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Thoughts on Japan


on the eleventh day
of the eleventh year
he rose from slumber
needled by crust and earth
and roared
forgotten awkward voice
Song of thunder and pain
an angry child's long rattle;
Snake in a sleeping city's crib.
His long decay left joints
unwashed, non-lubricated
rising with tethers and taut terror
so that when he reached a claw
through water-ways, livelihoods, waves--
the lip of Tokyo's mouth
receded to snarl,
his golden eye blinking,
bathed in slivers and
glassy shards of warning,
sent by the man on the moon.
The claw stroked ocean, splitting sea,
and Tokyo's lip cooed
and curled, and his
expression gnashed its teeth:
Wave after wave of wood,
metal, and fish...delicates--
helpless fleas and amoebas
pushed through a brining maw
not yet swallowing her whole,
but silently scaring her awake.
Nature plays with its prey...
Do not forget me, he says
I sleep, and I dream, and I wait.

My heart and hope is with you, Japan...
Cemetery Dance Publications is pleased to announce that BARFODDER: Poetry Written in Dark Bars and Questionable Cafes has made the final ballot for the 2009 Bram Stoker Awards in the category "Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection". Here is a link to Locus Magazine Online's list of all the nominees.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to travel to Brighton, England for the ceremony, but thanks to everyone who has ever read the book, and to HWA members who nominated it. Double congrats, to all the other folks on the ballot. Lots of fine work.


Hullo folks...long time no blog! It's my New Year's Resolution to start blogging again, and this is my first official entry keeping that resolution. It's the year of the tiger - my year.

To start off, I have a flash fiction story up at Freezine for Fantasy and Science Fiction called "Mau Bast," which hasn't been previously published, though it did take second place in one of the many WHC flash fiction contests (Ellen Datlow was a judge that year, I recall). Here is the direct link to Mau Bast, but make sure you check out the other stuff up. Johnny Strike (of CRIME fame) has a story there too.

Gearing up for the Edwardian Ball tomorrow; unsure if apocalyptic weather will keep me from attending the World's Faire too. If you're going, be sure to say hello. The dress may seem intimidating, but I assure you, I am not. (At least not today...)

Upcoming SF Reading and KillerCon Schedule

I've been a busy bee since going full-time. Events, readings, family visiting, and generally enjoying the new digs. Daniele Serra was here, and we executed a successful Gallery opening that was a lot of fun, with an Incubus/Succubus theme. It went so well, that we decided to do a new book together called WHISPERWOOD: The Secret Lives of Doors. It will have full color art from Dani, and poetry to go with each piece. Definitely different, and something I think you'll all enjoy looking at as much as reading.

My step mother came to visit for a week, and she'd never been to San Francisco - being Italian (maiden name Guido - no, I'm not joking), we did a lot of deli time in North Beach and I found those delicious canolis I remembered from The Small Apartment Dinner Party so many years ago, when a friend brought them. I have one left out of the four I bought.

I went to LA for the Stokers and had a blast - it was great seeing everyone there. I'm especially proud of Miss Blue who ran her first marathon and won, and is now taking the next Bowling for Boobies to new levels, with an auction to bowl with Jane Wiedlin of the GoGos. Have a look <a href="http://tiny.cc/BFB921">at the auction here.</a> Help fight Breast Cancer, and make a bid!

Here are the upcoming readings, signings, etc... I'll be up to. If you are in San Francisco or Las Vegas - I hope to see you there!

9/14/2009 - San Francisco, CA. <a href="http://vettedword.com/7MinutesinHeaven.aspx">"Seven Minutes in Heaven," Hosted by VettedWord</a> at SHINE Nightclub, 965 Mission St (Btwn 5th & 6th Ave) Room 514. See the link for timing.

9/17-20, 2009 - Las Vegas, NV. <a href="http://www.killercon.org">KillerCon</a>!
     <u>FRIDAY:</u> Reading, 8:30pm

     <u>SATURDAY:</u> 2:00PM: Eros and Thanatos: Erotic Horror vs. Paranormal Romance vs. Pornography. What's the difference? Moderator Sèphera Girón. Panelists Angela James, Rain Graves, Meghan Knierim, Heather Graham, Lori Perkins

               5:00-7:00PM Mass Signing

               7:00PM Male or Female? The game show that challenges the audience to guess the gender of the author of a passage of classic or current horror. Can you tell the difference? Moderator Matt Schwartz. Panelists Allen K, Maurice Broaddus, Rain Graves, L.L. Soares

               8:00PM Seven Deadly Sins of Writing Erotic Fiction: Moderator: Gabrielle Faust. Panelists: Sèphera Girón, Rain Graves, Hal Bodner, L.A. Banks, Jeannie Eddy

               9:00PM Open Mic Poetry Reading hosted by Rain Graves

     <u>SUNDAY:</U> 11:00AM Seven Deadly Sins of Plot Development: Why storytelling is more than just having a good plot. Moderator Rain Graves. Panelists: Joe Lansdale, Lisa Mannetti, Edward Lee, F. Paul Wilson, Rhodi Hawk, Brian Keene
My long-time friend Ian McDowell has posted an auction to help out with some difficulties on eBay, which is a rare find, indeed. Many years ago he slaved as a writer for a company that did the childrens primers "Write What Happens Next." He saved one such book and sent it around to me, Poppy Z. Brite, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Neil Gaiman, Phil Nutman, Kelly Link, and many others to...well...put a "dark" spin on "what happens next." Mostly, it was humorous. All of it is handwritten by us.You can view the contents and bid here. You can read about WHY he's putting this up for auction on his mcdolemite LJ page.

In other news...Daniele Serra and I will be hosting a gallery showing of his Incubus/Succubus work, plus Deadland art, plus new poetry from me on his theme of the evening. Plus, Kristine Katalyst will be featured in the Lower Gallery, and DJ Netik will be spinning. It all starts at 7pm. Beer and Wine for purchase; light nibbles for free. Here is a link to the flier.

Dani will be signing copies of ILLUSIONS and we both will be signing copies of BARFODDER.

Lastly, I leave for Texas on the 17th...I plan to hit up the Abney Park show on the 18th with Muppet and my Sister. Yay, Steampunk!
Today I travel to LA; drinks with Seanie. Then we head over for th 7pm pre-stoker part and Dark Delicacies book signing for authors attending the event.

This is a quick post to let you know that if you miss tonight, I'll be reading at 3pm tomorrow (Friday) - so check your program books. Lucy Snyder and I are presenting the award for poetry Saturday evening at the Bram Stoker Awards.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
I'll be a guest on the 90 minute blog talk radio show, The Funky Werepig on Sunday night at 9pm EST and 6pm PDT. Good weird fun!


Lots to tell you folks…

1. Progress on Deadland and Four Elements + Dani’s Art Book

2. Upcoming Events

3. The dreaded move.

4. The Great Houdini


So far so good on bringing to life DEADLAND, a comic project that I wrote and Daniele Serra is illustrating. We're working up five complete pages plus a cover to start shopping to publishers. Based on initial reactions from WIP readers, this shouldn't be a hard sell. Meanwhile, I did my final edits to my section of FOUR ELEMENTS, which is a group effort in poetry written by Linda Addison, Charlee Jacob, Marge Simon, and me. We each took an element of nature and wrote about it. Bet you can't guess which element was mine...tee hee. Dani also has a new book of his artwork out, for $12.95. You can order it via the website - it's called Illusions.


Right. So even though BARFODDER was released a gazillion months ago (ok, not really - but it was mid-January), the belated Happy-Happy Joy-Joy release party will take place a week from today on May 18th, during happy hour (4-8pm) at the Bigfoot Lodge in San Francisco. Books will be available for purchase, though you should really just come for the Poe (a delicious black vodka concoction drafted by Lauren for the occasion). There will be nibbles from Nob Hill Grille, and of course...happy hour booze prices.

On May 31st, I will be the featured poet at the VettedWord monthly Slam, hosted by Olga Rosales. Contact her if you'd like to sign up for the open mic. The place was jam packed last event - so come early for a seat. The cover is $7 and includes delicious appetizers.

Here is a reading I did at the first event they did:

You can't tell, but I tripped over the microphone cord (small space!) and forgot the words to my own poem...but you wouldn't know unless you had your copy of BARFODDER handy, and were following along.

Moving on into June, I'll be presenting this year's Bram Stoker Award for Poetry with Lucy Snyder at the Stoker Awards Weekend in Burbank - preceded by a signing at Dark Delicacies. Hope to see my LA peeps out there.


I am now undergoing the dreaded boxing of 6 years worth of accumulated junk at my current apartment, along with a big purge of said junk. Ok, it's not junk - but it's A LOT OF STUFF. Stuff and things. I'm getting rid of the loveseat, George's Chair (for those of you who don't already know, that's my ghost), table, Queen Anne chairs...you name it. If you ever ogled something in my apartment and wished it was yours - now is the time to speak up. Everything must go!

Except, of course, the books.


Houdi is growing into quite the character. Just this weekend, he learned that there is a whole other world that needs exploring on the countertops in the kitchen. He explored his way through 2 Waterford glasses, and a few plates, which we found scattered about the floor when we got home from furniture shopping. Luckily he was not hurt...but we now can't leave glasses to dry on the counter, for sure. Or anything, for that matter.

As you may remember, I taught Houdi to say the word "Ma-ma," and he routinely wakes me up in the morning yelling it into my ear. I have since taught him to say "Hello," and more recently, "I love you." He's only said "I love you" twice, but I'm confident he'll be chattering that phrase soon, too. I caught him sitting in the window one day, nattering on at the birds. "Mama...Mom...Mom-ma! Momma! Mom....Helloooooooooooo! Helloooooooo...hell-OOOOOOO!" I have yet to get this on video, but I'm working on it. He doesn't say the words on que.

Lastly...come follow me on Twitter. It does a body good.

Haunted Mansion Writer's Retreat

Lots to update on, but very little time to do it in.

Lets see.

Miss Mia’s 40—er…I mean 30th birthday party was a blast. The Muppet and I enjoyed ourselves immensely, and got to see several old friends in the process. Red, who I took my very first trip to Argentina with was there, which was especially nice. The VettedWord Poetry Slam at Nob Hill Grille was awesome. Lots of good folks came out for that, and I had fun meeting everyone. I didn’t think that many people could fit, but they squeezed them in somehow. The food was excellent, as was the wine. Mot, Lily_Dove, xTine, and Midnight also came out for the event. I am told it will now be a monthly slam, so be sure to check out VettedWord for updates and info, and to sign up for the next open mic.

I have been contemplating setting up a Writer's Retreat at the Haunted Mansion I did my community service at for quite some time - and a conversation came about on Twitter between myself and Brian Keene about whether or not there would be interest. Apparently there is. Space is limited, however to about 20-30 writers. The idea is to spend 3-4 days in the haunted mansion, experiencing the place, hiking, and doing what writers do best: Writing about it. We'll probably do some workshops, but not many. We'll definitely do a ghost hunt. Possibly spring or fall of next year...to be included on the updates or to participate in the retreat, drop me an email and I'll send you the details.

My Poetry Workshop for Elyseum is coming up next week in SF. We'll be focusing on how to perform your poetry as "spoken word," or...the dreaded "performance" reading. You can do it, and without boring everyone to tears in a monotone. I promise!

May looks to be a relatively quite month, sneaking up on me fast. What happened to the beginning of my year? Gone. Murdered, probably, in its sleep.

Oh, and amacker's birthday is this Friday. Big party, much whiskey...everybody happy!

Travel and Odds and Ends

Heading to Houston on Friday. Lots to do before hand...

The toll-free poetry hotline (877-DRK-POEM) has been updated:

Thalassodromius Sethi
Unemployed Writer
Needle Point

Remember, you can leave shout-outs by pressing #4. I will post interesting ones on twitter.

Meeting up with Sean, a writer for Fangoria Magazine, and Scott G. Browne today to talk zombies (and passing the torch to sgbrowne for the Annual WHC Gross Out Contest this year).

Busy, busy, busy!