Flashback: Five poems in Articulate


That time Articulate published a big two page spread with all five of my “circus poems” in Vol. 2, Issue 1, March 1996: “The Last Scarecrow,” “Fall of the House of Usher,” “Under the Big Top,” “Neomi Said ‘Love, Who Are You” (the correct title), and “Operation Clean Sweep.” The journal must have retyped my original manuscript, introducing the errors in the title and body of the fourth poem. I’d have to check my originals to see who misspelled “you’re” in the last poem.

All the poems were based on my experiences as an usher for the Cirque de Soleil’s run of Saltimbanco at the mall parking lot in Tyson’s Corner, VA. This was their Washington, DC, performance, running from Oct 14, 1993 to Nov 7, 1993. David Craig and I signed up together; I’m not sure I would have stuck it out if it wasn’t for him. As I recall, the best part was the free meals, which were actually very good.





French Version of Cthulhu Limericks?


It seems there may be an unauthorized, French language version of my book Cthulhu Limericks. It’s now on sale in the Amazon marketplace, on offer for $82.28 from a vendor named Prestivo. According to the listing, this is a “French language book” and it “ships from France.” While it lasts, the link is here.

Which is interesting, because I never made a French language version. Even more curious, this is apparently a version with the misspelled title, aka Cthulu Limericks. I wonder if I should take up the challenge and buy it, just to see what happens?

The copies of Cthulu Limericks I wrote about earlier, on offer from a British seller, is no longer listed.

This deleted and non-existent book with the misspelled name has really taken on a life of its own. The Curse of Cthulhu continues!

Update 10/14/16: This “French Version” is now selling on Amazon for $110.64.

The Curse of Cthulhu

Now the secret can be told. I tried to suppress it, but my hand has been forced. The single surviving erroneous copy of Cthulhu Limericks has appeared for sale on Amazon–the one that has “Cthulhu” misspelled in the title.

I’ll admit writing a collection of limericks based on H.P. Lovecraft’s weird tales was something of a blatant attempt to create a book that would actually sell for a change. After reading just about everything the master wrote, I knocked out about 70 humorous rhymes that featured lines like “the LOL of Cthulhu.”

The first published version of the book ended in resounding failure: after I’d bought 30 copies, I realized that the cover contained a really stupid typo: “Cthulu” Limericks. The name “Cthulhu” was spelled correctly throughout the text, but my underpaid proofreader (me) blew it when reviewing the cover art. After a short period of self-loathing depression, I deleted the book from Lulu and even managed to persuade Amazon to remove it from their marketplace. I thought I had killed the deformed little monster when I destroyed and recycled the copies I had on hand.

That experience taught me to proof the cover art as frequently as the contents before publishing, but now it seems I’ll have to live with the mistake.

Call it the curse of Cthulhu, I suppose this is what one deserves for playing with another man’s toys.

You see, before I noticed the offending typo, I sent a review copy to Bizarre magazine in the UK–at the time my favorite periodical, now ceased publication. Then I sent them a corrected copy. Neither of them garnered a review. I had hoped they’d notice the new book, since they had given my tour guide, Mondo DC, a positive review, probably because I’d written a short feature about DC’s unusual attractions for them previously.

I figured both books had ended up in the garbage. But apparently some unscrupulous staffer–or garbage picker–held on to the erroneous copy and decided to cash it in. The seller actually has two copies on offer–a “used” one and a “new” one. But I know–and he knows–that there’s only one. He’s asking $56.77 for the new copy, and $45.42 for the used one. Maybe he thinks the boneheaded author will buy it to maintain his devious deception about the glaring titular typo.

2Good luck with that, mate. The fully corrected, official book, Cthulhu Limericks, also available on Amazon for the low low price of $15.49, and the bargain basement price of $12.39 from Lulu, isn’t exactly making me rich and famous. In fact, I’m not sure any copies have sold.

The LOL of Cthulhu indeed. Looks like that ineffable, hideous Old One is having the last laugh in sunny R’lyeh.

Anyone who wants to gamble on my future fame might want to grab up this rare, bungled book–one of a kind!–in the hopes that one day it will be worth millions.

Until then, as someone who has advocated for the value of disinformation as a publicity strategy, I guess I can’t really complain that this uncorrected abomination has surfaced to haunt me.