Happy Valentine’s Day!

“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”
-Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII

Ah, amour.

What does today mean? It means I work all day in retail later and I’m sure after today I’ll never want to see roses or boxes of chocolates again (*cue the last minute shoppers.* Oh, they will come, believe you me). And today means I have a writing deadline for grad school by midnight. That’s about it.

Valentine's Day means zombie hearts, right?

Valentine’s Day means zombie hearts, right?

Oh wait, it also means I can write you a love poem or two, *says the horror writer as she cackles and slips back into the shadows.*

I love love. Especially dark, twisted love. So much in fact that I wrote a whole poetry collection about it (that I will totally have published someday and share it with you all…right?!)

Anyway, here’s two love-filled poems from me to you. Now go tell someone you love them, even if it’s your cat.

After the Massacre

The candle burned auburn,
and he thought of her hair,
of her lipstick after dessert,
and her red velvet tongue.

He remembered her blood,
how easy cutting her was,
and how she bled like drops
of rain over the flower garden.

He thought of her skin, daisy-
petals painted with scarlet flecks
and how she tasted like Valentine’s
Day, right after the Massacre.

I Am Love

This is me breaking the glass over your head,
watching wine and blood mix together, and
I wonder if you will still want me then, when
the sirens scream and the police kick in the door?
And that is the end of our battlefield romance,
of bloody love in the sunshine state, and god,
your skin smells like smoke and I am inhaling
you until my lungs blacken like boiled tar.

I have found darkness. I have crawled inside its
angry mouth and begged forgiveness, but our sins
had already been slayed, been splintered into red
caskets and buried beneath dirt blessed with holy
water, and I cannot touch it, I cannot dig our lust up
from the cursed soil because our wicked passion
resides in my atoms, my eyelashes, is curved beneath
my fingernails, and how can I compete with that?

I know you intimately, the way sand beneath the ocean
knows its foaming grip, its salted perfume. I know you.
Darling, I am you. I am crawling out of your ribcage,
breaking bones like they are sand dollars disintegrating
between my feral teeth. You can tell me you don’t love
this, but I know better. You can say you are sick of my
kisses that taste like copper, but raw and bloody are
the only ways I know how to teach this lesson.

Maybe we just liked the flavor of ruin too much, and I spent
too long imagining the taste of your marrow dancing on my
tongue, the way I longed to swallow you whole and have your
life marinate inside my veins. Now we are left at the end of
the world, waiting for the bang, for the whimper, for whatever
promise the writers scripted. You never could decide which
ending you liked better, and I was just trying to survive. You
chose now. You chose me. I am Love, and I am your destruction.

Happy Women in Horror Month!

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 10.12.23 PMHappy February! In honor of this month here are a couple suggestions of horror and other dark tales by some lovely authors you should most definitely check out.

The classics are a given, but I would be remiss not to mention them since they are some of my favorites, and forever will be.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. If there were no other monster tales but this, the world would still be a good place to live. Shelley captures the bond between creator and creation in such a way that the reader isn’t sure to root for human or monster. Perfection. “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” -Frankenstein

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Rice’s vampires are intriguing because she gives us the classic vampiric elements while still adding her own creative twists without losing the reader along the way. Rice creates vampires with the perfect balance of sensual bloodlust and interesting back stories. “Evil is a point of view. We are immortal. And what we have before us are the rich feasts that conscience cannot appreciate and mortal men cannot know without regret. God kills, and so shall we.” -Interview with the Vampire

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Jackson brilliantly writes a Gothic ghost tale of a haunted house that becomes more of a main character than the other actual characters. And she has one of the greatest opening lines I have ever read. “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.” -The Haunting of Hill House

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 9.39.46 PMWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë because you’ll take my Gothic fiction away from me when I am dead and burned to 1,000 ashy pieces. “Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you–haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!” -Wuthering Heights

And for some more contemporary reads. Have you checked out Stephanie M. Wytovich’s poetry collections Hysteria and Mourning Jewelry yet? (okay technically this is two recommendations, but they are both so damn good I can’t just pick one.) Wytovich’s voice offers a beautiful madness with the craft of her words as she creates a story within every poem she gifts to her readers. Some of my favorites from her collections include: Blood Whiskey, Black Bird, The Color White, Orchids Take the Children, Dare I Keep the Body, and Urns Make Me Drunk.

Another poetry collection I fell in love with recently is Sierra DeMulder’s The Bones Below. The concepts deal with the more quiet horrors of simply existing and going through life’s hoops. DeMulder brilliantly captures the brutal, dirty details of the human experience. My favorites from the collection include: When the Apocalypse Comes, Paper Dolls, Mrs. Dahmer, Sawdust, and Talking to God.

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente consumed my soul. Holy Hades, this woman can write. If you’re a fan of beautiful prose that grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go until you sink wholly into the world from where it came, then read Catherynne Valente. Read. Consume. Become. “Be selfish and cruel and think nothing of them. I am selfish. I am cruel. My mate cannot be less than I. I will have you in my hoard, Marya Morevna, my black mirror.” -Deathless

Okay, and another multi-rec because if you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects, then put that at the top of your to-read list. Her female protagonists are dirty, gritty, cunning, and fucking awesome because they are realistic. And these people saying Flynn’s characters are “too unlikable” to read must be the most well-behaved, cautious, and boring people imaginable. “I am a cutter, you see. Also a snipper, a slicer, a carver, a jabber. I am a very special case. I have a purpose. My skin, you see, screams. It’s covered with words – cook, cupcake, kitty, curls – as if a knife-wielding first-grader learned to write on my flesh.” -Sharp Objects

And if you need some music to rock out to while celebrating this wonderful occasion, try listening to Mz. Hyde herself Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, or that Natural Born Sinner Maria Brink. These ladies make bad look so good.

It’s Women in Horror Month. Sin a little with us. Drink some wine. Read something scary. Write something scarier.

In the meantime I’ll be working on a Valentine poem or two for you all to read later this month. *cackles*