So I got pushed back from my serial deadlines because I ended up juggling Camp NaNo with home and poetry duties. But I’m putting my foot down (gently enough not to break anything). Really. No spoilers, though.
I’m starting Xxxxxxxxx tomorrow afternoon, August 1st, and then from there it’ll be on an identical timeline as Welcome to Night Vale - every 1st and 15th.
I’m looking to start Xxx Xxxxx (a.k.a. Queer Supers) on August 15th, provided it gets into JukePop in time. Either way, expect it in mid-August.
And I plan on finishing with toy knives, but that means I plan on starting it all over (sorta). So I’ll put that on JukePop too I guess, sorting out all its little mistakes, and it’ll come out weekly.
Other short stuff:
one short a month, maybe? Starting with a little number I’m nursing at the moment with witches and blackouts.
also, later this year we may hear something about a fight between the cygnus olor and the dendroaspis polylepis. Very few people know what that means.
“Earlier this year, in an effort to derail Ms. Blanchett’s Oscar campaign, a couple of anonymous complaints turned up in the tabloids about [some pretentious jackass] not using black actors. He’s horrified when I bring up the subject. We talk about the new generation of wonderful black actors like Viola Davis and wonder if they’ll ever be cast in a [film directed by this jackass]. He doesn’t hesitate to respond: “Not unless I write a story that requires it. You don’t hire people based on race [except for when I assume New York is just brimming with white people because only white people have my overwrought melodramatic mid-life crises and shit]. You hire people based on who is correct for the part [and since I’ve never put a Negro in my movies, you can assume…]. The implication is that I’m deliberately not hiring black actors, which is stupid. I cast only what’s right for the part. Race, friendship means nothing to me except who is right for the part.”
I ask him why, by the way, [if he has black friends. “I took a Negro comic to dinner in Rome once,” he said. “But we’re not friends.”] There’s a punchline: “I don’t have white friends either.””—Roger Friedman, “We Still Interview Really Creepy Pretentious White Guys In Positions of Media Power, But In An Attempt To Dodge The Ever-Present Alleged Creepiness of Said Men, We Inevitably Expose Their Underscored Racism”, The New York Observer, 30th July 2014
It’s hard to not see letting go as surrender. As a mark of failure, as white-flag forfeit of all your truths, as dropping. When you let go, it falls out of your hands to the floor; if it’s fragile, you’re never getting it back. What you pick up is sharper than what hit the ground.
I long sometimes for the soft edges of the fine thing I released before it turned brittle, before it lost little chips at the side and tried to take off my finger once. It feels like I turned my back on something that could have loved me if I stuck it out.
But then there’s that finger.
I let go. It made sense. Not the clatter and the shards, although I’d be lying if I said the noise wasn’t cathartic, to know it was so scattered for a moment, inconsolable, vibrating. Like I was when I had to wrap up my hands from it. Sometimes I think to myself that it’s a shame I had to give up my favourite plate, the thing I had all my bitterest or most savoury secrets from.
But then I remember it’d be worse if I had to miss a part of myself. I can eat off anything. Plastic, in fact, has never bitten since. But I can’t fill a hole whole if something tears me.
It was her or the finger. It takes a while to remember.
I wonder how often the old mind dusts off its twenties. Looks through mental bookshelves for the best record of all time or the actor it had a crush on when all their hormones were charged and restless. I want to get there far enough to see what becomes of us all. To hear them say Cloud Atlas is ancient and unlovable, to hear them call Justin Timberlake quaint, to say ‘I get it’ because I do, young people always see the dust of time, it’s a bad thing for them to step in, it stiffens the joints of course. By then books will write us and techno-jazz-zouk will be what people listen to when they’re sad or something; everything will be neon-blue and sticky-sweet and I will still have the things people who died before me said were too new. Old age is the proof that time doesn’t love us. Old age is the proof that we don’t love everything. It’s all just a bunch of imaginary lines we drew to keep our trepidation out.
Don’t ask a twelve-year-old to know death. He’ll always fidget in the face of it; when his grandmother says ‘I think it’s about time I met my maker’ as she lies in bed on a still afternoon, sun still peeping through lime tree branches at her, light upon her wrinkles, he’ll ask his brother if he knew what that meant. He will answer rudely, in part because he’s hoping that’s not what it meant. They don’t know the difference between sleep and weightlessness. Don’t get mad at them, they don’t know what warrants a warning bell. It’s been just as long since that moment and they still fear not knowing a lot. They ring the bell for everything now, you can hear it; they’ll run riot with their wrists dancing the brass curve outside your window for as much as a bad joke involving aspirin and a sharpener. Everything is urgent because nothing can be taken back. They don’t want to hear the song for graveside sunsets, so they’ll play the alarm like fear is life because fear is proof that everything is beating just fine, or finer. We’ll ring for joy, and you’ll curse us after.
I can hear her trying to pull me down from the other side of the highway from the other side of the Bus Route from the other side of the river Styx where she wants me so bad to take a bath so long that she can stew me
they built a wall between blackness and the road most taken just so I could sing with the siren
somebody got shot today it wasn’t me, no way, it wasn’t me, no way, it wasn’t me, no wa-a-ay
fuck the siren-song I want to drown Ophelia has much rumours, I’m sure secrets about where this water came from
I can hear her speeding down in red rowboats full of whatever fell off Charon’s last truck
fuck the siren-song if I’m deaf to it I can imagine everyone’s still here
not humming whatever it is they heard my fingers in my hears finding something to sing so the sound doesn’t stab me still
'briefly': on tumblr, Frozen, and 'community criticism'
So PBS Idea Channel’s latest video discusses Frozen, in particular how it exists as a critical meta-analysis of fairy tales (by being an overall character-shifted, subverted, inverted, averted, overall wonky retelling not only of the Andersen source material but of every fairy tale movie ever previously committed to CGI feature-length treatment).
Now, I’m not sure I’m down for discussing how much praise the movie’s worth - as someone who hasn’t seen it but can’t stop seeing masterposts of reasons why it’s oddly racist, I don’t think it’s ready for a high level of critical primetime. So I’m not going to talk about the movie.
I’m gonna talk about Tumblr, through the movie.
Or maybe I’m gonna talk about Tumblr through Harry Potter, I dunno.
I have built a fort for all my hopes. Bricked it up to the hills and higher with stones carved of the landscape of time. In the very tallest tower sits my dreams, on a wooden chair he built to refuse the cold ground, looking out what could have been a window but in all honesty is merely a lack of more concrete. He looks out at the chances he could have had when he was free if it weren’t for being here. Or being himself, prone to those gazing meetings with clouds that wouldn’t pay attention, prone to drifting off. Each light is a tittle on a word he can’t find to describe this awake feeling, he says. Strewn about are mementos of his embarrassing days that he refuses to look at. He doesn’t need to. They’re not there for him to look at. If he could throw them out the window, he would, but there is no window. They’re not there for him to look at. The other way around, surely.
Nothing stays the same shape for long. Some parts of me swell, with sweets, with sourness, with stillness sepulchred beneath my once too-bony body. Slopes where the rain runs races. It’s not so steep as some say - when I mention it aloud, people frown, ask ‘where is it that you keep these alleged curves, then?’ I am not cut from marble as an Etruscan marvel, of course, those who have still sipped from this body know that. Instead, molten things bubble beneath and the land reorganizes itself over each other. Nothing stays the same shape for long. There is little virtue in a thing that wishes to.
No one can claim my pain from me. I worked really hard to not have it, and now I do, it was a gift given by spiteful youth and I cannot scratch my name from above it so don’t you dare even hint at it being your first. You weren’t the one that bore claw-marks and counted them to the melody of the first love poems that bore your murderer’s name; you weren’t the one putting friends away in boxes atop wooden wardrobes so your lover would kiss you; you weren’t the one who needed alibis for lunch dates and drew escape plans for impromptu get-togethers; my face will never make you scared it will only make your blood run white-hot and I can’t say the same. When I see a silhouette of you in the places we used to be I shiver with a kind of cold. I cannot forgive your knuckles, for your palms knew well what they could do. You will not take even my pain from me by force. You’ve done enough taking already when I was willing to give freely that I will not let you touch what is mine. Take your foot off my pain. I need it back. It belongs to me. I’ll take it as far as I need to bury it. You will not make a trophy of it so long as my blood runs shivering of you.
I told my muse I’d go out with her tonight, but somewhere when I was getting ready, I must have heard some song I had nearly forgot my youth in (Taxi’s ‘Frenchman’, to be precise), or probably sat down with my shoes untied watching one part of some long story I’ve refused to catch up on, but since I’m technically not doing anything right now, I’ll give up my hurry for a front-row seat and leave my baby to wait. She can wait, right? Sometimes I wait on her, it’ll be cool, she’ll call by in the ten minutes I said I’d be ready in and forgive me straight away, her favourite boy of many, the one who makes up for all his mistakes. Right? Just one more episode of Sailor Moon, I promise, and then we’ll be right out, no one will ask a question. Please don’t be like that, honey, I didn’t do anything wrong.
I don’t care what you think about it, two and a half heaped teaspoons are my soul. Sugar loved me when I didn’t love myself, so don’t ask me to turn my back on her. Douglas Adams and George Orwell will have to wait til I rap on St. Peter’s gate to scold me. Who knows, maybe my love will poison me.
Past Columbus' Ships and Through The Gate: On Caribbean Writing
Before I tell my side of the story, let’s get the technicalities out of the way, as usual:
Trinidad-born award-winning British author Monique Roffey guest-wrote a blog post for Waterstones entitled ‘The new wave of Caribbean writers’, discussing what she saw as the trends of work within the region by the literary creatives of the space.
The article on the blog is striking in its presumption and how gapingly ahistorical it is[…] Why this is troubling, is because Roffey of late has emerged in Britain as a kind of spokesperson, an ex-pat ex-pert[…] on Caribbean literature; someone who is discovering something that didn’t exist before, or existed in a much less refined state.
Despite having achieved independence throughout the region (for the most part), spearheading revolutions and overthrowing dictatorial regimes, we just can’t be left alone to wade through our issues and develop our space without the added ingredients of judgmental first world comparisons that don’t take into consideration contextual issues, and worse, the role of their influence in our shortcomings.
Since then, Lucien has been having ardent conversation about the issue on social media, in particular about what makes a writer truly Caribbean.
So I want to get back into doing Impractical Magic here, but there isn’t an MtG-Helper-esque solution for card titles for Tumblr, is there?
So maybe I’ll move that series to a Wordpress. Which is a shame - I don’t like moving things from Tumblr in search of more robust tools elsewhere. But I need to play more often, so I don’t know when that’ll happen.