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it howls
the beast black-backed and fanged
his language languishing
vanished
banished back to a growl
and I
the foul thing’s stink stuck slathered with slime
slick and soaked in it
grappling with grime
the crime: twelve winters’ murders
dozens dead
what’s another demise
so I
at beck and call
my godfather’s all and only hope
I rise
tick-tock to the time
across oceans’ roads past rows of ghosts
of hosts of demons that I’ve slain
a name I made by trading lives
till monstrous I became
and I
arrive alive again to try
my luck, my name
to gain more fame and fortune
apportion me my glory fee
and I will fight for thee
do I
now holding hard this monster’s hand
a man do I pretend to stand
a man who draws lines in the sand
a man and not a brand
but I
hear bone-shard and sinew crack
the black beast’s fangs full-fearing
back to bed in slayer’s surf
would run sore shrieking
seeking solace from that sound
but I
hold fast and last I grasp
clasp the struggling mass of stink
I think of a time gone by
where buying time was a time to come
and I
feel bending turned to rending
and defending turned to ending
and lending turned to spending
of a life lived giving all
and howl


Richard is a writer and Ph.D. candidate at Boston College, where he studies remix theory and medieval literature while running the digital culture blog This Week In Tomorrow (thisweekintomorrow.com).  He has precisely one cat.
Current Issue
23 Nov 2020

Everybody thinks at first that time has somehow been reversed.
By: Michael Bazzett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Michael Bazzett
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Michael Bazzett's “The Revisionist,” with a reading by the poet.
Gollum suffers from the stigma that all users who don’t have the luxury and wealth to maintain social appearances do.
And I feel like there are just so many layers to Popsicle Pete.
Our fantasy and science fiction structure exists in a system that tries to convince its inhabitants that the world is binary, that everything is the group that is Us, and everything else, which is Them.
Issue 16 Nov 2020
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Issue 2 Nov 2020
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Issue 19 Oct 2020
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Issue 12 Oct 2020
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Issue 5 Oct 2020
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Issue 28 Sep 2020
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