Stone Telling

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Merciful Deity

by Emily Jiang

I was once male
with a name that flowed
like sunshine,
my countenance serene,
blessing all.
It was easy to be merciful.

Then I became female
with a name you needed to grimace
to pronounce.
I was given more tasks,
ordered to unearth the king
of monkeys and crown him
with pain. All in the name

of mercy.
Please, change
my name

Emily Jiang has many names, none of her own choosing, and she is not a deity.  Her favorite is Athena, followed by Artemis, followed by Kuan Yin, the reluctant subject of this poem.  "Merciful Deity" is a companion poem to "Monkey, Trapped" published in Stone Telling 4.  Emily's poetry has also been published in Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, and The Moment of Change anthology.

Audio Recording:
Na'amen has several names, many of his own choosing, and he is secretly a deity of fabulous fun. His favorite deity is currently Tlazolteotl, who is both eater of filth and purifying goddess. Na'amen's fiction has been published in Collective Fallout and his poetry can be found in Stone Telling, Dangerous Sweetness and Faggot Dinosaur.

Photography: adapted from The bodhisattva Kuan-yan (Guan Yin), Northern Sung dynasty, China, c. 1025, by uncredited sculptor.