Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Release: Vine Leaves Journal #06

Vine Leaves Journal has released Issue #06, and it not only validates the positive comments I made earlier, it sparks my enthusiasm even more. I offer a quantum leap of kudos to editors Jessica Bell and Dawn Ius. The presentation is fantastic, the context multifaceted, the quality extra-outstanding.

To back this up, I will say my poems have appeared in a good number of journals over the last ten years, over a hundred. Vine Leaves #06 has tied for my #2 favorite presentation ever. They paired my poem “Hiroshima Shadow” with the artwork of Otha Vakseen Davis III, who is a upsurging monumental talent. You can read about him here:

My poem and “Blemishes of Love,” the artwork by Vakseen, constitute the last page of the issue. It is such an honor to appear there, as a final dissipative note in the tempestuous song of words, images and unleashed creativity that is VLJ6. Bell and Ius have given us a brilliant jagged veinous pasticcio, successfully fusing urban and natural while injecting elements of dare--techniques such as tilting the poems, or presenting them in the style of a clip-on. The editors magick the format to meld language within aesthetic leaves of electronic paper. Folds within folds. Messages within messages, combining the contributors into a singularity of overarching theme, and yet retaining the unique signature of each work. Indeed, the vignette is what this journal is all about (see my review).

Visit the latest issue, and be sure to check out my poem on the last page:

Here is my review:

Time is mean, or I would ramble on.

Fly Well In the Dark,


PS: My favorite presentation of one of my poems in a journal (audio, click play):

PPS: Tied with Vine Leaves for my second favorite presentation is: The Centrifugal Eye:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spark In Our Hearts

Happy Earth Day, Folks.

Let's all get passionate about this planet. I think we could. I don't want to rant like a prophet, but we are wrecking the beauty of it all. What are we doing?

What about apathy?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Acceptance: The Catch

Check out my two poems, “Transference” and “Gut Knife” in the first issue of The Catch, a journal about the heritage of the Downeast region, focusing on maritime activities. The very able editor is Catherine Schmitt, a professor at the University of Maine. I was privileged to read with some of the other contributors recently in Bangor. The stories--and the quality of the writing--brought me to tears (or the edge thereof...)

Read The Catch here:

The Catch Issue One

Carry Onward,


Monday, April 15, 2013

Acceptance: Vine Leaves Literary Journal


Vine Leaves Literary Journal is expanding and resplendent. It attracts a lot of attention, and I don’t think it is because they offer payment upon acceptance. The editors are alive in some special way, the antipode of the ordinary. They have absorbing and even magical bios, emanate a telekinetic aura of passion and purpose, and they have actualized this brilliantly by revivifying the idea of the vignette in a new iconoclastic way.

As Jessica Bell, one of the two lead editors says in her interview with The Review Review: “Vignette originally meant something that may be written on a vine leaf.” And:

I figured it would be a great idea to dedicate a journal to this form of writing for all those writers out there like me. It turns out there are a lot of you!

Dawn Ius, the other lead editor adds:

I love how Vine Leaves has opened the door for so many talented people whose stories may not have been heard because they don’t conform to a certain style.

The journal, organized and produced with sensuous flair, is about a state of mind, or the hunt for a state of mind, one that the writer must flesh out with their own personality. The vignette, as conjured by Bell and Ius, seeks essence or realness without prioritizing form or even catering to form at all. It is sort of like mining for sapphire in your churning core, a substance only you can shape into succinct excellence.

I am honored to be included in the April Issue (#6) and I envision Vine Leaves trellising high into the light of the literary blogosphere! My thanks to the whole Vine Leaves coterie, which also includes Amie McCracken (assistant editor & reader), Julie Haring(reader) and Susan Wenograd (reader).


PS: The poems accepted were “Clique Dynamics” and “Hiroshima Shadow.” The latter was workshopped at the Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, in a session led by Lissa Kiernan. I hightly recommend The Coop to anyone! (

Friday, April 12, 2013

Free Download Of My Book until April 15!

As part of a promotional, Lazarus Media, publisher of my poetry e-book Jugularity, is allowing Amazon to 'sell' it for free until April 15. Just go to this link and click purchase for your copy:

If you don't have a Kindle device, click on "Available on your PC" for the non-Kindle download.

Read sample poems and get four testimonials to the quality of the book at the above link (click on the semi-vampiric cover).

I had the outstanding privelege of reading from Jugularity as part of the Maine Writer Series on April 9. The reading took place at the University of Maine at Machias, in the Book Arts Studio:

Of all the places I've read, the Book Arts Studio is my favorite. They have their own press, using beautiful paper and ink type-set machines, all done in a very small space yet producing books that are lovely to hold, feel, smell, and listen to as the paper whispers under your fingers. In charge is Bernie Vinzani, a learned artisan of the book craft. The Studio is also a museum of sorts for the most lovely prints, which are hung on the wall in various sizes as styles, from ancient monkish vellum to modern variations of avante garde.

Learn more about the Book Art Studio and its underlying ethos and raison d'etre here:



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

North Korea and Karma

In June 1914, a young nationalist assassinated Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, sick of the crushing hand of Austria-Hungarian imperialism. Austria-Hungary soon decided that the neaby country of Serbia should be blamed and issued an ultimatum in the form of a list of harsh demands. Serbia refused. The superpowers took sides. This led, through more follies, to World War I, which started in July 1914.

To this day, it appears that the assassin, Gavrilo Princip, acted as part of a small anarchist group. He is considered a liberator in Bosnia-Herzegovina, complete with heroic statues, plaques, and so forth.

In the aftermath of World War I, the victors, showing extreme cruelty and avarice, punished Germany so badly that the conditions were laid for the rise of a hate-mongering fascist: This led to genocide for Jews and Gypsies and World War II, when that fascist, Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland.

In the aftermath of World War II, the victors split Korea in half, forming the North and the South. The USSR controlled the North, making it communist oriented, and the USA controlled the South, making it anti-communist.

This produced extreme friction between North and South. The South massacred communist insurgences and sympathizers. The North invaded the South in 1950, backed by China. The South pushed back but China sent troops, leading to an armistice. About one million people died in this absurd butchery.

Today North Korea is infected by the hate and fear that owes its legacy to a line of war, greed and cruelty that goes back to Princip’s rogue assassination of an imperial Archbishop.

The current ruler of North Korea, Kim Jong-un now threatens nuclear attack on the US, South Korea and allies such as Japan. This could easily explode into the same kind of alliance-forming that brought us World War I.

There will be a difference, however. I defer to Albert Einstein’s eloquence:

I don't know what weapons will be used in world war three, but in world war four people will use sticks and stones.

The moral of this long story of greed, empire and cruelty is simple: stop being greedy, cruel and imperial. Stop the threats and violence. If we don’t learn the lessons of history now, we may never get a chance to learn them again.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Acceptance: Contes Macabre

My short story "Comes A Spider" is included in the latest story anthology from Lazarus Media. The entire story is viewable as part of the preview (I think):


Here is the direct link, if the above does not work:

But please buy a copy to support the small press, if you are at all able (only $4).

The story combines horror and philosophy to devastate the logical foundation of a decent reality.

Fly Well In the Dark,


PS: There is one customer review at Amazon, and it starts this way:

Within the opening paragraph of Contes Macabre, one knows that they are in for a treat of the best kind - something as delicious as it is dark, as addictive as pure Colombian sans the comedown, and that whispers of the unfathomable depths of the human mind. Chris Crittenden's Came a Spider [sic], is reminiscent of the great horror writing of old, and one can almost see a flickering apparition of Poe standing behind the author as he typed his story late some night.

reviewer: artworkbykyren

Monday, April 1, 2013

Reading: University of Maine at Machias

I'll be reading at the University of Maine in Machais on April 9. I'm currently a hot item on their website:

However, that is sure to change rapidly, so this link might have greater endurance:

I'll be reading from my recent full-length collection Jugularity, which you can by for a song and a dance ($3.99) at Amazon:

Thanks for reading and see you in the gloomweave,