Design tip

Posted by Rich Magahiz Thu, 22 May 2008 11:03:00 GMT

lessons learned:
don’t install a nose

for it to pick

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Strong magic

Posted by Rich Magahiz Thu, 17 Apr 2008 01:40:00 GMT

vacuum tubes
round his neck: the Annandale
Shaman

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Second Warring States period

Posted by Rich Magahiz Sat, 05 Apr 2008 13:47:00 GMT

the old power plant
a sour wind blows
flakes of paint

hold me! prelude to a spore body

Come, love,
to Venus! Mind the
flesh-rending molluscs…

Q
About that title…
A
You want to know what the Second Warring States period is?
Q
Of course.
A
It is a time which postdates the first one or the other first one. As far as I know, it hasn’t happened yet.
Q
But it doesn’t relate to the scifaiku at all, as far as I can tell.
A
You would perhaps prefer this title, then:

The old power plant

the old power plant
a sharp wind blows
flakes of paint

To me, it is part of the reader’s experience to try to bring the title in line with the poem, and the two parts of the scifaiku itself in line with one another, so when one titles a scifaiku with the very same words used in the poem, something is lost. In fact, I would go further and say that it would be better to leave it untitled than to repeat oneself in the title.
Q
You hate that kind of lazy titling.
A
No comment.
Q
So you think there actually is a connection between the weird “Warring States” title and the verse, I guess.
A
To me, it suggests that perhaps such a period of strife and chaos might return, given sufficient inconvenience, and plays against the images of acid precipitation and of worn and peeling paint to give you an idea of what kind of wars one might be able to fight then. Utterly straightforward, it is. Yeesssssss.
Another in a projected series of discussions on poetry.

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The dog deleted my homework

Posted by Rich Magahiz Wed, 02 Apr 2008 21:50:00 GMT

park yourself:
three teracycles
of detention

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Rallye

Posted by Rich Magahiz Tue, 25 Mar 2008 01:19:00 GMT

magnificent
selfpropelled
devices
swimming

telezoic
telltale
borated
eyeliner

Q
Four lines?
A
It’s a brick, a verse form I invented a few years ago. It was originally a four-line scifaiku poem consisting of one line of two syllables, one of four syllables, two of three syllables, in any order. I have further imposed the restriction that each line consist of a single word.
Q
But otherwise like any other scifaiku?
A
Well, it is usually pretty hard to figure out where the kireiji or “cutting word” goes so sometimes it gets left out. But it should have a science-fictional element in it, as here with the notion of swimming technology. I always like it when I can write about something that isn’t automatically about ships flying in outer space.
Q
Why not just write the poem as a regular scifaiku, which has (in your scheme) the same number of syllables anyway? Is it just the challenge of making a four-word poem?
A
I think of it as more of an esthetic difference. The compactness of the lines without any whitespace makes the poem look like a monolith on the page, or in this case, with the 4-3-3-2 syllable count, an inverted teardrop shape. It is can also come across as kind of like a telegram from the future, or an alien inscription. But the name “brick” is a little bit of wordplay taken from virology; it is what they call the smallpox virion.
Q
A lethal dose of scifaiku.
A
You’ve got that right.
Q
Yeah, but I think the second line is cheating. It should be self-propelled with a hyphen.
A
True, there I am doing some violence to the language. Or to typography. But I really wanted a single word that was three-syllable synonym for automotive there, without the little break in the middle that the hyphen would cause. I console myself that the S sound in that line and the final line counts for something.
Q
You could have put in “spluttering” instead.
A
Hmm.
Q
I don’t know for sure whether I understand that fourth line “swimming,” anyway.
A
The poem could be seen as describing either large-scale devices swimming through fluid, vehicles like submarines perhaps, or else it could be talking about microscopic things in a drop of water possibly. The first line sets up the allusion to that movie Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines from the 1960’s, as if one could imagine some kind of race between competitors in strange contraptions in a watery or liquid methane environment instead.
Q
I could imagine that would make a pretty picture.
A
You’re right: this is a scifaiku which really cries out to be illustrated haiga-style. Maybe I might get around to that someday, maybe even with the “spluttering” line of yours.
The fourth in a series of discussions on poetry.

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Floruit

Posted by Rich Magahiz Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:42:00 GMT

mounds
of plastic bags all that is known
of that race


Generation Ten ate all the steel


dust and scrub,

yet this can smells of
iridium

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Dark fibre

Posted by Rich Magahiz Sat, 09 Feb 2008 16:48:00 GMT

left in
rain-soaked trenches - the uplinks, too,
are black

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It's little, it's lovely, it lights

Posted by Rich Magahiz Thu, 07 Feb 2008 11:12:00 GMT

on the nightstand,
the Princess humming
to herself


at your wrist a scarab scratching teal


The light is not much to write home about, it barely makes the dial visible.

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Pilgrim

Posted by Rich Magahiz Fri, 11 Jan 2008 12:38:00 GMT

out of
the matter pod: a parfit
gentil knight

the Sibyl speaks: silos start to rise

  Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,
  And therto hadde he riden (no man ferre)
  As wel in Cristendom as hethenesse,
  And ever honoured for his worthinesse. 
Geoffrey Chaucer

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Yet another sexy android scifaiku

Posted by Rich Magahiz Sun, 06 Jan 2008 17:43:00 GMT

S/he responds
to “Robbie.” Don’t lose
that remote.

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Unappreciated

Posted by Rich Magahiz Wed, 26 Dec 2007 12:34:00 GMT

disappointment
made plain – our gifts
return themselves
he wrote her songs –pitched too high to hear
For Christmas, I gave Pam a robot. I think she’s keeping it.

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