Rain Graves, Author . Cemetery Dance $20 (257p) ISBN 978-1-58767-200-2

Bukowski meets Lovecraft in this collection of more than 100 short poems from Stoker-winner Graves (Blood of a Black Bird ). She explores a diversity of themes, including love, the search for self and the ubiquity of death in all its forms, from a scorned woman contemplating murder to a flying dinosaur devouring all in its path. Graves's cynical wit and macabre imagination are showcased in “Ladies of the Night,” where female barflies are likened to melancholy vampires; the brilliantly allegorical “Unwanted Yellow Flowers,” where lawn mowers have “metallic teeth” and dandelions “lay in wait/ for the kiss of death”; and “Slick Eddie Dog One-Fifty-One,” where a killer describes his victims as matchbooks full of dormant fire. Though there's no real narrative thread or progression to the hodgepodge of dark imagery, horror aficionados will enjoy the wry, nihilistic verse. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/19/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
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