|Cover art: “Cave Dwellers” by Mutartis Boswell|
I have two poems in the most recent issue (Winter 2018/No. 8), but I think this entire issue is particularly good. In addition to original poetry, each issue has a couple of classic reprints along with reviews and an article or two. If you like traditional verse or weird poetry (much more in addition to the Lovecraft-inspired), there is much here to enjoy.
This one is a terza rima, the form used in Dante's Inferno and Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind." It may also be tangentially related to Peter Pan in that the subject is a ghost ship, but let's overlook that. I love the title font.
Here's where I nearly got in over my head.As you can see, it's a ballad, but I decided for some reason to create my own rhyme scheme. I ended up with more rhymes than strong words for the rest of the line, and had to decide which rhymes to keep, and then rework the lines I liked to contain them. The whole process took several months of coming back to it, throwing up my hands in despair, and stalking away only to return to it later. But this one was important to me to finish, and do right, and I'm happy with what was finally printed in Spectral Realms.
I have a sestina in mind for my next submission--a companion piece to my "Keeper of the Innsmouth Light" from Issue 2. Since that was printed in Winter 2015 (still available on the website!), it's probably time I get this one done. Sestinas are not easy--there's a reason I haven't written one since 2015--but after "The Ballad of 3 A.M.," writing it will probably be a relief.
Should I rework an old vampire poem as well? I just might.