Vampire Reading at Fountain Square Poets; 100 Doors to Madness Full Cover Revealed

Three times a year for the last few years, in February, June, and October, the Bloomington Writers Guild and  the By Hand Gallery have presented the Fountain Square Poetry Series, a gallery exhibition combined with, in the downtown Fountain Square Mall atrium, a poetry  reading with musical interludes.  And so, this Friday evening, the poetry half of it presented the Bloomington Peace Choir along with local poets Nancy Chen Long, Evelyn Reynolds, Lavonne Jahan’Tigh, and . . . me.  These are varied presentations, the poets with different subjects and styles, the music usually instrumental but in this case vocal to fill intermissions between the poetry.  The poets appear in two half-hour sessions (that is, for seven and a half minutes each) and one quickie round of two and a half minutes each and, at least for me, between rounds rush to the gallery at the other side of the mall to swipe cookies, cake, and melon off the snack table they set up just outside their door.

There’s also free popcorn provided by the mall staff as well as punch on the By Hand Gallery snack table — neither of which are good for poets who are reading, though, given their tendencies to dry out and/or get sticky in one’s mouth.   But that’s just my opinion (and I did grab a bag of popcorn after the two main sessions, having also filled a cup with water at a mall water cooler).

While these presentations aren’t normally planned to be seasonal in flavor (though Evelyn Reynolds did read one or two poems on the beauty of autumn), I had been invited to read at this one specifically because of its relative nearness to Halloween.  And so, not to disappoint, I made up a program of poems entirely from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) — for more on VAMPS, well you know the drill, click on its picture in the center column — divided into three segments:  The Who (to meet some of the vamps, beginning with ”La Méduse,” “The Aeronaut,” “Vampire Thoughts,” “Nadja,” and “Night Child”); The Where (places where vampires may hang out, with “Why She Started Writing Poetry,” “Alley Thoughts,” “City Magic,” “When she Won the 1.000.000 Credit Galactic Lottery,” shorties “Daylight Saving” and “Naughty or Nice,” “The List,” and ”Chagrin du Vampire”); and for the brief final session, The Attraction (“Moonlight Swimming” and “The Esthete”).

Afterward one of the organizers said she was particularly impressed with the sensuousness of the female vampires 100_Doors_Madnessin my selections.  I assured her that I would tell them she said that.

And speaking of vampires, word came today that while the flash fiction horror anthology 100 DOORS TO MADNESS (see June 5, et al.) seems to be running a little late with regards to a hoped for September release, a picture of its front and back covers is now available from publisher Forgotten Tomb Press — and so who am I not to pass it on?  My quickie-contribution to this one is an alternate ending for the 1934 Gloria Holden film DRACULA’S DAUGHTER, titled “The Shackles.”


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