thorns: Publishers Weekly — Potent mythology, complex characters, and dollops of creeping horror and baroque gore establish Files's Hexslinger series as a top-notch horror-fantasy saga.

Potent mythology, complex characters, and dollops of creeping horror and baroque gore establish Files's Hexslinger series as a top-notch horror-fantasy saga.

Shitty Poetry Month: Week Four

The final round of April’s Shitty Poetry, featuring the terrible imaginings of Marge Simon, Melia McClure, Philip Nutman, Yves Meynard, Don Bassingthwaite, Carolyn Clink, Mike Bryant, Barb-Galler Smith, Halli Villegas, Mary Turzillo, and Colleen Anderson!

Marge Simon Foolscary

A dragon momma sits and sings
At night she sings
Do-wah-dee, wah dee-wee,
Dum diddy do.

He came one night to her lair-sit,
And kisses gave her one two three
Saying here am I, your suitor sole,
Though I am but a human be.

She gave birth to a serpent egg
Although it was most homely,
And being small, this tiny one
Was washed away with the laundry,
But it found a new home eventually.

And it came to pass on a summer’s day
When the sun shown bright on every way
A fisherman shot the serpent babe,
Because it was so ugly
And reminded him of politicians.

-Ancient dragon folk song, origins unknown
translated by Marge Simon

Melia McClure Hecate Watches You Make Tea

In the kitchen, you
Brew tansy tea, Hecate's
Trusted recipe.
The goddess stands near,
Her big dog licking your hand -
As if that's helpful.
You wish for a yew:
Tree full of poison arrows.
Hecate aims well.
She'd shoot you clean through -
You wouldn't have to drink the tea,
Feel the blood run down.

Philip Nutman Untitled

I am in love with a Canadian girl
She can't watch horror movies;

We watch ice hockey and the food network;
An Englishman has become a Manitoban.

Life is strange, but so am I, and she would not want me any other way.

I cannot write poetry, but can tell a good story;...

Shitty Poetry Month: Week Three

Week 3 of April’s Shitty Poetry Month presents some truly inspired awfulness from Ada Hoffmann, Geoffrey A. Landis, J.Y.T. Kennedy, Brett Savory and Daniel Parker Lee, and Kari Maaren!

Featured Book Challenge: All of the poems this week were inspired by a ChiZine Publications book series. Can you name the title(s)? Share the correct book title(s) on the ChiZine Publications Facebook Page and enter for a chance to win the ebook of this week’s featured book, plus its prequel (hint, hint)!

(If you're not on Facebook, feel free to leave your winning guess in the comments below!)

Let the good shit be yours!

Ada Hoffmann

. . . Because Why the Hell Not

Dead hands know endless patience. Fall,
the kata, same as spring.
No shift of weight; no rush of breath.
You'll never hear a thing.

(Until they make a sharp-eyed lady
scream in Aisle Thirteen.)

Dead lips don't thirst; dead hearts don't fear
the widow-making foam.
There's only gold and war (and brains)
wherever dead ships roam.

(They're pillaging the freezer!
Get Security on the phone.)

And it's yo, ho, ho, me boys!
Shamble like the brave!—
And it's sharp, swift, shadowed
In the silence of the grave—

(And it's up to us to mop
The bloody mess the zombies made.)

Geoffrey A. Landis. Ode to My Lover's Small Intestine

O, whilst lesser poets exclaim in ecstasy rhapsodie
about the other organs, declaiming dactyls dedicated to the
loveliness of their beloved's eyelashes, or the delicate flutter
of the heart, yet, I must extol...

Shitty Poetry Month: Week Two

It’s Week 2 of April’s Shitty Poetry Month! Enjoy the terrible musings of Robert Runte, Matt Moore, Stephen Graham Jones, Michael Matheson, and Michèle Laframboise.

Featured Book Challenge: Are YOU a shitty Poet? Prove it! Go to the ChiZine Publications Facebook Page and SHARE your own short-shitty poem, and enter a chance to win this week’s featured book Goldenland Past Dark and last week’s featured book The Inner City!

Robert Runte The Beginning Poet

When'er I read
I feel the need
an epic to compose.
But all my verse
could not be worse
at least, so I suppose.

Fully symbolic,
though not meloncolic,
great images abound.
With little prescription
and tight description—
my poems still run aground.

Generally speaking,
I should be seeking
a better type of rhyme:
I'm not adverse
to free blank verse,
at least not all the time.

Completely serious
(with nothing spurious)
my feelings to reveal,
I often find
the thoughts behind
I still somehow conceal.

When I'm amused
I'm still confused
o'er imagery and scan.
I wonder whether
I could do better?
I think, I hope I can.

Matt Moore "i am the flower"

heartless
people of the
CITY
trodding
upon the
FLOWER
pushing
up, up through the
CRACKS
of the
uneven sidewalk

live, beautiful flower

remind
us there is
BEAUTY
all around
even in the
COLD
hearts of cities
of people
of society...

Family Demons

The idea of the “persecuted maiden” has become a familiar (and beloved) staple in fictive art since Andromeda’s mother offended Poseidon. In the Middle Ages, Chaucer suggested that a woman’s tolerance for sweet torture could surpass the unbearable through Griselda’s humiliation in “The Clerk’s Tale,” and the idea of explaining supernatural issues as more realistic hazards came to us via Emily in Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade (Marquis de Sade) offered more sexual subtext than one would ever expect in 1791, and by the time we traded the gloomy Gothic castles and sinister monasteries for the more modern sewers (Phantom of the Opera, 1925) and dangerous showers (Psycho, 1960), we were in love with the idea that women were the ones to do the dirty work in our thrillers, usually at the cost of their innocence or their lives (or both).

Of course, good ideas get overplayed to the point of parody, and one does not need some Wikipedia reference-list to envision the cavalcade of slashers in the last thirty-five years that would feature the given bimbo in her underwear going to get a beer in the basement where the representative “monster” waits for her in the shadows of the rusted water boiler. For decades we begged for her not to go down there, yet of late, we have been fighting off a collective yawn and muttering for the dimwit to get it over with already. Fortunately, there are filmmakers out there, (in this case within the independent ranks) that have transformed the idea of the persecuted maiden to a more current honesty and relevance while maintaining the credibility of the tradition. One such artist is Australia’s Ursula Dabrowsky whose debut film, Family Demons, contains countless moments of visual composition both...

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