Archive for the Writing Category

Now Available: Too Obscene

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Now available from Nostrovia! Poetry, TOO OBSCENE is a one-shot zine featuring inappropriate but powerful flash fiction and poetry. Among the offerings you’ll find three of my poems–“Crucified for Cthulhu,” “Blowjob Queen” (ever wonder what oral sex with ALIEN’s Xenomorph is like?), and “Gang-Raped by Clowns–The Aftermath.” (You can even read “Crucified” for free on Nostrovia!’s preview page.)

Get yours here.


An Appreciation: “This is How I Murdered the Librarian” by Michael A. Arnzen

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2013 by Scott Emerson

As part of The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly’s blog tour for April I thought I’d offer a few words in appreciation of Michael Arnzen’s poem “This is How I Murdered the Librarian.” Like most of Arnzen’s verse, it’s a doozy–read it here.

What I love about this piece, aside from the obvious ghoulish glee that permeates each line, is how Arnzen turns the cliched librarian details–like the shushing finger–on themselves in grim parody during the act of murder, while corrupting classic childrens’ characters by making them complicit in the act before eliminating them in fiery death.

In his note after the poem, Arnzen says the piece “may be more about crimes against books than anything else,” and it’s where “This is How” strikes its most brutal chord. Is there a bibliophile capable of reading this poem without experiencing a sickening lurch in the gut while the narrator destroys an entire library along with his victim? (I also suspect we’re supposed to be more aghast at that than the murder.)

Many readers, like I did at first glance, will see this poem as a comment on the print-vs.-ebook debate. Arnzen gives us precious few details about this killer–implying a surly youth so beholden to technology that dusty old books are beneath contempt–without really giving a clear motivation for the murder. But then I re-read the first stanza, which ends with a line about “a private show and tell,” and saw that perhaps this is a much-deserved revenge. And the librarian, who used books to her own sinister means, meets a fitting end.

That, right there, is what makes this poem great.


Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2013 by Scott Emerson

Westward Hoes

Now available from Burning Bulb Publishing, the bizarro western anthology WESTWARD HOES. Edited by Gary Lee Vincent ad Rich Bottles, Jr. (who previously brought you THE BIG BOOK OF BIZARRO), it features nine decidedly demented tales of strange and unspeakable debauchery in the Old West. Most of the authors involved also appeared in BBoB–like Wol-vriey, who contributes the novella “Big Trouble in Little Ass”–so if you dug that one, you should enjoy this, too.

My story therein, “Succubi Sundown,” contains probably the most bizarre sex scene I’ve ever written.

Order yours from Amazon for $12.99 here:

“10 Things Writing Has Taught Me” at Pen, Paper, Pad

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on February 7, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Guest blogging today at T.A. Woods’ Pen, Paper, Pad blog. And since I’m probably the last person who should dispense writing advice, I made a list of ten things I’ve learned about the craft.

Check it out here:

Arnzstigation Days: “Longing”

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by Scott Emerson


In honor of Arnzstigation Days, I’d like to share a flash fiction story, as well as a little bit about the book and its author, Michael Arnzen, who inspired it.

(Speaking of Arnzen, have you contributed to the Fridge of the Damned Kickstarter? It’s a wicked sweet magnetic poetry set coming from Raw Dog Screaming Press. For more info and to donate go here: And may I mention that pledges at the “Audiovillain” level gets you, among other cool items, a CD recording of Arnzen reading at the Morgantown Poets/Raw Dog Screaming party from May 2012. It’s an awesome event; I know, I was there.)

What I wanted to share was a poem inspired by a piece of Arnzen’s digital art, but it appears the piece has been taken down from Arnzen’s site (and Twitter has since eaten the poem as well). So instead I’ll be offering my short-short “Longing.”

“Longing” wasn’t inspired by any one specific Instigation or Twisted Prompt; it’s part of the flash fiction flood unleashed in my brain after reading Arnzen’s excellent flash collection 100 JOLTS. I scribbled a TON of microfiction, much of it bad, after devouring the book. Yet the way Arnzen utilized clever wordplay, vivid and bizarre imagery, and pop culture deconstruction prodded my muse like few books have, and I continued to hone the shorts. Finally I got something I was happy with.

“Longing” was origially published in August 2004 in FLASHSHOT.

by Scott Emerson

I long to sever your vocal chords.
That way, I couldn’t hear you say, Stop. Don’t. I don’t like when we play this game. I hate seeing you bleed.
But I wouldn’t. Like you’ve said, it’s not my style.
The awl slid effortlessly into my eardrums.

In closing, let me add that Michael Arnzen has been more than an inspiration or favorite author. He’s been a valuable mentor and friend, one whose advice and wisdom has greatly benefitted my work in the near-decade I’ve been fortunate to know him. I would not be the writer I am today without his influence.

Whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen.

Review: The Starling Connection Part 1: Lifeline by Theodore Webb

Posted in Books, Morgantown Poets, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by Scott Emerson


In the first installment of his Starling Connection series Theodore Webb presents a chilling dystopian future not too far removed from our current society, an Orwellian backdrop of constant surveillance, immersive, ubiquitous social media, and manufactured realities that soothe and distract from harsher truths. Thrust into a high school environment of carefully controlled thought expression and mandatory school spirit, a small cadre of free-thinking students struggle to break the norm of “Work, Consume, Conform, Repeat.”

Extrapolating current anxieties to frightening but plausible extremes, Webb has much to say about privacy in the digital age, our dependency on prescription medicine and technology, and the state of the working class, filtered through the unique voices of his non-conformist protagonists. While LIFELINE mostly sets the scene and plants the seeds of conflicts to come, it’s an intriguing beginning that whets the appetite for future stories.

(LIFELNE will be available as a free download via Amazon on December 25 and 26. If you don’t want to wait you can order it now here:

Now Available: Poetry from the Grave

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by Scott Emerson

POETRY FROM THE GRAVE, a new anthology of zombie poems compiled by Rhonda Kachur of Dollar Bin Horror, is now available for most e-reader formats. Featuring 19 authors including Michael McCarty, Eric Polk, and Seven L. Cooper, as well as my new poem “Habit.” And it’s FREE.

Get your copy here: