Size / / /

The Horseshoe Spread

Ten of Anvils

Past Influences

Engines of desire

roaming the lost highways

of muscular youth.

An agrestic collage

floating in a fishbowl.

The inversion fields

of an autodidactic summer

obsessed with guitar solos.

The pearl-handled revolver

prominently missing

from the oak mantel.

The Andalusian Dog, Major Arcana 12

Current Situation

The bewildered man

urges the palomino

up a burning slope

despite the handicap

of a thrown shoe.

Beneath a turgid moon

frenzied by outlaw pollen

the wings of a bird

echo in the corridors

of skyscraper dreams.

Traces of the alchemist

are found lingering

in the accidental streets

and forlorn curio bazaars

of a tourist Mecca.

The Edwardian Lion, Major Arcana 23, Reversed

Future Avenues

Red veins in a yellow sclera.

A long tale

of the cartographer's

miraculous fountain pen.

Extraordinary fireworks

in fields of feldspar and lace.

Nympholepsy discovered

in a reflective lake.

Proteus, Major Arcana, 9

Courses of Action

Enter with

the sun shot brilliance

of a polished knife.

Listen to plane crashes

on the acoustic gramophone.

Adjust the rearview mirror

until you see apothegms

swirling in your tailwind.

Swallow the chugging

freight train of your own

insistent verifications.

The Ten of Staves

Attitudes Of Others

The astronomer

on the far side of the moon

has never seen the Earth.

The aging ingénue

maintains her innocence

despite an immodest décolletage.

Your Dutch uncle

throws a surprise party

for a decadent valley.

The taxi driver

agrees to take you

to Lithuania.

The Knave of Clotted Cream, Minor Arcana

Obstacles To Overcome

The tautological torture

perambulated in

the calculation of ∏.

The borders of peripheral vision

as delimited by the right

hemisphere of the brain.

A towering bricolage

of torn ligaments

and distended limbs.

A Berkhausen dirigible,

circa 1937,

from the airfield at Dresden.

The Falling Sorcerer, Major Arcana 7, Reversed

Possible Outcomes

The archipelago of dream plastics

already ancient

in its pocked decay.

Outrageous success

in the arms of a statue.

Two griffins

resting couchant

before an empty throne.

Three spent shells

on the library carpet,

next to the broken flounder.

The hooves and bit

and the charred bones

of the burnt palomino.

A locomotive

arriving at the station

without its tender.

Whimsical viaducts.

Bruce Boston is the author of forty-seven books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read more about him at and see some of his previous work in our 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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