First poem of 2015: Sad Wisps of Empty Smoke

/ Sunday, January 11th, 2015 / 2 Comments »

The eclectic interview site Van Gogh’s Ear has published the first new creative work of mine to appear in 2015, my poem “Sad Wisps of Empty Smoke.” It certainly nestles well with the dark work I’ve had published of late. For all its baroque imagery, it’s a pretty personal poem.
Sad Wisps
In late 2010, after a fallow period wherein I’d had a block when it came to writing poetry, my buddy C.S.E. Cooney piled a ton of poem prompts on me and encouraged friends and family to do the same. It worked; I started writing poetry again, producing a series I now refer to as the “Claire-dare” poems, posted in locked entries on my LiveJournal. “Sad Wisps of Empty Smoke” was the first of these poems, but it wasn’t in response to a prompt. It was the poem I had to get out of the way before the others could emerge.
Four years later, it’s nearly the last of the series to see print (so to speak). There’s one more Claire-dare poem remaining to be published, “The Bone Bird,” forthcoming in S.T. Joshi’s poetry magazine Spectral Realms, scheduled for its very next issue. I imagine I’ll do a bigger roundup post once they’re all in the world.
(For the curious, the first of the series to see print was “The Unkindest Kiss,” published January 2011 in Apex Magazine by then-editor Catherynne Valente; the final poem written in the series, “La Donna del Lago,” dedicated to Claire, was bought by Sonya Taaffe for Strange Horizons and appeared August 2011.)
My thanks to Tina Ayres for giving “Sad Wisps” a home.


  1. Izzy says:

    I remember reading this on LJ and getting quite creeped out and loving it. I think I printed it, actually.

Leave a Reply

As publisher and editor

Blog archives

On Twitter