My first encounter with speculative poetry was during an interstellar flight back from Bravo Centauri. I’d been feeling a little queasy from a combination of time dilation and stale NutraPaste, but instead of a zero-G sickness bag in my seat back, I found a thirty-page booklet of poems describing places I’d never heard of and things I didn’t know was possible.

The imagery in those poems was so arresting that it was as if I’d been induced into suspended animation like the passengers in first class. And for the rest of the flight I could think of nothing but the poems and the telepathic query of “what if?” caressing my cortex.

That “what if?” caress was so enchanting that I started writing speculative poetry as soon as I touched down. And, after over 200 poems published under the name Kurt MacPhearson, the caress remains more prominent in my mind than any vacation memory ever could.


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