Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fish hair net

One thing that I continue to find interesting about playing on the irrealist side of the (tennis? fish? inter? hair?) net is that people who read speculative magazine and anthology publications often go on to chat and discuss them—I’ve published in many literary magazines and rarely had that sense of audience or received much feedback from strangers. But the first time I ever published a story in a genre/literary magazine—Argosy—I received notes from readers. From writers, even. What an idea! Later the story was reprinted in Northwest Passages. Now Tangent has reviewed the anthology, and I’m tickled to see that the reviewer found “An Incident at Agate Beach” to be her favorite of the 25 stories. That anthology may be a bit hard to find, but the story will be reprinted again in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 19 (2006).

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B had a strange dream on the vernal equinox. He went to bed early, not long after R had begun painting a large World War II fighter as part of a class project, and the dream ended with my late father (a teenage tailgunner in the war) chasing away a band of Nazi marauders from my children and our village. But the curious thing is that on the vernal equinox B should dream an elaborate story about Herne and the forces of chaos: how odd that Herne the Hunter and his Wild Hunt should burst forth in a boy's unconscious. B had never heard of Herne or Cern or Cernunnos, but the sleeping Celt in him dreamed a Herne crowned with towering antlers all the same--in a triple manifestation, and in shape-shifting sizes varying from 8-foot to sky-high.

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Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.
--Shakespeare, the great dreamer, in The Merry Wives of Windsor

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Horrors! I looked at my archives and discovered that I have been keeping my blog, my glob, my bloggie thing--my semi-personal Palace of whatever it is--for one year and three days. How can that be? That takes me from the eve of the vernal equinox of 2005 to just past this year's date.

Time is a-wasting...

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Would you like to do something useful instead of wasting that time? Pester George Bush to help save the life of Abdul Rahman of Afghanistan, "guilty" of attempting religious freedom by converting from Islam to Christianity. Put your mighty voting bug in the president's ear at:

https://secure.afa.net/afa/afapetition/takeaction.asp?id=191.

People all over the world suffer and die for faith and ideals and the freedom of the soul while your average American sits on his dadgum tuffet, jaded with meaning and sucking down too much fat from the local Walmart bakery. So while you're noodling about the internet, fire off a word of flame to the White House, will you? Scorch a few hairs off the presidential ear!

11 comments:

  1. Faith is such a fleeting thing, invisible and yet with such a strong grip on humanity. Can you judge someone for what blows away on a wind of thought? Can you pin down and examine a wonder?

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  2. Pin a wonder?

    Go and catch a falling star,
    Get with child a mandrake root,
    Tell me where all past years are,
    Or who cleft the devil's foot,
    Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
    Or to keep off envy's stinging,
    And find
    What wind
    Serves to advance an honest mind.

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  3. Wow Marly,

    His Celt blood must run very deep.

    Often my waking dreams are of angels. Last Sat. morning was a flurry of angels wings like clouds in the sky, only all beating and moving. Then one single wing. Often I can only see the wings, sometimes I have "dream-visions" of more. I drew a lifesize 7ft tall angel that I saw upon waking, turning into the light to go back and recieve orders for the next mission. He wears a breastplate like a Roman soldier, has wavy hair, and also carries a sword. Needless to say I can't scan him in. I can't even figure out how to frame him. I also drew a black angel from the back, that I saw. He is bare to the waist, muscular, and wears a toga style wrap from there.

    My son who is into angels and the good and evil struggle was somewhat concerned, as he says the angels I have envisioned, and the names I have "heard" upon waking are the names of archangels. I feel they are defending angels, and they give me comfort. The angel with the sword is Raphael. The black angel is Zaphiel.

    I don't know but I like the thoughts of protecting angels, especially since I seem to blunder my way through my days and need all the help I can get.

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  4. I hardly ever know my dreams these days--I rocket up when the alarm buzzes.

    Raphael: "God heals." A good pick, if you had the choice of an archangel! And Zaphiel--he's in Milton, I believe. Next time I crack open Paradise Lost, I'll take a look around to see if he goes zooming by. But I didn't think he was an archangel... (A throne, maybe?)

    I'm not really angel-savvy, except by acquaintance with Blake and Milton. Cooperstown has some marvelous angel windows that have invaded my writing.

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  5. Dreams bring with them the poetry of a world hidden to us poor blind souls, a realm tucked away in mountains of calm and sprinkled with stardust. Songs of moonbeams and blue, blue water drops whistle by and fling dreams out into our world.

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  6. In that case, I'll have to go to bed earlier, so I can remember one now and then!

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  7. Now that was a dream! I dream of newly found babies (mine, that I'd forgotten)--- what Jung would have called the Divine Child motif. That's as close to mythic as I've come. The dreams of the gifted male teenager, your GMT at any rate, are a thing apart! And you mean to tell me I've missed a whole year of the Palace???

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  8. It is astounding, isn't it? I could have written an extra novel... Though perhaps the world has quite enough of me as it is.

    The blog. Is it just fine, or is it idle hands and the devil's workshop?

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  9. Would you do away with this crossroads, where literature- loving folk meet and converse? Where would we get our daily dose of Marly if you disappeared? Because you know, the world can never have enough of your writing.

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  10. The world certainly has a strange way of displaying its affections, doesn't it?

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  11. Marly,

    You are right, Zaphiel is in charge of the thrones. So some call him an "archangel", but it is not traditional. I am not too into it either, which is why it is strange. I had never heard of Raphel or Zaphiel before my waking visions and hearing.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.