Happy official Halloween day. I have a lot of work to do this afternoon. But I’m going to personally challenge myself to write at least one horror haiku poem an hour (at minimum) and post it on my twitter page all day long…till midnight.
I’m giving them all a zombie theme, partially inspired by the recent release of the sequel to Ryan Mecum’s great Zombie Haiku book from a few years ago: Dawn of Zombie Haiku and all the great #zombiehaiku he’s been publishing on twitter himself over the past few days.
To read the zombie haiku, you can subscribe to my twitter profile or just run a search on twitter for the hashtag #zombiehaiku. If you’re on twitter, come join the party — Ryan Mecum started it, and it’s open to anyone.
WHY ZOMBIES LUMBER
by Michael A. Arnzen (1.41 mins)
DOWNLOAD .mp3(1.58 mb)
It was difficult to pick one, but to me the clear winner is FJ Bergmann (fibitz.com), for penning a gross little number inspired by the art piece, “Fountain of Worm.” Bergmann’s haiku has dynamic action, impending doom, good reference to the image, and great language use, all telling a unique story in just 17 syllables!:
quivering with need
undulating, gorged with blood
the gut villi wait
FJ wins a free trade paperback of the book, HE IS LEGEND, edited by Christopher Conlon for Tor Books. I’ll deface my story in that book with my signature scrawl. Maybe draw some book-worms, even. And then to make up for that I’ll toss in an extra Arnzen book of some kind as a bonus.
I wasn’t planning on a 2nd place prize, but I really liked the unsettling suggestions evoked by Terrie Leigh Relf‘s entry for the drawing, “Angry Bird”, too, so she’s winning a free copy of Audiovile on CD:
so many ravens
gathering around my house
those eyes. . .those blue eyes
– TL Relf
We’ll have more contests like this in the future, so be sure to subscribe to The Goreletter so you don’t miss a chance. In the mean time, check out everyone’s twisted haiku! And do feel free to post your own captions, share dark poems, and add comments whenever you like on the gallery or photostream! I appreciate it, and I think all the visitors to gorelets.com really do, too. — Mike Arnzen
[Note: this contest is now closed to entries (though comments on the gallery are always welcomed, poetic or not). Winner announced soon. -MAA].
This one’s easy. Post a haiku poem related to one of the artpieces on my gallery. Just enter it in the “comments” field, along with your byline (name) and e-mail address. This will automatically publish the poem. All adult language will be censored, so please don’t use any — suggest and evoke, instead. Entries are due by Halloween (Oct 31st) at Midnight.
Arbitrary rule: I expect your haiku to be 3 lines long, in a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. No rhyme necessary. Can be humorous, horrific, or traditional in nature. You can enter up to three total. Anything more than that, and I’ll report you to the FCC as a perpetrator of spamku.
If I like your haiku best, you’ll get a signed copy of the Tor trade paperback edition of He Is Legend, a random horror gift from the Arnzen coffers, and your poem will appear in the next e-mail edition of The Goreletter.
Jimmy Z. — the new purveyor of Horror-web.com — has invited me to judge a horror haiku contest they’re presently running, with cash prizes. If you write poetry, or simply love to wax pithy with expressions of zombie philosophy, you still have time to send him your submissions. The deadline is Feb 1st.
You might read Ryan Mecum’s Zombie Haiku for inspiration.
Zombiefest 2008 — held at the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh this weekend — has so far been both fun and disturbingly surreal. I’ve posted some photos from the first day of the dead in the gorelets.com gallery – mostly of friends in publishing, but also a few freaky shots like the one above. Aside from crawling the mall, hanging out at my publisher‘s table and saying “Brainnns!” over and over again, yesterday I performed a fiction reading along with Ryan Mecum (author of Zombie Haiku) and Steve North (author of Dead Tide) — which you should be able to hear a podcast of soon on Library of the Living Dead – and I was also videorecorded doing another reading of weird excerpts from my “dream journal” for FearZone.com, appearing soon. This morning portends a record-breaking “mall crawl” for World Zombie Day.
at the meat counter
cellophaned brains trick zombies –
the butcher runs out
The above haiku is one of many neat new ‘zombie zen’ pieces by various authors scattered throughout Kyra Schon’s website. Kyra is one of the coolest stars from the original Night of the Living Dead. Visit her site and you’ll recognize her instantly! And if you like zombie haiku, well, then you’d love this book.
I received many excellent entries for the Goreletter’s “Mess Up My Fridge” contest last month. Now my refrigerator is truly damned. So many strange entries came in that I couldn’t just pick one winner…but FOUR, which all tied for first place. For prizes, everyone received a free Arnzen poetry book – and anyone who entered was e-mailed a free Bitpasss for access to The Sickolodeon, just for playing!
Below are the winning entries. Didn’t win? Eager for more? The “review race” contest for Play Dead is still on! Be among the first subscribers to post a “customer review” of my new novel on amazon.com, bn.com, ProjectPulp.com, or some other online bookseller, and you could win a free book, (no matter what you say)!
Soft belly babies
Two hearts strong rhythm–stiff hooks
Both splitting wetly
– Stephen M. Wilson
blind casket petfood
mouse balloons and memory
cat embalmed in milk
– Cameron Pierce
Squalid brain balloons,
Memory writhing inside,
Gleam with mad wonder.
– Tanya Twombly
Embalmed skin costume
Naked writhing locked inside
Wet with casket worms
Cat paws out the heart
Of the dead mouse as it spurts
And it tastes like milk.
– Barbara Bates
Dead memory worm
writhing inside wet brain chunks
with unstoppable rhythm.
– Kathy B.
Haiku will never be the same again. The contest is over, but you can always post fridge magnet poetry on “The Damned Fridge” at gorelets.com