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My Vampire Husband

My Vampire Husband
by Linda M. Crate

they always say that he broke in
because that’s what I allowed
them to believe, but he knocked
on my window; I invited him in,
and I know no one will understand
it, but I let him penetrate through
the glass wall of protection because
I felt a kinship with him that I had
known with no one else; he felt
like home before I ever knew him —
my parents hate him, and my in-laws
are disapproving, but none of it has
mattered to us; he stole into my
house the same way he invaded my
heart, with my permission, and I
would rather him to be my protector
rather than anyone else I’ve known —
there’s a feral beauty to this beast
that I could not ignore, he has never
hurt me like a monster would; he has
only ever let me bloom like a flower.

* * *

Linda M. Crateis a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poems have been previously published in Magic Cat Press, Black-Listed Magazine, Bigger Stones, Vintage Poetry, The Stellar Showcase Journal, Ides of March, The Blinking Cursor, The Diversified Arts Project, The Railroad Poetry Project, Skive, The Scarlet Sound, Speech Therapy, Itasca Illinois & Willowtree Dreams, Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon, Write From Wrong, Moon Washed Kisses, The Wilderness Interface Zone, Samizdat Literary Magazine, Danse Macabre, and the Horror Zine. Her short stories have been published in Carnage Conservatory, Daily Love, Circus of the Damned, Linguistic Erosion, and Yesteryear Fiction.

Where do you get the ideas for your poems? That's really a loaded question. Partially, I'll admit that I'm influenced by things I've seen, heard, or even read - sometimes however ideas hit me out of the blue; my muse is rather eccentric (it takes after me), and gives me ideas that I never thought that even I could conjure. I usually get the best ideas I find in those moments right before I fall asleep or right before I wake up. Inspiration hits me everywhere and my ideas are inspired by everything really snippets of conversation I heard at church, the weather outside, my personal opinions on a wildly debated subject, etc.

What inspires you to write and keep writing? I've always held a love and a passion for writing. I once read this quote concerning writers: "True writers never stop writing until they're dead." I think that describes me. I've been told that I 'write too much'. It's something I'm passionate about and one of my true callings. I am inspired to write because of my favorite writers and I keep writing so that maybe I can change someone's life for the better. Other times I write simply to expose a part of my soul that I could not otherwise examine.

What do you think is the most important part of a fantasy poem? Probably to keep the poem both engaging and easy to relate to. I've read scholarly and academic poems that turned me off right off the bat because of their language similarly I've read fantasy poems on the same vein. It's one thing to be very intelligent, but it's another thing to be an elitist. I feel that if one must use a dictionary on each and every one of your poems or look up the subject matter they're not going to be interested in the poem - fantasy or not nor will they likely be interested in reading one of your future poems.

What do you think is the attraction of the fantasy genre? I'm not sure really, I've always had a strange pull towards fantasy. I think it's because it was always my escape as a child. I've always loved to read and to me - dragons, vampires, werewolfs, elves, dwarves, faeries, chimeras, etc. have always interested me far more than the petty problems of society that I like to pretend don't affect me. If I'm honest, there's also another part of me that says, I wish I were a part of their world. But I'm not Ariel nor is there any Ursula that will steal my voice so I can meet my mystery prince. Pity! I'm sure he would have been quite the looker.

What advice do you have for other fantasy poets? Just keep writing. It's hard sometimes (I got 19 rejections one day!), but you have to keep pushing on. Don't give up. I heard this advice on the news one day: "Keep believing in your dreams even if no one else does." I believe that's completely essential to any writer. You just have to persevere. Even J.K. Rowling was rejected twelve times before her masterpiece was published, and look where the Harry Potter franchise is now! It's not easy to follow your dreams, but nothing good in life ever came for free. Don't ever stop, don't let anyone convince you that you're not good enough. The day you do that is the day that you've let them win. Prove your critics wrong, make them eat their words.