Émile’s Ghosts: A New Orleans Lagniappe; Vampire Poem Makes Disturbed Cover

And so I have returned from New Orleans and World Horror Convention, more on which over the next day or so.  But for now, it’s been a while since we’ve had a real poetry lagniappe — the occasional little story or poem or other item, free for the enjoyment, that just gets thrown in for no other particular reason — and this one seemed like it might be appropriate.  (Among other things, on Sunday evening I went on a “Ghosts and Vampires in the French Quarter” tour, heavier perhaps on hauntings than blood-lettings but still fun.)

 

ÉMILE’S GHOSTS

The mirrors held spooks!
The images, wisps of loves,
stared out from silvered mists
whenever he approached,
washing or combing his beard or his hair,
they mouthed words as if to speak
yet never made a sound,
red lips instead settling into accusing pouts,
deep eyes condemning.
He knew them, of course — in his youth,
in France, he had been a seducer,
a rover, a thief of hearts;
he recognized them, his Yvette,
his Monique,
his Marie, his Hélène,
but now in his age having flown to New Orleans
seeking to drown his Parisian aplomb
in a Cajun patois,
the memories had followed,
souls captured in glass
come back finally to haunt him.

From the Spring 2008 ILLUMEN, reprinted in VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  “Émile’s Ghosts” was originally based on an illustration (and suggested title) by illustrator and poet Marge Simon.

 

Then, within the pile of email I’ll be spending much of the rest of the night sorting out (I did not bring a computer to New Orleans reasoning, it turns out correctly, that there would be much better things to do with my timeImage there), one item stands out.  The premiere issue of Alban Lake’s DISTURBED DIGEST (see May 9) has been published with my poem “The Specialist” one of three featured items on the cover.  DISTURBED Editor Terrie Relf seeks the paranormal, the vampiric, the spooky, the creepy, among other things — poetry and fiction that’s, well, disturbing, and last month two of my poems apparently made the grade, both about vampires with a perhaps skewed sense of right and wrong.  Or maybe, in their minds, it’s just an excuse.  The second poem is, in fact, titled “It Would Be Wrong” and I think it will be in this issue as well, but until my own copy comes (or I see a separate contents listing) I won’t be able to say I know for sure.

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