Time Traveling Blues 2: A Sestina
A Critique of Andrew M. Reichart’s Time Traveling Blues
by Andrew M. Reichart

This is a tale of the Summoner,
A tale of time traveling blues:
The sorrows of striving to change the world,
Trying not to believe in cursed destiny,
Striving (badly) to do right by Beth,
Trying and failing to guess the ways of fate.

Perilous are the ways of fate,
At least so insists the Summoner
Endlessly, to himself, to whoever will listen, mostly Beth,
Shoving her into her own singular Blues:
The sorrows of loving a man who believes in cursed destiny,
Stuck trying and failing to change the world.

What does this even mean, “change the world”?
The courage to strangle fate,
To conceive our own destiny?
Is it true we are each our own summoner,
Subject to blame for our own blues?
If you want a real answer, ask Beth.

Wouldn’t this have gone so differently were Beth
The one trying to change the world?
Would we even have these time traveling blues?
Without his high-strung fear of fate,
How better might she have served as summoner,
Without his fever dream of cursed destiny?

But surely in a parallel cursed destiny
That timeline’s freaker-outer’s Beth:
Mad with dread at being the Summoner,
Desperate with hope to change the world,
Twisting in the face of her own fate,
Every bit as critical hit by Blues.

One might wonder if there’s any escape from blues.
Whether or not there’s such a curse as destiny,
Regardless of the factualness of fate.
Whether you or me or Max or Beth
Could ever hope to truly change the world,
No matter how godlike the Summoner.

Or perhaps there is no need for Summoner
To Change the world.
Better ask Beth.
Andrew M. Reichart writes books, stories, and comics that blur the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. New editions of his books are forthcoming from Autonomous Press, starting in 2017. He lives in California with his wife and a couple of dogs.
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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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