My black thinks it’s so educated.
My black forgot how to speak
its own language, but
my black thinks it’s the poem.
It thinks it’s political.
It thinks it’s a statement now.
My black drove through Harlem.
My black saw Africa in a textbook.
My black saw the Caribbean on a cruise.
My black’s still waiting on the boat.
Tonight’s Cantab feature is 2011 Cantab team member & current Academy of American Poets staff member Maya Phillips! These are stanzas from her poem “Possession, Or The Things I Don’t Say About My Race,” from her chapbook Doomsday Sermons of a Subway Prophet
The Alchemist blinked at the open window, trying to piece together what had just happened. Beside her, her apprentice looked as though he weren’t sure whether to be amused or horrified, and had come up with some dire expression of both at the same time.
“My boy,” said the alchemist slowly, “did you add anything to the dough?”
“I don’t think so, Master,” said the apprentice, fidgeting, “But I did fall against your spice rack while tidying. Something may have fallen in without me knowing.”
The alchemist frowned and made a mental note to herself to examine the so-called spice rack later and make sure nothing particularly unusual had been lost. The apprentice was a good lad, a selfless lad, but this was not the first time something had gone horribly awry when he wasn’t paying attention.
“Come along then, my boy,” said the alchemist, “We’d best catch that thing before it frightens someone to death.”
“Perhaps I shouldn’t have decorated it quite so much,” the apprentice allowed with a faint blush. “But he looked so becoming in his little icing jacket, Master! I couldn’t just let him go unclothed!”
“No, I suppose not.”
Despite the fact that two humans, even if one of them is only half grown, have much longer legs than a homunculus made of gingerbread, the Gingerbread Man had a bit of a headstart on the alchemist and her apprentice and was already well on his way down the hill. He reveled in his freedom and chortled merrily, thinking of all the mischief he could inspire. With a nimble leap, the Gingerbread Man cleared the fencepost he’d been walking along and found himself in a yard full of chickens.
“Good day to you,” said a hen, and this would have been a horrifying and exceedingly unusual turn of events anywhere else, considering chickens aren’t supposed to know the language of people. But between the crafty Neighbors in the wood and failed experiments by the alchemist up the hill, farmers had long since ceased taking notice of farm animals behaving oddly. If the cow wanted to greet the dawn from the barn roof, so long as she still gave milk, why not let her?
“Hullo, old Henny Penny,” said the Gingerbread Man, which was very rude, not least because the hen’s name was Georgette and not Penny. “What are you doing?”
The deities as elderly folk living in a retirement community.
- Mr. Earthshaker is an old grandpop, the kind that spends most of his days napping on his front porch. Popular with the local kids. If you wake him up, he’ll be happy to tell you all the stories about “the good old days” when he was young… but be warned, once he gets going he’ll never shut up! Still doesn’t own or know how to use any modern gadgets.
- The Tidelord is the kooky doomsday prophet type, always shouting about the latest projection for the end times. Ironically, his predictions for the stock market are always startlingly accurate, and most of the community looks to him for advice on retirement investments. It’s only his apocalypse predictions that are off-kilter. Has a massive aquarium full of fish that he adores and sometimes even talks to.
- Mr. Windsinger(please, call me Joe)’s yard and front porch are absolutely covered with windsocks, wind chimes, pinwheels, and those obnoxious animal wind spinners that look like flamingos and things like that. His backyard is full of dozens of birdfeeders. Really a child at heart, he’s very goofy and the one who’s always excited and trying to get his neighbors to Do Fun Stuff. Has a habit of using a leafblower to push fallen leaves into his neighbor’s lawns.
- Mrs. Firebringer is the tough one. Still works out despite her age; she could beat anyone to a pulp, and would at the first opportunity. Loves to quarrel pick fights. Unexpectedly crafty; she always has a table at the neighborhood craft fair, usually full of bizarre metal trinkets. Is always talking about how they used to make things better. Goes everywhere with her metal detector.
- Doc Icewarden is the one who goes to all the lawnsales. ALL of them. His collections are legendary: he’s got stamps, postcards, vintage toy cars, antique china, old signs, articulated skeletons, puzzles… you name it, he’s got a collection of that’s probably worth thousands. If only he’d let anybody come in to see. Also the person who jacks up the air conditioner, then walks around his house in winter coat and too many scarves.
- Mr. Stormcatcher is the retired CEO, and though he’s well-intentioned, he has a habit of treating neighbors like employees. He’s the one who always wants to be In Charge of something; if he gets wind of any project or event, he will take over and try to run the thing as well as you will let him. The most caught-up on modern technology, the whole neighborhood goes to him to explain how to use the latest gadget.
- Miss Lightweaver is the local busybody and gossip; she’s always got the latest news on Mrs. So-and-so down the street, or that new couple from two blocks over, or… Also runs the neighborhood lady’s book club, which is surprisingly popular. Also writes a column in the local newspaper. Also writes the community newsletter. Don’t engage her in a history or philosophical discussion, she will argue passionately for days. Definitely an extreme couponer. Owns several cats.
- Ms. Shadowbinder is that creepy neighbor who always has her lights out and she never really comes out. While everybody is pretty sure she still lives there, the only hard evidence anyone can (jokingly)produce is that nobody has ever seen her leave. Gets way too into Halloween; her door is always the one kids have to dare each other to knock on, but even though she’s old she still gets all dressed up and gives out the best candy.
- Ms. Gladekeeper is the former flower child who somehow never got the memo that the 60′s are over. She still dresses and talks like a hippie and always attends the yoga classes. Spends hours in her garden and always wins Most Beautiful Yard. Very friendly, but visitors beware - she makes the most vile-tasting “medicinal” tea. But drink up, it’s all-natural and Good For You. Only ever eats what she calls “all-natural.”
- Plaguebringer(don’t you dare call her a miss) is the one whose front yard looks like a junkyard, full of rusty old cars and barrels and bits and spare parts, “because I might need it someday.” Her neighbor Gladekeeper is always campaigning to make her get rid of it; Plaguebringer refuses. Still stocks her backyard bomb shelter from the Cold War, genuinely worries about disease outbreak or atomic warfare and claims to be prepared for anything. Has the meanest dog in the neighborhood.
- Doc Arcanist is the neighborhood eccentric. Nobody really knows what he’s up to, these days; it seems every week he’s into something new. The kids at the school like him, because sometimes he’ll bring in weird science demonstrations. Has a massive telescope on his back porch, spends way too much time looking through it.
An unfinished compilation post on everything about the beforus ancestorverse I’ve been messing around with for ages. Intention is to eventually have art and descriptions in here for all of them for easy viewing purposes. I’ll edit in more descriptions and such later on when I have the time.
This is for @2momsmakearight‘s X-Files Revisited Challenge (better late than never) Word Count: 2525
Dana Scully, at some point, had lost count of how many times she’d sat in a hospital lounge, waiting to hear whether or not Mulder would be okay. She considered restarting the count at midnight, if she had not yet discovered his prognosis. The world outside was nervously celebrating the upcoming New Year, but for Mulder and Scully, it was just another day, another hospital; standard operating procedure, in their particular line of work.
All year, the fervor over the start of a new millennium rose, bringing every type of doomsday prophet imaginable. She couldn’t turn on the television without seeing another ominous warning about everything grinding to a halt as 1999 gave way to 2000. There was even talk of apocalypse, which caused Scully’s eyes to automatically roll towards the heavens, every time she heard that word.
It was almost fitting, in a way. Mulder could be considered a trendsetter.
Christopher Columbus is probably one of the most well known explorers to have sailed the ocean blue, as taught in many grade school classrooms in America throughout history. To many Columbus was also a tyrant whose greed led to the extermination of native Caribbean islanders and set up a system of exploitation in the Americas. Columbus indeed was a multifaceted man, with many aspects of his legacy that cause controversy. One of the least known aspects of his life was his work as a doomsday prophet, one of many in 16th century Europe.
In 1501 Columbus began work on The Book of Prophecies with the help of a monk named Gasparr Gorricio. The Book of Prophecies was a collection of religious revelations from Columbus he believed he had experienced throughout his life. Among the revelations was a description of how the apocalypse would occur and when it would happen. According to Columbus, the end of days would occur when four things happened.
1. Christianity must be spread across the world.
2. The Garden of Eden must be found.
3. A world emperor must come to power.
4. The Holy Land must be reconquered from the Muslims.
Columbus believed the world was created in 5434 BC and that the world would only last 7,000 years. So according to Columbus the end of the world would come in 1658. Incredibly Columbus believed that it was his voyages (he made four in his lifetime) which kicked off a chain of events that would lead to the end days. For example;
1. He believed that he had discovered the Garden of Eden when he sailed past the coast of Venezuela.
2. His discovery of the New World caused massive Spanish colonization and conquest of the Americas. In the 16th century Spain was the dominant superpower of the world. Columbus believed that it would be a Spanish monarch ruling a world wide Spanish Empire that would constitute the “world emperor”.
3. Spanish missionary programs would lead to Christianity being spread across the world.
4. Columbus still sought a viable route to China, which he would undertake in his fourth and last voyage. Columbus believed that when he discovered the route, it would provide a means from which a Spanish Armada could travel to and conquer the Holy Land.
Christopher Columbus completed and published his book in 1505, shortly after he had completed his failed fourth voyage. He died a year later at the age of 54. The year 1658 came and went with little apocalyptic happenings.
Here’s some life-changing advice my grandmother once whispered to me at a birthday party: “You must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration,” she said, while sewing the same phrase into a cross-stitch. “And remember that he who controls the spice controls the universe.”
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, the key is not to confuse “Fear clouds your thoughts” with “The world is free from danger.” The world is dangerous as shit! But fear shuts down the rational-thinking part of your brain, and these problems need rational thought, goddammit.
And here’s the other thing I wish every human could get tattooed on their forearm at birth: “Fear makes you easy to manipulate, and every powerful person knows this.”
Therefore, be skeptical of the guy constantly bringing you warnings of impending doom. The salesman and the doomsday prophet are both selling you something; they’re just blowing different flavors of smoke up your ass.
I watched a video today called Doomsday Prophets about the American “empire” collapsing in the future. It makes me paranoid. However, it does bring up an important point: we must stop our dependence on fossil fuels. I believe in Hydrogen fuel cells. It seems expensive initially, but the costs in the long run are lesser. Economies of scale.