Monday, August 22, 2016

Carol Lay: Art from Under the Skin
A Servante of Darkness Pick of the Month


I've liked underground comics my whole life, so it's no wonder I've come to know the artwork of Carol Lay. If my aged memory serves (and it doesn't), I first discovered the comic art of Carol Lay in "Weirdo" (1981-1993), Robert Crumb's comic book answer to "RAW Magazine", which he considered "highbrow". Lay's "weird" artwork became a staple of her style, but it evolved as she tackled contemporary topics, especially modern women in a traditional world of romance and rituals seen through an askew point of view. Naturally,




after "Weirdo", she created "Good Girls" 1-6 (1987-1991), published by Fantagraphics and Rip-Off Press.




Since then, Lay has drawn for DC, Bongo Comics (The Simpsons Comic Book), Kitchen Sink Press, Last Gasp, and other traditional and underground venues as well. "Murderville" is one of my current favorites.




To learn more about Carol Lay, visit her website here or go to Amazon for a selection of books and Kindle editions now available. You can also find Carol on Facebook here

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


*Poetry & Arts Announcement*

Paint-The-Poem (Copyright 2016 Michael H. Hanson)

FREE International Art Contest with FREE Prizes. 

3 Categories: 1) Painting, 2) Photography, and 3) Other (which includes Sculpture)

Submission Deadline Saturday, September 10, 2016



*******************

Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions
Lethal Lyrics for Serial Killers
July 2016


BTK Mask


Formatted, Introduced & Critiqued
by Anthony Servante


Introduction:

This month's poetry column presented a problem because it deals with such a horrific subject matter. I commonly provide pictures to accompany the poems and this column was no exception. The problem that presented itself dealt with the vast availability of gruesome crime scene photos and autopsy graphics. However tempted I was to use these pictures for the poems that were written for and about "killers", I just could not detract attention from the poetry and onto the crimes and victims by pairing poems with bloody depictions of mutilation and cannibalism. 


As such, I chose to let the poets tell the story through their words, and I used pictures that were grotesque but cryptic and vague. As much as I wanted to show the horror, I preferred to allow the poets to describe for you the acts of murder and mayhem. I believe that the horror of your imagination is more effective than the photo of a corpse. Since I decided to include poems about nonfiction "serial killers" along with with poems that portray real killers, I wanted to tone down the gore. Oh, there's plenty of gore. Don't get me wrong. But the grotesque elements of death and murder will be handled by the poets, not the blogger who adds pictures to the poems. 


So let's meet our poets for the July poetry column. Please welcome Howard Carlyle, Coralie Rowe, D.S. Scott, Anthony Crowley, and Billie Sue Mosiman. 



We begin with Howard. 




Howard Carlyle




Painting by Gacy



Killer Clown (John Wayne Gacy)

Despised and beaten by
his father so that no good
was left inside him,
His intention was to make
his victims final hours
brutally grim.

He hid behind a mask to
become the character of
Pogo The Clown,
The local hired Entertainment
at parties in his home town.

He painted on the mask to
portray a happy jolly man...
While boiling up inside him
was a gruesome murderous plan.

He snared teenage boys
and young men by
deception and Force,
Just so he could let his plans
run their 'unnatural course'.

All of The Killer Clowns victims
were slain in his own home,
He had control without
disturbance knowing he was
safe in his own killing zone.

The last thing they saw was
the look on his evil face,
26 of them were hidden at
at his house In the crawl
space.

Four of his victims Were
dumped in the local river
like trash,
The final chapter of their
lives ended in the dead of
night with a splash.

Three more bodies were found
buried on his land,
Their lives Snuffed out without
a care by The Killer Clowns
own murderous hand.

He paid for his crimes,
On 10th may 1994 of murder,
rape and deception,
Where he died in the
Stateville Correctional centre
And justice prevailed...
With a Lethal injection.

©Howard Carlyle.


Jeffrey Dahmer Panel


Apartment 213 (Jeffrey Dahmer)

He'd lure men back
To his appartment
Block,
It was to be their last
days as he turned
the key in the lock.

With the door
secured behind them
with no chance
of escape,
His victims fooled by
his charm but by then
it was too late.

Sedated and handcuffed
to an old radiator,
So he could satisfy his
own sadistic needs later.

He'd sit and torment them
for his own twisted fun,
He liked to burn them
with cigarettes or pistol
whip them with his gun.

Sometimes he liked to
slash them with his
trusty old knife,
Or give them false hope
that he may spare
their life.

He'd built himself an
altar where his rituals
took place,
A razor was used to
carefully remove their
face.

He'd like to wear their
Skin like a Halloween
Mask,
All in a day's work for
him..it was never an
arduous task.

He'd leave their heads
Boiling in an old cooking
pot,
Adding spices here and
There while cooking up a
broth.

The one thing he did was
keep their eyes in a jar,
He couldn't give up now...
his addiction had gone
too far.

He lived in a house of
Horror with blood on
Every wall,
Until one day when he
made a mistake..and
Someone made that
Call.

The police came and
smashed their way in..
It had 213 on the door,
Some cops stopped to
Take a look,
Others threw up on
the blood Encrusted
Floor.

He made his getaway and
the cops gave chase
through every street and
alleyway,
But this guy was cunning
and sly and made good
his get away.

He swam across the
river where upon he
reached the shore,
Then disappeared into
the night and was seen...
no more.



The Internal Self


Blending In

Being like a movie star 
he's just an actor playing a part 
Take a look into his eyes 
while he cuts out your beating heart

He'll put on a friendly face 
Just to gain your trust 
The urge to satisfy his need 
is a sickening must


Experience means his methods 
Over the years they have evolved 
his victims placed in vat of acid 
Each one of them dissolved


20 years to master his craft 
and now he blends into any crowd 
This makes him more dangerous 
 ....of all his work he's very proud


No one has suspicions 
of the things that he can do 
They'd be sickened by what 
he was capable of if they only knew


It takes a caculating mind 
to commit murder and mutilation, 
All of those he slaughtered were 
Fooled by his cunning persuasion.


He goes about his business unnoticed..
just like you and I 
But when he feels that sudden urge 
then someone has to die


With blackened out windows 
in his rusted old white van, 
It has plenty of space for his next victim..
be it a woman or a man.


He has no remorse 
and is void of all fear, 
He has no guilt of the blood he's 
Spilt..his conscience always clear.


Just hope you never meet him and 
He never stares into your eyes 
because you'll be next this killers 
List to meet your bloody demise

(C) Howard Carlyle 2016 (Edited Version)



Coralie Rowe


Killer Point of View


(Jack) The Ripper

Dank and dark are the nights
On which he travels forth 
He awaits the heavy misting fogs 
Then into the marbling grey he morphs

He shadows the darkened buildings 
Dissolving into alleys of ashen black 
Stalking inhabitants of the east end 
Searching for his chosen victim to attack

He seeks out the wretched poppets 
Painted ladies of a wanton life 
He follows them through the empty streets 
Until the time is just right for strife

He then severs their throats so effortlessly 
Watching as they crumble to the cobbled street 
Then quickly he performs his macabre operations 
Slicing through skin, veins and quivering meat

He learns from each new quarry he takes 
Dissecting each one just that little bit more 
Ripping apart their inner anatomy 
Selecting a trophy from his night's work of gore

Persuing these maniacal tendencies 
Leaving slaughtered women in his aftermath 
A dire testament to his homicidal rage 
Shown in his killing with such psychotic wrath

Slashing through their pallid white flesh 
The blade growing slick as their blood does seep 
His last victim left in the ultimate mess 
Eviscerated to pieces, but her heart he did keep

Profiled as an aristocratic predator 
A demonic parasite of the night 
A shadowing man in top hat and cape 
His true identity never brought to light

Coralie Rowe



Wolf Creek Killer


The Backpacker Trapper

To those of you who enjoy tracking 
Across the country backpacking 
Let me tell you a little ditty 
From the land of Oz, it ain't pretty

Travelling out here when you're alone 
Ain't like traveling in your own home 
Miles and miles, of roads to nowhere 
Better be wary, you'll get lost out there

So you think you're safe cos your travelin as two 
It's all good, you've ya girl or a mate with you 
Backpack loaded high with all ya gear 
Travelin free, with nothing to fear

But not all strangers you're gonna meet 
Are recommended for you to greet 
There's one, who wanders out by himself 
Taking lives and trophies to keep on his shelf

This one, he'd go huntin and a trappin 
Looking for you all, who go backpackin 
Then when you'd stop to go sightseeing 
He'd immobilize your car, to stop you fleeing

Then he'd come along to help with your plight 
But you'd never know he planned it, right 
You'd see him as a helpful Aussie guy 
Falling for his trap, he's so deceitfully sly

Taking you back to his lil hideaway 
For the night he'd convince ya to stay 
Havin a laugh and maybe a drink 
He's an ok guy, you're starting to think

Then suddenly he just comes out with his knife 
Bloody hell… he's just stabbed you twice 
He then randomly throws in, a few stabs more 
Grinning fiendishly, through the blood and gore

He has the laugh of a maniacal hyena 
But it's to late to run, he's already seen to ya 
And while you lie bleeding out in the mud 
He decapitates your girl, you hear the hollow thud

Then when he's finished his killing wave 
He will place ya into a ritual grave 
Then back out to the deserted roads to prey 
Awaiting the next backpacker to come his way

(Based on the Wolf Creek Killer, Ivan Milat).

Coralie Rowe



Snowtown* Murder Crime Scene



The Bodies in the Barrels

A twisted pile 
Of human scum 
Used their evil 
To make lives, undone

Taking them apart 
In the family's bath 
They hacked and sawed 
A communal wrath

A mob of men 
Who decided the fates 
A fiendish demolition 
Of family and mates

Collecting the bodies 
And their broken parts 
Placed in acid barrels 
Then left, to rot apart

Hidden in a disused vault 
In a small country town bank 
A depository of death 
Filled with a smell so rank

Four vindictive men 
A seven year killing spree 
Now they are rotting, in jail 
Never to be set free

*Based on the Snowtown murders in South Australia.

Coralie Rowe



Rose Red Mansion




A Home For The Dead

A mansion's silhouette 
Sits dark upon a hill 
Decades she has sat empty 
No love or laughter to fill

She lies there black & morbid 
A demonic work of art 
Even though no one lives there 
Occasionally the curtains part

Is there a breeze moving them 
From a broken window pane 
Or do captured souls peek out 
Fervently awaiting in vain

She stands stoic and beautiful 
Patiently awaiting the day 
For people to walk in the door 
Her personal preference of prey

She has rooms of splendor & taste 
Parlours of divine magnificence 
Hallways that seem to go on for ever 
She's a malicious twisted labyrinth

This ectopic stately home is built 
On foundations of vile corruption 
 Her first victim's spirits claimed 
On the eve of her construction

A taste for souls has this house 
She collects and makes them pay 
Keeping them in hell for eternity 
Providing bricks & mortar to lay

The Mistress to whom this home belongs 
Her footsteps sound is feared 
Even though it has been many years 
Since she just simply disappeared

Each death to which she conspires 
 Forever inside her they dwell 
Bringing her back to life each day 
Building a devilish villa of hell

A grandiose opulent display 
 Being built by the living dead 
A maleficent growing home 
Fondly named "Rose Red "

Coralie Rowe




Beast



His Beast

It simmers inside him this fury 
A consuming fire that burns 
But noone ever pays heed 
They just never, ever learn

He keeps hisself so quiet 
Trying to hide this tormenting rage 
But how does he control the beast 
If he, is its only cage

He continues to fight it daily 
He normally wins the fight 
Yet somedays he can't appease it 
And it boils over at the smallest slight

Then the beast is unloosed 
He quivers with an unbridled need 
The demon that lies inside of him 
Rises now to complete the deed

Taking the one who prevoked 
This insatiable need to excise 
He lays you out on the table 
Placing your head, tight in a vice

Painstakingly slowly 
He will rip the skin from your face 
Relishing in your agony 
As you thrash about the place

Turning the handle leisurely 
As the pressure he begins to increase 
Watching whats left of your face intently 
As the muscles and bones crease

Memorizing the moment 
That sweet addictive rush 
Watching your eyes begin to bulge 
As your skull he starts to crush

Coralie Rowe



Mary Contrary


Sweet Mistress Mary

Oh sweet Mary, whom was quite contrary 
Stood watching her garden grow 
She had six maidens fair with golden hair 
All lined up in a pretty little row 
Their heads had been chopped 
Arms and legs hacksawed off 
Their innards tied into beautiful bows 
For Mistress Mary 
Was the bane of many 
Always winning the gardening shows 
Her magnolias were always the best every year 
For to one simple rule did she adhere 
The best thing of all to make magnolias grow 
Is six pretty little maidens 
Buried under the hedgerow

Coralie Rowe


Many Faces


Execrated Existence

The skin on his scalp is crawling 
A sensation of prickling torment 
A precursor of a dire warning 
His blood, it starts to ferment

A fever that is all consuming 
It swallows his senses whole 
His psychosis is resuming 
Sweet madness does cajole

Distorting his thoughts with ire 
He does not seek to repent 
Devoured with a burning desire 
Into his insanity, he has been sent

His raging complusions emerge 
A derisive twist upon his face 
Caught up in this malicious surge 
His heart pounds at a furious pace

His whole being aches with a need 
An addiction for blood and gore 
Completing with pleasure the deed 
The agonized screaming, he adores

Sustaining this torturous pain 
He relishes in your death this night 
Dissevering you again and again 
Engrossed in your morbid plight

Coralie Rowe






From Hell Panel**



The Ripper 

I drift slowly through the still of the night 

Sounds of drunken laughter amidst the echoing of footsteps aloud 

Another arousing temptation to end another life 
Amongst the deadness of this dirty, filthy crowd. 

Streets filled with sickness, decay and lower standards 
of humanity

‘I have to butcher at least 
ten this evening to make it a fulfilling appetite’ 

The implements of death I have are a delight for my victim

The suffering arouses me, 
like a peaceful and cleansing momentous cure

I shall take her by the 
grasp of her throat, unknowing of what she’ll endure.. 

I can feel her shivering at an alarming rate

Her soul drowns 
with bitter flooded tears

As her warm breathe 
begins to glow on this east end street…

I cut a deep incision 
into the skin under the breast

The venom of redness 
quickly flows down the slender of her milk white skin

I succumb to endless 
excitement, as I drag her across the mist-filled alley

I tear off her clothes 
revealing an innocent vision of dire lust 

The crimson drops trickle slowly upon the frosted floor

Stitched together her 
dirty skinned labia


I gaze upon my victim with a twitch in my preying eyes

The locals shall laugh no 
more, this gift I’ll leave behind

This deceased surprise….. 

I gather my blood stained tools while my stagecoach awaits.. 

They shall remember my darkened shadow As I drift in the dead 
of the night

Through those hellish 
gates. 

© ANTHONY CROWLEY copyrighted 2013,2014 





The Cello Man
by
D. S. Scott

See the cello man
Walking down the street
Carrying his case
Humming himself a tune
He finds a street corner
Surveys the area
Puts his case down
It’s time for the music to begin
He holds his cello like he’d hold a woman
Ever so gentle
Ever so careful
He’s had experience
He folds his hands together
Cracks his knuckles
His screaming fingers pierce the silence
The cold air wreaks havoc on them
But the music must go on
He observes the scenery
Looking for his next prey
He plays for his prey
He plays with his prey
Closing his eyes
He plucks at the cords
They produce a soft bumping sound
He’s almost ready
Now he takes his hair strung bow
Takes it in his right hand
Looks it over
Then rests it against the first cord
Holding the cello upright in his left hand
Holding down the strings with his aching fingers
He gets ready to play
Play like never before
He leans against the brick wall
One foot on the concrete
The other flat against the wall
He’s propped up perfectly
Now it’s time
He starts out slow
A soft but meaningful tone fills the air
Then he builds up speed
He finds his rhythm
It’s been a while since he last played
You see he’s now in the business of making cellos
This takes time…
When you have everything to lose
His hands move faster and faster
They become a blur
You can barely see them
Even if you look hard
But you would have to look much harder
To see the true craftsmanship
Study the hollow body
And the strings
For they are not what they appear
The strings from the bow do not come from a horse
The cord is not from wire
The body isn’t even wood
He plays for his prey
Here comes one now
A pretty young thing
Blonde hair and smooth skin
She will do nicely
He draws her in
Weaves his web like a spider
Only his spindles are his notes
She comes closer
Stands and listens
She closes her eyes and concentrates
So does the cello man
She listens to the music
The tune flowing through her soul
The music grabs her full attention
And the cello man grabs her arm
The music stops
She opens her eyes
What is this?
What is happening?
You see this old cello
Worked on over tireless days and nights
Isn’t quite right
It must be rebuilt
The cello man beams at her
He’s found his new parts
Her hair for the bow
Her tendons for the cords
A body for the body
And bone for the base
The stars above shine bright
The night is young
But the cello man worries not
She won’t tell
He breaks her neck
Quick and quiet-like
Stuffs her body in the case
And carries her into the darkness
See the cello man
Walking down the street
Carrying his case
Humming himself a new tune
With his cello complete
And with watchful eyes
The cello man gets ready
It’s time for the music to continue



The Shadow Killer


The Hunt
By D. S. Scott

I’ve studied you close
I watched you from afar
You are the only thing in my sight
And yet I’m invisible to you
I first saw you last week
And I knew you were perfect
You’re the only one for me
Well … right after the last six
I watch you when you sleep
I watch you when you eat
You’re so oblivious to what’s coming
It’s beautiful … like you
I’m with you during the day
And I’m with you at night
I am always near
Like a shadow follows the light
I will wait for as long as it takes
And the moment will come
I myself cannot eat
I just can’t sleep
And I barely feel
You are the one thing on my mind
You haunt me without knowing
God, I need you so bad
And I’ll have you too
Every moment
Every minute
Every hour
Of every day
You have no clue
You never notice
You’re mine
You just don’t know it yet
You must see me
You have to know
You can’t deny me
You can’t ignore my love
I watch you go about your day
I watch you go to work
I see you leave
And I follow you home
The time is close
I can feel it in my bones
I only have one fear
I don’t want to rush things
I know how women like you are
You have to take things slow
Don’t worry
We’ll have plenty of time together
And you’ll get to know me just fine
Tonight you come home
And I can see it’s time
I run to hold the door open for you
And you come so close I can smell you
You give me a smile
You flutter your eyes
You know I’m here for you
You can’t be that blind
I give you a polite smile back
You look at me like you know me
But you’re not sure where from
See, I’m the man that wants you
I’m the guy you see at the park
I’m the one you see in the restaurant
I’m the person whose eyes you can feel
And I’m the killer who will have you
You look away again
You think nothing of that thought
I look somewhat familiar
But not enough to register
I follow you down the hall
Staying close behind
You know I’m behind you
But you don’t suspect a thing
Finally, you get to your door
You make a half turn and see me
An odd expression crosses your face
But you’re still not too concerned
Then as you put your key in
I come up closer behind
The door swings open
It’s now I make my move
I place my hand over your mouth
And I push you inside
I slam the door behind us
And I breathe in your ear
You have no idea what I want
But I definitely do
And so I tell you
It’s time to begin
I turn towards the door
And peak out through the eyehole
No one’s there to interrupt us
Just how I like it
But when I turn back to grab you
I see the gun in my face
You yell something about being the police
And I feel a quiver in my gut
This isn’t what I planned
This can’t be right
For I am The Shadow
You are my light
And this was supposed to be my hunt
… Not yours


Taboo #1 (Fall 1988). 


Feast - © D. S. Scott - 2015

I raise a glass and make a toast
To the greatest family on earth
To one and all, I have to boast
About each and everyone’s worth

We bless what lies before us all
This wondrous and tasty meal
I stand with pride and oh-so tall
Gazing upon our food with appeal

Joining with us all here tonight
He is our truly, wonderful guest
It is to my own great delight
To say he shall be the very best

Now before we start to dig in
I have a request for you, Mother
Bring the wine so we may begin
Oh, and Sister go grab your brother

As we are now all together here
It is time to end our friend’s life
Nana, would you be such a dear
And please hand me the carving knife

I cut deep into his pale flesh
We all relish at the screams
The arising aroma is so fresh
And I watch as my family beams

Arterial blood splashes here and there
Now that I carve into his rump
To be honest, I do not want to share
But there is plenty, so juicy and plump

Now I tear into the chest cavity
I take my time picking around the bones
I break through the ribs and have a see
Next, pillaging every organ that he owns

So yes, maybe I am some great sinner
I know what I am doing is wrong
But I do so enjoy time for dinner
It is when we can all get along

Come now, what did I just say?
Can we not have a nice dinner for once?
That’s all I ask from you on this day
Or would you like to go on your own hunts?

Come on children, stop your fighting
There is plenty of it to go around
What is before you, you should be biting
Or you know trouble will be found

Finally, we find some rest and peace
Some pleasant quiet all around us
At last, the craziness has come to cease
And there is no more making any fuss

So, together we go about our feast
We shred and devour all the meat
Outsiders would think each of us a beast
But a man and his family have to eat



"Bathe in blood..."



My Fall, My Descent, My Decline - © D. S. Scott - 2016

I have bathed in the blood of the missing
The forsaken and forgotten by all
My prey, my pets and my lovelies
They have borne witness to my fall

I took them away from their lives
I simply stole them all away
They were kept here just for me
And so it is that they should stay

In the deepest depths of despair
I kept them under lock and key
They wallowed in all of their fears
Crying out at what they could see

Now I have all of my supplies
Necessary tools of the trade
I prepare myself for carnage
As naked body on table is laid

I record all my endeavors for posterity
My children are my followers who live on
The video camera is focused on my task
It will be proof of my deeds when I’m gone

It’s been done a thousand times before
But still so hard to make the decision
I wonder where I should begin
Oh, where to make the first incision

Carefully injected with a coagulant
Today’s patient will not bleed
At least not too much, that is to say
All the better to do the deed

Sedated, but not all the way gone
I want to keep him awake and aware
Eyelids cut off to make him watch
I will enjoy his determined stare

I lift my scalpel and study my reflection
Medically trained to the full extent
As I ponder my own deserved fate
I wonder for a moment about my descent

It seems I was not always this way
A boring, normal life I did live
But something changed, for better or worse
And a chance to me fate did give

I will call it an opportunity, if you allow
I find it a wonderful, peaceful release
A way to find my inner self, as it were
And the answer to making my own pain cease

This time though, the pain will be mine
Even though numb, it will still be felt
The cutting and severing will be on me
Then the final, fatal blow will be dealt

I want to be remembered as someone unique
I hope I’m not seen as something easy to define
The differences in us make us who we are
Keep that in mind as you watch my decline

I know it is true, today I will die
All I want is something to leave behind
My greatest desire for after I am gone
To beautifully preserve the darkness of my mind



Cement Shoes



The Others - © D. S. Scott - 2014

Come take a walk down my road
Feeling the gravel crunch beneath your feet
Go past the fields with trees all around
The view of it all, just can’t be beat

As you walk on some more
The surroundings grow dim
You look from side to side
And touch a hanging limb

The noise of hidden animals
Of bugs and insects too
Buzzing around in your ears
An experience so brand new

Now come see the large brick home
The one that I reside in
I welcome you in through the front
And then I’ll bring you into the den

See the photos hanging on the wall
Watch the fireplace being lit
What a beautiful place it is
But that’s not the half of it

Then to the rear of the house
Open wide the back porch door
Ushering you out to see the view
You should have known there would be more

I point out the vast yard I have
Taking you down the steps of the deck
You look at the vista all around
Feeling the warm sun on your neck

But then you finally spot it
The last and best place to see
There it is past the fence
A small pond I made just for me

Stocked with lots of large fish
They love what I give them to eat
I walk you down to the dock now
And show you to the best seat

A comfortable lounging chair
One to relax and sit back
Watching a bird fly overhead
See it perform its hunting attack

Feeling a nice cool breeze
You recline and enjoy the view
With not a care in the world
I realize that this is my cue

I smash a stone against your skull
A nice large round pond rock
You spurt blood from your wound
But there’s no one here to gawk

And now I must tie you up
I do so with a bail of rope
Everything will be perfect
Oh, I really do so hope

Next I put gravel in your pockets
Just enough to weigh you down
I wish you would wake up soon
I can’t wait to watch you drown

Finally, you regain consciousness
You’d scream if you could
But your mouth is full of lake mud
So try not to choke yet, if you would

Next I will stand you up straight
Grabbing you under each arm
Carrying you to the edge of the pond
It is time to now cause you harm

So with one last whisper in your ear
I throw you in with your sisters and brothers
You will not be alone down there
Say hello from me to the others



Grim Sleeper & Known Victims



The Reluctant Killer - © D. S. Scott - 2015

One last time, I’m going to sin
I lie to myself and say it again
The demon’s voices are wailing
And my self-control is failing

I really cannot keep from it anymore
The time has come to embrace the gore
Having nothing else left to do
There is no way to say no to you

As I get ready and start to prepare
I try to fight back my sense of care
I wish I could get better but it is too late
There is just no way I can rehabilitate

Now with complete control over me
You gave me blinders, the rage all I can see
As much as I would like to go and fight it
I have to submit, I must stay quiet

I realize tonight will be number ten
Oh, what fun each family has been
I slash and shred until nothing is left
Finally, their lives will be my theft

Not until though, not until
There is so much to do, still
I have found that their crying is a curse
But at least it is they that do it worse

I cannot, will not show my pain
I do not have a conscience, I am insane
I must not show them, I too am weak
Or the reasoning behind this they will seek

Asking their questions, they cry out
They plead, beg for mercy and always shout
I pretend their cries fall on deaf ears
When I, myself, have to fight back tears

I can feel my anger begin to turn
It is when my eyes start to burn
Over and over, the voices urge me on
My God, I wish I would want them gone

Taking my anger out on them
I go without plan and act on whim
This time the father tries to fight back
This now is when I choose to attack

It is so much easier when they act first
Their simple submission is the worst
So I fight him and tie him to a chair
To be honest, it almost doesn’t seem fair

Next, I make him watch it all
I revel in each outcry and call
First, taking everything from his wife
I slice off her face with a kitchen knife

Then, time comes for the little daughter
I laughed along as I fought her
I like every noise that she makes
Her slit wrists pool like little lakes

The last is for their young son
I have to savor every last bit of fun
After cutting out his tongue to stop the squeal
His danger of drowning in the blood is real

As I listen to them screaming
I simply cannot keep from beaming
But I know my time is at an end
I have been so lucky to attend

At last, I stab the man in the head
The finale to the show of the dead
I don’t always get along with the voices
Although, I do usually like their choices

Still, I have my few and slight regrets
The day will come when I will pay my debts
Seems I do have a conscience, after all of this
And I find myself, once again, lost in my abyss

For I am the one with the reluctant kill
And yet I will enjoy it, yes I will
I’ll do it again and again, I swear
I will continue to do all I can bear



Billie Sue Mosiman




The Furniture of Ed Gein



They Live

They don't live like you 
Or think the way you do. 
In the beginning chaos took over 
Everything 
Took over the dark and darkened it 
Took over the diminishing light 
And ate it like a sweet
 Leaving an empty universe. 
You can't enter there 
Where monsters cavort 
You wouldn't want to 
For fear of losing what humanity 
You possess. 
It's all I know 
All that can be understood 
The only words 
Able to warn you how understanding is impossible 
And dangerous. 
Let them go 
Run fast 
Don't turn to look 
For a pillar of salt is not nearly enough 
To save your soul. 
They live 
To take you with them 
Out into the cold that never ends. 
They live, these broken creatures, 
With consuming chaos 
With hate 
With oblivion in the palms of their hands--- 
They live.

Billie Sue Mosiman




****************


Critiques by Anthony Servante:


In my work "Killers and Horror: Ink Black, Blood Red" (2013), I compare the thought processes associated with writers empathizing with killers to capture the verisimilitude of the act of murder to the thought processes as described by real killers who discuss what went through their mind before, during and after the real act of murder. For our writers today, they either portrayed a depraved manner of thinking that coincided with the gruesome act of murder and mutilation or a peripheral view of the killing in order to distance themselves and the readers from the overt act of death itself. In my book, I quote F. Paul Wilson who wrote such a horrific killing that he had to take breaks from the writing of the scene because it was an overwhelming experience to enter the "killing" frame of mind, but he captured the gruesome act indirectly, finding that too direct a description was not as effective as a subtle play on the readers' imagination, which the author found more haunting an experience. 

Howard Carlyle also employs an indirect approach to the killings by John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer and an unnamed murderer. He describes his subjects just as an F.B.I. Profiler would, only in the voice of prose. He enters the mind of the murderers at a safe distance so that we can witness their mental state rather than their brutal acts. The simple act of Gacy applying his clown make-up is much more chilling than a gory description of mutilation, for it is a scary experience to enter the mind of a killer preparing to carry out his awful plan. Carlyle utilizes this technique to take the readers out of their comfort zone. 

Coralie Rowe takes the same path to the readers' fragile psyche. We love mental roller coasters, and Rowe provides the thrills with portraits of Jack the Ripper, the Wolf Creek Killer, the Snowtown Killers, the Rose Red Haunted House, and other depictions of death merchants. One of my favorites was "Sweet Mistress Mary", a Grimm Brothers type of rhyme that paints "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" as a serial killer. It comes across as playful in a macabre Adamms Family variety where death is chic and clever. Ironically, this frame of mind is closer to the mind of real serial killers, as I detail in my book. And to make the reader titter at murder is quite a feat of writing for a confident talent like Rowe. 

Anthony Crowley's "The Ripper" echoed the surgical killer in the graphic novel "From Hell" by Alan Moore. Please note the panel from the book above the title**. Crowley portrays his killer as a cold-blooded murderer like a man spending a day at the office, which is how Moore presents his interpretation of "Jack". The poem is direct in its horrific descriptions. This is in your face horror. No safe havens or indirect passages to hide. Crowley is as cold-blooded in his writing as his killer.

D.S. Scott dives into the horror feet first with his poems. His narratives are neither empathetic or passive. As such, we do not experience the horror of killing as we partake in an exaggerated view of death that we would find in the old EC or Warren Comics where one expected to find knifes in the eye and murderers who love to describe themselves as they kill. Each poem even has that O'Henry trick ending, though if you are as old and jaded as I, you'd see the horror foreshadowed in the titles ("Feast" for example was either a gory Texas Chainsaw Thanksgiving or a Donner Party Picnic). Still, for the sheer fun of the grotesque killers, there is no better poet than Scott to put a twisted smile on your face. 

Billie Sue Mosiman is featured in my book on Killers and Horror because she writes a mean serial killer. She enters the mind of her murderess with ease. She does not balk as does F. Paul Wilson, so she delivers a sympathetic but vicious assassin. For her poem, "They Live", which I deliberately placed as the final poem, she summarizes the various "minds" of a killer. She captures the direct and indirect state of mind of the murderers. "They" can be the nice guy next door, the friendly grocer, or the jilted lover. The difference with Mosiman's killers is that "they" can cross the line from good citizen to cold-blooded killer at the merest slight. You look at them the wrong way, you complain about his giving you the wrong change at the grocery store, or if you can't have your lover, then nobody can. Very nice wrap-up for the column. Serial killers can be you and me. We are "they". 

************************************************

The Mauro Chronicles
by Edward McKeown


For More Books by Edward F. McKeown












Saturday, July 2, 2016

For Want of a Suicide, A Kingdom was Lost
A Wordscape For David Lynch (2016)



By Anthony Servante


I purpled today FB eyes closed
The mewling newborns squirming
On the lazy couch that terrified the box
With the abandoned kitties no titties

While the fat lover and her
Fistfuls of feline fur
Bathed the porch in disbelief.

Yet my heart evacuated the red
The corporate corpuscles of life
On the edge of a paper cut

Deeper deeper deeper stitched
With love by an RPN two years short
Of the framed sheepskin on the wall with
Leftover tissue and sluggish blood;
 
Who but the two-legged dogs
With their promise to the blind
Rainbow of midnight could
Understand the pink envelope

The black and blue hematoma
The four corners of a perfect circle
Spiraling into the white Abyss
Drowned by the light of a sucker-punch 

The cartoon stars and birdies and hashtags
Circling the carcass of better days
The coffins of undead nights that
Cannot be dreamed away or awakened

Or greened in putrid soil
Where healthy zombies TM
TV LOL BTW P.S. I purpled today
But that was no reason to spit
Your paganism in my decapitated face.

Sunday, June 19, 2016



Relative Karma 
by Martin Reaves




Reviewed by Anthony Servante


Summary:

An intoxicating first-person treatise on the devastation of infidelity. A chilling and often heart-wrenching read. A year after abandoning his wife of fourteen years, Jeff Vincent’s pseudo-existence is a soul-numbing blend of alcohol and meaningless searches for other people’s trivia. Until the Saturday morning Jan Fraden mistakes his search-service ad for that of a private detective. Before the weekend is through, people are disappearing, dying, then reappearing. And it all seems connected to Jeff Vincent and his betrayal. Could his sin—a simple act of infidelity—turn the world so completely inside out? And if there was redemption, did he deserve it?




Biography:

Martin, a native of Los Angeles County, moved to Northern CA in 1993. Over the past thirty-five years he has written scores of short stories, plays, and dramatic sketches. And four novels: Relative Karma, Relative Sanity, the award-winning A Fractured Conjuring, and Rosebud Hill, Volume 1. Also available is the highly praised Dark Thoughts, a collection of short fiction. Many projects are on the horizon, including a sequel to A Fractured Conjuring, and a holiday entry in the Relative series entitled Relative Yuletide. Martin dearly loves to hear from his readers.


The Review:

Trent Zelazny gave me this book called "Relative Karma" by Martin Reaves. He told me to just read it. It's not for review. So I tossed it into the "to be read" pile, next to the "for review " pile. That was about half a year ago. I finally got around to the book. It was fucking amazing, a blend of Noir and Ultra Realism, also commonly known as Magic Realism in Chicano writing. Then I decided to review it. I liked it that much. 

But I thought I'd better read the Amazon reviews first, especially Trent's. It was all there: the raves, the praise, the honors. There was nothing new that I could add short of laying out a critic's welcome mat to the talented writer who's seemed to be overlooked by the Noir nation of fans and readers. 

That's when I understood Trent's words: Just read it. Add one more reader to the growing number of Martin Reaves fans. The great reviews have already been written: It is the purest form of Noir. It is a perfect narrative. It is raw emotion impeccably plotted. It is a surreal journey into the mind of an unforgiven sinner. It is a carousel of suspects and caricatures of faces and archetypes we've seen hundreds of times in the finest pulp stories. It is new and original literature worthy of academic inclusion. It is Noir that should sit on the shelves next to Raymond Chandler, Andrew Vachss, and yes, Trent Zelazny. What more could I add? 

All I really needed to do was follow Trent's advice from the beginning. All I need to do now is read the rest of Reaves' oeuvre. 

And all you need to do now is, just read it. Then you'll understand why Martin Reaves is a genius at weaving spiderwebs of emotion across the walls of your mind. Get caught up. Just read him.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Angel of the Abyss
by Hank Schwaeble
Reviewed by Anthony Servante



Hank Schwaeble Biography:




Hank Schwaeble is a thriller writer and attorney in Houston, Texas. His debut novel, DAMNABLE (Berkley/Jove 2009) won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and introduces his anti-hero Jake Hatcher. His second Jake Hatcher novel is DIABOLICAL (Berkley/Jove 2011). 

A graduate of the University of Florida and Vanderbilt Law School, Hank is also a former Air Force officer and special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He was a distinguished graduate from the Air Force Special Investigations Academy, graduated first in his class from the Defense Language Institute's Japanese Language Course, and was an editor of the law review at Vanderbilt where he won four American Jurisprudence Awards.

Hank is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers Association. In addition to reading and writing, Hank enjoys keeping in shape and playing guitar. 

The third Jake Hatcher novel, Angel of the Abyss, is due out September 30, 2016.


Coming September 30th


Angel of the Abyss: Summary
Ex-special forces interrogator and demon-magnet Jake Hatcher went looking for trouble, and found it.

Finally able to be with the woman he loves, life for anyone else would seem charmed. But Hatcher’s good fortune came at a steep price. Two years after witnessing his former lover disappear into perdition, he may finally have discovered a way to free her. But the forces determined to stop him are hidden, and a deal with the Devil cannot easily be trusted.

Hatcher must discover for himself if he has what it takes to survive a battle of wit and wills with both an unknown contender for the Throne of Damnation and the being that has been its occupant since the dawn of Creation-- The Lord of the Underworld, the Father of All Lies, the Great Deceiver…



"Angel of the Abyss" (2016)
The Review:

It's a wonderful thing in literature to enter the ink on a page and end up in the wonderland of horror. And Hank Schwaeble is not only a marvelous host but an erudite guide on these fantastic journeys.  His stories are well-plotted, utilize twists as a natural design of the story rather than as a novelty, as some beginner authors succumb to, and they balance the elements of grotesque sensibilities to create a scary universe that is at once comfortable to ease into and difficult to leave, even though it is filled with horrific landscapes and grand guignol flourishes. His prose melds 40/50s Noir style not uncommon to a Mickey Spillane novel with 2010s irony and humor. It also echoes the paintings of Bosch with its devilish detail without becoming trite or trivial, so don't blink or you will miss a salient story point amid all the demons, summoners, and moments of terror. You're in for a journey to Hell that's better than any Disneyland ride.

But on to the matter at hand: I have received a review copy of the book in exchange for an honest critique. I promise to use my critic skills for good and not for evil.

Now let's get to work.

The Jake Hatcher Series to date:



Damnable: Summary
Jake Hatcher is a combat veteran who's been trained to extract information by any means necessary--and is serving a military prison sentence for it. After he's granted an unexpected release to attend the funeral of a brother he never knew, Hatcher becomes drawn into a mystery involving irresistibly beautiful women whose motives and intentions are difficult to discern, inhuman females known as Carnates. Facing inscrutable adversaries and uncertain alliances, Hatcher becomes an unwitting component of a unimaginable plan, a plan intended to channel the one being that can end the reign of Heaven, and he soon finds that the streets of New York have become a secret battleground for forces he cannot comprehend.




Diabolical: Summary
Jake Hatcher, lying low in Southern California, isn't all that surprised when he's asked to jump back into the battle between salvation and damnation and stop those bent on raising the forces of darkness--it's just why and by whom that's unnerving. Especially when it's put to him as an offer he can't refuse.

A former nun named Vivian Fall believes that a Hellion has escaped the infernal regions and returned to earth on an unholy mission--to unleash the forces of damnation on an unsuspecting world. Only Hatcher has the experience to track such a being. Only Hatcher has dealt with those who likely to know what what's really going on. And only Hatcher can get close enough to it--because the Hellion happens to be his own brother.


The Emperor of Shadows
Coming soon...


In Angel of the Abyss, the storyline picks up intertwined with the events of Damnable and Diabolical, but you can read the new Hatcher story as a stand-alone, much like the Repairman Jack stories by F. Paul Wilson tell individual tales that tie to a bigger picture. It helps to know the main events, but they are not crucial to enjoy AOTA. Once you've read the latest chapter, I'm sure you'll want to reach back for the first two entries in the Hatcher universe.

Jake is always clearly out of his depth in the supernatural dimensions between Hell, Demonic messengers, and Demonologists who always have an agenda that keeps the reader off-balance. Still, Hatcher manages to pull savvy maneuverings that keep him one step ahead of the hellish proceedings. So don't expect predictable situations that Jake will work his way out of, for this is not a James Bond movie where we know Bond will escape impossible traps.

For Jake, there is no way out. Yet time and again, he climbs out of the pan and into the fire. But half the fun is learning what constitutes the pan and the fire for Jake, for he is usually a pawn in a bigger game being played by evil forces, and it is his job to find out what these forces are up while being manipulated by two opposing forces of darkness. Our hero in one instance is caught around the throat in the grip of a massive demon claw only to be surrounded later by the caverns of hell, toyed with by an attractive but unholy creature, a messenger of Satan (although his name does not come up; still we know he's behind all these proceedings). And while the demons themselves are often terrifying, Schwaeble manages to make them humorous as well. When Hank hits his narrative groove, the horrors are relentless. So, too, is the humor.

Using a prose style that any poet would envy, Schwaeble brings the characters to life with gusto. Sometimes it's just the smirk on the hideous face of a creature from hell, sometimes it's a play on words. Hatcher's sense of irony in any given situation always catches his quarry off-guard. Even one demon says that he likes Jake, but still promises to torment his soul for eternity once our hero's soul is cast down to the depths of hell, to which Jake responds, But won't that make all the other tormented souls jealous? His jokes show his defense mechanisms at full capacity; still the demons can't help but allow a smile to crack their sinister grins. With the readers in audience, we, too, are charmed by our hero's "ambulance" humor in the face of eternal damnation.

It is always a joy for me to read the work of Hank Schwaeble. His storyteller narrator and prose skills blend so seamlessly that it's easy to forget you've been transported into the nether regions of a well-written novel. I can't wait for the next hellish adventure.