There is a quiet place inside me and it says
(a word tapped through cell-walls, misspelled,
in a manuscript that waited, war-flotsam,
My family of blood and ink
(pamphlets and ephemera, carefully archived
spores beneath permafrost, thawing not death
All I ask of you
(what is a country? what if it’s wrong?
what if you love it anyway? what if this
(not was or will be. do not lose yourself
in litanies of martyrs or dreams of future
All you have
(it was never yours. i have hoarded myself
long enough. why hesitate unfurling
the banner of my soul?)
Which alone is mine.
please do not say
what was always wrong
your faulting eyes
those of a pearl-cutter
i do not ask you to stay
only to let me still imagine
nothing jarred until
you slid away
a pale pretty film
blinds my eyes, blue-gray
let all the lights be dim
if you were going, begone
cradled by the rocking sea
i shall wait for the door
that shuts behind you
but till then, not a sound
Once there was Truth, my lady,
Crystal-pure and diamond-dense,
Clear and faceted, mirror and lens
And it showed you you and it showed you me
Until it flew apart, like the universe beginning.
(It never was, my lady, it never was)
We pick up shards with bleeding hands,
Cut each other with them like knives,
This truth must fall so another thrives,
Saw borders into the thought-lands,
As if to mend the wreck by winning.
(But it never was, my lady, it never was)
If only by some strained contortion,
We could see the shape of the mosaic
That will make a whole of every break,
Setting each fragment in true proportion
The image of our mother unbroken
(But it never was, my lady, it never was)
The light goes through each glassy blade
But distortion makes the image a lie
Though born of truth that cannot die.
So it must be till the whole is made—
The whole of which each piece is token
(Though it never was, my lady, it never was)
"Walking on Knives", my f/f little mermaid novelette, has switched publishers. It will now be coming out from Less Than Three Press. I will let you know the date as soon as I have it. Here's the goodreads page. There's an excerpt on my other blog.
Here's the summary, for now:
"A fairy tale romance based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid"-- with a happy ending that may not be what you expect.
The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she's being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch's sister is falling in love with her.
When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid's secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high..."
1. Don Carlos - Friedrich Schiller: I've written both of the fics in this fandom (as opposed to the Verdi opera fandom, which has some overlap). Both of them are Rodrigo-centric so you can see I'm interested in that character. Philip is also super-interesting, any sort of introspection/interaction with him is great! I ship Rodrigo/Elisabeth but PLEASE don't have them actually sleep together and/or character-bash Carlos. Generally I like canon-era and non-AU, though if you have an interesting AU, feel free. I just love all the characters and want MORE of them. For minor characters, I find the Duke of Alba fascinating (see his confrontation with Carlos in Act II) and Lerma is pretty cool as well. You don't have to include any of the characters I named-- I'm leaving you entirely free in that respect.
2. Quatrevingt-treize - Victor Hugo: Cimourdain is fascinating. Don't make him evil, but explore the complexity of the character. Other things I like-- Michelle/Radoub, Gauvain and his standards and his eye to the future, Lantenac's sang-froid. Things I don't like-- portrayal of the French Revolution as an overall negative and unnecessary event. Obviously it was complex, but don't just bash it.
3. Aeschuylus - The Oresteia: Based on the characters named, this is more likely to be Euripides' universe (iirc Iphigeneia doesn't appear in the Oresteia, and Pylades has one line). But anyway, I love the Orestes and Pylades relationship, however you interpret it. I love their willingness to sacrifice for each other. I love Electra and her bitterness and courage, and it would be interesting to see her marriage to Pylades. And of course, Iphigeneia and the eucatastrophic ending.
4. The Traitor Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson: Tain Hu is amazing and if you can capture the reasons why, her strength and cleverness and loyalty and desire to make others free, that would be great. I love Tain Hu/Baru. I also love the friendship between Lyxaxu and Oathsfire, so if you want to explore those two characters, I would be absolutely delighted.
Too many silences crowd upon
Each other like applause.
Keep still, and when the tyrant’s gone
Write then of what he was.
Save memory with sacrifice
Of your strangled voice.
Be pliant, willing, weak and nice
You haven’t got a choice.
What lives of Agamemnon’s war?
They stretched the poem out with gore,
But make your epic terse—
The words like those we now share
In delator-bred fear.
The briefest snatch is all you dare
Among those you hold dear.
Sing, Muse, at last, of what we knew,
Of what we could not say,
But as to what we didn’t do—
Forget that void, we pray.