Monday, October 13, 2014

F.J. Bergmann


When adjacent tomes sneered
at the handbook’s well-worn covers,
it said nothing. When a kindly
self-help bestseller suggested
that evidence of regular use
showed how much its advice
had been treasured, it shrank
further into the narrow slot
into which it had been wedged,
between a bartenders' guide
and the poems of Catullus.
It tried not to think about
what it held on its pages:
diagrams for electrode wiring,
anatomical pressure points,
recommendations for using tools.
It longed for bookworms;
it prayed for silverfish,
foxing, fire, floods, fungus—
anything that could obscure
or obliterate what it contained—
that it would crumble to dust
before it could be read
and used again.

F.J. reads "Questioning":

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F.J. confesses: "I had begun writing a series of persona poems about books—journals, diaries, horror novels, children's books, illustrated books, concordances—and their friendly and not-so-friendly rivalries and interactions with readers. And then I wondered what the persona of a manual of torture would be like."

F.J. BERGMANN writes poetry and speculative fiction, often simultaneously, appearing in Black Treacle, Lakeside Circus, On Spec, Right Hand Pointing, Silver Blade, and elsewhere. Editor of Star*Line and poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change; winner of the 2012 Rannu Prize for speculative poetry and the 2013 SFPA Elgin chapbook award.