Sunday, July 12, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Reading Between the Lines” by G. O. Clark

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Reading Between the Lines” by G. O. Clark.  Mr. Clark's writing has been published in:  Asimov's Science Fiction, Analog, Talebones  Magazine, Strange Horizons, Space & Time, Retro Spec: Tales of Fantasy and Nostalgia, A Sea Of Alone: Poems For Alfred Hitchcock, Tales Of The Talisman, Daily SF, Jupiter (GB) and many other publications.

Mr. Clark is the author of eleven poetry collections, the two most recent, Scenes Along the Zombie Highway (2013, Dark Regions Press), and Gravediggers' Dance (2014, Dark Renaissance Books). His fiction collection, The Saucer Under My Bed & Other Stories, was published by Sam's Dot Publishing in 2011. He won the Asimov's Readers Award for poetry in 2001 and has been a repeat Rhysling and Stoker Award nominee.

Mr. Clark is retired and lives in Davis, California.  See for more information.

Reading Between the Lines
G. O. Clark

His teen sweetheart
got trapped in a love song
he composed on his mother's
old spinet piano.

When in college,
he took up poetry, and
one impressionable coed
became entangled in the meter
of his sophomoric sonnet.

Till death do us
part, his lovely bride
agreed, and by vowing to do so,
ended up the literal pulse beat
of his only novel.

After his death,
his official biographer found
that none of his past loves could
be accounted for. They had
just ceased to exist

and were never reported
missing by family or friends.
The critics unanimously agree,
the females in his books seem
more real than imaginary.

Poet’s Notes:  I sometimes get ideas for poems from some book I'm reading, whether fiction, poetry, or non-fiction.  I wrote this poem months ago, and can't for the life of me remember which book, or line in the book, served as inspiration. The idea of real people finding their way into fiction, and poetry, is nothing new, but I think my horrific, (and literal) take on the process might be. Each stanza of the poem could probably be expanded into a stand-alone short story, and the whole into mystery or horror novel. Perhaps some day . . . .

Editor’s Note:  The title of this poem is “Reading Between the Lines” with a capital “B” for “Between.”  Prepositions usually appear in lowercase in a title (and I usually ask the poet for clarification if not), but the capital as used here seems appropriate for emphasis, as the action in this poem takes place “Between” fantasy and reality--in the white space "Between" the lines. This poem reminds me of a short story I read recently in Neil Gaiman’s collection, Trigger Warning.

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