Size / / /

at last I see this conspiracy
for what it is: a temporal embezzlement

siphoning away my time for (life) (love) (you)
into phantom accounts opened
outside the borders of event and effect

murdering thieves         piss away my
precious moments to make their own hours pass
in blueblood gourmet leisure         depriving
my days of sleep, of spark, crammed full

of phone calls and supershriek demands and meals
crammed down on the fly         while I starve
for a second of rest they lounge in their
celestial sofas with all the time in the world
to indulge their whims and fleshy one night stands
(one endless night, stolen contraband)

no         cops to take the report
no         courts to condemn the crime
no         headsman to hew off their hands
I         must scheme and plot and turn vigilant
vigilante

make my own time, counterfeit the minutes,
stuff them in the cracks, pad here, pad here,
breaths of fresh air injected in the frantic

then once I've made enough room to move
grasp a length of time with my fingers         tie a knot

darling, I've reserved a loop         let's slip into and
spend a forgotten while         emerge
the same moment we left, sweaty and spent
and badly in need of a shower

could I make a double knot, could our circle eat its
own tail,
divide into a new stream with each choice
we make inside         the infinities together we so
richly deserve
all played out even before they begin?

but where, when have you gone         (the more
time I make, the less you have, slipping away
carried off in the stream)

whose time must we steal to have a future together?

 

Copyright © 2003 Mike Allen

Reader Comments


Mike Allen lives in Roanoke with his wife Anita, two rambunctious puppies, and a cranky old cat. By day, he's a newspaper reporter. In his off-hours, he edits Mythic Delirium, DNA Publications' poetry journal. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Absolute Magnitude, Altair, Weird Tales, and Strange Horizons. He is the author of two poetry collections, Defacing the Moon and the newly-released Petting the Time Shark. His previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. To contact Mike, email stoneoakcroft@infionline.net.



Mike Allen is president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and editor of the speculative poetry journal Mythic Delirium. With Roger Dutcher, Mike is also editor of The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, which for the first time collects the Rhysling Award-winning poems from 1978 to 2004 in one volume. His newest poetry collection, Disturbing Muses, is out from Prime Books, with a second collection, Strange Wisdoms of the Dead, soon to follow. Mike's poems can also be found in Nebula Awards Showcase 2005, both editions of The 2005 Rhysling Anthology, and the Strange Horizons archives.
Current Issue
30 Jan 2023

In January 2022, the reviews department at Strange Horizons, led at the time by Maureen Kincaid Speller, published our first special issue with a focus on SF criticism. We were incredibly proud of this issue, and heartened by how many people seemed to feel, with us, that criticism of the kind we publish was important; that it was creative, transformative, worthwhile. We’d been editing the reviews section for a few years at this point, and the process of putting together this special, and the reception it got, felt like a kind of renewal—a reminder of why we cared so much.
It is probably impossible to understand how transformative all of this could be unless you have actually been on the receiving end.
Some of our reviewers offer recollections of Maureen Kincaid Speller.
Criticism was equally an extension of Maureen’s generosity. She not only made space for the text, listening and responding to its own otherness, but she also made space for her readers. Each review was an invitation, a gift to inquire further, to think more deeply and more sensitively about what it is we do when we read.
When I first told Maureen Kincaid Speller that A Closed and Common Orbit was among my favourite current works of science fiction she did not agree with me. Five years later, I'm trying to work out how I came to that perspective myself.
Cloud Atlas can be expressed as ABC[P]YZY[P]CBA. The Actual Star , however, would be depicted as A[P]ZA[P]ZA[P]Z (and so on).
In the vast traditions that inspire SF worldbuilding, what will be reclaimed and reinvented, and what will be discarded? How do narratives on the periphery speak to and interact with each other in their local contexts, rather than in opposition to the dominant structures of white Western hegemonic culture? What dynamics and possibilities are revealed in the repositioning of these narratives?
a ghostly airship / sorting and discarding to a pattern that isn’t available to those who are part of it / now attempting to deal with the utterly unknowable
Most likely you’d have questioned the premise, / done it well and kindly then moved on
In this special episode of Critical Friends, the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, reviews editors Aisha Subramanian and Dan Hartland introduce audio from a 2018 recording for Jonah Sutton-Morse’s podcast Cabbages and Kings which included Maureen Kincaid Speller discussing with Aisha and Jonah three books: Everfair by Nisi Shawl, Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan, and The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar.
Issue 23 Jan 2023
Issue 16 Jan 2023
Issue 9 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
2 Jan 2023
Welcome, fellow walkers of the jianghu.
Issue 2 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
Issue 19 Dec 2022
Issue 12 Dec 2022
Issue 5 Dec 2022
Issue 28 Nov 2022
By: RiverFlow
Translated by: Emily Jin
Issue 21 Nov 2022
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