The ship is tilting
Into the rough waves
The ecstatic shouts of pirates
Can barely be heard
Over the rumbling
Of the darkened clouds
A sliver of orange sun
Has cracked the sky
And shines on the
A pile of pirates with
The beaming captain on top
Holds a message in a bottle
To the screaming sky
He shakes off the men
That claw at his feet
Scrambling for secrets
The sky strikes the bottle
Surging through the pirates
As the tilting ship is swallowed
By the hungry waves
The bottle floats away
Glistening silver in the sliver of sun
Waiting to be found again
I hope my speech is as singular as the lip prints I was given at birth, the lie detectors that refuse to work.
And I know you gave up your Cinderella story to knit parchment for my tongue—woollen. Kept your gown and glass slippers in a toy box too small for them. I haven’t played dress-up in years.
I hate the word ‘skin’; try to rip it out of the embroidery falling from your (knitting) needles. I hate the word ‘skin’; you tattoo it behind your ears, tell me taunts are only dangerous if listened to.
You captured my sentences into a shawl last night, insisted they kept us warm from the bitter cold of solitude. We agreed that anger is evil and hot, but loneliness freezes the joints quicker than arthritis.
I hope my unprinted mouth speaks words so honest, even veils cannot refute them.
You’re wearing your after-midnight shoes. I haven’t dressed up in so long.
By dawn there’s nothing but me, my half-finished stories, and the lingering sense that we were just dancing with delusions all through the night.
That unlit cigarette burned into my memory, snapshotted in a single, wide-eyed moment. It was the beginning of everything, every image that came after, the sentence that pulls you into the story before you know what’s happening, burning like drowning, your lungs can’t find air but like gravity, they don’t seem to need it.
The thunder crashes through my chest, and mud sticks to my hands and the bottom of my shoes, weighs me down as I move toward you, with your hair sticking out from underneath your baseball cap.
My name on your lips is lightning; it slices the sky open.
In the age of doom poetry,
I want to open a verse,
with a line, a smile, that feeling
of lilies popping in my chest—
Can the poem remind me of little loves?
When I’m sobbing in my room
with the lamps as quiet
as the footsteps in the balcony,
can the poem talk to me about cupcakes?
Does it even know about cupcakes?
Does it know that a cupcake is more
than the sugar and the cream and the rainbow sprinkles
the cupcake is a dream a baker had one morning
as they tasted a breakfast somewhat lacking.
Can the poem talk to me
about the creativity
that went into my love handles?
Will the poem spin stanzas
about the music in a coffee shop?
I want to know about the personality
behind those obscure indie songs
I Shazam on my phone as they spin,
their stanzas in my head.
I want to feel the little love
of a stray dog sending me a cheerful tail-wag,
uncaring of whether I am murderer or memelord.
I want to remember there’s trust
in even the littlest of lives,
and to them I may be a new friend
or even a dinner ticket.
It’s okay to be either.
Don’t tell me more about patriarchy
I hear enough, please.
Just tell me about the rain.
I want to hear the sound of its downpour from your lips.
I want to remember those little boys
ripping off their shirts dancing
under a sky grey with possibility.
Tell me about the little love
that goes into choosing an outfit,
that creates that cliché rose bouquet,
that breathes in the hug of a warm blanket.
Remind me of the love we don’t notice,
the love that goes through you like dark matter
a love you discuss in theory,
a love you forget even exists.
And I know, I know,
little loves won’t keep you safe at night,
they won’t worm into the spaces
between your bones and muscles,
they’ll remain as distant,
as the culture wars you fight.
But I know, I know,
little loves are the details
to the portraits of our lives,
little loves are those moments
we smile even though we aren’t sure why,
little loves are the candles
we keep in the kitchen cabinet,
just in case we need them some day.
Have some KakaIru fic recs! These are all stories I think are underappreciated, so maybe there’s something here you haven’t read yet! Must-reads are marked with a *
Someone’s Always Waiting by ownedbyacat | 8165 words Iruka has a unique bloodline limit that allows him to wipe others’ memories, but at a cost. Beautiful ambience and a good plotline. http://archiveofourown.org/works/2840624
*Knowing Me, Knowing You by Josey (cestus) | 16,254 words Body swap! With some awesome plot, and a really amazing exploration of chakra and its uses for different types of people. http://archiveofourown.org/works/648846
Fire Inside by Aythli | 19,868 words Magic!AU. Featuring really cool medical magic, tattooed Kakashi, and magic!swap wherein Iruka gets control of the Sharingan. http://archiveofourown.org/works/1882488
*Voltage running through your skin by megyal | 1158 words The genital torture’ tag is too harsh - this is hot! Features creative uses of Kakashi’s lightning chakra. http://archiveofourown.org/works/120038
How does sharing your work, Like Cor Corand feel to you? Does it take courage? Does it feel like it just has to be shared? (Also, thank you for writing, I've really enjoyed it so far!!)
Hello anon! I’m so happy you’re enjoying it! :D
Yeah, I do. Cor Corand started as a coping mechanism during the nightmare that was the Trump election and what I saw was a horrifying turn to ultra right-wing thought throughout the world. Cor Corand is basically the Worst Country. It is an amalgam of places with terrible human rights records: Saudi Arabia, USSR, Nazi Germany, Apartheid South Africa, and of course, British Raj India. Cor Corand conceals the terrible treatment of its citizens under a mask of culture, luxury, wealth, and splendour. It’s a fuel exporting country, so of course the rich are very rich, and the poor are completely downtrodden.
At the same time I hate left-wing extremism as well. Particularly on the internet, you see a lot of these extreme socialism/communism memes (most of which glorify communism or at least socialism, systems that have led to disaster across the world, and personally for my country, near financial-ruin–all this without actually understanding how dangerous ideologies can be if taken too far), and a general trend to reject anything that doesn’t toe the leftist line.
This isn’t just a leftist problem of course. Any ideology, and I do mean any, taken to an extreme, is dangerous. Look at what’s happening in Venezuela right now. They’re Socialist. Look at the poverty in the US. They’re pretty darn capitalist. No one ideology can fix the world.
My point is, I felt a desperate need for middle ground, and Cor Corand became that middle ground. It is ultra right (racist, with ruthlessly capitalist policies and a tendency to glorify companies to an extent that they aren’t even questioned for all the people they exploit - Keid Akalith Solutions or KAS, being a major example.) But it is also under the growing shadow of Ultra Left ideology (this will come up later, but hints of it are already there in the chapters out, particularly with regards to Mercury Alpheratz.)
Cor Corand is a battleground for ideas. It is a country rising towards a boiling point, and you have these characters who are adding flames to the fire.
Race is a pivotal part of Cor Corand. It is at the very core of the story. The Altairs are a fictional race purely because I wanted to elevate the themes away from real world conflicts (where usually it’s POC vs white people), but the oppressed races are templates for real racism worldwide. The Lacertans, the oppressed, include Indian-ish (Indians from India, since that’s where I’m from), who are Lilans, you have black people who are called Hana, Niirenians who are Asian, Bodarats who I imagine are Arab, and Arrelles, who are white–except I don’t dwell on the Arrelles much because in the real world, white people are ones with more privilege and are not oppressed. They’re only there because the Altairs are fictional, and I wanted to hit that point harder. A normal human being, any normal human being on earth, would be, in Cor Corand’s terms, a Lacertan.
Is this a very very broad classification? Absolutely 100%. I’m not saying, and would never say, that the Lacertans embody all the problems POC face, purely because the pool of races I’ve chosen to write is very, very small. But Cor Corand isn’t attempting to solve racism. Cor Corand is a template for discussing ideas, and the ideas I want to discuss are, among other things, Islamophobia (which is a major theme), police brutality, hypersexualisation of POC women, among others. You can see why these themes in this story would correspond to situations faced by real minority communities across the world.
Cor Corand subverts tropes. It subverts the Poor Little Rich Kid trope (or it will eventually). It subverts the typical “boring IT Indian guy” trope because Tamm is going to be central to the story and very powerful. It, I hope, also subverts the “Muslim terrorist” and “Angry Black woman” tropes among others. And it does so by engaging with them directly. I want to write them and break them apart from the inside. It’s challenging and it demands patience from the reader, I know. But it’s how I’ve chosen to deal with the theme of race, because while representation is vital for POC in non-race-related narratives, it’s also important to talk about these stupid stereotypes we build up of other communities.
I’m sorry for the essay, but I thought you had to know the context before you knew why I feel so strongly about the project. I think, for me anyway, it is a vital story to write. I’ve spent almost a year working on the world and I struggle every day finding artist to help me with it. I’ve spent a lot of my (very little) money getting the website up and running, and as I upload each chapter, I battle with this constant sense of “nobody cares about the story”, because it’s silly, and Cor Corand is a huge project. Everything has a slow beginning.
My point is, this project is like a child to me. I intend to nurture and protect it into adulthood, no matter how many years it takes. I know the characters more intimately than I know my best friends, and it is essential to me that their story is told. If nobody wants to read it, that’s too bad, but that still won’t stop me from uploading chapters every day. I feel this in my heart very deeply: Cor Corand needs to exist. I need it to exist.
This is the first in a series of vignettes I’ve written for characters, many of whom haven’t even been introduced in the story yet. There are no spoilers, though, but a few lines of context will be given wherever necessary. These vignettes have been inspired from writing prompts I found online.
The context here: Altairs are a fictional race that dominate and oppress over groups of people collectively called “Lacertans”.
Prompt: Caught Red-Handed
Wisties liked cherry pudding. Tiny flies with silvery wings and six eyes, they hovered around orchards and flowerbeds, sucking on fruit residues and nectar. They hatched in the morning and died by sundown, spending their short lives eating and copulating as only insects could. Scientists knew much about wisties. They knew that if swarms of wisties showed up over a patch of grass, it meant that there would be a fresh bloom. Farmers saw them as little good luck charms, because, as scientists so correctly stated, wisties thrived in only lush conditions. Farmers knew a lot.
But they did not know wisties liked cherry pudding.
Rigel did too! But he liked wisties more, so he sat on the steps outside his house holding his bowl out to the friendly little insects. A couple settled on his arm, but most went for the bowl, hovering over it with great curiosity.
Rigel’s world began and ended with the garden fence. Zetasi was a dangerous city for a rich Altair child, and even at eleven, he wasn’t allowed to leave the house alone.
Zetasi wasn’t an interesting place. Ugly and rundown everywhere except the richer parts, its greyscale streets bored Rigel. There was no place to play, and everything had to be done indoors. He much preferred the family’s large country homes, up in the mountains where he could run amok and play with as many insects as he liked. When they were younger, his friends were afraid of his strange interest. Now, at eleven, they found Rigel’s fearlessness cool. He was the person you consulted if you wanted to throw a bug under a teacher’s shirt.
“Rigel? Rigel, there you are!” the backdoor opened with a great swing and his mother let out one of her typical, drama-queen shrieks. “What are you doing with your pudding? Oh my goodness!” One swift slap and the bowl had clattered to the grass.”Disgusting behaviour,” she muttered before dragging him inside.
He turned his head just in time to see the wisties dive towards the fallen cherry pudding. Despite his mother’s bad temper, Rigel grinned.