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Volume I: Number III ISSN: 1833-4822
_____________________________________________________________________ Articles On Fritz Leiber's "Demons of the Upper Air" Benjamin Szumskyj Poets of the Genres Poems Black Willow Cathedral of the Devil Tears of the Dead Crypt of Bone Lostluck Hall Stasis The Reducer Bobbi Sinha-Morey Bobbi Sinha-Morey Bobbi Sinha-Morey Bobbi Sinha-Morey Bobbi Sinha-Morey L. S. Fisher Kristine Ong Muslim Kristine Ong Muslim
such critical neglect reflects less upon the poem itself. given that it was written at a surprisingly early period in Leiber’s career. One can not help but consider a looming Odin (the All-Father Odin/Wotan – a figure that would later appear in the prose of Leiber). now reader. which have existed in both the real world and that of literature. It is here. for the demons he once imprisoned are now free. Part VIII ends unusually. rather. directly from the Biblical narrative. which is commonly depicted as a Christian symbol. that the Leiber made famous by modernizing the supernatural. Leiber had already begun constructing his metaphysical. Though often discussed. than upon the wider neglect shown towards fantastic verse in general. a shred of proof. Here. that what they are experiencing is truly fear. It appears that the demons can access all areas of humankind. This association with Norse. rather than being an originator. “News of the airless monster whom kind fate / Drove once across the river none may swim?”. and aesthetic theories. haunted by a Lovecraftian presence outside his abode. Part VI is a powerful narration. and stars (presumably angels) that tow planets they once ruled. it is free will which will allow you the honour of being among them. Part I has the reader confronted by a narrator. showcasing the young Leiber’s ability to saturate the realm of reality and applying the supernatural. from a medieval inn. It is then that the demons. but the reader should not be led to believe that the demons originated from there. who was occasionally associated with poetry and it is possible that the bird-like features of the demons representing his raven servants. as if it were always there. Ultima Thule does not necessarily indict the Norse interpretation. there has been very little critical attention paid it. they are dependent on mortality – “I may not house with you / And yet I must seek you. the northern most region of the inhabited world. In an interesting manner. ethical. This plethora of supernatural entities is mystifying. Part III appears to have the demons luring the narrator. conjuring an image of both the planet and Grecian deity. Part VII has the demons plant a seed of question with the reader. The demon recounts the tireless clichés of horror. Asgard comes across as just another name for the heavens above and again. drawing parallels with the sun.On Fritz Leiber’s “Demons of the Upper Air” FRITZ LEIBER’S best-known poem is “The Demons of the Upper Air”. Part IV evokes anger within the demons. not the pact of a desperate soul. symbols of wisdom. a modern locale of suburbs and factory city. Rather. The moon is described as a sanctuary for the demons. Here. he is confronted by one who enquires whether “the way past Neptune [is] clear”. Let’s take a closer look. Part V introduces a mythologically Norse slant. is heard for the first time. “The Demons of the Upper Air” is itself a successful accomplishment. as the demons draw the reader into both the past and the present. of the demons that hounded his train of thought. as if to presume that the reader has perhaps asked for a sign. in using the name Nifelheim (the realm of the wintry darkness within the underworld). what of him?” indicates that the original narrator has joined the demons (for a . Part II speaks of King Solomon. That this mysterious stranger asks “he who went beyond—say. and comments that they exhibit no true fear or evil. divulge to the reader the true elements of fear. and a “castle dubious and dark” where the demon seems more at home at. as apart of our natural and normal surroundings. The demons briefly speak of a book. which appears to be a conduit between the moon and Earth as a means of entering the mortal realm. Leiber is drawing on the power of parallel. shows the supernatural and even cosmic. does not indicate a Norse origin. to the dark side in a gentle and non-Faustian manner. a permanent state of barbarism and inhumanity. It appears to have a new reader looking out of a window similar to the abode the last narrator began in. The way in which Leiber writes of the “thing upon the roof” is impressive. / I may not school with you / And yet I must cry you”. seemingly the mouthpiece for Leiber. that while everything around them warrants a second glance or consideration. is verified with phrases such as “Ghosts are we but with skeletons of steel” and “The present grips the future with our claws” which again.
This interpretation is not meant to be definitive. Benjamin Szumskyj . that his soul may have left his mortal body.capitalised “He” would denote a god). as others have concluded that it is the same narrator/reader waking from a dream. Such is the power of the poem.
I love horror. John Grey is a heavy kicker when it comes to publishing in the small press and mainstream. He's developed his own style over the years and it's no surprise that he wins one award after the other and is. Yet there aren't enough fantasy poets in the midst and that's why I tend to write fantasy whenever I can. especially if they are spiritual in nature. He's a versatile poet with a plain speaking style. Not only is Maggie moved by it. undoubtedly. His fantasy always delights.Poets Of The Genres In the years I've been doing poetry I've often had time to edit a line of books titled "The Selected Poetry Series. and think of horror poetry as being a rich. Schwader whose horrific. Plus it's Cameron Diaz at her very best. but always entertaining. Then. but it's wonderful how her character grows and comes to terms with her sister. or dark. and whenever you read his poetry you end up getting lost in a world of your own. but it does. and whenever he writes horror it's never too scary. Other poets who I like are Dorothy Parker. Sara Teasdale. Maggie. religious. and her love of dark beauty simply comes through. is the one who serves it up the best. I even had the pleasure of seeing him read one of his short stories one time at a convention years ago.E. It was wickedly delightful and his true talent for storytelling and performing really came out. It's Writhing In Darkness. and that's to write about whatever gives you a visceral yank. yet he has so much style and persona that you enjoy the dark delicacies of his poetry. dark chocolate. Ever know what it's like to be alone in the darkness without a flashlight in your hand? He does. This guy is terrifying. She teases you to keep on going and you often need to look over shoulder to make sure no ghosts are there. fantasy or all three. and his wicked verse is like reading choice parts out of a Clive Barker novel. You may think the movie "In Her Shoes" has nothing to do with poetry. The best genre poet of all time. In the book In Her Shoes poetry plays an even more important part. and his poetry is genuinely disturbing. played by Cameron Diaz. she reads a poem aloud by E. matures even more. Likely the best part about it is that it goes to show how you can really get in tune with yourself when you pick up a book of poetry and read or poem or two." and it's something I've enjoyed doing since there are so many genre poets who deserve notice and acclaim. and science fiction comes in third. It's so sweet and thoughtful it brings tears to your eyes. and every poem inside simply makes you want to jump out of your skin. Maggie brings home books of poetry to read. Yet which genres do I get drawn to the most? Fantasy and horror. used to read Stephen King novels. a tremendous talent. Charlee Jacob may very well be the queen of horror poetry. Bruce Boston. Then Michael Arnzen comes to mind. Then there's Ann K. I read certain poems over again. The series contains some of my favorite poets who specialize in either horror. Bobbi Sinha-Morey . sharply tuned verse and Lovecraftian slant are haunting. yet whenever I read one of his hardcore poems it gives me a chill. I've used her advice and it works. California's 2005 poet laureate Al Young. at the end of the movie. In fact. I remember one time in an interview with Charlee Jacob she gave some good advice to writers when it comes to horror. lovely poetry is lilting in expression. science fiction. but who are the others I like? There's Wendy Rathbone who's dark. and Sylvia Plath. Even the title of his two-part chapbook that I edited says it all. Cummings at her sister's wedding. She's an autumn person. and discovers how much she really cares about her sister. reads the poem "The Art of Losing" by Elizabeth Bishop. Louise Gluck. and it's touching.
Bobbi Sinha-Morey .Black Willow In the boughs of a black willow spirit of a dead child appears in the smoke of a pyre lit by a winged demon crouching in the fire who stole the boy's soul in a coquina of bone swallowed whole by a black mamba left for the devil to own.
Cathedral Of The Devil In a broken stained glass window face of the devil appears to drink the Lord's chalice of blood and light a black candle to swallow pages of the bible. confining them to hell while leaving a sigil of bone on altar for a sister to find. She'll see a winged demon tearing the pale skin of a dead angel with heart nailed to a cross where he bleeds in empty basin of holy water gifted by the devil. Bobbi Sinha-Morey .
Tears Of The Dead In the eye of the zombie you can see the grey light over the sun. their spirits awakened by dusk in the starless night sky. The zombie's empty gaze leads them nowhere while they remember only what happened seconds ago. wisteria lay dying and blood from the nearly dead leave stains on the road and sidewalks. Their tears are eclipsed by the fire till they die. Bobbi Sinha-Morey . the plum drops of wine that spill from the Lord's son while the pyre burns on and the smell of the dead fill the heavens. A wedding ring is lost in the mud.
Crypt of Bone On the fourth day I arrived in hell the devil cauterized my skin. left me in a box with a crouching demon who rent my soul. Bobbi Sinha-Morey . taught me how to speak Latin. let my spirit die in a crypt of bone where the devil licks it until I am nothing but a tiny dark flame hidden in the cinders of a newborn throne.
I seem to smell a dampness reeking of wet decay. see if you can find its source at all. into the day overcast. S. Tell me I'm wrong. Fisher . L. and I pass. maybe downwards sinks the world. and rotting leaves. reflect no sunlight. a maligned ghost of a man. I don't know. stink of wet decay. I feel it seep into my bones. Cobwebs and dust too sullen to move brood. or else dig forth through ancient years of books and papers coldly mouldering within the cupboard-musty rooms within which ghosts amass to liquidly murmur assents long faded. grey. The must is getting stronger. and pass away from these dead halls. The moors and meres are grey. Perhaps the damp is rising. mere whispers of sound. Come. sink into sullen reveries. liquid ripples of curious and rilling water.Lostluck Hall There's something queer about this place.
Will scream in this nightmare That never ends. Blending with the lifeless urban sprawl.Stasis One day The dead will rule the city streets. Kristine Ong Muslim. First appeared in Dead Letters 1 (January 2005) . The overwhelming odor of their putrefaction Will fill the air and you will slowly Asphyxiate with each breath you take. They will reach out for you Reach out across the trappings of your alienation And your hands warding off their embrace Will feel the incredible plasticity Of their rotten flesh And the softness of their exposed entrails. You may want to run and run Until you blot out eternity. You will be nameless then. The sentient dead will rise When there is no more room in hell And you. girly girl peeking through The window of your unlit room.
It has no origins. Kristine Ong Muslim. Its metallic jaws snap and chomp Up and down As countless worlds move in a conveyor That ends at its gaping mouth. First appeared in Jupiter: Elara 7 (Winter 2004) . It revs its primal engine On and on To run The maw of the great machine That devours used up worlds. It is elemental.The Reducer It toils Vast and eternal At the core of the universe Where infinite time frames intersect. a consequence of nature. An unexplained thermodynamic constant That soaks up entropy In the assembly line of the gods.