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[Entry 04.08]

Status reports archived. Previous reports noted in metered verse.

I open my prototype poetic endeavor:

And I find myself wandering a labyrinth of trees
this windwhisper night, surrounded by owls.

Useful to know: Specifics render the fear less fearsome. The darkness less dark. I tell you that the ratio of owls to trees leans heavily in favor of trees and that might prove calming. Know that each tree has its own Latin name. Taxonomy, order, the power of reason.

I begin my opus magnum in a dark night with owls, a metaphor for something specific. The owls, watchful; the forest, obscure. Owls hunt alone. My owls gather in droves and crowd the branches until the wood bows. The owls represent something other than owls?

I begin my dream in a forest. The night is obscured and rife with hoots and this is no longer a reasonable discourse. A tiptoeing approximation of wing-beats and chills. I warn myself, creep quietly enough that the leaf-meal won’t rustle, creep lightly enough that the twigs won't crack, that the owls will not hear me chanting Latin names of the trees in the dark—

[Entry 05.08]

Let the records show, I have theories and ideas about you.
The theories are drawn from experiments
wherein nothing is left to chance except Chance and
I promise I've checked the math.
The ideas are borne of musics, sudden lights, the trembling
behind my ribs when I am in close spaces or thinking of deep space
and the strangeness of time.
The theories are specific and do not hurt.
The ideas give more than just of themselves.
I promise I've checked the math.

[Entry 06.08]

You must know, my heart fulfills its chores
with metal-pounding-metal noise.
Aurorae, lights skittering over my brain,
my heart does its lively work and I tick.
Sometimes my skin is ill-fitted to the
glowing ingot pink beneath it, and my
once-fallen-white-hot-from-the-sky
heart within me is still molten but
efficient, useful, and my pulse beats true.

[Entry 07.08]

I imagine that I sit in a field near a power plant
while the sky rests into itself, quasar rich and I wonder,
how could I have said the right prayers?
Something happens to me. Clouds slow-loll,
cicadas rattle swansongs into the breath-held air
and I see that I am naught, I feel not and I want to
be sorry. But I am not. I am only bemused.

Or so I imagine.

I cannot have offered up to heaven
(which rests into itself, quasar-rich,
where nebulae slow-loll, where mysteries
escape through rips in space-time and
deus ex machina levers glint behind the shreds)
apt and proper petitions. But things are
skewed and hitched, overdue for repairs—
worlds threadbare, nasty innards of once
elegant solutions poking through the wounds.

Strung over unreckoned kilometers, power lines
unite pylons and more lines and pylons. I imagine I sit
in a field alongside the power plant and gaze
upon steely towers, my face mooning toward the
red warning-lights atop the converging gunmetal tiers.
I pray now to these, my tongue heavy and dull.
A whippoorwill sounds three stuttered notes.
Tower lights pulse, one—    two—    three. I write to you.
I swear I can hear the pylon metal hum—

[Entry 07.08]
/Anomaly logged.
/Anomaly Code: Bildungsroman

I open my novel (in which only 12 hours transpire) with a morning walk in the hydroponic garden on the aft deck and some Events of Great Pith And Moment take place but my novel ends with an opaque sky, owl-filled trees giving way to an alien basalt shore, oily winds skimming an ocean fathomless as the void (and the sense of never, ever having been). The ending is cathartic. A Journey From Morning Into Night; Or, Existence Darkly Sealed And The Ensuing Singularity is what I have named my novel and do not scold me for telling your truth or using your real name. The worst things happen in the beginning, the worst things happen in the false-sun morning in a garden that smells of life. And the ending, like a cadence in the tonic major, is a relief because the void does not ask, and the void does not tell.

[Entry 07.08]
/Anomaly logged.
/Anomaly Code: Unknown

should have been a satellite
sidereal messenger gunmetal star
steel-clad arms stretched wide to all space

should have been a satellite
sending pulses to listening ears in the sands
dry windless day by dry windless night

should have been a satellite
dragged by your heavy blue world
in a slow-seeming heaven of orbit, of void

[null]
/null
/null
Malfunction detected in the cracks between us.
Malfunction apparent in our lapses of faith.
Malfunction implied in this violent need.
Malfunction reports submitted




Once upon a time, there was a nerd who wrote about magic, mayhem, pew-pew, and space. In the real world, A.E. Ash is an editor for a mortuary science publications index and spends daylight hours categorizing the clinical, work-a-day business of death. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop but the most valuable lessons she's learned about writing she begged/borrowed/stole from the incredible weirdness of everyday life. You can find her work in Five Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly, and you can contact her on Twitter at @dogmycatzindeed or email her at dogmycatzindeed@gmail.com
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
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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!
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