It’s Release Day for A Luminous Liminality!!!

It’s release day for my newest (and sixth) book, A Luminous Liminality: A Collection of Poetry & Art. The book represents 10 years of my artwork and poetry and is my very first collection of poetry and art. This last week I got the first proofs of the book and I’ve included some pictures of the final product. A Luminous Liminality has both an ebook version and a paperback version. I recommend the paperback version to get the full experience of all the color images. Please note that prints are always available for my artwork. You can find my artwork at this page if you’re curious about it.


The book is broken down into three seasons. A season of sentimentality (poems and art about emotional life), A season of reflection (Self reflection and reflection on our culture) and, A season of transformation (realization, personal growth, change). I really wanted to show many sides of my life and experience in this book. There are poems about love, loss, hope, bitterness, frustration, hope, persistence, growth, and meditation. Oh, there’s even a poem on anthropology. The book is really about my journey over the last ten years.

I hope you enjoy it. You can find it on Ebook from all your favorite digital stores and on paperback via Amazon all at this one link. Simply click whatever service you’d like to use.

Guest on Indie Book Talk Podcast

A few weeks ago, my co-author Kyra Wellstrom and I recorded an episode with Indie Book Talk. The podcast episode was a lot of fun. We talked about worldbuilding, anthropology, and writing more generally. The episode is on the shorter side (only 24 minutes) so it’s a great discussion of the lot of the things we do in a quick and interesting episode. The episode came out this morning!

Check it out here!

A Luminous Liminality: A Collection of Poetry And Art (My First Poetry Book!)

A Luminous Liminality Book Cover
A Luminous Liminality Book Cover

Hello everyone,

For those of you who have been following this blog and website since it’s inception, you know that I post a lot of my digital art and poetry here. Well, I decided it was finally time to create a book of both my poetry and artwork from the last decade. I’ve been working on this more in secret for the past three months or so, though if you follow me on facebook (where I do most of my posting) you’ve heard me hint about it. So today, I am not only revealing the cover, but the preorder link. Now, keep in mind, if you want a paperback copy of this, you will have to wait till release day, because unfortunately, at the moment, Amazon won’t allow paperback preorders. But the ebook preorder is live and you can find the link here.

A Luminous Liminality will be released on September 17th, 2022. Some of the poems (but certainly not all) are available on the Poetry page on this website. You can check them out for some samples.

Anthropological Inquiries: An Anthropology of Cryptocurrency with Astrid Countee

Hey all,

This was a very last minute scheduling and so I didn’t even remember to post this here in advance of the episode. But, if you want to watch the replay of my latest episode of Anthropological Inquiries you can watch everything we talked about now in replay. I really enjoyed talking to Astrid about her thoughts on Cryptocurrency as a tech anthropologist. What could anthropology possibly have to say about Crypto? Find out!

Eye of the Wood (New Fiction Published!)

Hey all,

It’s been a bit since I published something but my new horror short story Eye of the Wood goes live Wednesday August 17th, 2022 on all major bookselling services. It’s a short story (about 5000 words) so it will permanently stay .99 cents. If you want a quick dark read, this story is for you!

You can find the preorder link here



Blurb: All must seek the eye of the wood, the clearing at the center of the forest. For within lay the only hope to keep the living, hungry darkness at bay.

How To Lose A Debate On Purpose (Poetry)

A piece of poetry and artwork both titled “How To Lose A Debate On Purpose.” A quick note, a number of these pieces of artwork and poetry are being compiled into my first poetry book at the moment. It will be out before the end of 2022. More news soon!

©Loridian’s Laboratory LLC and Michael Kilman 2022

How to Lose A Debate On Purpose

It’s time to lose,

To concede,

To let the important human connections supersede

Our need,

To. Be. Right.


Our need to be right?

All that does is cause endless fights.

Until we cut the power and turn off the lights,

On. Our. Rage.

We can never get on the same page.


It’s easy to forget that the world is full of our siblings,

And get caught up in all the quibbling.

It’s all our relations beyond just sisters and brothers.

From other fathers

And other mothers

Hurting them means we will never recover..

All. Our. Souls.

And If winning is always your goal,

Then all that says is that you have a desperate need to take control

Rather than roll,

With the punches.

There are no free lunches

There are only connections,

And they are clear,

Upon. Further. Reflection.


Everyone wants to be happy,

No matter how confused,

They are in it to win it and never want to lose.

So you must be soft and yielding aligning with Taoist-like views.

Flow like a river and you will find a way to defuse,

These culture wars before people choose to…

Take. Up. Arms.

Our whole culture is sounding an alarm.

Whether you live in a city or a farm,

You need to learn to listen to prevent harm.


Listen. To. Understand.

That’s the best plan.

If you listen to win all you do foster opinion.

You never get below people’s skin ,

In a way that makes the space for compromise to begin.


Listen. To. Understand.

Instead of making demands,

Choose to lose in conversation,

When it makes sense to understand someone’s fixation.

Their obsession isn’t going to go away,

If you just block them and ignore what they say,

That way just leads to more disarray.


Listen to practice empathy

It doesn’t mean you have to agree

It doesn’t mean you will ever see

Eye. To. Eye.

But you cannot deny

The people come to their views to try and feel satisfied

And to avoid pain,

Even if they are driving in the wrong lane,

Or maybe they just got on the wrong train.


People are people wherever you go

And most just want you to sincerely know

Who. They. Are.

Happy 4th Birthday Mimi of the Nowhere! An Announcement, Why My Series Isn’t Dystopian, And Why Book 5 Has Been Slow Coming

Today is the 4th anniversary of my first novel, Mimi of the Nowhere going live on Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble. In the last 4 years, there have been four books published in the series since that date, with more on the way. I am approaching the end of the first draft of book 5, The Children of AEIS and expect it to be out late summer.

For those who of you who have been following the series, you may have noticed it’s been two years between book 4 and book 5. Why is this? Well, as I am sure so many of you have experienced, the Covid-19 pandemic made life a bit more complicated for a while. But in addition to that, in June of 2020 I suffered a major head injury during a cycling accident. I struggled to read or write anything for almost 6 months. I would have occasional little bursts of creativity during that time, but I wrote and read very little. I was diagnosed with post concussion syndrome and I can say now, that after almost 2 years, I finally have a great deal of normality with only occasional concussion related issues.

This spring and summer I am back in the full swing of writing. And so there is another announcement. The Children of AEIS became rather lengthy, well over 1000 pages. If you’ve been following the series, you might no why… the world went from one walking city, to multiple, and then in book 4… the whole solar system began to open up. Because of it’s length, I have decided to split it into two books. Which will release within six months of each other. The new entry to the series, means the series will now be seven books in length. Book six is titled, “A War For The Heavens.” While book 5 focuses on the survivors of the aftermath of the Battle for Langeles, book 6 will return back to Manhatsten with their new allies the Lunites, and a conflict that is growing with ROAM. Book 7, A Hand to the Stars, will focus on the final battles for the fate of all remaining walking cities and the solar system itself.

You know, another thing I have been thinking about… my series never really fit quite right into the dystopian literature. Things are hard yes, but not hopeless. There is a lot of oppression, a lot of social control, but there are good things as well. It’s much more complex than the label of dystopian. My project here isn’t to talk about how awful society can be and the fear around the slide downhill… instead, this series is something different. I recently discovered an article on polytopias, about stories where the fundamental driving force of the story is that of change and diversity itself. I realized that the heart of everything happening my fictional universe fits this approach so much better. Definitely give that article a read if you want more info about polytopias. The author correctly points out Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy and the Expanse as important examples of polytopias, and stories about change and diversity are definitely my approach.

Thank you to all of you who continue to follow my work. I appreciate every single one of you. I don’t have many fans, but the ones I do are the absolute best.

A Land of Fortresses (Poetry)

I wrote this last week during a poetry workshop at the High Plains for Applied Anthropology. This poem is dedicated to Howard Stein, who always inspires us to remember how powerful poetry is as a tool for understanding our humanity. Thanks Howard!

A Land of Fortresses

We are a land of fortresses,

Solitary, we treat only with those who think like us,

We are surrounded by a moat of toxic water,

Where the corpses of diverse ideas fester.

Our noses burn with their smell.

So we plug them and avert our eyes,

Staring only at the safety within our walls.


It is safe in here,

Like in the dark ages.


The world out there is dangerous,

Trolls pick their teeth with the bones of their victims,

The ones who wandered too far from their fortress,

They gorge under crumbling overpasses at the intersections of cyberspace.


Hoards of hairy monsters circle the walls,

Pounding on the portcullis.

Longing to cut their teeth on fresh fleshy argument.

Their wicked smiles gleam,

But only at 2 am, with beards unshaven,

Their cry of, ‘actually’, screamed at rhythmic intervals.


In the moonlight mist,

Even robots wait in ambush.

With strange requests for our most intimate knowledge,

To be used against us.

Your mother’s maiden name,

Your first pet,

Your high school mascot,

A way inside.

Our memories are our vulnerability.


There, waiting in a tower of thorns we hide behind walls.

Ignoring the needy who gather at the gates by day.

We stay closed for business,

To those with needs unmet.

Never pondering,

Only pontificating from the ramparts.

And the guards pay no mind,

Until the siege weapons arrive,

Well past the time of asking.


They erect the weapons just beyond our reach,

With great desperation.

Then we dig in.

Prepare the boiling oil,

Prepare the volley of flaming arrows,

And slings, to keep our outrageous fortunes,

To ourselves.


But know,

The walls will fall.

They always do eventually.

Even with our pride bolstering them.

Even after they crumble,

We cling to their illusion of solidity,

And believe everything we think.

Until it rots us through to the core.


Then, we stand amongst the rubble wondering why.

Screaming in the darkness at some imaginary god to save us.

Requesting thoughts and prayers,

Rather than doing anything at all.


And so we join the lost,

The homeless.

For we have no home in ourselves.


Wandering,

Pounding at the gates of another

Begging for entrance,

Pleading for compassion.

Cut by the thorns as we try to scale their walls.

And we construct siege weapons,

To topple the towers,

And bring all to ruin,

Because we have been ruined by our indifference.


I have built a wall

I have dug a moat,

Made of algorithms.

To cling, to avoid,

Both are poisons.

I have turned away,

I have clung until my fists bled.

My own life, slipping through my fingers.

Only to find Saturn return and demolish my walls,

With the weight of its gravity.


Open the gates.

Smash the walls.

Feel the freedom of the open-air,

Of strange conversations in dense forests,

And find the wisdom in the unkempt grass,

Or roll in the mud until you are baptized.


There is no choice.

To ignore is only to delay.

To ignore is to forfeit your will,

Your choice in the matter.


Go Then,

Be forced naked into a wilderness that no longer wants you,

But claims you anyway.


We will make good mud.


We are exiles of our own making.  

The Argument (Poetry)

The Argument ©Michael Kilman 2022

The argument

There they are!

A few glimmering words, circling the inside of my skull

I reach… Pluck… Pluck… Pluck

Butterflies churn and excitement grows stirring me from near slumber

Something new to be born as the stars circle overhead.


Forget it.

You cannot grasp them.

Your tongue is swollen and thick from too much use

Your body aches from a endless maddening hustle

And your fingers dare not toil at their sacred assemblage


Liar!

Look at how they shimmer!

They are bright in the dark that they will arrange themselves as oceans often do

They caress me in all the right ways

And I long for their knowledge, their truth

I cannot ignore their cultivation.


Weep then,

Weep for hours on end for they will not flow from your lips or fingertips  

They will leave you a widow, after a lifetime of promises,

Moaning at all your loss

And then, kick you to the shadows where you will linger long waiting for a promised sun

That never shines


But I must!

For what else is to be done now at this late hour?

The clock maddens my mind with it’s ticking taunts

What fruit could this debate lay naked and open

It is best to embrace when the eyes will not close

I submit to their shimmer and ally myself to their cause.


Blocked

That is where you will find yourself,

Outside the door of an illustrious mansion, hearing the clambering and laughter of guests.

But with no key for entry. In vein you will jostle the doorknob.

Lusting after them with no passage.

You chase in vein fool, how many have you plucked?


Oh my good sir,

I have plucked them all in argument.

I have found peace in your taunts.

They are settled, nestling against my heart.

And they are alive.