I had a wonderful time reading poetry alongside Stephanie Wytovich (who read a battery of amazing “psycho ward” poetry) at DV8 Espresso Cafe & Gallery in Downtown Greensburg, PA, this past weekend. It was standing room only, there were a lot of laughs, and weirdness was definitely in high abundance. Among other things, I got to share my current Mutterverse experiment, which featured a slideshow of strange images…until the power went out on the projector, that is. But I just continued reading in the darkness, which was perfect.
Perhaps the highlight of the night was a “Poedown Throwdown” slam poetry challenge between Stephanie and I, where we tasked one another to write a new poem inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe story and then read it live at the event. She did “The Raven” and I took on “The Black Cat.” Here are the results. I cheated a little by reading three pieces. But ultimately, she may have won. You be the judge!
Poedown with Michael Arnzen and Stephanie Wytovich, Live at DV8 Greensburg (8 mins.):
includes: “Blackbird” by Stephanie Wytovich &
“The Stuffed Black Cat,” “Burning the Witch” and “Poe’s Growth” by Michael Arnzen
Download (12.2 mb)
And I just HAVE to also share the following clip from one of my favorite parts of the night: a reading of “The Seven-Headed Beast” (from my book, 100 Jolts)…that includes creepy audience accompaniment! [Those readers who know my CD, Audiovile, will likely find this "unplugged" version even more disturbing than the original! I know I do....]
“The Seven-Headed Beast” Live at DV8 Cafe, Greensburg PA 11/10/2012
by Michael A. Arnzen (2.32 mins)
DOWNLOAD .mp3 (3.8 mb)
If you live in the Pittsburgh/Greensburg area, join me for a horror poetry reading alongside writer Stephanie Wytovich at DV8 Espresso Gallery and Cafe in Downtown Greensburg, 7pm, on Nov 10th. We’re informally calling it “Halloween Resurrection.” Come on by; it’s free and freaky. I’ll have my latest books in hand if you’d like to pick up a signed copy, too.
UPDATE: Stephanie has posted a fun Facebook Event page that will be useful for those of you with faces.
— Michael Arnzen (@MikeArnzen) October 31, 2012
I enjoyed the Zombie Haiku tweet marathon on Halloween last year (which later was printed in The Gorelets Omnibus) so much that I am doing it again — but it will be a little more somber and diverse this time with short free verse pieces about disease, deformity, body horror and medical freakitude, all inspired by my recent trip to the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (and based on photographs in former curator Gretchen Worden’s phenomenal book by the same title). These poems will be live tweeted throughout the day with the hashtag #MUTTERVERSE on twitter.
Here’s a quick roundup of recently shared Halloween tricks and treats for you, all waiting in the bottom of your goodie bag:
- If you’re not following me on Twitter, you can track the #MUTTERVERSE in the archive here on gorelets.com, called The Nest.
- You can download “scatterscream” — the latest entry in my annual free exclusive Halloween Desktop Background art series, posted to my flickr gallery.
- Drop by the Halloween Poetry Readings at the Science Fiction Poetry Association website, where you can hear a live recording of my poem, Attack of the Bleu Man Group (here’s the original studio recording with musical enhancement, ala Audiovile, if you prefer that). The poem appears in The Gorelets Omnibus (which the SFPA recently gave an excellent review).
- I’ll also be featured as part of a marathon Halloween session on Inveterate Media Junkies related to the Hazard Yet Forward charity anthology. Look for it as part of Jason Jack Miller‘s SOUND CHECK column.
- I’m also bound to do a giveaway of some kind during the day via @MikeArnzen on twitter. So do pop by — you might luckily stumble on a prize opportunity!
If you live in the Pittsburgh/Greensburg area, don’t forget that I’ll be doing a horror poetry reading alongside Stephanie Wytovich at DV8 Espresso Gallery and Cafe in Downtown Greensburg, 7pm, on Nov 10th. We’re calling it “Halloween Resurrection.” Come on by; it’s free and freaky. (More about DV8 on Facebook).
OCT 13 11a-4p | Frostburg, MD
Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival
Arnzen will attend with several Raw Dog Screaming Press authors, including Jennifer Barnes, John Edward Lawson, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, and K. Ceres Wright. The event, sponsored by the Frostburg State University Center for Creative Writing, brings together editors and publishers with writers and educators of the local community, and features panel discussions on various creative genres, DIY publishing, self-publishing, promotion and marketing, writing local, and reading and writing online. The event is free and open to the public, with sessions and book sales available throughout buildings in downtown Frostburg. Just follow the signs.
OCT 20 | Bowie, MD / Online
DogCon, Online Reading
Arnzen will make a ghostly appearance (via FaceTime streaming) at this exclusive party hosted by Raw Dog Screaming Press in launching their 10th Anniversary as a publisher. Some online access to the event will be available via Google+ hangouts. Details.
OCT 26, 4:30pm | Philadelphia, PA
Bruder Life Center, Neumann University, Guest Lecture on “The Popular Uncanny”,
Michael Arnzen visits the campus of Neumann University to host a discussion of his work on The Popular Uncanny. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Books will be available for a signing after the event. Details.
Nov 10, 7pm | Greensburg, PA
DV8 Gallery and Cafe, 208 S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Greensburg, PA
Horror poetry reading with Arnzen and Stephanie Wytovich. Musical interludes expected. Details forthcoming.
Don’t put money under your child’s pillow if they put their lost tooth there before bedtime. Put something like this under there, waiting for them to awaken in the morning… money better spent!
Berkeley dollmaker Kerry Kate is doing some wonderfully macabre artwork with her collectable handmade doll series at October Effigies. Above is her Tooth Fairy Stuffed Print Doll from May 2010; I also found her “Wormbelly” doll quite disturbing. Visit her blog for the latest.
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)
This is probably the most literal Baby Costume I’ve ever seen.
Imagine if you answer the door on Halloween night, and all of these little wrigglers whisper “Trick or Treat” in infantile glee as they reach out at you for some candy. And in the center of the undulating gyre, “Daddy” would just stare at you.
The Morgantown Poets society has posted video excerpts from my Halloween season poetry reading in Morgantown, West Virginia last month. It was a goofy gory night of the bizarre, which I titled “Food, Folks and Fun with Zombies.”
I read three courses of horror: a batch of gory “food” poems from a variety of sources (including crazy twitter poems and pieces from The Goreletter e-edition), a “folksy” ghost story (from the just-released collection, Legends of the Mountain State IV — not appearing on the vid), and then I ended with a “fun” batch of zombie poems from my book, Rigormarole. The lighting is dark, the sound is hit-and-miss, but the video captures the jist of what my readings are like. It was fun to read in an art gallery to a very indulgent audience, who was enormously generous with their time, patience, and laughter.
Look for “Endless Shrimp” — delivered in the 2nd of the 3 short video clips — to appear in an upcoming issue of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, edited by John Skipp.
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
There’s a bonus treat wiggling around in the filthy bottom of your Halloween candy sack….some hot brass!
Crimewav.com — an excellent podcast of noir crime fiction — is featuring three of my music-enhanced horror stories in a special Halloween Episode of Horrors in a surprise Halloween release tonight. It’s a great way to get a free sampler from my cd, Audiovile, and you can also hear the new track, “Attack of the Bleu Man Group,” if you didn’t check it out on gorelets.com earlier this week. Check it out, and sample some of the other writers on the site, or subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.
Crimewav(e) is run by Seth Harwood, author of the great new urban action thriller, Young Junius, and podcaster extraordinaire. Seth is famous for serializing his Jack Palms novel, Jack Wakes Up, through free podcasts, which later turned into a major book deal. So visit crimewav.com to see what he and his “Palm Daddies” are up to, review the great roundup of related podcasts he supports, and read his work! If you liked my novel, Play Dead, you’ll likely dig the gritty crimes he’s committing.
And again, Happy Halloween. Read something scary.