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This illustration was for a story by David Hill in the now-defunct semi-pro ezine E-scape. "Resurrection Man" is about the efforts to terraform a desert planet using the remains of soldiers who died there as raw materials.
Hidden symbols in this piece: On the far left is gun with a flower growing out of it. This was inspired by two things. The first: Bob Dylan's song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," which has the line, "Ma, put my guns in the ground. I can't shoot them anymore." The second: There is a famous Vietnam-era photograph of a group of war protestors staring down the barrels of National Guardsmen. And one young man is slowly, one by one, putting a flower in mouth of each rifle.
While I was commissioned to do this piece by E-scape, I in turn commissioned poet Christina Sng to write a poem about this piece:
by Christina Sng
Oh eternity’s a curse
When you’re down in the ground,
Half-buried, wild grass
Growing out of an eye
And insolent maggots
Chewing the other.
This desolation is ridiculous.
They’d made us and now left
Us strewn in the war fields,
Skinned and fleshless,
Consumed by carrions of war.
Expendable? Now we know.
Our bodies have
Amalgamated into the wasteland.
Only our heads remain,
Mech brains intact.
I can wait for eternity if I must.
Only I won’t.
The resistance will soon
Sweep us up in their tanks,
Bring us into their underground shelters
Where their scientists will install for us
New bodies and a new energy source.
I will help them in their cause.
Eager to rip the heads off
Our traitorous makers
Who never foresaw
That our sentience
Would be full-blown.
Write to Christina and tell her she's great; or visit her website.
In addition to Resurrection Man, I commissioned Christina Sng to write poems for The Sad Girl, Indifference, and Keep the Universe Beautiful.
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Image (c) 2001 Frank Wu