This was in response to a writing prompt yesterday at the launch event for the Peeking Cat 2017 Anthology. We had 20 minutes to write a rhyming couplet as part of a contest. (The instructions were to write a rhyming couplet on the subject of “books.”)
I came up with this in five. I’d like to think it’s not altogether bad.
“The Poets’ Residences”
Like ordered hearts we line our tomes
Along the walls of lovelorn homes.
Oh! There was another writing prompt with the subject of “cats.” Here is the untitled couplet I came up with for that:
The finest cats are not all kittens;
Cougars often leave me smitten.
(Yeah, that kinda isn’t high art.)
For my money, “Fear the Walking Dead” is the best zombie show on television. Yes, it has its share of stupid parts — sometimes the writers seem to throw in some incredibly implausible story points only to test viewers’ credulity. (My favorite this season was the occupants of a heavy truck throwing a beeping keychain from a horde-infested highway — the zombies are attracted to the sound of the keychain, but not the rumble and movement of the truck that sneaks past them.)
On other levels, “Fear the Walking Dead” can be a relatively smart show — at least more so than its more famous progenitor, “The Walking Dead.” I’m talking about being smart in terms of character, dialogue and themes. Sometimes I think of it as “The Walking Dead for Grownups.” The characters are … often more three-dimensional and compelling than their counterparts on the flagship show. Not being based on a comic series, they’re not bound by the medium’s character tropes, the way that Rick Grimes and company always seem so inescapably tethered. They feel more like real people, and not the disposable inhabitants of Robert Kirkman’s (admittedly excellent) comic series. That makes the show scarier, because the characters are more identifiable.
The dialogue and story logistics are far more thoughtful. The stories themselves are more expansive, more quickly paced and farther reaching. Consider the three major locales covered this season — the ranch, the dam and the bazaar. Two out of three of those settings are explored in depth — along with the characters inhabiting them. (I’d like to see more of that bazaar.) Now consider how slowly “The Walking Dead’s” major plot-lines move. It would take the latter at least three seasons to cover the major stories covered in a single season of “Fear the Walking Dead.”
I know this show has its share of detractors, but I’d rate Season 3 a 9 out of 10.
I was especially honored to see one of my recordings featured at today’s launch of the Peeking Cat Anthology 2017. The poem I’m reading is “Roanoke Summer Midnight,” the same that was selected for the annual collection.
The video is below. There are five poets featured reading their work; I am the fifth. Mine is maybe a little harder to hear than the others, although it seems perfectly audible over headphones. (My recording equipment here at home is truly rudimentary.)
I believe this is the first time I’d recorded myself reading my own work. I hope that you enjoy it, along with the excellent other poets performing here.
If you are inclined to peruse some of the year’s best indie lit, you can find a link to ordering information here. (The anthology is available in hardcover and softcover, as well as in Kindle format.) Be sure to check out my poem, “Roanoke Summer Midnight,” as well as poetry, prose, art and photography from 70 other contributors.
Editor Samantha Rose was also kind enough to interview me; you can find that right here.
Thanks, Sam, for the opportunity to see my work featured in this terrific independent literature anthology!