Tuesday, April 7, 2015

An Exorcism Warning: I Don't Speak Latin

Love is an exorcism of angels...

I wrote the first draft of An Exorcism of Angels in three weeks. That’s 140 poems in 21 days. A lot of people have asked me how that’s even possible, and I truly don’t have a good answer to that other than the book had to happen, and it had to happen fast. Much like Edgar Allan Poe, “I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched,” and in this instance, my heart wasn’t merely touched. It was possessed.
Hence the exorcism.

But since I don’t speak Latin, I decided to speak through poetry instead.

What was different this time around, was that not all my demons were fiction.
I don’t pretend to live a perfect life. At best, I’m sinful, and at worst, well, let’s just say there’s probably a seat reserved for me downstairs. Maybe even a pew. Hell, I probably have my own circle if we’re going to be completely honest with each other. But jokes aside, for only being 26 years old, I’ve seen Hell in more ways, shapes, and forms than I care to count. I mean, my first memory as a child is of a suicide, and while I’ve come to peace with my demons, both internal and external, both past and present, what I haven’t seen a lot of is Heaven.

I’m not talking pearly gates or big white castle in the clouds, but rather peace, serenity. At a reading a few weeks ago, someone asked me if I believed in guardian angels, and I wasn’t sure what to say. Sure, I was brought up to believe in them, but if I have a guardian angel watching over me, she certainly has a lot of explaining to do. And I certainly have a lot of questions.

And that’s where the gray area comes in. The unknown. The debatable. I wrote this book while I was in a world of gray. The idea came to me in bed, and it came to me while I riding out a bout of depression. I was questioning a lot about life then, a lot about people, about love. I thought for sure my heart had taken its final beating, and then out of the darkness, the words started to come. Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do bad people triumph while good is punished over and over? What is good? What is bad? Are things as black and white as they seem? Are all demons evil? Are all angels holy? Can one have sympathy for the Devil? After all, Lucifer was an angel first, was he not?
This book is different than anything that I have written before. It explores faith in a way that is unfaithful while still being devout, and it's as blasphemous as much as it's a prayer. These poems found me while I was locked in Hell, and they brought me to a kind of Heaven. They taught me that not all angels have wings, just as not all demons have claws, and throughout the rest of the month, I'm going to be talking about a lot of different topics regarding religion and horror: The Archetype of the Devil, What it Means to Write Religious Horror as a Catholic, Poetry as Prayer, etc.

I’m not ashamed or afraid to admit that writing this book saved my life, probably in more ways than one, and on April 23rd, the preorders will go live from Raw Dog Screaming Press. My penance? For every person that preorders this collection, I’m donating $1.00 to SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.
Writing saved my life.
It's my turn to help save someone else's.
In sin and in prayer,
Stephanie M. Wytovich

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