Excerpt for Illumen 27 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Spring 2017

Published by Alban Lake Publishing at Smashwords

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In this issue:

Comments by poets on their work

The Deborah Guzzi Page

The Herb Kauderer Page

Edited by Tyree Campbell

Cover art "Transformation" by Teresa Tunaley

Cover design by Laura Givens

Vol. XIII, No. 3 April 2017 Illumen [ISSN: 1558-9714] is published quarterly on the 1st days of January, April, July, and October in the United States of America by Alban Lake Publishing, P.O. Box 141, Colo, Iowa, 50056-0141. Copyright 2017 by Alban Lake Publishing. All rights revert to authors and artists upon publication except as noted in selected individual contracts. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the authors and artists. Any similarity between places and persons mentioned in the fiction or semi-fiction and real places or persons living or dead is coincidental. Writers and artists guidelines are available online at www.albanlake.com/guidelines. Guidelines are also available upon request from Alban Lake, P.O. Box 141, Colo, Iowa, USA, 50056-0141, if request is accompanied by a SASE #10 envelope with a 49-cent US stamp. Editor: Tyree Campbell. Subscriptions: $28 for one year [4 issues], $54 for two years [8 issues]. Single copies $8.00 postage paid in the United States. Subscriptions to Canada: $18 for one year, $34 for two years. Single copies $10.00 postage paid to Canada. U.S. and Canadian subscribers remit in U.S. funds. All other countries inquire about rates.



From the Editor

The Deborah Guzzi Page

A Rousing Song: The Poetics (Make-Up) Of Cosmic Horror And Escapist Science Fiction Robert E. Porter

The Herb Kauderer Page


Lost Sheep by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Mortal Remains by Bruce Boston

Three Ladies Speak by Jennifer Crow

Another SF Moment in Southern California by Kendall Evans

Bewildered Angel by K. S. Hardy

Me and Cinderella by Alan Ira Gordon

The Elusive Mermaid by Lana Bella

Her Ghosts by Marge Simon

Seamstress by Amy Kotthaus

twelve white lilies into ravens by Sarina Bosco

Mascot by Priya Sridhar

The Sailor’s Lament by Jennifer Crow

Sabbath by Lynette Mejía

Pele by Kendall Evans

Cinders by Claire Smith

Octopus Head by Kelsey Dean

From the Editor

One reason to read poetry is that it is inspira-tional. How many times have you opened a novel and found a quotation from a poem, with words that are thematic to the story itself? How often do you find that the title of a novel or a story or other piece has been taken from a line in a poem? Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls comes immediately to mind, the title taken from the John Donne sonnet. The two parts of the James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice, come from the Stevenson comment about traveling. The fine poetry anthology A Demon in My View, edited by Shelly Bryant, takes its title from a Poe poem. Our upcoming anthology of dark fiction, Into Darkness Peering, comes from The Raven.

Furthermore, poetry can inspire you. Take for example this bit from Macauley’s Horatius: “And how can man die better/than facing fearful odds/for the ashes of his fathers/and the temples of his gods?” Such power! Such profound meaning! You can apply those words, and the atti-tude they convey, to any dangerous endeavor that nevertheless must be attempted. Doctors Without Borders do it all the time. So do fire-fighters, soldiers, and the dog that rescues the child from the ice-bound lake and dies himself in doing so; the student on the first day at the new school…

…and the person who braves a poem, reads it, and thinks about it afterwards, knowing she or he doesn’t have to understand it all, or all at once. Just think. After all, it’s thinking, more than any other characteristic, that makes us human.


Lost Sheep

David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Smooth patches on unquiet water,

like coconut-flake clouds skating a cerulean sky,

or phantom sharks gliding through a paleosea.

They may be fragments of the calm Java,

come loose to wander the broad

Ocean of the Indies,

searching between unhurried rollers,

desperately seeking something.

Caught amid the unfamiliar waves

(Boisterous cousins born on the wide world ocean),

unruly relatives forbidden the strait-bound Java.

Sly smooth patches!

Secretly slipping past brooding Krakatau,

lonely Christmas.


turned round, hopelessly lost,

skimming southward, Australia-bound,

fated to perish

when the monsoons come.

But now, still, in the quiet season, skating

between the waves,

around the ship,

and beyond.

Lost Sheep was originally published in Z Miscellaneous, 1989


by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

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