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for Stanley Fefferman

You like that every single word, image, and idea in my poetry has meaning and is put there for a reason, so when you ask about the plant in my poem and need to know more about it, its background, where it came from, whether it was a gift, I tell you that many years ago it was a seed in a meteorite that had travelled to Earth from another planet, an exo-planet that we now know as Dimidium, 50 light years away in the constellation of Pegasus, and it germinated, came into full bloom, and was lovingly cared for by a man who was regularly abducted by aliens, and during one of these abductions the plant was kidnapped by Somali pirates and then was knocked overboard in a howling storm. It washed ashore and was rescued by a Jesuit missionary and his wife. Years later the Jesuit died of toxic fumes while painting his semi-detached bungalow, and the wife, whose name was Constance, a Civil Engineer who could speak three languages, not wishing to be reminded of him, by which the plant, through no fault of its own, did, left it at the front door of a local home and garden centre, which, unbeknownst to her, was run by cruel botanists (who happened to be shape-shifting identical twins) who were ready to call it quits, because their business was ready to go into receivership due to incompetent management practices, the fickle markets, and a monsoon in the Philippines. When my girlfriend saw the shape that the plant was in, her heart went out to it, figuratively, and she bought it and brought it back to health by playing Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus for 8 voices, performed by The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, which was co-founded in 1894 to celebrate the opening of Massey Hall, and when we moved in together she gave the plant to me, a gift, a token of lasting friendship, a reminder that love endures, that love heals, that love can span solar systems, and love can bring two people together, despite everything. And how fortunate for me that I painted these walls blue two decades ago, capturing so delicately the mood I am in now. And what of the shape-shifting botanists, what made them so cruel? You may want to sit down for this.



David Clink’s poem, “A sea monster tells his story” won the 2013 Aurora Award for Best Poem/Song. David’s latest collection is: The Role of Lightning in Evolution (CZP, 2016).

Current Issue
19 Oct 2020

We wear the masks long after penguins have been extinguished. By now we are hauntresses, hordes of extinction shuffling along the city streets under the excruciating weathers of this brutal world we’ve inherited. Individually, we are called pinguinos. It’s something to do; the world is depressed and none of us have jobs.
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Noah Bogdonoff's “Ask Not What the Penguin Horde Can Do For You.”
I may be eyeless but I can see through the eyes of everyone and everything. My parents put cameras all over the house
By: Aber O. Grand
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Aber O. Grand's “Marbles.”
Fiction submissions will close for November-December 2020. This means that the last window for general fiction submissions in 2020 will be October 26-27. Get your stories ready or hold them until January 2021. Fiction submissions for the Palestinian Special issue will open in November 2020!
Issue 12 Oct 2020
By: Elisabeth R. Moore
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Stephanie Jean
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 5 Oct 2020
By: J.L. Akagi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Lesley Wheeler
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Lesley Wheeler
Issue 28 Sep 2020
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 21 Sep 2020
By: Aqdas Aftab
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: David Clink
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 14 Sep 2020
By: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Blackford
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 7 Sep 2020
By: Catherynne M. Valente
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Bethany Powell
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Bethany Powell
Issue 31 Aug 2020
By: R.B. Lemberg
By: Julia Rios
By: Sonya Taaffe
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: R.B. Lemberg
Podcast read by: Julia Rios
Podcast read by: Sonya Taaffe
Issue 24 Aug 2020
By: Leslie J. Anderson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Leslie J. Anderson
Issue 17 Aug 2020
By: Emma Törzs
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liz Adair
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Aug 2020
By: Anya Johanna DeNiro
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Laura Cranehill
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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