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The End of Science Fiction BY LISEL MUELLER

This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.

Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.

The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.

Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright
and becomes the head of a nation.
Invent real tears, hard love,
slow-spoken, ancient words,
difficult as a child’s
first steps across a room.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jayne November 4, 2017, 6:04 AM

    So gorgeous. I never thought that I’d ever see a different perspective, or a perspective which made me view these stories with fresh eyes. Thank you, that was a great read.
    Beautiful and provocative, would that I could get all of the references. The man who carried his father out of a burning city?

  • Kathryn of Wyoming November 4, 2017, 6:22 AM

    Wonderful. Thank you for it.

  • wcrisler November 4, 2017, 9:12 AM

    What a wonderful poem. By the way, Jayne, the man who carried his father out of a burning city was Aeneas at the fall of Troy, as described in Virgil’s Aeneid. He saved his father, Anchises, and his son, Ascanius. He was unsuccessful in saving his wife, Creusa, who died in Troy.

  • Howard Nelson November 6, 2017, 4:46 PM

    Snug at home with holes in roof
    Drinking raindrops, cool, aloof,
    We seek and find some truth, some love
    Knowing you and starlight reign above.