I’ve been living with Waiting for the Dead to Speak for the last several months, doing readings for the book, sometimes with other NYQ authors and friends. It’s been a blast, but now, with the spring term in full force, I’ve been focused on teaching and writing new work. I’m also putting together a new class, slated to run next fall: horror literature and film! Because of this, I’ve immersed myself in film theory essays again, in particular ones about the horror genre. Because of that research, new poems arose, first a piece about my Catholic guilt and watching The Exorcist, then one about Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, and then one about Jason, and so on and so on. I don’t typically write a series of poems about one subject. I haven’t done that in years, since I worked on my chapbook Front Man, which is about the punk rock scene. That said, horror movies, when done well, do a great job at addressing society’s larger anxieties. Due to the uncertainties we’re living in, it just feels like I need to be working on these poems right now. It also allows me to process what is happening in the current geo-political landscape, while also removing myself from it somewhat. A few of the poems have been confessional, like some of what’s found in Waiting for the Dead to Speak, but for the most part, I use the poems to explore a number of horror films and what’s at stake in them, be it environmental disasters, end of the world scenarios, class issues, or feminist undertones.
Who knows how many of these I’ll write, but after publishing some book reviews and a few essays lately, it feels good to really dive into poetry again.