Mike Stang “Putting Gravitas on a LoCarb Diet”
I have seen the diaries of my great great grandfather Thomas Sully who had his portrait studio in Philadelphia. He wrote of a morose young man whom he referred to as tortured and brilliant, and used to come watch him paint by the hours, saying nothing, but just bathing in the glow of artistic endeavor. I speak of course of Michael Stang, who in a previous life was Edgar Allen Poe. So A Word with You Press is the studio in cyberspace where Poe and Sully get re-acquainted. (check this out http://www.eapoe.org/papers/misc1921/deas217a.htm) To the right of Mike’s recent photo is what may be a painting of Poe by Thomas Sully, whose self portrait is on our home page.
Mike has entered our contest Wing Nuts which is open until June 10th to all writers living or dead. Find details on the menu bar under contests and then make something up. In the meantime, this from Mike:
Edgar Allen Poe died October 7, 1849 of unrecognizable complications.
(We of the dark know better)
By Michael Stang
The poet, who shows up at night as I am about turning off the lights, is as mad as a hatter. He invents himself at the end of the bar welcoming the shadows, and pointing at the whisky, stirs me into his delirium bound for conversation.
Not many but fishermen’s ghosts come in to Tawneey’s this time of year, when the Easters rage down from the north shore. Little things keep me off the clock until it is time to reverse the open/close; signs rattle enough at the end of their rusty chains to the strike of the sheeting onslaught.
“And what about failure?” Edgar Allen Poe’s hands shake to bring the shot to his lips. “Will you see this bar till your death…or do the ravens wait in the rafters to pick your bones.”
“I’ll just have to wing it,” I say, avoiding the truth. A short evil laugh escapes him.
“Try writing.” He punishes another dram, and continues to speak as if I no longer exist in front of him.
“I tore out my heart for them: horror, chilling; the macabre. They returned nothing except a beat to the grave. What hell did I unearth that shocked them so?” Poe waits for an answer from the unseen dementia that mocks his torture. “Virginia,” the poet suddenly screams, dropping the glass, his eyes twists to the storm. “I shall not refuse the bottomless pit.”
(Does anybody appreciate my dry humour?)