Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Poetry

Poetry

much to be mourned

While jogging in the woods, I was thinking about a past relationship, attempting to locate the first warning sign that it wasn’t going to end well. I came across a lake, and looking at the water, this awful memory resurfaced. I wrote the poem on the trail, expecting to heavily revise it, but something about the memory, without any exaggerations or literary illusions, seemed more unsettling.

Poetry

Around the Corners

Struggling with lifelong mental health issues means I’ve heard a lot of suggestions from folks who seem to think I’ve overlooked any number of simple remedies. It often reminds me of the confidence on display when, while watching a horror movie, some viewers are just so certain that they would make smarter, quicker, braver decisions than the characters on screen. How calm and bold and logical they would be while surviving the deadly threats. 

Poetry

Bitch Moon

I spent much of my early life in a tiny community on California’s distant North Coast. Isolation breeds secrets; the peaceful dark of an old-growth redwood forest provides easy cover for violence, and speaking out carries devastating social consequences—especially for women and girls. I wondered: what if their whispers grew teeth?

Poetry

warming

Arctic temperatures are at a record high. Next year they will be even higher, and then even higher than that. Oh, friends, we shouldn’t panic; we can’t give in to despair, not when there’s work to be done. But sometimes we need to feel it. We need to shine a light into the hole and see how far down the bottom really is.

Poetry

Field Notes from the Anthropocene

The imagery is from time spent in the woods, including in an area here with 14,000-year-old glacial soil deposits—how special is that, people clean up your garbage. Back then it would’ve been predominantly oak trees, but we now see a lot more maple, as well as other introduced species. The fireflies . . . the species here overwinter in the soil.

Poetry

Said the Carrion to the Corvus

Recently, it’s been hard not to feel consumed by outside forces. There’s always someone coming to take something from you. The taxman, the debt collector, familial relations, whomever. This poem is for those who have given everything.

Poetry

Nineveh

I wrote this poem in response to a distant loss, but as with all complex loss, the aftershocks linger. I wanted to explore the imagery and symbols of memory, how reminders live inside fleeting moments, small objects, or arrive with a snarl as bigger beasts—and even after years, there are these reverberations, quiet hauntings, a sort of ebb and flow of recollection.

Poetry

if the ghosts haunt you, bind them in ink

I first began writing these journal entries to hide a secret inside of them. Jadeera, a character in my novel Within Sight, was confronted with this unsolvable mystery. Giant sea monsters started washing ashore with strange markings on their bellies—some dead, others half-dead and furious, wreaking havoc on her village. I created an artifact, the leather-bound leaflet in which these entries are penned.

Poetry

When the Wraith Smiles

My friend, artist John Gallagher, posted a collection of art pieces on social media. And I saw one that had two figures in shrouds, with smoke swirling around them, in a desolate place. It was such a mood—albeit one of predation and despair—and I immediately exclaimed I needed to write something inspired by that. So, I did.

Poetry

Crossroads

This poem was inspired by folklore about devils and stories I’ve heard about The Devil visiting various communities. I used mistranslations of different cryptid lore and paired it with English and Mi’kmaw language—as Mi’kmaq is a verb-based language, it’s interesting to me to bring it into a genre where objects and subjects are alive and, sometimes, supernaturally alive.