Warnings for this section: Alcohol (The Thing on the Subway; Zombies@the Arches), Hanging (The Thing on the Subway), Stalking (The Thing on the Subway), Gore (Zombies@the Arches; Monster Tinder), Death (Computer Love); Sex (Computer Love).
Beware of spoilers, all who enter here!
Algor Mortis (Digital Disruptions). Really feeling that “Digital Disruptions” subtitle. This world, as far as I’ve experienced it, not only encourages, but demands working as quickly as possible. Whether to feed Algorithms, CEOs who inherit more money than any one person will ever need in their lifetime, or whatever run-of-the-mill manager we’re unfortunate enough to answer to directly. Even “just” working 40hrs/week makes it seem like there’s never enough time to breathe, never mind write and edit and create. I hope anyone who’s working even longer hours than that finds some comfort my content (even if thoughts on a horror poetry anthology is a strange place to find it. I’ve been there, for sure. It can be hard to stomach happy, idyllic things when you’re the star of a horror story. Enraging, in fact. You know what you need / want. Sometimes, what you want is what you need, such as to be yourself; but because so many of us are forced to suppress everything we want, sometimes the two get confused, especially when the majority of people don’t have the needs we do).
The Thing on the Subway:
“Music thudded into the night.” Awesome opening! Really getting into a clubbing mood.
“The station was silent and void of souls”. Love how thoroughly Cheung describes the emptiness. Sometimes, writers (myself included) don’t go into detail regarding exposition, but one good thing I’ve found about poetry compared to prose is that poetry, generally speaking, is all imagery.
“Long geometric tongues
lined the inside of its steel ribcage.” More amazing imagery.
“The lights blinked on and off, on and off.
Between the flickering, it slid closer;
four seats down, then two. In the window
my face ghosted back amid underwater hair.” What a thrilling stanza! (For non-poets, a stanza is poetry’s equivalent of a paragraph). I also really love the phrase “underwater hair”―especially when paired with the verb “ghosted”. Anna Cheung is a master class of “well put”. Seriously, pick this book up if you can.
bowled over, a dead weight lolling on
its bony neck.”
“wet decay roped around my neck.” What a great ending!
Zombies @ the Arches:
Learned a new word: “chasmic”!
“bones and bodies gyrated
sweaty and techno-lubricated”. Love this imagery! This must be the club the voice (poetry term for “narrator”) from The Thing on the Subway left before beginning their poem.
“melted brains and acid eyes,
corpses salivating for a shot,
a fix to chase away the rot.” If this isn’t my life right now… and everybody’s lives, quite frankly. I may not be doing non-prescribed drugs, but a shot of joy what writing, art, and gaming became for me. There’s absolutely nothing to do in this useless little town, and nobody to do it with. Sometimes, all you can do in battle is escape. It’s called escapism for a reason. Some people have a lot they need to escape from. I know that there’s innumerable people who have it worse than me, but my real life isn’t going great either. I get to be more myself in a story. The problem arises when I dive too deep into a story… I’d rather not say more at this time, but suffice it to say, it was terrifying. Any day I’m alive is a miracle, and that’s enough!
“stilettos tottering over beer”. I wore pumps once because I didn’t have formal shoes, and I could barely walk in those things. (link walk a mile in her shoes).
“a flashlight above the dead sea”.
“heads rotated like rotten apples”.
Monster Tinder: Instead of pulling lines I love from this poem, instead I rated each of these by how wooed I’d be if i received these lines.
Bigfoot’s surprisingly romantic!
Dracula’s a dweeb.
Werewolf’s the best one. Also fairly romantic until the final line, but I appreciate a good innuendo.
Tut’s a sexy weirdo.
Frankenstein’s just a weirdo, but not to worry, I’ve got plans for him.
Love how the voice swiped right for Werewolf and Dracula.
Summoning Baba Yaga: knew this wouldn’t go well from the title alone.
love the checklist!
“Miko crept upstairs
a slippery ghost on high alert
clutching a heart
flip-flopping in his chest”. love this imagery! another reason to buy the book is to see the spectacular placement of these words.
“The bathroom doorway
was a black gash”. <3!!!
Love the call to focus. Relatable.
“The flame trembled
“He felt a sigh snag like a cobweb against his ear
and loose folds of chin sag soft on his neck”. Frissons deliciously~.
“A spiderweb cracked on shiny black.” >:3 !
“It was the final chapter but he was lost
at sea where syllables bobbed along adrift,
deadwood around the wrong-shaped words.” Relatable ❤ ❤ <3. In my case, getting lost starts at the first chapter, which is another reason why I’m doing this instead of writing stories. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life or my characters, and that’s okay. Tolkien didn’t have his act together, and he had the privilege to take his time―to stop and think. I don’t. This world has no chill, and neither do I. Writing’s my only real emotional outlet, it’s also my pride and joy and what I’d love to do for a living. I need to work a lot smarter, or else I’ll just be working harder into my grave. Let’s start by doing another thing I love to do: talk about the awesome things I manage to get my cosmic horror hands on!
I also love how I’m not the only one who edits as I go (instead of completing a draft and then editing). No matter what your writing process is, progress is progress. Even if progress is ditching something in order to work on an idea that’s speaking to your heart more.
“greasy hair lopsided” aka my hair back in high school, just add a cowlick.
“buried beneath moist dark dreams” hehehe!
“keys on her keyboard were plumper,
perter; the pretty symbols and letters
winked at him, beckoning him over.” Night owls, unite! Unfortunately, my paying job is a morning job e_e. Not just 10AM comes twice a day mornings, 4AM comes twice a day early mornings. I got benefits, but overall, it sucks.
“shedding white noise
while being backslashed/deleted.” Whoo-hoo! Congratulations, Alexa! Well done! Good job murdering that writing boy so everyone can focus on this writing boy instead!
And with that, I conclude my thoughts on chapter 2 of Anna Cheung’s Where Decay Sleeps. Be sure to get some rest when you can. And brush your teeth!
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