Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When Horror Speaks, The Darkness Listens...
Audiobook Reviews by Anthony Servante

Nightworld: The Adversary Cycle, Book 6
[Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]


Written by F. Paul Wilson


Narrated by Christopher Price



"This is the way the world ends…not with a bang but a scream in the dark.

It begins at dawn, when the sun rises late. Then the holes appear. The first forms in Central Park, in sight of an apartment where Repairman Jack and a man as old as time watch with growing dread. Gaping holes, bottomless and empty…until sundown, when the first unearthly, hungry creatures appear.

Nightworld brings F. Paul Wilson’s Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack saga to an apocalyptic finale as Jack and Glaeken search the Secret History to gather a ragtag army for a last stand against the Otherness and a hideously transformed Rasalom" (Amazon).



Clocking in at seven hours, forty-four minutes, and fifty-four seconds, Nightworld, the audiobook, finalizes the Adversary Cycle series that started with The Keep in 1981, the story of NAZIs fighting off an evil presence at a small castle during World War Two. That presence triggered a "dreaded epiphany", Wilson's words for an inspiration that turns a simple story into a complex one and the woe that follows the author who is at the mercy of the muse to write it. 

The Paperback Edition

And 'complex' is the perfect word for the AC series, which to this day continues with the Repairman Jack series, the Repairman Jack: Early Years Trilogy, and assorted short stories that make up the "Grand Unification" theme that connects Wilson's books to the AC. Nightworld wraps up the series, but Wilson continues to find "epiphanies" to connect more of his non-AC books to the AC. 

First Repairman Jack

But I digress. This is not a review of the novel or the series. We are here to discuss the audiobook of this classic story, and I use the word 'classic' in all modesty, because I think it is one of the Top Ten Horror books of all time, if not thee Horror Book of all time. So, does the audiobook live up to the novel? That's the question.

Rasalom Returns

Nightworld is one of those books that should not be heard without having first read it. Christopher Price has a pleasant enough voice for the story narrative, but as a hardcore fan of the AC series, I have developed a voice in my head over the reading of the complete series, a voice that F. Paul Wilson's prose help to create. From The Keep to The Tomb, The Touch, Reborn, Reprisal, and finally Nightworld, Paul's prose and story-telling voice was how I heard and "saw" the tale unfold in my mind's ear and eye. It is almost a letdown to hear a new voice telling the story, even as professional as Mr. Price's voice is at narration. 

The turning point for the AC

I've spoken with Paul on several occasions and have heard him tell anecdotes over the years. Even then he spoke with that prose-y voice. I'm sure I'm not the first and won't be the last who won't wonder how the audiobook would have sounded had Paul read the narrative himself, capturing that voice in his own head that sent the signals to his fingertips to tap on the keys that would write the words in ink, retelling the story with the same inflections, voice cadence, and tonal shifts that were in his mind's eye and ear. And I'm sure there's a reason out there explaining why Paul chose not to narrate the AC books, even if it was just Nightworld. I should have followed up on this reason before writing this review. But alas...

Dat Tay Vao

What I did enjoy with the Christopher Price reading was the pronunciation of those names (Dat-tay-vao, for one), names I have been mispronouncing for years. We see the words in ink for a long time (I've read Nightworld three times, the only book I've read more than twice) and imagine a pronunciation, and it sticks with one throughout the series. I was pleased to hear the correct pronunciation of the names of characters and events. Still, Price's voice interpretations were entertaining, but Glaeken sounded a bit too old and Repairman Jack a bit too ordinary. But how should they sound? I suppose I should tell you an anecdote at this point. In Peanuts, the comic strip, Lucy is at the podium honoring Snoopy. She says, "He isn't much of a dog, but then, who is?" That's how the interpretations should sound. Meaning, of course, that Price gave an enormously adequate narration of a fantastic book, and I am honored to have heard his reading of one of my favorite books. But I didn't so much hear the book as I heard another interpretation, one that invited comparisons as I listened. How would Anthony Hopkins have read it? Or Samuel L. Jackson? Price did the best possible job he could to tell the story, but Nightworld was way out of his depth, and he couldn't do it justice, but who could? as Lucy might ask rhetorically.

A Rakosh

Well, for this reader, to answer the rhetoric question: No one could do it justice. Maybe not even F. Paul Wilson himself. But now that I've finished talking for myself as a hardcore (and jealously selfish) fan of F. Paul Wilson's work, let me set aside my favoritism and speak to the first-timers looking for a good book to listen to. If you haven't read Nightworld, or any of the Adversary Cycle books, you would be able to follow this story and enjoy the enormity of the tale, filled with monsters of every size and shape, and the world of mankind on the brink of extinction. The epic tale is captured by Christopher Price in his amazing reading, and when I allowed my prejudices to slip, the narration was spot-on. An easy reading that allows you to flow gently on a suspension of disbelief and hit walls of fear and dread as the story unfolds, as the nights grow longer and the days shorter, as the creatures from the "Otherness" crescendo in fierceness with the lengthening darkness. The reading captures the urgency and maintains the suspense as we wait for each dawn and experience the same dread as the characters who understand that the evil Rasalom is on his way, the ultimate creature that combines all the Hells and all the Devils of all religions into one single malevolent entity. You will know fear. Because that's what Nightworld brings. 

A Chew Wasp

So, as a fan of the AC series, I appreciated Christopher Price's valiant effort to capture the epic tale for hardcore fans, but we are voracious and insatiable for the Grand Unification. However, acquainted readers and first-time readers of the AC series couldn't choose a better audiobook to begin with than Nightworld. Even as you listen to the ending of the series, you will be introduced to all the parts of the AC, and then you can work your way backward towards The Keep, or forward to the Repairman Jack series. Either way, read the book aloud to yourself or listen to the Christopher Price version. Just leap into Nightworld, feet first. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

OCULUS (2014) 
Directed by Mike Flanagan. With Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane.

A Film in the Dark
Movie Review
by Anthony Servante


Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their father. Now on his 21st birthday, Tim is released from psychiatric custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night of their father's death, is convinced her mother and father's deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to kill the evil force in the mirror, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again..


Although I've included the summary above, it only superficially covers the plot, so allow me to review how I saw things. The movie begins with the final meeting between Tim Russell and his psychiatrist, played by Miguel Sandoval; Tim tells the doctor of his dream where he fires the gun that kills his father. Cut to the doctor telling the hospital board members that this dream is the breakthrough that he's been waiting for in his treatment and that Tim should be allowed to leave court-ordered medical custody, that he is no longer a menace to society. Tim is released and his sister, Kaylie, picks him up from the hospital.

After unsuccessfully trying to convince him to move in with her and her fiancee, Michael, Kaylie takes Tim to a cheap hotel room. This tension between the brother and sister is important to the storyline because Tim believes the version of events as he saw them in his dream, the version that convinces his doctor to release him from custody. He believes he has been cured of the false memories of that fatal night when his parents were killed, supposedly by him. But Kaylie insists to Tim that he made a promise, they both did, that they would never forget that night and how things really played out; they promised that when he was released from the hospital, that they would kill the entity that resides in the mirror.

One of the Mirror Inhabitants

At this point she tells her brother that she's located, purchased, and secured the mirror. She tells him that he needs to clear his head of the brainwashing that the hospital did on him, that they have work to do. This work includes placing the mirror in a secured room with video cameras to capture the mirror's actual moves, for the Lasser Glass, as it is known, can cause its victims to hallucinate as a defense mechanism. Thus, Kaylie has placed a giant springed weight that will come crashing into the mirror if its timer is not reset every twenty minutes. The mirror attacks its victims by siphoning their energy: dogs dehydrate to death, plants dry up, and, of course, the humans hallucinate (think mirages in the desert). With this set-up, it seems like the kids should finally get their revenge on the mirror; only, Tim still believes that it is just a mirror and that he actually committed the crimes he was hospitalized for and thinks his sister is the crazy one.

Preparing the Cameras

In one of the creepiest scenes of the movie, as the siblings argue about the mirror, Tim storms out of the room followed closely by his angry sister. But when they look back into the room with the mirror, they find all the cameras have been rearranged, poltergeist-style. Kaylie replays the video and as the siblings argue about the mirror, the playback shows them rearranging the cameras themselves. We, the movie audience, saw what they saw, an argument; so when we see the playback, we are just as surprised as they are. The crowd I was with gasped in shock. The mirror was protecting itself. Tim then realizes that his original memories, the ones before the doctor medically altered the way he remembered the events of that deadly night of his arrest, are the real ones. And then the flashbacks begin.

Tim and Kaylie Older and Younger Selves

The movie is a series of flashbacks focusing on the events leading up to that fatal night, interspersed with the events of the older siblings trying to trap the mirror into revealing its evil inhabitant. They bring a dog and dozens of plants to track the mirror's power to siphon energy from the living things to measure the growing length of its progressively parasitic capabilities. We watch how the mirror took over the family house when they were kids in flashbacks as we witness their plan for vengeance unfold in the present now. This is the set-up of the first half, and a fantastic one at that. 

The Present and the Past Collide

But then there's that second hour (the movie clocks in at an hour and forty-five minutes). As the mirror gains more power from the siblings, the dog, and the plants, it begins to reveal itself, but like any good parasite, it has a great defense mechanism. It begins to defend itself even as Kaylie turns on more and more electronic gadgets around the house to stay one step ahead of the mirror. But soon the victims that the Lasser Glass has absorbed over the years (Kaylie gives a detailed account of the mirror's past) begin to leave the mirror and wander the house. And whenever the brother and sister are separate, usually in different rooms, where the hallucinations lead them, they are vulnerable. Soon, even the flashbacks come to life in the present now and the kids run into their older selves in the house, and vise-versa. The battle of the younger siblings has coalesced with the battle of their older selves with the same mirror in different time-lines. 

The Mirror's Inhabitants Emerge

By this time, we should be shaking with fear for the two sets of siblings. Instead, we, the audience, are subjected to the same hallucinations as the brother and sister. It doesn't work. It is confusing. That scene with the playback showing how the mirror defends itself was crucial and should have be repeated throughout the movie to let the audience know what was real and what was the defensive hallucinations of the Lasser Glass. Only in the climatic finale do we see this "playback" device used again to show the strength and weakness of the mirror. We are lost in flashbacks, or are they hallucinations, and rather than care about the battle between the siblings and the mirror, we are trying to figure out what is real and what is not real. And we just give up.

Apple or Lightbulb?

For example, there is a great scene where fresh light bulbs are being placed in the strong lamps placed around the house as the mirror can drain the electrical power and toss the house into darkness when it suits its purposes. As Kaylie places the apple she's eating next to a burnt out bulb, she lifts the apple but bites into the lightbulb. Her mouth is filled with broken glass and blood. Tim enters the room and asks her what is wrong. Then she has the apple in her hand and her mouth is uncut. What? The mirror would have had her cut herself; it doesn't play pranks--it is malevolent, not tricky. Without any sense of evil, we figure the "horrors" happening to the siblings can be retracted at any time by the mirror, prankster that it is. And with the pranks and confusing flashbacks, the movie can't maintain the terrific set-up of the first half of the movie. There is no battle. It's a knockout for the mirror as soon as the fight begins.

The Purge: Anarchy

Last year, The Purge had a similar letdown, but I thought the political satire held together the slasher aspects of the film. With the advent of giving the fans what they want, The Purge: Anarchy promises to lean towards the gore and violence and let the political leanings play second fiddle. In Oculus, more gore and violence was needed to show the battle that was promised in the first half of the movie. Why show us all the technology when it disappears from the second half of the movie. The siblings are supposed defend themselves from the hallucinations, not the movie-goers. 

Mother and Daughter

I really liked this movie. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie received a 78% critics approval rating, while the audience approval was about 50%, ironic when fans tend to rank higher with horror movies while critics are less wowed by the gimmicks of today's horror (found footage, alien abductions, maternal ghosts, and so on), but they took a shine to this use of flashbacks to double the thrills. I guess it takes a more cerebral mind to follow the logic of the second half of the movie. I wasn't up to the task. Maybe with multiple viewings, I'll see what that 78% saw.

The Fatal Night

As I left the theater, two women who had just seen the movie asked me what I thought. I said that the first half was great, but the second half fell apart. They responded, Good, then we saw the same movie. As for you, my readers, I do recommend this one, but pay extra close attention to that second half. And if you figure it out, let me know what I missed, because I think the Lasser Glass got the best of this critic with its defensive hallucinations. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chimera Poetry: An Appreciation

by Anthony Servante

Click here to visit Chimera Poetry

The Chimera is a multi-headed creature that has been described in many ways by many cultures. To some, it is a combination of reptile, lion, and goat; to others, it is a dragon, lion, and ram. For Jaye Tomas, it is a melding of art, words, and friends, and the occasional troll.

I discovered the Facebook group by accident. I traced a picture back to its source and found myself at this magical place with mesmerizing graphics and enthralling poems. I immediately sought out the leader of the group, and to my amazement, found that it was Jaye Tomas, one of my favorite poets and a friend on Facebook, in that order.

Next, I asked her if she'd like to talk about Chimera Poetry with my readers (who may as well be her readers as her poetry always attracts big hits for the Poetry Today column). She agreed, and here we are. I posed a few questions for Jaye and let her write her own column about her poetry page.

So, let's get to it. Without further ado, here's Jaye Tomas.

Jaye Tomas

How did the idea of Chimera Poetry come to you, as opposed to your text only poems?

Well, as in most things I did it backwards. I did the page first as a showcase for my poetry. A place to collect and display them all in one area. I envisioned having a convenient spot for a few, supportive friends and family (you know, the ones who HAVE to like you) where they could come to see the latest scribbles and give opinions. I never saw it growing like it did, never anticipated strangers liking and sharing it. It has both humbled me and made me a bit bolder. There has been a certain amount of “trolldom”, but the Internet is a breeding ground for that unfortunately. Mostly, however, there has been a tremendous show of support and affirmation extended. The kindness has been overwhelming. Meeting and making connections with other poets and writers has also been invaluable, the sheer talent out there is unreal. Joining the online poetry groups is a great way of honing your own talent while helping other people. A good group will offer writing positives; critique (constructive not destructive) and guidance. And that makes me work harder, extend myself more. It makes me willing to put more of myself out there, on the line. It has been a good experience personally, a way of building my confidence and developing my craft at the same time.

Where do you get the artwork? They are haunting pieces. I often just look at the art and then go back and read the poetry. Do you pick the art for your poems or for the art itself? Or a combination of both?

The artwork is truly a double edged sword. I think it adds to the poetry, to the overall affect - but there is always the chance of it overpowering the writing. People are visual creatures and some will like the pretty picture while passing over the poem itself. It’s difficult when someone comments about the “great painting” and says nothing about the verse I just dragged kicking and screaming out of my head and on to the paper. A conundrum.

I find it....oddly enough....on the Internet! I spend a lot of time finding the right image. I have to feel that "click". I was surprised how long it sometimes takes to find the artist name to be able to properly credit the images.

Most of the time I find something to match AFTER I have written. Occasionally I will see an image that hits me like a ton of bricks and inspires me on the spot. Lente Scura is one who does it to me allllllll the time. Sorell too. Unique and amazing artwork on a consistent basis.

Do you find a big difference between writing from a source (the artwork) for inspiration and writing from the muse alone? How does the poetry differ from different sources of inspiration, if in fact it does?

Not really. My muse is a loud mouth, nagging, insomniac with an abysmal sense of timing. Write or die.

I don’t know how it differs really, very hard to say. What the artist creating a painting or photo is seeing might be light years away from what my perception of it is. It's very subjective . In one case ("My Shroud") the artist paid me the highest compliment ever, saying that they were “…taken aback on how clearly you saw it’s meaning and how you were able to communicate it via words.” It really doesn't get any better than that.

What future do you see for Chimera? Is it evolving? I’m new to the page, so maybe I missed the beginning. Was it different than today?

You haven't missed that much! The Facebook page hasn’t been there that long - since June 2013. The blog since August. I think it has evolved because all things do really. Not from any conscious decision on my part. I am a little more comfortable now, not so worried that something is too long, or too short, or too…..“me”. I have laid out the truthful person, the truthful questions and pain I deal/dealt with. People respond to that truthfulness I think.

Or….in the case of my darker, more paranormal pieces….they just like monsters. Heh..heh…

As for the future, I hope to keep adding and growing. To advertise my Very First Book being published soon would delight me. Watch that space!


Poetry by Jaye Tomas

Marionette ~

He comes to you in shadow

and in secret

not quite seen

a calm confident voice

whispering your insecurities

chiseling away

erasing parts and replacing them

doll face

with crimson painted smile

broken bits of heart

old letters and faded photos

bound into a body



about by jerky marionette strings

he has remade you

in his vision

and you don’t know how to feel

with someone elses broken bits of heart

The Moon Smiles ~

Check the small print one more time

before you sign the deed

the marketplace may not be buying

what you think you’re selling

in this place of instant freeze dried aspirations

where every chicken seeks to be chanticleer

and all full moons rise with smiling faces

dreams and delusions are separated by a line so thin

that the angels dance across it when tired of the pin

no ring to rule, no drink to make you larger

to swim in the water of Lethe

may deaden your fears

for awhile

but feeds them too

until grown so large they become master

and cringing, you look to the sky

to see that the full moon still rises smiling

it never was just for you.

Within the Dragons Dream ~

Molten gold runs through me warm as blood and lifts my wings

spreading with thunder

and power like the lightning storm

to be within the dragons dream is to be wrapped in scarlet and memories of a mighty fall

the shock of plunging

plummeting cloud clad

the wind may whisper adversary

but I scream my defiance back into it

and let my wings carry me

to farseen mountains where even the air is strange

my heart and my resolve hardening

as the fire kindles in my veins

the scent of gold and blood lures me

sings to me in siren tones

and I will go where that song leads me

full of heat and spice and shining like a morning star

resplendent in gemstone armor

as terrible and beautiful as the crimson dawn

I will remember who I am

and I will fear no living being

for dragons do not bow

Tattoo ~

I pull the darkness from the air

feeling it sink into my skin

my blood

swirling as ink through my veins

surfacing in the patterns and runes and markings

that my yearning called from the other planes

the other levels

the unseen

the unknown

the deliberately unremembered

tattoos rise in beaded symbols of power and love and loss

of belief

a call across obscured spaces

and times

calling to some not awakened yet

and to those who have slept forgotten for long years

I am a living archive, a breathing record of my tale

it is not enough to tell my story

I want to become

I need to become

my story

expanding with darkink and consciousness risen

like a tidal wave, I pull more

and I rise, imprinted

still calling

unfolding into all I am

and will be

knowing not how it ends

or what transformation this journal will require

but for now

the writing of it is sufficient

and the ink soothes and spreads deeper into

the worlds

under my skin

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions 10
Compiled by Anthony Servante

Welcome, readers, to the Servante of Darkness's 10th venture into the world of Poetry Today. As always, we seek to find poems that reflect new directions for the craft, while keeping an eye open for those works that echo the classic poetry from bygone eras. 

Now let's turn to our guests today. With us, we have Jaye Tomas, Rose Blackthorn, Lori R. Lopez, Kim Acrylic, John Boden, Joe Hill, and Tuomas Holopainen of the band NIGHTWISH. 

We begin with Tomas.

Jaye Tomas


Jaye Tomas has be a "scribbler" all of her life, but the Internet provided a way to more easily share it. Creating Chimera Poetry (blog & facebook page) has been an incredible experience. The fact that anyone reads what she writes is a constant source of amazement and gratitude to her. Her biggest obsession is books and her reading tastes are eclectic to say the least: Tolkien, Lovecraft, Gaiman, Plath, Ellison, Christie, Aaronovitch, Yeats, Blake, King, Barker, Straub, Lopez, Maugham, Poznansky name a very few. Originally from the windy suburbs of Chicago she now resides in the UK. Lately she has been casting her eyes in the direction of Italy, but hasn't completely settled on that.....yet. It may be back to the USA, it may be Edinburgh, it may be Gallifrey..... the beauty of the story is in the journey, not the arrival. (Jaye Tomas on facebook) (Chimera Poetry on facebook)


Give Me the Madness~

Give me the madness
the exploration of nightmares
give them to me so I can show you
how to pull off their black masks and see them for the dreams they once were
before the darkness of fear covered them like treacle
sticking the mayfly wings together and tossing them into your
dreamscape like grenades
kernels of thoughts and guilts and avoided places of shadow
magnify when unknown
leech the murk and poison from them
unmask and let them flit away, reborn and wrapped in remnants of bright colors
give me the madness and let it write its own poetry
while I hold the pen.

Goddess of Depression ~

Portray yourself as you will
like the night
like the darkness
you are a liar
Goddess of Depression you may deceive 
you may wrap yourself in robes of ebony
and pretend a mystery
but you are colorless
merely a sterile landscape
hopeless, charmless, 
obscuring the light
the future
a roaming beast , a dog 
searching for another you can fasten leech-like upon
to pull the cork and let the joy drain away into the 
anemic sand
Goddess of Depression, you are no deity 
although you crown yourself with gilt and flimsy rhetoric
you have nothing more than any aging harlot
paint and perfume and magic potions cannot disguise
the paper flowers and mirrors 
perhaps a cheap parlor trick 
or two
which is all you have to convince those held in your thrall
that they can do no more.


Rose Blackthorn


My name is Rose Blackthorn.  I am a member of the HWA and have been published online and in print with Stupefying Stories, Cast of Wonders, Buzzy Mag and the anthologies The Ghost IS the Machine, A Quick Bite of Flesh, Fear the Abyss, From Beyond the Grave, Horrific History, Eulogies II: Tales from the Cellar, Blood and Roses, O Little Town of Deathlehem and The Best of the Horror Society 2013, among others. My poetry has been published in Cellar Door, Necon E-books year-end anthologies for 2011 and 2012, The Pagan Friends e-magazine, the HWA newsletter, and my poem "Inevitable as the Incoming Tide" is scheduled to appear in issue 2 of Jamais Vu Spring 2014.


Rose Blackthorn

it’s the wind again
sighing in the dark
plucking at the eaves
with impatient fingers
the house creaks
and sighs in harmony
shifting, just slightly
like a ship in stormy seas

in the dark, I listen
unable to sleep
the dogs dream and whimper
swallowing muffled warnings
they lie at my right
taking the otherwise empty space

eyes closed,
I see still the glowing numbers
as night marches so slowly on
ghostly fingers tap
against the curtained window
I will not rise, will not peek
monsters beneath the bed
wait for my naked ankles

somewhere in this dark
beneath other covers
a distance I can’t calculate
you lie alone
but do you listen
to wordless sighs, or
do you dream of me?

I wish for pelting rain
for thunder’s grumble
and lightning’s flash to blank my eyes
instead of fumbling uneasy whispers
and sleep that will not come


Forever Mine
Rose Blackthorn

in a box beneath the stone
wrapped in cloth and left alone
lies the heart of my beloved
            he is mine, forever mine

in the dark of moonless night
hidden always from her sight
his ghost is wandering and calling
            but he’s mine

she doesn’t know that he is taken
her faith has never shaken
even though he won’t return
            because he’s mine

sometimes I want to tell her why
he never came to say goodbye
but then I stop before I do
            for he is mine, and only mine

…the love he had for her is just a lie


Lori R. Lopez


Lori R. Lopez wears many hats, including as an author and artist, musician and actress.  She is also an activist against abuse and cares deeply about conservation and animal rights.  She has always loved books since being read to when small.  Her titles include OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, POETIC REFLECTIONS:  KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD, and THE FAIRY FLY.  Her stories and verse appear in THE SIREN'S CALL E-ZINE and anthologies such as MIRAGES:  TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE, MASTERS OF HORROR: DAMNED IF YOU DON'T, BONES II, SPLATTERPUNK SAINTS, DARLINGS OF DECAY, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES, THE EPOCALYPSE: EMAILS AT THE END, SOUP OF SOULS, THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED, and SCARE PACKAGE:  14 TALES OF TERROR.  Fifteen of Lori's poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY.  She unapologetically takes pride in creatively bending and reshaping the rules of writing when it suits her style.

Lori writes a peculiar column called "Poetic Reflections" at Fairy Fly Entertainment, a creative website she is establishing with her talented sons:

You can find her poetry collection and other titles at:


under the rainbow

by lori r lopez

so here i am
holding my umbrella upside down
to catch the drops
that fall under the rainbow
out of starry eyes
wrung from the hankies of clouds
who do not all have silver linings
that’s just a myth
some of them are shaped like ogres
and sundry sorry critters
that go bump in the night sky
not all nursery rhymes end happily
just as fairytales can be grim
and wishes could make the stars collide
like marbles or billiard balls
which crack and thunder
in delayed measures
of rimshot or bass-drum moods
to cymbalize the hot sparks
of cosmic temperament
so here i stand
absorbing the sorrows
of the universe
catching rain with my umbrella
saved for a sunny day
when i will turn the umbrella over
and stand in the shade
to bask in my tears


by Lori R. Lopez

We hold at bay our deepest fears
Grown like mushrooms in the moist dark
Of attics and cellars where once we
Dwelt alone inside

We know full well ancient memes and foibles
Have no power upon us, still
We know this to the bottoms of our souls
But cannot convince the heart

A ling’rous crescendo of risen panic
Accompanies its strings as they are strummed
Tightened too far until they snap
With a reverbent whine of sorrow

Who’s afraid of the big, the bad?
Whether snarling beast or grinning lamb
There are cosmic ripples that would us guide
If we only could anticipate

New torments acquired
The strifes and strickens of a harried life
Are no less troubling, no easier to brush
Off like a shrugged regret

Yet the brittle leaves of long-gone seasons
Scrape the pavement of the steadfast mind
We can’t seem to clear the cobwebs from
The rafters, the crevices, or the past

Such thoughts are best to disregard
And let the wounds close up a spell
I’m not afraid of the big bad wolf
I’d just like to forget him awhile

Dreads combined or one by one
Are just as poignant, keenly felt
Some things won’t settle or ebb like the sea
All we can do is stay afloat.

Night Howls

by Lori R. Lopez

In the stormulent surge of a black-laden morrow
Shredded by the screech of a cloaken night owl
A bristling voice cried with absolute sorrow
But its meaning got lost in the shatter of a howl
Where the pieces were sown to the soil disarrayed
In an eloquent pattern of leaf-stricken pangs
While living upheavaled on the edge of afraid
Only knowing the dark bares a mean set of fangs

From a corner so dim that a shadow looks pale
With ill-fortunate bane creeps the truth of the day
A screamenous shame that is hurled to the gale
When the silence crescendos for there's nothing to say
And the heart is so heavy with the knowledge of grief
At the cutting of losses that will make the soul bleed
Like a vein that's carved open and spilling belief
In the teardrops of trust that can't fill your great need

Your whimpers unheard below the scud of indulgence
That drowns out your voice as it coughs up regret
How vividly etched is the tarnished effulgence
Of a symbol so transparent it is hard to forget
At what age do we cease to repeat old mistakes?
Or to cower uncertain neath the shade of the past?
What point will we grow up and do what it takes
To stand for the image in which we were cast?

But it's always the same in the end, don't you see?
A night tallying hours as the content count their sheep
It is never the way that you wished it to be
In the dark the view's clearer when you should be asleep
Shining brighter than daylight to a subconscious eye
That was watching, head shaking, the clever antics of fools
With a voice growing louder in a wrenchening cry
That had long ago surrendered the fighting of duels

Lying faceless in fear that the morning arrives
And nothing has changed but the calendar's date
Catlike you pray for a set of nine lives
Hoping one will at last be the wish you await
If only these mirrors and this smoke could be real
The flourish of deeds be as grand as they seemed
If we only could erase how we've been made to feel
Then perhaps what we've lived would live up to that dreamed.


Kim Acrylic


Kim Acrylic, from Seattle Washington is a Poet/ Recording Artist/indie Music Journalist, who dedicated her life to poetry at age 15. Since then she has worked for several online music and poetry magazines and has been published in several anthologies including Little Episode's first volume of poetry "Back In 5 Minutes" She also collaborated post-death with Andy Warhol for the New Britain Museum Of Modern Art by writing a poem inspired by his painting of Manray for the book "Visions, Voices, and verses" As of to date Kim has two CDs out "Fan Fare Melt Down" and "Techno Eyes.She continues to collaborate to this day with artists all over the world.


Dizzy Lover
Here he comes to dizzy your head again.
corrupt heartbreak sneaks through the shadows.
Faces morphed into abandonment and shaded loss.
Birth your own happiness to be forsaken in jewels of forgiveness.
Love your skies, dawns and moons that spin inside your tropical worlds.
Follow the flailing beauty, drowning in your self esteem.
Nocturnal doom ebbs and flows like broken lucky charms.
Fear no lies or deceit for they are plastic and pretend like kindergarten days.
Dusty memory of your own bliss and over-looked courage....
You, soft and fragile beg for see-through mercy of this heart shaped curse...
Tumbling through the moods of mania and blue hostility you reach beyond!

“Elaborate Gods”

The elaborate Gods of my existence forever fly through eternity.

Danger runs sacred through the blissful promise lands of chaos.

Come to me, kiss the serpent’s tongue, understand my reasons for death.

Be aware of all mysteries that surround my place of rest.

Now run to fate my love, study the candles flicker as it slowly burns

to nothingness, taking you for the ride.

Touch my face with a sense of mysticism,

Breath in all words that I shall speak.

Except empathy for our lust, and always be afraid of the darkened

rooms of the Lord.

don’t be in terror of death, take with you laughter of the next child

of ravishing worship!

“Heaven and Hell”

I see you there in a smoke filled dot com world with shadow puppets as late night guests.

Do you fancy yourself a trendsetter?

I believe in you as you lie day after night in your coffee stained pajama pants reciting old English prose.

Is this what moves you so?

You’re a martyr for your own compound fracture of an existence.

Is Jesus your father?

I brush my hair with a vengeance.

Plump up my less than zero lips.

Who am I kidding YOU’RE the star here!

Green and gold prisms shoot around the stagnant air like a Willy Wonka dream.

I fell from grace one too many heartbreaking times between these four walls.

The silence that made my ears scream with strange men, and heavy metal.

I bathe away my infectious offspring- a form of abortion for the ill.

Unknown to the world of fact or fiction, you generate superficial fame from your fingertips.

No one will despise the tainted shadow you keep, only the realism in your voice, face, and hands you shake.

Keep an open mind while the door stays closed. No outer influence will scar you in your battered rusty shell.

Where are the lovers, the kissers, the poets you long to be?

Have they collided with their hell too?

Someday heaven and hell will collide, and it will


John Boden


John Boden lives a stones throw from Three mile Island. He works as a baker by day and divides the remainder of his time between spending time with his wife and sons, being an editor for Shock Totem magazine and writing his own things. His stories have appeared in 52 STITCHES, METAZEN magazine, WEIRDYEAR, BLACK INK HORROR, the John Skipp edited PSYCHOS anthology and O LITTLE TOWN OF DEATHLEHEM, a charity anthology of holiday horror stories. He also wrote the prose/poem/fiction nightmare packaged as a "children's book that is not for children", DOMINOES. He has bad ass muttonchops and likes mashed potatoes.

"Simple Math"

The ants in my eyes all hiss her name
They make it taste like a four letter word
I sit alone and stare at my upturned hands
scrutinizing fingerprints
They swirl and drain and promise
idenitity and you
minus you
subtraction makes the heart grow fonder


A survival kit
in an old lunch box
-a super ball
-a thumb tack
-a razor blade
-a string
-a page from the book of Ezekiel

A survival kit
in a hollow soul
-a sharp stick
-a compliment
-a razor tongue
-a string
-a page from the New York Post

These things....these lists are mirror twins.


Joe Hill 


According to the AFL-CIO Web site about Joe Hill, here’s what happened.
On Jan. 10, 1914, Hill knocked on the door of a Salt Lake City doctor at 11:30 p.m. asking to be treated for a gunshot wound he said was inflicted by an angry husband who had accused Hill of insulting his wife. Earlier that evening, in another part of town, a grocer and his son had been killed. One of the assailants was wounded in the chest by the younger victim before he died. Hill’s injury therefore tied him to the incident. The uncertain testimony of two eyewitnesses and the lack of any corroboration of Hill’s alibi convinced a local jury of Hill’s guilt, even though neither witness was able to identify Hill conclusively and the gun used in the murders was never recovered.
Many prominent people, including President Woodrow Wilson tried to get Hill’s sentence commuted, or a pardon, or something, but the Utah Supreme Court would hear none of that. And so on Nov. 19, 1915, Joe Hill was executed by firing squad for a crime he probably didn’t commit. Perhaps he really was “a little too active to suit the chief of the burg.” 
Joe Hill was a union organizer, songwriter and a hero to working men and women in America. Before he was executed by firing squad in 1915 he wrote this poem.

The Poem: 


My will is easy to decide
For there is nothing to divide
My kin don’t need to fuss and moan
“Moss does not cling to a rolling stone.”
My body? – Oh. – If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flowers grow
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would come to life and bloom again
This is my Last and final Will
Good Luck to All of you


Tuomas Holopainen


Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen (born 25 December 1976) is a Finnishsongwriter, multi-instrumentalist musician (but mainly keyboardist), screenwriter and record producer, best known as the founder, leader, keyboardist and songwriter of symphonic metal band Nightwish. He has also studied jazz and classical styles, but prefers to be influenced by harmonic film music (Wiki). 

Poem/Song Lyrics: 
From Nightwish Imaginaerum: Purchase here.


It was the night before,
When all through the world,
No words, no dreams
Then one day,
A writer by a fire
Imagined all of Gaia
Took a journey into a child-man's heart...

A painter on the shore
Imagined all the world
Within a snowflake on his palm
Unframed by poetry
A canvas of awe
Planet Earth falling back into the stars

I am the voice of Never, Never Land
The innocence, the dreams of every man
I am the empty crib of Peter Pan,
A soaring kite against the blue, blue sky,
Every chimney, every moonlit sight
I am the story that will read you real,
Every memory that you hold dear

I am the journey,
I am the destination,
I am the home
The tale that reads you
A way to taste the night,
The elusive high
Follow the madness,
Alice you know once did

Imaginarium, a dream emporium!
Caress the tales
And they will dream you real
A storyteller's game,
Lips that intoxicate
The core of all life
Is a limitless chest of tales...

I am the voice of Never, Never Land
The innocence, the dreams of every man
I am the empty crib of Peter Pan,
A soaring kite against the blue, blue sky,
Every chimney, every moonlit sight
I am the story that will read you real,
Every memory that you hold dear

I am the voice of Never, Never Land
The innocence, the dreams of every man
Searching heavens for another earth...

I am the voice of Never, Never Land
The innocence, the dreams of every man
I am the empty crib of Peter Pan,
A soaring kite against the blue, blue sky,
Every chimney, every moonlit sight
I am the story that will read you real,
Every memory that you hold dear


Thank you, readers, for joining us today for another visit with today's poetic talent. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Till then, keep the Darkness under your pillow. Sweet dreams.