Saturday, May 16, 2009

Poem by Karen Layman

Creating a world with you

Is even more fun than watching you draw, or watching you watch me draw

Or being like normal teenage girls and painting our nails and doing our hair and gossiping about boys

Partly because you know my characters as well as you know me

Partly because of their personalities, partly because you can become them so well

Partly because the stars that we cannot see through the ceiling but we know are there, or because of our friend’s obsession with ceiling fans, or because of the fan that has been attached to the ceiling that is blocking the stars and the combination of the ceiling and the fan makes us all laugh

You don’t have to watch your brothers when you’re with me—you aren’t their mother, your mother is their mother

You can say what you want with me—no one will tell

You are my friend

And we are goddesses—together we create the world of Areita, the isle of Vanisa Elitra, the city of Neras, and all the world and all its inhabitants

All your worst fears, nightmares materialize in this world and are destroyed forever by the characters that the two goddesses created

Our champions, our chosen ones to carry out our bidding on horrors that our own lives have given birth to, the personified villains and monsters that maybe once upon a time were the vicious gossiper and the kid that ratted on you for no good reason and have now become the Joystealer and that goody-two-shoes Paladin that is trying to slay our Vampire chosen ones

And the characters—the chosen ones—are more than abstract ideas, more than just tools for creating a game, telling a story

They are friends—perhaps some of the truest friends you may ever have

They will always understand, always know what you’re going through

And you will never be alone

So go ahead, tell me what a horrible person you are, and how selfish you are, and how you deserve to starve to death, or whatever other horrible punishment you dream up for yourself next

Every time I will tell you otherwise

And one day, maybe years down the road from here

Maybe one day you’ll believe me.

Congratulations to Karen Layman, who won The Gunnery's 2009 Poetry Contest with this poem.

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