Black Petals Issue #68 Summer, 2014

Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Angel of the Dark-Fiction by George Gad Economou
Ice Dreams-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Kind Sleep-Fiction by Ken Hueler
Lady of the Lake-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Methuselah-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Rocking-Chair Ride-Fiction by Paul Strickland
The Shadow Boxing Club-Fiction by MAYJOR E. Johnson
The Tenant Inside Me-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
The Toaster's Tragedy-Fiction by Michael Mulvihill
Ziggy's Afterlife Analysis-Fiction by Michael Mulvihill
A Rose Has Died-Four Poems by Alexis Child
Farewell, My Isobel-Poem by J. C. Ro


Keeping the Dead Alive by A.M. Stickel



In my opinion, we poets are the true horror elite. Case in point: SCREAMING POETS AND OTHER RAMBLINGS, A Fantastic Horror Sideshow. One of BP #62’s poets, Christopher Hivner, features prominently therein—with A.J. Huffman—among the 4 members of “The Damned” that include Kathy Rippa (also the cover artist) and Chris Stevens. The frightening collection comes at you on every front in a variety of fonts, which adds to the eeriness of the work. This is not your nice, sweet, uplifting poetry, and there are a few disconcerting typos (the scariest part for an editor, of course).

While all the poets in the Sideshow scream eloquently, Hivner is able to do so in a multitude of voices, from betrayed lover to country boy to fallen warrior to learned scientist to drowned soul, and more. Rippa’s narrative “Wantonly Thought” (which may have inspired the book’s cover) takes you on an endless, sacrificial journey through catacombs in a frail boat on a sea of lava. Despite their differences, how much these poets have in common!

From Hivner’s “Reaching for Mars” (page 123): The heat rose/ until our skin/ slid from our bones/ forming a soup/ of flesh, ash and magma.

From Rippa’s “Wantonly Thought” (page 54): Stepping from my charred raft, the skin peels/ from my feet, leaving bloody tales behind.

Unless you have a high tolerance for graphic content and violent imagery, you will be hard put to find the calm eye in this hurricane of a collection. And the foolhardy few who don’t yet fear the loss of heaven and the pains of hell most definitely will after daring to read these “disturbing poems from disturbed minds” (as the book cover promises).

Bonus: Ads follow the poetry for FANTASTIC HORROR’s Volumes I, II, and III and enticingly summarize the contents of: LEGENDS UNTOLD, THE DEAD AND NOT SO DEAD, and WELCOME TO HELL. There’s even a Stickel (not me!) among the authors listed with the brief story blurbs. ISBN for …SCREAMING POETS… is 9781479226733. When reading, keep the lights on, even by day. And maybe wear a cross.

No BP Black Roses—they’d turn to dust. As I was preparing to write this review, a litter of 3 feral kittens died, my house was robbed, my refrigerator quit, my kitchen sink had to be replaced, and Ebola may find its way to the rest of us from West Africa… That said, welcome to BP #68, in which Mike Mulvihill is our featured author. Expect a long, hot summer, friends.

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