let us never forget that the human race with technology is like an alcoholic with a barrel of wine
~ Ted Kaczynski ~

The Jeff Freels Transplant Fund

The Creator of the BEAN d2 RPG needs our help:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review: Every Day Fiction - 12/21/09

by Oonah V Joslin

Check out today's most excellent offering from Every Day Fiction: http://www.everydayfiction.com/song-of-everything-by-oonah-v-joslin/

This piece is fantastic, an excellent example of the blurred boundaries between flash fiction and prose poetry. The imagery is vivid, the prose lyrical and musical, completely befitting the title and theme. The content is at once filled with youthful innocence and delicious darkness, the beginning and the end of us all so expertly laid out in marvelous metaphor. Many shy away from what they consider 'artsy-fartsy, fluffy language' in flash fiction, feeling word economy is more important than pretty words, but Oonah makes skillful use of flowery language, which becomes the story instead of detracting from it.

Well done, Oonah. Two thumbs up for sure!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)

This zombie flick was a nostalgic trip for me. I first saw it when I was maybe ten-years-old, and it scared the living shit out of me. I wanted to see if thirty years later I would laugh at myself for being so scared. Amazingly, I remembered much more of the movie than I expected (I guess it made quite an impression), and I wasn't disappointed.

An acting troupe and their jerk-of-a-director visit an island off Miami that contains a cemetery. Their plan is to exhume a body and use a Satanic rite to reanimate it, just for kicks. In reality, the whole thing is a sadistic joke planned by their director to scare them, with two actors done up as zombies as his cohorts. To make a long story short, the joke works, then they perform the rite on an actual exhumed corpse, as well as upon the rest of the graves in the cemetery. At first, director looks like an idiot because the spell doesn't work. But of course, if the spell really didn't work, there wouldn't be a movie, would there? The dead rise from their graves and make short work of munching down the actors and their twisted director. There are no survivors, and the final scene shows the zombies boarding the director's boat and heading off towards Miami.

This movie was created on a budget of only $70,000, was shot in only 14 days with a tiny crew, and the actors were nothing more than the director's college friends. Considering these factors, and that it was filmed in 1972, the movie is actually pretty good! They do a good job with special effects, considering their resources, and the setting is great. The acting, while containing no award-winning performances, wasn't too bad for a low budget, I've seen much worse. There were, of course, some laughable lines and a few over-acted monologues, but overall it really wasn't too bad. It did not, thankfully, scare me as much as it did thirty or so years ago, but it was disturbing in its own right.

This film stands alone, no sequels, something unusual in horror, huh? There was a plan by the original director (Bob Clark, also director of Porky's and A Christmas Story) to do a remake, but unfortunately his life was cut short by a drunk driver, and I believe any plans for a remake probably died with him.

I give Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things one-and-a-quarter thumbs up. Don't expect it to be your favorite movie, but it is a classic 'must see'. When watching, keep in mind when it was made and the budget it was made with. I think it can be appreciated by any horror fan, but by zombie fans in particular.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review: Every Day Poets 12/9/09

Today's issue of Every Day Poets contained the poem The Gradual Loss Of Me by Kirsty Stanley. I found it to be well-written, emotionally charged, and thoroughly chilling. It drags you down into the depths of despair where you can't help but hold your last breath. A teary-eyed view of the one who goes ignored, and a deep, dark peek into the mind of suicide.

Definite two thumbs up, highly recommended!

Check it out at:


Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Am Legend, The Novel

I Am Legend
by Richard Matheson
ISBN: 978-0-7653-5715-1

I picked up the Tor version of this classic book, small format, and it contains the added bonus of including an additional 10 short stories by Matheson (I won't be covering the additional stories at this time). Funny thing is, nowhere at all does it indicate that the extra stories are included, and a quick look at the contents page makes it initially appear as if it is one story in eleven chapters instead of eleven stories. Regarding the cover, it capitalizes on the most recent film with a picture of Will Smith in the foreground and a gloomy New York in the background. Great cover, problem is the novel inside takes place in Los Angeles, and the main character, Robert Neville, is of English-Germanic descent with bright blue eyes. Oh well.

I thought the novel itself was fantastic, so much more than a zombie horde story. Incidentally, as I understand it, 'I Am Legend' is considered the first zombie horde apocalypse story, and George Romero has been quoted as saying he read Matheson's book, stole the idea for his own story, and 'Night of the Living Dead' was born. While Romero's creatures are zombies, Matheson's are actually vampires with some zombie-like characteristics. While an essential element of the story, the vampires really aren't the focus.

The novel is really about the last man on earth and what dealing with that knowledge entails, on an emotional and psychological level, as well as on the physical level of dealing with the vampire menace. It is a dark ride through a mindscape of hope, despair, anger, fear, doubt, loneliness, lust, patience, and foolhardiness. It is also contains a subtle social statement on racism and isolation.

In a nutshell, our hero, Robert Neville, is the last man alive on earth after a disease that causes vampirism wipes out the human race. He may be the last man, but he is not alone. Every night he must hole up in his house-turned-fortress and resist the siege of the vampire horde. Among the horde is an old friend of his whose constant wailing of "Come out, Neville" drives our hero to the edge more than once. Driven to the brink of his sanity, Neville decides to try to find a cure for the disease that has ravaged mankind.

There were many outstanding parts in the book, but I'll mention just a couple.

Among the most chilling elements for me were the female members of the vampire horde and their attempts to lure Neville out of his house each night by disrobing and exposing themselves, and his torment at feeling lustful attraction for the vile creatures who were the cause of his lonely isolation.

One of the most emotionally touching parts of the book was the chapter about Neville and the dog. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it, but I must say it was a very realistic exploration of loneliness, hope, and grief.

If I were to select one minor nit to pick, I would have to say, Matheson certainly loves the word 'palsied'.

I give this book the proverbial 'two-thumbs-up', and if you're into the whole zombie apocalypse thing, or if you like psychological thrillers, then this book is essential reading for you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Niteblade Print Anthology available now!

The Niteblade Anthology (Issue # 10) is available now! Order it in pdf or print format at http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/nothing-to-dread-a-niteblade-anthology/7932048.

Niteblade is a magazine of horror and fantasy published four times a year. The issues are available free online at their website (but they contain ads), and are available for purchase as top-notch, ad-free, pdf issues. Every fifth issue is released as a print anthology as well as a pdf. I highly encourage you to surf over to Niteblade's website at http://www.niteblade.com/ to check it out, and perhaps buy a few back issues. You won't be disappointed.

SHAMELESS PLUG: My horror story 'Whipped' appears on page 40 of the new anthology.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

REVIEW: Necrotic Tissue # 7 (1st print issue)

After six electronic issues in pdf format, Necrotic Tissue has evolved into a print magazine, and has done a fantastic job. The digest-sized magazine continues the standards of fiction and art established in the electronic issues, and the transition interpreted very well. The feel of the artwork and the overall layout establish a definite continuity and connection to the pdf issues.

Then we get to the stories, and what a selection! Tale after tale of dark, chilling, atmospheric, and eerie stories. Some of my favorites: El Dorado by Horace James; Death Grip by Guy Anthony DeMarco; The Failure by Jason L. Keene; ...What You Eat by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt; Savior, Teach Us To Rise by Doug Murano; and The Scratch Of An Old Record by Catherine J. Gardner. Necrotic Tissue also continues its tradition of offering quality micro-fiction in the form of '100 Word Bites' (tales of 100 words in length, including title) with tales like: The Sum Of The Parts by J.B. Daniels; Writers Wanted by David McAfee; and From The Journal Of... by Matthew Ewald.

Finally, we get to the Non-Fiction, basically editorial pieces. Well-written and informative, they cap off the issue nicely. Of particular interest is the editor's rant, Money Is Tight & Times Are Tough, by Publisher/Editor R. Scott McCoy. Basically, it is a rather angry plea to writers and readers of horror fiction to support the indie presses, and a message well delivered. Mr. McCoy hammers home the very important fact that if we as writers and fans of this genre wish to see our favorite indie and small press publications continue, we need to shell out the dollars in support. Subscribe or purchase individual issues of your favorite magazines as often as your budget can support, even if it is just one subscription a year. This is a sentiment I fully support and endorse, and I do my part by buying individual issues to magazines I am interested in, and if after a few issues it holds my interest, I debate subscribing. As a starving artist with a family to support, I can totally relate to not having disposable income, but I also love poetry and fiction enough to sacrifice a few bucks here and there. Hopefully readers will take his message to heart.

To wrap up, I strongly encourage a visit to www.necrotictissue.com. As a matter-of-fact, I all but demand it! Consider it a two-fold mission. Your first duty is to go to the Archives page and download the first six issues in pdf format, which are FREE (nothing to lose, much to gain), and well worth the time and effort. Your second duty is to either order issue # 7 or subscribe. Trust me, if you like horror that tests the boundaries, you will love Necrotic Tissue. Besides, if you don't visit their site, I will be waiting in your bedroom closet wearing a glow-in-the-dark Jason mask and holding a rather large machete. So go and visit Necrotic Tissue, right now!

SHAMELESS SELF-PLUG: You can find my stories 'Carnal Desire' and 'Lucid Dreaming' in issues # 3 & 5 respectively, and my tale entitled 'The Hungry Ones' will be appearing in issue # 9 to be published in January 2010.

What are you still doing here? Got to Necrotic Tissue NOW, don't delay, don't procrastinate, get moving, start clicking and downloading and ordering. Remember, I am watching...

Paul Ingrassia

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The REAL Dead Poets Society

This is great stuff!

A gentleman by the name of Walter Skold has a passion for visiting the gravesites of dead American poets. He embarked on a 90 day journey in his 'poemobile' across country photo documenting, holding poetry readings, and creating what he calls 'tombstone art' at the gravesites of famous and forgotten American poets. His tombstone art consists of photo collages created at the gravesites using the tombstone and props related to the poet's life, death, and work.

He intends on making this an ongoing project, and he is encouraging others to join him by photo documenting, submitting tombstone art, and/or holding graveside poetry readings.

What a wonderfully dark and morbid way to honor poets who have passed on. I think I just might consider joing in the fun, I love old boneyards and cemeteries, and of course, dead poets!

More Info:

Yahoo news posted the following article:


Visit the Dead Poets Society home at:


Monday, October 26, 2009


Below I have posted two of my favorite prose poems by French decadent poet Baudelaire. He is considered by many to be a pioneering master in both decadent and prose poetry. He lived life as he pleased, was infamous for his drug use and indulgences, and much of his work reflects the beauty that can be found in death and decay. His work was considered shocking for its time, often called Satanic, obscene, and heretical, but ultimately he was revered by some literary critics. Despite his infamy, he was unhappy and most often poor due to his refusal to work. His highly over-indulgent lifestyle eventually caught up with him, and he died of general paralysis (most likely from his huge appetite for hashish and opium).

Further Reading:
~ Twenty Prose Poems, Translated by Michael Hamburger, Grossman Publishers Cape Editions, London
~ The Flowers Of Evil And Other Writings, Translated by F.P. Smith, W.J. Robertson, and Joseph T. Shipley, Barnes & Noble, New York
~ http://www.baudelaire.cz/

The versions I have posted here were translated by Michael Hamburger in 'Twenty Prose Poems Charles Baudelaire'.



One should always be drunk. That's all that matters; that's our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time's horrible burden that breaks your shoulders and bows you down, you must get drunk without ceasing.

But what with? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.

And if, at some time, on the steps of a palace, in the green grass of a ditch, in the bleak solitude of your room, you are waking up when drunkenness has already abated, ask the wind, the wave, a star, the clock, all that which flees, all that which groans, all that which rolls, all that which sings, all that which speaks, ask them what time it is; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will reply: 'It is time to get drunk! So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk, and never pause for rest! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose!'


The Old Woman's Despair

The little, shriveled old woman felt quite overjoyed when she saw the pretty child whom everyone wished to amuse, whom everyone tried to please; that pretty creature, so fragile, like herself, the little old woman, and, like her also, without teeth and without hair.

And she approached the child, wishing to smile at it and make faces pleasantly.

But the terrified child struggled against the caresses of the good, drecepit woman, and filled the house with its yelping.

Then the kind old woman retired into her eternal solitude, and cried in a corner, saying to herself: 'Oh! for us wretched old females, the age when we could please, if only the innocent, is past; and we fill with horror the little children whom we wish to love!'