Tag Archives: dark poetry

Dark Poetry Submissions Open – Exit Device

I am not organizing this collection of poetry, just helping spread the word of this project for another. Some of you may be familiar with my work with Oliver Sheppard. Exit Device is his mastermind project.

Cover(c)Oliver Sheppard

Project Details:

  • Deadline: September 10th
  • Submit to:exitdevicezine@gmail.com

Words From Oliver:

I hope to get Issue No. 1 out by Halloween. The deadline to submit is September 10th. EXIT DEVICE will be an old school, photocopied, saddle-stapled, black and white DIY zine. It will have no web or social media presence save for the email address above. Right now I cannot afford to pay contributors anything save for contributor’s copies. Looking for dark, weird, bizarre, etc poetry. Avant-garde and experimental stuff is welcome, as is traditional verse. EXIT DEVICE will probably come out once per year.

The name “Exit Device” is from jargon used in the euthanasia/assisted suicide community; the term refers to any mechanism or apparatus that ends its user’s life. The cover image of issue 1 is “Daguerreotype of Nothing” from 1850, an image held by the Getty Museum. I’ve gotten permission from the Getty Museum to use the image for the cover of the zine.

So far, about 20 poems have been accepted. I’ll probably include no more than 50. If you submit and I’ve hit that limit, it may be considered for Issue No. 2.


Melankholia, All of My Every Things, and Harvest Updates & Reveals

Last weekend the digital version of Melankholia released, but as planned the paperback edition released on October 5th, how exciting. Along with this wonderful news, I made a small announcement. The announcement was about All of My Every Things will have a second edition run with additional poetry and the long awaited paperback edition, but before the second edition will release and the website posts about that let’s take time to appreciate that a second poetry book has been released.


This book is now live in digital and in paperback formats. It is the first book of poetry that I’ve branded with the Edkar logo. To learn more about Edkar read Edkar Press where I explain more about this organization method I’m using, i.e. publishing house. I have previously mentioned Melankholia on the website read What is Melankholia?

Melankholia has some selected poetry from All of My Every Things included near the end, as well as poetry written from this year’s Napowrimo back in April 2020, and a lot of recent works I’ve polished up for publication. All of this beautiful hard work is introduced by Oliver Sheppard. An amazing poet in his own right and I recommend checking out his work. My favorite is Thirteen Nocturnes.

All of My Every Things

All of My Every Things was previously published last year. It was a simple digital release with plans of a paperback release to follow, but never sitting well with me, I quietly postponed it, but finally with some polishing and adding additional poetry the paperback is coming. I have gone in and updated the book.


Harvest is coming out as a re-release November 24th, 2020 with the publisher Three Furies Press. This is just a reminder that it will mark the continuation of The Blasphemer Series with the book following Ghosts, coming out 2021 around August if everything stays on course.

What is Melankholia? (Cover Reveal)

I am sure upon reading the title many of you are thinking it’s a misspelling, it is not. Those that have been following me around the web awhile are probably thinking ‘she’s playing with words again’ and kind of. Melankholia is old Greek, the spelling version for melancholia.

As defined by Merriam-Webster, melancholia is –

  • 1: severe depression characterized especially by profound sadness and despair Tense, irritable, I crashed into a fit of melancholia and found myself crying over inconsequential problems.— Susan Wood A depressed Johnson was not the father figure that Boswell, himself prey to crippling bouts of melancholia and insecurity, wanted to celebrate.— Brooke Allen
  • 2: a sad quality or mood MELANCHOLY There’s a touching melancholia to his voice …— Ralph NovakLike Wallace’s breakthrough novel, “Infinite Jest,” “The Pale King” is pervaded by an air of melancholia, an acute sense of loss.— Tom McCarthy

Now, along with this Merriam-Webster also adds a ‘did you know’ section and this is where the interesting path into this post begins:

Melancholia traces back to Greek melan (“black, dark”) and cholē (“bile”). Medical practitioners once adhered to the system of humors-bodily fluids that included black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. An imbalance of these humors was thought to lead to disorders of the mind and body. One suffering from an excess of black bile (believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen) could become sullen and unsociable-liable to anger, irritability, brooding, and depression. Today, doctors no longer ascribe physical and mental disorders to disruptions of the four humors, but the word melancholia is still used in psychiatry (it is identified a “subtype” of clinical depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and as a general term for despondency.

Credit: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/melancholia#other-words

I have been open about suffering from chronic insomnia, anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. This word seems to fit for the majority of the work that I do in the form of poetry.

With all of that out of the way, I circle back to the question at hand, what is Melankholia? Inspired by the above information I began working on another collection of poetry. It was announced around the time of the first, All of My Every Things, I planned on doing another set and that I didn’t know when I would be doing it. As this year has been a roller coaster, for everyone, and I have shared very little of what’s happened to me personally choosing instead to focus the turmoil creatively, as I tend to do anyways behind-the-scenes.

Haven’t numerous works left around after selecting them for All of My Every Things that I still wanted to publish out I needed a home for them. I also did a challenge for Napowrimo this year that created a large amount of work (check them out on the website), some great, some good, and some that could’ve been better, but writing happened nonetheless. I had, as you can see, a lot of material not to mention I had been writing a great deal with all I have had going on this year that inspired me along with past trauma and feelings I usually tap into for inspiration I decided it was time to begin collecting, polishing, and continue forward with another selection.

I began last year contacting people for possible leads into help with this projects, but when the pandemic hit much of the focus shifted, understandably, elsewhere. I took some time to readjust, focus more on projects coming up (like The Blasphemer Series: Ghosts and a short story prequel) and do what I do best when I am in situations I cannot fix…work.

The birth of Melankholia sounds easier than it really is. I have privately struggled with organization, formatting, and graphics this time. Now confident enough to make an official announcement I share introduce you to the second installment of my Dark Romanticism/Gothic Romanticism poetry collections.

This book will contain selected collected poems from All of My Every Things, poetry from my Napowrimo entries, and many previously unpublished works. What makes this collection most unique to date is I will include illustrations and images along with the poetry. Obviously, by the digital cut of the cover it will include an introduction for the reader by the wonderful poet Oliver Sheppard entitled: An Anatomy of Melankholia.

Excerpt from An Anatomy of Melankholia

But amidst Bachman’s poetic despair, amidst the doubt, amidst the references to ambiguous supernatural figures, to the brutality and the tragedy of life, and to horrors that may or may not be allegories of aspects of our human condition—amidst haunting Bachman poems that have titles like “The Horned Beasts,” “Into the Dying,” and “When You Lay My Body Down” —in Bachman’s poetry one also encounters startling flashes of hope. “A glimmer can be seen: A flame of hope,” Bachman writes in the poem “Darkest Hour Never Dies,” included in this book. “The more you focus upon it; the more it will grow.”

Perhaps this is a surprising sentiment from a woman whose thoughts traditionally run as dark Mrs. Bachman’s tend to run. But we, the readers of this collection of doomy and intriguing verse—we can also entertain hope ourselves: Hope that with Bachman’s second collection of poetry, finally available here in print, a collection that is evidence of a poetic talent growing by steady leaps and bounds—we can have hope that the fascinating journey we’re taken on by Bachman’s imagination—we can have hope that this is simply the beginning for a profound new voice in the genre of a fantastic, dark, modern, and melancholy verse.

Credit: An Anatomy of Melankholia by Oliver Sheppard/Melankholia by L. Bachman

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[Brief Words] Interview of Oliver Sheppard

Searching for poetry of of a newer generation of gothic literature led me to the man I got to interview today. Upon reviewing his work I instantly fell in love with his style. Reminiscent of the great Edgar Allan Poe I was impressed and reached out. Connecting with Mr. Sheppard has been a very interesting and enlightening delight. We connected over music and over poetic style. I have learned recently he is a fan of my bold and raw emotional poetry, which thrilled me to know that someone has connected with my poetic work.

All that led to the recent reaching out to learn more about his work, his life, and his projects.

Let me start off with a quote from John Foster from your book Thirteen Nocturnes, in which the foreword begins with:  “It takes guts to write and publish a book of poetry at this point in the history of the world.” I wholeheartedly agreed when I read this portion and it left me with one question. At what point did you want to begin a poetry book?

William Blake and certain other experiences — not poetry, but experiences — have been a guide for me. Recent trauma started me out on this path. My poems sketch out a full cosmogony of pain.

Was the process difficult for you when it began?

It was difficult for me when it began. It’s still difficult for me. It feels like it will probably always be difficult, but there’s no other way I can imagine it would be. Life’s difficult, and it ends in death. In the meantime, we experience wonderful things, but they do all end in the grave. I think my writing reflects this inherent problem of our existence.

Your work is exquisite and reminiscent of Gothic literature; was that by design or the natural way it flows from you?

Thank you for those kind words. It’s both.

My favorite literary works tend to fall under a broadly gothic umbrella, and I suppose that style of writing flows from me naturally. But, as a caveat, I wouldn’t say every poem I’ve written is gothic. I try to choose a tone appropriate for what I want an individual poem to achieve.

Also, I’d consider myself to fall broadly within the domain of Southern Gothic literature. Readers and critics can ultimately decide for themselves. I love cosmic horror, and I love many contemporary “weird poets” (a term proudly brandished by folks wishing to imitate and perhaps build upon the poetry of Clark Ashton Smith, George Sterling, and the poets championed by Weird Tales authors about a century ago),  but I’m probably only a fellow traveler, and a fan (but very much a fan), of weird poetry more than I am any sort of evangelist of that particular school of writing. There are many good poets writing in the weird poetry tradition nowadays, and some of them are the best living dark poets I know of. But my own upbringing has been ensconced in the Deep American South and its own literary traditions, and I would cite Flannery O’Connor, or Robert Penn Warren, or Cormac McCarthy, and then William Blake, as well as many French Symbolist and German Expressionist poets, as my antecedents, almost more than anyone from US pulp magazines from ca. 1870-1935. I’m doing my own thing, and have my own designs.

As an example, and as far as the Southern Gothic angle goes, my first, out of print, collection of poetry, DESTRUCTION: TEXT I, was spurred on by my grandmother’s death in Clarksville, Tennessee. She died from emphysema and end-stage COPD. She had run marathons, but she also refused to give up smoking to her last days in her 70s and early 80s. I’m bringing this up with reference to your question about whether the writing process has been difficult for me. In fact, it has been difficult, very difficult. My grandmother’s vices did her in. Marlboro Lite 100s, cartons of them, gold metallic and white cartons of them everywhere. She died painfully. David Letterman had an old joke that the best Christmas gift you could give someone in the Midwest was a carton of cigarettes and a set of tires. That’s my family in a nutshell, but way more Southern; just throw in a pecan pie, and you’d be their hero. Ventilators couldn’t keep my grandmother alive after decades of smoking. She suffocated to death. Her death upset me greatly.

That she was an enthusiastic supporter of my early writing made me realize I had to get to work on writing before I died, too. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have tried to compile any of my own poems, ever. My grandmother’s longstanding belief in my own literary worthiness impacted me greatly, and she was a catalyst. She was a great woman. She helped raise me when my dad abandoned my mom and I. She pushed me to write, and I still miss her.

What or where do you find inspiration for your poetry?

My inclinations, as a reader, have tended toward fellow Southern Gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe, and New Englander HP Lovecraft, and European Dark Romanticist poetry, and the greatest living prose writer of the Gothic tradition, Thomas Ligotti. Gottfried Benn. This is all no secret. These things can’t help but influence you as a writer, if this is the sort of stuff you like to read. My book THIRTEEN NOCTURNES, which I recently learned was nominated for an Elgin Award, has some similar “Southern Gothic” roots. I wrote the lion’s share of Thirteen Nocturnes in a hotel room in Texas that I shared with my partner under terrible circumstances.
To elaborate, in our hotel room, my partner had a black cat named Demon; and I consider Demon to be the co-author of Thirteen Nocturnes, by the way. Demon was a gorgeously sleek black cat who stayed up with me all night, next to me, while I tapped away on the keyboard to make Thirteen Nocturnes happen. I have photos of him standing on my keyboard, even, interrupting my writing to be petted. Demon recently passed away (March, 2020), and his death has profoundly affected me. Folks that are not ailurophiles might find this to be corny — but Demon’s recent death sent me into an incredibly pronounced state of depression. In fact, Demon’s death still upsets me. Demon deserves a whole book to himself. Demon was never “just a cat.”

In fact, the back story of Thirteen Nocturnes and its composition in that Texas hotel room gets even worse. The whole reason me and my partner were in the hotel room was because our house had flooded due to some busted plumbing. Tree roots had grown into the house’s pipes, it turns out. My partner’s elderly mother had been living with us; my partner’s mother was in her 70s and was seriously handicapped. She was not mobile. When the plumbing busted it resulting in the house flooding, and we all had to move out — humans, cats, and dogs. My partner’s mom went to Shreveport, Louisiana, where she had relatives. (Medcaid in Louisiana ended up being far more generous for her care than Medicaid in Texas — no surprise to me). My partner and I had to move  into a hotel room in North Texas for two and half months. That’s when and where I wrote most of Thirteen Nocturnes, in that Texas hotel room with Demon, the cat.

My partner’s mother died shortly thereafter. She passed away in the nursing home in Shreveport, Louisiana while we were still living in the hotel, also from pulmonary problems. This is why Thirteen Nocturnes is dedicated, in part, to my partner’s mom. Demon, the black cat, also passed away, 18 months later. I thanked Demon for letting me be a part of his life as he passed away on a veterinary table in Dallas, Texas in March, 2020. My partner’s mother’s passing was a great influence on my writing then, and it still weighs heavy on my mind. Thirteen Nocturnes was born amid a backdrop of family cataclysm, displacement, instability, death. But that’s been most of my life.

As well, my daily struggles with “Chronic Depression – Severe – Recurrent,” to quote my own medical charts — that’s no doubt some sort of impetus or inspiration. Recently, I’ve grappled with seizures and convulsions and I had an MRI to see what’s going on in my brain. I’ve had visions and hallucinations. In the past I think poets called these kinds of things “reveries.”
Otherwise, I wish I knew a clear answer to what definitely provides “eureka!” moments of inspiration. If I did know, I’d focus on it and I’d always go there to write endless poetry.
I do remember driving in my old car under the Texas sun thinking to myself that I couldn’t wait for Summer to be over. “Summer is something to suffer through…” I thought. And I liked the consonance of that line that had just strangely popped up in my head. It just stuck with me. That became the origin of Nocturne No. 9: “Summer is something to suffer through / From May until September / Suffering Summer is what you do / Until comes grey November.” And it’s true in Texas — thanks to global warming, until November you can have temperatures in the 90s. But the rest of that poem takes a darker turn. Another poem might have been inspired by a dream, or a nightmare. And some of my poems have been inspired by surreal snatches of conversations I’ve overheard.
“Nocturne No. 4” is another — it’s a very simple, short and sweet, rhyming, Gothic poem. I came up with that one after I discovered the world of Instagram poets and wanted to make a short and sweet dark poem to participate in that world. I wrote that poem in 2 minutes. And that poem is many folks’ favorite poem of mine!

So, I wish there was one answer. We’d all be successful poets if we knew what always inspired us to make something worthwhile. It’s not easy. It’s mysterious. You’re a poet, and I’d love to dialogue with you about your inspiration for poetry. My guess is each poem has a different backstory.  For me it’s always elusive.

The literary world often feels, for readers, overly saturated, with the modern accessibility to so much and so many publishing now; what do you believe sets you apart from the rest?

That’s for readers to decide.

I know what I am trying to achieve as a writer. If there’s anything that sets me apart, it’s my intent, and I’m still trying to make my intent evident. I have a very specific goal and worldview; and within that all my poems fall. William Blake and certain other experiences — not poetry, but experiences — have been a guide for me. My poems sketch out a full cosmogony of pain. My next book, NINE BURNING VISIONS, will make this all more plainly evident.

The Bronte Sisters composed all their early poems so that they were situated in a certain parallel world, a “paracosm,” that they called Gondal. Likewise, my poems take place in a paracosm that maps onto our own existing universe, and which explains it; and I think my poems reveal a terrible under-dimension that exists and undergirds our own world. I’m taking poetic license to expand the definition of “paracosm,” in the sense the Bronte Sisters might have meant it, to call my world The Paracosm (capitalized), or The Grand Catallaxy, another term I’ll explain later. The extreme experiences of pain and trauma I’ve had — what Georges Bataille or Michel Foucualt might have called limit-experiences — this is the Universe (or, more specifically, The Bulk, within which string theory operates) within which all my poems exist. The Paracosm / The Grand Catallaxy maps onto our own world and crosses over or onto our own world, and helps explain it, especially the sheer trauma of existence and the misery that seems so prevalent. William Blake has been a guide for me. This may be my unique contribution to Western literature. I do feel I have something unique to contribute.

But this will all come out in the wash, in a few years to come. It’s for readers and critics to decide this.

You’ve written about music, art, and culture for companies like Post-Punk magazine and CVLT Nation; how has the experience been for you? Do you enjoy it?

I’ve always enjoyed music. Poetry and music are primal blood-relatives. Prosody borrows so many terms from the world of music theory, and the primal roots of Western poetry and the meter/metrics of poetry have to do with Greek dance and music. It’s not even a matter of “borrowing”; music and poetry are the same in their origins. Poetic forms like odes, sonnets, and ballads all borrow from music.

In fact, the stresses of words in Western prosody were supposed to coincide with footfalls of Greek dance; hence the poetic term “a metrical foot.” That is, when the foot was to rise in a primordial Greek dance, it is unstressed in the corresponding syllable; the foot falling down is where the heavy stress lay in the syllable. This barely matters any more, except maybe intuitively, to English speakers in 2020. Regional diction, slang, the normal development of the language over centuries, etc etc changes it all.  I love music and always will, as most poets have. But the primal connection of music and poetry is still there. Schopenhauer and others said the only escape from worldly pain is the aesthetic contemplation of the sublime, such as what music offers, when one is thrown into a reverie because of the beauty on display. I largely agree with that, except I think limit-experiences also play a role: extremities of physical sensation (sex, pain) or intellectual experiences (contemplation of nature, space, theoretical physics).  Poetry has the same effect on me as music. It’s a rare type of bliss.

Having said all this, I do still sometimes write about postpunk and punk and goth. I enjoy Killing Joke’s “Love Like Blood” like I enjoy Berlioz’ “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath” or Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60” — “The Siege of Leningrad.” I think since the advent of Western pop music in the late 1940s or the 1950s, Killing Joke have done everything. They’re the first and last pop band since the 1970s, until now, as far as I am concerned! They’re all you need to know. They’ve mastered every style of post-1973 music. It doesn’t hurt that their singer, Jaz Coleman, is a genius.

Besides the writing part of your life, you’re the founder of two events in Texas, Wardance and Funeral Parade. What motivated you to start them? What can someone wanting to attend expect?

Wardance in Dallas was obviously named after the Killing Joke song of the same name. Funeral Parade, in Austin, Texas, I named after my love of that release (the “Funeral Parade” EP) by the old 80s cult UK deathrock band Part 1. Funeral Parade, as an event, is now on indefinite hiatus. Wardance is now a “Wardance presents” thing. My focus now is the monthly Ceremony club night at The Nines in Deep Ellum in Dallas. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, this has all been thrown awry. I still write for Post-punk.com. My focus is now mostly on poetry and writing.

With all that you have going on and all that you’re doing, what does a typical day look like for you? How do you keep motivated?

There’s no typical day for me. Most of my days are spent dealing with therapists, psychiatrists, or trying to read and write. Recently I’ve been treated for seizures, so my typical day has changed. I’ve been undergoing Electro-Convulsive Therapy at UT Southwestern, so that has changed my routine. Ask me this question 3 months from now, and things will have changed again. I’m hoping the ECT therapy will make me more functional.

Is there anything you’d like to say? Anything you’d want to promote?

Be on the lookout for Nine Burning Visions, my follow up to Thirteen Nocturnes, soon. I have created a cosmogony  — The Paracosm/The Grand Catallaxy  —  within which everything falls, and which maps onto our own world, although it is in many ways separate. My poems sketch out a full cosmogony of pain. In Nine Burning Visions it’ll be fleshed out in the context of a suite of interconnected poems. Go to http://oliversheppard.net to keep up to date.

Musically, check out http://ceremonydallas.com to see what I’m up to with musical events. I’m doing some things with my friends in the band Rosegarden Funeral Party and a few DJ friends (Per Nilsson of Awen, Puncture, and a dj at Dallas’s The Church) there. We may be doing some livestreaming stuff soon.

Check him out more here:

Website: http://oliversheppard.net
Ceremony Dallas: http://ceremonydallas.com

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Learn Your Poets: Part 4

The month of April isn’t just about writing poems and taking part in Napowrimo. It is also about appreciating poetry from others and poets. I wanted to do a huge series on each poet that I knew of, including some of my favorites, but decided to break it down into smaller digestible portions.

Margaret Atwood – November 18, 1939 in Ottawa, Canada she is one of the few on the series that is still living. She is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Throughout her career she has produced eighteen books of poetry, eight children’s books, two graphic novels, eleven books of non-fiction, nine collections of short fiction, eighteen novels, and several small press pieces in poetry and fiction. She is the creator of a product called LongPen. This is a device that allows anyone in the world to write with ink from a device using the internet and a robotic hand.

She is currently best known for writing the book that became the Hulu Original series Handmaiden’s Tale, but she has also had a hand in several other movies/documentaries, including but not limited to Awaiting Atwood, In the Wake of the Flood, and Yesno.

She is best known for her prose fiction and for her feminist perspective. Atwood began writing at a young age, but more seriously began writing decades later in her life after finishing her time at Victoria College at the University of Toronto. She went on with her studies completing her master’s degree in English Literature at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her some of her most noteworthy works are Handmaiden’s Tale, The Animals in That Country, Stone Mattress, The Blind Assassin, and Payback.

Homer – The year of Homer’s birth isn’t known, but what is known is that he was born in Ionia. Ionia is located Western Anatolia, because this state existed 7th–6th centuries BC it’s safe to say Homer was born around this time frame. Professionally, Homer was known as a bard, poet, and author. He’s legendary for being the creator of two epic poems. The Iliad and the Odyssey, works that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. These two pieces are the center of a debate called The Homeric Question.

The Homeric Question covers the doubts and debate over Homer really was, if epic poems are the work of multiple poets or a single genius, and by whom, when, where, and under what circumstances were the poems composed. I recommend looking it up for yourself.

Most about Homer is lost now leaving many to believe that what was lost and what is known is of no scholarly importance.

I do not know much about Homer. I first learned about him studying Plato. Some of the information above mentioned I learned during my time in college and learned over the years after that. I don’t remember much, if anything, from before college. I could’ve easily done more due to the internet, but as this series is a ‘quick bite’ type of series to familiarize a reader and not create fully flushed out biographies I recommend doing your own research if you wish to learn more.

It is said that Homer passed in Ios, Greece.

Oscar Wilde – Is an Irish poet, author, and playwright born October 16, 1854 in Westland Row, Dublin, Ireland. Before the decline of his popularity due to his convictions he wrote many pieces that are popular today. The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest are his best known works. Besides these two he wrote essays, short fiction, journalism, and editorship. For a period of time he was a fixture in the theatrical world. Some of his notable plays are Salome, The Importance of Being Earnest, and An Ideal Husband, just to name a few.

Outside of his work he is known for his criminal conviction for sodomy and gross indecency (homosexual acts). He spent time in prison. It’s noted that he found a ‘spiritual renewal’ and wrote a plea to the Society of Jesus requesting a six-month Catholic retreat. It wasn’t approved and continued his time in prison. His goal was to be welcomed into the Catholic Church. His time in Prison took its tole and the last years of his life he was impoverished and in exile.

Taking the name Sebastian Melmoth he wrote to the editor of the Daily Chronicle explaining the brutal conditions inside English prisons and advocating for repel reforms. This all led to an essay being written called The Soul of Man Under Socialism.

The Picture of Dorian Gray has influenced movies and television of modern time. The character Dorian Gray has made appearances in movies and television continuing the influence of Oscar Wilde.

It’s reported that his last words before his death on November 30th, 1900 were, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” He passed in Paris, France.

Percy Shelley – Percy Bysshe Shelley was born August 4, 1792 in Horsham, United Kingdom. He was English romantic poet. His career expands further than just a poet as he branched into other areas of work such as dramatist, essayist, and novelist. His best known works are The Cloud, Ode to the West Wind, Ozymandias, Music, To a Skylark, The Mask of Anarchy, and When Soft Voices Die.

Besides his work he is also known for being married to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, the famous horror novelist of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. When they married she took his last name making her the now well-known Mary Shelley. He began an affair with Mary during his marriage to Harriet Westbrook, believing she was only married to him for his money.

He is/was considered to be ahead of his time for belief of equality being a natural state.

During his time at Oxford, he wrote and essay entitled The Necessity of Atheism, in which he argued belief is involuntary and one shouldn’t be persecute someone for having beliefs that they cannot control. This essay caused him to be dismissed. Before his dismissal he was given the nickname ‘Mad Shelley’ for his prankster ways. For example, he once blew up a tree using gunpowder.

His beliefs in atheism caused him suffer the loss of custody of his own children after his ex-wife Harriet. The government justified this as ‘his lack of religion being a sign of an unfit parent’. His son, Charles, and daughter, Ianthe, were raised by foster parents instead.

He is still referred to as England’s ‘Lost Poet’.

He passed drowning in the Gulf of Spezia near Lerici, Italy, on July 8, 1822.

Following this ‘Learn Your Poets’ series, you’ll read about poets from ancient times to now. From Sappho to Atwood. This series will be of the poets I have read in my time, I am aware of, and because of this may miss some so please don’t have hurt feelings. They were not left off on purpose only if I didn’t know of them.

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Answers Given: Why Such Dark Poetry?

I’ve written how for a long time, years in fact, I never saw myself as a poet. I wrote in notebooks, filling them eventually, about my life. Some would see these as the ramblings of a madwoman in the dead of the night. Perhaps that’s exactly what they are, but for me each poem I’ve written covered something troublesome for me.

I came from a childhood where often the case was I simply couldn’t express myself to those I needed to. This has left me with a terrible trait as an adult to suppress many feelings I have on various topics. I’m a noted, among my closest of family and friends, to be very honest, but at the same time things that truly bother me I will push down. These things never every fully stay pushed down in my depths, they find life in notebooks whether on a computer or a physical notebook.

Poetry is subjective. I walk through my days knowing this and have even written how I wouldn’t ever want to fully explain my poems allowing a reader to take them in subjectively. This is art for me. What one would take away will usually be different than why I even wrote the piece.

The topics I cover come out in a style that’s considered Gothic or darker in nature. This categorizes my work into ‘dark poetry’, but what even is dark poetry? It certainly isn’t for everyone and can at times even trigger the sensitive, but I’m not alone in seeing even in the darkest of poetry a soul trying to heal a wound.

Dark poetry as defined best, in my opinion, in an answer to the question ‘What is dark poetry?’ on the website Quora. If you’ve gone and read it, doesn’t that seem to fit most of my own work? Does to me. Dark Poetry.org explained in their piece called What Is Dark Poetry? Writing for most, including myself, is therapy. As explained by Positive Psychology’s article Writing Therapy: Using A Pen and Paper to Enhance Personal Growth it can be helpful in healing and maintaining a healthy emotional self and growth.

I could fill an entire post with links explaining what dark poetry is, citing websites and users that are talking about it, but I won’t. I wanted to do this article to explain. I get comments time to time asking me about my poetry, why is it so dark, or even what is mentally wrong with me for this to be deemed as appropriate.

My poetry isn’t for everyone, honestly. I know this. The language in which I use to express myself isn’t for everyone. I recently explained that I wanted to take this challenge to encourage myself and push myself, but I don’t always share my poetry. Poetic licensing and poetic expression doesn’t always mean the person is mentally unstable or unhealthy, yes I have some issues, but it’s not because of my poetry.

My poetry is healing for me. I at times want to share because I know I am not alone. I know my work has the potential to finding someone, somewhere, that it could help who may not be able to find the right words to describe something going in their life. This reflects back to my not explaining my pieces in-depth.

Did this help you understand? Have a question for me? Let’s have a conversation about it.

Learn Your Poets: Part 1

The month of April isn’t just about writing poems and taking part in Napowrimo. It is also about appreciating poetry from others and poets. I wanted to do a huge series on each poet that I knew of, including some of my favorites, but decided to break it down into smaller digestible portions.

Sappho – She was born in Lesbos, Greece and is known for her lyrical poetry, poetry meant to be sung with a lyre. She is considered one of the world’s great poets, even in the ancient world she was regarded as this, and was considered the ‘Tenth Muse’. She was also known as ‘The Poetess’.

Her poetry only remains in pieces as most of it was lost due to time. The topics of her poetry has been considered romantic and erotic. Over the years, her sexuality has been a topic of debate due to her subject matter. She did have a child, but often she has been thought of as a lesbian poet. Poems like ‘Sleep’ and an untitled poem that refers to ‘the love of a boy’.

Sylvia Plath – Is an American born poet, novelist, and short-story writer. Born on October 27, 1932 in Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA. She is known for her confessional poetry and for two of her collections that she published called The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. Before her passing, her semi-autobiographical work known as The Bell Jar was published. (Check out my review of The Bell Jar here).

Most know her for how she passed away, it’s been re-created by artists and fans of her work for many years. She passed on February 11, 1963 in Primrose Hill, London, United Kingdom.

Jim Morrison – Or so he’s known by, but his full name is James Douglas Morrison. Going by Jim, he was a famous American singer in the rock band known as The Doors. Born in Melbourne, FL on December 8, 1943, many never considered him a poet. Much of his poetry is known, but never came to the height of fame as his song with The Doors did.

In fact, I didn’t know for many years he had poetry collections out nor that he had self-published them. I have read books on him, this is when I learned of his poetry. After reading some of his poetry I could see how his songwriting and is poetry went hand-in-hand.

Sadly, he passed on July 3, 1971 in Paris, France, but wasn’t buried until July 7th, 1971.

Following this ‘Learn Your Poets’ series, you’ll read about poets from ancient times to now. From Sappho to Atwood. This series will be of the poets I have read in my time, I am aware of, and because of this may miss some so please don’t have hurt feelings. They were not left off on purpose only if I didn’t know of them.

Interesting Reads and Related Content

The Lessons I Learned While Writing: All of My Every Things

I’ve stated before that All of My Every Things has been a healing journey. It’s been one of the more emotionally raw projects I’ve ever worked on, poetry is emotionally raw. The best way I can describe it is as if I’ve opened old wounds and poured salt in them. That is what this book is. The synopsis’ opening line is true.

Here is a list of things I learned throughout finding the poems, collecting them together, and the entire process summed up in one post.

I recorded my journey of creating this book, making it, and the advertising here on my website of it (check out the category log). I have done interviews/podcasts/web shows and talked about how this was painful, but ultimately I knew I wanted to go forward with even the most painful poems I had written because though I wrote some dark things I began also seeing hopeful ones and that very first hopeful poem was when I wanted to move forward.

I could reflect at moments in time, the situations and times that inspired the brief poems, and could even see that I was trying to heal even as far back as 19 years ago. I hadn’t started therapy back then yet, but it was clear to myself I was trying to heal old wounds, newer ones for those times, and move forward.

As previously mentioned, I could remember the very situations that would inspire a snippet here or a snippet there that became poetry. Alot of dark, isolating, and painful experiences for me. I even began crying. I would cry hard when I was alone in the middle of the night. I then would question why I was crying over things that, though hurt, were from so long ago. I eventually realized I needed it. I hadn’t cried over so many things.

I had refused to let myself cry even a single tear for some things I’d went through. I refused to let my abuser or anyone that had hurt me gain even the slightest show of emotion. It would’ve been as if they won, but I realized I needed the tears. The tears weren’t for them, to give to them something, but for me. It was a great release and relief.

I began breathing. I am no longer walking the world as if I’m a husk.

After the revelations and the tears I caught myself doing things differently. I walked taller, not like I was hiding something anymore. I used to use my pain as a shield. I would justify in my hurt mind that if I had been rejected because of this reason or that then I was right… that I was how I felt, damaged goods.

I also saw myself in the bad habits of the ‘what ifs’. I’d self sabotage myself as a protective hazmat suit against the world. I began rewording things, reworking things in my mind and began to feel better. Not better for a little, but for longer and now its permanent.

I call this growth. Some call it spiritual growth and some would call it maturity. I am far from ‘completely healed’. I don’t know if I ever will be that, but I know I’m growing.

I know I’m not alone. The world doesn’t hurt, but the people in it can. These beings can leave scars across our very souls. This book is my scars, my hope, and my healing. I hope those that do read it find something somewhere within its pages for them.

I’m baring my very soul for connections in some of these poems. Know if you’ve survived something traumatic you’re not alone.

Silver Dagger Book Tour Has Begun! You can enter to win an Amazon giftcard!

The title sums it up pretty well. The tour has launched today and you can enter to win a 20 dollar Amazon gift card!

Start the tour now!


Check out the mega post about my poetry book All of my Every Things and near the bottom you can enter to win the gift card! How exciting. 😀

While you’re at it, head on over to Amazon and grab yourself a copy of the poetry book, digitally, for only 99 cents or free with kindle unlimited!

All of My Every Things: Silver Dagger Book Tours Schedule!

The tour begins October 29th and every day after for a month a new blogger will share new goodies! The important thing to remember is if you visit before the date at 3am central time the links will be broken, so visit on the day or after.

Oct 29

kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

Nicolie-Olie’s Meanderings 

Oct 30

Mythical Books 

Haney Hayes Promotions 

Oct 31 

Luv Saving Money 

Taryn Jameson 

Nov 1

Antrim Cycle 

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’  

Nov 2 

Java John Z’s  

Insane Books 

Nov 3

2 chicks and a book 

Scrupulous Dreams 

Nov 4

Yearwood La Novela  

A Pinch of Bookdust 

Nov 5


Literary Gold  

Nov 6 

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!  

Bedazzled By Books  

Nov 7

Book Corner News and Reviews  

Book Fanatics 

Nov 8

Breanna Hayse Romance 

Maiden of the Pages 

Nov 9 

Inside the Insanity 

Pen Possessed  

Nov 10 

Drako’s Den 

The Bookshelf Fairy 

Nov 11

Always Love Me Some Books Blog 

Reviews and Promos by Nyx 

Blogs By Nyx  

Nov 12 

Dragon’s Den 

Craving Lovely Books 

Nov 13

Better Read Than Undead  

T’s Stuff  

Nov 14

Girl with Pen  


Nov 15 

TNT Book Promotions 

A Blend of Sass and Class Blog 

T.L. Gray Blog 

Nov 16

Books, Authors, Blogs 

The Book Dragon 

Nov 17

A Wonderful World of Words 

Nov 18


Fyrekatz Blog 

Nov 19

4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ 

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed 

Nov 20


Chapters through life 

Nov 21 

❧Defining Ways❧ 

The Scratching Post  

Nov 22



Nov 23


Teatime and Books  

Nov 24

All the Ups and Downs 

Twisted Book Ramblings 

Nov 25

books are love 

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’  

Nov 26

Books all things paranormal and romance 

Paranormal Romance Trance 

Nov 27 

eBook Addicts 

Midnight Book Reader 

Nov 28

Thanksgiving Day

Nov 29

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews  

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read