A Little Poem about My Favorite Slasher

JasonLives

Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

About 10 years ago, Boston Literary Magazine was one of the first magazines to publish any of my work.  Prior to the acceptance, I had a few rejections  but remained persistent and kept writing and  revising, spurred on by editor Robin Stratton’s encouragement. Over the last few years, the magazine was on hiatus, but recently, it returned with a lengthy comeback issue. I’m deeply appreciative that my poem “The First Time I Watched a Friday the 13th” was included. I’ll forever be grateful to BLM for taking a chance on my work years ago, and I’m thrilled to have a new piece in the comeback issue. You can read it here or read it below.

 

The First Time I Watched a Friday the 13th

My mom kept watch on the sunflower recliner,

her brown eyes peering over pages of a paperback,

while I leaned towards the TV, inserted a VHS—

Friday the 13th Pt. 4.

 

I ran my hands over the sleeve—

the black holes of Jason’s hockey mask,

the silver knife that gleamed like moonlight

over Camp Crystal Lake.

 

I clapped at the first appearance of hulking Jason

power walking through the woods, stalking

first victims, camp counselors that guzzled beers,

traded joints back and forth like secret notes.

 

My mother said nothing about first kills—

a machete to the head, an arrow between the eyes,

the gasps of victims before the camera pulled away

and Jason dragged their bodies to the woods.

 

It wasn’t until two counselors disrobed,

reached for the buttons of each other’s shorts

that mom rose from her chair, stormed towards the TV,

seized the tape, clicked her tongue in disgust.

 

For months I searched for the VHS, like goods

thieved from me I wanted to reclaim. I never finished

that scene, the kill that always follows sex in slasher flicks.

 

My mother, too,was a moral judge,

wanting to shield my eyes from the female form,

from the mysteries of sex a 10-year-old wanted to ask.

Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology Inspired by Horror

The fine folks at Moon Tide Press  have put together an anthology entitled Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology  Inspired by Horror, set for release in October. The collection includes 66 poets overall, including yours truly. If interested in pre-ordering a copy,  just click here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the link.

The official book launch is scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd at the Whittier Museum in Whittier, CA. Readers from the anthology will share their poems and the work of others in the book. Copies will be available. Complimentary refreshments and food will be provided.

Quick Poetry Update

I mentioned a few weeks ago that in the new year, I would be writing poetry book reviews for 4squarereview.com and more essays for the Schuylkill Valley Journal. My first review for 4squarereview, on Aaron Coleman’s forthcoming book, Threat Comes Close, was published last week. You can read it here.  I also have an essay on Robert Bly and environmentalism in the new online edition of SVJ. This essay was a multi-month project, so I hope anyone interested in poetry or environmentalism takes the time to check it out. You can read it here.

This summer, I’ll be working on a new poetry manuscript, though I  feel no rush to publish it. I am merely going to start the process of ordering the poems. At least one section of the book will contain poems written in response to horror films. Three of those poems were published in the November issue of The Horror Zine and one was published in the debut issue of Rockvale Review. Check them out!

Aside from blogging about film, horror, and literature, I’ll still post poetry updates on here now and then.