Monday, September 15, 2014


I am very proud to tell you, Reader, a little bit about Superpow today. It's a neat little collection that packs a punch, thanks to all the Red Penny Papers alumni (including yours truly) who contributed and of course the fabulous editorial eye of KV Taylor. Naturally, Superpow follows the proud tradition of the pulp magazine, so if that is your thing (oh, Reader, but it will be after you read it!), mark the release on October 27 in your calendar. If you also like superpowers in your pulp fiction (mouthwatering, no?), take a red Sharpie and circle twice.

Now, I have reason to be especially proud here, because Superpow is the first Red Penny Papers release that contains poetry, and being an editor's choice for first poet is pretty cool. I'll share some excerpts with you.

The first few lines are from Ice Child:

"Sometimes I ask the ice to tell me where to find them

and then I walk, however far,

just to steal a glimpse: red seal blood on the frozen water."

These are from Lightning Time and the Time of Thunder:

"when first the universe was hatched

was there another runner

that made it spin,

surfed its expanding waves?

And then:

if she exists, how can I find her?"

See you on Release Day!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Niteblade #29: Porcelain Doll

Issue 29 Porcelain Doll

It is September which means there is a new issue of Niteblade out there.

This one comes to you freshly glazed with darkening September light and an assortment of poems that look especially nice in that light.

The first one is Valediction for the Dungeon Master by Mark Jones. It caught my eye because it falls in the category of formal poetry. Also, if you are into pen and paper role playing games, this is so definitely for you; the combination made me feel compelled to accept it. Here's and excerpt:

"But you’re a perfect Romeo,
still sorting dice, although the others
left an hour ago,"

Next we have Porcelain Doll by J.A. Grier. This one was also the inspiration for the cover. It's a prose poem, something creepy coming toward you on tiny feet:

"She cannot find her doll. It upsets her. She does not remember moving here."

Then there is St. Winifred Medical Center, Abandoned by Joshua Gage. This is a good example of a short poem that packs a whole lot of punch. As it is so short, I'll not be spoiling the read for you here with an excerpt, but I will give you the reaction of a fellow Niteblader as posted by The Beloved Editor (aka Rhonda Parrish) on Fb:

"Jo, laying out issue #29 of Niteblade: Oh. That hospital poem? Oh my gawd! SO GOOD."

 And did I say darkening September light? Awakened by Sandi Leibowitz looks wonderful in that sort of light, casting a shadow well into October:

"I inhale the smoke of Samhain fires,
swallow their heat to make
a red heart beat"

The Gate of Horn by Megan Arkenberg is the last poem in this issue of dark things. I like it because of the subject matter and because it uses language in a way that I would love to see more of:

"I saw orchards where the golden apple trees
had grafted boughs of silver, and the juice was thick
and bitter as he licked it from my fingers."

 I hope you have the taste in your mouth now, but you do, don't you? You wanna go read the entire issue, you know you do. Remember to click that Donate button there on the right, because while you like to read good writing, what we like to do is pay our writers. Make sure we can.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A is for Apocalypse Blog Train

Hello lover of things ending, glad you could make it here today. If you are hopping on just now, perhaps you'd be interested in the previous stop, from where you could find your way back to the very beginning of this little train.

So, let's talk apocalypse. When Rhonda asked me if I wanted to contribute to this collection, I was quite happy to agree, but I was also a little unsure of what to write. Apocalyptic obviously, but I have never really been into writing about the apocalypse. Not that the premise is not a fascinating one and one that can be explored, just not my cup of coffee.

The idea of assigning every author a letter of the alphabet was interesting though. It meant one had to narrow things down somewhat, you couldn't just randomly start writing and see whether the world had ended at the end of your story or not. In other words, a challenge, and who can resist a good challenge?

My letter is G, and I ultimately had the title (which in this collection is always "LETTER stands for ____") before I had the story, but once I decided what I was going to explore, the rest just fell in place as well.

What does apocalypse mean? Do we all get to die or can the end of the world also be more personal, something like a secret that you cannot share with anybody else? Think about it, Reader. I don't know that there is one answer, and I don't think it matters, it's the question that won't stop raising its head.

Perhaps--if you feel like being incentivized--this little excerpt here might make you curious enough to read along the alphabet with all 26 of us:

"The Labyrinth swallowed me rattlesnake quick. I took a corner, and there it was, the city gone, replaced by a riddle of walls. The strangest thing was this: I realized I wasn't too keen on getting out."

If you are looking for more apocalyptic reading this post (where you can also find all venues from which the book is available) might be of interest to you. Also, our blog train is not quite there yet, and tomorrow it is headed to BD Wilson's blog.

Hope you can make it, see you there!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A is for Apocalypse: it's happening now

 File:Hieronymus Bosch 051.jpg

So this is finally it. We are having the apocalypse now. The funny thing is, I was expecting zombies at least, people who died and just came back to life, maybe pursuing a somewhat irregular diet, but this? I think the black hats are worse.

So here's what's happening: there are people with black hats swarming this place, everywhere. They walk the streets, they will come into your home if you open the door to them. First there is one, but as soon as they have you in their brim-shaded sight, more will come, will flock, will surround you. And then, they disperse, and all that's left is one more dude wearing black felt.

Seriously, I have seen this happen. It happened to a guy out on the street who was trying to outrun them, unsuccessfully. It happened at the market earlier when I was getting bottled water and canned food. It happened to my neighbor just five minutes ago.

Hear? I think that's them knocking now, I can hear their fingers scraping at my door. They won't break it down, do you think? I mean, I am holding my breath, I'm quiet, they can't suspect there's anyone home, right?

Surely they alojdshlfijn'=-['jb mnb jhgcilhlkhgd

ETA: I managed to get out of my apartment after all, I managed to climb down from the balcony. Got a gash on my arm for that, but I didn't even notice because I was trying to get outta here without them seeing me... I think I'm safe for now, but I'll not say where I am, just in case.


Displaying AisforApocalypse_Cover_v2.jpg


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Saturday, August 9, 2014

A little self promotion: watch out for "A Quest of Fire"


"A Quest of Fire" is a short story, it will be published in Lackington's #3 which is due out August 18, so that's less than ten days! Yay!!

I have a little bit of the story here, while it might not make you salivate immediately, I do hope it makes you a little bit curious:

   "I am neither he nor she, you know," says the trickster to me. "Just like it says in the book."

    We are in London this time, the National Gallery, where ages come together and beat tambourines in all colors of joy.

    "True, but the part about the fires, that's neither what I am, nor what a trickster is. Did I ever tell you a tree told me how to slip away from time?"

    "Well, what else would tell you? There must be generations of your kind trapped in wood, I'm just surprised you didn't run into a wardrobe or a violin."

    I screw up my face at the trickster who looks charming in his British gentleman.

    "Please don't make jokes about that, it's not funny."

    "Oh, eat a crone, you know it is! Sometimes I think that you just hate to laugh."

    "Afrits," I say, ignoring him. "Let's go talk to some afrits about fire."

Oh, if that is not enough to convince you to take a peek, have a look at the entire ToC here. Enjoy! xo

Update 8/18: The issue is out now. I would very much like to draw special attention to the wonderful illustration that accompanies my little tale, Paula Friedlander gave life to my roan Pegasus.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

From the Vaults: Beast Touched

I haven't posted anything in a while, let's just say life has been difficult.

Anyway, I was digging through some previously published poems and thought I'd just put one up here. Beast Touched was first published in Silver Blade Magazine and inspired by the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.


Beast Touched

By Alexandra Seidel

The beast
killed all the beauty in her.
It was a touch at first--
mottled feelings, shady
mangrove places
of the soul as deep

as they are wet…and thirsty.
First, she whimpered,
then she groaned
and from the beast's touch
sprang desire
shedding innocent skin

with the leisure
of a serpent. Bursting
as pomegranates, her lips
were torn asunder,
and his tongue dug wells
into her eyes,

at first gently,
then less, and less.
All who knew her
before her belly swelled,
before her mind
became focused

on his voice,
on his whims,
said that the beast
had killed all
the beauty in her;
they said

she had shed
her skin
like any common serpent.
At first, though,
it was just
a touch.

File:Crane beauty5.jpg

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Note On The 2013 Rhysling Anthology

So, some time earlier this year I found out that my poem "Give Me Pluto" was nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award. In a small field like poetry, and in the even smaller field of genre poetry, this nomination means A LOT to me, and I am absolutely grateful to the person who nominated me (thanks, and you rock, whoever you are) and to Strange Horizon's wonderful Sonya Taaffe for accepting the poem for publication in the first place.

But then, a couple of days ago I found out that not all of the other nominees had been sent proofs of the Rhysling anthology in which all nominated poems are collected. Although people at the SFPA are aware of this, to my knowledge, nobody has received a formal apology, and worst of all, some of these poets' pieces have been reprinted with errors in them, and in poetry, even such things as not italicizing a certain passage or forgetting a line-break here and there matter. I would think that the SFPA is very aware of this, I would think that they care.

In any case, the whole thing makes me doubt the professionalism of this anthology, and as a poet it just makes me feel sick for the other nominees to know that voting is supposed to take place based on a book that contains errors introduced some time during the making of the Rhysling anthology.

Therefore, I follow Elizabeth McClellan's example and encourage you to not buy the Rhysling anthology if you had been planning to do so, and to let the SFPA know that you are not buying it and why. I also encourage you to read this post by Lisa M. Bradly, another poet who never received her proof.

ETA 7/18: It seems SFPA President David Kopaska-Merkel sent out a proof and a brief apology now to the nominees who didn't receive their proof in the first place; while the printed version cannot be changed, this proof can thus only affect the pdf version of the anthology.

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