Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Samhain Prayer

To see the 2013 version of the poem, click here:


Have a wonderful meaningful day. Happy New Year!

Here is the latest version of Samhain Prayer, edited a bit.



Samhain Prayer

Let us hope the humanosphere moves swiftly to break from its path of nuclear doom.

Let us hope war is recognized for what it is: a black hole sucking us all down.

Let us hope care trumps greed, and soon no one shall hoard wealth and ignore starving ribs.

Let us hope that wagging tongues yield to wide ears, and that the soft-spoken are honored rather than circumvented.

Let us hope fanatics falter in power, and that all gods are validated except those that seek to be the only one.

Let us hope our leaders stop spitting terror out of angry mouths; and that misled flocks stop kneeling before them in collars of fear.

Let us hope all cultures mingle and mate in spiritual companionship. Should not we all be lovers in this sense?

Let us hope the light of education burns through webs of ignorance, freeing untold numbers of wings.

Let us hope denial and discord melt into delight, and that we see as children, with tears in our eyes because each color or scent or taste or touch or song is rare.

Let us fall down and beg the Fates to guide us away from our planet-poisoning path, the one we take when we buy chemicals in the name of a shallow shine.

Let us pray to be more than fussy ants, led by the pheromone of our purse strings, rushing into Discount Hives where nothing is made with love.

Let us simply breathe, and realize what a treasure even one breath is, more so than any ingot or jewel.

Are we not all winners in the most important lottery of all: the journey of Life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Acceptance: DM du Jour

Two of my poems, "Lust" and "In the Philosopher's Condo" appeared yesterday in the lit blog DM du Jour, which is associated with the magazine Danse Macabre. You can read them here, if you wish:


Warning! "Lust" is pretty racy. And the other poem about the philosopher reveals deep family secrets.

May you devour the mice of ignorance,


Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Book, Jugularity, Releases!

Everyone will be glad to know that this is my last post about my new book ... for a while, anyway.

I'm also going to pretend that you'll be glad to hear you can purchase it for only $5.55 at Amazon, by following this link:


Even if you don't have a Kindle and don't want one (like me), you can download, or should I say inject, the intense dark poems into your machine.

All four blurbs, all glowing enough to make me blush, are available by clicking on the cover at Amazon. I have also posted two of them on this blog (see my previous entries) and below are the last two.

Thank you for reading and do consider supporting this humble (ha ha) and introrsed artist. With only $5 you can hold my vulnerable soul (jugularity = vulnerability), and also help my fickle morale attain unusual heights.

Fly Well In the Dark,



More blurbs for Jugularity (see also my last two entries)

Nuclear kicks, numb girls, faux feng shui, airbrushed pandemonium—who can decipher this Rosetta of dull hells? Enter Chris Crittenden. In hot lurches and hip-grinds, he sings his swollen song in a sort of sidewinder Sanskrit, each word conscientiously curated: bracing, clear-eyed, taut, and brave.

—Lissa Kiernan, Director, The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative

Not since I first fell in awe before the dreamily figurative works of late poet Tom Reninger have I read another who shifts me so readily into the realms of mystical naturalism and symbolic imagery — until I met poet Chris Crittenden. Jugularity is a whirligig journey of “rabbit blitz,” abounding with tempestuous “monsoons of word.” Within these poems I am cut by the edges of “onyx rage,” then cradled by “breeze-nuzzled branches”; I emerge from these wordstorms bearing more than a few shards embedded in my mind, and admire their conjurer.
~ Eve Anthony Hanninen, poet, illustrator, and editor of The Centrifugal Eye


Friday, October 26, 2012

Another Blurb for My New Book

Here is another blurb for my new book of poems, Jugularity, coming out soon from Stonesthrow, an imprint of Lazarus Press. I worked on the contents for years.

I know of no contemporary poet of such power and control who captures the 21st Century’s dark side as has Chris Crittenden. In taut, visceral poems with sublime diction and sonics, Jugularity embodies the Zeitgeist of our era of the “ersatz day.” He reveals the soul of man suffering, its “punch of treachery,” complete with the “rages of children/who were stabbed or burned.” Like scrimshaw etched in onyx, Chris’s poems lead us on a descent into the Inferno “where no one can say/ who the winner is.” Chris is courageous and unflinching and demands we be the same. His book will make us wiser, more prepared to survive.

~Karla Linn Merrifield, author of The Urn and The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica (Finishing Line Press)

Best To All, and Fly Well in the Night,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Poetry Book Coming Out Soon

Here is one of the blurbs for my collection Jugularity, soon to be released by Stonesthrow Poetry, an imprint of Lazarus Press. I hope it entices you:

Sometimes when I review a great book, my instinct is to judiciously quote the particularly delicious lines. But I am not going to do that with Jugularity because there are too many and it would take too long - many of my synapses are still popping. Readers will just have to trust me when I say that this collection of poetry features some of the most powerful image-evoking metaphors I have ever seen... This one, for instance: "His eyes stung / from an anthill of tomorrows." See what I mean? Jugularity is absolutely gorgeous and a poetry lover's dream.

~ Robin Stratton, On Air and Of Zen and Men

Consider a purchase. Only $7.77 at Amazon.

More blurbs soon...

Very Best,


Monday, October 22, 2012

Poem: Old Woman Explains

This poem has appeared in two magazines: Heavy Bear, run by Jane Crown (of Jane Crown's Poetry Radio fame) and also Vox Humana, which I think has gone away.

Best To All.


PS: Oh, a book of my poems is coming out this weekend, published by Stonesthrow Poetry, an imprint of Lazarus Press. The title is Jugularity. More on this later... much more.

PPS: The last stanza of the poem below, that's how I feel.


Old Woman Explains

once old,
we’ve been back
to childhood often. have shared
the same long-gone glass
too much
with the same deceased lover.

we’ve stared weak-jawed
as a whale breached,
or perhaps the twine
of mating eagles, their talons
a spiral clasped.

we’ve suffered shivers
that seduced like earthquakes,
left us with phantoms
and divine hints
of a sweet insane.

younger now than
we were, flesh
soon to fail at last,
we see time
bend around us
fast as a cooper of light,
barreling our dreams.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Release: Danse Macabre 62 Anvil

Something is quite strange about the darkly magnificent personage known as Adam Henry Carrière. Due to my infatuation with the literary magazine he edits, Danse Macabre--an immediate and enduring draw I might add--I have been gauging its exploits carefully: the stamina of the monthly releases; and the “coloratura” as he calls it, of the wide-ranging contents, which include flair from the baroque to the avant grand guignol; and much much more, through a circuitous and nonlinear route, even an occasional sojourn in Elysium.

It seems, perhaps, within the bounds of a mere mortal to orchestrate this web of continuous offerings, which include many cadenzas of vast quality. Possible albeit unlikely. And yet now, Danse Macabre not only supplies with vigor its monthly issue, but also links to an associated blog, known as DM du Jour. Even more, it is opening up, even as I speak, as a gateway into a whole new aspect of publishing. Books of poetry. Novels. Memoirs. And “feuilleton,” whatever that is.

And so my question becomes, Can a mere mortal, even one with highest aptitude at full flourish, preside over so many branches of art, which appear to be bursting forth like a severed Hydra neck to roar in multiplied might? The answer, my friends, is no. And so my conclusion is that Carrière is no mere mortal, has a preternatural existence of uncanny powers, or perhaps is a member of a secret literati, aka some kind of illuminati.

I suppose I lean toward the latter. If you go to the “Inner Sanctum” of Danse Macabre there is a Rédacteur Exécutif who claims 22 pseudonyms. And a capo di scrivania europeo from Nairobi and England, expert in French, who writes as a ghost. And an Assistant Editor, Pacific, who is also Editor-in-Chief DM du Jour, and who lives in Paekakariti, NZ on the Kapiti coast near whales and seals.

Could these Inner Sanctum Mandarins stand as the foundation not only for Danse Macabre but all the roots and tentacles that protrude from Danse Macabre and, indeed, wrap around and under the magazine, such that it is unclear which came first, what, when, and where?

I don’t know, I can’t fathom, it is all so dizzyingly mysterious. And yet the quality of the offerings makes me swoon and pine for more.


PS: See three of my poems in the latest DM issue, 62 Anvil, here:!__dm-62-anvil/poetry/vstc11=tre-entro-tre

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Poem: Angel In Goodwill

Here is one of my poems in the latest issue of Wilderness House Lit Review (7.3).




Angel In Goodwill

her mascara blots in aisles of clothes.
she sees the people that wore them
before they were young
and after they are dead.

cotton sewn by numb girls in grey bunkers.
leather as creased as widows,
though it once grazed Eden
near guavas rain-fed and lush.

there are teeth marks from idiot dogs,
and scuffs from rough forbidden sex.
innocence shines in a baby’s bonnet
though the lace reeks of forced labor.

were they naïve and blameless
as they draped sins over their shoulders
and walked in veils for years,
slowly folding away?


Monday, October 8, 2012

Release: Wilderness House 7.3

This Cambridge-based journal has just released its latest issue, including five poems from yours truly. Some of my best work ever is there, including "Angel In Goodwill" and "Lying In Bed."

Owl In the Wilderness

I've said lots of great things about this venue before, and especially the Poetry Editor Irene Koronas. Write her an email, saying what you like about 7.3 and it will make her day. She definitely deserves it.

And don't forget to tell 'em that the Owl sent you.

Carry On And Very Best,


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Emphasis On a Liar

I want to emphasize that Romney "won" the first debate because he is a magnificent liar while Obama was a tired truth-teller. This says volumes about our society, its values, its psychosis, and why as a Nation we are in so much trouble and so dangerous to global stability.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The First Debate: Truth Lost, Glitz Won

Presidential debate #1 is over and the Republican Mitt Romney is being called the winner based on his slick, aggressive performance in contrast to Barack Obama’s languid approach. The problem with this kind of analysis, which is everywhere in the media, is that it ignores content and focuses solely on presentation.

Romney admitted he would dismantle Medicare and hand it over to private companies, a huge change that would result in profits over people. Obama pointed this out, but because his delivery was poor, Romney was able to say that more freedom would result by letting big greedy corporations inject layers of bureaucracy and brutal avarice into the system.

We’ve already seen how nasty and cruel insurance companies can be, burying us in paperwork, jacking premiums, penalizing the weak and needy to maximize cash intake. But because Obama didn’t speak with the traits associated with power--bravura, force, an armor of confidence--Romney gets heaps of praise from the mainstream punditry.

Throughout the debate, Obama insinuated how much suffering and cruelty would result from Romney’s draconian cuts. It didn’t matter because his style wasn’t up to our cultural par.

Obama repeatedly asserted, with accuracy, that Romney’s various plans were vague and unworkable. The math didn’t add up. Still, even though Romney couldn’t give details--except to say that his plans would not do anything that the American people didn’t like--the President lost. The reason? Romney had gumption.

Romney snookered a gullible public. American culture, bolstered by shallow materialism, doesn’t focus on content but rather packaging. We are judged by our status symbols--clothes, cars, the size of our homes--and the same standards apply when it comes to debates. To hell with the arguments, let’s bow down before razzle-dazzle and bamboozle.

Obama won based on standards of truth. On specious trickery and macho charisma, Romney won. Unfortunately, our reaction as a people shows that the truth was drowned last night by an engaging stream of lies. It may now be dead as far as the election is concerned.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Owl Finds a Vein!

The Vein, a journal as alert, adrenal, and cunning as a wounded artist trying to survive in the pitbull alleys of the heart, is using a phrase from my blog as a welcoming mat. Yes, my words sit right at the top of the website! Check it out:

Owl Epigraph

And see my full review of this smart upstart here:

Owl Reviews The Vein

I'm greatly honored by this, and I THANK the editor tremendously. Hoot!!

Peace to all, but not at the price of silence.