Friday, October 22, 2021



I should mention that collaborators Mary Turzillo and Marge Simon have a new book of dark poetry out, Victims, from Weasel Press. Seems like a lot of literature celebrates villains; it's a little more unusual to see the other side.

Both paper and e-versions are available, either from the publisher, or from Amazon.

This is one of the braver dark poetry collections I’ve seen in a while. Horror poets generally employ victims in their work, but the focus is generally on the Evil. Turning the camera the other way is unusual, unsettling, emotionally risky, and surprisingly effective. From their stark opening take on Pygmalion, to the ending poem about the wasted life of Stateira of Persia, this powerful collection teases apart an impressive number of the threads of victimhood. Some are the usual cases, but quite a few are surprises, or reversals, or cases with unexpected layers. There is nothing repetitive about this collection.

 —Timons Esaias

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The passing of Ohio poet Timothy Russell (1951-September 2021)

Tim grew up along the Ohio River and worked at Weirton Steel as a millwright until lupus forced him to retire. He and wife Jodi lived on in Toronto, Ohio with four children, always close to nature. Tim won awards for his poetry and was praised by Gary Snyder, “There is discipline, spirit, clarity, no easy optimism, sensibility, heart in these poems.” His chapbook “In Medias Res” was published in A Red Shadow of Steel Mills: Photos & Poems (Bottom Dog Press 1991). He was a fine poet and had a wonderful ability to combine people with nature and industry. Here are a few lines.

If what I have written
in my own hand
had been origami
it would have been considered
lovely and miraculous:
the blue/orange flames
roosting at night
instead of the moon
above the blast furnaces,
like birds with litmus plumage,
miraculous and lovely.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau