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The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue

The Plasmatic Writer

Author . Poet . Horrorpreneur  

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Poetry 101: The Basics

Posted on April 19, 2021 at 5:15 PM

Poetry is not basic and if you think it is then chances are it's just not your thing or you haven't really given it a shot. However, I'm not talking about poetry being or feeling basic I'm talking about the basics of it, the fundamentals if you will. How do you write a poem and what makes a good poem? Well, I'm not an English teacher nor am I a 100-year-old poet but what I am is an experienced writer and poet who knows the basics of how to construct a poem. I also know what goes into it so that's what I'm going to be going over, the basics of poetry 101. Whether you write poetry for fun, as a passion, or because you're required to do so, it doesn't matter, I am going to give you a basic rundown on what poetry consists of.


Topic: One thing you absolutely need is a topic for your poetry or a reason to write it. If you read my previous post, https://www.justinbienvenue.com/apps/blog/show/49866712-poetry-101-what-to-write-about" target="_blank">Poetry 101: What To Write About, I cover this in length. A topic can be anything from what you're feeling at the time or an animal you saw at the zoo, as long as you felt emotion after you experienced it or you can just cook something up from the top of your head. I cook up poems out of thin air from time to time but I make sure I map it out before I get it started but that brings me to the next part of the basics in poetry.


Structure: Not everyone can just think of a topic right out of nowhere and they also can't figure out how they want it to be while they write. This is where structure comes in. By structure, I don't just mean the type of poem you want to write whether it's prose, rhyme, sonnet, etc I mean you have to let it stir around in your head a bit as if you're letting what you want to say manifest in your head before you write them down. This is considered structuring because your planning out words and your poetry before you just attempt to write it. Another part of a structure is the foundation and type of poem you wish to write.


Type: Do you like to rhyme? If so, then chances are you like rhyming poetry. Rhyming poetry is my usual go-to type but I have been known to write some prose as well. After you've structured the poem in your head you then need to figure out if you wish for it to rhyme, for it to not rhyme and if you want the lines and syllables to coincide with one another. It can be a bit of a process at first but after you've done it for a while it comes quite naturally. It may even seem like a chore or extra work the first few times but then you'll realize it's not only a part of writing a poem but will make it so much better if you just wing it.


Length: Do you think a poem needs to be a certain length? It doesn't. Poetry can be a sentence, a few lines, a dozen or even 100 lines, it doesn't matter, it depends on how much you want to tell and how you wish to tell it. Haiku and poet Langston Hughes are in my opinion the best examples of writing short poems. They are short but the words use have an impact and make you really think after reading. My poems are usually 12–14 lines long although I do on occasion write long ones. My longest poem to date is 64 lines long while my shortest not counting a haiku is about 6. My point is, don't think you need to write a certain amount of words or that you need to stop if it's too long, you'll know as you read it when you go along.


So what have we learned today? We learned that the basics of poetry are simple and easy to remember. You need a topic and reason to write. You need solid structure before and after you get started. You need to figure out the type of poetry you want to write. Finally, you need to realize that length is not important when it comes to poetry because you are the one in control and your words will tell you when they have said enough.

If you enjoyed this post then please feel free to check out my others on poetry or others on various topics I'm passionate about.

Also, feel free to check out https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Justin+Bienvenue" target="_blank">my books of poetry

Poetry 101: What to Write About

Posted on April 19, 2021 at 4:40 PM

Poetry is an art. Poetry is a way of expression. Poetry is a way of life. Poetry is many things but while some people find no problem in writing it some have trouble coming up with what to write about. This may not make sense to some because they believe that poetry comes from within you and you write from the heart which is true but not all poetry comes from the heart or brain. Poetry and inspiration for it can come from literally anywhere. If your writing about emotion then words usually flow out of you but if you’re looking to write poetry about a particular thing then you may need to look elsewhere which is what we are talking about today.


 

If you’re like me you can write a poem about just about anything. Sure you don’t need to write a poem about bread and chances are not too many people if any would want to read it but if you have the ability to make bread sound good in a poem then you don’t need to worry about not having anything to write about...or maybe you do. When writing poetry what exactly do you write about if not emotion or your feelings? Well, start with your interests, look around you, or think long and hard about a topic that you’ve had in your head for a while that may make for a great poem. Is not knowing what to write about for a poem considered writer’s block? Yes and no. If you don’t know what to write about then no it’s not writer’s block but if you’ve been thinking for days and nothing is sticking or popping out at you then chances are it is indeed writer’s block.


 

So what can you write about? Well, the best thing about poetry like I said earlier is that you can write a poem about pretty much anything. A good percentage of poems are about emotions and feelings. The second amount of poems are written about a tale, a story or something epic. Finally, there’s everything else afterwards which can be odes to particular object, a fun upbeat poem about kindness or a theme poem about candy or a whale...not exactly together but you get the idea, you can write a poem about anything if you really think hard enough. Poetry doesn’t need a fuse to get started it only needs a spark(an idea) and once you have that spark you can create a wonderful poem that will hold till the end of time and others can enjoy it forever.


 

In the end, it’s simple. Poetry writes itself if you think of a good enough topic or if you have a lot of emotions inside you. The best thing about poetry is you can’t make a mistake if the creativity isn’t good enough. Chances are you’ll know if the poem is good enough or not and if it isn’t then you can just try writing about something else. Don’t sweat it. When it comes to poetry what can you write about? Just about anything and everything because if you stop and think about it or smell the flowers you’ll realize that there’s poetry all around you.

Poetry: A Way of Expression

Posted on June 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Poetry. If you've read my previous articles on it and know a little about me then you know I'm a believer in the world of poetry. This time I'm not going o convince you to give poetry a chance but explain why poetry is one of the true ways of expressing one's self. Poetry has been written for over hundreds and hundreds of years and it has served as a unique writing form but also a way in which a person can express themselves. It gives them a voice they either didn't know they had or a way to express how they feel without actually using their voice. I'm not saying to hide behind poetry but to use it and harness it as a tool and as a part of you. People enjoy the written word and they also like emotion so one thing that poetry is able to do is not only bring out these things and bring these people together but to do it in a way that only poetry can.


Whether it's a rhyming poem, free verse, a ballad or a sonnet, poetry will get its message across no matter in what type of form it's in. For example, William Shakespeare wrote sonnets and some deep, thorough and feel written sonnets at that. Sure, he used iambic pentameter and his own language and structure but you know what? If you've read Shakespeare you still knew what he was talking about and you were still likely moved or captivated by what you read.


This is because as good as Shakespeare was he was also using tools of poetry and words to express himself. Emily Dickinson has some rather dreary and depressing poems and while they are very sad to read they are also very well written and they express her thoughts and feelings as she was feeling at the time. Also, could anyone paint a better visual of nature using words than Emerson, Thoreau or Frost? Their expression about nature wasn't just about nature but also about finding one's self in the outdoors and taking nature and all of what makes it majestic in.


Poetry doesn't have to be a sad rhyming poem about how depressing your life is and it doesn't have to be an over the top love sonnet of you expressing your life for someone. The fact that you are in your own, sitting down and writing and using your thoughts and putting them down into words on a paper or screen is proof that you're using poetry to express yourself. Nothing is as true as that and nothing feels more right than writing a poem because you're feeling so much and have so much to say.

You Can't Break the Rules of Poetry

Posted on April 10, 2019 at 7:30 PM

You can’t break the rules of poetry because technically their aren’t any. I’ll wait while you read that again and calm down..go on, relax and calm down. You good? Okay. Now what I mean by there are no rules is just that. There aren’t any list of rules that state how poetry has to be or what it should and should not have. Sure there’s tons of people and sites who have come up with lists of their own of rules of poetry but these by definition are their rules and not official rules of the poetry world or community. Anything that one could consider a rule about poetry isn’t a rule but a common sense principle of writing poetry. I’ll get into examples and details in a moment but just know that if someone tells you that you broke the rules of poetry just either tell them that there are no rules or smile and walk away.


Poetry needs emotion-


Refer to my post on this. Not only does poetry not need to be written with emotion but you can write tons of poems without feeling any sort of emotion. People naturally assume that it has to be written with emotion, feeling but the truth is, it doesn’t and just because you didn’t use it doesn’t mean it won’t give the reader feelings or make them emotional.


Poetry needs to rhyme-


Anyone who believes this either doesn’t truly know or understand poetry or just assumes one thing with the other. Prose is poetry without rhyming and with the use of powerful words doesn’t involve any rhyming whatsoever. It doesn’t need to rhyme to be good and it doesn’t need rhyme to be considered poetry.


Rhymes need to connect-


Not a rule but more of that common sense principle I mentioned earlier. Let’s be honest we are all guilty of rhyming a word with another that has nothing to do with the poem it’s called being an amateur but we grow over time. A good poet finds words to rhyme that go together and if not they use a different word that rhymes or they are clever and really make that word rhyme within reason. Again this isn’t a rule but more something you pick up and understand over time.


Poetry can’t have punctuation-


Someone said this to me once when they noticed a poem I had written have several commas. I simply replied back that poetry is what you make it and can be written any way you want it to and since it’s written word like anything it needs to have proper punctuation.


Poetry needs form-


Again this should be a given so that doesn’t make it a rule. Poetry naturally needs form, structure, a way to which its written but that doesn’t mean it’s a rule.


Now do you understand? People will say poetry needs this or poetry needs that but these are the same people who believe that poetry is dead or they try way to hard to follow the very rules that they made up to appease the imaginary poetry gods that they also made up. Case in point? Poetry does not have any rules you can break, only the rules to which are essential to all things written. Just because you write different than someone else doesn’t mean you can make up rules for them. Poetry is a way of expression, writing it is no different.

#NationalPoetryMonth

Like this post? Be sure to read more on my poetry posts as well as the rest of my blog. Also feel free to subscribe to my e-mail list

Poetry Without Emotion

Posted on April 10, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Poetry. It is a way of expression, a way with words, a way in which a person writes down their feelings and emotions. However, some may be surprised to know that poetry doesn’t always have to be about or need to involve emotion. Now I know what you’re thinking, but poetry is almost all emotion, it’s a person putting everything they are feeling onto paper pouring their heart out. Yes, in a way you’d be right but only to an extent. Nothing says poetry has to be about emotion or even written with it we just naturally assume this because in most cases when we feel down or want to express our emotions, some of us do so through poetry. Emotion may be a standard in poetry but it is not a priority, meaning it is not always necessary. Poetry invokes many different types of emotion from reading but the main point I’m getting across here is that it doesn’t need to be written with emotion. That’s not to say poetry without emotion isn’t as good but the fact is that it does exist and there are some examples of it.


When I wrote my first book, The Macabre Masterpiece: Poems of Horror and Gore I knew I wanted to write horror poetry. While I knew the poems would create emotions in the reader and the words written involve emotion I myself didn’t really use emotion to write them. They weren’t my experiences or something that had happened to me. They were written for entertainment and came from creation and imagination and not emotion. See? Poetry without emotion can be done. Another example of this is some of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems however I would imagine most did come from emotion, the emotion of depression as the man was always down and in a gloomy mood.


Poetry can be whatever you want it to be. It can be something you want people to know about you, something you want someone to know, or it can be a story in poetry form. One could say regardless of how and what you write about that emotion is needed in order to write it but I would have to disagree. I have nothing against writing with emotion, many of my poems I‘ve written have lots of and were written emotion I’m merely saying that sometimes although not always emotion and poetry do not always go hand in hand.

 

Poetry is a feeling and a creation. It is everything and it is nothing. Poetry with emotion could be said to be more real, more pure and authentic. Poetry without it is said to lack substance and real drive but again this is just assumed as a person can write a poetry about anything without emotion just as good as a poem with emotion can be written. Remember, no matter how you write poetry and regardless of what you write about it doesn’t have to be written with emotion but you can be believe that emotion is still a part and involved in it.

Like this article? Check out the rest of my blog and other posts on poetry. Also feel free to subscribe to my e-mail list and find out why it is that I love poetry so much. 


Forced Rhyme Leaving the Station

Posted on April 10, 2018 at 3:35 PM

Forced Rhyme, It can mainly be found in poetry and in song lyrics. It’s when a poet/songwriter rhymes a word with another but the word seems contrived, forced and has little to do with what the poem/song is about or doesn’t connect to the sentence or word. Is forced rhyme bad? In my opinion yes, it means your not all that creative or clever enough to come up with words to fit what your writing and it makes you look amateurish, unless of course you are an amateur which in case I suppose forced rhyme gets a pass. Forced rhyme shows a lack of creativity, means your really trying too hard to make the rhyme work and you can even turn off readers if you do it too much.


Sometimes you can get away with it but never ever should you rely on it, I myself try not to force rhyme but if I feel I’m using a word that doesn’t fit I’ll make a note to go back and try to come up with something better or even decide to use two different words altogether. There’s another thing to do, if you feel your forcing a word try to think of another meaning for the word and go from there, it’s way better. I myself have been accused of forced rhyme before and it’s not a good feeling. Perhaps my word choices weren’t the best, perhaps it was because it was my first work but either way I have learned from the accusation and improved. I have come across a clear abuse of forcing rhyme and just odd sentencing when it comes to the band, Train.


Train’s one of those bands who you hear their songs, hear the beat, find yourself singing along to but have you ever really listened to Train lyrics? I thought it was just two of their songs but as I delved deeper I realized that not even their first big hit Drops of Jupiter was exempt from this. Now I am no Train fan by any means, I mean they’re okay but after coming across such bad lyrics in their songs I can’t help but wonder what goes through the mind of the lead singer or whoever writes their lyrics. I’m going to break down a few songs by Train to show you how either forced rhyme is used or the sentences are just really awkward and odd to the song.


The first song to look at it is Hey Soul Sister. While the song is their biggest hit it is also riddled with forced lyrics and odd sentencing.


Your lipstick stains

On the front lobe of my left side brains

-Is it clever? Yes but it’s also a poor choice of rhyme and rather corny. Also could be considered forced since the use of the (s) as plural to brain just so it rhymes with stains.


Your sweet moonbeam

The smell of you

In every single dream I dream

-Just what exactly is a moonbeam? What on a person is a moonbeam? Either I’m not familiar with the reference of the singer is reaching here and just using it to rhyme with the word dream. Beam and dream are good words to rhyme but I’m failing to see the connection here.


Hey, soul sister

Ain't that Mr. Mister

On the radio, stereo

The way you move ain't fair you know

-The chorus is probably the best case of forced rhyme and awkward sentencing. How many people even know who Mister Mister is? It isn’t clever it’s obviously forced because the singer wanted to rhyme Sister so he chose one of the few bands that goes with the word. It’s cheesy and clearly forced. The second line is no better as he needed to rhyme stereo so he goes with “fair you know”. It sort of fits but not really making it forced and odd.


I'm so obsessed

My heart is bound to beat right out

My untrimmed chest

-This would work but the word untrimmed isn’t really necessary it just makes the lyric cheesy and pointless but obsessed and chest do work in connection.


I believe in you, like a virgin you're Madonna

-The next lyric rhymes Madonna with wanna but that’s the least of my issue with this line. Is it a clever play on words? Sure but again to me it’s so corny and how exactly is the girl he’s talking about like Madonna? Madonna isn’t a virgin and while she wrote a song called Like A Virgin just how exactly does that make the girl like Madonna? Perhaps I’m looking way too into this but when I hear it I just cringe and wonder what he means.

 

Way you can cut a rug

Watching you's the only drug I need

You're so gangster, I'm so thug

You're the only one I'm dreaming of

-What the hell does cutting a rug mean? At first I thought it was the most ridiculous line yet but it is a thing. Cutting a rug was slang..in the 1940's! He uses a 40's saying to rhyme drug, this is beyond forced rhyme, he couldn’t think of another word to rhyme? Seems unlikely. Finally, to my knowledge the singer who wrote the song is a white male in his 40's and yet uses the lines, Your so gangster, I’m so thug you’re the only one I’m dream of..it’s so corny and bad. I just think it’s weird for a 40 yr old white man to use such odd words in a song just to rhyme one. It’s all just one big awkward mess.

 

If you like the song then hey that’s great but I just felt people needed to know just how weird this song was and how so many rules are broken here.


The next song is called Mermaid, not very known and doesn’t need to be after you hear some of these cheese infused lyrics.


Can’t swim so I took a boat

To an island so remote

Only Johnny Depp has ever been to it before

-Cause Johhny Depp played a pirate, it’s a pop culture reference. Yeah I get it but it’s not necessary, it’s corny. He couldn’t think of a real pirate? Blackbeard? Captain Morgan(was a real pirate and it would actually still work way better than Johnny Depp), Calico Jack? Sir Frances Drake? Anyone is better than what he put.


I offered you my coat

Thank goodness love can float

-Really? Yeah because love can float and you rhyme it with coat...

 

Beauty in the water

Angel on the beach

Ocean’s daughter

-The first two lines work but it falls apart with the third line. Poseidon’s daughter would work better, personal peeve I guess.


Rescued you by the banyan tree

All the girlfish in the sea

Couldn't hold a candle to you

They don’t have a handle on you

They don’t have a scandal on you

I love Ecco sandals on you

Saving me was b-i-g

All the boyfish in the sea

They all wish that they could be me

-Everything about this verse is cringe worthy. Rescued you by the banyan tree works it’s everything after that is just awful and uncreative. Girlfish? Why use that word why not use Mermaid or I don’t know anything else? Couldn’t hold a candle to you works but the use of handle, scandal and sandal’s is forcing rhyme to the fullest. Saving me was b-i-g? All the boyfish in the sea? They all wish that they could be me? Forced, cheesy and just ridiculous and lack of originality to make it work.


Next song is Drops of Jupiter. Now I’ll say that this is the least cringe worthy song as there’s some actual creativity in here but for every good lyric there are some that just leave me screaming and wondering why a famous singer sucks at coming up with good rhymes.


She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo

Reminds me that there's room to grow

-Okay maybe she does but this just looks odd and awkward especially since the first lyrics of the song made sense and worked well.


Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken

Your best friend always sticking up for you

-Maybe he’s trying to be funny but given the song had good space metaphors and he throws deep fried chicken into this just comes up short to be considered good or creative. Then again with sticking being in the next line it makes me wonder if the second line was thought of before the first.

Finally, the song Drive By gets looked over here and well..the same results.


Just a shy guy looking for a two-ply

Hefty bag to hold my love

When you move me everything is groovy

They don't like it sue me

Mmm the way you do me

-The first line is corny and forced rhyme and then okay hefty bag to hold his love clever..

When you move me everything is groovy..who uses the word groovy? It’s not the 60s, it’s just awkward wording again. Summed up with sue me, mmm the way you do me, forced rhymes as they don’t have to do with each other and mmm the way you do me could be taken many ways.


So as you can tell Train songs while they may sound all fun and upbeat have the lyrics of a dry sponge and may seem clever but seeing as the song tries to be serious and then uses an odd word to connect just shows the lack of connection. I’m sure many songs are guilty of this but for some reason Train sticks out to me as abusers of forced rhyme and cheesy lyrics so bad that I bet children could come up with better rhymes. When I was once accused of forced rhyme the person said I gave them a “Dr. Seuss headache” well that simply told me they didn’t appreciate Dr.Seuss. My point is, Train’s songs have potential but then they fall flat by getting the forced rhyme treatment. There’s a huge difference between being clever and forcing rhyme. So the next time you read a poem or song lyrics really take a look at them because they may be more forced and out of bounds than you think.

 

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The Top Ten Best Poets

Posted on March 12, 2018 at 5:45 PM

Who is the best poet of all time? Well the answer may differ depending on who you ask. There have been so many tremendous poets in history and the best thing of all is that they are still being talked about and read today. While many people have their own opinion on who the best poet is I have devised my own list. Here are my top ten best poets.

 

10. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Known for transcendentalism and his poem “Nature” which is an absolute work of pure beauty, Emerson’s soft spoken yet crisp original words place him at the top of the list.


9. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Aside from being that poet dude with the big beard, Longfellow is also known for his poem, Paul Revere’s ride, The Song of Hiawatha and the first American to translate Dante’s Divine Comedy.

 

8. Lord Byron

Byron is one of those people who you’ve probably heard of but have no idea of how talented he was. He was during the Romantic movement and wrote many love poems including “She Walks in Beauty”.


7. John Keats

Keats was also a writer during the Romantic Movement and worte many love ballads and poems. While he died at age 25 of illness his poetry would go onto to be well received and popular long after his death.

 

6. Langston Hughes

A personal favorite of mine, Hughes was one of the best poets of his generation. His sometimes hidden or straight forward way with words or his simple 6 line poems Hughes was a quite a remarkable man and poet.

 

5. Robert Frost

“The Road Not Taken” in my opinion is not only a great poem but a great metaphor and inspiration for life. Frost is one of the best rhyming poets and really told a story in his poems.

 

4. Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was one of the best modern poets of her generation. She was real, raw and sometimes controversial with her poems but they told of her life and others and they made an impact.

 

3. Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson may be one of the most popular and well known poets but in real life and during her life she was depressed and a bit of a recluse spending months upon months in her room. It’s no wonder her words are so strong and still known today.

 

2. Edgar Allan Poe

I know what your thinking, how is Poe only number 2 on a list of poets that I made? Well to be honest I wasn’t going to include him because of his horror and story writing but I cannot deny that Poe was a heck of a poet. His stories he told in poetic form and his dark tales are still loved by many.

 

1. William Shakespeare

A bit surprised are you? Shakespeare wrote sonnets, ballads, lyrical poems but he has to be number one because he created his own words, his own language and his own structure in poetry. To not put him at one would be blasphemous. Shakespeare wrote love poems, told dramatic stories and could spin even the most simple thing into a thing of beauty.

If Poe Lived in This Era

Posted on February 5, 2018 at 4:35 PM

Edgar Allan Poe, you’ve likely heard of him and whether you’re a fan of his work or not you cannot dent the impact he has left on the horror, short story and poetry culture. However not many people are aware that Poe was not all that popular in his day, in fact his writing was highly and publicly criticized and he was a bit of an outcast. He tried and tried day in and day out to get his works published and sometimes even that was not all that easy to do. Between trying to get published and getting the public to like his work Poe had quite the work to do after writing it. Many authors today complain about getting their work out and marketing but perhaps never truly know the struggle it was for Edgar Allan Poe. On top of all that, his life was also troubled and he was a heavy drinker which was partly the reason his works were so dark and disturbing. Poe was somewhat popular and had a following in his day but was more widely regarded as a success after his death and still today but to me it has raised a big question, what if Poe lived in this era? What if one of the greatest horror writers of all time lived during the time where the public still scrutinizes writers, social media exists helping criticism in volumes but horror is extremely popular?

First, let’s delve a little deeper into that last point. Poe would still be criticized but more likely for how he wrote not necessarily what he wrote. As I said, horror is very popular and he’d probably be as popular as Stephen King if not more popular. Poe would likely sell tons of books, would get tons of publishing deals and be a huge figure in today’s society. I mean just imagine Poe eating one of his haters alive on Facebook or Twitter by humiliating them by writing his comeback in an epic 240 character poem. Did Poe care what people thought of him and his work when he was alive? I’m sure he did but given how motivated he’d be today I’d like to think he’d care way less and let hi writing do the talking. If Poe were alive today horror poetry would be huge and we’d look to him even more for inspiration and help within the genre. Instead we try to eclipse him on Amazon on the top ten of poetry books feeling that if he were still alive and in the top 10 it wouldn’t feel as though we were being beaten by someone who isn’t around to enjoy the success. I’d like to think Poe would be humble, friendly and approachable and he wouldn’t let success go to his head but he’d use it to drive him further to write brilliant pieces of work and even help out his fellow horror poets like myself.

However, for every good idea we must weigh the bad as well. Would the success, stress, fame and public scrutiny get to him? If none of these did then surely his personal and private life would have if it followed him in this era. Between his wife, personal issues and drinking perhaps like many writers after him he would just like it all to end but then again who truly knows as I am merely telling you to consider the idea. It’s better to think of the positive aspect but given we are talking about the morbid man of macabre we simply have to talk about the dark troubling negativity that surrounded him. Speaking of morbid and dark I would also think that today as a society we tend to not only be more open to horror then in Poe’s day but we enjoy even darker and disturbing stuff. Which asks the question, wouldn’t Poe be even darker in his writing today then he was in his day? Imagine how the Raven could be written if it was written today. Instead of Once upon a midnight dreary, we could see something along the lines of “Death pecked away on the darkest of nights making a man look more and more decayed. The point here is that if Poe were alive today he could have been even more deranged and disturbed in his writing which is hard to imagine seeing as he’s the king of macabre now for things he wrote way back when,

Edgar Allan Poe in many ways was a man before his time, a man born in the wrong era, a man who looked at the world as a long dark alleyway longing to be explored and analyzed even if it meant others would scorn him and let him have it. Yet without him people like me may not have been inspired to write and if not Poe then who? Who back then would have dawned the macabre mantle to inspire us horror writers nearly 200 years later? Well luckily we don’t have to wonder because our king and inspiration into the dark world of literature is Poe but if he were alive today, it makes you wonder, oh how it makes us wonder.


Want more Poe? Check out my board on Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/justinbienvenue/all-things-poe-nevermore/" target="_blank">All Things Poe, Nevermore!

10 Facts You May Not Have Known About Like A Box of Chocolates

Posted on September 11, 2015 at 3:50 PM

There are many things within the book to which people may know or have had an idea about. However as I am about to share, there are 10 things that you probably didn't know about the book. With that being said here they are:

10. The title was a Last minute idea

 

When you hear the title of the book you would think it was the first choice I came up with but the truth is it was the last. I had originally come up with titles such as The Mixed Book of Poetry, Mixed Book of Goodies and a lot of other less than catchy names, when I thought of Like A Box of Chocolates I realized it was perfect and very fitting.

 

9. Adrenaline Rush’s last line was changed

 

The second to last line in the poem within the book now reads “But now the body has become total mush” but it didn’t always read like that. Originally the line referenced the use of drugs in the form of using a needle but seeing as this was a bit extreme and there was already a few drug references in the book it made it easy for this to get dropped.

 

8. Rhyme scheme of Silverdust

 

Usually when poems rhyme they are known for either 1,1 2,2 or 1,2,1,2 however in the case of Silverdust a much different rhyme scheme is seen. The first word to start a new sentence in each line is rhymed with the last line of the following sentence and the last word in the first sentence is rhymed with the first word in the second sentence. Confusing I know but if you give it a read you’ll see what I mean. I thought of this while writing it.

 

7. Frozen Fire was altered a lot

 

I’ll admit Frozen Fire isn’t exactly the best poem in the book but compared to what it originally was it’s definitely a lot better. The original poem had weak rhymes and some of the lines either didn’t make sense or were misused homonyms. It was fixed up a bit and the last two lines were always there..your welcome.

 

6. The Prophet was a last minute add

 

As I explained in the Preface most of the poems titles were thought of by having people vote however toward the end some of them were poems I already had or just ended up writing. The prophet was one of the last poems I added. I also broke it into two sentence formats for a better feel.

 

5. The Immortal is about Vandal Savage

 

In the poem The Immortal, it doesn’t just tell of a random or completely made up character but is about the comic book villain Vandal Savage. While most would write about vampires when speaking of Immortals I decided to take a different approach and wrote about the less known comic book villain.

 

4. The Chemist and Killer Instinct share an Era

 

The Chemist in many ways is my version of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde and Killer Instinct is about Jack the Ripper. What’s interesting and on accident is that I put them both same pages back to back and Dr.Jeykll and Mr. Hyde was written in 1886 and Jack the Ripper began his killing spree in 1888, meaning they share a two year difference but are connected in the sense they are in the same era.

 

 

3. I consider Razorblades and Revolutions and Amongst the Shadows to be the two best poems in the book

 

Not to toot my own horn by any means but I believe these two to be the two best poems in the book for several reasons. For one I felt the rhyme scheme was very powerful and the lines all flow quite nicely. I feel the poems meanings are very deep and a lot more meaningful and really make you feel like an intricate story is being told. I put a lot of work into them and I feel they really shine off the pages.

 

 

2. There are several conspiracies within the book

One thing that makes the book interesting aside from it’s variety of poems and oddness is the several conspiracies within a few of the poems. I could tell you some of them but then where would be the fun in that? Just know that there are a few and read the book for yourself and see if you can pick them out.

 

1. The meaning behind the cover

When you see the cover I’m sure your asking what does it all mean? At first glance we see four characters in a bed and wonder why. Well not only do they all have meanings but it does past that as well. The man in the top hat is a Mortician and represents the poem The Mortuary, the skeleton for Skeleton Sex, the train conductor for Ghost Train, the Gorilla in a nightcap for Terminal Rage and the ninja ontop of the bed for Amongst the Shadows. The bed itself represents the poem Velvet Awakening and the fact it’s in space represents Starlight Express.

The bird and the clock on the back represent Upon the Strike of Midnight and the clocks weird morphed look is a reference to Salvador Dali’s work and is meant to represent Deadly by Design which talks about LSD.



10 Interesting Facts about The Macabre Masterpiece

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 11:15 PM

10 Interesting Facts about The Macabre Masterpiece

 

10. Rage of Hades wasn’t originally a Horror Poem

 

If you read “Rage of Hades” you immediately think wow this is gruesome and brutally honest horror from the lips of the Lord of the Underworld. Truth be told, it was never a horror poem. In fact it was a poem I wrote apparently when I was in a bit of rage myself and quite steamed. As I was going over poems I came across this and decided to add it in because if it’s sheer talk of brutality. I then gave it a title and the Rage of Hades as born.

 

9. “Vampires” was nominated for the 2005 Poem of the Year

 

This is something I don’t normally ever mention. While I was in high school was when I started writing poetry. During that time I wrote the poem called “Vampires”. I cam across a poetry contest in a magazine to which I submitted the poem. While it was nominated it didn’t win but they made me feel like a winner as I have a plague of the poem hanging up on my wall in my living room.

 

8. The title of the book came to me while sitting at my kitchen table

 

Believe it or not I had all fifty poems written with no title. As I sat at my kitchen table examining the paper that had all the names of the poems I asked myself what they had in common, which was horror. Even more so they shared something else, elements of Poe and then Macabre popped into my head and then from there Masterpiece found it’s way in and as I put them together, The Macabre Masterpiece was the title I decided on.

 

7. The Grim Reaper was not originally a horror poem

 

Another poem that wasn’t originally intended to be a horror poem in fact it never even had a title. However like Rage of Hades as I read over my pile of poems I came across this. I showed it to my father and he said it sounded like The Grim Reaper unsure of what to do with his new found title and powers. I read it over a few times before I saw what he saw. I then decided it fit the criteria and gave it the title The Grim Reaper.

 

6. There’s actually more Vampire poems then just the 4 in the book

 

Believe it or not as of right now there are seven parts to the Vampire series. I never included part 5 because I couldn’t find it kind of like part two(long story). Six and seven were recently written. Perhaps I’ll post them to my site some day for people to read.

 

5. The current edition is actually the 2nd edition

 

It’s no secret that I originally went with PublishAmerica to have the book published. What’s also no secret in the writing and publishing world is of how bad they are. Having been in a dispute with them over pretty much everything I finally got out of my contract with them in 2012. I had the cover re-done and the book edited before re-releasing it with Createspace.

 

4. There is a reference to “Macbeth” in “The River of Blood” poems

 

This is a fun fact that many may not have known. In the poem “River of Blood” there is a line which reads “In this river your hands will not be washed clean” this is a reference to Lady Macbeth washing her hands constantly as she sees blood on her hands when in reality her hands are clean but she merely feels guilty having committed a sinful act. It is again seen at the end of the poem with the ending line “Wash thy hands in the river of blood” and returns a third time in “The River of Blood pt.3" with the line “It’s time once again for the annual flood and for thou to wash thy hands in the river of blood”. Not only does Edgar Allan Poes work show up in this book but now you know Shakespeare’s does too.

 

3. The poem “The Screaming of Bloody Murder” was originally called Clue based off the popular board game

 

If you read the poem you sort of get the feel that it’s like one of those things where you can go stay and reenact a murder, if your really good with detail you’ll feel as though it sounds like the game Clue..well that’s because that was the original idea. I decided against it because I felt it was kind of corny and I wanted the poem to scare and not make people laugh. The last which reads “upon the cries and screaming of bloody murder” originally read “It was Colonel Mustard in the parlor with a wrench” ...I know I know, I should have kept it right?

 

2. I rhymed the word orange in “The River of Blood pt.3"

 

The River of Blood pt. 3 shows up on the list once again but this time for a reason far greater and actually has to do with the color to which Lady Macbeths hands are upon washing them a few times. The line reads” Yeah that river number one blood supplier and storage” to which I make the infamous rhyme of “turning the skin red, the mind a clockwork orange” Honestly I never realized how either absurd or impressive this was (whichever way you want to look at it). I don’t force rhyme but I liked storage and didn’t want to change it as I realized that orange sounded similar I couldn’t think of how to connect it, I thought of how blood is orange a few times after it’s washed but then A Clockwork Orange a book written in 1962 by Anthony Burgess and a film in 1971 by Stanley Kubrick stuck in my head. I knew it was a bizarre book and film so knowing just that I inserted it into the poem and not only did it fit and make sense, but the rest is history.

 

1. The original draft of the poem “Slaughterhouse” was far more graphic and gross then whats in the book

 

I liked to think that this would be a great rumor that I could have had going if I had gotten the word out about it. I could hear people saying, “They say he wrote an even more disturbing version”. However, I am confirming and telling you right now, that yes, the original verison was a lot different and much more graphic. So why didn’t I keep it? Why did I change it and keep the version you all can read in the book now? To be totally honest I was afraid of offending people. Don’t get me wrong I’m not afraid of shocking people in fact I’m sure some lines within other poems in the book are borderline offensive in some way but the intention of the original Slaughterhouse was just as it states in the poem, raw, unnerved, and disturbing. One example of this would be with the line, “Body parts of gutted people and animals desecrated and raw”. The original line went into detail about how the people were mutilated along with the animals as well. Not wanting to make people sick and not wanting to have PETA on my case I decided to tone it down and go into another direction. There was also a line that mentioned something about eating a filthy welcome mat and washing it down with a cold glass of blood fresh from the stomach of..you see I’ve already said too much. So that’s why we have the version that’s in the book. Will I ever let the public read the unedited, unreleased version? Ehh I don’t know, I think it might be too much...

http://smarturl.it/MacabreMasterpiece