valis2: Stone lion face (drawn default lion 3)
[personal profile] valis2
I've been ruminating about fandom and fannish culture and this is what came out. This does not really have a connection to it but...that's what I've been thinking about lately.

Keep in mind that I am not a poet. I am a bad poet in poet's clothing. ~800 words. I have borrowed lines from The Odyssey.




Siren

Our island is small.

Littered with bones, bleached skin. Lovers past; the wind whistles through their skulls.

There is nowhere to go on this island.

Small and flat, nothing but grass, rust-brown stains of flowers. We are here, we have been here, we will be here. We sing, we pull sailors close, bring them from their ships to the shore, stumbling, mouths open.

We dream the same dream; we sing the same song. You have not heard before

such honey and milk.

Days meld into the next, the hazy light of winter becomes the spring. A ship and then another. Again the dead calm smothers them, holds them against the water, again our song, thrumming in our bones, violet and linen, we thread our needles with care and hook them through the chest to catch upon the breastbone. It takes so little. We promise them their future, what we know, we promise them such things, milk, wisdom, a crust of honey to melt on their tongue.

One of the sailors was pretty, light eyes, now rotting on the shore. Our harmonies build and fade, silence presses

pressing down

we are mute again.

His eyes were green, but they were brown, they were both at once, they were unsettling. One thing cannot be another. We sit in a circle, holding hands, waiting for the next ship. Our day reduces to sun and moon. Night

and morning.

The next ship will come and we must be ready.

His eyes were two things at once, green, brown, flowing together, impossible to separate.

We look at each other so we do not see the island, so small. A flower grows in the center, almost blood in its color, the yellow center accusatory.

Our hands grow weary and our eyes are dull. We are restless

we must sing.

The sun is high when we sense it. A ship, sped along by favorable winds. It takes all of our skill to still the wooden beast. Our voices come alive

honey

milk

the things we know.

We sing of the things in their marrow, in their blood. Our promises reverberate and fill the air. O you, most admirable, most glorious...

They are not listening, their ears bound with wax; their hands heft oars. They mean to escape us, to outdistance our song.

Except one.

He is bound to the mast. Dark brown eyes and a velvet heart,

and now I am singing, my sisters look frightened, I am singing to he who has only one color, I am singing

of my life on this island,

of my bone-strewn borders,

of the suffocation and the regret. My sisters' song dies in her mouths and blood runs down her chins.

I sing to him of what I know. There is no honey and milk; there is only death here. I do not know his future. I wish to swim in his blood, suck his marrow dry, lick his fingers until they are white and bleached like driftwood. I wish to hold him and sing my own song to him, a song with one voice, a long and lilting melody with my sharp tongue, I wish to tell him how my hands ache in the cold, how the rocky dirt will grow no trees. How the flowers taste of salt and the sea is my prison.

I will not sing of his home and his child. I will not sing of a crust of honey, or of milk. I am standing on the shore, my feet wet with salt water for the first time in a century, and I am pouring this into my voice, I am singing with my teeth and my throat and the inside of my eyelids, I am no longer violet and linen, I am filled with something new and not my sisters. I raise my voice and the island is becoming slippery, I fall to my knees, but I am still singing. The boat is sliding past now, nearly gone, and I see him straining at his bonds, desperately struggling. His eyes are full of thoughts and there are no flowers there. I burn for him then, burn to be on his ship, to know two things at once, to know two things separate and yet alive and blooming with yellow blossoms and not with dead men's bones. I call again to him, my mouth does not know the shape of this word but I say it, and he is shouting and writhing to be set free

as I say it again and again,

hope,

hope,

hope.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-19 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dark-cygnet.livejournal.com
Bad poet. (?) Why do you lie like that? Impossible girl. This? Is lovely and visual, music of words that flow like water. I love it and you should too. It made me think of several of my OTPs, layers peeled back and some RL things too. This is beautiful, thank you for sharing it with us. ::swansmooches::

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-19 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
ooh! Thank you! I do love it, absolutely, but I have seen true poetry and I know that this isn't quite that, you know? I'm so glad that you liked it and it touched you.

*lionsmooches* Have missed you, sweetie!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-19 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaelle-n-gilla.livejournal.com
Oh wow - wonderful! Odyssey from another PoV :-) How very beautiful. I love your way with words.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-19 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!! So glad you liked it. At first, it was supposed to be a mermaid singing, but then I reread the relevant passages, and realized that the sirens were trapped on an island and that they were not mermaids, not in Homer's story, at least. And it all grew from there. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 01:01 am (UTC)
hardboiledbaby: (baby heels)
From: [personal profile] hardboiledbaby
That's pretty amazing, babe. Strong images, powerful emotions. Thanks so much for sharing *hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
Thank you so much, sweetie! I really enjoyed writing it soooo much. It was a good ride. *grins* I first thought of a mermaid wanting to swim in someone's blood, and it just progressed from there...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tjs-whatnot.livejournal.com
of my bone-strewn borders

GUH! I just...

This is just...

SO AMAZING!

If I suggested you submit this somewhere, would you listen to me?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
I'm not sure about submitting things--I mean, it's here, publicly on the internet. Do people want something after it's been on the internet?

I mean, I've just finally gotten myself past the idea of ever submitting my poetry anywhere (which is why I decided to go ahead and put it on LJ); it's just so difficult to get stuff published, particularly when there are true poets out there. But sure, go ahead and suggest! :)

eeep!! Also, thank you SO much for the kind words!!!
Edited Date: 2011-03-20 02:22 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tjs-whatnot.livejournal.com
Heehee, I know all of these things, and I agree with all of these things. It's just that I am a reader at a lit mag and so when I see my friends write things that I love, I very much want them to submit so I have lovely things to read and try to get published. :))

Anyway, the place is called Battered Suitcase and I promise it will be the only time I bother you to submit. I know there are a lot of people who just write to write and enjoy sharing with friends but aren't looking for anything more. I respect that.

And you.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
Aw, you're so lovely. I don't mean to be a bear about this; I just genuinely have little hope of getting into mags, and I really do want to write this and share it, y'know?

You're absolutely sweet beyond measure to suggest it and I can't thank you enough.

Have checked out the link and bookmarked it. Thank you so much! It does look interesting, and they don't seem to be scared off by things that have appeared on a personal blog/journal. Interesting!

*hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tjs-whatnot.livejournal.com
A little secret: a fair few people on staff have fandom-type connections. :)) They GET how this journaling shit works. ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 03:29 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-20 08:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catsintheattic.livejournal.com
Wow! That was powerful.

I loved the perspective of the siren, how different the story was when told through her eyes. I like how she was so much part of a group of sisters, Odysseus forced the truth out of her and singled her out. What does that say about solidarity? What does it say about infatuation?

And I loved the flow of the words, I could imagine a siren talking like that, singing like that.

Beautiful and captivating, dearest. Keep on writing! *hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-22 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
I am so glad that you commented! I'm happy that you liked it. I really have been thinking about this poem for ages. I love how she is unable to understand two things that are different yet melded, because she is three of the same, and yet suddenly it comes to her in nearly a magical way; Odysseus is not receptive entirely to the sirens' flattery, but her flattery, by itself, begging to be saved, is exactly what will move him and make him nearly tear the mast down to get to the island.

Thank you so much!! I'm so glad you liked this. I do have more brewing in my brain. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-22 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashkevran.livejournal.com
Wow...the images here crash and collide in my thoughts like the waves on that island's shore. They are powerful and sensual, bleak and beautiful - all in a flow that pulls like a tide.

I truly love and admire the shifting colors of the eyes, the sailors and their fates - all tangled up in the call of a siren - never allowing escape and always promising more than a heart can hold.

Magnificent - and I mean that...V2 - I mean it.

Keep it up - more more1

-Angel

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-22 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
Wow, your comment is poetry! heh! I love your way with words, too. :)

I'm so glad that you found something in the poem! I really did hope that it would connect with people and it makes me so happy that you liked it.

The siren's story is such a sad one, and I have been thinking of it for ages. It was great to finally write it.

I have more stuff brewing. Hopefully I'll get it posted soon...

poetry

Date: 2011-03-22 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penball.livejournal.com
What a powerful, deep poem...who said you cannot write poems??

Well done and please go on!

Re: poetry

Date: 2011-03-22 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. I've been thinking about the siren for ages and I'm glad that I wrote it finally.

*hugs*

I will definitely be sharing more!

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valis2

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