A Few Poems For You

I spent a few early mornings bent over an ancient typewriter, one I purchased for $15 at a thrift shop two years back. I cleaned the thing up and replaced the ribbon. I’ve been good to it.

In turn, it has been good the me — the typewriter, that is.

Heck, I even wrote my first professional story sale on the thing, before typing it into Word Doc. I call my typewriter “the poetry machine” because it’s perfect for writing poetry, especially at 4 AM, when my analytical mind dissolves and the subconscious takes over. The following poems are a result of a few uneasy, restless mornings. Writing them provided me comfort and joy, and I hope they do the same for you.

BEATING THE CLOCK

I am enraged by death;

I was born with a desire

to go on living beyond my years.

I am an absurd man;

A contrarian to this insensitive universe

which does not take my feelings

into account.

I am the universe.

I take my feelings into account.

My feeling is,

I don’t wanna die.

Life is a fading polaroid —

soon there will be no family

or even very distant relatives

to appreciate it.

Why do people

even take pictures?

Because they think

they’ll be remembered —

but nothing is remembered.

We are doomed to amnesia, and then

there is no ‘we’.

I am enraged by death —-

Can’t you drink to that?

Can’t you understand?

Mortality burns

and we are demanded to love it,

or deny it.

I am writing myself

into the grave,

only hoping to beat the clock.

I am pitting against

Grim Reality;

but at least for now,

you are reading this, gentle reader —-

And I have temporarily stolen Death’s scythe.

DRUNK ON POEMS

A good poem

gets you drunk

without even a stiff beverage

to touch your lips.

That is why

the best poems

are written with spirits.

Multitudinous

One moment,

I am a logical skeptic

without patience for your

silly wool-eyed superstitions.

The next,

I am a devoted mystic,

summoning spirits

at the typewriter

and cursing the muse

when she does not sprinkle her dream-dust

upon my weary, aching, grasping mind.

Restless Writers

Restless energy.

I overeat.

Chew fingernails.

Drink ten gallons of black coffee.

Devour myself.

Yet the best method

for dispelling this slow torture

of displaced being

is to write out the pain —

write out the numb agony

the solitude

and the jitters —

write until

my nerves cease to quake

my brain ceases to boil

my legs cease to kick

and a smile of ease breathes

satisfaction upon my face

and my heart whispers to me,

‘thank you’.

Feeding the Monster

There are nights when I feel

that weary ache in mind and flesh

and am only soothed

by feeding another piece of paper

into the typewriter’s bale.

And I get that sick, lovely feeling

I am feeding a monster.

Can you not hear this

feral growl of my soul?

This poem stares back at you

with hungry crimson eyes.

Unbeknown to you,

gentle reader, you have fed

this crazed, lonesome 4AM poet.

This is fine —-

For we all have monsters to feed.

Productivity

The sound

of

productivity:

CLICK CLACK

CLACK CLICK

CLACK CLICK

CLICK CLACK.

Soothing

as the swell

of ocean tides.

Perfect

as a three-part

harmony:

my hands,

my typewriter,

my open, boundless heart.

A Clever State of Mind

Good writing

is just a clever state of mind.

A shame writers are stupid

most of the time.

But they try, damn it.

I try too, however —-

cleverness, for most

is fleeting at best.

I can feel it leaving already.

And for those who will say

‘you never had it’,

I respond in kind —-

to Hell with you!

After I die,

they can weigh my soul

in the pages I wrote.

Bet it’ll weigh a damn ton.

A Confession About Poets

Poets are liars.

I don’t mean to sound

dramatic — it’s just true.

I know because

I used to be a poet.

What you are reading now,

is simply honesty and

an attempt at humanness.

It may or may not be poetry.

Most poets are liars.

They try to tell the truth, maybe,

but they just don’t know how —

and they end up writing stuff

that looks like poetry

but isn’t.

Being honest is being human.

Notice how the best poems are honest.

The best poems are vulnerable.

They read like beautiful blood —

Someone’s soul dancing upon the page.

That is poetry,

and for those daring enough

to share themselves —-

not just a pose of themselves,

is a poet.

Someone bring out

those lush green Laurel leaves,

and be prepared to wait

a long, long time.

What Is A Book-Dragon, And Should It Replace the Bookworm?

Fellow readers and writers,

We have all heard of a ‘bookworm’. It’s a term for people who are enthusiastic about reading books. I remember, as a child, wandering about the elementary school book fair and noticing a poster of a plump green worm with round spectacles, a book clamped firmly within its tiny hands.

This character is good-natured and amiable enough, but one hardly likes being referred to as a worm. A ‘bookworm’ is often used as a gentle pejorative, rather than a term of endearment. That said, I wouldn’t mind one bit if someone should smile slyly and call me out for being a bookworm. Most likely I’d accept the locution with beaming pride. Yet if I truly had my druthers, I prefer by far a term I’ve heard increasingly from fellow readers. That being, a book-dragon.


A book dragon, in my estimation, is a far worthier and accurate term for avaricious readers. Can you picture it?


A wise old mythological beast of great literary merit, snuggled within its hollowed cave, lording over ancient treasures — stacks upon stacks of glorious books. Perhaps this dragon, like the poster of the worm, wears glasses. Except . . . do you notice how much more dignified the dragon appears wearing them compared to the worm? Perhaps the dragon even blows wisps of smoke from its nostrils when reading something particularly curious or satisfying. Perhaps its scales glow and throb with ember reds, or alien greens; an outward sign of its excited mind.


What can the poor bookworm do except wriggle and writhe in the dirt? Good for cultivation of soil, perhaps, yet he hardly provides for the cultivation of mind. 


Yet the dragon, cozy in its fortress of knowledge, wiles away the hours in joy and contemplation. Utterly dignified, poised and urbane, the book-dragon exudes erudition and benevolent power.


The aforementioned attributes, after all, are often achieved over a life time of excellent reading. For knowledge is power, and books possess knowledge. If a reader should memorize and practice said knowledge, they will become empowered. So long as they remain forever humble and curious, their knowledge may even transform into wisdom.


Reading books is to be highly encouraged. Our friendly ol’ pal, the bookworm, has done his best in encouraging an entire generation to read. For that, the gentle fellow deserves our gratitude.

However, times change and our mascots of intelligence and literacy will come and go. Perhaps it is high time we welcome in the posters, t-shirts, and advertisement material of the book-dragon; being the kindly, wise, intelligent, and powerful representative it may prove to be to the upcoming generation of dedicated readers.


I do not think the bookworm shall resent his displacement. For as poet William Blake wrote, “The cut worm forgives the plow.”

Of course, there’s much to be said about long-lasting, meaningful friendships. Perhaps the bookworm and the book-dragon could read and share their joyous literary discoveries together?

A world of bookworms and book-dragons seems like a delightful one indeed.

Regards,

Tylor James.

Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill (a book review!)

My first hardcover edition of Full Throttle, signed by Joe Hill, is among the treasures of my personal library.

I utterly adore Joe’s writing and have yet to come away disappointed. Full Throttle is no exception. I enjoyed every tale in this collection, but especially fell in love with By the Silver Waters of Lake Champlain. It is a take on Bradbury’s The Foghorn. It may arguably stand the test of time on its own literary merits, much like its predecessor.

Dark Carnival is also excellent, as is Faun, a Hemingway-esque safari tale which turns into an otherworldly fantasy, a la C.S. Lewis. In the Tall Grass, co-written with Stephen King, perfectly blends Joe and Stephen’s writing styles, producing one effectively creepy hybrid.

Out of everything in this fine collection, what sticks with me (though not quite as much as “Lake Champlain”) is a tale called Late Returns. I identified completely with the narrator’s voice, finding his encounters with ghostly book readers to be thrilling, intriguing, and more than a touch creepy.

In summary, all I want to say is — Great work, Mr. Hill. I can’t wait to read the next!

Thanks for reading.

Your friend and fellow book-dragon,

Tylor James.

 

full throttle 2

The History of Philosophy by A.C. Grayling (a book review!)

I didn’t merely devour AC Grayling’s The History of Philosophy — I lovingly savored it. I occasionally even re-read sections, taking my time and genuinely enjoying it.

The amount of content covered within these 700 pages is prodigious! Yet Grayling’s writing is accessible and engaging, often with a charming touch of wit. While a more seasoned philosophical student may not be as blown away, I was quite impressed. Although familiar with most of the names in this book, I was not as familiar with their various metaphysical/epistemological ideas.

2500 years of humankind’s most ingenious thinkers and philosophical schools of thought serve as quite a formidable subject to pen within a single volume. Yet the author succeeds in this task brilliantly.

I did think the Analytical Philosophy section got (just a little) dry, but I continued reading, and am certainly glad I did. After having finished this mind-expanding tome while soaking in the sun up at the lake, I can confidently say that The History of Philosophy is now among my very favorite books.

I also high recommend listening to any talk/lecture by AC Grayling (British author, philosopher, and Master of New College of the Humanities in London) that you can find. His wisdom, knowledge, and rationalistic approach to life is of high value, especially in such precarious times as these.

Thanks for reading.

Your friend and fellow book-dragon,

Tylor James.

history

This is Ed (Ed is Dead, Yet Productive).

Greetings friends.

I took the photograph displayed below. The gentleman at the 1940’s Royal typewriter is Ed.

Ed is dead. Has been for some time. Yet death is no reason for ceasing productivity, no sir! Ed and I are currently working on a new book of short stories. We trade places at the typewriter, inventing many first drafts to what will (hopefully) become published stories of horror, suspense, and all out weirdness.

That’s what Ed and I do, every day.

We are writers of the macabre. Someday, I will be dead like Ed.

But that will not stop me, no indeed! I’ll be clicking and clacking those type-keys with passion and reverence in the basement of Purgatory forever.

Dead Ed's Author Photo

PS, if you’d like to purchase my first book, “Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity”, you may do so by visiting the Amazon links below. The book is cheap. The stories are wild and imaginative and you are bound to have a good time reading them.

Dead Ed and I assure you of this.

Warm regards,

Tylor.

Paperback for $9.99

Kindle for $4.99

Dark Places in the Night (A Theme Song)

Greetings, my friends.

For me, it’s never to early for Halloween. This is a theme song I’ve recorded for Lee Hidalgo’s upcoming podcast, “Dark Places in the Night”. I’m rather happy with how this  tune has turned out. To listen, merely click the YouTube link below:

Dark Places in the Night

Your thoughts/comments are welcome. Thanks for listening, and feel free to keep tuned for further updates on my upcoming publications, both in literature and music.

Regards,

Tylor James.

 

Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity.

Fellow bloggers, readers, and writers,

I have written a book. A book which will thrill you, keeping you turning the pages to find out what happens next. A book which will creep you the hell out. A book which may even make you laugh, from time to time . . .

Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity is a collection of twenty-two short stories. Need some new, thrilling reading material? Ha! What a silly question.  If you’re anything like me, you currently have a stack of unread paperbacks on your book shelf, BUT there’s always room for a new, exciting book. Even if you have to make room.

In short, I’m hoping you’ll make room for Daydreams of the Damned. I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed. Even better, this book is priced cheap.

Only $9.99 for a paperback

Just $4.99 for kindle

How about that?

Thanks very much for putting up with my sales pitch, friends. I’m just a writer trying to make ends meet.

Regards,

Tylor James.

PS: If you’d like additional info on Daydreams, just keep on scrollin’.

Daydreams of the Damned - Tylor James

Imagine the following, if you will:

Subterranean monsters with crimson eyes and needle-teeth.
A blood-thirsty tow-truck driver.
A professional gabber discovers a magic telephone.
A mad scientist feeds his failed experiments to “the Beast”.
A cursed lake with a pair of haunting eyes at its murky bottom.
A skeleton whom enjoys reading William Shakespeare.
A married couple doomed to an afterlife of bickering inside a shared coffin.
A small-time criminal doomed to transform into an underwater creature.
Two young boys discover the dark magic of Halloween in 1933, the final year of prohibition.

Daydreams of the Damned, a collection of twenty-two stories, has all the horror, weirdness, and gallows humor one can handle! Tylor James offers readers a diverse selection of tales which will terrify and entertain for hours on end.

 

Available Now: “DAYDREAMS OF THE DAMNED: TALES OF HORROR & ODDITY”

Dear gentle reader: This book is 311 pages of horror and oddity. Imagine the following, if you will:

Subterranean monsters with crimson eyes and needle-teeth.
A blood-thirsty tow-truck driver.
A professional gabber discovers a magic telephone.
A mad scientist feeds his failed experiments to “the Beast”.
A cursed lake with a pair of haunting eyes at its murky bottom.
A skeleton whom enjoys reading William Shakespeare.
A married couple doomed to an afterlife of bickering inside a shared coffin.
A small-time criminal doomed to transform into an underwater creature.
Two young boys discover the dark magic of Halloween in 1933, the final year of prohibition.

Daydreams of the Damned, a collection of twenty-two stories, has all the horror, weirdness, and gallows humor one can handle! Tylor James offers readers a diverse selection of tales which will terrify and entertain for hours on end.

And best yet, the book is cheap! $9.99 on paperback  and $4.99 on Kindle

What a deal, eh?

***

That is my pitch to you, gentle reader.

To be honest, self-promotion makes me uncomfortable. BUT, I believe in this book. I’ve worked hard on it for a year and a half. I think it’s a good read with some really interesting stories. Therefore, you may want to consider buying it!

I’ll leave it at that.

Thank you for reading. May you all stay safe out there.

Regards,

Tylor James.

 

Daydreams of the Damned - Tylor James

DAYDREAMS OF THE DAMNED

Greetings, friends.

I’m excited to announce my debut book of short stories will be released this Friday, on April 17. It will be available in paperback and on kindle. The cover was photographed and designed by my good friend, Matt Voorhees.

Daydreams of the Damned - Tylor James

Now, imagine these items, if you will:

Subterranean monsters with crimson eyes and needle-teeth.

A blood thirsty tow-truck driver.

An undead married couple.

A mad scientist bent on creating the perfect brain.

A small-time criminal who turns amphibian.

A man who can’t kill the evil Voice inside his head.

A skeleton who enjoys reading Shakespeare.

A haunted lake with two yellow eyes glowing at its murky bottom.

And much, much more!

Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity is a collection of twenty-two stories which will thrill you, terrify you, even make you laugh!

paperback  $9.99

kindle  $4.99

An link for purchase will be published on this blog, once the book is live.

Stay tuned, good friends. It’s about to get exciting!