Posts Tagged ‘Speculative Poetry’

Another step, this on the road for poetry, to resolve some questions involving commas in “Roadkill Doll,” one of two poems being set up for STAR*LINE (cf. May 1) from Editor Vince Gotera.  The trick with poetry is oftentimes not the just the words themselves, but how they’re presented and why they’re presented so.  And so, too, the importance of punctuation — and whether a poem is something that’s to be seen on a page, or if it’s to be sometimes read aloud:  that is, grammar versus flow.

So it’s complicated, but questions answered, reasons given, and just sent back, with “Roadkill Doll” (and companion poem “Enemy Action”) now that much closer to publication in a future STAR*LINE.

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Two pieces of news to start a new month, the first from STAR*LINE editor Vince Gotera:  Sorry for the long delay.  I’m behind but catching up.  I’d like to accept “Enemy Action” and “Roadkill Doll.”  Could you please let me know if those are still available?  STAR*LINE is the magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) and has been noted on these pages before, while “Enemy Action,” I might also note, adds to a series of three-line haiku-ish poems about a mermaid vampiress and her various acts of gluttony, several of which have also appeared in previous issues of STAR*LINE.  (“Roadkill Doll,” on the other hand, is a stand-alone celebration of two iconic American not-quite people and, more to the point, yes, both poems were still available.)

Also, it being the first day of May, the spring mammoth royalty season has begun, bringing. . . .  Well, surprise, surprise, right off the bat a fully two-figure payment to PayPal, not the first ever (see, e.g., January 25 2018, et al.) but easily enough to buy a nourishing if modest dinner,* and that’s something worthy of celebrating.  In this case the payment is for book sales over several months, but a book that’s been on the market for some years so it’s not exactly in the midst of an advertising blitz.  And it all adds up, yes?

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*That is to say, no cocktails beforehand, but maybe enough for a small dessert after.

Sunday brought a new festival of sorts, a “Bloomington Street Fair” in which the Writers Guild, among other groups, had a booth.  I was not a participant myself directly, though I did lend several books to be displayed with other members’ to let the world at large (or at least locally) know of our various publications.  Among others, two favorite anthologies of mine were there, a very respectable-looking, hardbound GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor Books, 1997) and an almost maniacally enthusiatically designed THE HUNGRY DEAD (Popcorn Press, 2010), the latter with both a story and a poem by me in it.

But speaking of poetry, Sunday afternoon also meant “Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic” time at the Monroe County Convention Center with, in honor of April as National Poetry Month, a special “Poetry Palooza” all open-mike session which I, having missed last month, did attend.  COME and read your own poems, or read poems written by someone else, talk all things poetry, laugh and listen and meet and greet.  I brought a couple of items there as well, should people wish to read from, say, a RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY, but the turnout was actually on the small size, with eight attending, so chairs were arranged into a circle with all of us reading work in turn.  My selections were both from my VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), the first and last poems in the book, “Blood Portrait” about Max Shreck and the movie NOSFERATU in the first round, then “Chagrin du Vampire” about a vampirized Mina Harker for the second.

It’s a bit low key in its way, with only this the description on Amazon:  BÊTE NOIRE brings you the best in dark fiction.  In this issue we bring you William Delman, James Dorr, Kevin Hartack, Abhishek Sengupta, Bruce Boston, Pauline Yates, John Grey, Ken Goldman, Marge Simon, Alice Andersen, Bill Thomas, Ronald A. Busse, and Luke Chapman.  Marked as published on April 14 (the news travels slowly to match a late-coming spring) it’s a rather slim volume at 46 pages, but these containing some heavy hitters, Boston, Grey, Simon. . . .  My part in the patch is called “Even Odds,” a quietly apocalyptic speculation which (one hopes) will match the issue itself in being a long time coming (see February 26 2019; December 11 2017).

From my earlier post, BÊTE NOIRE specializes in fiction and poems that are (quoting the guidelines) well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.  We are open to most genres as long as they have a dark side. This includes horror, dark sci-fi, dark fantasy, crime, mystery or dark humor.  For more on which, or to order a copy one can press here.

Well, first off it’s now the final 86, two more slots apparently having been added since last we checked.  This is the LISTOPIA BEST HORROR ANTHOLOGIES LIST on Goodreads that we’ve been exploring to see if any with stories by me are in the lineup.  And, yes, there have been:  three in the first one hundred slots (as posted below on March 12), two in the second 100 (March 28, one of which was in a 5-way tie), and one in the final full one hundred (April 12, this one in a . . . wait for it . . . 58-way tie!).  But what of the rest, the 84 — oops, 86 — titles that remain?

The good news is yes, there is one more book, DANTE’S DISCIPLES, locked in a tie also with ROD SERLING’S NIGHT GALLERY READER, that includes not quite a story of mine but a poem.  A very long poem.

And herein is a tale, and perhaps a special spot in my auctorial heart (isn’t that a neat word — auctorial?).  It’s one I was invited to write, a “canto” in the style of the poetry in Dante’s INFERNO, which actually came out a little longer than Dante’s cantos at a bit less than 200 lines.  Also, titled “Canto (Evocare!),” it was written in the voice of Satan, giving a sort of overview of Hell is all about.

The thing is, I subsequently presented “Canto (Evocare!)” at a poetry reading at World Fantasy Convention where Dark Regions Press Editor Joe Morey heard it, inviting me to republish it in his upcoming THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASTIC FICTION, which I agreed to.  Then in subsequent conversation we discussed my submitting a collection — something I was at just about the right time to do — resulting in my first full-size book, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE (and which was, some years later, followed by DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, for both of which click on their pictures in the center column).

But back to the present, for more on DANTE’S DISCIPLES itself (which despite my poem, is mostly stories) and the 85 other books in this last batch, please to press here.

Another voice from the past received (cf. December 11 2017) with today’s email:  It’s been a long time coming, but issue 27 of BÊTE NOIRE is finally coming together. Attached is your poem as it will appear in our magazine.  If you could, please take a moment to look it over and let me know if everything looks okay.  Publication originally had been planned for October 2018 but, as we know well in the writing biz, delays sometimes do happen.

Looking back to the guidelines,  BÊTE NOIRE specializes in fiction and poems that are well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.  We are open to most genres as long as they have a dark side.  This includes horror, dark sci-fi, dark fantasy, crime, mystery or dark humor.  For myself I think of “Even Odds” as falling into the “dark humor” category there, but it’s also a bit on the nihilistic side (being  as it’s about the end of the world and such) which might suggest a gloomy tinge too.

But to the point, corrections (just a small one and that in my biographical note) went back this afternoon, with more to be here as it becomes revealed.

The Goth cat Triana, herself a lover of seafood, was given the choice of a short poem of mine to share for the occasion.  Her selection, as it happens, might be dedicated especially to southern hemisphere readers who, in places like Australia where 100 degree plus temperatures appear to be common for this February, might plan to spend Valentine’s Day at the beach.

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WET WORK

mermaid vampiress
scarlet billows greet her kiss
a sea of love

 

“Wet Work” was originally published in the Fall 2017 STAR*LINE.

And now how about a bit of print?  Let us look back to September 5 last year, announcing the sale of a poem, “Escalations,” to ILLUMEN MAGAZINE.  This one was advertised to come out in their Winter issue and . . . here it is, arriving in yesterday evening’s mail!  The poem itself is near the front, on page 15, bracketed by poems by Frank Coffman and Bruce Boston, and tells the tale of what transpired after the historic meeting of Bambi and Godzilla (as captured on film by Marv Newland, for which one may press here), setting off a train of events with worldwide implications concerning the sport of basketball.

How so, you ask?  Well, it’s all in ILLUMEN, published by Alban Lake, which a spot check tells me isn’t up on Amazon yet, but which also can be bought by pressing here.

Holidays no longer in the way, January’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic” (cf. September 30, et al.) came off on schedule, although due to other obligations I had to arrive a bit late.  Sponsored by the Bloomongton Writers Guild with the Monroe County Convention Center, the event featured Indiana University alumnus and community action and non-profits advocate C.D. Culper and Writers Guild founding member and past chairperson Patsy Rahn, the latter’s reading including poems from her new book, THE GRAINY WET SOUL.  Then after intermission I was third of seven unscheduled poets with an older poem to celebrate the January 19 birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, “The Resurrection Man,” about grave-robbing and initially published in ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT (Unnameable Press, 1995, itself published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Poe’s “The Raven”).

Then an “itty bitty” announcement that Tuesday, in two days, the Kickstarter will begin for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE, a 100-writer flash fiction anthology edited by Jason Brick (see January 21, 19), including a new piece by me, “The Junkie.”  To quote from my initial announcement, “check back here for future info and, when the Kickstarter is announced, be aware that generosity will be appreciated by ninety-nine authors as well as me.”  So, reminder posted, tune again here on Tuesday when the news, with link, will appear — and remember as well that my story (to quote myself again) “does have a zombie in it.”

‘Tis the season and all that, so Saturday had me attending not one, but two parties, the first of which was the Bloomington Writers Guild year-end business meeting, pot luck fest, and open mike for everyone gala (see December 9 2017, et al.).  Chicken, salads, pizza, sweets.  Come reading time, my presentation was four very brief, humorous horror poems, all of which were in this Spring’s STAR*LINE: “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “She Did What?,” “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating,” and “From the Zombie Hunter’s Field Guide: Tracking the Zombie,” all of which I now discover I’d read before but nonetheless which went over well.

That was Saturday afternoon, while evening brought the local Society for Creative Anachronism annual Yule fest:  more food (ham and turkey, pulled pork, deviled eggs, more sweets) and music, the latter of which I helped provide, my recorder group playing carols for a sing along session, followed, as time in the hall ran low, by a Renaissance tune for people to dance to.  In all a pleasant end to the day, but exhausting also.




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