A Route Obscure and Lonely
by LindaAnn LoSchiavo
Haunting and harrowing in its portrayal of supernatural creatures, “A Route Obscure and Lonely” explores the road less traveled by restless ghosts, sexually curious aliens, cunning vampires, transgressive angels, regretful mermaids, defiant witches, surly goddesses, mysterious phantoms, fearless fortune tellers, and “goth’s Mr. Goodbar” himself — — Edgar Allan Poe. The boroughs of the dead invite you to approach the gate guarding their abyss. Come look inside.
“Poet, journalist, dramatist LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s A Route Obscure and Lonely is inspired by Speaker for the Dead Emeritus, Edgar Allan Poe, and the women he pedestalled, then put in the ground. ‘Haunted by ill angels only,’ (Poe, “Dreamland,” 1844.) and graced by Conrad Bradford’s eye-catching cover of a weeping woman in a white dress, this elegant collection of 33 gothic poems explores a dreamland of old anchorites, anxious ghosts, and cuckolding gods, offering intimate views of dangerous and/or ecstatic sexual relationships that we would not wish for our daughters.”
SPECPO Review, by Sandra J. Lindow
“I loved how this collection of poetry was focused on a wide range of emotions. Readers will be swept up in the throes of love just as easily as they will be drawn into the shadows. And fans of Edgar Allan Poe will see hints of his inspiration peppered throughout the poems. Including a poem all to his own where LoSchiavo explores the women Poe wrote about.”
Behind the Pages
“The collection showcases LoSchiavo’s versatility as a poet as her supernatural entities go from anguished to bizarre to subdued in an instant.”
The Prairies Book Review
“This author speaks to me with her knowledge of the right elements of culture and I could see it reaching most almost dedicated to poetry Americans.”
“For the title of her second poetry collection LindaAnn LoSchiavo borrows a line from a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. It’s an apt choice, because A Route Obscure and Lonely feels very much like it could have been penned by a modern descendant of this master of the gothic and macabre.”
Women in Horror: LindaAnn LoSchiavo.
With measured strokes, I brushed defiant hair,
Cascading waves that cancer left untouched.
You’d had enough of hospitals, that lack
Of privacy, imagining your home
Serene, secure, free from intrusive pests.
It would shock you to learn we’re not alone.
At dawn, the presence by the sills crispens,
Emerges as the drapes inhale into
A phantom shape. Infernal company,
Omniscient brakeman, timer in cold hands,
Poised, waiting, exhalations nearly through.
Lost in the territory of morphine,
Deciding to eject your breathing tubes,
You tossed away the life-saving device.
Asleep, I’m unaware — — till ghost commands
Arouse me full awake. There’s no choice but
To go rescue you, reconnect the air.
Long shadows darken the stairs, that peek-a-boo
Behind the hooded cloak. I startle you,
Attaching oxygen’s feed properly,
Removing you tonight from danger’s ledge.
A grimace rises from the bedding’s edge
As if to say, “Not now! I’ll tell you when.”
The Voice Ghost
Depictions — — movies, books — — deceive, confuse
The living. Voice ghosts don’t wear clothes, don’t need
To manifest because they’re audible.
Invisible sopranos / tenors, words
Always distinct, their message is compressed.
Existing outside time, unfazed by light,
Speaking when least expected, they’re not thanked
For loud commands that got you to safety.
Recalling the specifics, all alone
You were when sudden danger shadowed life.
Forewarned! Escaped in time! Miraculous!
Are voice ghosts guardians? Are they instincts
Awakened? Metaphors for the divine?
Perhaps this energy is what survives
Of love beyond — — though incorporeal — —
Its wise eyes moving of its own accord.
Poe and His Women
Ligeia, Annabel Lee, and Berenice,
Supernal beauties, pleasing to the eye,
Were temporary mates and marble-cheeked
Like timeless funerary monuments.
Tremaine’s Rowena, Lady Madeline,
Insidiously felled and pushed offstage,
Had met goth’s Mister Goodbar on the page.
First, females got top billed — — then burying.
What makes an author kill his heroines?
Recognizing a women’s grave could be
His open throat, death-bed vows memorized,
Poe’s pen despaired of daylight’s finitude.
Clocks ticking, wasted time, reminded him
The coffin waits and pages lie half done
In desolation. Anonymity’s
Curse frightens writers more than Roderick
Encountering his sister’s open crypt.
Unholy was the hesitation left behind,
His desk in disarray, the inkwell filled,
Quills conjured up another sinister
Enchantress. Edgar’s poised to start again.
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