Tag Archives: Zdzislaw Beksinski

Come Fly with Death, Happy Birthday!

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - KindleThree years ago today, I published my first book, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. In that time I have been blown away by the reception it has received, selling ~150 print copies and 100+ digital copies, has been read 143 times from Kindle Unlimited, and has thus far received very favorable reviews. That may not sound like much as far as sales compared to the national bestsellers, but for a little chapbook like this, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I am so thankful that people are enjoying this little book of ekphrastic poetry inspired by my favorite painter, the late Zdzislaw Beksinski. In recognition of the book’s three year anniversary, the kindle edition will be free for three days starting tomorrow, Friday the 13th.

I can hardly believe it’s been three years and I’d say I’m overdue for a followup. To that end, I currently have three more chapbooks well in the works, the first of which (and possibly second) should be out in the coming year. I will post more info on these in the coming months. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, you can check out my horror novel, Feeding Lazarus (written as Rafe Grayson from Azoth Khem Publishing), a dark tale of morbid wish fulfillment about a bullied young boy named Daniel, the monsters in his life, and his interactions with a dead man.

If you happen to live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area of Florida, I will be at my favorite local bookstore, Books at Park Place tonight from 6-8pm signing copies of both books, along with other horror authors for the store’s Thursday the 12th Horror Authors event. Come by for some books, scary tales, and an overall spooky good time to get into the spirit of the season.

That’s all for now. Thanks again to all who have supported me! Cheers!

 

 

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Happy Halloween! Come Fly with Death: Free Days

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - Kindle

Hi folks! Happy soon-to-be Halloween!

As a special promotion for Halloween, the ebook edition of my dark poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski, is free for Amazon Kindle starting today, Thursday, October 29th, and lasting through Sunday, November 1st. That’s four days to grab a copy if you haven’t already done so, plus a little extra time to duct tape your friends to chairs and force them politely invite your friends to do the same.

Also, I highly encourage you to visit beksiński.pl to learn more about Zdzislaw Beksinski and immerse yourself in his fantastic, horrific, and truly beautiful works of art.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again for all your support.

Cheers!


New Review for Come Fly with Death

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - Kindle

I honestly don’t know how I missed this, but there’s a new review for my poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinki. I maybe shouldn’t say “new” review, as it went live way back in January. Okay, so it’s not exactly new, but if I haven’t seen it, it’s still new to me. Well anyhow, nearly four months later, I am quite pleased to have discovered it so I can share it with all of you, brag about it a little bit, and of course, dance the happy jig.

This review comes from author and publisher, Christina Escamilla, and was posted to the Christina Escamilla Publishing website on January 15, 2015. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Christina Escamilla for taking time to read this little chapbook and for posting this wonderful and very insightful review!

Here’s the first part of the review, followed by a link to the full review:

“Come Fly With Death is a collection of poems based on the artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski.  The synopsis of the poetry collection gives more insight into Beksinski’s work by simply stating it is “surrealistic and graphic.”  That’s true, but beyond that Beksinski’s work also has an underpinning of death and life, beauty and ugliness.  If anything it is the ability to see that this duality is what makes life, well life.  To fully and truly appreciate life one must understand that life also comes with death, wrapped in the horror and ugliness and the realities of the world; whether its the knowledge of death itself or what humankind will do to one another.”

And the review also says this (yes, I’m bragging just a little):

“There is a darkness, a blackness in these poems, and to that end, they are not for everyone, but there’s no doubt – they are exceptionally well written and deeply memorable!”

Go on and Read the Full Review Here.

Find the book on Amazon, or grab a signed and personalized trade paperback from my website.

Cheers!


Free Today and Tomorrow – No Foolin’

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - Kindle

Hey folks! My little chapbook of horrific poetry, Come Fly with Death, is free today and tomorrow for Amazon Kindle. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, now’s your chance!

Here’s the rundown:

Come Fly with Death is a chapbook of 20 poems inspired by the artwork of the late Polish painter, Zdzislaw Beksinski. Up until the time of his murder in 2005, Beksinski created a fantastic collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs, specializing in the field of utopian art.

Like Beksinski’s works, the poems contained here are surrealistic and graphic. They are at times horrific, Gothic, even erotic, and apocalyptic. Above all, they attempt to serve as a rare glimpse into the heart of our most beautiful nightmares.

Contains poems new and collected, including reprints from: The Horror Zine, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Indigo Rising Magazine, Gothic Poems and Fiction, Death Head Grin Anthology Vol. 2, and Fossil Lake: An Anthology of the Aberrant.

Thanks! Now go spread the word.

Cheers!


Free for Halloween: Come Fly with Death

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - KindleNow through Halloween you can grab a free Kindle copy of my horror-themed poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. This promotion is for two days only, so don’t delay!

Oh, and tell your friends!

Book Description:

Come Fly with Death is a chapbook of 20 poems inspired by the artwork of the late Polish painter, Zdzislaw Beksinski. Up until the time of his murder in 2005, Beksinski created a fantastic collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs, specializing in the field of utopian art.

Like Beksinski’s works, the poems contained here are surrealistic and graphic. They are at times horrific, Gothic, even erotic, and apocalyptic. Above all, they attempt to serve as a rare glimpse into the heart of our most beautiful nightmares.

Contains reprints from: The Horror Zine, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Indigo Rising Magazine, Gothic Poems and Fiction, Death Head Grin Anthology Vol. 2, and Fossil Lake: An Anthology of the Aberrant. Also includes several poems never before published.

Sample Poem:

COME FLY WITH DEATH

Come fly with Death
and feel the splitting as you come apart
with turbulent screams bifurcating bones.

Flee further from this life–
unfurl your wings and soar
with tangled feathers cutting the night.

Join his skeleton beak,
slicing stabs at airless wind,
and wield its dashing spine.

Stay near to glinting shroud and glide,
knowing tattered wings will guide,
as whispering scars are left behind.

Go now into that hollow abyss,
but do not pass the dark in calmness;
break the barrier with raging clamor!

Do not scrape or merely crawl.
Come fly with Death–
and swoop, and yawp, and bawl.


Come Fly with Death

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - Kindle

Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski is available now as an ebook for $0.99 and trade paperback for $5.99, and will also be available to order through your local bookstore in the coming weeks.

Below you’ll find two poems from this chapbook (two because I failed to post yesterday when my iPad became possessed). First is the title poem, ‘Come Fly with Death’ along with ‘Bring the Light.’ You can also sample three additional poems which I’ve previously posted: ‘One in Hell,’ ‘Ocean Eyes,’ and ‘Hell Fossil.’

Thank you so much for having a look at my work, and if you like it, tell a friend! (If you don’t like it, just pretend you never read it.)

 

COME FLY WITH DEATH

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Come fly with Death
and feel the splitting as you come apart
with turbulent screams bifurcating bones.

Flee further from this life—
unfurl your wings and soar
with tangled feathers cutting the night.

Join his skeleton beak,
slicing stabs at airless wind,
and wield its dashing spine.

Stay near to glinting shroud and glide,
knowing tattered wings will guide,
as whispering scars are left behind.

Go now into that hollow abyss,
but do not pass the dark in calmness;
break the barrier with raging clamor!

Do not scrape or merely crawl.
Come fly with Death—
and swoop, and yawp, and bawl.

 

BRING THE LIGHT

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Zdzislaw Beksinski

What wretched creatures lie before me!
Squealing, squirming in the dark,
enthralled
amidst their feasting orgy.

Gnashing teeth, spattering blood,
festering bone;
their tongues dance along the drips
of other men’s pain.

A cryptic overseer
looms beyond the mist,
his crow shoulders
pecking upon the scars.

A thousand wicked grins
gleam from rubble and from rot,
a pile of waste—
dead men leering in the dark.

A door to freedom is at their backs,
but most will never see it,
long since trading eyes
for sharper teeth and larger maws.

But I bring the Light,
and I wear the shroud.
My candle burns;
my flame never falters.

The Bearer of the Cross walks beside me.
We pass among the throng
and it parts before our steps;
like the splitting seas—

I bring the Light
and the darkness scatters.

 


Hell Fossil

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Today I present ‘Hell Fossil’ from my chapbook Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. In case you missed the previous posts, here are ‘One in Hell‘ and ‘Ocean Eyes.’

Enjoy!

HELL FOSSIL

Men of lost goals
and minuscule purpose
lie crunched and broken,
impacted with the weight

of hollow burden,
angered with the memories,
to bleed forever
with their brethren.

Armies pile high in cold-stone fusion.
They died amidst the pit.
They brought their war to Hell
and marched upon the Black Gates.

Their skulls still don the helmets
of their killing suits,
their death rags,
their funeral wrappings.

Their spines drip upon on the wall,
crags layered with the corpses—
a bluff of rot and suffering
erodes softly into the abyss.

Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski releases on Sunday, October 12. Pre-order the ebook here on Amazon for $0.99 or the trade-paperback (List Price: $5.99) on Amazon or the Createspace Storefront. Or wait a week or two and support your local bookstore by ordering directly from them (recommended!).


Ocean Eyes

Zdzislaw Beksinski - 1978

Zdzislaw Beksinski – 1978

Today’s poem from Come Fly with Death is called ‘Ocean Eyes.’ While it was initially inspired by Zdzislaw Beksinski’s painting seen in the image above, this poem is really about my wife, Brenda. It is a quick, simple little poem that I think displays some variety in the book (not every poem included is quite as horrific as yesterday’s ‘One in Hell‘ but many are) and it is actually one of my personal favorites, possibly due to its sheer simplicity. I hope you enjoy.

OCEAN EYES

Beneath the crescent moon

I’ll know your scent,

buried in the breeze that sweeps your hair.

I’ll taste you on the shore,

salted skin sweet with sweat,

flesh made orange upon the grit.

I’ll swim inside your ocean eyes,

pulled so hard within your tides,

and drown inside your depths.

Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski releases on Sunday, October 12. Pre-order the ebook here on Amazon for $0.99 or the trade-paperback (List Price: $5.99) on Amazon or the Createspace Storefront. Or wait a week or two and support your local bookstore by ordering directly from them (recommended!).


One in Hell

Zdzisław Beksiński - 1986 (4)

Zdzisław Beksiński – 1986

With only four days until its “official” release, I think it’s time I let you folks sample some of my chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. So as a sort of “countdown,” I will be posting one poem from the book right here every day through launch day, Sunday, October 12.

Today I am sharing the first poem included, which is also the first one I wrote for the collection. It was inspired by the image of the painting above (and I might be breaking some copyright laws by posting that, I really don’t know).

So have a read, and if you like the poem, consider pre-ordering the ebook on Amazon for only $0.99, or grab a physical copy, which has (unintentionally) arrived a few days early (whoops!) and is now available to order on Createspace or Amazon for the retail price of $5.99. The print edition should also be available to order through your local bookstore in (just?) a few weeks (why that process takes so long, I have no clue).

And be sure to stop back here to check out a new poem from this little chapbook every day through Sunday.

Enjoy!

ONE IN HELL

Bones wrapped in bones,
wrapped in layers,
layers of bone on bone;
encrusted earth of flesh
crumbles at our feet,
our feet formed of clay.
Your face, my face—
we melt into one.

Our place,
Our flesh,
Our bones,
heaped upon this pole,
this whipping pole,
this torture pole
jutting from the nightmare.

You give me hugs.
I taste your lips;
they are one inside my mouth
and fused in teeth,
blended as I bite,
and eat you whole
and eat your parts.

My heart still beats
somewhere inside your chest,
deep within your cage,
ribs stripped of flesh;
and your heart mingles, tickles,
tingles in my skull.

My eyes peel wide
to wicked weather,
creeping fog,
settling dew
saturated with our fluids;
rain of skin
falls softly now upon us.

Me, you, we—
there is no start,
there is no end;
our twisted corpses
stretching on
forever,
and forever—
we are intertwined.

Come Fly with Death: Full Cover Reveal (and Other Stuff)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00005]

October 12, 2014 is a very important date for me, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. That’s right, AMC’s The Walking Dead returns for it’s fifth season of Zombie action-drama goodness, and I know we are all just dying to know (Spoiler Alert!) if Carl makes it out of the train car at Terminus.

In other news, my chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski will be released on that same date. It has been over three years in the making, and I am extremely pleased to now be able to share this little chapbook with you. The ebook is currently available to pre-order for just $0.99 HERE.

In honor of its forthcoming release, I wanted to also share the full cover for the printed version (seen above), as well as a brief history of how this project came to be.

I started writing this book purely by accident. By that I mean I didn’t set out to write a poetry chapbook based solely on Beksinski’s artwork. One morning (on May 21, 2011, to be more or less precise, but who the hell really cares) I was looking for something to post to my tumblr, and as I had fairly recently discovered Beksinski’s work (and as a result had become completely fascinated by it), I decided to post some images of his paintings.

As I looked upon one image in particular, words began to fill my brain, and so I did what writers are supposed to do when words fill their brains, I wrote them down. What resulted was a rough draft of the first poem in this collection, One in Hell. I liked what I’d written so I tempted fate again while viewing an image of a different painting. I wrote down my response, liked it, and repeated this yet again some days later. I continued to repeat this experiment over the course of the next few months, viewing a different piece of artwork by Beksinski in each case, to ultimately produce rough drafts of the twenty poems included in this collection.

In the years since, I have revised these poems, restructured stanzas, changed titles, agonized over line breaks and synonyms and em dashes and capitals and commas. I have edited, re-edited, re-revised. I have submitted selected works for publication and seen many of them published in print and online. I have further analyzed the work as a whole, as well as taken each poem stanza by stanza, line by line, word by word, tweaked and adjusted and revised again and again. It’s crazy to think about it, but I can’t even begin to calculate the number of hours I’ve put into these mere 2,000-something words.

Well, now it is finally ready, and I can honestly say that this chapbook is a work that I am truly proud of. I know that this won’t be for everybody, likely a very small niche group. But for those who enjoy dark writings, all things horror, surreal and/or Gothic-themed fiction and poetry, my hope is that this collection will be something that those folks can truly appreciate. Even if it’s not for you, if you happen to know someone like that, whom you think might enjoy something like this, please feel free to share it with them. I, of course, will be eternally grateful.

Oh, and one last thing. I am actively seeking folks interested in reviewing this little book. I have it available electronically in PDF format, as well as a limited stock of printed proof copies that I will ship free of charge anywhere in the Continental US to anyone genuinely interested. Please comment below or message me at wesdgray(at)gmail(dot)com if you’d like to receive a review copy. All you need to do is ask.

Thank you for taking the time to read these words. Don’t forget to mark your calender (10/12/14) for The Walking Dead Season 5 premier on AMC (official trailer included below, just for kicks), as well as the release date for my little chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski.


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