Pitchblende: Songs of Flesh, Bone, Blood — a terrific collection of the most horrific verse by multi-award winning poet Bruce Boston — is being published by Dark Regions Press. I wrote the introduction to this book and essentially edited it, so my review is quite biased. I’m excited about the book, obviously, but everyone should be. Boston is a living legend of genre poetry and this book is a great testament to his dark side.
When editing this collection, I had the unique opportunity to read through many of Boston’s dark poems over the past decade, select the best of them for this book and then arrange the contents. Pitchblende present a “blend” of Boston’s dark material, reflecting the breadth of his talent in the horror genre and his remarkable range. Pitchblende reveals Boston’s abilities, from playing with the horror genre’s overt icons (like the vampiric seduction in “The Prince Comes in Velvet”) to musing expressionistically about death (as in the moody pallor of “In Far Pale Clarity”). In the mix is some surrealist prose poems (“Surreal Domestic”), some formal lyrical verse (“Down in Your Bones Only You Alone Know”), some epic-length projects (“Pavane for a Cyber-Princess”), and some metafiction experiments (“Two Nightstands Attacking a Cello”).
Although I had a hand in compiling this book, Boston’s work stands tall on its own legs and every “song of flesh, bone, and blood” in here hits a perfectly dark pitch. Pitchblende is a great testament to one of the horror genre’s most literate wordsmiths. I’d read these poems again recently and all stand up to multiple re-readings. That’s a sign of genius at work. I admire Boston a great deal and I recommend this book highly. At just $9.95, this trade paperback is something of a steal.