“The Dominant” Featured in Infernal Ink

A poem of mine, “The Dominant”, was featured in the Spring-Summer 2019 edition of indie magazine Infernal Ink, if you’d like to check it out. Not a collection for the youngsters, obviously, not with that tagline. Some pretty sultry and gruesome themes. This poem will probably also appear in another compilation of mine that I’ve got planned for this summer.
To be honest, I don’t remember when, why or where I wrote “The Dominant”. I think it was circa 2014 or so, maybe later. It’s one of my numerous, numerous writings about the disturbing sensuality of food and hedonism. This is the Kindle edition, there are also paperbacks available on Lulu if that’s more your style.

Infernal Ink Spring-Summer 2019

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Book Review – The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton

★★★ 3.5 Stars

Genre: Dark Poetry
Publication Date: October 28th, 2008
Publisher: It Books

“The boy with nails in his eyes put up his aluminum tree. It looked pretty strange because he couldn’t really see.”

And there you have the general atmosphere of the entire book in one sentence.

À la Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies, a picture book in which a series of unfortunate children meet horrific, and more importantly alliterative, fates, Tim Burton’s Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy is a collection of poems about mutated children who horrify their peers and disappoint their parents to the point of cannibalizing them just so they won’t have to deal with them anymore.
Unfortunately, it does come across as a quirkier but weaker Gashlycrumb Tinies.

If you create any kind of bleak, monochromatic art, you’re going to have to deal with the phrase “Hey, you remind me of Tim Burton” a lot. I promise you this. Nevertheless I honesty do really like Tim Burton’s style and animated films. Corpse Bride was one of my favourites as a child and still is today. Not going to say Burton hasn’t been a big influence on me. He has. But with this, I expected something a little more macabre from his poems, to tell you the truth..

Oyster Boy and his dilapidated pals are cute. I love Mummy Boy, who plays “virgin sacrifice” at recess and has a head full of scarabs. There’s a lot in here that feels aimless and random though. Not quite horror, not quite humor, not quite surrealism kind of aimless. Still, it’s got clever limbs here and there. And up there. And over there. And nestled in the corner giving me that look I can’t stand.

Image result for melancholy death of oyster boy mummy

Book Review – Like a Box of Chocolates by Justin Bienvenue

★★★★ 3.5 Stars

Genre: Poetry / Dark Fantasy
Publication Date: April 26th, 2014
Publisher: Independent

Life is like a box of chocolates. Sometimes you’re lucky and you get a deluxe truffle, and sometimes it’s one of these tooth-dissolving raspberry cremes. Other times still you pull out a human finger and have to sue.
…Or… (whispers) eat the finger anyway. If you’re struck with whimsy. It’s not like anyone will notice, it’s not attached anymore.

Anyway! Horror poetry is a rare but rich and untapped genre that I love to create and to read, but this isn’t only horror. Like a Box of Chocolates is a Whitman’s sampler of genre poetry ranging from splatterpunk to fantasy to humor. There are strong poems and there are sherbet cremes. In true dessert form, even the weaker poems aren’t really bad, just okay.

It’s a gutsy and fun short read. I think the concept of choosing a title for a poem by vote then writing what imagery it evoked was pretty creative. I like to employ a similar “label first, meat later” technique in my own work to push out unpredictable ideas during a block, and the method works well (if unreliable amounts of “well”). I enjoyed this, and I recommend if you’re looking for poetry with imagination.

Quotes

  • “Scars are constant enemies embedded within the skin / madness tattooed memories like shards of glass in a bin / corruption is to dishonesty as bacteria is to griminess / clearly there can hardly be a definition of why this is.”
  • “Faintly heard are yells, gentle screams and pleas / like a ringing in the ears that just won’t appease / there is sadness in their tone but yet also demonic / while reality is still the other side is catastrophic.”

Horror Poetry on HST

Late, late news, but I just wanted to share a few “grotesques” of mine that were featured on the web mag, Horror Sleaze Trash. I meant to a couple of weeks ago, but it kind of slipped from my mind, working on my other projects. I tend to have three or four or like, seventy different writing modes at any given time, and these are from one of the bloodier ones. Enjoy…?

The site’s undergoing a renovation, but the link should still work for right now. Might be kind of NSFW, the poems themselves included to a degree, being decadent grotesque and all that. I recommend checking out some of HST’s compilations and other authors, though, definitely. 🙂

http://www.horrorsleazetrash.com/poetry/s-m-shuford/

💖MHz💖 – Free Haiku eBook on Smashwords!

MHz(Complete)(c)SMShuford

MHz (Megahertz) is the concept of ambient abandonment and industrial decay gone fully chaotic. Like the other compilations I’ve done, a large portion of these haiku were cut from permanently unborn poems never to see the light as a full piece, but it would’ve been such a waste to never allow them to say their most important statements. You can download a free copy or read it early online here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/834970

It’s also listed on Goodreads if you want to offer a bit of feedback, and will be appearing on this blog piece-by-piece. MHz is going to be part of my upcoming poetry book, Absolute Heaven, which is massive (for poetry, anyway) and will actually be available in physical form as paperback!

Ironically, while it began as my least favourite, MHz has grown somewhere along the way to be one I really like, and I hope you like it as much. 🙂

💖MHz💖 – Release Date and Sample Haiku

MHz and Absolute Pressure – two sets of haiku breathing from the same lungs. Chaotic, obsessive and industrial, these poems pump out the hallucinogenic fumes of dreams.

MHz is the next-to-last free haiku eBook I will be publishing for awhile. Inspired by Japanese horror, cyberpunk art and ambient music, it’s definitely one of the stranger compilations. In tone, it’s a mix of lonely fluorescence and metallic nightmares.

It will be out either May 31st or June 1st on Smashwords and Kobo in all formats. A friendly reminder that you can get new versions of all of my haiku compilations as free downloads here.

They can all be read on my blog as well, and are tagged by their titles. MHz, along with the other haiku and a multitude of other poems are being compiled in a large omnibus called Absolute Heaven later this year, if you want to add it to your list. I am giving away a certain number of digital review copies through Goodreads if you want to request one. Anyway, here are the sample haiku as well as the sketch for the cover:

Underneath the ground
You will always feed me from
The plateau of blood
——
He comes bearing fruit
Iron, rust in the juices
Loose poisons, strange thoughts
——
Concerto of teeth
Interlude of barbed briar
Visions of starving
——
A severed ghost head
Grinding the strings of plasma
In gears of the clock

 

MHz(Line)(c)SMShuford

 

“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