19 June 2012

Tuesday Poem: Flash Fiction: The Giant Space Iceberg

Then the giant spaceship hit the giant space iceberg. The passengers all rushed to the poop deck with their smart phones and their digital cameras. "Look," they said, "a giant space iceberg!"

"It's called a comet, dummy," said the other passengers.

The giant spaceship began to list dangerously. People ran around in the foreground, while other people ran around in the background. The lifeboats, suspended on giant space davits, listed dangerously too.

The well-drilled robot crew put the emergency plan into action. "Everyone to the lifeboats," they cried. "Robots and little robots first!"

After the robots were seated in the lifeboats, there was still room for some passengers. "I am not sharing my lifeboat with a crew of mechanicals," protested one dowager. "They stink of machine oil."

So she didn't.

The lifeboats were launched. The remaining passengers aboard the giant spaceship looked a little anxiously at one another. Then they jumped.

The captain was the last to jump. He waited until the flash-frozen corpses were out of sight, then he got his spacesuit out of his locker, put it on, and jumped himself.

As luck would have it, he landed on the comet, the outer layers of which were now ablating severely. A chunk of ice the size of a fist broke off the comet and smashed through his faceplate. As the air poured out of his suit, the bacteria who had been inhabiting his body leapt onto the comet's surface and began to burrow inward.

“I wondered when you guys would turn up,” said the comet, and set a course for the third planet from the sun.

Tim says: Friday is National Flash Fiction day, so in honour of that, I have posted one of the flash fictions I've written recently, some of which have been published in the excellent Flash Fiction. (Not this one, though - this one is new.)

The Tuesday Poem: You can check out this week's flash fictions and poems at the Tuesday Poem blog.

11 June 2012

Tuesday Poem: In A World Without Pity, A Town Without Fear

Come 8pm we're locked away
with cable porn, sport from distant shores,
and Evony.

High heels click
down summer-softened streets.
Treble voices flutter tired leaves.

The women are on the prowl
with no quarry but each other.
If I were free to leave

I would watch them hit the bars,
dolled up, in packs —
at least, that's how they used to be.

Debbie does Dallas, then Dannevirke.
In last night's game, Drogba shoots, and scores.
My fighter levels up from Level 2 to Level 3.

Time drips from the clock's tired hands
and slides to pool in the male-proof lock:
a simple trick with DNA.

She'll come home and maybe she'll want me.
If I could, I would take her now.
If I could, I would walk away.

Credit note: First published in Men Briefly Explained (IP, 2011).

Tim says: My first two collections, Boat People and All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens, both have a section of speculative poems - some specifically science fiction, and others that pose (and even attempt to answer) various "what-if" questions. This is a what-if poem from Men Briefly Explained: what if men were locked inside at night?

The Tuesday Poem: You can check out all the Tuesday Poems at the Tuesday Poem blog - the hub poem in the centre, and the other Tuesday Poets' work linked from the left.