Welcome to the Innsmouth Inktank! In this new column, we’ll be looking at all manner of squamous and meandering musings for the literati of Innsmouth and beyond. This month, we interview horror poet Ann K. Schwader!
Ann K. Schwader’s most recent collection of dark verse, Twisted in Dream, was published by Hippocampus Press in 2011. Her fiction and poetry have recently appeared in The Book of Cthulhu, The Book of Cthulhu 2, A Season in Carcosa, Horror for the Holidays, Fungi (Innsmouth Free Press), and elsewhere. She is a 2010 Bram Stoker Award finalist for her dark SF verse collection, Wild Hunt of the Stars.
For many publications, poets are interviewed in a journalistic, narrative fashion, even when being interviewed by another poet. At the Innsmouth Inktank, we turn that notion on its head, interviewing Lovecraftian poets in the forms they work in the most. We’ll let the results rattle or chortle for themselves:
IFP: A pondered start:
Noteworthy fears and verse?
Name key roads you sought.
The straightest path is Avon’s bard, although
A “fatal interview “with E. St. V.
Millay marked out my first uncertain trail.
IFP: Knowledge in new ghouls,
Sands of pharaohs and their tombs.
Chaos you seek out?
AKS: Chaos is its own fear, Isfet: curse
Elder than Anubis, or the dead
Who follow shambling in the jackal’s wake.
Before its blighted spring, I walked that land
& entered into many tombs – beheld
A lifetime’s hoard of inspiration there.
IFP: Horror a grand sage,
What odd message lingers long?
Artists, beware what?
AKS: The mercy granted by the human mind’s
Fine inability to correlate
Its contents…O, most wise & ominous!
Be wary of the word too swiftly found,
The thought which follows logically. Lift
Some mental stone, instead. What slithers out?
IFP: Dreams rise, eye a muse
Expressed, vile in lurking?
Rotten, a lost view?
AKS: Contrite – perhaps contrarian – confession:
Night thickens mainly silent in my mind,
Provides no pyrotechnics. Few weird visions.
Waking, walking bring bizarre connections
Together best. Mine is a muse of motion,
Whose metric feet seem speediest in sneakers.
IFP: Invoking with ink,
Nyarlathotep or Others,
New works ahead soon?
AKS: Alas, no massive tomes of twisted dreams
to greet 2013. Verse awaits
in Lovecraft eZine & Mark of the Beast,
Brief prose in Fungi, longer in Dark Fusions,
& something of an essay on Black Rites
within The Starry Wisdom Library.
IFP: Slink forth or take flight?
Move flesh, reshape old worlds,
One being well-made?
AKS: Why choose? Dark verse may slink among the stars
As easily as any graveyard path,
& planetary panic echoes far.
A well-made world leaves little to flesh out –
How fortunate that science & the news
Alike decline to offer such a place.
AKS: Eye less than ear but early: Cats in hats
Bestowed delight in rhyme. Green eggs met ham
Until I howled for meter, Sam-I-Am.
Geologist’s daughter, I learned early, too,
What monsters lurked where rocky mountains rise,
& traced a geode’s crystal history.
IFP: Final words, calls? Shrieks?
Innsmouth beckons; gates widen.
AKS: NASA. Nature. Nameless murmurings
Of podcasts half-remembered, then researched
Until dry facts catch fire. Begin to bleed.
Dark matter? Energy? So much of what
There is remains unseen…for now, at least.
Recall the prescient Sage of Providence!