Sportuary

Poems by Michael A. Arnzen Art by Marcia Borell

Expanded 2nd Edition Ebook Mastication Publications 2009 http://www.gorelets.com

Warm Up "When you win, nothing hurts." –– Joe Namath "Pitching is the art of instilling fear." –– Nolan Ryan "Driving a race car is like dancing with a chainsaw." –– Cale Yarborough

Satan's the Catcher He stands right behind you with his tail tousling the sand like a desert snake twitching with rigor and it distracts you from your swing –– strike one and he chuckles with a laugh that's hidden behind his mask and you think about taking him on by swinging the bat at his horned headgear but you miss –– strike two and the demon taunts you with jokes about your swing your mother, and the size of your cup and when you bawl you drop the bat and bunt a foul ball and as you kick the sand and watch the devil pops a talon into your white socked Achilles and you fall to the plate and the next pitch beans you for eternity while the devil unmasks and strikes a pose that says there's no way out

Shadowbox bob and break fist bones punching at the ghosts behind the boxer's shadow

Hellympic Sport Competitions The Pentagramatholon Synchronized Skinning Skeleton Racing Deluge Gecko-Human Wrestling Hot Lava High Dive Jackhammer Throw Gymnasty Disinterling Ice Chokey Competitive Breathing Table Javelin Upside-Down Cross Country Skiing Rhythmic Torture Scarathon Running Steam Handball Barbsledding Archdemonry Drive-By-Athalon Lupine Skiing Speed Stabbing Deadlift Competition Waterboarding The 50m Lash Figure Scraping Rowing

Evil Rodeo Clowns they don't tease the bulls –– they lurk in the slaughterhouse taunting the sticker

Laps each slap of her shoes on the black grit of the track reminds her of the sounds: her teeth snapping out from the impact of his knuckles the knife scraping bone the shovel stabbing topsoil her heartbeat just some of the things they share which she can never leave behind no matter how fast or far she can run in the long black circle that is her life

Knuckle Ball death fingers leather runs his sharpened claw of bone along the stitches

About the Artist Marcia A. Borell is a dreamer who likes to give the dream tangible form. She is a collector of all odds and ends, an illustrator, metalsmith, fiber artist, painter, printmaker, graphic artist, writer, poet, and seeker of endless possibilities. Borell has published cover art and illustrations in Dark Animus, Wicked Hollow, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Spellbound, Hadrosaur Tales, Glyph, EOTU, Whispers from the Shattered Realm, and several chapbooks. She has received awards for computer graphics, illustrations, fibers and metalsmithing. Her work has been exhibited at many art shows and galleries. Visit Barell online at: http://www.espectro.com/borellm/

About the Author Michael A. Arnzen's trophy shelf includes four Bram Stoker Awards, an International Horror Guild Award, a Best Fiction Writer award, a Tabloid Witch award, and a thin layer of dust of questionable origin. The best of his horror writing over the past two decades can be found in the Stoker-winning fiction collection, Proverbs for Monsters from Dark Regions Press. Along with numerous anthology appearances in the year ahead, Arnzen's upcoming works include a new poetry collection, Blood, Bath & Beyond, and a non-fiction study of The Popular Uncanny. Arnzen teaches horror in the MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University (http://fiction.setonhill.edu), located just outside of Pittsburgh, PA –– capital of Steeler Nation and home to an eye-opening number of zombies. Be a good sport and subscribe to The Goreletter free at http://www.gorelets.com for more fun and games.

Also by Michael A. Arnzen Novels: Grave Markings Play Dead Novelettes: Licker The Bitchfight Story Collections: Needles and Sins Fluid Mosaic 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories Proverbs for Monsters Poetry Collections: Chew and Other Ruminations Writhing in Darkness (2 vols.) Paratabloids Dying (With No Apologies to Martha Stewart) Gorelets: Unpleasant Poems Freakcidents Rigormarole: Zombie Poems Blood Bath & Beyond Serial: The Goreletter Non-Fiction: The Popular Uncanny

Praise for Sportuary... "Employing haiku and free verse, Arnzen plumbs the depths of his aberrant, wonderful imagination and offers biting, metaphorical commentary on the shadowy side of athletics: swimmers mesmerized by hungry undertows and ping pong played with staring human eyes, referees getting their gruesome reward and badminton as played by lunatics. These poems are good. Not only are they good, they’re great and if you think they’re fun to read, try reading them out loud with a friend." ––Tim Curran, Dark Krypt "It is easy to see why many of Arnzen's readers consider him a master of the macabre. 'Sportuary' is the culmination of what could happen if sport and the win-at-all-costs attitude it breeds were to go unchecked, and the dark side were to take over. Plus, it is one hell of a fun read." ––Gary West, The Dream People