Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Last night brought a little bit different mix at the First Wednesday Bloomington Writers Guild Spoken Word Series at Bear’s Place (cf. October 3, et al.).  The session began with poet Roger Pfingston with locally-based poems, primarily from his latest chapbook, WHAT’S GIVEN,

ad1d3d99-9b88-45d5-8437-96cfe3a51236.sized-1000x1000

Ernie Pyle, as remembered on the IU campus (IDS Photo)

followed by poet/performer and sometime teacher of theatrical magic Tom Hastings with dramatic readings of works by several poets and even a rope trick, emphasizing that a stage magician’s patter is at least as important as the trick itself.  Then third was WFHB radio writer and performer Richard Fish reading selections from Indiana University journalism graduate and war correspondent Ernie Pyle’s columns from World War II as an interesting — and in places touching — change of pace, while musical interludes were provided by guitarist and singer Gabriel Harley.

This was followed by six “Open Mic” readers (a seventh, Joan Hawkins, relinquished her spot to Gabriel Harley for two final songs), of which I was third with another in the “Casket Girls” series, “Flightless Rats,” of New Orleans vampiress Aimée’s encounter with a religious man with a slightly odd take on the Noah’s Ark story.

Came the announcement and with it the link:  AURELIA LEO’s All Hallows’ Eve Sale is around the corner!  Horror, dark fantasy, and paranormal titles are up to 25% off from October 27-November 7th!  Grab a discounted haunting tale before it’s too late!  Pay using credit or debit, including your bank account, using PayPal, Square, or CCBill.  You can even mail a check!  And so there’s more to it than just one book, but that’s the one that interests us (i.e. me), the Saturnalia-themed anthology HYPERION & THEIA and in it my long poem, originally published in White Wolf’s 1994 DARK DESTINY (also a Rhysling Nominee that year), “Dreaming Saturn.”

Or as Amazon has it, HYPERION & THEIA:  An Illustrated Anthology features otherworldly speculative poetry, stories, and art.  Gods and Goddesses of old prepare for destruction.  A demonic circus delivers a haunting finale.  The Shebeast lurks in the forest and pulls at heartstrings.  Alien diet supplements wreak havoc in near-future San Francisco.  Three women conspire to break an oath with a wicked witch.  The Herculaneum Scrolls reveal the role of ancient aliens.  A Roman warrior and a warrior turned slave venture into the territory of a Queen of ancient Egypt.  Two cowboys track dark magic in the Wild Wild West.  Ghosts stuck in the mortal realm high off drugs.  You are a lone radio jockey after the apocalypse.  Including, heading the contents, my multi-page poem “Dreaming Saturn.”

The sale, as said, covers other books as well and will run from October 27 through the first week of next month, ending November 7.  For more, press here.

The PDF copy of STAR*LINE has been published according to today’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association e-announcement.  All is not the same, however, as in the proof copy as noted below for October 15, not the least that the actual issue is numbered 42.4, the 41.4 of the proof being a cover image typo I didn’t spot myself at the time.  But the contents, too, have been shuffled a bit, my poems now appearing on pages 13, 15, and 28 — and not 13, 28, and 29 as before.  So the reshuffled shuffle has “Parents” on 13, as in the proof; “Gourmet Warning” plucked from page 29 and deposited at the bottom left of page 15, slipped as it were into the deep beneath the “President’s Message” (that is, the actual SFPA President’s message, not a different poem with that name); and “Waste Not, Want Not” (a.k.a. “The Frugal Vampiress”), finally, still guarding her place at the middle right of page 28.  The PDF version is available to SFPA members as part of their membership, as well as to contributors and advertisers, and will be followed by one in print in “a couple of weeks” when they’re back from the printer, at which time issues will be available for all to buy.

For those interested, more on STAR*LINE can be found on the SFPA website by pressing here.

The results are in:

1st: “Driving On” by Guy Medley
2nd: “Hook-Hand Man’s Last Night on Lovers’ Lane” by Patrick Barb
3rd: “Travel Bag” by Bryan Miller &
“Turkish Delight On the Blue Line” by Shoshana Edwards &
“Midnight Sun” by James Dorr

These are the results of the Crystal Lake Flash Fiction Challenge (see October 11, September 25) on the theme of Travel Horror, my entry being “Midnight Sun” on the wisdom (among other things) of heading north when threatened by a zombie apocalypse.  At least, that is, if it’s almost Christmas.  These were voted on by Crystal Lake Patreon subscribers (is that the right term?) of which I am not, so I can’t read the stories myself — but a win (even if in a tie for third place) is a win, yes?  And that’s not a bad thing.

And there’s more as well.  The e-announcement, received yesterday from Contest Coordinator Joe Mynhardt, went on:  After every challenge I check with the authors of stories I really like (or stories that were quite popular with the patrons, even though they didn’t win) about what they want to do with their story.  I’m looking for some stories to fill our SHALLOW WATERS anthologies, and would love to include your story.  These books roughly 20k words, eBook only, and selling at only 99c.  It’s basically just a cool way to promote great flash and our Patreon page, while bringing in a bit of funds for our bigger projects.

So “Midnight Sun” will have a home too, my having just sent back my “yes” this afternoon.   More details to come as soon as I get them.

Then one more item.  Today the proof copy came for STAR*LINE 41.4, for Fall 2019, with corrections going back later today.  I have three poems in this one (cf. October 4), “Parents,” “The Frugal Vampiress,” and “Gourmet Warning,” to appear on pages 13, 28, and 29 respectively.

I’d only sent them in Sunday, September 29, and today the word came:  I’d like to accept “Waste Not, Want Not,” “Parents,’ and “Gourmet Warning.”  Could you please let me know if they are still available?  The magazine: STAR*LINE (cf August 30, 24, et al.), the publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) and no great stranger to these pages.  And one may be sure I e-assured Editor Vince Gotera that, yes, the poems were available, ready, and waiting to be published at STAR*LINE’s pleasure.

The poems concern a frugal vampiress, alien family values, and the mermaid vampiress (who STAR*LINE readers have met before) up to her gluttonous tricks once again.  And, I might add, this is a bit quicker than the average STAR*LINE acceptance time, but I’m hardly complaining — in fact it’s adding to a so far rather pleasant beginning of autumn.  A publication date has yet to be determined, but will be announced here as soon as I know.  And, as for the magazine itself, more information on STAR*LINE can be found here.

Past Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf was the lead featured reader at Wednesday’s Bloomington Writers Guild Spoken Word Series at Bear’s Place (cf. September 4, et al.), reading a dozen selections from his latest book, INDIANA HILL COUNTRY.  He was followed in a slightly truncated session by writer and sometime dancer and actor Zilia Balkansky-Selles with four highly descriptive essay-poems, “two long, and two short,” and Newburgh Indiana poet and musician Jon Koker with work from his book SON.  Musical interludes were by guitarist/songwriter Richard Layton, while I came in second of seven “Open Mic” readers with the shortest and newest (and perhaps somewhat influenced by Joan Hawkins’ and Tonia Matthew’s “color” presentation last month) of the “Casket Girls” series, “Shades of Difference.”

The illustration is by artist and poet and current Horror Writers Association trustee Marge Simon, who some years ago challenged me to write a poem about it.  The result, titled “Émile’s Ghosts” (the title was also Marge’s, for the illustration), was published originally accompanied by the picture in ILLUMEN in Spring 2008 and also appears in my 2011 poetry collection, VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  And now it, still with the illustration at my suggestion if Marge was willing, has been published again in the HWA’s October NEWSLETTER, a special expanded Halloween issue, with a full dozen poets included, including such names as Linda Addison and Alessandro Manzetti, Michael A. Arnzen, Christina Sng, Stephane M. Wytovich . . . the list goes on.  So for HWA members, just press “Gallery of Poets” in the October NEWSLETTER (fourth from the bottom in the issue’s contents), then scroll down and down until you see the picture, the only illustration that’s there, with the poem to its left.

A quick Sunday note that yesterday’s email brought a notice from HUMANAGERIE Co-Editor Allen Ashley (cf. July 24, April 3, March 21, et al) announcing yet another review, from the international poetry news and event website WRITE OUT LOUD (a.k.a. WRITEOUTLOUD.NET).  Word of the anthology does get around!  My part in this is the TOMBS related tale of “Crow and Rat,” a pair of good-for-nothings on a dying, depleted far-future Earth and, while reviewer Neil Leadbeater doesn’t cite it specifically (there is, however, a paragraph on prose in general, as well as the poetry), it does give a nice overview of the book as a whole.  It also ends with a link to the publishers website, for those who might be interested in buying it or just for further information, while the review itself can be seen by pressing here.

A new month and tonight a new Bloomington Writers Guild “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” (cf. August 7, et al.), co-sponsored by local Bear’s Place tavern, was heavy on poetry.  The featured guests, in fact, were four members of Bloomington’s “Five Women Poets” writing group, Antonia Matthew (who we’ve met before, including with last month’s “Home Front” audio drama, cf. August 10) with an “assisted” (i.e. a portion of the “plus one”?) dialog poem on “Flip Flops at the White House,” but with more serious work as well; Anya Peterson Royce with poems on dancers, anthropology, Ireland, and other topics; Leah Helen May with memories of childhood and toads, locusts, seasons, and old age; and Margaret Fisher Squires on dragons, remodeling, psychology, and Biblical ruminations.  This was followed by a not quite feature, not quite walk-on (the rest of “plus one”?) on a sort of Writers Guild inside joke with Chairperson Joan Hawkins reading names of colors of black with commentary by Antonia Matthew.  So — okay — you had to be there.

Musical interludes were by Travis Puntarelli.  Then at real “Open Mic” time there were only three takers this outing, with me first with another “casket girls” tale, “A Surfeit of Poe,” about poetess Yvonne’s having met Baudelaire and bringing back a copy of his first volume of translations of Edgar Allan Poe.  But the question was, did Poe ever write any tales about vampires?

THE BUBBLE is the work of writer/director Arch Oboler, famous for his LIGHTS OUT! radio plays in the 1930s and ’40s.  He’s the same Arch Oboler responsible for the 1952 3-D film BWANA DEVIL, who for the rest of his life was a vocal cheerleader for the artistic and commercial potential of 3-D movies.

Oboler liked communicating his ideas about humanity and our imperfect society using the narrative vehicle of the strange, the bizarre, the unexpected.  THE BUBBLE is this kind of story.  Some have compared the film to an extended episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE or THE OUTER LIMITS, and there’s a ring of truth to that.  The events of THE BUBBLE unfold like a groggy dream, nightmarish not in its intensity but in its unsettling mood and mysterious implications.

Thus begins an Amazon review by David M. Ballew of THE BUBBLE, Friday’s “Not-Quite Midnights” series first fall semester screening at the Indiana University Cinema.  Maybe not madness, exactly, but lovely 1966 schlock with at least a sort of zombie apocalypse.  That is, it’s more a psychological thing, but the people in the mysterious town our heroes find themselves in, a man and his wife and their newborn child along with the pilot who unwittingly landed them there, certainly act like zombies.  The cabdriver asks “do you need a ride” but never drives (the hero ultimately commandeering his taxi), the bartender keeps polishing the same glass pausing only to repeat “how may I serve you?” when addressed directly, the bar’s entertainer does her dance without needing music. . . .  A kind of a bad place to raise a new child.  And, as the Cinema’s program puts it, [t]hen there is an even more terrifying discovery — the zombie inhabitants live under an impenetrable dome, trapped like insects in a jar.  Can Catherine, Mark, and their newborn baby escape THE BUBBLE, or will they become mindless drones trapped in a human zoo?

AND, going back to David M. Ballew on Amazon, the real star of THE BUBBLE is Space-Vision 3-D.  The first truly practical American single-strip 3-D system, Space-Vision delivers strong, deep, beautifully rounded stereoscopic imagery that is nevertheless pleasantly comfortable to view, owing in part to the felicities of the original system design and in part to the remarkable restoration work put forth in this Blu-Ray incarnation by Bob Furmanek and Greg Kintz.  If 3-D were a classic Hollywood film actress, you would say she was never lovelier than she is right here.

In other words (but noting this was a theater version “[r]estored from the 35mm negatives by the 3-D Film Archive,” though it may have led to the Blu-Ray one Ballew cites), an ideal film for the IU Cinema:  entertaining, historically /technically important, even avant-garde in its way, and just a whole lot of fun.

Then a second quick note, in view of the lateness in sending some print copies, the DWARF STARS voting deadline for ultra short poems (see just below, August 30) has been extended until September 15.  SFPA has emailed a new voting link to members and it also appears in the July 7 email that included the link for the PDF edition.




  • My Books

    (Click on image for more information)
  • Chapbooks

  • Poetry

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,558 other followers