On Friday, I posted a list of my 2016 speculative poems that are eligible for a Rhysling Award. Of those poems, these are the ones that appeared only in print in Popcorn Press's Halloween anthology Lupine Lunes: Horror Poems & Short Stories. Available at the press and also on Amazon.
This first poem has to do with the aswang: a mythical Philippine monster. The specific kind of aswang featured here is the manananggal, a woman who can sever herself at the waist: the top half grows wings so she can fly in search of prey, leaving her bottom half wherever it is standing when she transforms out of her human-appearing form.
Encounter on Good Friday
In this next poem, the two aswang from the last poem have fallen in love. Clara, the manananggal, has been under suspicion by her fellow villagers of being an aswang. One night, they attack — almost like in the first Frankenstein movie, when people with torches and pitchforks hunt Boris Karloff's character. Santiago, the shapeshifting farmer from the previous poem, changes into his aswang form to rescue Clara.
Villagers at Clara’s House, After Dark
In case you weren't able to figure it out from the context, the opening sentence of the previous poem, "Ay, dios ko, malaking aso!" means, in Tagalog, "Oh my god, a huge dog!"
Aswang Wedding: Early Saturday Morn
The three poems above are part of my novella-in-poems, currently in progress, telling the story of these two aswang in their attempt to live a normal life — normal if one is a human, that is. After marrying, Santiago and Clara emigrate to the US, feeling they won't be persecuted there because most Americans don't know about aswang.
In this next poem, the priest is not the same priest in the wedding poem directly above. Some readers have thought they were the same person, perhaps because in Lupine Lunes, these two poems are next to each other.
The Good Father
Apropos of the next poem, I hope there won't be a full moon during the upcoming Presidential inauguration.
Lupine Lunes, Starring Donald Trump
I got the idea for this poem from the anthology's title "Lupine Lunes," announced in the book's call for submissions of poetry and fiction. The phrase is a truly witty title by the editor, Lester Smith, founder and editor of Popcorn Press, because of course werewolves are turned by the moon — la lune in French — when full. "Lune" is also the name of a poetic form, invented by Jack Collom: a three-line stanza with three words in line 1, five words in line 2, and three words in line 3.
Friends, do check out Popcorn Press. For a number of years now, Lester Smith and the press have published a Halloween anthology. Always fun. Popcorn Press has published many wonderful collections and anthologies. And pick up a copy of Lupine Lunes at the press or on Amazon.
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Ingat, everyone. ヅ
If you got here from my list of Rhysling-eligible
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