Horror/Speculative Fic Poetry, anyone?
Another furious bout of insomnia has prompted me to look online for more zines with horror poetry in them. I've come across a horror magazine, numerous times over the last year or so, with consistently disappointing poetry.
It can't be that the dark and macabre are unworkable subjects. I doubt it could be that editors get too few submissions. Perhaps some are simply too specifically versed in horror and too indifferently versed in poetry to bring together poems both dark and at least in some sense poetic?
I've heard sci-fi and fantasy-oriented poets mustering similar complaints.
I feel many of the poems I'm seeing are giving a bad name to both poetry and their genre -- double damage at once.
Just come across this, B. Have you read any of Poe's poems? Not exactly my thing, but some of it is pretty dark. Some old folk tales have been versified (one that always chills me is of The Twa Sisters, in its many forms (The Singing Bone etc.), but I'm not aware of publications/poets who are specifically active in this field.
However (are you ready for a plug?), I am trying to work it the other way around by writing a book of horror/ghost/deathly short stories which aspire to the poetic... I put one up at SYW last week: Don't Fall on Me which might give you an idea of what I'm doing. I've also done a few poems in the same vein as Hunter's Moon. How about you? If you can't find anyone else doing what needs to be done, why aren't you doing it yourself? I'd certainly be interested to see what you produce...
I am doing it myself, here and there. I'm just surprised how often a forum has a set tone that tends to funnel people either into it or out of it rather than keeping things open. I enjoy a variety of spirits and tones.
For my part, I wrote a few spec fic/horror/fantasy poems and fragments. It stretches the imagination and sympathies a bit in a visceral way I enjoy. Here are a few of mine along those lines, if loosely:
Moondance (forgive the title, since retitled)
Gnome love (trying to repurpose into prose ATM
office/moral zombification (untitled)
and I think this might count, as it's pretty out there
Will read yours by the weekend and comment.
Interesting. I enjoyed your work in these links. The Slender Man stuff was new to me and very creepy.
Have you read Whylah Falls by George Clarke? It's not really that dark, but the way he represents a community/the African diaspora in a collection of linked poems really creates a work of depth. I think a collection of really dark poems linked to a central idea, maybe inspired by old stories like The Slender Man and The Twa Sisters, or the Lilith legends etc., would be really effective. Illustrated with fake 13th century woodcuts?
Still, if it's poetry, even if it was brilliant, it would only ever sell 3.5 copies worldwide
Have not read Whylah Falls or heard of it, or the other works you mentioned. Is it google time?
Re poetry collections organized around spec fic themes, there are quite a few on Amazon, even one entirely of zombie haiku.
Re poetry selling, I think the only way it is likely to sell in any volume is if it involves angels, is written by a 9-year-old about coming back from the dead, or is appallingly sentimental, lowest-common-denominator tripe of the type that would shrivel your teeth just thinking about it, like say Rod McKuen. Or maybe if Snooki or some fart-brained celebrity dashed it off.
Your link doesn't work for me. Password issue. There are a lot of passworded forums though, so help me zero in so finding it is easy?
Zombie haiku! Zo-ku?
Yes, I heard that about angels selling well, it's a conspiracy.
I think the p/word you need is vista for the story.
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
Blarg, I write speculative poetry (scifaiku mostly) and I 'm partial to Scifaikuest (online & print versions) and Eye to the Telescope. ETTT has a new guest editor for each issue, so you'll see some variety there. Have you checked out the Science Fiction Poetry Association or looked through the listings at Ralan's?
No, jublke, I've never even heard of them. Thanks for pointing them out, though!