I hope you enjoy this fortnight’s shockingly glitchy video. I can’t believe how many of you Helicon West people have learned to flash-step teleport. I’m sure this will aid you in survival situations. Mountain lions are notoriously bad at catching things that can shift through space.
Oh well. At least the audio works. If you’re prone to seizures, I recommend you find a nice picture to look at while you listen to our readers at the All Open Mic Helicon West.
This time we’re going to do two writers. First, Sarah Anderson. She wrote a piece called “Dear ISIS.”And I’m trying to figure out who the real audience of the poem is because I’m not sure it’s really ISIS. I think it’s…a rallying speech. You know that part of a story where the hero’s all victimized and defeated and they’ve got no other resources to call on and it’s the absolute darkest hour? And they look around at the ashes of the city and their friend bleeding out, and they realize they’ve got all this power so they stand up, carefully, because their leg is broken. And they start talking. Then the Big Bad laughs. The hero keeps talking, a little angrier, and remembers about their willpower and anger and love and suddenly the villain’s in for it because the hero doesn’t want to lose.
Well, the speech the hero makes isn’t for the villain’s sake; it’s for the hero. They just need to remember their power and goodness before they can act. My favorite line, probably the pinnacle of the poem, is: “When we speak we yell and when we stay quiet there is a thundering silence.”
ISIS is complicated, and the whole world is still uncertain how to broach it. So I hope that whenever we figure out what to do, we can be heroes. Kind, good, strong.
And here’s the second author, Millie Tullis.
Millie wrote two poems, and I’m going to talk about her first. It’s called “While Watching a Documentary on Female Serial Killers.” Obviously, it’s pretty dark, but it’s also got the electric loveliness of a bioluminescent beach because we’re just nestled into the serial killer’s perspective like a donut into coffee. It starts at 45:00.
Here, have some (hauntingly) cool quotes from the poem: You turn on the lights and she glows. Make her sputter like a sparkler. Turn the woman into battery, into light, electricity to read after dark.
So you hear these things and you think, “Gosh, that’s beautiful. Better not tell anyone I think this poem about torture and death is beautiful or they’ll think I’m a psychopath.” Allow me to ease your mind.
People are full of light. When a star supernovaed billions of years ago, it formed rings of energy and matter that became the Sun and the planets and the meteor belts and every living thing on Earth. We’re made of stardust and light. People are full of energy, potential energy. We’re all catalysts of ideas, and our minds and our bodies burn with molecules like fire and pictures like lightning. So when the serial killer murders, trying to expose a person’s spark, it’s horrible, and beautiful. Like an inferno that chars out weakness. And if you pay attention to this poem, you can see the fire of womanhood, humanity, and desire, through the most unlikely eyes.
-Jessica, your friendly neighborhood Helicon Blogger