A Poem for A President, 2009

The day President Obama was inaugurated, I listened to part of the inauguration as I was driving. A poem came to mind, nearly fully formed.

I rushed to my destination to get it written, and after a quick editorial pass, it was done. It is playful and light, and celebrates the moment for what it was–a moment. And even now, eight years later, I think it one of the better ones I have written post college.

I have shown this poem to practically no one.

I suspect it is silly of me to wish to divorce a poem of this topic from the politics, to have to stand as I believe it to be, rather than have it burdened by the weight of the divide that politics create.

I suspect that is silly–but I am silly.

So it sits, restless, I imagine, on my hard drive. It has been read aloud, recorded even, but always in solitude.

In the end, I fear, the angry, ugly side of the response to something political is simply not worth the chance.

Which is unfortunate.

The only real regret at this moment is that I didn’t make any attempt to send it to him while he was in office. I know the chance he’d see it is very small, but I’d like to think he’d appreciate it.

The Night Before College

Too many years ago, August, I was a recent high school graduate. I had a party at our house, the last of the summer. The next morning I would be heading to college.

The party wound down late into the night, and I collected the friends and put them to bed / couch / floor space, getting everyone situated.

I then went out the front door and sat on the steps under the clear night and cried until I couldn’t breathe.

You see, these last two years of high school were some of the best for me. I hadn’t fit in well most of the years before, and it was here, in Maryland, I had finally found a place, found myself.

And I knew that tomorrow that would change forever. This next stage of life was coming for all of us. We were separating, spreading out, not just going to college, but leaving the area and each other. (And a good number of us wouldn’t connect again until social media started.) All starting tomorrow.

I started to sing to myself. The first song that came to mind. I sang and the words broke through the tears, calming me.

Yes, everything I knew would be changing. But I was ready, prepared. I wasn’t the same insecure kid who had moved here two years before. I had found myself amongst the amazing friends I had made. I knew I could do this.

That song? the tune that got me through this moment? the one I would remember forever? The one that I still turn up when it comes on the radio, sing along to and think of a time and friends long ago?

Where’s it At? by Beck.

Ok, so life’s soundtrack isn’t always perfect. But that’s ok too. This song would bring me strength and memories all the days to come, and all the days yet to. Tomorrow is coming. It will be time to go to school, move, find new friends, learn new things, it will be time to see who you will become.

Sing along as you go.

Adam Cesare Rejected My Wagon (Scares That Care, 2016)

Scares That Care Weekend is an annual charity event dressed up in a con costume for horror lovers. We gather in Williamsburg, Virginia and go to readings, costume contests, have a trick or treat parade, all for charity.

This year was its third, and dare say, its best yet. I’ve been to all of them, and each has had a great experience, with Karen and her crew improving and refining things for us all.

I sold books in the dealer room, this year next to Adam Cesare, Scott Cole and Matt Serafini to one side, and comic artist, Marcus from Soul Bullet (who you should check out).

Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the table… But it was magnificent. Trust me.

Both John Boden and Victorya Chase hung around the table for the weekend. We had new books by them, Jedi Summer by Boden, a creepy coming of age story published by Post Mortem Press, and advanced reader copies of Marta Martinez Saves The World by Chase, a kaiju novella published at Apokrupha (the first in a new series, Kaiju Revisted!). Amber Fallon made a stop in on Saturday with her new book, Terminal.

John and I did a reading at 10 am on Saturday morning, and despite that, there were people in the audience. We made some nifty hand outs, a little chapbook inspired by The Zine, called The Book of Jacks. Here is the nifty cover:

Book of Jacks


It had some poetry and flash fiction from the two of us in a flip book format. And was fun to make, with each copy hand folded and stapled. Yes, right before the reading…

The trailer for I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday, written and directed by Mike Lombardo, premiered as well. I cannot wait for this movie.

Overall it was a great time, with lots of shop talk, writing talk, random talk. There was Jaws at the pool, Count Gore De Vol, costumes, and lots of laughter all around.

It was also the first test run of my new wagon. I got tired of hauling books or waiting for carts, so I grabbed a folding one to bring with me. It was a great help getting set up, and taking down. I offered it to my neighbors to use, so they too could enjoy the relief a wagon could bring, but Adam was unimpressed, and instead grabbed all of the boxes of books he had in one hand and said “I don’t need your stinkin’ WAGON!” before flipping the table and taking flight.

True story.