Bleak Feminine – Rebooting Blood Ballet

Oh, Blood Ballet. You… I really don’t like you, Blood Ballet. But we’re going to remedy this. The anodyne for this chapbook being, well, kind of terrible, is completely redoing it in the way I should’ve done it initially.
The Blood Ballet that is available as part of Absolute Heaven is more what I wanted it to be, but still not exactly. I wanted it to portray a “feminine gruesomeness” with a horror-movie aesthetic. This go around with the full book, I want it to be somewhat more feminist. Not in an overbearing way, just through dealing with more women’s issues. That’s what it was supposed to be but ended up being like, gross-out junk and surrealist nonsense.

Without going into a tangent, and believe me it would be the god emperor of tangents, I think that just the female experience in general lends itself to a lot of horror – biological, psychological, you name it. Yet rather than mollify unpleasant experiences by discussing them openly, many would rather put up a very thin façade that all women are happy all the time, no matter the circumstance.
I actually received that message, more or less, with a rejection letter for a poem once that works revolving around the problems of women should only be more “empowering” or “inspirational”, that what I wanted to say was too dark for mainstream consumption. They could’ve just said “your writing straight-up sucks” and it would’ve been less offensive than that.

I don’t even care about the poem but I will never let that comment go, because that is not reality. You cannot keep only the good and snuff out the negative if you want someone’s real experiences in a book. Continue reading “Bleak Feminine – Rebooting Blood Ballet”

No More Dead Haiku

As of Nov. 21st, 2018 I am repealing some, if not all, of my horror-fantasy haiku freebies on Smashwords. Blood Ballet and MHz I am definitely taking out of print, but I’m on the fence about Infinite Summer. Cosmic Love will likely stay since it ended up being surprisingly popular on Goodreads, but it will be updated to match the new rewrite.
These were experiments to toy with poetry formatting and how quickly I could scrap up a cover piece by myself. You want to know anything for your own book in future, feel free to ask.

If you enjoyed reading the haiku back when I posted them on this blog, don’t worry, the old versions will stay there (see below). New, shimmering versions will appear in Absolute Heaven, my upcoming mega-compilation.

Why am I taking them out of print? Well, to be blunt, I fear they’ll scare people away from my serious work, even being free works of obvious dubious effort. I keep being stricken by this notion they will come back to bite me.
There were a lot of egregious issues I missed with the initial Blood Ballet and MHz. Much to my personal chagrin, all of the haiku books combined have totaled over 200 downloads.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of heart and thought that went into my haiku books, and at least on Goodreads they met a mostly warm reception, but they just sadden me now. I have over 11 poetry collections and novels to focus on and nurture, these just shouldn’t have been published individually when I should’ve worked on those instead.

If you are passionate with the urge to read the old versions of Blood Ballet, Infinite Summer, MHz or Cosmic Love for whatever madness you harbor, the downloadable eBooks will still be on my Smashwords page until Nov. 21st. I will also post the list of haiku from them I published on this blog, so you can read them whenever you wish here. Just follow the posts, there are about six for each book. The only one of the old versions that will no longer be available online whatsoever is MHz.

Beginning of Cosmic Love
Beginning of Blood Ballet
Beginning of Infinite Summer

“Paradox Phenomena” – Haiku VI

[Note – Contains moderate dark content, such as violence, themes of depression, and imagery that may be sensitive or disturbing to some. Originally published as part of Blood Ballet.]

51—
Phantoms of morbid
Trickle in like discontent
Into vampire house

52—
Hidden in willow
A blank paper face peers toward
A distant child’s corpse

Continue reading ““Paradox Phenomena” – Haiku VI”

“Paradox Phenomena” – Haiku V

[Note – Contains moderate dark content, such as violence, themes of depression, and imagery that may be sensitive or disturbing to some. Originally published as part of Blood Ballet.]

41—
Organs churn a life
In secret beneath the grass
Softly, a heart beats

42—
Tufts of fine cirrus
Encase me as I escape
Mechanized coma

Continue reading ““Paradox Phenomena” – Haiku V”

“Paradox Phenomena” – Haiku IV

[Note – Contains moderate dark content, such as violence, themes of depression, and imagery that may be sensitive or disturbing to some. Originally published as part of Blood Ballet.]

31—
Inverted teeth smile
Imperfect as undying
Buds of nature’s womb

32—
Internal coffin
Narrow cave of fruitless dreams
Bare isolation

Continue reading ““Paradox Phenomena” – Haiku IV”

“Blood Ballet” – Haiku III

[Note – Blood Ballet contains moderate dark content, such as violence, themes of depression, and imagery that may be sensitive or disturbing to some.]

21—
Innocent bondage
Pink lips speak sensual pain
Juxtaposition

22—
Smothered in the sand
Crushed in the hourglass cinch
Like salt and mica

Continue reading ““Blood Ballet” – Haiku III”

“Blood Ballet” – Haiku II

 

[Note – Blood Ballet contains moderate dark content, such as violence, themes of depression, and imagery that may be sensitive or disturbing to some.]

11—
My hesitant trust
You steal always, you dissolve
Me like a fruit fly

12—
Rosin pool of shame
Autumnal drops of forest
The portal of roots
Continue reading ““Blood Ballet” – Haiku II”

“Blood Ballet” – Haiku I

[Note – Blood Ballet contains moderate dark content, such as violence, themes of depression, and imagery that may be sensitive or disturbing to some.]

1—
Shatter to marrow
Mania, a blood ballet
Shudder in the bones

2—
Life of raw terror
Grub worms cover the mirror
Squirm like gut tunnels
Continue reading ““Blood Ballet” – Haiku I”

💖Blood Ballet💖 – Free Poetry eBook Release!

BloodBallet(Complete)(c)SMShuford

Blood Ballet and Paradox Phenomena – two poetry sets harvested from the same embryo. Sensual and discomforting, these haiku are the gruesome songs of mourning ghouls and dead maidens. They are a step into a dark pool of subconscious desires and fears.

Another free haiku booklet, much behind schedule, but you can’t change misspent time, I suppose. Blood Ballet, fair warning, is grotesque and heavily doused with surreal bloodiness, since I developed it largely from remnants of depressive dreams, the imagery of psychological thrillers and giallo, as well as a touch of Lovecraftian horror. View more information on its book page.

Blood Ballet I pretty much ran out of fondness for when the formatting had to be redone multiple times, but you may enjoy it. I recommend for 14+ due to metaphorical but fairly strong violence and dark imagery. Download here, completely free of charge –  doesn’t cost one penny, arm, or soul:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/810644

The eBook also comes with an introduction essay exclusive to this version. I recommend the PDF or Online Reader format, as they are the least mangled from the beautiful manuscript I had that’s been redone to nothing. ePub also works decently and I haven’t tried the Kindle format (feedback in comments is welcome if there are any glaring issues). I will also be posting the entirety of this book on my blog in the upcoming week, bits at a time. If you wish, please consider adding or reviewing it on Goodreads.❤️

add to goodreads

💖Blood Ballet💖 – Sample Haiku

Blood Ballet is a hesitant entry in my haiku collections. It is a ballet – but a silent one with a single, disjointed dancer who moves like a mannequin.

I love it no less than anything else I’ve written, but by nature it is… parasitic and strange, for lack of a better description. This mini-eBook, an improvement style-wise on the one before it**, will be available likely around mid-March for anyone to read or download. I dream of one day publishing these in paperback form as a big omnibus, but that may take time.

Samples

Shatter to marrow
Mania, a blood ballet
Shudder in the bones
——
The occult chill stabs
Through networks of thin nerve strands
Silence wakes the ghoul
——
Black cord, deep navel
Stark white room, a blood fetor
The stench of the loop
—–
Organs churn a life
In secret beneath the grass
Softly, a heart beats

Blood Ballet’s book page.

add to goodreads

**(By the way, please let me know if you downloaded a copy of Cosmic Love which has mild errors – just small editing quirks which don’t detract from it, but I have attempted to fix it numerous times and it still occurs on some devices.)