October 31st symbols, bonfire, skulls, pumpkins, autumn scene
poem by LindaAnn LoSchiavo for Hallowe’en

I’ve fallen through a rip in time tonight.

Pale outcasts perch nearby, bones tinkling,
Earth shaking with its greener mirth. Stones creak,
Horned owls shriek as spirits gather loose clouds,
Push these exotic feather-weighted shapes
Aside — — transparent curtains of their realm.

What’s on the other side? Cold hands caress
My arms invisibly. My candle glow
Reveals no beings with a shadow. Yet
I’m not alone, detect sweet fragrances,
Lush nectar of forbidden grapes above.

A cricket orchestra replays nocturnes.

I flutter like a trapped bird, then something
Or someone draws me in with secret steps.
A brittle leaf is plucked from my red hair.

Glass-blown interiors invite me there,
Strange iridescent skies pontilled with stars.

Hallowe’en is in the air.

― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― — —
Sample from the Elgin Award nominee A Route Obscure and Lonely
speculative poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Wapshott Press; 62 pgs].

my poetry books are on Amazon

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― ― Video-Poem Version on YouTube ― ―
Samhain” ― as a Video-Poem

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Lethe’s Lullaby

poem by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

I went to my beloved’s tomb to set
Fresh flowers by the stone I had engraved — —
With space for both our dates. Chrysanthemums
Left just last week were vibrant, undisturbed.

Inhaling them, I fell asleep — — so deep
When I woke up ‘twas late. The graveyard was
Enveloped in its spectral gloom, gray-blue
Shadows amid cold marble monuments.

Six blackbirds corrugated pearlized clouds.

An eidolon appeared — — familiar yet
Strange, burial garb dotted with loose dirt.

Recalling his last words — — “Don’t be afraid!” — —
I called his name, a string of syllables
To lasso his attention, tug the thread
Between us that’s conceivably alive.

Pale spectral watchers lurked, awaiting his
Reply, when winds caressed me, whispering:
“He’s drunk forgetfulness. You’re now unknown.”

The morning sky escorted me away,
As if released from duties once performed
Of safely watching over cherishing.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

This poem was published in Bewildering Stories, Issue # 871

Enjoy “Lethe’s Lullaby” — as a Video-Poem ― ―

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Book Reviews: Why you need them and how to get ’em

Writing is just half of the process

• • Reviews won’t automatically land you on The New York Times bestseller list ― ― but positive comments by critics will make any book more visible to potential buyers. Every review will boost your rankings on Amazon, for example, emphasize your credibility, and entice readers. Additionally, good reviews drive sales.
• • Here are some methods that have worked for authors. • •
• • Use a “Call to Action” at the back of your book, advises Joanna Penn, whose site is The Creative Penn. According to Ms. Penn, this method is the easiest and most direct path to “reviewer heaven.” And “once you’ve set it up, you can just forget about it,” she adds.
• • Joanna Penn explains how she does it: “Add a simple, short call to action (CTA) on the last page of your book once it is published.”
• • You might say, “Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this book, please consider leaving an honest review on GoodReads, Amazon, or another favorite site.”
• • Put a professional press kit together: author bio and photo, press release, your pitch letter ― ― and ARCs (advance reader copies).
• • For the reviewers who request a digital copy, prepare a PDF of the book and a high-res JPG of the covers.
• • For the reviewers who prefer a paper copy, you’ll need mailing supplies as well a few dozen books on hand.
• • Research successful titles similar to yours and see who covered those. When you’re about to launch, contact those reviewers, mentioning you enjoyed the review s/he did of such-and-such book and pitch your up-and-coming.
• • Book publicist Hannah Cooper advises, “Be very mindful of a publication’s particular audience and target market when pitching for review. If their readership is science-fiction, do not pitch a commercial crime novel.”
• • Find relevant book blogs. Only approach the bloggers whose sweet spot is a new book in your genre, whose site shows recent (and consistent) activity, and where there are “engaged followers,” i.e., book-lovers who post comments and ask questions.
• • Many bloggers will post their review policy and ask that you not send a book unless requested. However, you can post a free sample on your own web site and link to it in your pitch letter.
• • Make your ebook available for free. Many book bloggers are already using Kindle. If you’ve published your ebook with KDP Select, then you will receive five days every period where you can make the ebook free.
• • Ideally this will motivate you to finish the book so you can begin the next important phase: marketing.
― ― ― ― ― ― ― ―

LindaAnn LoSchiavo is a dramatist, writer, and poet whose latest titles are Concupiscent Consumption [Red Ferret Press] and A Route Obscure and Lonely [Wapshott Press].

Follow her on Twitter: @Mae_Westside

Book review: “A Route Obscure and Lonely”

Sandra J. Lindow reviewed the Elgin nominee “A Route Obscure and Lonely
speculative poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Wapshott Press; 62 pgs].

Critic Sandra J. Lindow wrote: Poet, journalist, dramatist LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s A Route Obscure and Lonely is inspired by Speaker for the Dead Emeritus, Edgar Allan Poe, and the women he pedestalled, then put in the ground. “Haunted by ill angels only,” (Poe, “Dreamland,” 1844.) and graced by Conrad Bradford’s eye-catching cover of a weeping woman in a white dress, this elegant collection of 33 gothic poems explores a dreamland of old anchorites, anxious ghosts, and cuckolding gods, offering intimate views of dangerous and/or ecstatic sexual relationships that we would not wish for our daughters. . . .

Read more:

Old Jeff: The Voice of the Village

MAE WEST and Fiorello LaGuardia have a curious connection.
• • In his column “A New Yorker at Large,” Mark Barron shared insights about the Brooklyn bombshell and the ambitious politician Fiorello LaGuardia [11 December 1882 — 20 September 1947]. This installment of Barron’s column was published on Sunday, 28 January 1934.
• • Mark Barron wrote: New York — Mayor LaGuardia turned on the producers of risque shows, charging them with deliberately inviting police interference for the publicity it would bring.
• • Mark Barron noted: What is interesting in an ironic sort of way is the fact that it was an off-color show which led to the movement that — by increase and addition — eventually elected LaGuardia to his office. And, for that, some might say he owes thanks to Mae West.
• • Back in 1927, Miss West produced a play that brought a squadron of police censors tumbling about her with the turmoil of a Union Square red riot. As a result, Miss West was invited to spend a short vacation in the Welfare Island calaboose. [Mae’s 1927 arrest and trial in Jefferson Market Court are dramatized in the play “Courting Mae West,” which is based on true events during the Prohibition Era.]
• • Despite the avalanche of publicity, Mae was shocked, thinking that her attorney — a Tammany district leader — would be able to keep her this side of the steel bars.
• • A girl reporter was sent to interview Mae. In jail [i.e., Jefferson Jail — then located on Sixth Avenue], the reporter had a conversation with a girl prisoner who charged she’d been “framed” because she would not pay a bribe to a detective on the vice squad.
• • The resultant story started the inquiry into the women’s courts, and it was this inquiry that brought Judge Samuel Seabury into such high esteem in the public mind. And it was Seabury whose master minding helped put Fiorello LaGuardia in the mayor’s office.
• • If you are interested in Mae West, please visit my blog:

“Medicus Amor”

artist: Delphin Enjolras

You came one night and cut me to the quick,
That penetration fast releasing one
Long vowel — I, I, I, I— as chastity
Curled up, defeated, helpless, spoken for.
Lovemaking is the smile sewn through my skin.

― ― ―
From the erotic chapbook “Concupiscent Consumption
sensual poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Red Ferret Press; 32 pgs]
Buy on Amazon ― ―

― ― ―
Medicus Amor” ― See the Video-Poem ― ―

Video link

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“Safety in Sin”

You entered, looking for safety, unaware
I’m navigating a high wire act,
Alert for those who lay down self-control
At finger-snapping of an enchantress.

Come push and shove your way towards the platform,
Await the crowded train of temptation.

I’ll suck you into tunnels thick with sin.

Until you met my lips, you swam adrift,
Became incapable of vanishing.

― ― ― ― ― ―

Sample from the erotic chapbook Concupiscent Consumption
sensual poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Red Ferret Press; 32 pgs]

Buy on Amazon ― ―

Safety in Sin” ― ― watch this as a VideoPoem ― ―

Buy this poetry chapbook on Amazon

“What’s in the Shadows”

The shadow spirits roam when darkness falls.
They’ll lead a drowsy, sly cotillion, fly
Through secret gardens gathering masked blooms
Like belladonna, foxglove, or bloodroot.
Each time you jerk awake, they’re visiting,
Dripping moist jewels of death across your chest.

― ― ― ― ― ― ― ―

Sample from the Elgin Award nominee “A Route Obscure and Lonely
speculative poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Wapshott Press; 62 pgs].

“What’s in the Shadows” – watch this as a VideoPoem

Buy on Amazon

See the VideoPoem on YouTube here ― ―

buy on Amazon ― ―

“Unquiet House”

Dilapidated house. The broker’s keen
To pitch the property to newlyweds
From out-of-state, which we pretend to be.

Maria’s chatter is distracting him,
Eyes showing gleams of true engagement, winks.

I slip out — — for a photo, I explain,
Meticulously cautious. Quiet shoes.

How many bargain hunters have been here,
Inspecting dirty cellar walls for clues
Of water damage, not suspecting mold
Is not the worst homeowner’s legacy?

The deck is clouded. Spiders overhead,
Suspended from dead vines, await a broom
Knifing through filaments spun secretly.

Unnatural deeds carry threads forward
Like the black widow spider, breast-stroking
Through gossamer voids under ragged moons.

Sweet blood’s in undiscovered special rooms,
Unconquerable sorrows tendon-taut.

The “For Sale” sign nods back and forth as if
It recognizes me through my disguise.
No longer called a conjuror, my steps
Still carry the pulsations of lost hearts.

The agent doesn’t realize what’s right
Behind him, why he must be sacrificed.

Maria’s eyes meet mine, a message swept
Across in spidery blinks of eyelash.

The undead must have dreams for which to wait.
― ― ― ― ― ― ― ―

Listen —

Sample from the Elgin Award nominee A Route Obscure and Lonely
speculative poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Wapshott Press; 62 pgs].

Buy on Amazon

  • Video-Poem Version on YouTube
  • A real estate agent tries to sell an antiquated house!
  • Unquiet House” ― as a video-poem

― ― Video-Poem Version on YouTube ― ―

“Bats at Bedtime”

She dreamt of bats — — as unpredictable
As daring trapeze artists, dangling like
A lazy symphony of Spanish moss
Conducted by the wind, escaping from
Mysterious caves, drowsy debutantes
Alert to predators, heat-seeking forms,
Runes darkening night’s alphabets, fallen
Angels illegible in their descent.

— — — — — — — —

This poem is from the Elgin Award nominee A Route Obscure and Lonely — speculative poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Wapshott Press; 62 pgs].

Buy on Amazon

― ― Video-Poem Version on YouTube ― ―

Bats at Bedtime” — — Video-Poem

  • Some Video-Poems from this book appear on YouTube

Follow me on Twitter: @Mae_Westside