Scifaikuest

SCIFAIKUEST AUGUST 2019

ONLINE EDITION

Transition by Sandy DeLuca

Greetings, Readers–

And Happy 16th Anniversary! That’s right–sixteen years of Scifaikuest! I’m delighted to say that, over the past sixteen years, Scifaikuest has grown from a primarily scifaiku magazine, to one that publishes more than forty various forms of minimal genre poetry, as well as informative articles, artwork and interviews. We began our journey with just a few foreign poetry contributors, but we now include poets and readers representing thirty-three different countries (and the planet Boort), and–within the last year–have added Vietnam to our list! Not to brag, but I think our updated version is the most spectacular one yet!

So, Happy Anniversary from everyone here at Scifaikuest!

Speaking of Anniversaries, this is the 10th anniversary of our association with WC Roberts!!!! WC Roberts has been contributing wonderful poetry to Scifaikuest since we were a much smaller publication, and has continued to support our efforts with amazing poems from a very vivid imagination. Happy Anniversary and thank you, from all of us at Scifaikuest!

Our beautiful DOOR art is, Transition, by Sandy DeLuca, and I would like to thank her immensely, for allowing me to use this gorgeous illustration to grace our Door.

In this issue, we have a very interesting article, Nightmares of a Native son: The horrorku of Richard Wright, by William Landis.

As usual, you can be certain that an abundance of information and knowledge is packed into the pages of this edition, as well as poignant, insightful and clever poetry.

The Featured Poet in our PRINT edition is Carolyn M. Hinderliter, and I’m sure you will appreciate her poems as much as I do, so if you don’t have a copy–go get one!

If you don’t have a subscription to our PRINT edition, they are available at:

https://www.irbstore.co/product-page/scifaikuest-subscription

And, if you would like to join the select group of contributors by submitting your poetry, artwork or article, you can find our guidelines at: 

https://www.albanlakepublishing.com/scifaikuest

Also:

PS: Looking for something to read? You can order t.santitoro’s latest novelette, The Legend of Trey Valentine, at:  The Legend of Trey Valentine by t.santitoro | infiniterealms

She did the cover art, too! 🙂

Also check out the SF NOVEL she co-wrote with Ron Sparks, The Saint and The Demon, at: 

http://store.albanlake.com/product/the-saint-and-the-demon/

and 2 of her short stories, which also appear in Alban Lake’s anthology, Only the Lonely, edited by Tyree Campbell at: https://www.irbstore.co/product-page/only-the-lonely-edited-by-tyree-campbell 

And I can’t forget a huge Scifaikuest welcome to our Newest Contributors: Kelly Sauvage Angel, Brittany Hause, Kimberly Nugent, Ben Taylor, and Marcus Vance.

delicate floral tea
aroma dissipating in the
zip ship cabin

-sakyu-

SCIFAIKU

meteor shower 
how we were
infected

~ Christina Sng

just wanting
to see blue skies again
Arcturus orbit

~ Christina Sng

alien sapling
quietly growing
in another pot

~ Christina Sng

drops of quantum ice
her glasses condensate with
probability 

Marcus Vance

daily commute
5 o’clock-

a grimy fleet of podcars pours
through the hollow redwood

Brittany Hause

mid-orbit
passing resemblances
of your stolen ship

C.R. Harper

student exchange program 
my first trip
to Mars

Ngo Binh Anh Khoa

space station yoga
our sun salutation pose faces
the nearest star

John J. Dunphy

autumn twilight
the glint from the chrome
of an abandoned starport

C. William Hinderliter

how free your will 
under the influence
of my biochemistry

~ Kelly Sauvage Angel 

recurring dream 
moments traveling around
a Mobius strip

~ Francis W. Alexander

SENRYU

santa not thrilled 
by new colony
on mars

Denny E. Marshal

kerax for breakfast
thelwinder for lunch
medicbot at suppertime 

oino sakai

HORRORKU

hauling the motherlode 
back to earth 
our last mistake 

asteroid mining’s impact, by Benjamin Whitney Norris

seeing stars
with my final breaths
hull breach

~ Christina Sng

selfies with new friends
their faces do not appear 
in any photo

Ngo Binh Anh Khoa

TANKA

pedrails 
where Los Angeles
feared to tread 
Hollywood-
land ironclad 

waffle pattern sneakers, by Benjamin Whitney Norris 

the last human 
makes good 
fertilizer
biosphere 
in a lava tube

life goes on, by Benjamin Whitney Norris

after the chills
the heat from
the creatures
nesting
in my brain

– C. William Hinderliter

JOINED POEMS

A RENKYU TO MYSELF

doing rounds
quiet but my metallic footsteps
on the colony ship
frozen faces
i speak to them

touchscreen checklist
a fingerprint to complete
today is done

sugar browning toasty
a blanket fuzzy and soft
the mug warms my hands

an alarm sounds
cryo needs repair

don’t move
our friends have told me
they wish to speak

~Kimberly Nugent

ZAPPAI

bestowed upon the young 

Herb Kauderer

rejuvenation
an adolescent face wears
a lifetime of scars

professional skills

Herb Kauderer 

empathy excess
exploring an extinct world
xenologist weeps

gradually self-defined

Herb Kauderer

continuity
her consciousness perseveres
slowly through cold sleep

HAIBUN

Higher Proof 

Herb Kauderer

At the low table far from the royalty Sandra watches the King fondle serving girls while the Queen flirts with an ambassador. These are the rulers of divine right that have led her kingdom into this generation’s war.

Her husband Arcadius was just a farmer, until he was called to war. A farmer and a father, and a husband. And now he lies a corpse on the plains to the north, his body unclaimed while the battle rages on. And the royalty plays.

Because of this Sandra has studied the ancient ways of the gods, learned of the best ways to curry their favor. She has burnt wool in offerings, walked on her knees, sacrificed a healthy goat, prayed upon a red sunrise, that this King and Queen be stricken from their high table. 

She waits to see them smote from above, understanding that the whims of the gods are unpredictable, but so too, is their very existence.

I know not whether
there are gods in the heavens
but there ought to be.

-Diogenes of Sinope @350 BCE

Jill and Jack

Francis W. Alexander

Jill belongs to the stars, zipping around like Flash Gordon. Her twin, born several minutes before Jill, has his feet firmly planted on dear old planet Earth. Like many grown siblings, they don’t communicate much. But she has an excuse. 

Scientists were able to implant devices that allowed instantaneous communication – spooky action at a distance, the siblings sharing “the moment” – no matter where they were. He only calls on their birthday. 

Eagle Nebula 
not every newborn 
becoming a star 

The onboard date reads May 27, 2103, two years since Jill left Earth, or five years according to him. “Happy thirty-fifth Birthday, my fearless twin sister.” On Earth, it’s November 3, 2106. He never fails to shock her like the time at age five when he put the cricket in her hair, or the “thirty-fourth” birthday wishes he sent just eight months ago. The thirty-two year old looks at the shipboard clock again. She notices how the time dilation equation is right on target as they travel near the speed of light. She won’t be caught off guard next time – may even surprise him with birthday greetings. On the computer, she uses the equation to figure out his next birthday. 

she goes down 
to fetch a glass of water 
sloth

A Native of Mount Reptos

Ben Taylor

The narrow forest trail carves a steep path through the reserve to the summit of Mount Reptos. Halfway up the trail, nestled upon a cluster of plagrat leaves is a cyborg lizard. An uninvited guest; I tread silently towards her, crouching down to examine this unexpected treasure. Tentatively, I hover my hand above her metallic abdomen and place my fingers and thumb on the cool earth around her. Gently, I scoop her up in the palm of my hand. She zaps and hisses ferociously as I lift her away from the forest floor; her slick metallic tongue lashing about according to her programming. With deadly precision she darts her neck backwards – latching her silvery jaw onto my finger. With crushing strength, she bites down furiously – only abating when I lower her once more to the forest floor. Sonic eyes darting about suspiciously, she slithers away amongst the messy grasses. 

thick moss and yorg weeds
spring forth from the hologram
map of Mount Reptos 

A Foreign Sky

Lisa Timpf

At twilight, she watches the tiny golden dragons pursue emerging moths, dodging and swooping in the mauve-tinged sky, fighter pilots in a deadly dance. The springtime breeze rattles the slender reeds like wind chimes. She draws a deep breath. A hint of lavender wafting from the western field reminds her, unexpectedly, of her mother’s favorite perfume. Once, before leaving Earth, she saw a woman in the grocery store, back home, who looked just like her mom—the salt-and-pepper hair, the slightly stooped shoulders, the rounded glasses. She’d almost rushed over until she remembered her mother had been dead three years. 

These days, when she visits the aspen grove and closes her eyes, listening to the leaves rustle, she can almost imagine herself back on Earth until the jolt of realization comes: the impossibility of return. 

two moons in a foreign sky
she stands below, forever changed
and changing

ARTICLE

Nightmares of a Native son: The horrorku of Richard Wright

By: William Landis

The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination. –Richard Wright

When you think of Richard Wright, author of the classic novel “Native Son” and his memoir “Black Boy” you think of his controversial, and unsettling depiction of the African American experience in the early 20th century. His name is mentioned among the pantheon of the Harlem Renaissance, and as a legend among American authors, but little is mentioned about his ventures in the Haiku form or more precisely, being one of horrorku`s forefathers. 

Richard Wright was born on September 4, 1909 on a plantation in Roxie, Mississippi. Despite coming from a broken home he managed to excel academically, and sell his first story at the age of 15, “The Voodoo of Hell`s Half-Acre” to the Southern Register, a local black newspaper. Wright followed the trends of the Great Migration, and found himself in Chicago, where he established himself in the communist literary scene. In 1946 he moved to Paris, France, where he died November 28, 1960.

In his last years of life Wright became well acquainted with the Haiku form writing more than 4,000 of the poems. 817 of those poems are anthologized in “Haiku: The last poems of an American Icon” by Richard Wright. The poems have diverse subjects. Below are a few that have a horror theme:

140

A spring pond as calm
As the lips of the dead girl
Under its water

145

A bright glowing moon
Pouring out its radiance
Upon tall tombstones 

150

Late one winter night
I saw a skinny scarecrow
Gobbling slabs of meat

152

After seven days,
The corpse in the coffin
Turned on its side

467

A radiant moon
Shining on flood refugees
Crowded on a hill

What Wright wrote is what we might today consider as horrorku. It would be a huge stretch to assume he was the first to write one, but fair to call him one of the forefathers of the form. He certainly took many liberties of imagination with the form, which by tradition is set in a moment of reality. So why would a writer, whose a majority of his works were based on the Black experience with racism, and poverty in America, experiment with horror themed Japanese minimalist poetry form?

Richard Wright’s works were obsessed about race by necessity of his reality in the country of his birth. His move to Paris changed that. Wright once stated he “felt more freedom in one square block of Paris than there is in the entire United States of America”. One could assume that living in a city where his race wasn’t a burden allowed him to see the world beyond the lens of blackness and consider what horror was beyond his race.

Special thanks to Juel Duke for introducing me to the horrorku of Richard Wright

FAVORITE POEM by editor t. santitoro

The following three horrorku have made my favorites list. All three are concise and pack a good punch:

seeing stars
with my final breaths
hull breach

~ Christina Sng

selfies with new friends
their faces do not appear 
in any photo

Ngo Binh Anh Khoa

BUT, of course, this one has the best ah-ha moment, and is my favorite:

hauling the motherlode 
back to earth 
our last mistake 

asteroid mining’s impact, by Benjamin Whitney Norris

Well done, all of you!

BIOS

A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in literature, Kelly Sauvage Angel is the author of Om Namah… (published under Kalyanii) and a long out-of-print poetry collection entitled Scarlet Apples & Cream. She most enjoys wiling away her free time manifesting her culinary visions and reveling amid the magnificence of the natural word. She’s not necessarily as frightening as her name might suggest.

Brittany Hause is a linguist who, when not researching language contact, can usually be found reading and writing SFF. Her speculative poetry has most recently appeared in Star*Line, Grievous Angel, Abyss & Apex, and Eye to the Telescope.

William Hinderliter is a Registered Hypnotist from Phoenix, Arizona, with a strong love of haiku, tanka, and speculative fiction. His poems can generally be found in a variety of online and print sources. 

William Landis B.S. Agricultural Education Concentration Plant and Soil Science Class of 2012 North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

My name is Ngo Binh Anh Khoa. At present, I am balancing between being an English teacher and finishing my thesis for an MA in English Language, but I still try to make time for writing poetry when the opportunity arises. My poems have previously appeared in Scifaikuest, and some are forthcoming in Eternal Haunted Summer, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly and Star*Line.

Kimberly Nugent is a freelance editor and stay at home mom who tortures her cats with death metal as she flits about the house. She is also a gamer, nerd, and lover of all things geek.

My name is Ben Taylor, and I am from the Central Coast Australia. I work in health, and enjoy writing and being outdoors in my free time. I’ve written in the Japanese forms for several years now, including haiku, senryu, and haibun. 

Marcus Vance writes about lakes, his family, spaceships, and more.