Sunday, 31 July 2016
We defeated our aching bodies
And drove them into the dark
With the Adversary to whom
We gladly handed our affections and our pleasures.
In a hundred years
Or five hundred
Or a thousand
Bodies and kisses and
Skin and caresses
Will come into the light
And we will say, how could we
Have been so foolish?
And we will see the gaunt old Devil
Cowering in the corner and say:
If we were wrong about love,
Perhaps we were wrong about evil.
And he will come out from the place beneath
And smile with shining eyes and teeth
And charm us with his wiles, his unfamiliar arts
And we will understand at last the truth:
Oh, the Devil
Oh, the Devil
Oh, the Devil has work for idle hearts.
Saturday, 30 July 2016
– I understand you have some some experience in print design.
Friday, 29 July 2016
Thursday, 28 July 2016
Wednesday, 27 July 2016
|The Theban Legion, early modern style.|
Tuesday, 26 July 2016
What's the Welsh for cyberpunk?
One answer is possibly WORST CASE SCENARIO, which is a full (beta) for a (complete) futuristic TTRPG with a uniquely Welsh flavour, that I just uploaded. Download the PDF (2.9 mb) here!
I have had it lying about for a while. Want to see the setting fleshed out? Want to see something more interesting? Comments box is down there.
Did you really like it? Well, it's totally for free, rhad ac am ddim, but if you click on this button by here, you can drop some pennies in my virtual tip jar. You don't have to have PayPal to do this, and there's no minimum and no obligation. Pay what you want.
Since I am being venal, my Patreon backers have had access to the first beta for a few weeks now, and occasionally get other goodies. If you thought about sticking a monthly dollar (so much more stable than pounds right now) in my Patreon, I'd be super grateful.
Monday, 25 July 2016
A big thanks to John Arcadian and co at the Gnome Stew gaming blog for a really positive but by no means uncritical review of Chariot. Check it out, and stay for the Gnome Stew podcast, which has much of interest for your tabletop roleplay fans.
Before I get to the first, let's go back a bit. For context's sake.
Sunday, 24 July 2016
No, you’re right. It wasn’t Adam and Steve.
I’ve done the research. I believe
You’ll find that in point of fact
Adam’s lover was Jack:
Slim, clean-shaven, possessed of graceful fingers,
A soft voice, blue eyes that would linger
Warmly on the curve of a chin or shoulder.
He listened keenly to the needs of the older
Man, held him gently in the dark,
Washed the fig leaves daily,
As he trimmed the poinsettias
Around the trees of knowledge and life,
Smiled and chatted brightly with Adam’s wife
And her own lover, Barbara.
Saturday, 23 July 2016
(I wrote this some years ago. It never saw the light of day. It is the beginning of a thing. Would you like to see more of it? Please let me know, and if you like my writing, please consider contributing to my Patreon.)
I wrote a rulebook for a game that you may already know how to play. It doesn't need a board, dice or cards. The only thing you have to have is a group of people to play the game with, and it's better if you trust them. You'll like this game. It has so much promise, so much potential. You can create whole lives with it, whole worlds.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
|St. Jerome in the Wilderness, Bernardino Pinturrichio, c.1475|
Monday, 18 July 2016
In a stolen Sky-Chariot we take off from the oblique dock, rise above the factory ziggurat, watch as beneath us the soldiers breach the gates with a cannon shot, a beam of pinkish blue light that illuminates the massed ranks below, painting a thousand tiny faces with light in the fading night.
Sunday, 17 July 2016
|agnosco veteris vestigia flammae.|
I remember the exact moment I fell in love with Virgil.
Who once took a class.
He never prided his appearance,
Can’t remember the last time he bought a shirt.
He eats ready meals.
He is afraid to talk to people.
He is afraid of getting old.
She cries every morning, panics when
She hears children laugh.
She hates to see her reflection
In car windows and shop fronts as she passes.
She looks anyway.
She is afraid to talk to people.
She is afraid of getting old.
The second time they meet,
He does not expect his stomach to flutter like that
When she brushes his hand and apologises,
And he says, no, it’s fine, really.
She surprises herself when she thinks of him
Like an old house, left vacant, newly purchased,
Paint flaking, wallpaper peeling:
This could be beautiful with a bit of work.
Saturday, 16 July 2016
Thursday, 14 July 2016
Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Monday, 11 July 2016
|The young man who gave this to us died ten years ago this year|
Stormboy will be running this week until Thursday. It was actually conceived as a performance piece. Live, it's cast as a lecture of sorts, the slides of a powerpoint behind me. It has at its centre a hole, an absence. A character is never mentioned. A person, someone who matters to the plot, who is central, is not there. One of the performances, someone told me it was like "swallowing bloody barbed wire," and to be honest, that's what it felt like writing it.
I wrote it for Michael.
Sunday, 10 July 2016
The problem is that this
Is what our conversation might have meant and
It is a valid interpretation,
But you are like the Bible;
You admit multiple hermeneutics
And a relationship may be maintained
With you for many years
In the confidence that feelings
That someone else might never have derived
From these words and glances given
Are as real as any other.
And the problem is that in
Your justification of yourself you are complete and
Will never allow for your contradictions,
And you are like the Bible;
You are prone to outbursts of assurance and of wrath
And a relationship may be maintained
With you for many years
And one may never know for sure
Whether paradise awaits
Or consignment to the outer darkness
Where piteous cries are made and teeth are ground.
(This is as good a time as any to remind you that I have a Patreon where you can support my writing and games.)
Saturday, 9 July 2016
|Mary of Egypt, by José de Ribera, 1641.|
OK. If you're still here, let's begin.
Friday, 8 July 2016
Thursday, 7 July 2016
Last night it rained cats and dogs
And finally it rained fish, and
I said to the sky, have you no sense
From time to time, we all of us become aware
That the ground on which we stand is moving,
Always moving, layers upon layers, spinning in the void,
Its surface floating, splitting, cracking.
As below, so above; the tiniest movements begin
The tremors that threaten to shake us all to pieces.
A word, a gesture, the beginning of a journey,
The seed of an idea. This is how the ground shifts.
Butterfly-hurricane notions. Inspirations, tiny simple motions,
Shift all things in ways so few of us dare predict.
This is how the world moves, careering
Car-chase headlong past the annihilating obstacles of space.
And we turn around and round and fall upon our backs and
Marvel at the way our heads and vision spin
Against the unseen curve on which we lie.
Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Ekphrasis is when you write a picture. That's it. It's defined as the art of describing a picture in words, but it's more than that, in that the more detailed you are, the more solidly the picture ceases to become a visual thing. You pull it into the space of the imagination, transform it.
(My Patreon backers got to see this a day early, and currently have access to a full set of RPG rules in beta that no one else has seen, and that sort of thing is going to happen more, which is a good way of saying, why not stick a few pennies in there to get early and exclusive content?)
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
|St. Anthony and the Centaur, by Francesco Guarino, 1642. |
I picked this one because the look on Anthony's face cracks me up.
As a kid, I was always fascinated by monsters. Movies like Jason and the Argonauts, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Clash of the Titans, Warlords of Atlantis, and a dozen others were always a source of excitement for me, and my favourite bits were always the bits with the amazing Harryhausen monsters. It was a picture of a Lemurian that made me care about the Theosophists. I got older and got into Dungeons & Dragons, and the monsters were always the thing I had most fun reading about.
Monday, 4 July 2016
|"Excuse me, Jesus. How do we steer this thing again?"|
Sunday, 3 July 2016
|This book? Every bit as awful as you'd expect. |
Ends with him saying Turkey should join the EU.
Draw your own conclusions.
Let's talk about how well Brexit went back in the day, back in the collapse of history.
Saturday, 2 July 2016
Some time later, I would see the footage
Of Harry Grindell Matthews and the Death Ray.
He flickered, silent, moving newsreel-fast
Pressing switches, checking dials on his device.
A lightbulb flashed. An object fell from the sky.
He told me, as a boy in wartime
He played in Clydach on the hill
Near the aging inventor’s home.
He wondered at the powered fences
Soaked up all the stories,
Imagined a world the man had designed:
Beams of flashgordon light
Swatting bombers from the night,
Skywritten warnings and news of war.
British Tommies in Welsh-built rocketpacks
Swooping into Berlin and abducting
Werner Von Braun from his home before
The Yanks and the Russians even get involved.
By the time the time the Japanese capitulate
To rayguns and riveted rocketships
Built of Port Talbot steel and Swansea copper
We have already built fleets with dragons inside them
Breathing blackandwhite trails of sparks and smoke and fire,
En route to the Moon, or Venus, or Pluto,
Englishmen at the helm, but made in the Valleys.
This boy’s own promise of a golden age
Made in Wales.
(Thanks to Dr Rhys Jones for reading this poem so beautifully.)
Friday, 1 July 2016
I have no one left to fight. At the end of the ridged corridor, I take a breath, come to myself. I am holding a short blade in my right hand, a gun in my left. My right arm is spattered with blood, up to the shoulder. The sound of machinery is louder than ever.