Edgar Allen Poe is a Raven Maniac.

   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)

Penny Lane

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.”

The Pit on The Pendulum

(Does anybody appreciate my dry humour?)

22 thoughts on “Edgar Allen Poe is a Raven Maniac.

  1. Glclark says:

    Brother Stang – one of these days I’m going to have to just walk around in that brain of yours and see where this great stuff comes from. I think I’ll bring my shotgun though. May have to fight off some of those rabid ravens that lurk in the dusty rafters of your mind. You never fail to amaze me.

    • Michael Stang says:

      I would not do that. Walk around in my brain that is. I did it once and never returned. The ravens are not so bad though if you can feed them three times a day. Thanks, Gary for the shout

  2. 1948pdobbs says:

    Mike, I am glad I chose this contest so I wouldn’t miss this story! What a picture you paint with words. Instead of “Virginia”, I would have expected, “Annabell Lee”. It took me back alot of years
    when I had to recite, “The Raven”. Great story.
    Blessings, pd

  3. TiMo says:

    OH!-mazing. I was caught in the sturm und drang, and I didn’t want this to end. This needs a sequel, a prequel… love how you wordsmith. Stir me into your delirium, as I am BOUND to hear more, I hope!

  4. Diane Cresswell says:

    I love Poe and you very aptly brought his driven embodied hell alive. Kept looking up to see if the ravens had arrived. Was waiting to see what you would bring out of that dark twisted mind of your’s and it was worth the wait. Ya didn’t let me down. MANCABRELISIOUSTUNHELMAREFAB

    • Michael Stang says:

      If MANCABRELISIOUSTUNHELMAREFAB means what I think it means, you are in serious trouble. But that is whay I love you like I do. Would I ever let you down? Okay, okay, there were a few rosy paths, but I am better now.

  5. Kyle Katz says:

    Pure gifted literature. I have read this post at least 5 times, and each time it stops my heart.Only to beat faster with the flowing life of your words to my very soul. I have learned so much from you. You make words comply and conform, strung somewhere between the fertile ground and it’s birth. If they don’t behave, you find a place for them to develop, until you feel the structure of glory. Language does not want to escape you, words respect you. Words are pliable in your artistry and surrenders to your vision. It becomes Existance. The vision of a true master! Thanks for being my wingman. Love Kyle

    • Michael Stang says:

      I know not what to say with this glorious light surrounding me. But I dressed in black tie, made cocktails, cleaned the house (cleaned the house first) and walked to the veranda. Dipping low from the waist, I toasted to the south and those swarmy beaches, Mission Beach to be exact, and to a very good friend. Thanks, Kyle. I love you too.

    • Michael Stang says:

      Jon, thanks for going through the archives, not many do. Down here in the cellar where the light gets dim it is good to hear a friendly voice. I wrap a scarf tighter around my neck to avoid the draft. Your compliment is taken with appreciation and humility, knowing you for the talented writer that you are, but I dribble on. I don’t get to talk to too many these days; it gets so lonely down here. Thanks again for the ray of sunshine.

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