Fundamentally Curious

It’s an act so
immense, so apparently monstrous and yet
deeply personal that it’s
impossible to judge.
He erased himself, and all
those 8,000 souls, for

one woman.

Because he loved her.

There’s something
in that kind of love, something that asks
for so much
it can’t possibly be returned,

or ignored.

Taken from an AV Club review of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Children of Time”. “Possible” has been corrected to “possibly” in line 14. Submitted by Wesley Brown.

More Pigs Occur


The first thing we see
is a plastic trash bag
with some paper chains spilling out.
A man
in a green t-shirt grabs it and deposits it
in a dumpster.
A boy
on a bike watches him.
A man uproots
some plants in a greenhouse
and harvests the squiggling maggot-y worms in the potting soil.
He puts a couple of them into medicinal capsules. Mirrors figure

something happens to Kris.
The man
puts her under a spell. She sees, tastes, feels
and does whatever he tells her to, but she can’t
look at him because he says

his head is made of the same substance as the sun.

Her mind records
entire conversations, and the complete text
of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.
Another man collects, records
and plays sounds
and performs synchronous surgery on Kris
and a pig, apparently transferring a parasite
from one to the other, establishing
an indefinable psychic link
between them.

Kris encounters Jeff
on a train.
They connect. Their thoughts
get mixed up, which is to say that they’re both convinced
that some of their memories have been
appropriated by the other. Their conversations
in several different places at once, or perhaps
at different times
in the same place.

Or different times at once. Some orchids growing
on tree roots
by the edge of a stream
change color.

More pigs occur.

Some association
is evinced between them, Kris
and other somnambulists.

Kris is
and afraid.

From a review of the film Upstream Colour,, 11 April 2013. A few subclauses left out. Submitted by Wesley Brown.

What We Should Be Doing

We ought to be reading
poetry too
of course
and nonfiction

We should read
instruction manuals
legal documents
restaurant reviews and corporate newsletters

We should follow weird people
on Twitter
and go to lots of parties
and have lots of intense
and ridiculous
conversations with drunk people

We should go
home for the holidays
and argue with our families
and we ought to
to lots of music
and we ought to watch
plenty of television

We should eavesdrop
and we should gossip

We should probably be in therapy

We should probably drink
more coffee.

From “Most contemporary literary fiction is terrible”, a discussion about how literary fiction writers should improve their craft. Submitted by Wesley Brown.

The darkness and the light

A creature born
within the comforting anonymity of darkness

Awakens in the harsh truth of daylight

It squirms
in the glare
afraid of the light
that pins it to the chair like a needle through its heart

Its heart beats faster
Panic starts to creep into its soul

Does it understand?
Or is it so blinded by the light
that it can think only of returning
to the velvet cloak of darkness?

No matter

Perhaps it is better that it doesn’t realize
how close death has come

But make no mistake, there is no escape
It has reached the end, and soon it will die

It bares its tiny fangs
hoping for a chance to strike
to sink its teeth deep into the flesh of its tormentor

But that chance will never come

And somewhere
beneath the gleam of hatred in those eyes
lurks the certain knowledge of its impending death

And it begins to know fear

This is part of your guilt. You did this to me

And you don’t even know who I am

I wasn’t part of your war
I was an innocent

I’m glad that you remember
Don’t you feel guilty?
Don’t you feel ashamed of what you did

Indiscriminate killing
No sense of morality
No thought given to the consequences of your actions

That’s what makes us different

The creature’s diseased mind
cannot understand its plight
Its imagination is too limited
to perceive the truth

It cannot be saved

The creature’s cries grow louder
but no one can hear them

It’s time

From the lines of Silaran in Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode The Darkness and the Light. Lines with plot points in removed and punctuation stripped out. Submitted by Wesley Brown.