Saturday, April 16, 2016

Quick Thoughts - "Ey Who Kissed the Sun"

So if you didn't know, I have a new SFF poem out now at Eye to the Telescope: "Ey Who Kissed the Sun."

This is only my second SFF poetry publication (the first appearing at Strange Horizons back in December). Apparently, like with short fiction, what I do well is mixing a bit of smut into things. Which I am completely okay with. I mean, I have SFF poems that have nothing to do with sex or queerness and maybe someday I will sell those too. For now I will admit I really like writing about sex and about longing and here's a poem that explores both.

The story for this poem is actually kinda funny. It was originally a different poem entirely, and then when I saw the call for this issue of Eye to the Telescope I decided to expand that other poem into a longer piece. The previous poem became the first of five parts of the narrator's journey through a world that had lost the sun and the various encounters they have along the say. "Ey Who Kissed the Sun" is technically just the third part of that longer story. Which is cool although the decision to break up the poem was a difficult one because I don't really know what to do with parts 1-2 and 4-5 now (parts 1-4 were the narrator meeting different people and part 5 was sort of a coda). I suppose I could write up a completely new part three and probably tweak part 5 and see if I can't still sell the whole thing. Or I could wait until I get rights back for this poem and try to sell it as a reprint? Poems are weird.

But the poem. As I said, there's some story missing in this part. The sun has disappeared and the narrator has been travelling around. It's a poem about borders in some ways, and leaving and being left. The narrator is left in part 1, leaves someone in part 2, and here in part 3 there's more of a mutual departure because the narrator realizes they can't be part of a very vital part of the titular character's life. Part 4 begins to bring the narrator to a more stable place before part 5 offers up some vision of a happily ever after. The work as a whole is titled "Those I Found in the Dark." And for me it was a way to explore bisexual desires and relationships. I don't gender the narrator but I do the characters in each section (female, male, genderqueer, male) and part of what I didn't want to do was to class each of those relationships only by pairing. If the narrator is male, for instance, I didn't want there to be any "oh, he goes from straight sex to gay sex to queer sex to no sex (the part 4 relationship is not sexual)" because really regardless of partner this is all expression of bisexuality.

But I am rather super excited that even this section of the poem is out, and with such a great ToC. I've reviewed poems by many of the writers who I appear with and it gives me a swell of pride to appear in such company. And maybe it will help me be more confident about sending out poetry. I'm a slow and infrequent poetry writer, but it was what first got me into writing (really terrible middle school poetry ftw!). So yeah, thanks for reading!

All the best,

Charles Payseur

No comments:

Post a Comment