Warning: This poem contains some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes awkward sex/gender issues, vulgar language, dueling, arson, torture and mutilation, organized crime, police corruption, betrayal, police violence, rioting, insecurity, and other mayhem. The tone is largely upbeat, though. Please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
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Warning: This poem incorporates concepts and descriptions from people with various mental issues. Not everyone may feel comfortable with the same terms or choices.
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Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! Today's theme is "Poke ALL the bigots in the eye." I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.
Click to read the linkback poem "We Will Fade into You" (11 verses, standalone).
What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?
Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.
In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "Poke ALL the bigots in the eye." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.
I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:
1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.
2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated. There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.
3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).
0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.
4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here. See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"
5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network. Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall. Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl. If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published. If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.
Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem. One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal. Comment with a link to where you posted. "We Will Fade into You" has 11 verses and is a standalone.
1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."
2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function. (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.) These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.
3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity. While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category. Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those. I've also posted a list of other donor perks there. I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.
4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.
5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl. These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size. If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row. Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day. If donations reach $300, there will be a half-price sale.
Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "Poke ALL the bigots in the eye." I'll be soliciting ideas for bigots, victims, upstanders, ordinary people, the women that men don't see, QUILTBAG folks, people of color, the misunderstood, outcasts, nemeses, bullies, abusers, oppressors, slavers, psycho bosses, troubled relationships, supervillains, superheroes, activists, poking a bigot in the eye, fleeing in terror, picking on people, resisting oppression, speaking truth to power, upsetting applecarts, facing your demons, feeding the right wolf, punching up, protesting, lunch counters, bars, reservations, slums, schools, playgrounds, counseling offices, government buildings, the Oval Office, dark alleys, oceans, liminal zones, mad science labs, The Tower, battlegrounds, graveyards, other places of power, internalized oppression, bigotry, racism, other isms that should be wasms, manifestos, identity literature, picket signs, disruptions, unusual vulnerabilities, minority languages, history written by the losers, radical transformation, the unspeakable, the inescapable, the indestructible, the nature of humanity (or lack thereof), hubris, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.
I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations. Linkbacks reveal verses of "We Will Fade into You." The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
One of my autistic fans sent me a message saying that they had put off reading an article on their Passion topic, so they could read something I wrote on a totally different topic.
Did not see that coming. :D 3q3q3q!!!
WARNING: This poem (and the series in general) contains material that many readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers and also triggers. The setting is a dystopia which is horrible for everyone, with rampant racism, ableism, and other oppression. It features self-bullying, self-harm, pictures of explicit sculptures (although they're amazing as art), and other mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read.
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WARNING: This poem (and the series in general) contains material that many readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers and also triggers. The setting is a dystopia which is horrible for everyone, with rampant racism, homophobia, and other oppression. It features dubious consent, internalized homophobia, pictures of explicit sculptures (although they're amazing as art), and other mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read.
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WARNING: This poem (and the series in general) contains material that many readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the warnings, which basically consist of a solid wall of triggers. The setting is a dystopia which is horrible for everyone, with rampant racism, ableism, and other oppression. It features graphic sexual exploitation, objectification of disabled people, pictures of explicit sculptures (although they're amazing as art), and other mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read.
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Participation was lower this time, with 19 comments on LiveJournal and another 57 on Dreamwidth. There were no new prompters.
Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"All These Things Woven into Something"
"Battles and Wars"
"A Conversation Between Body and Soul"
"A Matter of Opportunity"
"Miasmas of the Past"
"Morning Waits at the End of the World"
"Split Between Two Lands"
"Until the Restoration"
"What Didn't You Do"
"Yon Sèl Lang Se Janm Ase"
"Lead Us in Peace" (Clay of Life, April 18, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl)
"Insha'Allah" (Polychrome Heroics, January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl spillover)
"The Habit of a Midwinter Festivity" (Polychrome Heroics: Officer Pink, April 22, 2017, outside prompt calls)
Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for May 2, 2017. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.
Currently sponsored poems have all been posted. Donors this time include: janetmiles, Anthony and Shirley Barrette.
The Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so "Insha'Allah" was the free epic. We also made the $250 goal, so that's one tally toward a bonus session.
The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
I have a linkback poem, "We Will Fade into You" (11 verses, standalone).
If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts. I am now.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
There are still verses left in the linkback poems "Testing the Metal," "Dangerous Refuges," "The Marble and the Sculptor," "Picking Up the Litter," "The Golden Peaches of Peace," "Leaves Upon the Water," "The Quick Brown Fox," and "Lead Us in Peace." Linking to this page will reveal new verses in whichever linkback poem you request.
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"The Black and the Red"
It talks about the history of red and black Seminoles, and how they feathered out after the Fledging.
54 lines, Buy It Now = $20
The people of Roluma history is not whole, but splinters, and nobody really comes out of it intact.
66 lines, Buy It Now = $33
the people of Roluma know,
it's that time is a fragile thing.
"Rewriting the Narrative"
From this I got the free-verse poem "Rewriting the Narrative." Just because you lost the war, doesn't prevent you from retelling history in your own image.
28 lines, Buy It Now = $15
"We Will Fade into You"
It explores what the Neanderthals left to the Cro-Magnons.
26 lines, Buy It Now = $15
Continuing with the Iron Horses, I wrote a diptych:
"The Place Where the Journey Begins"
The Iron Horses rescue a young man tangled in a barbed wire fence.
763 lines, Buy It Now = $382
the open plains, motorcycles
eating up the endless miles.
They came together, broke apart,
and then gathered again like
a herd of buffalo dividing
around hills and ravines.
"We Are All Related"
The Iron Horses take Kenzie to a safe place for recovery.
1091 lines, Buy It Now = $546
into the driveway as carefully as he could.
The ride had been nerve-wracking at times,
and they had to stop frequently to check
on Kenzie whom they carried between
their bikes, but they managed.
If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. I've had a few requests for this and the results have been awesome so far. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.
Underlined prompts have been filled.
PRIDE BINGO CARD
|Dysfunctional||genderfluid||Cuddling||Public places||Nonphysical Passions|
|Experimentation||gay||Queerplatonic||questioning||Praise or Humiliation|
|Helplessness||Courting couple||WILD CARD||Punishment||demisexual|
|Nonsexual Touch||lesbian||queer||Dominance & submission||Consent is sexy|
Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Calliope and Vagary are in a mess of a bond, which complicates their consent for anything involving each other. They're trying to make the best of it, and making some progress, but it's just not a great situation. So there is awkwardness, fumbling, social anxiety, tripping over all sorts of emotional baggage, Vagary's low self-esteem, Calliope's standoffishness, boundary issues, trust issues, reluctant touching, gender issues (one of the few things Vagary handles gracefully), physical tension, crappy dancing, telepathic spillover, bystander assumptions, trying not to cry in public, knowing when to give up, reference to bad therapists of the past, Vagary's perspective of their initial bonding, and other angst. They do make some good progress, though, and nobody gets punched in the face or groped in personal places. Special thanks to the several readers who realized that dancing was liable to be a disaster. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
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Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Shiv is trying, but the inside of his head is still a mess. The poem features incarceration, mixed feelings, fumbling efforts at coping skills, poverty, discussion of (beneficial) weight gain, sensory overload, choice paralysis, flashbacks to child abuse and neglect, struggling to choose clothes, trust issues, fear of the future, and other angst. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
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