It is 2018. Not entirely sure where much of 2017 went but I am very glad it is over because what I do know is that it SUCKED for the most part. The bright spots of 2017 were finishing and publishing Hallow & Hearth and Glyph & Grey, reigniting my passion for Metal music with some new-to-me kickass bands, reconnecting with the violin, going to my first Metal concert, and finding a new meditative craft. I am optimistic for a great 2018. I do not have resolutions but I do have a few goals I would like to accomplish during the year.

1. See a Carach Angren headlining show.
2. See an Avatar headlining show. I have tickets for one on Jan. 31st!
3. Meet Seregor of Carach Angren (He was sick last time so I didn’t get the chance).
4. Get a picture with and talk to Carach Angren.
4. Meet some (at least) or all of Avatar. Pictures!
5. Take better care of myself. I know what I need to do, I just need to do it and keep doing it rather than throwing the towel in frustrated after a couple weeks.
6. Do better about writing every day.
7. Do better about practicing the violin every day.
8. Be more open to changing up routines, trying new experiences, and such because I am in a very unhealthy rut and have been for awhile now. The concert in November 2017 was the first time I had done something way outside of the rut. I was terrified/anxious/neurotic prior to but I had a lot of fun. Meet some cool people while waiting for the doors to open too.

As for other experiences, I have a wishlist of concerts I am hoping to attend in first few months of 2018. Don’t have tickets for them yet but optimistic in the potential of going. They are Starset, Myrkur, Septicflesh/Dark Funeral/Thy Antichrist, Cradle of Filth/Jinjer/Uncured, and Insomnium. There’s several other bands I would like to see this year too but they haven’t posted any tour/show stuff yet.

Not sure what else I will do for new experiences or changing up my routines yet. Will have to figure it out as I go along. I just knew after seeing Uncured, Lost Society, and Carach Angren, that concerts were something I need to partake of more.

Tuesday Tabellion – Reflections at the end of 2017

As I complete Glyph & Grey and 2017 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past few years.

The first poetry book I ever published was The Heart of Autumn on September 13, 2011. The first poetry book of 100 poems I published was Smoke & Spirit on October 9, 2012. I started writing Smoke & Spirit in August 2011 along with Flare & Fetter. Since their publishing, I have published 13 other 100 poem books of new work, 4 other smaller books of poems I wrote prior to 2011, 5 collected works, and 16 chapbooks.

From August 2011 through today (and the completion of Glyph & Grey), I have written 1515 poems toward stand alone poetry books which roughly averages out to 288 poems a year. I have also written another 300 or so poems in attempts at novels in verse and other poetic styles. One of these days, those poems might come out to play but for now, they sit and wait for me to decide what their fates will be.

While all the poems are personal to me in one way or another, Flare & Fetter remains one of the most personal books as it was written while I was “forced” to confront significant issues with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This condition and other issues do play out in other books and their poems but not in the same way.

The most challenging book to write was Hallow & Hearth. I wanted to give myself a writing challenge, and it delivered fully. I never expected letter H would give me such problems because it only applied to the titles. For a long time though, it and some personal crap stifled my creativity and I did not write. When I did write, H was very easy to deal with in short bursts of awesomeness.

The quickest book to write was Passion & Prudence. I wrote its 100 poems in 30 days as a creative endurance challenge. I continue to be amazed that I did so well. The poems turned out fantastically. My brain did feel like ooze for awhile after I was done but it was worth it.

My absolutely favorite book continues to be Russian Hymns, a collected work of poems from several books. These poems were inked to and/or involve a fictional character I had often dreamed about nicknamed The Undertaker aka Zephyr. I still dream of him from time to time but nowhere to the extent I use to. I have no idea why he is such a vivid creation in my dreams. Supposedly, the faces we see in our dreams are faces we have seen before. The Undertaker’s entire physical form is very precise in my dreams but I have absolutely no recollection of ever seeing such a face or encountering such a person.


Release Day for Hallow & Hearth

This day has been a long time in coming. I started work on Hallow & Hearth at the beginning of 2016 and I finally completed it a few weeks ago. So many factors were involved in the time it took to complete this book. Despite the lengthy duration of writing, I love this book. The poems are beautiful, thoughtful, lovely, delicate, and, occasionally, macabre.

One hundred poems that hike through habitats hallowed, habitats of warmth, habitats where love resides, habitats love abandoned, habitats left in the hold of madness, and habitats left to freeze in the darkness far from the hearth’s fire.

Several of its poems were posted to this blog during NaPoWriMo 2017.

And this poem is one of the recent which has become a favorite:

Had In Mind

Not what I had in mind
When we agreed to be
On the same side
Hoist the same colors in this
Battle against reapers coming
Over rivers, seas, and chasms
To claim their prizes
We harbored inside longer
Then we should have
Forgot the treasure we contain
Once upon a possession
Not what I had in mind
When we agreed to be
On the same side
Hoist the same colors in this
Battle against reapers coming
Whilst I have this sword
Buried deep into my side
Keeping me still and slight as
Daggers peel up my flesh
Tasty treat with a treasure
Filling deep in the middle
Slowly being sought not by
Reapers coming over waters and land
Not what I had in mind
When we agreed to be
On the same side
Hoist the same colors
Now drenched in my blood
You flung around in hunger
Once upon a possession

Hallow & Hearth is available in paperback for $9.99 through Amazon and Createspace, and available as a Kindle ebook for $2.99 or free through Kindle Unlimited.

NaPoWriMo Day 30 – Hymns Pristine

Hymns Pristine

Choose to believe in the hymns
You once sweetly sung from
My misplaced bedside
Until horrid silence descended
Making us fragile china dolls
Where we try to remember
Breezes by closed windows
Will not confess we’re scared
To be alone in silence
Hymns kept us safe from
Passing into oblivion and
Each other as the ground
Remembers all we meant
Our days numbered and sequenced
So I choose to believe
In the hymns pristine
You once sweetly sung from
My bedside engulfed in flames

NaPoWriMo Day 27 – Howling Moon

Howling Moon

Death paled to compare in rites
As her sweet breath gave up its disgrace
Beneath the howling moon tinged red
Harbinger of her goddess-like nature
Coming to a suspicious end
Death paled to compare in rites
Goddess came to mourn
Their own taken dark too soon
Gasp at the last strings of fate
Tying them hastily, shredding
All the while the moon drips red
As her sweet breath gave up its disgrace
Beneath the howling moon