I am delighted to announce that my poem, “Ghost Parade,” is now live at Abyss & Apex Magazine. You can read it at the link above.
I wrote this poem last summer while visiting the Tate Modern in London. I was completely dumbstruck by one of the paintings, Ibrahim El Salahi’s “Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams.” It’s an enormous painting, the strange figures almost life-size. To me, these ghostly bodies seemed to be emerging from the canvas, transitioning between this world and another. I found them to be hauntingly familiar utterly inhuman at the same time. I sat down in the middle of the floor and immediately began to scribble.
The original prose-poem was probably five times the length of the final, but it was an exploration of an image and an idea. The idea was the nature of the spirit and its connection to and disconnection from, our living, waking reality. I had been thinking about the idea that there is a part of us that is deeper than words, something more primal, more emotive. This part can be a font of creative expression, and I wanted to explore that idea more, playing with the idea of this part of us living on after death.
I subsequently reworked the poem several times until it arrived at its current form.
However, I continued to be haunted by the lines of the poem and by the painting, and I knew I wasn’t done yet. In September, I started writing again. What emerged this time was a short story, also titled “Ghost Parade.” It’s very different and very similar, particularly in the surreal imagery. I’m currently trying to find a home for it, so hopefully I can share it with you soon.
As a quick addendum to this post, the official “Writers of the Future” announcement went live on July 1. You can see the full list of winners, finalists, semifinalists, and honorable mentions here.