December 6-12, 2004: Joseph Armstead and Lori Carriere

week of December 6-12, 2004

Joseph Armstead and Lori Carriere

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Joseph Armstead

Bio (auto)

My name is Joseph Armstead and I’m a horror/dark fantasy writer living in Oakland, California, where I work as a computer technologist I am a member of the Horror Writers of America organization, and the author of six novels: 

* PAINMAKER, First Tale in the Book of Dark Memory [ISBN: 0738851965]
* DARKNESS FEARS [ISBN: 0-595-26315-1]
* THE DEMOGORGON AGENDA (ebook) [ISBN: 1-55404-137-6]

These books are available at Barnes & Noble Online,, WINGS ePRESS INC Online, and at Double Dragon eBooks.5.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Joseph Armstead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Between Darkness and Pittsburgh

The voice on the radio
debates the worst
of the day’s news
with a ranting idiot
while I drive through
an icy evening’s rainstorm
and I can still taste
this morning’s coffee
on my dry
inarticulate tongue
The interstate stretches
onward ahead of me
in lengthening shadow,
like a rubber band
pulled too far, too tight,
all wound up and,
like a serpent,
ready to strike
Her face is in
the back of my mind,
haunting me from
an unfinished dream,
and the sound of the
windshield wiper blades
across the cracked glass
in front of me
is like a metronome,
counting beats to music
from a forgotten melody
The interstate looks like a
snapshot, like a faded
black and white photo
with creased wrinkled edges
from some poor slob’s
photo album
of bargain basement
The rain pelts
the car’s roof
like the tiny fists
of angry angels
locked out of
a trailer-park heaven
The voice on the radio
lashes out at lonely people
and I reach over
and change the station
to a mournful pop song
about leaving your lover
When I switch the radio off,
I notice the interstate is
empty except for me
in my old beat up car,
dim headlights trying vainly
to carve a path through
the gathering darkness
I don’t know what to do,
so I turn the radio back on
and some group of angry
pop star millionaires
are singing about
“running an endless mile”
I wish them luck
and drive on
’till the morning comes.

Bye Polar

In my trembling hand
I hold an ice cube I
Am transfixed by the
Subtle interplay of light
Passing through its polar
Facets, brilliance bleeding
through the cube’s frosty walls Water melts on my fingertips
I realize then that
the ice cube is dying
They say that “Time Heals
All Wounds” They say that “You are
Stronger than you think” They say that “God doesn’t
Give us burdens any
larger than we
can carry” And, too, They say
Things like “There’s
Always hope”
The thoughtless things they say
Are a furious hurricane
of frozen ice crystals
Blown off the slowly
Advancing glacier of
Failed romance They are
A cold bitter wind
Masked by nature’s
Majesty, by the facade
of “growth” and “maturity”,
a flimsy mask to hide
the killers of joy
Hope does not spring Eternal If you love someone and
Set them free, they really
Don’t come back to you Unconditional love is rife
with complicated conditions Love doesn’t really conquer all
Your Inner Child just went missing Go to your refrigerator and
Check your milk cartons
I plop the sparkling ice cube
into the glass of scotch I
poured and wonder if the
wise ever-helpful “they”
Will be wiped out by the
Relentless approach of that
Goddamn metaphorical iceberg
We should all be so lucky
My fingers are so cold
From the ice they held
That they hurt
That’s when I think of you

Lori Carriere


I live and write in Massapequa Park, NY where I am currently a student My past publishing credits include Erosha and the Sun Rising Poetry Press
Visit Lori on the web here:

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Lori Carriere and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Eye of the Beholder

You paint me in rich,
vibrant, Botticelli colors
so that I feel as exquisite
as Venus making love
with the great, white-foaming sea.


You must be a sin
When I look at you
my insides tighten and ache
and my eyes expand
like Eve’s
after the hard,
green, bobs
stained red.

First Time

When you lay her on her back
her young, breasts
are like upright triangles Soft and unaroused,
they point upward
and become like steeples to the heavens

as you break into her again and again.

A Question for an Intellectual

Is it irreverent of me
if, when you talk of
numerical integration
and scientific abstractions,
I just want to
crush your mouth against mine
to drink of the lips
that could speak such words?

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