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I filed suit for your soul today.

You felt the service in your bones.

If by tonight you don't respond,

Your spirit will become my own.

Who will stop the judgment nigh

And represent you in your plight?

The counsel who will face this court

Cannot be hired in noonday light;

So summoned, come, quaking pro se

And foolishly fight this complaint.

The jury picked to hear your plea

Will not be stricken of my taint.

No verdict cap or tort reform

Will curb the cost this judge demands

Once you've demurred and left your fate

Unbalanced in his scaly hands.

I sued you for your soul this eve

And placed a lien upon your bones;

No matter how just your appeal,

Your spirit will become my own.


Mike Allen's most recent project is the offbeat fiction and poetry anthology MYTHIC. He's also the longtime editor of the speculative poetry journal Mythic Delirium. A new short story, "The Music of Bremen Farm," just appeared in the first issue of Cabinet des Fées, and his newest poetry collections, Disturbing Muses and Strange Wisdoms of the Dead, are both available from Wildside Press. More of Mike's poems can be found in the Strange Horizons archives.



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
26 Sep 2022

Would a Teixcalaanli aristocrat look up at the sky, think of Lsel Station, and wonder—with Auden—"what doubtful act allows/ Our freedom in this English house/ our picnics in the sun"?
I propose that The Expanse and its ilk present us with a similar sentiment, in reverse—a warning that for all the promise of futurism and technological advancement, plenty of new, and perhaps much worse futures are right before us. In the course of outrunning la vieux monde, we may find that we are awaited not simply by new worlds to win, but also many more which may yet be lost.
where oil slurped up out of the dirt, they drink the coffee
Science fiction is a genre that continues to struggle with its own colonialist history, of which many of its portrayals of extractivism are a part. Science fiction is also a genre that has a history of being socially progressive and conscious – these are both truths.
Bring my stones, my bones, back to me
If we are to accept that the extractive unconscious is latent, is everywhere, part of everything, but unseen and unspoken, and killing us in our waking lives, then science fiction constitutes its dreams.
they are quoting Darwish at the picket & i am finally breathing again
Waste is profoundly shaping and changing our society and our way of living. Our daily mundane world always treats waste as a hidden structure, together with its whole ecosystem, and places it beyond our sight, to maintain the glories of contemporary life. But unfortunately, some are advantaged by this, while others suffer.
Like this woman, I am carrying the world on my back.
So we’re talking about a violence that supplants the histories of people and things, scrubbing them clean so that they can fuel the oppressive and unequal status quo it sustains.
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By: Cat T.
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