Monday, July 16, 2012

Poetry Project: A is for Addict

Hey Everyone,

So in the midst of finishing up my poetry collection, Hysteria, I came across this piece on my hard-drive and figured I'd share. Hysteria is a compilation of pieces about obsessions, fetishes, abnormalities, and fantasies. It's about the place in the back of your head that you go to when life gets hard, and you need to hide. It's where diseases of the mind spread, and pain likes to grow. Hysteria doesn't judge, but it also doesn't sugar coat the monsters that live within each of us. 

Enjoy the tragedy. 

Stay Scared,
Stephanie M. Wytovich 


The 500 mg white pill
Subsides the inflammation
Dousing the flames in my lungs
While charred edges break off
Stabbing me in the side
While I gasp for air
And fight to breathe

The 60 mg blue capsule
Hides the blackness in my eyes
Masking the depression
And covering up the pain in my chest
It wipes away memories of failed suicides
And erases the cut marks on my inner thighs
Twice a day,
When I wake up,
When I go to bed,
And sometimes if I feel hungry for
The razor against my throat,
I’ll pop another one to make the demons go away

Hand in hand
My pills allow me live
To see another sunset
And close my eyes
Without a fear of dying in my sleep
But it is the larger white pill
75 mg
That prevents me from
Choking on my own vomit
And suffocating myself
Because my insides can’t digest food

My bed has essentially became a casket
That I lay in every night,
Hoping that my liver doesn't explode
My lungs hold out another day,
And that my stomach will do its job
So that my heart can keep beating,
So that I can keep breathing,
So that I can wake up another day
To take my pills, and move on

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Book Review: The Wicked by James Newman

The Wicked by James Newman is a new take on an old-fashioned tale regarding small town histories and haunts. Written in a style reminiscent of 80s horror, Newman introduces his readers to the Little family, Kate, David, and their daughter, Becca, and their move from New York City to Morganville, North Carolina in an attempt to leave behind tragedy, and start anew. But what seems like a quaint and quiet cul-de-sac is actually buzzing with negative energy as the ashes from the Heller House fire still roam the streets and memories of the residents.  Sixty died that night. Thirty-seven of them were children, and it wasn’t an accident.

New to town, the Little’s know no one short of Kate’s brother Joel and his partner Michael, but David forms a friendship early on with their neighbor, ex-marine George Heatherly, who ends up being both his backbone and his partner later on in the story. It doesn’t take the Little’s long before they realize something’s off about Morganville. With the death count ever rising, and the occupants turning to strange and violent behavior, it becomes obvious that something is very wrong, but like most of us, the thought of an ancient evil being resurrected is far from our minds.

What I personally enjoyed about Newman’s style is the realistic tension that he built up on the page. Newman is a skilled crafter of micro tension and the Little family responds to events as real people, not as characters. Their pain and terror became mine, and because of that, I found myself turning the page with an immediacy that I haven’t found in a novel in quite some time.  The same goes for his ability to create paranoia. While I knew I was reading horror and therefore somewhat bound by the conventions of the genre, there were definite moments when I wondered if Moloch was something that that the people made up in a fit of mass hysteria in order to deal with the tragedies that had befallen them. Their sleep deprivation, use of alcohol, and depression could easily have formed together to set blame on an imaginary entity, but the moment that long, white, filth ridden beard started to crawl out of the pages, I knew I wasn’t dealing with anything psychological. I was dealing with nothing short of the damned.

But what was most horrifying about Newman’s tale was how he spun Moloch into becoming much more than a demon, a mere devourer of souls. Moloch became a false prophet for the weak and impressionable, the tired and the sick. He befriended ten-year-old Billy Dawson as he mourned over the ashes of his deceased friends, became a long lost lover to Michael as he cried in his tub, and reached out to Kate in moments when her faith wasn’t strong enough to carry her through. Evil will always try to corrupt good, whether you’re a priest of good stranding, the town hero, or a family man with access to a gun.  

Overall, I’d give The Wicked four out of five skulls, and not just because Moloch got inside my head while I was reading it. It was a compelling story that transcended the decade’s clichés, and it will give horror lovers the healthy dose of sex, blood, and terror they crave while getting delightfully lost inside Newman’s dark imagination. From the stinging corpses of burned children, to a Mother’s breakdown, I can promise you that hell will leak through the pages, and that you’ll never look at Santa Claus the same way again. A beard will never be just a beard, and when you smell something burning, I deeply urge you to hold on to your soul because you never know when evil is lurking around, desperately searching for its next victim.

If you're interested in learning more about the author, the story, or the house that published them, click here to visit Shock Totem's website. And a big thank you to them for recommending me a truly disturbing read! Anyone who knows me will tell you that in order to get my heart, you have to creep me out first.

Pleasant nightmares folks!