I have to admit I’m just really behind the deadline eight-ball again, but still, I also wanted to cleanse myself and the blog of last week’s rant, so . . .

It’s hard for me to even believe that at one time I actually wrote poetry, and it’s even harder to believe that some of it was published. Here are two that I always liked, for old time’s sake, and as an example of the fact that you can write fantasy but don’t have to only write fantasy. The first was published in a magazine that only published poems that were thirteen lines long. The second in a very cool magazine I wish was still around, like they wished mine was—it isn’t.




In the midst

Of a

Serious financial





Play Tic-Tac-Toe


To wait

For something

To wait

For some time.


Originally published in Thirteen, Vol. VII, No. 2, January 1989

Ken Stone, Editor




wonderful wasp wispy smoke sister one left tonight gone gones

gone below aground beneath beneath under underneath

someone goes and someone comes and someone stays and it’s all the

same and it’s all the same and it’s all the same and it’s all the


and look at me in this


look at me

little lost goats going flowing left right gone to hell go to

hell to hell with you.


Originally published in Slipstream #10, 1990

Robert Borgatti, Livio Farallo, and Dan Sicoli, Editors


That was twenty-five years ago, it was at least that many lifetimes, but hell, I should start writing poetry again.


—Philip Athans


About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, ( is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
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