Black Petals Issue #95 Spring, 2021

Ghost: A Working Definition
BP Editorial Page
BP Artist's Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Blue Meet-Fiction by George Aitch
Dark Alleyways-Fiction by Adam Phillips
Iris' Vanity-Fiction by Tristan Miller
Scalp Cleanse-Fiction by Kajetan Kwiatkowski
The Muscus-Fiction by Alice Stone
The Wrong Place-Fiction by Ante Caleta
Things That Happen-Fiction by Guido Eekhaut
Tidal Horror-Fiction by Sal Braden
Two Martinis In-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Vampire-Fiction by Gene Lass
Hypnic Jerk-Flash Fiction by Vismay Harani
Speed Dating-Flash Fiction by Alexander Condie
Step Out-Flash Fiction by Ed Nobody
The Packing Bay-Flash Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Trophy Kill-Flash Fiction by Eddie D. Moore
Occupational Hazard-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
The Definition of Crash-Poems by Paul David Adkins
Ghost: A Working Definition-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Vampiric Threnody-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Leelanau Lake Monster-Poems by Richard Stevenson
Ballast-2 Poems by Angelo Letizia
Pit Bull-3 Poems by Pete Mladinic
Shadow of Sleep-Poem by Teresa Ann Frazee
Microcosmus-3 Poems by Daniel Snethen
The Higher Dimensions-Poem by David C. Kopaska- Merkel

Ghost: A Working Definition


Carl E. Reed



At night, here in the library, the ghosts have voices. 
                                                         ― Alberto Manguel



Attenuated echo of past life 

cold as Samhain’s bleak-brown autumnal chill: 

a creak of oaken floorboards, bang of pipes 

in an old house atop a gated hill. 

Face in dust-creased pillowcase: Henry James. 

A clank of rattling chains: Charles Dickens. 

Desperate pleadings heard in gentling rains; 

rising howl of blizzard—the plot thickens. 

The true ghost shuns directness & the light; 

works by misdirection & omission: 

flicker-shadow that limns a darker night; 

gesture at the edge of clouded vision. 

Flensed of soft suffer-flesh, stiff bones, & blood: 

dim hypnagogic form of one benumbed.   


Carl E. Reed is currently employed as an operations specialist at a window, siding, and door company just outside Chicago. Former jobs include: U.S. marine, long-haul trucker, improvisational actor, cab driver, construction worker, and door-to-door encyclopedia salesman. His poetry has been published in The Iconoclast, Spectral Realms, & Deathlehem: Holiday Horrors; short stories in Black Gate, newWitch, and Sci-Fi Lampoon magazines. His most recent weird fiction “Dinner at Winthrop’s: A Tale of Sufferance” was published 2020 in the weird romance anthology Down the Rabbit Hole, vol. III.  

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