Do you like ghosts? Do you like being depressed? Oh boy, do I have something for YOU.

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“Never The Ghost You Want” was written on Christmas morning in 2020. Getting all that misery down on paper served as an exorcism. Cemetery Gates picked it up for inclusion in their anthology, PARANORMAL CONTACT, which felt a bit like last rites. And then, I moved on.

I never even bothered re-reading the story. I couldn’t, then. I have trouble, even now, though I’ve had enough private correspondence regarding the story to make me believe “Never The Ghost You Want” may, in fact, be very good. Readers seem to like it, seem to connect, and those are the notes a writer hopes to hit.

“Never The Ghost You Want” is a non-fiction piece. Now, I have written non-fic in the past, but most all of that has been squarely within the field of journalism (once upon a time, I used to cover the film circuit in Los Angeles). I’d never really written anything terribly personal.

Here’s a few snippets from “Never The Ghost You Want”:

Continue reading “Do you like ghosts? Do you like being depressed? Oh boy, do I have something for YOU.”

Free Reads: “Never The Ghost You Want”

“Never The Ghost You Want” appeared earlier this year as a part of Cemetery Gates’s anthology, PARANORMAL CONTACT (which you can buy HERE). It is a non-fiction piece, and the only story I have finished, thus far, since wrapping GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST. I would very much like to share it with you!

Total transparency: I would love to see the piece get nominated in the Stoker Award “Non-Fiction” category. Now, that’s a long shot, but the story means an awful lot to me. And, Cemetery Gates has given me permission to offer “Never The Ghost You Want” FOR FREE as a part of my next newsletter (Sept. 27th).

All you have to do is sign up!

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Stopping by a Body in the Barn Out Back: a poem

Whose body this is I once knew

His rotten stench the scavengers drew

And I recall the tenor of his screams

Rack and ruin a rare privilege to view

He swings on breeze from highest beams

Little wonder if God allows the dead their dreams

I visit this man every day

Death is but a deeper sleep it seems

Oft I wonder what my mother would say

To see father hanged in our barn this way

Would she give thanks or think of me insane

But where he has buried her I cannot say

Our bodies like our love cannot remain

Parables of kindness are profane

And all I have to give to you is pain

And all I have to give to you is pain.

Continue reading “Stopping by a Body in the Barn Out Back: a poem”

GOODNIGHT KAFKA

I mentioned having written a riff on the Margaret Wise Brown classic GOODNIGHT MOON, focusing on Franz Kafka. It is, as of yet, not illustrated. I may get around to that sometime in the future. And I have been picking away at my own translation of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” for the last couple of years. Perhaps, once finished with both projects, I will collect them together and release them. Anyway, no reason not to share this, as I have no plans on shopping it around. Enjoy.

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GOODNIGHT KAFKA

In the great gray gloom

There was a kafkaroach

And a bug cocoon

And a painting of—

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OCTOBER ANIMALS preview

[The following is from the opening chapter of OCTOBER ANIMALS. The novella is still being worked on, so some elements may change before publication, as this is not a final edit. Thanks, and enjoy]

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Risk existed in the collapsing space between lips just before a kiss and the banks of the Mississippi were a cemetery to all that the river no longer wanted. Fireworks exploded, violent rainbows that looked of the heavens but stank of sulfur, and crackling light reflected across black waters. The people of Alton gathered here, as did the great beast, unseen, who patrolled those waters. Here they gathered, but their ceremonies were not the same. And the beast was not greedy; only a few would be chosen.

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Free Flash: How Old Is A Shadow

“How Old Is A Shadow”

Tom’s nipples had bled right through his shirt. Embarrassment is why he now insisted on running before dawn and why he placed Band-Aids over his areolas. Vanity brought him to the man who ran in the shadows.

The men met before dawn, sharing darkness, running along the same path. The man claimed to have found a trick which lent him life everlasting. His tenor bordered desperate, yet vanity gilded his claim and Tom approached without breaking stride.

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