ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This prose poem is a character overview. It makes a good introduction but could be considered spoilery. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics in the Terramagne setting.  If you don't like spoilers, start with "Cut to the Quick," which is the origin story poem.


"Damask Speaks"


I am Keane. I came into being with Mindflare twisting through my thoughts like a knife. I take the pain and channel it to protect the others. I look nothing like the body I wear -- dark skin and hair instead of lighter, stocky instead of slim, male instead of female. I am myself anyway.

I am Mira. My first thought was to hide, to occlude, deceiving Mindflare as he worked. I spin illusions in the open air. I am the moon to this body's sun, straight white hair and ice-blue eyes. I am a woman drawn to women: this much of me is truth and not illusion.

I am Clarity. It was mine to understand Mindflare and act to block his goals. My gifts concern the thoughts and emotions. I am neither masculine nor feminine, but androgynous, and it is not flesh but intelligence which attracts me. Sometimes, though, it is hard to tell where I end and others begin.

I am Ham. I was born fighting, made to strike back against Mindflare. With my mind alone I can lift and throw things. This body is wrong for me. I am tall and muscled, black-haired and olive-skinned. I am handsome, too, a man who wants and is wanted by men.

I am Clement. I came forth to fix what was broken by Mindflare. I heal what damage I can. I do not mind hiding my auburn hair and softly padded shape inside this shell. It is only the hearts of men that I desire, not their bodies; but men do not care much for a man as awkward as myself. So perhaps it is better this way.

I am Maze, and not Maisie. She who was born in this body, died under the onslaught of Mindflare's power, leaving only memories behind. My birth was less bloody but more violent, made to deal with the aftermath of the attack and the hovering superhero Savoir Faire. I handle the social obligations, fake being Maisie because it is expected. I keep everything secret and safe. It helps that I look like her: the same tinted skin and lovely feminine form. But my eyes are green to her brown; my hair is short electrum-blonde, not long curls of honey. I still desire men, I think, but it takes me longer than it did for her. I hardly know who I am, but this I know: I am not Maisie. I am someone new.

We are Damask. This is our story.

* * * 

Notes: 

This character was inspired by a comment under my "Stacking vs. Not Stacking" post.  I thought, gosh, that would make a terrific superhero.  So Damask is a six-person multiple system in a multiracial female body.  I also thought it would be fun to start at the very beginning, with the origin story, so "Cut to the Quick" gives a subjective view of that.  It will take a while for the members of the system to discover each other and their respective powers, learn how to get along, and find their calling.

Multiple systems are people with more than one soul sharing the same body.  This can happen in a variety of ways. Some multiples are healthy, others not, just like any other group of people -- although the proportions are skewed because extreme trauma can cause splitting.  Below are some resources on this topic.

"MPD for You and Me" and "Rude Questions for Looney-Brain" are two excellent nonfiction comics by Loony-Brain, a multiple.  They present an excellent overview of what it's like to share a body and have people think that makes you a freak.  There are some great discussions about being multiple, writing multi characters, and multi abuse too.

"Multiplicity: The Missing Manual" is a big wiki section about various kinds of multiples, their challenges and solutions, and related topics.  "The Layman's Guide" similarly talks about the nature of multiple life.  "Healthy Multiplicity" is an archive of websites and other resources by and about plural people with a positive view of their condition.

"Astraea Glossary" lists some terms and meanings related to multiple systems, their experiences, and related matters. People use different terms and that's okay.  Often a term has special positive or negative meaning for certain people; it may fit some but not others.

Here are some tips on how to treat a plural person.  I don't know if it's written by a plural person, but it aims for non-judgmental and practical advice.

What used to be called Multiple Personality Syndrome is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder.  Some people consider this reasonably accurate; others find it inaccurate or at least incomplete as an explanation of multiple systems. An official reference is included here for sake of completion.  Trauma can cause splitting, so there are resources for "DID and Healing."

Sometimes the members of a system have trouble getting along.  Keane becomes the system scapegoat.

United Front Boot Camp explains how the members of a multiple system can learn to function in a healthy manner.  There is nothing inherently wrong with being a plural person; it's only a problem if headmates can't cooperate enough to handle everyday life.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-06-25 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh, dear. You've started a new series for me to get sucked into. I'm not sure whether to be delighted or terrified. This needs new words.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-30 02:25 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Delirrified? Terrighted?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-06-25 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baaing-tree.livejournal.com
When you've got this system up and running together, I'm tempted to write a crossover with them and Tank, my system superhero.

Ooo...

Date: 2013-06-25 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
That could be fun! Take a look at my Terramagne setting notes so far, and see if you think our conceptualization of superhero worlds is similar enough to fit ... or if not, we could chuck one or the other of them through a time/space rift.

I like the idea of having more than one of a kind, especially if it's going to Bechdel neurovariant characters by putting them together and having them talk about something other than their mental state.

I'm just imagining the look on some poor supervillain's face when he shows up with two thugs and thinks he has the heroes outnumbered, only to find out the odds are more like, what, twelve to three?

Re: Ooo...

Date: 2013-06-25 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baaing-tree.livejournal.com
Hmm, I'm not quite sure if the worlds will mesh. Battle The Universe takes place in a superhero universe where people try to sciencify everything, even when it's something they have no idea how to actually explain. They won't call it 'magic' they'll call it 'quantum entropy manipulation' or some such nonsense. It's also pretty human-limited, so flying horses (unless genetically engineered by a mad scientist) or Greek gods would be really unusual. (Unless they rationalized it as someone dumbass with powers trying to CLAIM he was a Greek God.) It also errs on the side of realism--budget and time management is a BIG concern with a lot of small-time heroes.

In BTU, people with powers aren't uncommon, and like in Terramagne, they often just become super park rangers, super accountants, whatever. Superheroes, however, come in two very distinct flavors: the big-time, and the small-time. The small-time are not recognized by the police, are often viewed as troublesome vigilantes (and indeed, there are problems with some vigilantes doing things like trying to assassinate a corrupt politician, being overly brutal, etc.) and don't get paid. The big-time are sort of like reality television; they're supported by the society around them, but it's a media circus, and all their costumes and monologuing and such are enhanced for drama and entertainment purposes.

My system superhero, who goes by the costume name of Tank. They started small-time as a blue-collar worker in Chicago, then lucked into the big-time with the team Law and Justice... until they were forced to come out multi to avoid blackmail, at which point Law and Justice kicked them to the curb, leaving them in a huge pickle financially and occupationally.

What do you think? Enough room to mesh?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-08-03 11:33 am (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl, laughing with her eyes closed. (!Me happy)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
Oooooooooooh. I can see why it could be considered spoilery, but I think it reads like an excellent introduction too. And it certainly helps make more sense of Cut to the Quick. I kind of wish I'd read them the other way around now to see how that would've affected my reading of the poem.

*bounces about* Yay for a new series! (I find the older ones a little intimidating when the poems are all spread out the way they are even when I have landing page links to guide me. :/ *pokes her brain*)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2013-08-03 08:02 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl in a gingham dress looking at the viewer over her shoulder. (Cage not for me)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
You can always go back and reread them later.

Exactly. ^-^ Not when I've got the ones I've read still fresh in my mind, though. (Are the three I read the only ones up on DW or did I just manage to miss you posting the others completely? I wouldn't be surprised by the latter. ><)

Sorry that the big series seem daunting. There's another recent one, Walking the Beat, on the Serial Poetry page.

Not your fault, really. I'm just already struggling incredibly to keep up with online reading nowadays, so while I try to read people's newly posted pieces at least vaguely within a decent timeframe I'm not yet at a point where I'm comfortable going through big backlogs as well. The fact that a lot of your poetry stands fine on its own is actually pretty helpful to me since I don't mind reading things out of order where I can. ^_^ And hopefully I can get caught up this month. That would be lovely.

That all said, have you ever considered compiling some ebook collections of (parts of) the bigger series? I don't know if it'd be worth your while to do, though, so mostly I'm just curious what your thoughts are on that as an option.

mpd/did as healthy

Date: 2014-09-28 09:43 am (UTC)
meowdate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meowdate
This is a very interesting perspective on DID. And on prose poetry?
Thank you for sharing this work.
Shira
Tell Your Story Date (aka MEOW Date): 28.9.12014 H.E. (Holocene/Human Era)

Re: mpd/did as healthy

Date: 2014-09-29 09:37 am (UTC)
meowdate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meowdate

I'll be interested to see how Damask progress(es?). To Community, Shira 29.9.12014 H.E.

Re: mpd/did as healthy

Date: 2014-10-01 06:40 am (UTC)
meowdate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meowdate
Will have a look, when I recover from the nomination of Spanish Petrol baron to head climate change -not European, so I can't do a damned thing!
p.s.
As a friend finds MEOW too militaristic, I am changing to TellYourStory -but it seems that the LJ s/w does not allow namechanges, so I may register a new account here.
Sorry for ranting
Shira
Date Universelle: Dimanche, 1 Octubre, 12014 e.H.
http://universalcalendar.eu5.org/

Re: mpd/did as healthy

Date: 2014-10-01 07:45 am (UTC)
meowdate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meowdate
>Nothing wrong with militaristic if that's what you want. It's your blog.

Yes, but I want to make an impact, and I am not sure I can do that without listening to 'more moderate' heads.

And I feel so tired of going it alone. Of of feeling alone.
Peace,
Shira
1 October, 12014 H.E.

Re: mpd/did as healthy

Date: 2014-10-01 08:05 am (UTC)
meowdate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meowdate
Thanks
hugs
s.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-31 09:15 pm (UTC)
pinkrangerv: White Hispanic female, with brown hair, light skin, and green eyes, against a background of blue arcane symbols (Default)
From: [personal profile] pinkrangerv
aaaand I'm hooked. :p This is brilliant. It reminds me of some of my more interesting disassociative episodes--bipolar can mimic other disorders, and disassociation is a favorite trick with my brain. I wish Maze didn't have to pretend! She should be allowed to be herself. With all the different hair colors, I wonder if maybe they'd all like to play with hair chalk?

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-11-01 02:50 am (UTC)
pinkrangerv: White Hispanic female, with brown hair, light skin, and green eyes, against a background of blue arcane symbols (Default)
From: [personal profile] pinkrangerv
...You know, I think of myself as a shapeshifter, too? Like, my soul sometimes has a different shape than my body, and my personality is VERY fluid. A lot like what you describe, only I've never had any training...o.O This is cool and weird all at once.

I saw! I got up to, what, them figuring out they had superpowers before my migraine hit. The memory gaps must cause a lot of problems, plus they don't seem to have the whole 'WE ARE PACK' imprint my brain gives every single facet of my personality. It must SUCK for them.

LOL, if I remember to get online I will! :p

(no subject)

Date: 2016-09-24 02:50 am (UTC)
callibr8: (CanDo)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
>> We are Damask. This is our story. << [/LAW and ORDER]

I'm picturing this, starting from the top, as follows. Each headmate's self-description is done as a voice-over by a different actor, while a montage of protagonist's-eye-view scenes, where we see thon interacting with others *as" thon's unique self, is shown. The monologue multilogue culminates in all of them together saying the last two sentences above, while onscreen we see the headmates get merged/superimposed from left/right/top/bottom of screen, and Damask's body steps forward. I just wish I had the contacts and cinematography skills to manifest what i see so clearly in my mind, in the real world!

Re: Wow!

Date: 2016-09-24 09:01 pm (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
Oh yay! *bounce bounce bounce*

voiceover / montage

Date: 2016-09-27 01:05 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
>> I'm enjoying just imagining it. <<

I'm delighted that I could describe it clearly enough so that you could!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-09 11:01 pm (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: Text icon: I can't believe we're still protesting this shit. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
HA! We went looking through the tags and found them! :D

I'll have to pass on to my headmates that we now know where the Damask poems start. Also, that is a really great superhero origin story, and though we know it is a bit of post necro, we're squeeing. And we look forward to reading more of this series to see how people get along.

Also, you found resources that even we didn't know about and we've been out since 2007 or so. Holy crap. Please do accept this crown of awesome.

-Jace

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2017-02-09 11:49 pm (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: Text icon: I can't believe we're still protesting this shit. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
Yes. It really really does take info from the horse's mouth. Also, you were spot on with the journalling.

When we were first figuring things out, and let's be honest we're *STILL* figuring things out years and years and years later), one of us left a letter, introducing himself and very politely asking for others to please do the same and leave him descriptions of themselves. We were on an assistive device with a Braille display at the time and a folder structure like any computer has pretty much. But we wanted to organize letters into threads, so what he did was he labeled his first letter with a number. Then everyone after him used a number and a letter. Like 9, 9A, 9B, 9C etc. And if he replied to anyone, it went 9A1, 9A2 etc. Actually! It was very much like the comment outline format on DW!

Thank you for all the awesomeness you do.

-Jace

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