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Content warning:

after Lorca’s “Romance Sonámbulo”

Ice, how I want her ice.
Ice cubes. Ice cream.
A thousand penguins in snow,
one octopus under ice.
The boss stares through glass at fog,
diamond eyes, pétillant lips,
ear lobes sparkling with ice.
Ice cubes, ice cream.
On my side of the walls,
melted people stare into screens.

Ice, how I want her ice.
Men dressed like penguins
march out platters of cubes
and pile them on a block of ice.
A polar bear plunges—rises,
a fish flapping between its jaws.
Who will light the fire?
She sits behind the walls,
diamond eyes, pétillant lips.

If only I could swap my vapor
for her diamonds, my s’more
for her salmon, my screen for
her view … Lava, lava,
I don’t know my own desire.
Only volcanoes and suns have no ice.

Kenton, your laces again.

Corkscrews and gum. The boss just left.
Let’s go look through her panes.
Let’s see those penguins
on the ice over the octopus.

Ice, how I want her ice.
Ice cubes, ice stains
lead us inside. Outside the glass
volcanoes spew orange-red embers
and mushroom clouds rain piglets
pelting the penguins in curlicues.
Out of sight beneath the ice,
the octopus is a semiconductor chip—
one icy eyeball atop eight icicles
soldered into the sea floor.
Ice, how I want her ice.
Ice cubes, I scream, I want more s’mores.
Eight thousand penguins in snow,
one octopus under ice.

Kenton K. Yee’s recent poems appear (or will soon) in Plume Poetry, The Threepenny Review, TAB Journal, Sugar House Review, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, museum of americana,, Constellations, Moon City Review, and Rattle, among others. Kenton writes from Silicon Valley, where he sleepworks in artificial intelligence.
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25 Sep 2023

People who live in glass houses are surrounded by dirt birds
After a century, the first colony / of bluebirds flew out of my mouth.
Over and over the virulent water / beat my flame down to ash
In this episode of  Critical Friends , the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, Aisha and Dan talk to critic and poet Catherine Rockwood about how reviewing and criticism feed into creative practice. Also, pirates.
Writing authentic stories may require you to make the same sacrifice. This is not a question of whether or not you are ready to write indigenous literature, but whether you are willing to do so. Whatever your decision, continue to be kind to indigenous writers. Do not ask us why we are not famous or complain about why we are not getting support for our work. There can only be one answer to that: people are too busy to care. At least you care, and that should be enough to keep my culture alive.
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