Tag Archives: the sepultress


My definition of poetry, if I were pressed to provide one, would be deliberately vague. Actually, I don’t know if I could give one even if I tried. I consider song lyrics to be poems, and often as I’m composing a photograph (or editing it afterward) I think of it as a poem. Those pictures up there, for example, are a few I picked out of my photostream over at Flickr that seemed poetic to me.

I write a lot of poems, and I have made much more money selling poems than I have selling fiction. Even so, I always feel almost, halfway embarrassed about my poetry. I think because it doesn’t feel “intellectual” enough. That’s probably not the right word, and I’m worried now that I’ve insulted someone somewhere, but… it’s the best word I can think of for now.

My poems are accessible. No one has ever read one of my poems (that I know of LOL) and said ‘I don’t get it’. On one hand I feel like that’s a good thing, but on the other I’m always worried someone is going to be like “Dude, that’s not a poem, it’s not nearly obscure enough!” or  jump out of the proverbial bushes and point at me and be like “You call that thing you wrote a poem? It doesn’t even have any *insert something here* in it!”

It’s stupid, really. I know it is, but that doesn’t make it go away. Alas.

Now I’ve written and deleted the last bit of this post four times in the last hour. I need to get this blog entry finished and scheduled, but by choosing ‘Poetry’ as my topic I’ve picked something too broad and I’m having a hell of a time keeping this post focused. Therefore, in order to avoid rambling off onto a million other topics I’m going to share three poems I’ve written over the years. I’ve covered the spectrum here from super cheesy to (hopefully) less so LOL I hope you enjoy at least one of them 🙂

The Sepultress
(first published by NewMyths.com in December 2007)

Her silken song of wind and wave
Called unto those beyond the grave
“Awake!” she cried, “And come to play!”
“I’ve only ‘till the break of day.”

And to the shore the dead did come,
In groups of two and one by one
Once there they danced upon the sand
Whilst wicked waves served as the band.

A thousand corpses bobbed and swayed—
Cold bones ratt’ling a serenade
“Dance my children,” I heard her shriek
And terror made my knees go weak

From the shadows I watched their throes
While a foul stench assailed my nose.
With my shirt up over my face,
I loosed my guts, to my disgrace

Above the bluffs, I spent the night
Afraid I might just die of fright
And when the dawn at last did break
All of the dead began to quake.

The power drained from empty eyes
As sunlight reached across the skies
Touched, she writhed upon the beach
Yet further still the beams did reach.

They swept across her gory crew
Who fell; puppets with strings cut through
I stood, transfixed as the tide rose
And shivered in my filthy clothes.

I watched the corpses float to sea
And knew no one would believe me
If I to them, did run and tell
About the night I spent in hell.

Because the water swept away
All evidence of their soiree
I lack the courage to be bold –
This pen’s the only soul I’ve told.


(first published by Star*Line Fall 2008)

Where river meets bank
We linger, yet again, with
Your fin in my paw


(first published by Daikaijuzine June 2010)

A lame name, perhaps, but I wasn’t feeling creative
that day when I found her, hiding under the porch
at MacPherson’s old place. The same deck I ducked under
when I saw the shuffling mob coming down the street.
I’d seen her, a shadow within the shadows, her eyes
so wide open her iris was the thinnest band of gold;
like the ring Jo had given me, before this all started,
the one I lost trying to pull away from the shambler
the week before. She hissed, and arched her back,
not at me, but at the dirty feet, some shoeless, some
stumps, that marched past us out there.
I reached, with fingers shaking like the last leaf clinging
to the trees, and ran my hand down her back,
praying it would hush her, and not make her louder.
She pressed against me, rubbing my palm with her greasy fur,
a low rumble, like gargled gravel, emanating from her throat.
It had been so long since I’d heard it, or any sound
reminiscent of joy. For it to be now, while the battered
battalion of undead dragged themselves by, made tears
creep into my eyes. Silent tears, thank God.
Now, as the snow blankets the ground, she rests
spread across my lap, vibrating gently, warming
my legs and my heart. The only other thing,
within hundreds of miles, perhaps,
with a heartbeat.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter P. Tomorrow I’ll be answering some of the questions people asked me last month 🙂

Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses

A couple months ago I was asked by Monsters Next Door editor, LB Goddard if I would care to contribute something to an upcoming poetry anthology. Would I? I was so flattered to be invited to submit that I practically turned myself inside out in my haste to say ‘Yes, yes I would!’. Then, of course, I had to think of something to write. Easier said than done.

I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to come up with something -good-. Something scary but with depth, haunting and evocative. You know what I found out? You can’t force that and it wasn’t going to happen LOL So I went with cheesy. I love cheesy horror, and apparently LB doesn’t mind it either because everything I submitted got in 🙂

The first piece of mine is called “Zonnet” and is, as the name sort of implies, a zombie-themed sonnet. I don’t actually like sonnets because I dislike iambic pentameter (the extra foot makes it awkward, I prefer iambic tetrameter, but we’ll get to that later). Still, I do enjoy taking a traditional/pretentious format like the sonnet and writing it about something as irreverent as zombies. This specific poem was directly influenced by S.G. Browne’s zom-rom-com Breathers.

My second poem is “Lycanthroku” which is a series of three shapeshifter-themed haiku, followed by “Lycanthrick” which is a werewolf limrick Jo and I composed while I was using him to bounce poem ideas off. I’m a fan of “Lycanthrick” all by itself, but it’s got an extra special spot in my heart because it’s the first time Jo and I have shared a byline. Awww /gush

I rounded out my submission with “The Sepultress” which is a reprinted poem I wrote in iambic tetrameter, because I like it far more than pentameter. Just sayin’ 😉

The book, Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses, also features the work of Alexis Child, Charlotte Gledson, Natalie Sin, Julie “Cannibal Rose” Thielen, LB Goddard, Shells Walter, Richard Fay, Benjamin Bussey and Brian Beemer. I’ve not read it all yet, but I have looked through enough to suspect that cheesy horror wasn’t the style of choice for most people, happily, I don’t mind being different. I hope to read it sooner rather than later and share my impressions, but I haven’t had a chance yet. In my defense, the book just came out yesterday LOL

SFPA’s Online Halloween Poetry Reading

I was invited to a poetry reading at World Fantasy next weekend and I posted an ‘Oh my god this is so cool but I am way too chicken!’ post to my livejournal. Friends kept telling me not to be a wuss and to participate, especially since I fully intend to attend and listen. I’m afraid I’m going to continue to be a wuss, partly because I’m a wuss and partly because I don’t think I actually have anything appropriate to read. Okay, mostly because I’m a wuss, but the other part is true too!

Anyway, I was inspired by my friends telling me to read so when the Science Fiction Poetry Association asked members to contribute audio recordings of themselves doing readings for their Online Halloween Poetry Reading, I decided to send something in.

If you click here you can listen to some really awesome poets reading their stuff…and I’m reading The Sepultress.

Please listen and be kind. In order to record my poem I had to borrow Danica’s ipod and use it. Unfortunately, I stumbled in my reading a couple times because I was focusing on the ipod instead of the poem. Oops. I figured you’d all forgive me though, especially since it’s my first time at this.

The Sepultress

I am incredibly proud to have my poem, The Sepultress, in the inaugural issue of New Myths. I think the editor, Scott Barnes, described it incredibly well when he called it “cute and grotesque”.

I started writing it when I was at the coast this summer. I was actually trying to write a sci-fi sonnet for the SFPA sonnet contest but I re-discovered that I really have a profound dislike for iambic pentameter so I reverted to my favorite — iambic tetrameter. Oh, so comfortable 🙂

Anyway, I hope you like it 🙂