Friday, August 31, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Poetry Forum

Looking for a Poetry forum to express your amazing thoughts on, or to crit and be critted? Try Whup-Ass or The Fray, Poet's Org, The Critical Poet, Thin Men of Haddam or Scrawl. Let's see: there's also Urbis, DeviantART, Gazebo, Mimesis...

Then stop off for a read of the good old The Shit Creek Review...

I will post more addresses as they come to hand. In the meantime, keep up the good work!

For Queen, Poetry, and Shit Creek Review!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

But Three Bare Days

Ah, Poet,
Now hast thou but three bare days to submit,
To Shit Creek's Horror Fest, whose deadline is
September 1st, three days to send in work
Or else thou must miss out perpetually!
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,
That time may cease, and midnight never come:
Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again and make
Perpetual day; or let this time be but
A year, a month, a week, a few days more,
That I may yet submit to Shit Creek's Horror!
O lente, lente, currite noctis equi!
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The Horror Fest will come, and I not in it.
Oh I'll leap to my email! Who pulls me dowm?
See, see where Shit Creek streams in the firmament!
One poem would save my soul--half a poem. Ah, Shit Creek!
(The clock strikes the half hour)
Ah half the hour is past! `Twill all be past anon!
Oh Shit!
If I do not submit my poetry,
To SCR, that splendid online zine,
I see no end to my incessant pain;
For, when others submit,
Their poems are soon online in Horror Heaven;
But mine must languish in non-Shit-Creek Hell.
No, Poet: curse thyself; curse lethargy
That hath deprived thee of Shit Creek Review.
(The clock strikes twelve)
Oh, it strikes, it strikes! Now, send the bloody email,
Or Shit Creek will move on, leave thee behind!
(Thunder and lightning)

(Deadline 1st September)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

He's fallen in the water!

How It Sucks

A "Professor" named Jack loved to wreak
Scorn and insult on all he deemed weak:
One day in mid-spack,
He stumbled, poor Jack,
And sank like a stone in Shit Creek.

Sellers: [posh] Oh dear, children. Look what has happened to poor Uncle Jack.

Little Jim: He's fallen in the water.

Greenslade: On arrival in Shit Creek, Jack immediately inflated his Mae West, blew up his rubber dinghy, put on his water wings and sank like a stone.

The Goon Show



with no apologies to J.C.

It wasn't my sink.
It was The Shit Creek Review.
See, it sucks out loud.

—Quincy Lehr

Friday, August 24, 2007


But the evil one ambushed old and young
death-shadow dark, and dogged them still,
lured, or lurked in the livelong night
of misty moorlands: men may say not
where the haunts of these Hell-Runes be.
Such heaping of horrors the hater of men,
lonely roamer, wrought unceasing,
harassings heavy. O'er Heorot he lorded,
gold-bright hall, in gloomy nights;
and ne'er could the prince approach his throne,
—judgment of God,—or have joy in his hall.
Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings'-friend,
heart-rending misery...

..Then from the moorland, by misty crags,
with God's wrath laden, Grendel came.
The monster was minded of mankind now
sundry to seize in the stately house.
Under welkin he walked, till the wine-palace there,
gold-hall of men, he gladly discerned,
flashing with fretwork. Not first time, this,
that he the home of Hrothgar sought—
yet ne'er in his life-day, late or early,
such hardy heroes, such hall-thanes, found!
To the house the warrior walked apace,
parted from peace; the portal opended,
though with forged bolts fast, when his fists had struck it,
and baleful he burst in his blatant rage,
the house's mouth. All hastily, then,
o'er fair-paved floor the fiend trod on,
ireful he strode; there streamed from his eyes
fearful flashes, like flame to see.
He spied in hall the hero-band,
kin and clansmen clustered asleep,
hardy liegemen. Then laughed his heart;
for the monster was minded, ere morn should dawn,
savage, to sever the soul of each,
life from body, since lusty banquet
waited his will! But Wyrd forbade him
to seize any more of men on earth
after that evening. Eagerly watched
Hygelac's kinsman his cursed foe,
how he would fare in fell attack.
Not that the monster was minded to pause!
Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior
for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder,
the bone-frame bit, drank blood in streams,
swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus
the lifeless corse was clear devoured,
e'en feet and hands. Then farther he hied;
for the hardy hero with hand he grasped,
felt for the foe with fiendish claw,
for the hero reclining—who clutched it boldly,
prompt to answer, propped on his arm.
Soon then saw that shepherd-of-evils
that never he met in this middle-world,
in the ways of earth, another wight
with heavier hand-gripe; at heart he feared,
sorrowed in soul—none the sooner escaped!
Fain would he flee, his fastness seek,
the den of devils: no doings now
such as oft he had done in days of old!
Then bethought him the hardy Hygelac-thane
of his boast at evening: up he bounded,
grasped firm his foe, whose fingers cracked.
The fiend made off, but the earl close followed.
The monster meant—if he might at all—
to fling himself free, and far away
fly to the fens—knew his fingers' power
in the gripe of the grim one. Gruesome march
to Heorot this monster of harm had made!
Din filled the room; the Danes were bereft,
castle-dwellers and clansmen all,
earls, of their ale. Angry were both
those savage hall-guards: the house resounded.
Wonder it was the wine-hall firm
in the strain of their struggle stood, to earth
the fair house fell not; too fast it was
within and without by its iron bands
craftily clamped; though there crashed from sill
many a mead-bench—men have told me—
gay with gold, where the grim foes wrestled.
So well had weened the wisest Scyldings
that not ever at all might any man
that bone-decked, brave house break asunder,
crush by craft—unless clasp of fire
in smoke engulfed it. —Again uprose
din redoubled. Danes of the North
with fear and frenzy were filled, each one,
who from the wall that wailing heard,
God's foe sounding his grisly song,
cry of the conquered, clamorous pain
from captive of hell. Too closely held him
he who of men in might was strongest
in that same day of this our life.


Monday, August 20, 2007

The Chimaera emerges from Shit Creek

As II sinks beneath the surface of Shit Creek to lurk amidst the murk and possibly surge up again at any moment, a strange, bedraggled creature heaves itself from the waters, crawls up the muddy bank, shakes itself dry with a toss of its three heads, and prepares to gallivant off across the wastelands to terrorise Mount Parnassus.

It is The Chimaera. A terrible beauty is born.

The Chimaera will be an independent literary miscellany which hopes to publish a wide range of serious and satirical verse and prose. The design and content of The Chimaera will be similar to that which characterised II , but will develop in new directions over time. The Chimaera will be published separately from SCR. SCR will primarily focus on its mission of poetry/art/html fusion, but The Chimaera will be more text-based.

There is no set theme for poems or prose submitted to the October issue of The Chimaera: send us your best 1–5 poems, or one or more prose pieces, on whatever topic you like. We are happy to consider both formal verse and vers libre, and humorous, satirical and light verse as well as more serious work. But please read the General Submission Guidelines before sending your submission.

The Chimaera is taking over publication of the range of prose published in The Shit Creek Review (which will focus on poetry), including fiction (stories complete in themselves of up to about 5000 words), critical essays, memoirs, reviews, reports on your local poetry scene, wit and drollery and so on. We are happy to discuss the suitability of your ideas for projected prose pieces prior to submission.

The October issue of The Chimaera will include a special feature on expatriate poets, and submissions of prose, verse or other material relating to that topic are invited as well.

Submissions for The Chimaera's October Issue must be received by Monday, September 17th, 2007. Please read our Submission Guidelines.

Send submitted work to

We are firing up a blog for The Chimaera here

The Chimaera Blog should soon be up and running, and will provide news and articles on matters relating to the publication.

When the first edition of The Chimaera is ready (in October—not yet!) its url will be

The Shit Creek Review of course will go on paddling to even greater heights (!) bemusing, amazing and confusing the poetic multitudes just as it has always done since it first gushed forth from primal Chaos to flood the Land, as described by S.T. Coleridge:

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks, a splendid freak—
It flung up momently the cool Shit Creek.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred Shit Creek ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
Amidst a general tumult of lost paddles...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

SCR+II #4 pdf now available for download here:

But be warned—it's huge! Nearly 10 megabytes!

It contains the same texts as the online version, but with some variations in layout to fit the pdf format.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Violence of the Lambs

...Animatronic sheep fly through the air to rip out people's throats or charge through doors with their heads to get at the humans. Once bitten, the bipeds turn into quadrupeds, which can be very funny as their hands become hooves. Four legs definitely bad.

Naturally, the question of sex arises, but it's wittily dealt with. "Fuck the sheep!" cries one character. "No time for that!" cries another.

—Black Sheep, reviewed at SMH

The Duchess of Malfi IV.ii

What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut
With diamonds? or to be smothered
With cassia? or to be shot to death with pearls?
I know death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exits; and ’tis found
They go on such strange geometrical hinges,
You may open them both ways: any way, for heaven-sake,
So I were out of your whispering.

—John Webster

Hamlet I.v

...Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leperous distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And with a sudden vigour doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd:
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head:
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!


Heads in the Women's Ward

On pillow after pillow lies
The wild white hair and staring eyes;
Jaws stand open; necks are stretched
With every tendon sharply sketched;
A bearded mouth talks silently
To someone no one else can see.

Sixty years ago they smiled
At lover, husband, first-born child.

Smiles are for youth. For old age come
Death's terror and delirium.

—Philip Larkin


I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
—The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

—Philip Larkin

Mythological Introduction

A white girl lay on the grass
With her arms held out for love;
Her goldbrown hair fell down her face,
And her two lips move:

     See, I am the whitest cloud that strays
     Through a deep sky:
     I am your senses’ crossroads,
     Where the four seasons lie.

She rose up in the middle of the lawn
And spread her arms wide;
And the webbed earth where she had lain
Had eaten away her side.

—Philip Larkin

Australian Gothic

The Sydney Morning Herald's review of Lake Mungo

'...As for the reason behind the worldwide interest in horror films, Anderson is clear. "Right now, the world itself is a bit of a horror movie."'

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Kid, by Ai


Roses are red, violets are blue,
one bullet for the black horse, two for the brown...

(Thanks to Ethan Anderson)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Trial

During his great speech the prosecutor
kept piercing me with his yellow index finger
I'm afraid I didn't appear self-assured
unintentionally I assumed a mask of fear and depravity
like a rat caught in a trap an informer a fratricide
the reporters were dancing a war dance
I slowly burned at a stake of magnesia
all of this took place in a small stifling room
the floor the benches creaked plaster fell from the ceiling
I counted knots in the boards holes in the wall faces
the faces were alike almost identical
assessors judges witnesses for the defence and the prosecution
and also the audience—they belonged to the same organization
I vainly hoped the defender was a man from town
but he too was a member of the union of magicians

in the first row sat an old fat woman
dressed up as my mother with a theatrical gesture
she kept raising a handkerchief to her dirty eyes
but she didn't cry
it must have lasted very long I don't know how long
the old blood of the West was rising in the gowns of the judges

the real trial went on in my cells
they certainly knew the verdict earlier
after a short rebellion they capitulated and slowly started to die
one after the other I looked in amazement
at my wax hands

I didn't speak the last word and yet
for so many months years I was composing the final speech
to God to the court of the world to the conscience
to the dead rather than the living
roused to my feet by the guards
I managed only to twist my head and then
the room burst out in healthy laughter
my adoptive mother laughed also
the gavel banged and this was really the end

I don't know if I was hung or if the punishment
was changed to a life sentence I'm afraid however
neither the one nor the other happened
therefore when I wake I don't open my eyes
I don't move my head my hands tightly against the body
I breathe lightly because truly I don't know
how many seconds of air I still have left

—Zbigniew Herbert

The Hanged Men's Ball

        Up on the one-armed black gibbet,
        These paladin are dancing, dancing,
        The thin, Devil's paladins,
        The skeletons of Saladins.

Sir Beelzebub yanks his wee black puppets
By the scruff—they grimace at the sky;
He slaps their heads with back-handers like kicks,
and sets them a-dance to some old Christmas carol.

The puppets, rattled, link their spindly arms:
Their chests, once snuggled against by genteel ladies,
Are skewered by light, like dark organ pipes,
And clatter together now in hideous orgy.

Hooray! You jolly dancers, you've lost your guts!
You can spring your caprioles on this long stage!
Hop! Who cares if it's really a fight or dance?
Beelzebub, maddened, scrapes his violins!

Oh horny heels! None here wears out his shoes!
They've almost all stripped off their shirts of skin;
What's left can't cause embarrassment or shame.
The snow crowns each bare skull with a white cap:

Crows add a plumed flourish to these cracked heads;
A scrap of skin dangles from each lean chin:
Seeing them spinning about in shadowy battle
You'd think them stiff knights clashing cardboard armour.

Hooray! The wind whistles up the Skeletons' Ball!
The black gallows croons iron organ notes!
The wolves howl back from violet forests:
A red glow from Hell burns the horizon...

Ho! Shake, rattle and roll those morbid loudmouths
Whose huge, broken digits craftily finger
The rosary of love along their pale
Spine-bones: this ain't no monastery, Dead Folk!

Look! A great red skeleton, mad, and hurtling
With his own impetus, leaps from the Dance of Death
Into the red sky, like a rearing horse:
And feeling the rope tighten again on his neck,

Clenches his knuckles, cracks them on his thigh bone,
Laughs mockingly, then skips back into the dance,
To the rhythm of the bones: a snake-oil salesman
Climbing into his booth to do the business.

        Up on the one-armed black gibbet,
        These paladin are dancing, dancing,
        The thin, Devil's paladins,
        The skeletons of Saladins.

—Arthur Rimbaud (translated PCS)


I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vul-
        ture wheeling high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its
        orbit narrowing, I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard
        the light feathers
Whistle above me and make their circle and come
I could see the naked red head between the great wings
Bear downward staring. I said, “My dear bird, we are
        wasting time here.
These old bones will still work, they are not for you.”
But how beautiful he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked veering
        away in the sea-light over the precipice. I tell you
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten
        by that beak and become a part of him, to share those
        wings and those eyes—
What sublime end of one’s body, what enskyment;
        What a life after death.

~Robinson Jeffers~


Husks, rags and bones, waste-paper, excrement,
Denied a soul whether for good or evil
And casually consigned to unfulfilment,
Are pronged into his bag by the great-devil.

Or words, over and over and over,
Until their sense sickens and all but dies,
These the same fellow like a ghoulish lover
Will lay his hands upon and hypnotise.

From husks and rags and waste and excrement
He forms the pavement-feet and the lift-faces;
He steers the sick words into parliament
To rule a dust-bin world with deep-sleep phrases.

When healthy words or people chance to dine
Together in this rarely actual scene,
There is a love-taste in the bread and wine,
Nor is it asked: 'Do you mean what you mean?'

But to their table-converse boldly comes
The same great-devil with his brush and tray,
To conjure plump loaves from the scattered crumbs,
And feed his false five thousands day by day.

—Robert Graves

from 'The Ancient Mariner'

The western wave was all a-flame.
The day was well nigh done !
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sun ;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.

And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace !)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face.

Alas ! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears !
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
Like restless gossameres ?

And those her ribs through which the Sun
Did peer, as through a grate ?
And is that Woman all her crew ?
Is that a DEATH ? and are there two ?
Is DEATH that woman's mate ?

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold :
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice ;
`The game is done ! I've won ! I've won !'
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The Sun's rim dips ; the stars rush out :
At one stride comes the dark ;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.

We listened and looked sideways up !
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip !
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steerman's face by his lamp gleamed white ;
From the sails the dew did drip--
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The hornéd Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.

—S.T. Coleridge

Pure Death

We looked, we loved, and therewith instantly
Death became terrible to you and me.
By love we disenthralled our natural terror
From every comfortable philosopher
Or tall, grey doctor of divinity:
Death stood at last in his true rank and order.

It happened soon, so wild of heart were we,
Exchange of gifts grew to a malady:
Their worth rose always higher on each side
Till there seemed nothing but ungivable pride
That yet remained ungiven, and this degree
Called a conclusion not to be denied.

Then we at last bethought ourselves, made shift
And simultaneously this final gift
Gave: each with shaking hands unlocks
The sinister, long, brass-bound coffin-box,
Unwraps pure death, with such bewilderment
As greeted our love's first acknowledgement.

—Robert Graves

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

—Wilfred Owen

There are some more examples of poetry which deals in some way with Horror in this thread at Eratosphere.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Nightmare Lake

There is a lake in distant Zan,
Beyond the wonted haunts of man,
Where broods alone in hideous state
A spirit dead and desolate.
A spirit ancient and unholy,
Heavy with fearsome melancholy,
Which from the waters dull and dense
Draws vapors cursed with pestilence.
Around the banks a mire of clay,
Crawl things offensive in decay,
And curious birds that reach the shore
Are seen by mortals nevermore.
Here shines by day the searing sun
On glassy wastes beheld by none,
And here by night pale moon beams flow
Into the deeps that yawn below.
In nightmares only it is told
What scenes beneath those beams unfold;
What scenes, too old for human sight,
Lie sunken there in endless night;
For in those depths there only pace
The shadows of a voiceless race.
One midnight, redolent of ill,
I saw that lake, asleep and still;
While in the lurid sky there rode
A gibbous moon that glow'd and glow'd.
I saw the stretching marshy shore
And the foul things those marshes bore:
Lizards and snakes convuls'd and dying;
Ravens and vampires putrefying;
All these and hov'ring o'er the dead,
Narcophagi that on them fed.
And as the dreadful moon climbed high,
Fright'ning the stars from out the sky,
I saw the lake's dull waters glow
Till sunken things appeared below.
There shown unnumbered fathoms down,
The towers of a forgotten town;
The tarnished domes and mossy walls;
Weed tangles spires and empty halls;
Deserted fanes and vaults of dread,
And streets of gold uncoveted.
These I beheld and saw beside
A horde of shapeless shadows glide;
A noxious horde which to my glance
Seem'd moving in a hideous dance
Round slimy sepulchres that lay
Beside a never travelled way.
Straight from the tombs a heaving rose
That vex'd the waters' dull repose,
While lethal shades of upper space
Howl'd at the moon's sardonic face.
Then sank the lake within its bed,
Sucked down to caverns of the dead,
Till from the reeking new-stript earth
Curl'd fetid fumes of noisome birth.
About the city, nigh uncover'd,
The monstrous dancing shadows hover'd,
When lo! There oped with sudden stir
The portal of each sepulchre!
No ear may learn; no tongue may tell
What nameless horror then befell.
I see that lake - that moon agrin -
That city and the things within -
Waking, I pray that on that shore
The nightmare lake may sink no more!

—H.P. Lovecraft

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Relief from The Horror!

Poets who have items already submitted to The Shit Creek Review which were received after the last deadline but prior to the announcement of the Horror theme for issue #5 may rest assured that their work will still be considered for publication in SCR. If we like any of those poems we will publish them anyway, and in any case will notify their authors of a result fairly soon. Poems submitted from now on for issue #5 should be addressed to the theme of Horror. None of this precludes those poets from submitting again on the Horror theme

The Sick Muse

La Muse malade

Ma pauvre muse, hélas! qu'as-tu donc ce matin?
Tes yeux creux sont peuplés de visions nocturnes,
Et je vois tour à tour réfléchis sur ton teint
La folie et l'horreur, froides et taciturnes.

Le succube verdâtre et le rose lutin
T'ont-ils versé la peur et l'amour de leurs urnes?
Le cauchemar, d'un poing despotique et mutin
T'a-t-il noyée au fond d'un fabuleux Minturnes?

Je voudrais qu'exhalant l'odeur de la santé
Ton sein de pensers forts fût toujours fréquenté,
Et que ton sang chrétien coulât à flots rythmiques,

Comme les sons nombreux des syllabes antiques,
Où règnent tour à tour le père des chansons,
Phoebus, et le grand Pan, le seigneur des moissons.

— Charles Baudelaire

The Sick Muse

My poor Muse, alas! what ails you today?
Your hollow eyes are full of nocturnal visions;
I see in turn reflected on your face
Horror and madness, cold and taciturn.

Have the green succubus, the rosy elf,
Poured out for you love and fear from their urns?
Has the hand of Nightmare, cruel and despotic,
Plunged you to the bottom of some weird Minturnae?

I would that your bosom, fragrant with health,
Were constantly the dwelling place of noble thoughts,
And that your Christian blood would flow in rhythmic waves

Like the measured sounds of ancient verse,
Over which reign in turn the father of all songs,
Phoebus, and the great Pan, lord of harvest.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

More Baudelaire here.

Suggest a Poetic Horror!

Fortune Teller

Laugh'd the blue eyes without a stain...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Porphyria's Lover

The rain set early in to-night,
    The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
    And did its worst to vex the lake:
    I listen'd with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
    She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneel'd and made the cheerless grate
    Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
    Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
    And laid her soil'd gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
    And, last, she sat down by my side
    And call'd me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
    And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
    And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
    And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me—she
    Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour,
To set its struggling passion free
    From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
    And give herself to me for ever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
    Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
    For love of her, and all in vain:
    So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I look'd up at her eyes
    Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshipp'd me; surprise
    Made my heart swell, and still it grew
    While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
    Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
    In one long yellow string I wound
    Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
    I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
    I warily oped her lids: again
    Laugh'd the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untighten'd next the tress
    About her neck; her cheek once more
Blush'd bright beneath my burning kiss:
    I propp'd her head up as before,
    Only, this time my shoulder bore
Her head, which droops upon it still:
    The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will,
    That all it scorn'd at once is fled,
    And I, its love, am gain'd instead!
Porphyria's love: she guess'd not how
    Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now,
    And all night long we have not stirr'd,
    And yet God has not said a word!

—Robert Browning

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Submit to the Horror!

Submissions for the October Issue of The Shit Creek Review may be sent now.

The Shit Creek Review #5 seeks poetry, prose and art on Horror—whatever that means to you.

Particularly horrific is the fact that you only have until September 1st to submit. Eek!

Sell your soul to Satan in exchange for a killer poem pronto. Dip your quill in the unspeakable and write! Cthulhu calls... The axe-murderer croons his invitation.

Submissions, please, to

Submission guidelines and more information at

While you're wallowing around up the proverbial, check out issue #4 and the subzine II:

Saturday, August 04, 2007


The editors are rich beyond their wildest dreams!
Reflecting the corporately-sponsored spirit of our age, the Shit Creek Review has sold out for a tidy sum to Sears Roebuck circa 1891, who are now using the once-proud literary ezine as a catalogue to sell such must-have items as deflorinators, applicators, verb-O-meters and elf cages. Please support Shit Creek Review by ordering one or more of the many advertised products, all of which appear to be sourced from some Alternative Universe.

But there's more! Unobtrusively placed amongst the ads are poems, also sourced from a wide range of Alternative Realities; and then, just when you thought you were safe, you'll find even more products: a juicy prose section with pieces guaranteed to amuse, enlighten, confuse or enrage you.

Exhausted by all this conspicuous literary consumption, you will pause to take stock: only to notice the II-Lives logo at the bottom of the SCR cover page. One press of that little purple button and you're suddenly in the subzine SubZone, a whole new underworld of poetry and prose that will seriously challenge your grip on life as we know it.

The Shit Creek Review #4 is here.

The subzine II is here.