“Changed” my lycanthrope poem in 13 Quick Shivers from DailyNightmare.com

My poem “Changed” just appeared in 13 Quick Shivers: from Dailynightmare.com a weird collection of 100-word prose poems. Full Disclosure: I’m a contributing editor at DailyNightmare.com so I was able to get in on the ground floor of this project — and I even got an “editor” credit on the book… at least partially because no one else wanted their real name on it.

They shouldn’t have been so coy; it’s a glorious experiment. The collection bridges the genres of poetry and prose by introducing the element of expressive typography. We at the DailyNightmare are fans of that 90’s era “new typography” that appeared most notably in Emigre, Plazm and Raygun magazines, the first flush of insanity afforded by digital typesetting. Each one of the prose-poems in 13 Quick Shivers is individually typeset with such weird, expressive typography. Reviews have been… honestly mixed with some folks just seriously not getting it. But that’s the risk of experimental projects.

My poem “Changed” is based on a nightmare, as are all the pieces in the volume, but this nightmare is one I’ve had recurrently quite literally for decades. The experience from this nightmare, the very physical sensation of running on all fours, is one of the reasons I describe myself as a part-time werewolf. I’ve been carrying this poem around with me for nearly as long as I’ve been having the dream, fiddling here, futzing there. But I have to admit, the sexual undercurrents didn’t emerge into the poem until the last few drafts. When that language started to appear, I smacked my head with a “Of COURSE” and went with it.

I feel morally obligated to note that DailyNightmare.Com intends to make the 13 Quick Shivers into an annual affair. Submissions will open again in January and I’ll probably throw up a link here.

“The Laughter of Dead Children” my poem in GrimCorps II

My creepy poem “The Laughter of Dead Children” is included in the second edition of GrimCorps, that classy dark literary journal from the Great NorthWest. The electronic copy is a free download and I’m pleased to be included in a collection of such nice work. It’s available now so, please check it out.

The poem itself came to me in a flash of inspiration after ReaderCon this year. One of the folks I really connected with was Daniel Jose Older, a writer of dark urban speculative fiction, rich in setting and actual grit. There’s a lot to like about his writing — and even more to like about him — but one of his stories in Salsa Nocturna
features the ghosts of dead children appear and what struck me was that he was wrong. That’s not what REAL child-ghosts are like, I thought, slightly aware of how psychotic that assertion might sound to some folks. I scrawled the first draft of the poem quite literally on the corner of the bookmark I was using and I carried that scrap around with me until I had a chance to tap it into my smartphone for further revision. Whenever I had a spare moment, waiting in line for instance, I’d fiddle and brood over the piece. Eventually I polished the language and clarified the vision until it became the weird little gem that it is now.

But please, let me know: Did get it right? How do you experience the ghosts of children?