In my dream, I got an email from Amazon apologizing about forgetting to ship a book with my entire order last time and they want to know if they should ship it now or together with another recent order I just placed.
The only thing is, I never ordered this book but apparently was charged $14 or $15 for it. It totally looked like a book I would've bought and in fact, had a similar black and red cover of the book I just received. Each book was an occult book and this one, in particular, I remember most of the title and the author was supposed to have been Eliphas Levi.
Upon waking, I looked everywhere online to try to find this book or even a book like it because that book, if it existed, would be an awesome book to have in my occult library. I have found nothing even close.
I have taken this dream as a sign to write this book myself.
And then a few nights afterward, as I'm reading a book, I get to a section that slaps me right in the face as research for this dream book. Pieces of information that I wanted to cover in this book.
Note that I started reading this book *before* my dream but this section, which was the only part in the book I've read so far, came after I had my dream.
I think this is another clue/hint/sign to write this.
I'm not going to currently state what this book is about because it's a highly controversial subject, which is probably why there is no book already on it.
So, lately, I have been very busy reading, researching, and taking notes for this nonfiction/occult piece. I am really passionate about it; I just hope I don't burn out.
I am happy to announce that Vastarien, Vol. 1, Issue 2 by Grimscribe Press is out and it features my poem, The Crafter of the World!
VASTARIEN Vol. 1, Issue 2 – Contents
Patent for an Artificial Uterus
Max D. Stanton
The Crafter of the World
Bequeathing the World to Insects
The Master Gardener
The November House
Lacan on Lynch: Viewing Twin Peaks through a Psychoanalytic Lens
Rob F Martin
soul of a mannequin
Shirley Jackson and That Old Black Magic
How to be a Horror Writer
Cover Art by Yves Tourigny. Book design by Anna Trueman. Internal art by Giuseppe Balestra, Ksenia Korniewska, Serhiy Krykun, Carl Lavoie, and Art of Øyvind Lauvdahl. Co-Editors-In-Chief, Matt Cardin and Jon Padgett. Senior Editor, Dagny Keith Paul.
I love horror and then fantasy only slightly less and then science fiction. I write pretty evenly between horror and fantasy with dark fantasy being a good middle ground. Rarely do I write science fiction. And rarely do I write fiction at that. But I've written two science fiction short stories out of the 8 fiction stories I've written since taking my writing seriously in roughly 2011.
The first of these two stories is called Infused Realities which can be read for free here. Unfortunately, what I originally wrote and what was published ended up being two completely different stories. The editor and I didn't quite see eye to eye but at that time I was naive and thought that whatever the editor said was for the best. But that's beside the point. The point actually being, that the second science fiction story I wrote is based in the same world with a reoccurring character and that story, Amadis the Enchantress, has just been accepted for Test Patterns: Creature Features by Planet X Publications!!
Amadis the Enchantress marks my third short story sale ever and as primarily a poet, I couldn't be more shocked and amazed that this happened. The tentative release date is October.
If you can't finish reading Infused Realities (I understand), my poem Vexteria is about the planet that Infused Realities and Amadis the Enchantress takes place on. Vexteria can be found in Spectral Realms No. 2 by Hippocampus Press, Within Stranger Aeons by J. Ellington Ashton Press, and Diary of a Sorceress.
On another awesome note, my poetry reprint, II. Bat in the Boiler Room, has been accepted for Haunted are these Houses by Unnerving Magazine! That is scheduled to come out in September.
“Nyarlathotep, the crawling chaos ... I am the last ... I will tell the audient void.” -- HPL 1920, and inspirational quote for the Audient Void journal
Horror and weird-fiction aficionados will love this print magazine. What is an "Audient Void"? Well the official byline is: "The Audient Void is a periodical devoted to publishing Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy as well as poetry and select works of non-fiction." Audient is akin to audience and infers that there is a sentient void (nondescript shadow entity) that listens from beyond our normal senses. As readers consuming this horror anthology, are we in the Void listening? Or watching from outside?
This 5th entry is 60 pages, and is saturated with H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith influences, and the contents reflect an appropriate heavy dose of poetry. Gustav Dore illustrations are complemented by contemporary art by Brad Hicks. The crew behind most of the works have some nice mojo. One can learn more about the Audient Void from their website and a splendid interview on the Grim Tidings Podcast. Here is the summary of that podcast:
In this episode we take a special look at dark poetry. Host Rob Matheny recently attended the Hippocampus Press Happy Hour, a special event debuting the publisher's newest poetry collections as part of the HP Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. During the event Rob had a chance to interview four writers who specialize in dark poetry: Ashley Dioses, K.A. Opperman, Adam Bolivar, and D.L. Myers - also known as The Crimson Circle. Rob also interviewed Obadiah Baird and Dan Sauer of The Audient Void, a small Oregon-based zine featuring the works of The Crimson Circle among others. This episode highlights the growing dark poetry community, including short readings from each poet.
I'm a big fan of John R. Fultz, his name and Darrell Schweitzer brought me to this magazine and I was not disappointed. I also frequent the Grim Tidings podcast and recommend that as well.
"Oorg" by John R. Fultz ; Dunsanian/ Clark Ashton Smith tale (Horror Sci-Fi)
"Old Lovecraftians In The Park" by David Barker ; Creepy old man ogling girls in the park is the focus, he gets inspired by nostalgia and an old friend’s writings of the genius-loci of the park… he matures in a weird way.
"Love In The Time Of Dracula" by John R. Fultz ; Dystopian Vampire Apocalypse, with a compelling romance
"Why Should We Worship Dagon" by Darrell Schweitzer; Funny call to join the ranks of Dagon worshipers. This reminds me of his actual words when I talked to Darrell at the WFC 2016.
"The Poisoner" by Chelsea Arrington
"Beyond The Veil" by D.L. Meyers; a poetic short story that echoed ambiance from CAS’s “Weaver in the Vault” …at least my memory of it
"Vampire's Kiss" by Ashley Dioses; best ever application of the word “vivisepulture”
"The Fall Of The Pumpkin King" by K.A. Opperman
"The Lay Of Dumah" by Adam Bolivar; more of a poetic short story than a poem… this was one of my favorites; a weird romance with “Lazarus Craven nursed a secret passion for the grave…”
"On The Creation Of Shoggoths" by Charles Lovecraft
"A Tourist In Hell" by John Shirley
"The Divorce" by Marge Simon
"Jack The Balladeer" by Adam Bolivar
"From The Void" by Obadiah Baird
"Ye Olde Lemurian" by David Barker; a pen pal tribute to Duane W. Rimel--himself a HPL pen pal. This documents letter writing with the obscure weird fiction writer
I am happy to announce that my two sonnets, Conquest and War, have been accepted for issue six of The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy! Conquest and War are the first two poems of a mini sonnet cycle entitled the Seven Seals. The cycle contains a sonnet featuring each of the seven seals from Revelations.
I was originally only going to write about the Four Horsemen and have that be a mini sonnet cycle by itself but I'm a completionist and decided what's three more sonnets? I also have never read the Bible in its entirety because it's just not my thing. I just skipped to the end to get to the good parts.
My editorship officially starts today for the next issue of Eye to the Telescope! Theme is Witches!
"A witch is defined as someone who is said to possess usually malignant supernatural powers. Since speculative fiction covers fantasy and science fiction as well as horror, we’re going to focus on ‘usually’ in that definition. I want any take on witches with any gender. Horrific witches, saintly witches, pretty witches, ugly witches, witches from different planets, witches from different dimensions, historical witches with a speculative spin. I want witches performing rituals, witches celebrating the sabbats, witches casting spells or curses. I know sorceresses, conjurers, enchantresses are similar but they are not the same. I prefer traditional formal and metrical verse done well. Prose poetry is fine. For free verse, enchant me with imagery and beautiful language. That doesn’t mean archaic language (though a little is fine). Think of Edgar Allan Poe, Clark Ashton Smith, George Sterling, David Park Barnitz, Charles Baudelaire."
Deadline Sept. 15
Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25. Payment is on publication. http://eyetothetelescope.com/submit.html
It is currently halfway edited and the Afterword is finished. I am still contemplating putting endnotes with random facts about certain poems, but I'm trying to decide if I'm the only one who'll care lol.
Diary of a Vampyress is shaping up nicely. It currently has 40 poems with 6 of those poems being translations! It currently has 8 sections with the 8th section having the translations. 5 poems are translated into Hungarian and the 6th is translated into French. All 6 poems have been published (5 are in DoaS and the 6th is in DoaV), so I'm debating pairing the English versions with them. I'm leaning with not pairing them. I really don't want reprints in DoaV.
My goal is to have around 80 poems in DoaV (halfway there!) and filled with as many Gothic tropes as possible.
Manny Arenas has written a very sweet and insightful blog entry about Kyle and me here. It is very touching and it makes me happy knowing that I could help another poet. I am also mentioned in an earlier blog entry as well.
The Black Aether: Online H. P. Lovecraft Magazine has posted four poems of mine and had them translated into Hungarian by Fanni Sütő! They are Horror, Lover's Witch, Daemonolatry, and A Queen in Hell. This is inspiring me to have a translations section in a future collection.
Sötét templomban, köd lepte vidéken
másvilági rém kísért lopózva.
Kedves, jó tündér nincsen, csak mesékben
Legtöbbjük zöld, kegyetlen és ronda.
Egy ajtó elvezet birodalmukba,
a Másvilágra, s ha odatévedsz,
mennyből zuhanhatsz rögtön a pokolba,
és minden árny erre terel téged.
A démonimádat többet ad, mint látod,
mert sok rém lapul roppant elménk rejtekén.
Ha kerülöd őket; elárasztják álmod,
egy kis tisztelet; s titkokat hoznak eléd.
A szerető boszorkája
Bőre alatt nap sugára,
szeme ékkő, Hold kék párja,
ragyogó és sokat sejtet.
Mennyei csók ígérete,
kastélyába csábít engem.
Eksztázis a tekintete
így hát eladtam a lelkem.
Szerelmi bűbája szívem
gúzsba köti, mint sok kósza
virág illat, ami libben,
ha nyílik a belladonna.
Csillag ő és a vad fénye,
a Hold sötétebb oldala
Labirintus hívó mélye,
tüskés vörös rózsafa.
Ha valaki kegyvesztett lett,
bőre pokol tűzzel lángol
sötét holddá válik szeme,
fog villan ki dús ajkából.
Én szerető; ő boszorkám,
vágyam tárgya. Én tudom csak
visszacsalni eltűnt Holdját
s szép aranyát tűz sikolynak.
Pokolra szállt királynő
Edgar Allan Poe-nak
Holdvilágos éjjel sétáltunk a tóparton
Elnyelt mindent a tinta-sötétség torka,
a sápadt holdfény szörnyű kapukat rajzolt
A bűzlő pokolba, mely fényed ellopta.
Drága, szerelmem, engem itt hogy hagyhattál?
Milyen csalfa démont követtél a sírba,
amikor mellettem szabadon járhattál?
Miért nem menthettelek meg? kérdem sírva.
Egyedül nézem az elszálló éveket,
sírod mellett állok, de a lelkemben élsz.
Rokonaid ismerték nagy szépségedet,
szívünk szakad pokolra szállt királynőnkért.
I am devastated to learn of the passing of poet extraordinaire, Michael Fantina. I never met Michael in person but we often emailed and exchanged many poems over the few years I've known him. When we first started emailing, we would discuss our favorite subjects to write about and he would send 4 or 5 poems at a time containing a certain theme or subject and I would try to match him with poems to send back but I couldn't keep up. He just seemed to have a neverending stream of poems to share and I could only send one or two back at a time as I'd write them or as my old ones were edited. I remember asking him one time if his new collection, Alchemy of Dreams and Other Poems, contained his poetry from his Rainfall Records and Books chapbooks (since I don't own those) and he said hardly any. I just thought that it was incredible he had so many poems and amazing ones at that. I remember asking him if he ever got writer's block and he told me when he gets writer's block, he writes sonnets. Sonnets broke through his block. He also said that he wrote poetry almost constantly (except when he was in the hospital for 2 months 12 years ago) since 1996. I wish my writer's block could be broken through by the power of sonnets.
I wrote him to ask if he would honor me with a tribute poem for Diary of a Sorceress and was kind enough to oblige.
Michael's poetry is so rich and beautiful and if you have not read any of it, I urge you to pick up a copy of his collection, Alchemy of Dreams and Other Poems. It's currently eligible for the Elgin award and it made it to the preliminary round for the Stoker award this year if I recall correctly.
Michael L. Fantina, born March 1, 1946, in Garrett, Indiana. Died on June 7, 2018 after a brief illness at Morristown Memorial Hospital. Mike lived most of his life in Bernardsville where he was a standout athlete at St. Elizabeth’s and Bernard’s High. He attended Bellarmine College in Kentucky and Rutgers University, where he received his BA. He was a Vietnam era veteran, serving at Fort Meade, MD. He worked in academia for most of his career, for a time at Florida International University and Seton Hall University and then at Rutgers, Labor Studies program. In retirement, he worked as the Lead Security Guard at G4S. Mike was known for his gentle nature and prolific writing. Through the years, he has had hundreds of poems and stories published, recently his book Alchemy of Dreams and Other Poems was published and next spring a book of his short stories will be released. An expert on the Civil War and World War II he was an active member of the American Legion. He was parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual, and a strong support of many causes, Priests for Life, The Universal Living Rosary Association and other Catholic institutions. Mike had many hobbies and interests, anyone that knew him or was even a passing acquaintance probably received a wristwatch from him. He was an avid collector. Michael will be missed by his brothers, sisters, nephews.
Upon Reading Diary of a Sorceress
By Michael Fantina
Both in and out of darkling dreams I’ve read
Her splendid poems that most bewitching are.
Supple Siren she, consort to some Czar
Or some great Pharaoh vanished, long since dead.
With magics from her poetry it’s said
She moves through Space and Time, an avatar
Of realms that circle some stupendous star;
Her suitors tethered to a magic thread.
Her words like spells that lullingly enchant,
Seduce the mind and heart to worlds outré,
To Siren-haunted coasts lapped by a sea
Whose tides send up one long eternal chant
About that most beguiling, dream-wrought bay.
Both sorceress and poet, this is she.
The Literary Hatchet Issue 20 by PearTree Press is now out and free to download. You can also get a physical copy if that's more your thing. My poem, My Darkest Valentine, appears within. It is the latest of the Dark Valentine poem series.
Ashley Diosesszel készített angol nyelvű interjú fordítása már megjelent a TBA-n, akkor azt ígértük, hogy hamarosan elkészülünk a saját interjúnkkal is. Az interjú elkészült és bár Dioses elég rövid válaszokat adott, remélhetőleg sikerül felhívnunk a figyelmét minél több olvasónak a hagyományos versformákra, a weird költészetre.
Először jöjjenek a költészethez kapcsolódó kérdések: Sokan úgy gondolják, hogy az emberek már nem olvasnak verseket, mintha ez már lecsengett vagy idejemúlt dolog lenne. Te mit gondolsz erről? Miben változott a költészet szerepe mondjuk a tizenkilencedik századhoz képest?
Nagyon sokan gondolják, hogy a költészet ma már nem releváns, de nem is járhatnának messzebb az igazságtól. A költészet az érzelmeink kiterjesztése, egy lehetőség arra, hogy kifejezzük őket. Nem hinném, hogy van olyan kor, amikor a költészet ne lenne releváns. Manapság úgy tűnik, hogy a próza kedvéért jobban félresöpörték a költészetet, mint mondjuk a 19. században.
Kedveled a hagyományos formákat. Van esetleg kedvenc versformád? Szerinted mik az előnyei és hátrányai a kötött versformáknak a szabadvershez képest?
Szeretem a rímelő, jambikus pentametert, de nagyon kedvelem a francia alexandrinusokat is. A hagyományos és rímes versek nagy előnye, hogy könnyebben megjegyezhetőek, és kiemelkednek a líraiságuk és a rímeik miatt. Hátrány lehet amikor ilyen verseket írsz, oda kell figyelni, hogy minden beleilljen a választott formába.
Én is a hagyományos versformákat kedvelem jobban, ezért nagyon megdöbbentett, amikor egy költészeti szemináriumon közölte a tanár, hogy manapság már nem lehet angolul rímes verseket írni, mert már minden rímpárt unásig elhasználtak, és a szabadvers felé kell elmozdulni? Te is kaptál hasonló véleményeket vagy próbáltak már lebeszélni arról, hogy hagyományos formában írj?
Akadt pár ember, aki megpróbált lebeszélni a hagyományos verselésről. Néhányan azt mondták, hogy a rímek elvonják a figyelmet a történetről, vagy, hogy a legtöbb hagyományos verselő nagyon erőlteti az időmértéket, és hasonlók.
H. P. Lovecraft a Szabadvers-járvány (The Vers Libre Epidemic) című értekezésében erősen bírálta a szabadvers-formát. Véleményed szerint a szabadvers pozitív vagy negatív hatással újította meg a költészetet? Ideje volt egy új versformának?
Azt hiszem, a szabadvers nagyon sok ember számára megkönnyítette a versírást, és segített nekik abban, hogy kifejezzék magukat olyan módokon, mint azelőtt még soha. De meglepődnél, ha tudnád, hány költő mondja azt, hogy ők csak írnak, de nem olvasnak verseket. Több költő van, mint versolvasó, és ez elég elszomorító. A szabadvers megjelenése olyan szempontból pozitív volt, hogy a hatására több ember kezdett verset írni.
A verseidben nagyon erős képeket és hangulatfestéseket használsz, amitől az olvasó szinte látja maga előtt a történéseket. Van esetleg kedvenc művészed (klasszikus vagy kortárs), akinek művei inspirálnak?
A kedvenc művészem Luis Royo, és a képei nagyon sokszor megihlettek. Sok erős, női harcos karaktere van, és ezek mindig is inspiráltak engem.
Sokszor felbukkannak a versedben okkult illetve mitologikus toposzok. Hogyan találtál rá ezekre a témákra? Van kedvenc mítoszod, ami nagy hatást gyakorolt rád?
Gyerekkoromban nagyon sok fantasyt, illetve mitologikus és okkult könyveket olvastam. Szinte megszállottja voltam apukám The Enchanted World (Bűbájos világ) sorozatának, és annyiszor olvastam újra őket, ahányszor csak tudtam. A vízi tündérekről szóló könyv volt a kedvencem, ami nagyban hozzájárult ahhoz, hogy ennyi szirén és vízi teremtény szerepel a verseimben.
Mind az első köteted (Diary of the Sorceress /A varázslónő naplója/) mint a következő gyűjteményed (Diary of a Vampiress /A vámpírnő naplója/) címe erős és (némiképp fenyegető) női figurákat állít a középpontba, és a versek közt is akad jó pár, ami ezt a sötét, női érzékiséget hangsúlyozza (például az On Amaranthine Lips /Bársonyvörös ajkakon/ ). Mennyire játszik központi szerepet a nőiség a művészetedben?
A női(es)ség nagyon fontos szerepet játszik az írásaimban. Mindkét naplónak erős női főszereplője van, akikhez valamilyen módon majdnem minden vers kapcsolódik. Mindkét karakter hoz magával egy bizonyos témakört, amit a napló körüljár. A varázslónő a sötét mágia, a horror és a fantasztikum elemeit idézi fel, de minden bejegyzés helyet hagy a karakter elmélyítésének is.
A vámpírnő gótikus elemeket idéz fel: félelmet, vért és érzékiséget, és minden egyes bejegyzéssel jobban megismerheted őt.
Ha együtt vacsorázhatnál három (élő vagy holt) íróval / költővel, kik lennének azok és miért?
Edgar Allan Poe, J. R. R. Tolkien, és Stephen King. Edgart azért, mert meghallgatnám, mit tanítana nekem a költészetről. J. R. R.-t, mert elhallgatnám, ahogy az északi mitológiáról beszél. Stephent pedig megkérdezném, miért nem adott még ki verseskötetet.
H. P. Lovecraft több mint 300 költeményt írt, mennyire ismered HPL költészetét, volt-e befolyása, hatása a művészetedre?
Nagy rajongója vagyok a Gombák a Yuggothról verseinek. Azt hiszem, Lovecraft prózája nagyobb hatást gyakorolt rám, mint a költészete. A Zarándokút Kadathba, például ihletforrás volt az Atop the Crystal Moon (A kristályhold tetején) és később az On a Dreamland’s Moon (Egy álomföld holdján) című verseimhez.
Van-e kedvenc költeményed tőle, illetve ha egyetlen verset választhatnál HPL-től, ami jól bemutatná az ő poéta világát, melyik lenne az? (és miért?)
Van jó pár remek Lovecraft vers, amit nagyon kedvelek, de azt mondanám, hogy a Gombák a Yuggothról szonett ciklus 35. verse, az Esthajnal csillag az egyik kedvencem. A Yuggoth versek nagyon sok témát és motívumot felölelnek, de ha mindenképpen választanom kéne egyet, akkor az 1. számú A könyv éppen olyan jó választás, mint a sorozat bármely másik verse. Beszél benne messzi tengerről származó különös dolgokról, ősi tudás porladó könyveiről, szörnyűséges titkokról és őrületről.
És végül milyen tanácsot adnál szárnypróbálgató költőknek?
Olvass annyi verset, amennyit csak lehet, és tanulmányozd is őket. Keress olyan verseket, amiket élvezettel olvasol, és próbáld kitalálni, hogy miért tetszenek, aztán írj saját verseket, és gyakorolj, gyakorolj, gyakorolj.
And here is the English version. Let’s talk about poetry first. Many people think that nowadays nobody reads poems, that poetry is old-fashioned and stale with no relevance to our lives. What’s your opinion about these views? How has the role of poetry changed compared to the 19th century?
A lot of people still view poetry that way, though they couldn’t be more wrong about poetry not having any relevance today. Poetry is an extension of our emotions and a way to express them. I don’t think there is a time where poetry is not relevant. Nowadays, it seems that poetry has been swept aside more in favour of prose than it was in the 19th century.
You like traditional forms. Do you have a favourite form? What are the advantages and disadvantages of traditional (rhyming) poetry compared to free verse?
I like the heroic form, iambic pentameter but I’m also very fond of the French Alexandrines. An advantage with traditional and rhyming verse is that it is easier to remember. They stick out because of their lyrical nature and their rhythms. A disadvantage might be in writing them and making sure everything fits neatly into a chosen form.
I also prefer traditional forms, that’s why I was shocked when on a poetry seminar our tutor told us to forget rhymes because all the good rhymes have already been used and overused in English, so we should move towards free verse. Have you ever received similar comments or have people tried to dissuade you from using traditional forms?
I have had a few people dissuade me from writing formal poetry. I’ve had some tell me that rhymes distract from the story or that most formalists force the meter and such.
In his essay, ”The Verse Libre Epidemic” H.P. Lovecraft heavily critises the free verse form. In your opinion, did free verse bring a positive or a negative renewal to poetry? Was it time for a new verse form?
I think free verse made it easier for people to write poetry and express themselves in a way they couldn’t have before. But you’d be surprised at how many poets say that they write poetry but don’t read it. There are more poets out there than readers of poetry and that’s sad. I feel that free verse was positive in that it got people to write more poetry.
You use powerful images which create a strong and distinct atmosphere, the reader can see everything clearly before their mind’s eye. Do you have a favourite artist (classical or contemporary) whose work inspires you?
My favourite artist is Luis Royo and I’ve been inspired by a lot of his work. He depicts a lot of strong female warriors and that has always resonated with me.
Occult and mythological references often appear in your poems. How did you find this inspiration? Do you have a favourite myth that had influenced you in some way?
I read a lot of fantasy, mythological, and occult books when I was young. I was obsessed with my dad’s collection of The Enchanted World Series and reread those books as often as I could. The Water Spirits book, in particular, is a favourite, which is why you’ll find a lot of sirens and sea creatures in my poetry.
Both your first volume (Diary of a Sorceress) and the upcoming one (Diary of a Vampyress) feature a strong (and somewhat menacing) female figure and many of the poems talk about a dark, feminine sensuality (for example, On Amaranthine Lips). What role does femininity play in your writing?
Femininity plays a huge role in my writing. Each diary features a strong, female lead character and nearly every poem is loosely connected to her in some way. Each female lead brings with her a certain theme that will be covered in the diary. The Sorceress summons the feelings of dark magic and horror and the fantastical but leaves room to delve in deeper into her character throughout the book in each entry. The Vampyress evokes Gothic tropes of horror and blood and sensuality and throughout her diary you’ll get to know her more by what’s being presented in each entry.
Let’s talk a little about the traditions of weird literature: if you could have dinner with three writers/poets (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
Edgar Allan Poe, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Stephen King. Edgar, so I can listen to his poetic teachings. J. R. R., so I can just listen to him speak on Norse mythology. Stephen, so I can ask him why he hasn’t made a poetry collection yet.
H.P. Lovecraft wrote more than 300 poems. How much do you know of his poetry and did he have any effect or influence on your writing?
I am a big fan of his Fungi from Yuggoth poetry. I would say that his fiction provided more influences on my work than his poetry. Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, for instance, inspired me to write Atop the Crystal Moon and then later, On a Dreamland’s Moon.
Do you have a favourite poem from Lovecraft? If you could choose only one of his poems that gives a good picture of his poetic world, which one would you pick and why?
There are a few excellent poems I enjoy by Lovecraft but I would say that XXXV. Evening Star is up there from his Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle. The Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle would sum up a lot of his themes and subject matter, but if I had to choose one, I. The Book would be a good choice as any from the cycle. It hints at strange things brought from the seas, crumbling books of elder lore, monstrous secrets, and madness.
Last but not least: what advice would you give to aspiring poets?
Read as much poetry as you can and study it. Find poetry you enjoy, figure out why you enjoy it, write it, and then practice, practice, practice.
I am excited to be in the forthcoming issue of Vastarien: A Literary Journal Issue 2, which should be out in June. My poem, The Crafter of the World, appears within. Here is the tentative table of contents.
Cover art by Aeron Alfrey.
Internal art by Ksenia Korniewska, Carl Lavoie, Giuseppe Balestra, and Serhiy Krykun
So this pumpkin farmer *highly suggested* I take work off to accompany him to the 2018 Southern CA Giant Pumpkin Grower's Forum last Saturday. It was held at the Irvine Regional Park which we go to every year to pick pumpkins. The class was 2 hours long and amusing. There were raffles and we actually won some cool stuff. A spider also jumped on my head during the class. I was not pleased.
(Goodies we won or received.)
Then we had a picnic lunch at the park. I brought some pumpkin dipping sauce from Slater's 50/50, because I'm an awesome girlfriend, and he tried to guess what it was the whole time. (He failed at guessing.)
I have two Jack-o-Lantern sproutlings. Unfortunately, they're kind of close to the edge. A green worm has decided that one of their leaves is their lunch! It was quickly sacrificed to the pumpkin gods.
I have received my copy of issue five of the always amazing The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy! It features my one and only prose poem, Vampire's Kiss. Vampire's Kiss has an interesting background. The title was inspired by a drink AV's own Dan Sauer drank and he mentioned that it sounded like a poem title I would use. Done. At one point on Facebook, I was challenged to use the word 'vivisepulture' in a poem by a certain Frater. And finally, after the incredible D. L. Myers sent AV a beautifully-wrought prose poem, it somehow occurred to the mad editor, for some ungodly reason, that the rest of the Crimson Circle do the same. Dammit Myers! After a lot of sweat, sacrifices, and tears, Vampire's Kiss was created. The Audient Void only makes a limited number of copies per issue. If you want to see the rare prose poetry of the Crimson Tome, get one before they're gone!
Also, please, when publicly praising the zine and the contributors in it, make sure you actually have a physical copy of it beforehand, so as to avoid embarrassment when the editor of the zine calls you out by stating that not a single copy has been shipped out yet.
The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy Issue #5
"Oorg" by John R. Fultz
"Old Lovecraftians In The Park" by David Barker
"Love In The Time Of Dracula" by John R. Fultz
"The Poisoner" by Chelsea Arrington
"Why Should We Worship Dagon" by Darrell Schweitzer
"Beyond The Veil" by D.L. Meyers
"Vampire's Kiss" by Ashley Dioses
"The Fall Of The Pumpkin King" by K.A. Opperman
"The Lay Of Dumah" by Adam Bolivar
"On The Creation Of Shoggoths" by Charles Lovecraft
To celebrate the final day of National Poetry Month, Angela decided to gather a few poets on Facebook and put together a collaborative poem, called an Exquisite Corpse. An Exquisite Corpse is a collectively assembled poem.
"Each contributor added to the composition in sequence by following a pattern rule. There are other ways to do it, but for this we followed a “The adjective noun adverb verb the adjective noun” pattern.
Example of a line: “The green duck sweetly sang the dreadful dirge.”'
Here is the result, titled Universe Calling. Angela put, in italics, the connecting words for the lines.
The brilliant night quietly called the lost galaxy while the wistful question endlessly spinning the infinite realms and the mournful wind longingly cried the broken mantra.
The faint spark sullenly echoed the long-dead reply as the eldritch chasm eerily awaited the falling angel.
The doleful flight yawningly dreams the green moon and the pulsating quasars luminescently spiral the depthless void.
—Written by (in order of line) Angela Yuriko Smith, A.F. Stewart, Devon Lewis,
Robin Wiesneth, Ashley Dioses, John Reinhart and R.A. Smith
I think this turned out to be a totally awesome poem!
I was recently interviewed by C. P. Dunphey of Gehenna and Hinnom Books on my poem which is featured in issue 006 as well as other aspects of my writing and such things. You can find it on their website as well as right here.
Greetings from the Ether,
With the upcoming release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 006, we wanted to take a moment to spotlight some of the authors involved in the project. Ashley Dioses‘ poem “O Won’t You?” is a disturbing Bathory piece that succeeds in matching its morbidity with elegant prose. Join us as we dive into the crafting of the poem, and what the future has in store for the author.
CP: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How you came to write dark poetry?
AD: I have an AS in Health Information Technology, I have a first-degree black belt in Soo Bahk Do, I work at a college bookstore, I enjoy studying the occult, and am a Pagan. My dad is a poet and an avid horror and fantasy reader. I came to the realization, after reading Poe for the first time at a young age, that one could blend the two together.
CP: “O Won’t You?” is a grotesque Bathory-themed poem. The prose is equal parts graceful and disturbing. Can you tell us how it came to fruition? What inspired the piece?
AD: I am a fan of the mysteries revolving around the Countess. I already wrote 3 Bathory poems and thought I was done when I realized that a Bathory poem was needed for my Gothic-centric poetry collection, Diary of a Vampyress. It wasn’t hard to write one when I settled down to put the piece together.
CP: We just started publishing poetry, your piece being the second to ever appear in Hinnom Magazine. Your work is prolific, and you’re one of the best horror poets working today. Where exactly, from here, do you hope your writing takes you? What goals do you hope to achieve?
AD: I hope to extend my writing from poetry to short fiction and eventually become a novelist. I have already written two fantasy novels that are meant to be in a series. I hope to edit them, get them published, and hopefully continue writing more for that series.
CP: Do you have any other projects you’re working on? What does the future hold for Ashley Dioses?
AD: I am currently working on a poetry collection containing a few choice pieces of juvenilia entitled, The Withering. It has about 50 poems in it. It focuses more on supernatural and psychological horror themes. I am also putting together the next ‘diary’, Diary of a Vampyress, which will be a more Gothic poetry collection.
CP: What has been your favorite moment thus far, as a writer?
AD: Oh man, there are so many. When an editor wanted a full-length poetry collection from me by only reading five poems, when someone wanted my autograph for the first time when I was invited to be on a panel for a con as a guest. Those were all incredible experiences for me.
CP: What writer do you find the most inspiring, living or dead? Why?
AD: I know this is cliché but everything goes back to Poe. He showed me that I can take the rhyming, children’s poetry my dad used to read to me and make it horrifying and fantastical. He opened the doors for me.
CP: Can you tell us about your recent collection, Diary of a Sorceress?
AD: Diary of a Sorceress is a collection of light and dark fantasy, dark romance and erotica, and horror formal poetry. It is loosely centered around the Sorceress and each section is labeled as an entry in her diary. Each entry gets darker as you read through it and it represents the Sorceress’s changes and developments throughout her life. You will find subjects such as dragons, sirens, fae, daemons, vampires, Bathory, maenads, Valkryies, Gorgons, and more.
CP: We always like to end our interviews with a little tidbit of advice for the many readers who are writers themselves. What’s the best advice you could give to a new author?
AD: Read everything inside the genre you’re writing in and write every day.
Ashley Dioses is a writer of dark fiction and poetry from southern California. Her debut collection of dark traditional poetry, Diary of a Sorceress, was released in 2017 from Hippocampus Press. Her poetry has appeared in Weird Fiction Review, Skelos, Weirdbook, Black Wings VI: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, and others. She is an Active member in the HWA and a member of the SFPA. She blogs at fiendlover.blogspot.com.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Make sure to pre-order Hinnom Magazine Issue 006 and read Dioses’ gruesome poem, “O Won’t You?” Check out our Patreon as well for some awesome rewards.
Alright, it's time for another year of pumpkin planting. You might have noticed that after a certain point, I stayed quiet about my pumpkins while Kyle took over all the attention. That's because I only managed to grow one, single pumpkin. And then it soon rotted. I have a few suspicions as to why that was the case, I aim to remedy that this year.