Upon A Vessel Soon Capsized

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 20, 2018 by jezzywolfe

 

“…and the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started,
And know the place for the first time.”

~ T.S. Eliot

 

Afloat without enough words to weave a safety net.

That’s how most discourse feels, as of late. The stagnant attempts to find some respite in light platitudes and commentary. One wrong word is one unraveling knot–spoken hastily–undoing all progress made. The catch is spilled into the ink black waters, confused and flailing, pathetically fierce.

I am failed at fishing. I did not cast my net far enough. It battered the boat helm and eventually jammed the rudder. So now, I can’t steer, much less fish.

But I continue to float.

We all come to the same place, eventually. That purgatory in the calm open. Many dive in and tread water together, but I can only look over the side of my vessel and question how cold the waters feel. My hesitation might be construed as prudence. Or stiff discipline. I’d rather see it as a survival instinct. Hypothermia is a motherfucker. Better safe than soggy.

But the problems with empty boats and frayed netting are the same as lack of courage. And safe now does not guarantee safe later. A rogue wave could capsize the boat. A gang of floating marauders could seize the vessel. The waters could shallow and tear rents in the bow. Or I could finally succumb to the madness of empty and dive overboard. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, nothing lost that wasn’t found in the first place.

It’s fruitless to be so scared. It’s directionless to float without a working sextant. Whatever shore I’m meant to discover won’t come to me. It’s out there, across miles of glass and diamond. That missing block in my sternum that calls me out into the ocean.

Without a map.
Or a compass.
Or my sustenance.
Or my true north.

Afloat in the obsidian deep of Wherenever.

 

JW ©2018

 

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Midnight Garden Grudgery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 12, 2018 by jezzywolfe

Sheldon Ruins at Night

 

I want to believe.

But you make it hard, what with your two sided mouth
And your multi-dimensional passages,
And the idea that original sin is somehow all on me and never on you,
Even when your pants are down…
Even when my chest is pressed to the floor.

Somehow, you still manage divinity
As you brandish the reed that tears open flesh,
And cast your recriminations on my shoulders as if I should be so lucky
To look up just long enough to catch a glimpse of hope,
Before you decide I’m not worthy your salvation.

But who the fuck told you I needed your consent
When I see what you do with power and sanctimony
When I hear your truths that ironically manage to reek of sacrilege,
When you command I bow to you,
And I reply where you can shove your scepter.

No, I want to believe…

In divine love and grace, in the blessed,
In a salvation that is blind to pigment or facade,
In an intrinsic spirituality that embraces me
With no regard to my human errors
Or the seeded sin I carry in my involuntary DNA.

I need to believe in a Power that didn’t preconceive
Me as a tempestuous toy with circuitry
Created merely to appease your whims
Nothing more than a silent (but grateful) fucktoy
Who requires periodic breaking.

I want to believe,

In an all-knowing and unseen,
But I cannot believe in anything that creates
Both our souls with one breath
Before handing you the keys to my undoing.
Before giving you the bullets to your gun.

I will not believe in anything that exalts you.

And I pray I break you when I fall.

 

JW ©2018

Slouching Towards

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 5, 2018 by jezzywolfe

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”  – W.B. Yeats

It hasn’t been easy.

I’ve sat countless times, looking to create. Stiffled by too much to say all at once, which bottlenecks into blocks I can’t chisel through. I told myself, if nothing else, I’d at least knock out a poem. And I have.

But no one looks for poetry.

I DO have deadlines to make. This year ahead is not completely uneventful. I will be a featured author in the 2018 anthology, Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror. I was requested to read again at this year’s Fright Flight in Portsmouth. It won’t be the year to conveniently slip into oblivion, even though it often feels like I should. I have opportunities to grab.

But I’m waffling in uncertainty. All writers second guess their voices. I fear mine has succumbed to incurable laryngitis. What happens if all I can do is scratch out a poem here or there? The world waits for new stories… but I worry those stories are not the ones I have to tell.

It’s Women in Horror month. A yearly reminder that I’ve contributed little of note thus far. I’ve been proud, and excited, for the opportunities I’ve been given. I don’t think I’ve botched them. But I look at the projects I want to see grow wings and fly, and I’m not sure how to make it happen. As long as they are cocooned safely away, no one can reject them.

Have I mentioned that the most important characteristic of a true writer is astounding bravery? Because this shit is scary.

I haven’t completely given up. I’m not trying to be some incredible force of literary dynamics. I don’ think that’s what I can best offer anyone. That doesn’t mean I want to be dismissed, or brushed aside. It simply means I want to give my readers a somewhat different experience. Whether or not I make them really think… I want to know they’ve been grateful. I want them to be happy they spent that time with me. I cannot refund minutes. Hopefully they won’t wish that I could.

We all stumble. I’m not completely without footing. I just hope to regain it before I completely disappear.

Last year, I neglected to keep my blog updated. The year wound down this way for me…

Last October, I participated in my third Fright Flight reading. I read War Dance, my ferrets-beats-jackalope horror short that appeared in the Western Legends anthology, Unnatural Tales of the Jackalope back in 2012.

 Zippered-Flesh-3-Cover-330

Around Halloween last year, my story, ALL WILL TURN TO GRAY appeared in Smart Rhino Publications most recent anthology, Zippered Flesh 3. You might remember that I have stories in the first two, as well. I also appeared in Smart Rhinos Insidious Assassins. (Not all last year, of course, but in the process of neglecting my blog updated, I’m also behind on my publications page.)

The new Zippered Flesh includes incredible contributions from greats such as William F. Nolan,  Graham Masterton, and the late Jack Ketchum, as well as many others. I am honored to be in such amazing company. You can pick up a copy of it HERE. Trust me, it’s worth it, and I’m not saying that just because I’m in there.

Another wonderful surprise was the return of the first publisher to give me a shot. THE WORLD OF MYTH relaunched on Christmas Eve, 2017. Not just with a brand new issue, but the complete archives of all their past issues. This includes everything I’ve contributed as well. I encourage you to check out the ezine at length. If you’d like to read my latest contribution, LOVE ME, LOVE MY ALPACA, you can find the link to it on my contributors page.

So, that’s where I’m at. I still have a rough first draft of a novel in the wings, a growing collection of poetry, and my Beelzebacon novella that need my attention. I so badly want them all to find homes. They’re my children. I love them.

I want you to love them, too.

Until next time,

Jezz

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What Gets Swept Away

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 4, 2018 by jezzywolfe

I’m here, but I’m not,

A whisper in the corner,

Faceless synapse and empty electronica,

Less effort and all memory.

JW ©2018

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The Tragedy of Counting Stars

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 25, 2018 by jezzywolfe

Road into the rift

 
It should never be this hard.

To need such great tools for seeing stars
Ephemeral polka dots across the canvas
Always hovering there when you need it
The faintest glimmer of transcendent fire
Ready to be scattered by a finger’s brush.

Like I could harness a few and ride them
Across the black in a chariot of diamonds
And every question burning me would go
Spastic and special and suddenly solvent
Leaving me at peace with all the answers.

Every star meets that impasse, eventually
They say their farewells in a brief glimpse
A slight, imperceptible, shimmering dance
The faintest streak of magic and electricity
That promises forever before it disappears.

I’m on a cobalt highway, eyes on the skies
It should never be this hard to say goodbye
To stars, or to dreams, or to once-upon-a-time.
Into a starless night I follow the road to Dallas
And I hope all those wishes were worth it.

JW ©2018

I Forgot This

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 16, 2018 by jezzywolfe

 

On the crest of the hill

I planted myself upright and reached the sky

Summoning my inner poplar

My stalwart backbone of fiber and ring

My bastard bastion of resilience.

 

And each revolution took me farther

Each evolution stole me higher

Until I was so far from you

That the stars loomed closer by

Than the tips of my fingers.

 

We could excuse these spansions

As a byproduct of our distinction

That inevitable growth spurt

Hurdling us into welcomed orbit

Around our own personalized dwarfs.

 

Grifting through the nexus of new nebulae

I discovered the dust of your satellite

Light years gone past before

The debris left behind

Only vaguely reminiscent of a star I recalled.

 

unnamed

 

I thought I was the stardust ejected into space

‘Till I looked down at my feet

Still firmly planted in the hillside

A poplar bent over from root rot …

The consequence of forgetting to fly.

 

JW ©2018

 

 

Where What Never Was

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags , , on January 8, 2018 by jezzywolfe

image

 

For all the lavish indulgence,

The emptied places where the air was scored by laughter,

Silence extinguishing the flames that shivered beautiful reflections across bare walls,

Everything behind in a shroud of gray.

I wish I thought to record it all,

The smiles loud enough to be heard in the dark,

Before the temperatures dropped and the ice fell,

Before they all took their coats, and their leave.

I’ve packed it away now, wrapped in gentle cocoons,

Every ear marked note and scrambled reminder of how alive living can be

Of how we all fill each space with our own unique precision

And leave rents in the tapestry as our mementos, not repairable.

…Never replaceable.

This glorious mourning, the cold baptism after the fire,

Erases every trace of gold that was left behind,

And slows the blood when we stop to remember,

How beautiful it once was.

 

JW ©2018