We are the Makers of Maps

In a sense, every human construction, whether mental or material, is a component in a landscape of fear because it exists in constant chaos.
-Yi fu Tuan ‘Landscapes of Fear’

So, after what seems like a forever of anxiety driven huhming and hahing I finally approved the proof copy of my chapbook We are the Makers of Maps which is, therefore, now available for sale on that there Amazon place. It’s a print only chapbook as, to be honest, there was no way that I could see to properly lay out some of the pieces contained within, especially the poem ‘An Autumn Note’.

The book contains five pieces. Two short stories, ‘The Downfall of the Good Worker Laura McTavish’ and ‘in these ways we remember’, as well as three compositions, ‘Maps’, ‘East’, and ‘An Autumn Note’.

Makers of Maps Cover v23

‘The Downfall of the Good Worker Laura McTavish’ looks at the relationship between the maps with which we define the spaces in which we live and the reality of those spaces whereas ‘in these ways we remember’, a strange post-apocalyptic story, is concerned with the landscapes of memory and remembering. Hopefully I’ve been at least somewhat successful in what I’ve tried to achieve with the stories.

We are the Makers of Maps is something of a taster for my collection Sing Along With the Sad Song which will be out later this year. (Another project that has been too long in the making) However only one of the works from this chapbook will feature in the full collection. That will be ‘The Downfall of the Good Worker Laura McTavish’. Think of this as something like a single, or e.p., released before the main album. 😉

The book is available directly from Amazon or, if you’re in the USA, from Createspace too. (I get a teensy bit more of a royalty from Createspace. 😉 ) Links below.

USA
Createspace
or
Amazon

UK
Amazon

It should also be available in all the other Amazon stores soon, if it isn’t already.

Follow On, Boys

Follow on, boys
follow on
With the rattling dust
of bones pro patria
follow on.

An angel with
a sword of flame and cries of war.
Lion, bloodied and rampant, by her side.

Follow on, boys
Follow on
Beat back the desert’s spread
With fist and coward cry
Follow on.

Forget for now
That I, Enheduanna, was and
words, healing, and numbers were my gift

Follow on, boys
Follow on
For you know me well
For love, boys, strike me down
Follow on.

Poem 37

A decade
of sorrow wine and song
A failing
of life, of love, of hope

To hear from afar
of new loves
new worlds
new lives
destroyed me

A decade
of beatings and joy murdered
A failing
to quell this ache of mine

When you were wed
the ferryman
took sail
cross the Styx
and wept

A decade
must end like any other
A failing
falling dying heart

To be removed
from your gaze
my sweet
est
visu
Dei
amoveri

.

My immense gratitude to Mark McCahill for helping me with the Latin lines.

Running Orders by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

I saw this horribly beautifully sad poem on Facebook earlier.

Israel-gaza-2_2975106b

They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
Run.
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Run.