Stories For Ghosts

Horror for the Discerning Fan

Category: Poetry

Autumnal Musings on the Wonderfully Morbid Art of Edward Gorey

Oftentimes, autumn puts me in a melancholy mood and only the most wonderful morbid art makes me feel better. Someting pretty, something scary, and something Gorey.

It has to do with how autumn affects me. The nights get very cold. The days wilt and dim under the flat, gray light. In Texas, because we don’t have real autumn, the leaves wither to a dull brown instead of the fiery colors other states enjoy. As such, the sickly brown emphasizes the emaciated, skeletal tree branches. And as the sky begins to darken earlier and earlier, all I find myself wanting to do is be home. There is a small voice urging me to go home, to get inside where it’s warm and safe.

I experience a curious mixture of forlornness and calm during these cold months. There is beauty in the cold. It possesses a certain elegance as it sweeps in with its frosty nights and frigid winds. Despite my apprehension of the cold (I am from Texas, y’all), when it washes over me in a sudden gust, I accept it.

And it always makes me think of the dark. Of the end.

It has always been this way for me. Every year.

I don’t share this to be overly morbid. There are some wonderful bright points in autumn and winter—tons of holidays, good food, time spent with family and friends, and no work! I only mean to acknowledge the connection.

I’ve always thought it had something to do with the fact that, around Halloween and into November, my grade school’s library would put out all the really good scary books. Overnight, beautifully illustrated copies of the children’s version of Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein would appear. There were numerous volumes of ghost stories, urban legends, and campfire tales. One of the best and creepiest of these books was the Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark series, of which I’ve already written about here and here. Those books were deliciously scary, so good that most kids felt compelled to read them, no matter how much those pictures frightened them.

Another one of my favorites was the wickedly artful The Gashlycrumb Tinies, written and illustrated by Edward Gorey. I always remembered those dark tales, despite having long forgotten the name of the author. I remembered the sinister rhyme, offered to help small children remember the alphabet. I remembered the demented but clever drawings.

And it was a particularly grey day that inspired me to dig through my books to revisit this part of my childhood.

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My September 2015 Reading List

There are so many great books out there, and hardly enough time to read them. On top of that, it’s hard to find them. The bestseller lists, though full of great choices, are only a small sampling of the available books. Those lists aren’t terribly diverse either, which can make for some stale reading lists.

In an effort to combat this problem, I thought I’d try something new this month and share my September 2015 reading list!

Every month, I’ll post a list of the books I plan to read (I may not get to all of them–life happens). I’ll include a brief description and a few thoughts. Feel free to comment with any recommendations for my future reading list!

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Dark, Creepy Poems (Part III)

Here is the third installment of my NaPoWriMo 2015 poem challenge. I wrote a poem a day for the entire month of April, all of which I’ve posted to Instagram and am now compiling here. Check out the first installment here and the second here.

For this series of poems, I was inspired by history, natural phenomena,  and fairy tales.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @storiesforghosts.

Day 15:

Day 15: Lampa, Peru, is a fascinating place I hope to visit one day. This poem was inspired by the tomb of Enrique Torres Belon. He had the skeletons of buried villagers dug up and used to decorate his tomb. Lampa Who plucked us from the earth, For our cool, snug graves? We lived our lives, Unfurling and blossoming and reaching to the sky Until the sun set and winter touched us each Tracing a small cross on our foreheads, Bidding us to rest. We obeyed the laws of heaven And we were happy to burrow down Like roots, anchoring the future. But now, it was all for nothing. Who was this man who strung us up Inside a great stone column Where there is nothing, Not even the wind visits To rattle through our ribs, our teeth. No, we are silent. We do not move We cannot unfurl and blossom and reach for the sky. We hang side by side Like faded tapestries of Stories no one remembers. And now he sleeps, oblivious Of our empty black eyes Searching the sky for justice. #lampaperu #peru #tomb #ossuarytomb #skeletons #burial #dead #creepy #morbid #macabre #poem #poet #poetry #poemcommunity #poetrychallenge #poetsofinstagram #amwriting #napowrimo #aprilpoems

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Dark, Creepy Poems (Part II)

Here is the second installment of my NaPoWriMo 2015 poem challenge. I’m writing a poem a day for the entire month of April, all of which I’ve posted to Instagram and am now compiling here. Check out the first installment here.

For this series of poems, I was inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Greed, and Pride.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @storiesforghosts.

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Dark, Creepy Poems (Part I)

Sorry for the lack of recent posts! Life has been very hectic and I’ve been trying to get some writing/editing/reading done in the rare moments when I have down time.

Also, happy NaPoWriMo month! In case you aren’t familiar with NaPoWriMo, it’s the sister of NaNoWriMo, but instead of writing a novel, participants write a poem a day. By the end of April, you should have 30 poems.

I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing, particularly my poetry skills. I decided that not only would I participate in NaPoWriMo 2015, but I would post my poems to Instagram as a way to force myself to not only write the poems, but to share them.

And I’m sharing them here. Enjoy! Let me know what you think. (Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @storiesforghosts.

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