I hear the voices of the water. Not mermaid voices. Not fish, nor cetacean, voices. A civilization of voices. The soft, careful voices of warriors plotting. The bruised, back of the hand voices of lovers who believe for stern seconds that passion is prized more if it is endless. The battleship-gray voices of mothers disowning their children. The boastful voices of those who have accomplished nothing. The red glowing barn voices of those scheming wealth out of poverty. The gossamer voices of suppression. One voice that believes there are no voices, shouting. A voice hidden in a far off lagoon, lingering in the shallows like a rifle shot. Brute voices and soft. A community of voices, a society of voices, a civilization of voices, all with mouths at my ear united in one common, tentacled plea: drown, drown.
Ken Poyner’s latest collection of short, wiry fiction, Constant Animals, and his latest collections of poetry—Victims of a Failed Civics and The Book of Robot—can be obtained from Barking Moose Press, or Sundial Books. He often serves as strange, bewildering eye-candy at his wife’s power lifting affairs. His poetry of late has been sunning in Analog, Asimov’s, and Poet Lore, and his fiction has yowled in Spank the Carp, Café Irreal, and Bellows American Review. Find him online at kpoyner.com.