Posts Tagged ‘Dark Humor’

Hopefully not to the former!  But the question does come up, what about Valentine’s Day for those people you don’t like so much?  And with less than a month left, here is one answer courtesy of Angel Orona on Facebook’s SHIT JUST GOT WEIRD, “Delivered in Hate: In the Victorian Era, People Sent These Grotesque ‘Vinegar Valentines’ to Their Enemies” from VINTAGE.ES (a.k.a. VINTAGE EVERYDAY).  Or, possibly better, maybe you shouldn’t be hanging around so much with people like that in the first place.

Nevertheless we are into horror and, who knows, one could be on the receiving end too.  So as the February feast day approaches, if only to be forewarned press here.

Then back to business, it was an odd sort of contract, an interactive one in a way, but contracts are contracts and this was received from ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE Editor Jason Brick earlier this afternoon (cf. just below, January 19).  I hope you’re still jazzed about this anthology.  The team and I sure are.  Today, though, we’re mostly about business.  More fun stuff comes later, but it’s always best to get the money and contract stuff done early so everybody’s on the same page and nobody’s feelings get hurt.  It was followed by a preview of what would be covered, and then:  If this still sounds like your idea of a good time, click the button below.  It will take you to a Google form where you sign off on this plain-English agreement.  From there, you’re in and we’re all set to move forward.

And there, step by step, one could check the “yes” boxes as each point came up, finally typing one’s name and the date — all easy and neat and uncomplicated, an interesting idea!  Be that as it may, I did as required, and back it went.

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As we continue to settle into 2019, today brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s opening event, “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. December 2, November 4, et al.), this time in the back room of the downtown Soma Coffeehouse.  Featured readers were Bloomington-based writer and occasional dancer and actor Zilia Balkansky-Sellés with “mostly memoirs,” Wendy Teller with the opening chapter of her novel-in-progress THE SORROWS OF SEX, and local poet Eric Rensberger with a brief historical chat about the afternoon’s venue followed by a series of fifteen loosely connected “prose poem paragraphs.”  Holding a larger than average audience, these were followed by seven walk-ons, of which I was third with a just-written (on New Year’s Day to be exact) science-fiction satire of zombies and borders titled “Steel Slats.”

The last month of the year and a new “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. November 4, et al.), presented by the Bloomington Writers Guild at the Thomas Gallery, featured local activists Bill and Glenda Breeden and long-time participant Antonia Matthew (see, e.g., May 6).  Glenda led off with three personal essays on bumper stickers, visiting prisoners, and . . . um . . . the down side of not watching one’s step around dogs.  She was followed by Tonia with a sad “fictional memoir” inspired by a writers workshop prompt, to write about a marvelous person, but with a serious defect.  Then rounding it out, Bill, who is also a retired Unitarian Universalist minister, offered two humorous memoirs about growing up as a preacher’s son in 1950s and ’60s Indiana.

After the break there were only three open mike offerings this time of which mine was second, previewing my recently sold science fiction Christmas saga “Holly Jolly” (see November 14, 6, September 7) of an alien invasion that failed (and another that didn’t), soon to be out in the Winter issue of PLANET SCUMM.

Well, the bio to be of me as author, of course, with the story in question “Holly Jolly,” a saga of cosplay and STAR TREK and Christmastide elves (cf. November 6, September 27).  Not to mention the big guy himself, Santa.  But, of me, the request came today from PLANET SCUMM editor Tyler Wonanin:  Could I get your author bio? Something written in third person between 80 and 150 words would work best.  And so back it has gone at something just under 135 words.

PLANET SCUMM, incidentally, is now open for post-Christmas issue submissions for those interested.  It’s semi-pro, paying $30 plus some profit sharing for up to 3000 words — not riches, but it looks kind of fun — with guidelines available by pressing here.

It starts with a longish poem from Marge Simon, “Robert Browning and the Spider Poet,” and ends with a flurry of poetry by Christina Sng (a fun one, her second, “Catsitting on Halloween”).  No, Triana, don’t get any ideas.  But what it is is a “Gallery of Poetry” in a jam-packed October/Halloween edition of the HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER.  And, between the two poets already mentioned, are three mini-poems (two haikuish, the third a four-liner) by me.

But for extra fun, the three I chose were all published first on this very blog, on February 14 2013 (yes, that’s Valentine’s Day) and February 14 and September 24 2017.  And one at least, the first, is a love poem (well, sort of a love poem — a warning perhaps).  The others, perhaps, a bit more on the dark-humored side.  The poems themselves are titled “Best Appraise that Diamond Fast,” “The Vampiress’s Embarrassment,” and “Land of Milk and Honey,” and all may be seen (Marge Simon’s, Christina Sng’s, and mine) by pressing here.

Well, the lighting seems a bit dark to my eye and it sounds like I might have made a hideous mistake early in the first poem, seemingly reading “or I’ll” for “or else” (hence implying Fay Wray would willingly get her hands dirty, doubtful in light of the second poem), but here it is, my reading of three poems “all revolving around everyone’s favorite, skyscraper-obsessed giant ape,” or so says the accompanying blurb.  And there, for Tuesday September 25, my public TV reading at the local WTIU studio (cf. September 18) of three Kong poems, “Godzilla vs. King Kong,” “On the Other Hand,” and “Monkey See,” for which press here.   (sigh)

Let us recall August 17’s post, including a reading of three vampire poetry presentations I taped for local public radio station WFUI’s “The Poet’s Weave.”  Today was the day for its TV equivalent at sister station WTIU with, according to producer Payton Knobeloch, possible airing on YouTube, etc., “as early as the end of the week.”  Or later, depending on editing, etc.

So, while the vampire readings will wait until closer to Halloween, this approximately three-minute set should appear in such places as YouTube quite a bit earlier, date and link to be shared on this blog if/as soon as I know myself.  Also unlike the radio, these poems were not that closely identified with horror as such, representing a celebration of movie great King Kong.  And to be sure, his love, Fay Wray.  Thus the poems themselves, “Godzilla vs. King Kong,” originally published in DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES, May 2016; “On the Other Hand” in GRIEVOUS ANGEL, 30 August 2015; and “Monkey See” in SPACE AND TIME, Fall 2011.

This one’s just one poem, of a group of three, but every one counts. The email came this afternoon from Editor Tyree Campbell:  I’m accepting one of these, “Escalations,” for the Winter 2019 [that’s this January] ILLUMEN, and you’ll receive payment with your contributor’s copy.  The poem itself is a dark humored one, some might say “silly,” a sort of riff on the classic film short “Bambi Meets Godzilla.”  As with many tales of horror, though, perhaps the real fear should be for what comes after.

Tyree continues, and I agree with him, [m]eanwhile, keep promoting poetry.  So many folks are terrified of it because they’re afraid someone might find out that they don’t understand it sometimes . . . it’s a never-ending battle for us publishers.  Poets, please take note.  While as for “Bambi Meets Godzilla,” to see it for yourself on YouTube press here.

Just a quick note, another list but one I want to save for myself courtesy of WordPress’s blog feed, “The Top 10 British Comedy Horror Films,” by C.M. Saunders.  I’m embarrassed to say I’ve only seen three of them myself (and maybe one of the Honorable Mentions), number one SHAUN OF THE DEAD, of course, and LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS, plus AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON which almost doesn’t count as it pops up on TV from time to time on this side of the pond too.  But see for yourself by pressing here, and CARRY ON SCREAMING (number seven on the list and one of a series of British “CARRY ON” outings, this one parodying Hammer films).

Yesterday saw the arrival of STAR*LINE 41.3, for summer, in the computer cave’s postal mailbox.  My entry in this is “What She Learned” (cf. July 15), on page 22, a humorous poem of a novice vampiress and how she was warming to her new career.  STAR*LINE is the quarterly publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association and with it came their annual DWARF STARS anthology of poems of ten lines or less, the best of which will be voted on by the SFPA membership.  More on it as well as STAR*LINE can be found on the SFPA website, for which one may press here.

Then speaking of vampires, this afternoon I read poetry at the Indiana University Radio-TV building for “The Poets Weave,” a series of five-minute poetry segments presented on WFIU, the University public radio station (see August 8).  I ended up reading three groups of four, three, and four poems each on the “who,” the “where,” and the “attraction” of vampirism, all from my 2011 collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), preceded by brief quotations from Rudyard Kipling, Bram Stoker, and Sheridan Le Fanu, respectively.  According to coordinator LuAnn Johnson, these probably won’t be aired until fall, as the season of Halloween approaches, with more exact dates as they’re known to be reported here.




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