Zombies?! Zombies!! is now in print

Just in time for Halloween, Zombies?! Zombies!! An Anthology is live and in publication!

While sites like Amazon won’t have the book or ebook for another month, you can order it now via the new order page located here.

Zombie fiction, zombie poetry, zombie comic; everything for the zombie lover!

And here’s a sample, an excerpt from PJ Oubre‘s excellent story Caesar’s First Zombie War

Two of the legions with us had fought the lemures previously, however, the third legion had no idea what they were about to face.  Caesar rode his horse at the front of the train of soldiers; he always believed that he was responsible for leading and inspiring the soldiers under his command.   After two hours, we could smell the stench of decaying flesh emanating from the town.  This odor managed to rattle the third legion and I remember seeing smoke rising into the sky as we approached.  We found a city in ruins.  The town was ablaze and only a small portion was protected as the appointed leader of the city appealed to Caesar for assistance and described the account of what had happened.

Four months earlier, a family returning from the south had fallen ill and died.  A day later, the pale, reanimated family began to shamble in the direction of any living being and attacked them.  These walking dead began to bite anyone near enough and stupid enough to allow him to get close.  Within days, the western half of the city was consumed by thousands of lemures that the city leadership did not know how to combat.  They built a temporary wall to contain the undead, but not before losing several thousand citizens.

Salamanca was a significant town for the Romans since it contained a massive aqueduct that brought water to many camps and villages.  It was strategically and economically important for control of the entire Iberian Peninsula.  Salamanca was located along the Roman road (Via de la Plata), which was paramount for control of the northwestern portion of the peninsula.  This road gave the Romans access to the ocean and made transport of merchant goods vital.  Caesar knew that he had to liberate this city from the undead as quickly as possible or the water supply might be disrupted and fail to support the forces under Vetus.  He called together his troops and planned to invade the western half of the city at daybreak.  The night before battle, I had not seen him so nervous, for he was about to command troops in battle for the first time.  All of his studying and preparation led him to this moment.  He only had 8000 soldiers at his disposal and for many this was the first significant engagement against a true horde of the decomposing undead.  The moans of the undead trolled on for hours and the smell of decaying flesh tickled our nostrils.  The first sight of shambling former Roman citizens and blood soaked streets and walls must have been a disconcerting sight for the new legion.

Caesar kept 500 soldiers in reserve and utilized the remainder to fight.  He designed his troops to walk in tightly packed formations, shoulder to shoulder, with shields in front of them and swords poking between the front rows of shields, grinding their opponents into pulp.  He ordered his soldiers to march in formation five rows deep on each street and to rotate every hour to combat battle fatigue.  He knew that the best way to combat the walking dead was in slow systematic units that decapitated each undead.  He emphasized the need for each unit to work as a whole and that the only way to defeat their new enemy was by decapitation.  The challenge for this army was the fact that the undead moved slowly and did not always coordinate into groups.  Occasionally one would be overlooked and manage to bite a soldier, which caused the disease to spread into our ranks.  In effect, they had to break formation to combat the shambling individuals aimlessly walking the streets.

These miniature armies systematically walked each street and let the undead walk toward them and they severed the heads as swiftly as possible.  Caesar had ordered his soldiers to shout and bang their shields together in order to attract larger numbers of lemures making combat easier.  Apparently, we had noticed that the lemures were attracted to loud noise, which suggested that their hearing was more acute than under normal living conditions.  The idea that Roman soldiers had to alter their training to attract the enemy and let them come to them was a new and unusual concept for them to grasp.  Roman soldiers were accustomed to walking slowly in formation towards their enemy and devastate their opponents with methodical precision and destruction.  Caesar ordered them to remain calm and stand in formation and make every effort to draw the walking dead to them.  This required a great deal of patience and many soldiers did not possess the patience required.  Often, a pair of soldiers would break formation and go out in search of glory, only to receive a bite and quickly turn into one of the lemures.  Those soldiers stationed behind these street units, Caesar ordered to remove the decapitated bodies to the side of the streets for removal at the end of the day.

At the end of the first day, they had slaughtered 500 lemures and Caesar ordered the citizens of the city to erect movable walls to barricade each street recently cleaned up.  The reserve troops hauled the corpses to the camp outside the city and built massive pyres for corpse removal.  Caesar understood the need for sanitary conditions and conducted the pyres outside the city for this purpose.  I oversaw hours of burning corpses upon these pyres.  I also overheard some of the standard soldiers weeping in their tents (either out of fear or shame for being a part of such a scene).  War is a crazy spectacle and men react in ways as various as the stars in the sky; in addition, all of these soldiers had never before seen the reanimated corpse of the dead and this second shock caused many men to run in fear.  Luckily for us, Caesar had an inhuman ability to inspire the most uninspired soldiers under his command.  Caesar had gained two legions assigned to him that he had not recruited from his private army.  That first night was the longest of my life.

Dispatch, a poem by Andrew Neel

From Hoosier Writers 2012

“As for the metaphysical thoughts, my dear sir, allow me to say that any brain is capable of producing them, it’s just that we cannot always find the right words.”   -Senhor Jose   All the Names (Saramago)

General while enacting your order dated 25 September 19XX
Several men in the trenches began displaying aquatic symptoms
Unexplainable by the camp’s doctor.  General the infection’s spread
Writhes like an electric eel from man to man without distinction.
General my men cannot fight at the bottom of the ocean.
General Pvt. Stevens worries that his uniform conceals his gills.
General everyone is blowing bubbles.  General do you understand
The starfish?  General we refuse to close our eyes for fear
We’ll drown in our sleep.  General there are sharks.
General we’re just floating down here forgotten and tired.
General factions arise: pirates and devotees of Neptune,
Partisans of you General as also those who blame you
For the minnows between their toes and the kelp in their teeth.
General it does seem strange.  General the mermaids’
Seductions distract but we want more, General we deserve more.
Or
Do we?   General I must apologize; General it’s not so bad.
General the ocean contains many wonders.  General
It’s not always cold down here.  General just yesterday
I saw a volcano erupt beneath the sea!  Such lava!
General an octopus produces great art.
General I will explore the Titanic.  General
The ocean contains a very special species of tree.
General some days all I want to do is lay in the coral.
General an ocean circus is not what you’d expect.
General I’m an oceanic jazz man.

General the situation here at the water front is murky.
General we were not born navy men but we will try.
General tell our mothers.  General
We may never walk on land again.

Trapped, a poem by Aaron J Perez

Today’s poem is a preview from the upcoming Zombies?  Zombies! anthology.  Personally, I never knew zombie poetry was a thing until I decided to accept them for the anthology and received a fair number of entries.  Some were good, some … not so much.  I enjoyed Mr. Perez’s entry and found it ghastly humorous which is all one can ask for in their zombie poetry.

Trapped

It smells in here,
And I’m starving to death,
What a perfect end,
Trapped without breath.

Day 365, 366, 367,
I hope when I die I go to heaven,
Instead I fear I shall become the undead,
Like my friend Wallace, who I shot in the head.
Trapped in a bomb-shelter,
Or as I like to call it tomb,
Only me and Sandy now,
with a baby trapped in her womb

Help isn’t on the way,
I will never see the light of day,
The dead light is all there is too see,
For my turning companion and me. 

I’m down to my last bullet,
And I’m saving that for me,
Got to think of something fast,
Got to kill Sandy before…now I see.

What a splendid idea,
Two birds with one stone,
As soon as she stops breathing,
I shall eat her, flesh and bone.

Day 368, I’m hungry, want more,
Ate every last part of Sandy’s gore,
What else is there to eat in here,
Oh yes, there’s always the baby dear.

Me still hungry,
Feel empty inside,
Want more meat,
Uuuugh.

Between the Lines, a poem by Riley Poynter

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Riley Poynter

The majority of our population never rises to greatness,
we are destined to answer essay questions
ordained to be known as only
the inerasable pencil.
I am finished with being chewed on, dropped off, and thrown out.
Who remembers the times of our ancestors, the days of our fathers?
Laboring on the front line of literature, quill and ink.
Our numbers have grown,
but we have changed.
We are common items,
no longer tools used to shape a country
No longer are we
Mightier Than The Sword.

 

Catch and Release, a poem by Ryan P Norris

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Ryan P Norris

I have a little dog, about the size of a bluegill.  Her tail end swings back and forth when she walks.  Late in the darkness of sleepy time in my living room she trolls the floor, sniffing, the way I imagine a small fish sniffs for drifting morsels in a cold lake after midnight, after the retirees climb ashore and their aluminum boats rock against moldy docks.

She circles my legs and I snatch her up in the net of my hands and she squirms on my lap.  Snow packs the windows and a flame ignites in the tin box called furnace.  A long blue flame stretching along the furnace grate.  She wiggles, wanting free, black marbles in her eye sockets shining.  I lift her barrel chest on my palm and lower her into the dense darkness.  She shoots away, her tail end back and forth, into the emptiness, towards the deep heat.

The Ebb of the Platanus Occidentalis

Like the previous poem I posted, this one was originally published in The Tonic, the old literary journal at my university.

 ♦

The yield sign yellow
has given way to a battle of orange and red.
In the end they concede
neither can win and the
truce reveals the lifeless
empty
husk it wears
on its graceful fall from grace.

 

Winter breath disguises
the motives of a fallen leaf
that desperately wants
to change the world.
It tries so hard to not pass on
while drifting to the ground.

 

The pile of dead reaches to the skies.
The ageless giants mourn their young and wait
until countless others rise to take their place.
sycamore

The American Sycamore aka Platanus Occidentalis

Night Fishing, a poem by Ryan P Norris

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Ryan P Norris

Fog Black and White by Elizabeth Christjansen in Hoosier Writers 2012

Fog Black and White by Elizabeth Christjansen in Hoosier Writers 2012

So inky black the sky and water are one
gentle up
down, the bow,
paddles slosh in the lake.

Owls howl in the invisible world
and the child hears werewolves
crunching leaves along the shore, grandpa
wheezes, banging poles on aluminum hull.

Tackle box of raw hooks

Worms writhe on
plastic umbilical cords in the deep void.

fish lips bleed
onto pajama pants

gills spread under grandpa’s bone fingers

child’s wide eyes
black as the wild
eye

of the baby blue gill
that squirms

in the red glow of grandpa’s cigarette,
while he digs in the mouth
with pliers.

A Poet’s Gumbo, a poem by Diane Lewis

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Diane Lewis

(for Norbert Krapf, Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-2010)

he stirred up synonyms and syncopation tonight
a pinch of spoken word
a dash of music
a teaspoon of salsa rhythm
until the recipe was just right
and this poet’s gumbo was cookin’
with some African beats
mixed with Brahms
sautéed a little jazz, served over blackened blues
my man Norbert
the poet laureate from Indiana
a super poet with mad skills
served up a dish with
a secret ingredient
he must be doin’ something right
’cause it sure smells good in his kitchen