Posted by Rich Magahiz Mon, 19 Jul 2010 21:05:00 GMT


its crooked hole, a thing with fur

thick as pi

3998 digits of Pi arranged in descending spiral
Originally uploaded by fdecomite

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On a twisted patch of floor

Posted by Rich Magahiz Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:51:00 GMT

no, don’t get up – the tiles clean themselves

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To Thee

Posted by Rich Magahiz Mon, 28 Sep 2009 22:34:00 GMT

Alma Matrix
eigenvectors of real

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Yet Another Vampire Horrorku

Posted by Rich Magahiz Fri, 21 Mar 2008 11:59:00 GMT

ever since,
next to her bed she keeps
a sharp stake

we can prove your guilt: Scythe-Angel-Scythe

shambling horrors
move in next door
flanked by lawyers

You don’t need to explain horrorku to me. It’s pretty obvious that if one can accept science fiction-themed poetry, why not horror-themed in the same form. But what is this “yet another” thing?
That’s just me getting snarky about cliché. I’ve done others in this vein before, criticizing the kind of writing which does not take enough risks by avoiding the obvious path. If you read enough verse with vampires and werewolves, blood and carnage and fear, monsters and midnights and other low-hanging horrible fruit in them, you want to see something that has none of those elements in them to see if it can be done.
Sounds pretty dismal.
Well it would not be horrorku if it weren’t dismal, would it? Think of the poor dark poetry editors who have to read things like this day in and day out:
Bloody vampire
a bloody vampire
waiting by the dark graveyard,
a bat flies over

(Which I just made up.) To me, even though that has all the elements of a horrorku, the way it just kind of throws them out there makes it less interesting than it could be.

You mean it just sort of tells you about the subject instead of showing it in any kind of novel way.
Take a look at this list:

  • It is a poem.
  • It is a poem limited in length, in English that limit being somewhere between 15 and 20 syllables.
  • It presents images rather than ideas.
  • It is intuitive rather than intellective.
  • It uses observation of nature and the seasons as a basis for that intuition.
  • Its observations are specific rather than general.

That was written about English-language haiku, not any of these speculative fiction derivatives (thus the item about nature and the seasons which would not apply to scifaiku or horroku), but the esthetic point being made is still useful to ponder. I think the bat poem has problems with the part about being intuitive, more so than the wooden stake poem, which starts out open-ended and ends before the reader really knows what went on.

Oh, so you’re saying that the original poem wasn’t supposed to be using cliché after all, but is actually an anti-cliché statement?
You didn’t get that? Yes, the idea is to write a horrorku (or whatever) that takes a hackneyed subject but which itself tries to put a new spin on things. There’s enough trite verse out there that there seems to be no real point to add to the collection.
You mean that

Yet Another Mummy Horrorku
on my way to work
I passed a mummy - he was
a very strange sight

isn’t worthy of posting to the Scifaiku list?

Keep working on that, there.

The third in a projected series of discussions on poetry.

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Twelve weeks out of the Pole

Posted by Rich Magahiz Wed, 13 Feb 2008 00:53:00 GMT

wormhole clipper -
her deep hold piled with tea,
with silks

pray, fret thee not: Möbius wristband

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