Seasons of the Worm
by W. Gregory Stewart and David C. Kopaska-Merkel
I do not mark the seasons of the Worm its girth: immeasurable its length: theoretically finite its origin: unknowable its ending: unimaginable I mine its literature; I mind inscriptions made in pebbled hide I record the legacies of divers races, cultures, peoples scavenger in shadowed ruins of far, forgotten civilizations: the social primi-form; the fossil tongue; the early xeno-meme blast silhouettes of supernovae and psychic echo among the background noise of microwave doppler galaxies and scream. We THINK it seeks a history of thought, emerging gods or the early twitch of reason We scorn those who worship its physicality its historical continuity even the cultural icons its integument explodes/records Some say the Worm divides the world logic dictates the Worm itself is the world's rim. What's beyond Philosophers ask Given: the Worm seeks perfection yet no sense organs adorn its flanks we conclude that perfection lies beyond us "good enough" our goal mediocrity the new excellence Others have written (on segments now long gone) that perfection's in us or nowhere that the Worm's the world's expression of our achievement I have myself recorded Worm thoughts that if the Worm's our rim and we all there is there's nothing I have recognized no reply in two years Worm-scanning since discovering its Midgaardian gimmickry —it cavorts, transporting form from caducous to caduceus— it is less hypnotic than soporific, and it flicks no tongue, having none. It stares eyeless into my soul— (its midpoint: indeterminate its length: only theoretically finite its alpha: something Planck its ending: will involve the heat death of a pit viper brane.)
David Kopaska-Merkel describes rocks for the State of Alabama. He lives with artists in an urban farmhouse with a yellow "tin" roof. He was born in Virginia, but has lived in the home of the crookneck as long as anywhere. He has published in the neighborhood of a thousand poems, short stories, reviews, and essays over the past quarter century. He won the Rhysling award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has also edited and published Dreams and Nightmares magazine since 1986, and has published a few Rhysling winners over the years. Visit, if you dare. Flash fiction can be found at The Daily Cabal, and he blogs at Livejournal and Blogspot.
His favourite fruits are bananas, just hours past chalkiness.
W. Gregory Stewart has been been submitting to Dreams and Nightmares for years, but it's only recently he's had the temerity—the brass stanzas, if you will—to suggest to the venerable (yes, he said venerable) David C. Kopaska-Merkel that they might collaborate on a poem or two. David is one of the hardest working persons in the genre, but he bent down, patted Greg on the head in a kindly fashion, and agreed to sped some time back-and-forthing. This is the result of one of those collaborations.
When asked about his favourite fruit, he replied as follows:
"ONE FAVORITE FRUIT?!?! What kind of madman comes up with these exercises?
I do have a favorite hand fruit, apples, tho of course not all apples. I'm frankly stuck between galas and fujis as all time favs, but at the same time, I'll readily go on record as saying there's nearly nothing as disappointing as a bad delicious—you know the mealy kind, all mush, no sweet? blecchhh.
But if I'm cooking, well—there is no life without the lemon. At least, that's what my wife says from time to time, looking at me, busy in the kitchen, and shaking her head sadly.
Limes, for popsicles and gin'n'tonics and certain pie (though when I myself have tried to make them, key lime becomes an uncertain pie).
Surinam cherry for nostalgia, lichee for that sweet fruity oyster on the halfshell thing, kiwis for the limey color, see above, see above... And watermelon for summer.
Pomegranate because there is one growing outside by bedroom window, and I don't trust it not to seek revenge if I overlook its kind (triffid hybrid, I fear). And what are those weird spikey orangey-yellow Buckaroo Bonzai fruits? Those are on SOME kind of list....
So, hmmm—gun to my head? Queen Anne cherries, not quite fully ripe...."
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