Friday, April 12, 2013
Image of the head was originally by Tony Lovell The Lost Wine
: A version of 'Le vin perdu' by Paul Valery "Thinking of blood..."
...whence arrive 'profound forms' from wine and sea, a rose spray... A delicious poem that reminds me of Swinburne and perhaps much else when factored into the angles of vision presented by all these poets' gestalt. Things within. Moments of loss as life becomes death or just tinged foam after the literary-symbiotic exorcism of the previous poem's reference back and forth to 'The Magic Mountain' and its diseased, salmon-pink lungs like 'reloaded stones'...
Excerpt from my review of STAR KITES by Mark Valentine: here
Posted at 04:28 pm by Weirdmonger
Monday, April 16, 2012
Tim NIckels' informal review in 2009;
“Untitled”: Far more than “sweet nothings”: a wistful call to arms
for the world’s broken hearted. The young inside the old, and - for
the lucky few - the other way around.
“Dead Speak”: Polonium behind the arras? Weather hawks fight over
knowledge and wisdom. Off at a good clip!
“Parker”: The messenger not the message. An intimate portrayal - and
I raise my own Lady Parker in salute!
“Artis Eterne”: I love the timeless, placeless quality - the return
to childhood haunts and hauntings. Arthur’s legacy passed like a
dusty baton. Some very careful writing. I was completely absorbed.
“The Last Mermaid”: Big and bold. A rich seafood supper indeed!
“The Lion’s Den”: Assured and relaxed, the writing becomes invisible
- no higher aim for a writer. Bravo! The animalism is powerful and -
for me - is the truest embracer of the Cern Zoo concept. A FAVOURITE.
“Virtual Violence”: Lord of the Flies meets Cluedo. A wild little
number. Liked it.
“The Rude Man’s Menagerie”: This piece put me most in mind of the
“Untitled” opening story. Loss, memory and the very chalky earth
itself reaching up to engulf Rebs. Beautiful. Unusual. Ooh.
“Window to the Soul”: More memories. At a price.
“Pebbles”: I have as much respect for this story as the author
obviously has for her or his reader. It hangs like a dream. I loved
it. A FAVOURITE.
“The Shadow’s Departure”: Jittery, spiky and full of icicle limbs.
Strange, frightening. Truly visual.
“Being of Sound Mind”: Sara is faith personified. A leap of Sara. Did
Sara leap? Uncomfortable. Moving.
“Dear Doctor”: Hah!
“Mellie’s Zoo”: The childhood answer to “The Lion’s Den”. The
amplified imagination of children create creatures, worlds. Mellie’s
purple hippo becomes Sara’s Dolly. The mazey zoo, its puzzles leading
to... A deep story that I shall enjoy reading again.
“Turn The Crank”: Breathless, fearless writing! Loved it!
“The Devourer of Dreams”: A canny hand on the tiller here. Respect! A
web woven with skill and precision - and the web is woven around...
“Just Another Day Down On The Farm”: Downbeat, downtrodden, the men
are as caged as the animals. The men have no names - nor do their
charges. I was numbed with real pain.
“Strange Scenes From An Unfinished Film”: Rather like the final
paragraph of “Devourer of Dreams”, “Strange Scenes...” directly
addresses the reader/narrator; tricking the light too drastic, the
shadows between the sprocket holes of the film blurring story reality
and story fantasy. Should he crack open a lager or a Kia-Ora? A bleak
“Lion Friend”: Perfectly formed - like an acorn in its cup - and
polished like the deft shoes of a tap dancer.
“The Ozymandias Site”: This piece of vivacious cognitive estrangement
is strong, moving, beautiful rhythmical stuff. Sustained otherness;
utter humanity. To actually smell the moon... That such a story was
written - and that I was lucky enough to read it - made me dance. I
am still dancing. Thank you - whoever you are. A FAVOURITE.
“Cerne’s Zoo”: Animal souls slip through a gentle one. And - like
“Devourer of Dreams (yet again!) - it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
A little charmer.
“Sloth & Forgiveness”: Now here’s a right old laugh. Not “Albert and
the Lion” but “Albert and his One Alternative”. There’s evidence of
genuine madness here. I smiled all the way through.
“City of Fashion”: Some might read this story and give it no further
thought. I think it’s one of the best stories I’ve read in the last
ten years. A FAVOURITE.
“Fragment of Life”: Fraught and finely worked. Relentless. The
electrician’s brain becomes re-wired and uncrushed. A liberation of
sorts, a beginning of an end or... A very, very good story. Loss as a
process, not as a memory. Boy, what writing. I should give up. A
Posted at 10:28 am by Weirdmonger
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Extract from my real-time review HERE.
Ships – Michael Swanwick and Jack Dann
"Some things are too vile to describe."
I'd say that only two male writers sparking off each other - with some concomitant, contaminant synergy of the dual male characters respectively in 'A Punch in the Doughnut' and, less vilely, 'Martyr and Pesty' [or female writers, too, in Morlan-Kiernan (even if that unofficial collaboration was more by magic serendipity than by consciously deliberate creative connection)] – can even hope to reach such heights or depths of vileness through fictioneering. This particular cosmically punch-drunk fable starts with the protagonist's own burial-as-dead in tune with this book's own burial thematics, semi-premature as his burial turns out to be, and travels through the demon/angel-smacking Bible Belt of space along with a sort of collaborative 'William Blake : Norman Spinrad' ring-doughnut-markings (the Marriage – or here the 'lethal kiss' - of Heaven and Hell as filtered through that earlier Marriage in the Cadiganate aphasic, but, here, amnesic Eye of a Seraph) … and the defilement of the treasure-sown "goldens sands" of the reader's complacency into what this sex-twisting-into-new-shapes merely by dint of sexual needs has itself twisted into molten shapes of cruelty and possibly under-age sodomy before the reader's own iris-spinning eyes. Star Trek pirate ships as a way to cannibalise mutineers and further mingle Heaven with Hell or vice versa: as a John Martin battle of apocryphal apocalypses. All ends and begins with a burial but of whom by whom? David (Marshall Smith) or (David (Schow)) Goliath? Split his mainbrace with your boner for his sling-nuts! We all hopefully have our own meat safe. Otherwise, do not risk submitting yourself to this fable's still-accreting vileness even after you close the covers of the book (if that were still possible!) – Bosch eat your heart out. Oh, yes, the revenge theme here is what can honestly be said to be true WILD Justice. (14 Mar 12 – another 3 hours later)
wild justice - ellen datlow - ash tree press
Posted at 04:09 pm by Weirdmonger
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Massive ‘Weirdmonger Wheel’ (inaugurated in 2004) is today re-opened to slow my pace down so that ebooks can keep up with me! It’s still free.
This to celebrate the discovery (by CERN Zoo) of the Higgs Boson next week.
Posted at 09:04 pm by Weirdmonger
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
How does your garden grow?
posted Friday, 16 November 2007
I have been attending this group from around 1995 in this area where I started living at that time (the Tendring Peninsular coast of North East Essex). All members and visitors intermittently over the years put random titles on slips of paper into a tin, and from this tin we randomly draw out titles for fiction homework and speed-writing fiction exercises during the meeting.
I am very grateful to this group for making me continue writing new prose pieces, most of which since 1995 have been written for homework or speed writing exercises.
Below is last night's speed-writing exercise - written by me then in about ten minutes and subsequently read aloud - transcribed from my scribble unchanged:
How does your garden grow?
The question was posed. Poised between thoughts of an old nursery rhyme and literal curiosity as to the nature of my own garden.
I stared at the questioner's face to see if I could ascertain which was intended. A puckish individual with a twinkle in his eye - so I gathered he meant both a reference to my childhood with the reminder of the nursery rhyme and a query as to how the colourful blooms bobbing in the wind outside my window could actually thrive upon coal slag.
He reminded me of my late father. It was my father who often told me nursery rhymes from memory rather than reading them to me from off the page. My father had been a miner during the Depression. I was old enough to remember the historical Depression as well as his. Now I had to live with my own.
Could this be a ghost before me? I was old enough to have Alzheimer's, old enough indeed to die, but I no longer carried the burden of any depression. Foolish minds could not be depressed. They could only think of foolishness.
"How does your garden grow, Mary?" he asked again, this time appending my name to his question. His fingernails were half-mooned with coal dust. His face was grainy with dark veins, contours of blood turned from red to black.
I closed my eyes and imagined a lunar landscape where nothing could grow. I needed to blot him out. I needed to blot myself out. I saw an astronaut making huge leaps from rock to rock. Why did they call areas of the Moon seas? Like the Sea of Tranquillity...
I opened my eyes to see. He had gone. I felt the flowers rooted to the bottom of my soul waiting either for water to water me or fire to burn me. Rain or sun. Either will make me grow.
Posted at 07:36 pm by Weirdmonger
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The First Four Maxims
posted Monday, 22 March 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Today's Maxim (4)
When, at the end of the day, a weirdmonger cleans his slab with pride, he sees clearly from which balcony the next wave will come.http://unsettleddust.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/one-photograph-the-last-balcony/
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Today's Maxim (3)
When, at the end of the day, a fishmonger cleans his slab with pride, he worries from which weird seas the next fish to sell will be coming.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Today's Maxim (2)
When I write, I feel like I'm a band playing in my garage.
Brashly eclectic, but I know they're trying to perfect their art, so I put up with it.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Maybe, one man's obfuscation is another man's struggle to express the inexpressible.
Posted at 01:53 pm by Weirdmonger
posted Wednesday, 10 February 2010
(Lewicide 4)In Fantasy Land, things were never like they were in Fantasy fiction. For a start, nobody would have called a fantasy land 'Fantasy Land' in any manufactured form of an imaginary imaginary world. ~~ Only in real imaginary worlds are you free to call things what they are really called. And, as I nearly started by saying, Fantasy Land is very white and cold today. .
~~ About twenty tears ago, the Welsh writer Rhys Hughes wrote a letter to me saying: "To talk about your own writing is like putting footprints into a perfect surface of crisp new snow." .
~~ He was not talking about either of us, I confirm, but about writers in general. Writers of Fantasy in particular. I’ve always tried to remember that advice. Not always with success, as most human beings (including me) are prone towards the need for ego massage. .
~~ And I need also to remember his words today, for one special reason. In Fantasy Land, I have discovered, they read nothing but DF Lewis books. And there is nothing I can do about it. .~
~~ Until once upon a time... . Fantasy Land has piques and veils. Turrets of truth pricking a turbulent sky of clouds, clouds that are as blue as if they are patches torn from a perfect summer sky in our own land, here, wherein I write about Fantasy Land at a distance, but knowing that both lands are as real as each other. .
~~ Fantasy Land’s people are dressed like chivalrous knights or, sometimes, like angels (without wings) who can easily be imagined populating an idiosyncratic vision of Heaven. .
~~ Castles with moats as if painted by Mediaeval monks, but, even so, habitable and solid enough. .
~~ And I found myself (or wrote or imagined myself as such!) to be one of the many outsiders wandering through Fantasy Land in search of readers of their own books. As I made clear earlier, Fantasy Land was perfect for me in this regard! Indeed, it had become a version of Heaven I could not have imagined better. .
~~ But to write or speak or even simply imagine writing or speaking about one’s own writing was, as Rhys said, an unworthy activity. I needed slowly to dissolve the persona that was my own self in a form of piecemeal suicide, i.e. leaving Fantasy Land insulated within some unread void where the inhabitants – amid the resplendently painterly castles and strange skies – could read only DF Lewis books to their hearts’ contents without anyone else knowing about it, especially without me-with-such-a-trigger-happy-ego knowing about it. .
~~ And I stood beneath the blue-patchy clouds before the biggest castle of them all wherefrom they were even at this moment ceremonially lowering the last drawbridge-balcony towards me notch by notch – and I breathed-in deeply and held this last breath as I watched each of my limbs fade, before all of Fantasy Land itself slowly became a metaphor for an untuned signal on an old-fashioned TV set when close-downs followed the National Anthem. .I hope nobody switches me back on.
.But, surely, nobody cannot hope for anything?
written today and first published above.
Lewicide 3: http://weirdmonger.blogdrive.com/archive/324.html
Lewicide 5: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2010/02/song-of-river.html
Posted at 01:52 pm by Weirdmonger
Saturday, September 11, 2010
posted Monday, 25 May 2009
by DF Lewis
A set-aside for nesting birds.
A wet landslide for shifting burrows;
Dusk is never black enough for herds
To hide between a shepherd’s furrows.
Towards dawn, after a steady night,
A blindside mole climbs the cheeks
And settles between each eyesight,
Now sniffs the shepherd’s nose for leaks.
As day half-opens its new éclairs,
The mole makes mountains out of hills;
Our kids still dream of schoolyard snares;
The shepherd wakes and quickly kneels.
Most animals soon bend their knees
In tune with the shepherd’s stance;
And versions of their prayers and pleas
Wriggle from the blotted sky’s mischance.
The urge to merge, to mix cake with cake,
All with eager gloom, a shuffle or a shake,
So to tread upon and within each other,
Each kid knows not one from another’s mother.
The shepherd’s mole is burrowing deep,
Burrowing till not even Care can weep.
The hills heave and shove a mountain beast,
A bray of prayer for dawn to shine at least.
It is luck our shepherd’s still a-kneeling;
He knows a runny nose is not appealing.
His brow is severely creased with hollows;
Faith has furrows but dawn still hopes and follows.
The brayer God does rear on huge hind-legs;
Reaping dawn’s sneeze to yolk our nest of eggs.
Untimely darkness moats round landslid pain;
Someone has left Earth’s cake out in the rain.
(a poem that was written yesterday)
Posted at 04:53 pm by Weirdmonger
2009 CRASH PREDICTED IN 1935 FICTION
2009 CRASH PREDICTED IN 1935 FICTION
posted Thursday, 15 January 2009
At above link this from a member of that site:
(The following excerpt was originally published in the September 1935 issue of Wonder Stories.)
"Old N. J. also objects to my penchant for ladies of the stage and 'vision screen, and periodically threatens to cut my allowance, though that's supposed to be a salary. It's inconvenient to be so dependent, and sometimes I regret that unfortunate market crash of 2009 that wiped out my own money, although it did keep me from marrying Whimsy White, and van Manderpootz, through his subjunctivisor, succeeded in proving that that would have been a catastrophe."
Stanley G. Weinbaum - "The Ideal"
Posted at 01:59 pm by Weirdmonger
'The Kindly Elder' by PF Jeffery
Posted at 01:53 pm by Weirdmonger