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12 February 2013 @ 02:48 pm
I'll be reading with Chuck Joy at Mac's Backs the day before V-day -- here's a poem from the book.  By the way, this poem is Rhysling eligible:


Tohoku Tsunami

by Mary Turzillo

Taro finds a sea turtle

belly-up, helpless, tormented by thugs:

he rights it, cradles, gives it back to the sea.

Another sea turtle, immense

as from woodcuts of monsters devouring Kyoto,

walks out of the tide, finds Taro

dumbstruck, afraid.

But Fisherman Taro, doused with sea-spittle

grows gills.  

Come, come with me. The huge turtle

named Ryujin, sea kami,

tows him to ocean's root:

a palace refulgen

with kanju, chrysoberyls that make the tide fall.

and manju, alexandrine plates that make the tide rise.

The kanju are scales

the manju also

are scales.

The palace is a dragon.

In its deepest coil, Ryujin presents

Princess Otohime.  My daughter.

the turtle you returned to the sea.

Otohime's beauty sponges away Taro's recall

of fishing and Miyagi, his home.

Taro, Otohime's consort now,

lives in a palace.  It stirs now and then,

scales as chrysoprase, corundum, coils serpentine.

The drago

Ryugoju, seabed, origin, center,

coils jealous around princess and fisher.

Taro yearns to see his mother.

Otohime (salt tears) agrees, gives him a box.  Do not open.

He forgets to ask why.

The drago

ready to sleep years, centuries, aeons,

releases Taro.

Taro walks inland,

finds Miyagi's streets

buzz with cars, light-blaze, women in brief skirts.

He asks

have you heard of Taro, the fisherman?

Urashima Taro?  Yes.

A legend.  Walked into the sea

to rescue a turtle. Never returned

but his footprints on the beach were lined with jewels.

Taro asks of his mother.

That was long ago, they say.

She has been dead three centuries.

He sinks down.

All he knew is the dust of burnt offerings;

he is wayfarer in an arid, metallic land.

Bereft on a city curb,

he remembers the box

It will bring back my world.

He opens:

an echoing dragon sea-heart opens

The dragon's jewel-scales flex. First the kanju,

call the sea back to the dragon

so the tide sinks,

and folk wonder has the sea abandoned us?

The dragon flexes again

and his belly-scale manju rippl

and the water rushes inland.

All is awash, lights put out,

temples cars people crushed

as an anthill engulfed

until finally the vat opens

where the folk grow electricity,

irradiating Miyagi

with billion-jellyfish poison

and, not having sea turtle shells,

folk tumble, sicken, and die.

The sea washes Taro back

to the palace-dragon,

which coils, then yawns.

The princess closes the box.

But no man

can live three hundred years

Taro ages and fails, blood staining salt water.  He dies.

The princess weeps.

The dragon, flood-weary, sleeps.


"Tohoku Tsunami" first appeared in Lovers & Killers, Dark Regions, 2012


I'll be reading from Lovers & Killers, mixed with other poems new and old, at Deep Cleveland.  That's
•  Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour  (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deep-Cleveland-Poetry-Hour/107558519321001) on November 9, at  
• MugShotz Cafe (https:///www.facebook.com/pages/MugShotz-Coffee-Shop/221862961176638), 6556 Royalton Road in North Royalton.  Mugshotz is set a bit off the road, across from North Royalton Schools, beside Pizza Hut.  For some reason, it's not on Google Maps.  It's an awesome coffee house, however. Don't miss the boba tea and embarrassing mug shots (the police line-up kind) of Frank Sinatra and Elvis.  

LOVERS & KILLERS is about serial killers, treacherous love, all the stuff of nightmares, stuff you love reading about, but don't want to happen to YOU.  
Free entertainment, and an open mic.  Please come and read some flash fiction!
Write on,
Mary T.
Current Location: MugshotZ
Current Mood: heh heh heh
15 July 2012 @ 11:10 pm
My poem in December's NEW MYTHS, "The Legend of the Emperor's Space Suit (A Tale of Consensus Reality)," won third place in the Rhyslings. https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/the-legend-of-the-emperor-s-new-space-suit Congrats to the winners, Shira Lipkin (short form) and Megan Arkenburg (long form), and also to the others who placed, Erik Amundsen, Lyn C. A. Gardner, G. O. Clark and Kendall Evans.

11 July 2012 @ 02:06 pm
I can add Polish to the list of languages in which my work is now available.

My poem "Going Viral" (originally in Star*Line: http://www.sfpoetry.com/starline.html)  has been translated into Polish, by the brillant Mariusz Leś, and with a wonderful illo! Have a look:

Current Mood: translated
If you are a writer reading this, and if you have fond memories of Clarion, or any other writing workshop, or -- heck -- even if you always wanted to go to Clarion but haven't so far -- consider signing up for the Clarion Write-a-Thon. Here's the information:

We've signed up 63 writers so far
Help us meet our goal of 150
writers by June 24!

What is a write-a-thon, anyway? It's just like a walk-a-thon. But instead of walking, we're writing, and instead of making pledges per mile, we're making pledges per word, chapter, or story. Writers get support, encouragement and motivation, and the option of joining a team with a writing mentor! Those who care about the writers in their life get a way to show their support. And money is raised for a literally fantastic cause -- the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop. All donations are made through The Clarion Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN #20-3114945.

Everybody wins!

Writing begins officially on June 24, and ends on August 4, same dates as the 2012 Clarion Workshop. Just by signing up, you'll get the bonus of providing moral support for this summer's Clarion Workshop students.

Writers, register now, set your goals, and line up support. Or get more info...   http://clarionwriteathon.org/writerstips/

Wait a minute -- sign up even if you aren't a Clarion grad or hopeful -- it's a way to get yourself to write a targeted number of words.
Current Music: Queen, We Are the Champions
07 January 2012 @ 08:37 pm
poems published in 2011

Short poems

  • "Dumb as a Rock," (haiku) Star*Line, 34.1, Jan/Mar 2011

  • (untitled), Star*Line, 34.1, Jan/Mar 2011

Long Poem

  • "Four Poems," The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Oct. 2011:
    • Cow

    • Joshua Tree Honeymoon

    • One Day

    • Italian Mama

  • “Lady M,” Best of Ohio 2011 (Ohio Poetry Day 2011)

  • "You Dropped a Metaphor,” Best of Ohio 2011 (Ohio Poetry Day 2011)

reprinted 2011:
07 January 2012 @ 08:30 pm
Short fiction published in 2011

  • "The Beast Erect," The Worlds of  Philip José Farmer 2, Meteor Press, 2011.
  • "Beauty, or the Beast," The Fifth Di . . .  June 2011, Edition 13, #2--June 2011.
  • "Dreams of Blood and Milk," Ladies of Trade Town, ed. Lee Martindale, January 2011.
  • "Handyman" Fear of the Dark, ed. Maria Grazia,  Horror Bound Magazine, February 2011.
  • "Impactor and the Papal Bull," Oysters and Chocolate, June 2011.
17 December 2011 @ 02:41 pm

We saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows last night.  I rate it much higher than many of the critics, and here's why.

I loved the use of classical music. The Don Giovanni scene cutting back and forth from three different simultaneous action sequences was amazing, and how cool that Prof. Moriarity can sing Schubert.   One thing maybe some critics didn't get was the way we saw the fight scenes as they played out in Holmes' head, and then how they played out in reality -- much like the way he played chess.  I think some viewers -- and even critics -- didn't get this, and found it confusing.  

 I liked the fact that the supporting characters, especially the women, were not idiots.  Mary Watson was shown helping the police with Moriarity's code, for example.  I wish I had a copy of the script -- I would love to know if the chess game was "real."  My husband said the notation they were using was an anachronism. but I thought it was period.   I loved the stop-action in the forest scene where "Little Hans" was making holes in trees and maybe in people, too.   Splendid acting on the part of all six of the major characters.  The nude scene with Mycroft was hilarious, and further developed Mary's character -- she didn't scream or faint, just kept her eyes averted in bemused shock.   

The plot was fired out in relentless speed -- but it all made sense if you payed close attention.  (Apparently some critics weren't paying close attention.)    I think this was an intellectually demanding movie -- if you missed a trick you could get lost.  Your mind had to move quickly enough to follow Holmes' and Moriarity's reasoning.   Loved it.  What more can I say?

Current Location: living room
Current Mood: approving
Current Music: The Commandant's Aria in Don Giovanni
03 August 2011 @ 05:17 pm
 Does anybody else resent the incredible indignity of having a serious post defaced by a spammer?

My post about my son's burial has received multiple attacks from people (yes, people are behind this crap, not robots) trying to sell timeshares and fake viagra.

I know it's random -- the people running the bots can have no way of knowing that they've invaded a very somber space -- but they still deserve serious opprobrium.  

The infernal gall!
Current Music: Maxwell's Silver Hammer
01 August 2011 @ 12:14 am

 Hugo voting deadline is tonight at 11:59 PDT.  

The  novella category is very strong, but I think Geoff Landis's "The Sultan of the Clouds" clearly leads the field in all the virtues of classic science fiction.  You may well have read it, since he's my husband, and if you know me, you probably know him.  But just in case you haven't. you have just time to read it before the deadline.   It's at www.geoffreylandis.com/Sultan.pdf.

In case you think I'm prejudiced, consider that maybe I married him because he had the soul to write this story with all the elements of great science fiction, including not just accurate and amazing science and plot twists, but also an account of thwarted love, plus a fabulously believable and vital woman character.  

Partly.   He had other virtues, too.

In any case, whether you favor his story or another, please vote.