I was given the opportunity to voice Aunt Mae in the final episode of Mel Hartman’s brilliant exploration of haunted-house-horror as told through a young, neurodiverse, and queer lens. I encourage folks to listen to the whole series!
Here are a few platforms to listen on:
Centring our Creative Community
Starting today, whenever I post an update on this website, I’m going to boost another creator whose work deserves your eyes.
This week, it’s Vanessa Maki. She is a poet, writer, and visual artist whose work re-examines horror/popular culture — with a focus on film and television. To dive into her work, visit her LinkTree and follow her on Twitter and Instagram. You can also support her on Ko-Fi. At present, you can commission her to write a custom poem based on her curated list of horror/pop culture properties or purchase one of her existing chapbooks.
The Autumn issue of Thema Literary Journal features my poem, What Were You Wearing? I wrote this piece in response to the question inevitably asked by police, social workers, doctors, friends, and lovers when talking about sexual assault. You can purchase the issue here.
If you were a North American GenX kid who didn’t understand the appeal of sports where people hit things and didn’t wear sequins, you might enjoy my poem about figure skating’s most epic battle. It ‘s up now at The Daily Drunk.
My queer and quirky fairy-tale retelling, 12 Tanzen Lane, is now live at the young adult speculative fiction podcast, Cast of Wonders. This story is informed by my time spent living in a transitional group home in my teens. They’ve done a careful job of taking my text and giving it life. I’m especially grateful to Larissa Thompson for the narration. I have to say, her Sylvia is exactly what I heard in my mind when I was writing.
(CW: Trauma, anxiety, neurodiversity)
Thanks to Taco Bell Quarterly for offering me my second nomination for the Best Of The Net for poetry.
For the first time, I’ve dedicated most of my efforts not just to creating, but to trying to share what I create. That part has always been the wrench for me.
About two years ago, I left my job. When I say I left my job, what I mean is that I got onto a bus, rode it to the subway station, got out and stood on the platform
My body rebelled. I full-on froze. My mouth tasted like I was chewing tinfoil. My heart was a wind-up toy from the flea market let loose under my ribs. I called HR and told them I couldn’t do it. I quit.
You don’t need to know the details of what happened at my job to spin me out. It was an echo of a recurring trauma, played out like a house of mirrors and it triggered my flight or flight. (And I’ve never had fight. Not ever.)
I left. I got a part time job to help with the bills and started sending words out.
I live in a neurodiverse bubble that makes enjoying my own accomplishments complicated — even impossible. I’m sharing my nominations because I want them to stay in my brain. I want them to imprint as deeply as the bad stuff. I want to remember how I felt when I heard. How my body reacted. What my mouth tasted like. What my heart did.
A poem I wrote about a place that gave me something when I had nothing is out in the world. Thanks for that, TBQ. Thanks for giving my story a home. Thanks for giving me a reason to pay attention to what my heart does.
SCIFAIKUEST is a journal of short form science fiction and fantasy poetry published by Hiraeth Books. The August 2020 issue features my poem, wings pulled to body. I’ve received my copy of this issue in the mail and its full of small bursts of creative wonder. If you like your speculative verse in bite sized form, this is for you. The issue can be purchased here.
by H. E. Casson
(CW: Sexual assault, child abuse, pregnancy)
If I ever liked the night
If it ever liked me back
That was so very long ago
So long ago
It may have been
Inside the womb
Ripe with the smell
I remember it well
Of his cigarettes
And her ice cream cones
The sound of their fights
The frenzied tones
Through the thin skin walls
I remember it all
If I ever liked the dark
With the sparklers
In the park
To scare away
To convince the day
To stay (which was impossible)
At a festival in the early fall
If I ever liked the moon
When he came into my room
Like the fights
Inside the womb
An exploration of my
Thin, like hers
Afraid, like him
Originally published in Fireweed in 2002.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
The Daily Drunk’s Bob Ross themed call resulted in this poem, Paint, about watching a man that was all edges soften just a bit when he created. One thing Bob Ross did, intentionally or not, was give men of an era that demanded a damaging masculinity permission to be gentle.
If you’d like to enjoy some Bob Ross yourself, his website is here and his youtube channel is here.
(CW: Mental illness, hospitalization)
I first wrote my poem, In Patient, while I was hospitalized because of debilitating symptoms that hit at my intersection of mental illnesses. The poem has lived on my computer for about 20 years, a small moment in a long relationship with my disability. Literary magazine Serotonin not only gave it a home, but they gave it a loving home. Now they’ve nominated it, along with 7 others, for the Best of the Net 2020. I’m heartened by the changing conversation around neurodiversity and mental illness and I’m grateful that my experiences are a part of it.