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Exotic Meats + Inedible Objects the Culinary Poetry of Rachel Rodman

When Rachel first approached Madness Heart Press with her collection, it had a different name that did not catch my eye. Her cover letter, which you can mostly see on the product description page, did. You see, I was working on my own collection of poetry at the time, and I had a professional history as a chef.

“What really drives Exotic Meats & Inedible Objects, though, is the idiosyncratic conviction that everything is edible. (And, in its own way: delicious.) And that even traditionally inert ingredients, like fallen trees, jars of urine, semicolons, sound waves, nihilism, and so on, can, and should, be chopped, seasoned, baked, frosted, swallowed, digested…

and savored.

How could I not be entranced? This collection spoke to me on a bone-deep soul level. It spoke to everything that I loved in poetry and literature. But was it horror? As a horror publisher, was this in my wheelhouse?

Rodman’s use of wordplay and the way she twists meaning and allusion hypnotized me. Her poetry is intensely different than my own, not only in style but in theme. I have long held that good poetry is, in fact, flash fiction, told with a twist, and look at the first poem in the collection:


·1 bald eagle
·1 big blue ox
·50 amber waves of grain
Encase in an apple pie crust.

Frost with smallpox.

3 ingredients and a crust that speaks to what America wants to think about itself with a finishing of the dark, hateful truth of origins. This tells a story, this has a twist, this is delightful poetry.

At the end of the day, I realized it didn’t matter that I couldn’t classify this collection in any one genre. I had the power to help Rodman bring this collection to the world, and I would be damned if I didn’t take the opportunity to be a part of Exotic Meats + Inedible Objects.

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Review: “Girl on the Third Floor” (2019)

Take one strong, hairy demon leg. You can imagine the kind; something haunched and goat-like with red flesh and a cloven black hoof. Now take that leg and sew it to a Frankenstinian torso, perhaps the broad-shouldered frame of a deceased strangler. Now, at last, take a half-rotted head, jaw hanging loose, and attach it to the top of your creation with a staple gun. Take a step back, perform the proper incantations, and watch it spring to life! Would it be able to move effectively? To chase its prey? Would it make biological “sense,” so to speak?

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Zombie With A Shotgun’ (2019)

More plot than you’d expect to get out of a zombie with a shotgun…

Yeah, this was fun. As many of my readers well know, my wife watches a lot of horror movies with me, and one of our favorite things to do is riff the movie we’re watching. It’s one of the ways I know a movie has riffing potential. Of course this movie, being a shoe-string indie, had all kinds of riffable material. It’s like the trope my wife coined “ForeCaging,” (named after the hammy acting of Nicolas Cage) which means “Foreshadowing riff worthy material from the setup.”

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Suffer the Little Children (Part 2)

Last week, I touched on Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining now available in book or movie form to suit your preference. I mentioned that The Shining had been a benchmark in my development as both a young reader and a young human, expressed bewilderment at King’s decision to return to the story of Danny Torrance (which I had thought more or less concluded), and finally expressed my misgivings about King’s persistent use of the suffering of children in his work (which I in no way attribute to malice – quite the opposite, actually). I also mentioned that in tracing the journey from The Shining to Doctor Sleep we can examine recurring themes and answer the question “What haunts Stephen King?”

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Wandering Monster and Madness Heart Radio Join the Project Entertainment Network

As many of you know, we have two shows here at Madness Heart Press, Madness Heart Radio, where Publishing Editor John Baltisberger interviews various members of the Horror Industry, and Wandering Monster, where Charles Bernard, Lemons Clemons, and John Baltisberger talk monsters.

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