. Space, strangely enough, is. Even confined within the green and blue walls of a text, space is an issue. We keep pushing at each other, waiting for something to give, again, despite what we said. Afraid to be pulled in again. I know I am.

x) Define. Synonyms. Thesaurus.com. Rhymezone. How to. How to find the words. How to lose weight in a week! How to tell someone they’re adopted. How to tell someone that it’s complicated but you want to see them but not in that way but also you do. How to tell someone you’re pregnant. How to video exclusive. How to go about starting the conversation. How to lose friends and alienate people and befriend aliens. How to tell you.

Collaboration with Emily Chou

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NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2016 30 – Teoria dell’impatto

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Sono le 4.13 del primo gennaio 2010. Le tende sono mezze tirate. La luna mi fa vedere la ragazza addormentata accanto a me, dandomi le spalle. Ha delle forme a stella tatuate lungo la spina dorsale. Ognuna più piccola della precedente, fino a che il vuoto sotto al piumone mi rende impossibile vederne altre. Ci siamo conosciuti stanotte. Con la punta delle dita misuro la distanza tra le prime due stelle. Poi la dimezzo, poi ancora, poi ancora. Perché l’infinito non è spazio e tempo, è un processo.

(Input da Napowrimo.net per oggi era di tradurre una poesia. Gioco in casa. Originale inglese di William Letford, ‘Impact Theory’ in Bevel.)

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140story – Transcontinental

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140story is still running, terribly strong for a tiny Twitter thing. Give them some love!

BCLT Summer School – Day 5

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The final workshop was given by Sharlene Teo, who delved into psycho-geography, and her own variation: psychic geography. We were asked to describe a room that was familiar to us, lingering on details, even the smallest, if needed.

1. If I sit down at its centre, I can take in all of its corners. The four major ones – the cornerstones, the foundations – and the minor ones, the ones that follow the furniture, the kitchen area, the wardrobe, my eyes. Circling around them, books populate the room, shelves pine for more or for fewer, groan with content. Keep turning and the bed lies down, to one side, covering its own space, in its own time. Turn a little more to find the washing line, clothes hanging, suspended, moisture gently rising as they dry. Lie back, and the ceiling stares at you, blankly.

We were then asked to describe a ‘public’ person, or character, in enough detail for them to be recognisable by other readers. My choice, surprising no one, fell on Eddie Izzard.

2. He has the kind of eyes that show the weird, wonderful, buzzing creativity behind them, rimmed with eye-liner, or eye-shadow, or mascara, calculated and meticulous. He might be wearing lipstick, he might not. That doesn’t really matter. But if he is, it might appear amid a three-day beard, bristled with white and blond and brown – light brown. Or maybe not. He does wear a shirt, and a suit and tailcoats from the jacket, points touching an umbrella as he stands triumphant, ego shining bright, spotlight not needed. Unless he’s wearing a dress, and the sparkles, the glitter, the sequins catch the lights on stage. And that’s when smiles. Mocking. Knowing.

We swapped the result of the first exercise with other participants, and wrote the character into the new setting we now had. Oh dear.

3. …my heels just got stuck. eeeeeeeeeeeh-yes. Anyway: HAMMERS. Let me talk about hammers. You don’t want to talk about hammers? You just want to get hammered? Well whatever floats your boat I suppose. Do you think Noah used hammers when he built his boat? the Ark, I mean? and what if he made it out of perspex, like a see-through boat, to watch all the evil people and animals drown and you can point and laugh and then you’d be evil too, actually… but yes, and god, who is still James Mason, would be up there going craaaaazy:
‘No no, stop laughing or I’ll have to push you off the boat. Noah? Noah, make them stop laughing or just – Jesus?’ ‘ Yes dad?’ ‘I need a holiday.’ ‘ Aren’t all days a holiday for us, dad?’ ‘…yes, well played.’
But yes, anyway – gardening.

Comics Zen and The Art of Convention Going

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This weekend (14th-16th November) will be my sixth Thought Bubble Festival as a volunteer (redshirt – we proudly reclaimed the word from ill-fated Trekkies). I have been behind the scenes at two Lakes International Comic Art Festivals, two Auto Assemblies, moderated online communities, chaired panels, talks, conferences, am active in ‘public engagement’ (what universities call ‘getting out and talking to actual people for a change’) and attended multiple events of the comic book and media industry type as a punter. I enjoy what I do, and do it freely, in my spare time, passionately and mostly for free (and for the red t-shirt; there must be something in the dye).

I am also aware of a high number of convention etiquette posts from professionals, exhibitors, fellow fans, first-time goers and bored companions (partners, relatives, offspring, pets, stuffed cryptozoa). Personally, I think Dan Berry’s 2012 list is a great resource, along with Luke Surl’s illustrated version for exhibitors. There are plenty more out there, but some tend to be fairly condescending and patronising, even in their tongue-in-cheek style (or maybe because of it). So please take what I say here as tips and suggestions, rather than commandments or recommendations. As a volunteer, I have seen many a visitor storm off disgruntled because they were unable to get a sketch, a signature, a book, a handshake – and it’s not always the event’s fault.

Talk (if you can) – This can be really hard. Emotions run high when meeting your idols, and you might not be comfortable with crowds, small spaces, public speaking or eye contact. That is fine. Creators know that their fans come in all types of person and species, and everyone gets tired/stressed out/overwhelmed at times. If you need help, call upon a redshirt. We’re there to help.

Be Nice – Following from the previous point, if you can’t bring yourself to face someone or speak to them, be nice in any way possible. A quiet thank you, a timid smile, nods, adoration in your eyes. Let the exhibitors know you’re interested in their work if you are, don’t diss them if you’re not. Everyone there is passionate about comics; that’s a whole series of worlds in common. Be nice to other visitors. Be nice to exhibitors. Be nice to staff and volunteers. And be excellent to each other.

Look at Everything – Take it all in. The Big Names are not the only names, and they’re only big to the people who think they are. Make sure you take a stroll through the smaller tables. I have met some of my favourite people in the world by wandering around the halls closing off queues and bringing water or food to exhibitors.

Be a True Fan – So you have all the issues a writer has written, you’re on first-name basis with them, and you’ve seen them multiple times. Excellent! A lovely place to be in! But don’t overdo it. Some people have travelled very far to only attend an event for the day, have less money to spend, less time and may be extremely intimidated by everything going on. Give them their space and time. Don’t be greedy. And don’t for one second think there is such as thing as a fake-fan.

Be an Alien, or, Enjoyable Queueing – Yes, you will have to wait to meet some of the guests. Yes, it can take a while, and it will be boring after a bit. Solution? Use all of the tips above: talk to others in the queue; talk to exhibitors you are close to as you move closer to the aimed table; take in the convention area; plan the rest of your day; if you’re in a group, use supermarket tactics. And most of all..

Don’t Panic – Douglas Adams was bound to make it here at some point. Alas, you might not be able to get everything you wanted done. You might miss a panel. You might be too late for a sketch. The guests might be very tired, unable to make it at all or late. It happens, unfortunately (Kurt Vonnegut? Kurt Vonnegut: So It Goes). But go back to three points above, and look at everything else. You’ll find something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

There are a number of other really important points, such as keeping hydrated and nourished, respecting people’s boundaries, social norms, be mindful of children and event rules and regulations, including personal safety. Some of these are covered by common sense, others by explicit policies such as the SDCC and NYCC ones. All should be kept in mind at all times. My list is simply an addition to those guidelines.

Drifting

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Time and space don’t matter
here, as she walks along the brink
cautiously slipping into
and onto the shimmering page.

Time and space don’t bother
her, she looks upon the spine
slicing through light and beams
as the universe supports her.

Time does not envelop her
as she finds her space
an innermost inch, a room
to call her own, at last.

Space does not contain her
for yes, there will be time
reflected and refracted through
the chapters in her life.

Time flows and space constricts
but she, modern Promethea,
is unbound, the fallen chains
spark on weatherworn rock.

Space is fluid and time congealed
as an ice-cube washed ashore
that she may or may not pick up
take home and place on a pile

of unread pages, unfinished sketches
of a blind seer’s book.
As she steps out back into the cold
she’ll forget about it. It will melt.
Become one with the books
bleed into pages, blur the images
blend the lines, push the boundaries
and time and space won’t matter.

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