Frankenstorm 2012: A Haunting of Shelleys - Chris D. Aechtner's Blog

About Chris D. Aechtner
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Dreamt a dream
about falling asleep,
woke up in yet another one --
a near-seamless string of dreams within dreams.

As I become older, 
I still retain the eternal heart of a 6 year old child.
Sort of like Peter Pan ....

.... and I will always take my chances with Captain Hook.

I am a Canuck who grew up on the West Coast.
I have some of this, do a little of that (lol).
Aside from writing, I enjoy oil painting as a creative outlet.
I love mountain biking.
I am a gardener and bio-chemist.
(So many "I"s)

As far as the Peter Conspiracy goes,
Chris is a shortened version of my birth-name.
It is my legal name.
I am not some guy from NYC; I have never lived in NYC. is the first site where I publicly posted a poem online.




Frankenstorm 2012: A Haunting of Shelleys

Blog Posted:10/31/2012 12:35:00 PM
(This prose has a character count exceeding the posting capability/limit
of the new poems submissions on poetrysoup, so I am posting it
as a blog, instead)

A Cardinal darts past and I cannot quite discern if it chirps out of nervousness
towards the impending storm.
If so, the twittering of cell phones sound far more nerve-wracking --
portable typewriters encased in the soul-less facade of laissez faire;
of keeping track, of minding the flocks.

Yes, everyone is a poet these days, tapping away on miniature, plastic typewriters,
typing away the next narrative filled with prose pretending to be free verse.

Whether the majority is truly poetic or not, Frankenstorm surely is poetic;
named after Mary Shelley's, Frankenstein.
The poetic justice of it all amongst a tragedy of broken necks and drownings,
for the Shelley's were the epitome of Romanticism --
not of ritualistic bouquets bought from the florist who sells porn on the sly,
or of waxy chocolate made by children in clandestine factories built from the bricks
of Mao's dreams of anthills and selling short the power stemming from another poet
turned arms dealer.

No, the romance for life itself; to become poetry as poetry turns into us.
To find mystery in everyday moments; to distil this mystery, offer it to the reader,
so that the reader becomes drunken, swooning in a stupor towards worlds
that are 1,000,000 light years away.

Frankenstorm, the Haunting of Shelleys, lashes out at the dead poetry of today;
at the empty, listlessly inane, lazy poetry of today.
The brightest stars are falling into a void, turning away from the very essence
they so wish to express....only because they want to be unique, to be original,
to carve their own niche into the Jack O' Lanterns of a Hallowe'en quickly turning
into cheap, dollar store decorations.
They still have hope. They still have hope, even if many further detach themselves
from their emotions with another dose of prescription pills meant to pacify;
meant to reign in the emotional beasts of imagination, until only zombies preserved
in formaldehyde, remain.

I can literally feel the Haunting of Shelleys ask wot has become of us.
It used to be about work ethic and soul - one had to kick, tear, bite, simply to publish
a pamphlet that might be read by 10 people.
Nowadays, everyone is a supposed poet. A few clicks, 'submit', and people from all
over the world can read cotton-candy couplets, or a free verse rendition of a grocery list.
But we must embolster this with:
"They are only beginning; they need to express themselves;
they just don't care."

I don't want to be told about the pain, the tragedy, the beauty, the love.
I want to be shown.
I want to feel it.
I want to feel it squeeze my gray matter into a bitter-sweet drink; I want to feel it go down. I want to feel it warm up my heart, grip my stomach until the bottom falls out
and I am left careening down a shaft in an elevator with a broken pulley and rusted-through brakes, and just when I think the end has come, the elevator bursts through
a bottom which is actually the ceiling of a world now turned upside-down --
and by the time I right myself, have read the last line, there is still a remaining
mysterious periphery of the cats that reside in the corner of my eyes; purring,
waiting until I come back to re-read that particular poem, for it is so tantalizing,
I want to come back to it over and over again for the remainder of my years.

Storms will always come and go, but I sensed the metaphorical message of
the Frankenstorm very strongly.
Yet this doesn't mean that I will turn the message into fruition.
But I will certainly attempt to do so.
Within my delirium, I will continue to try distilling the intangible into a drunken
tangibility; even for the sake of simply trying.

And as I ponder, as I witness the present decay of humanity, witness the state
of today's poetry, I can only wonder how many more Hauntings of Shelleys
are possibly already brewing.

                                                                                  October 31st, 2012

My thoughts go out those who were caught in the path of Frankenstorm 2012,
including of course, the Soupers with whom we share poetic communion;
events such as this, move me deeply.

A Merry, Spooky Samhain to my Pagan friends,
and a Happy Hallowe'en to those who still care!
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  1. Date: 11/1/2012 8:44:00 PM
    yes, Chris, what you said to me below is so true!! I've gotten faster with practice. But I remember starting out, I often spent 3 to 4 hours on one sonnet.

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  1. Date: 11/1/2012 5:44:00 PM
    and i thought that the grocery list i take round k-Mart every week, was poetry, at least it is in alphabetical order....Shelly yes i am a fan of his poetry, too much poetry now that gets me going... i don't have a problem, with the amount, but i do with those rogues that set up the vanity poetry sites, that made a mint out of gullibility, me included..i think there is a lot of excellent poems around, and on the net too, the likes of the old poets, i am in to because they gave something of themselves in an era, foreign to today. and when i see that in todays poetry i feel the same way.and on soup we have some poets that do give a lot of what life is today, hopefully to be read by future folk

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:31:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Harry, I also think there are some excellent poems being produced right now. I enjoy reading good poems written by amateurs, including a decent-enough handful of poets here on In fact, over the last 6 months or so, a certain Harry Horsman has written some free verse that truly spoke to me.
    horsman Avatar harry horsman Date: 11/1/2012 5:48:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    had to put folk, i ran out of about that then, for poetic license
  1. Date: 11/1/2012 7:57:00 AM
    I have been thinking about this subject a lot recently, and it does seem that anyone can be a poet today. But then I thnk back to Japan in our middle ages time frame. Poetry was the pasttime of most people - anyone who could write, although,most of the poems have been lost, the books that have survived mention this. The cheapening of poetry by the mass participation in it.

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    It is a good subject to ponder on. Interesting analogy with middle ages Japan. Yes, most people did write poetry in Japan, back then.
    Grisetti Avatar Joann Grisetti Date: 11/1/2012 7:57:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Continue to strive for excellence and disregard the masses.
  1. Date: 10/31/2012 6:58:00 PM
    Chris, almost too much to digest here. Meaty. Hard. Real. Mary's story touches me, the loss of all those children...then the drowning...(liked how you mirrored that in this piece.) Okay, now, a question which poet(s) "tantalizes" you? Dead and still writing. I'd love a list. I stare at the shelves and pick, read, some I like, some leave me indifferent, some turn me into melted butter. I hope you can share. I need to expand my reading, but I don't know WHAT I am looking for... the library shelves seem like a maze to me sometimes. PS -- We enjoyed our first trick or treating, here, though it was raining. My girl was a firefighter. Her choice. :)

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You were inspired by this blog -- intriguing. Yes, before I even fully analyzed your poem, I felt the need to come to the defense of Percy. Mary Shelley is indeed very fascinating. As for poets who I find tantalizing, riveting, I am really into the amateur poets still. I am not going to leave a list for the sake of publicly bypassing favourtism. As far as famous poets go, my tastes change, and many times I might only truly enjoy one poem of a certain poet. In my recent ponderings over prose(and prose pretending to be free verse), I have been reading some splendid poems by some of the usual suspects: Charles Baudelaire, Charles Simic(not so much Simic, even though he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for his prose), Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Neruda.
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:15:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    A firefighter -- very nice! My daughter was a jungle cat this Hallowe'en(a half-tamed one until the candy was spread-out on the floor and tested....then the jungle cat reverted back to her wild ways! Hmmm, I think that the 'firefighter's mother probably has a penchant for firemen too lol! Do you purposefully pull the fire alarm, and coincidentally have a fresh pot of tea and/or coffee ready, once the alarm is turned off? Ha ha!
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 10/31/2012 8:39:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey, you inspired me. Do you mind? If interested you are welcome to read Hideous Progeny, a further exploration of Mary Shelley, whom I've long found fascinating.
  1. Date: 10/31/2012 4:06:00 PM
    You already know how deeply I feel what you have written here...Back to the drawing board and off to dreams I go... :)

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:11:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you for letting me use one of your analogies in stanza 4.5 :D
  1. Date: 10/31/2012 2:31:00 PM
    As an uneducated wanna be Chris I have asked my educated son to help me this last 12 months or so and one of the things he kept drumming in to me was 'Show don't tell' I wanted to bash him up the ear hole until he started giving me examples and now I know what you and he are talking about it does not mean I have got it yet but I am getting things published now (not for money) i do not always follow because I like to say what I see and feel but I am learning.. I think xx

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:08:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    "I wanted to bash him up the ear hole" -- Ha! Now that's entertainment! Mandy, I am in the same boat....or at least a different boat, in the same waters of sometimes telling more than showing. Hey, in the grand scheme of things, I am still just starting. Congratulations on your publications!
  1. Date: 10/31/2012 2:28:00 PM
    Happy Samhain to you too, Chris. I am not fond of Shelly, but he truly had imagination. I must grant him that. I agree with you on "everybody is a supposed poet nowadays" It's the curse of the internet. Everybody claiming to be anybody they want!

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:05:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Andrea, it is totally fine if you aren't fond of Percy Shelley's work. With the point I was making regarding work ethic, I believe you could fill his slot with a famous/amateur favourite of yours, and the point still stands. In fact, you probably find yourself ruminating for hours over a poem of your own, trying to find that perfect word.
    Tams The Golden Girl Avatar Mandy Tams The Golden Girl Date: 10/31/2012 2:32:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    hiya xx
  1. Date: 10/31/2012 1:12:00 PM
    You're talking about my poetry!! : ) ..."cotton-candy couplets, or a free verse rendition of a grocery list" !! you knock me off with that example! : ) Good work. Ruben.

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 11/1/2012 7:02:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Ruben, when did you start writing cotton-candy couplets and free verse renditions of a grocery list? Too funny :D
  1. Date: 10/31/2012 1:04:00 PM
    Just remember, Frankenstien was the doctor, not the monster. i do like your writing here. Always stretches my little bit of grey matter.

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 10/31/2012 1:10:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Yes, Frankenstein being the Doctor, reinforces the analogy of a Haunting of Shelleys ten-fold :D I am glad that you enjoyed this writing.

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