Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tangible Darkness

My first real publication credit was a poem called "Tangible Darkness." It appeared in the fifth issue of NightWorld magazine, way back in 1991. NightWorld was a great semi-pro horror mag, published by Lyman Feero.  It featured fiction, reportage, poetry, movie reviews, interviews and a wonderfully sick illustrated serial. I felt like a real writer when my contributor copy arrived in the mail (at the ripe old age of 23, I had accumulated reams of rejection letters).

Flipping through that issue today, I still get a good feeling, which is somewhat mitigated by the knowledge that "Tangible Darkness" was, at best, mediocre. Just like rejections, a writer wincing at his or her early published works is part of the developmental process.


  1. You shouldn't think of that poem in those terms. You had three editors that had to approve all content. Poetry was always a sticking point for us. Your poem sailed through without dissent. It's hard to find horror poetry that fits. Most of it doesn't even make sense. I do know what you mean about looking back. We grow as people therefore we grow as writers. When I read my first pro sale I cringe. I want desperately to take it back and edit it. The voice is foreign... the writing clunky. But we sharpened our teeth on those first published works, more importantly we left our mark.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Lyman. That period really was crucial to my development as a writer. First publication is a one-of-a-kind high.

  3. Funny, I found this today and see that Lyman left a comment here rather recently. Every now and then I like to google "NightWorld/Lyman Feero" and see what comes up. I think I still have an entire box of that issue of NightWorld if you want more copies of it. Is the house in the picture on this site the haunted house we wrote about in Orland (I think)?

  4. Hi Erik,

    No, the house is on a dead-end dirt road in Madison. Some people claim it's haunted. I might take you up on the offer of extra copies. Thanks for stopping by!