It’s Friday afternoon…

It's Friday afternoon (in the U.S., anyway) -- you don't want to be working, right? Why not take a break and peruse the Strange Horizons readers' poll winners? That's what I'm going to do. I quite liked John Kessel's "Iteration," which I read some time back.

The title reminded me of John M. Ford's "Against Entropy," which is one of my favorite pieces of writing. At FogCon, I picked up a lovely letterpress edition by an old friend, Steven Schwartz, and I'm looking forward to framing it and hanging it in our house -- perhaps in the front hall, as a reminder. I hesitated to put it up without permission, but it seems to be widely available all over the web, and was originally posted by the author as a comment in a thread on "Making Light", so perhaps reprinting is at least forgivable.

If I could write poetry like his, I might give up writing fiction altogether.

Against Entropy

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days
Perhaps you will not miss them. That's the joke.
The universe winds down. That's how it's made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you'll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

-- John M Ford

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