I’ve never been much for talking face-to-face with people I don’t know. Can’t say where this aversion comes from, but what I do know that I have a fear of saying the wrong thing. Which is why when asked questions about myself, I usually go with the short answer.
When asked what I do, I give the short answer: I inspect engine parts. It’s boring. And it sound boring enough to others that I’m rarely asked more. Which is a good thing because all I do is examine hundreds of parts for defects. It’s so boring that five minutes into my shift a fog settles over my mind, and I usually get lost in the fog for the duration. Regardless of how I feel about my job, however, it pays the bills.
What I usually don’t tell people is that I’m also a poet. I love to write. I love words and how they fit together to form images I can only see with my mind’s eye. I think about words when I’m inspecting parts, mowing the lawn, and even when pretending to listen to my wife. I cannot not think about words.
I don’t tell people I’m a poet because of the questions that follow. The first one is about the stacks of cash I make writing poetry. Well, I’ve been writing poetry under a pen name for fifteen years and have sold over 200 individual poems, but I never wrote a poem that paid a bill.
Questions about subject matter soon follow. The short answer is that I write speculative poetry. However, the short answer usually elicits strange looks and more questions. Questions requiring answers of increasing length and difficulty. And with these answers comes the fear that I will make a fool of myself trying to explain what I love. So, when it comes down to it, that’s the purpose of this blog.
So what is Speculative Poetry?
The short answer: Speculative poetry is poetry that incorporates science fiction, fantasy, and horror images and themes. Here is an example:
by Kurt MacPhearson
A nebulous toddler
woven over epochs
into blubbery orange and yellow swirls
with blazing green quasars for eyes
and a single curly tuft of blue
upon its bald, lopsided head
sits as a greedy Buddha
at the edge of space
like peanut clusters
and ignoring the dark matter
stuck between its two gaseous teeth
as it reaches for red giant crumbs
with tentacle fingers
till knuckles form
all the while broadcasting
a collective mine-mine-mine!
in gamma ray belches
from deep within its black gullet
as a warning to the cosmos
should it learn to crawl
Originally appeared in Star*Line, 33.4
Long answers about speculative poetry are soon to follow, along with plenty of examples, thoughts, writing tips, and just about anything else relevant to promoting what I love. I hope you will join me and come to love speculative poetry as much as I do.