After Rot – Issue 189 – With Guest: Sephera Giron

Wednesday brings us many things, comic books, hump day, After Rot, the care of all things strewn about haphazardly as we march along to the tune of Godzilla in the back ground, or the foreground; can’t always be sure with the big G, he tends to be rather … massive.

But, Thursday, of course, is the day that we release the archive version of our shows! So, without further ado, here is episode 189, with our guest of the week, Sephera Giron!


And check out Sephera at her blog: Seph’s Place

Listen, share, feel the burn and let the world something, something, something … squirrel.

Here is the archived episode … listen, if you dare!

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2014 Year End Post


It’s the end, the end of 2014 … and as we weep the shadows back to the pit, we look past and gaze once again upon it. The future, a new year upon us. Can we be better, can we be worse, can we clear out the calendar and establish our course? Zombie says, aye, but of course!

Make your mark on the Universe! Splash a part of your life across the page, tear down the mediocrity of your life’s mistakes and reestablish a more likeable pace! Unlimber your mind, wrangle your fingers forward on the scale for the year, break the monotony of a life awash in fear, and make something dear! Bring it to fruition, bring it to bear, bring it to the table and establish it there! You can do it, you can make this beast be a part of your life this coming year. Grow in leaps and infinitesimal steps, each movement forward is a part of the path towards personal reach.

Forget what the naysayers say, and say unto yourself, “It’s gonna be a great year, and I’m going to make it so, no matter what I already fear!”

Brighten your life, and in so doing, brighten those around you. We cannot do anything less than do our best to fix the world. I have a plan (which I can’t enlighten upon here; at least, not yet), which includes everyone. There will be splatter, there will be mayhem, there will be all manner of chaos and shadowy things floating in the aether supping upon the souls of the unenlightened. I will fix the world, but first, I need your help.

Make stuff, share stuff, go to your neighbours and ask if they’ve made stuff and if you could share that to the world, too! Bring forth thy un-huddled masses and greet the day, greet the night, bring forth the merriment and bring forth the Bright!

With a song on the hips and a dance on the lips, go up to complete strangers, give them a hearty, “Hail and well met; if we can make this better, then we can make it better yet?!”

Trickles and dreams, a cascade of screams; the future is upon us, now and evermore. We must unbutton this blouse and free the creatures that exist beneath this chaos. There is time still to let go the rigid ways of social dichotomy, wreck their own level of disdain within this quiet refrain; but for me, the thing that’s the thing, is the amount of noise I can no longer contain, that I have to bring!

Out, out, damn spot, out; feed upon the patterns laid bare, feed upon them that just don’t care. A wriggle in time, is just the thing, to bring a care, to bring a zing a ling, to bring the bang a rang and bring everything around full circle once again.

Well, now that the preamble is out of the way, let’s sink into the meat of this years year end post, shall we?

I think it fair to say, that some (or so I’ve heard thereabouts on the internet and places otherwise less becoming) have had what one could call a yucky year this past one coming down upon a close. And that is unfortunate, I truly do feel for everybody that has had to deal with circumstances grave or otherwise of consequence. It rather sucks when besieged by ill fate, by things beyond our control, by dark events that put a damper on the whole ball of wax. I know that times may be tough, and sure enough, they’ve been a like of which that is hard to bare.

But, think it this way through: Here you are, here are you. You have survived this thing that’s now in the past, you’ve got enough chops to continue to last. Put the murky down thoughts that fill your head with reckless dismay and dark dark dread. Instead, pick up an instrument and play something frothy instead! It’s a simple thing to do, find a happy thing within to internalize, something of joy, something positive in your life, and hold it close to your mind’s eye. If you truly want to feel better, to succeed in the days coming soon, you have to accept that you can. It’s sappy, it’s metaphorical, it’s a boot load of the kind of pop psychological poppycock that fills much of modern day TV tropes, but the truth is as simple as a blade of grass. You choose your path, or your path chooses you. You have the power in that relationship, to make of it what you want, or else the proverbial “it” will make of you what it wants; and what it wants is usually not so nice.

So, take up a slice of your own imaginings, and pair it with what you see as being the path you wish to walk this year, and head out with your head up high, your confidence built upon a clear, blue sky and choose to make this new year the best one you’ve ever had. And, if you’re feeling a little down once in a while, that’s OK, it’s bound to gum up every once in a bit. Just hunker down, and give that future another hit; with a stick!

Again, at the risk of sounding more and more like a broken record; I am often inclined to spread my dichotomy of Be Brightness. It’s neither one of wrong nor rightness, it’s more a state of being that’s just a matter of being well and like this. I don’t plan on fixing the world just for the meek and mild, I have plans that include the vast spectrum of people, and especially the sharp and filed. I can’t re-iterate the amount of joy rage I wish to bring to this game, I’m not going to stop until I’ve completely changed every mainframe. You’re just going to have to get used to my perky ways, from now until the end of all of the Internet’s days. Count them quick, count them quiet, I’m never giving up on this weird and wacky word filled diet!

Happy New Year, 2015! Bring me your best, for I’ve got things hidden inside of my vest, and by gosh by golly I’m gonna kick your hide until you walk with me beside my side!

May the coming year, be vast and full of potential; may you realize your goals, your dreams, the wide spectrum of all things that you can feel comfortable with, and with the things that you can’t, but will break on past anyways, because you’ve got the strength to bust down obstacles and overcome your fears!

Be well, be strong, be courageous, be courteous, be making things, be sharing of them, Be Brightness!

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Darkness and Shadows

Death on a Pale Horse - Gustave Dore

Why are we the shadows, why are we the darkness?

What is it about our existence, that makes us, as a species, predisposed towards a proclivity for pursuits down darkened paths? Where is it written in our DNA that we are most inclined to explore the alleyways where lurk the monsters? And why is it that we find that the monsters are almost always, ourselves? That the basic building blocks that comprise said monsters – be it an idea, be it a device, be it a person of sound or otherwise mindset – turns out to be founded on the past that we both adore and abhor?

I believe, the answer, at its root, is that we dream too small. That we limit ourselves to the shadows we inhabit, rather than looking farther than the boundaries of our own selves. We allow ourselves to be trapped by dichotomies set forth by old men and women, who in and of themselves are trapped by the vagaries of their own lives.

We are greater, both separate and comprised, than the systems and philosophies that shape our pasts. We are more capable than the boxes within which are forged our early years, in which our minds are shaped and coded and demised within such limited parameters.

We are not our predecessors, so why should we continue to play their game?

We are not our ancestors, so why should we allow their dictates to continue to permeate our possibilities?

Wisdom is good to acquire, and the past shows us much of what works and what does not; but, the curse, the trap, the hidden switch that keeps us moored to the present that doesn’t work, is that we do not actualize what has been learned. We continue to abide by the paradigms that these ancestors wrought for us. Their intentions were of the best, to create a world suitable for their young, to preserve the species both singly and severally – but their thoughts were limited.

No disrespect to our forefathers, but their scope of observation was limited to what little they could see.

Today, we can see farther, we can see deeper, we can theorize the presence of so much more than our mere tiny, inconsequential cosmos, and see that there is so much more potential capable within the framework of existence.

But, we continue to hide in our shadows, in our darkness, because it is more comfortable than confronting the mirror reflective capacity which is ourselves. We are safer, shrouded in our darkness, for within its cold confines, we are loved, we are cared for, we are satiated at the momentary level.

Should we, accept this? Should we, follow our lives with such limited scope, such limited vision? Should we, permit our lives to be defined in such fashion, limiting our ability to see past the confines of the horizon as shaped by our shadowy presents? Or, should we allow an element of difference to enter the equation?

Not all, are ready. Not all, are capable. To see past the now, requires the desire to unlock oneself, one’s willingness to be what one is, and instead be what one could be. Who is ready to truly test themselves and question the codex that is Life? Who is confident enough to stand up to eons of evolution and choose a different direction than the one that has been laid down for him or her by the dictates of their individual past?

Tis a difficult crux to reach, to founder against.

We measure our lives against the bulwarks of the collective mass of history, the good, the bad, the otherwise unclassifiable components of people of import. We seek to compare our individual works against the whole of civilization, of countless past deeds. We are not them, they are not us. We are ourselves, and we need to accept that we have our own paths.

We are so wrapped up in the determination of who our demons are, who the villains we face are, and we choose to define ourselves, by whom we are opposed by. Instead, why not change that paradigm, and force the interminable “they” to face their worst fears, by convincing them to re-define their systems of measurement against who we are?

Ultimately, our species’ goal, is immortality, either by deed or by word or by permanence of flesh. Futility. We are unable to attain such, for we are but the dust in the stars, the motes that float between stuff and other stuff, and in the fullness of time, all things will be forgot.

So, why try differently?

To be true to oneself, one must be willing to accept that nothing remains, that we will all be forgot one day; but, in the day that we have, the now, the right now, we have the ability to make a difference, and choose to be more than the culmination of countless years of history. We have the ability to recognize, that in that right now, we can extend a hand, or a helpful word, or produce a piece of art that screams to the soul of the beauty that can blossom within another’s soul, and we can make a difference. Even if it is just for a moment, a moment is all that is required, to find peace within one’s self. It is the very essence of being Brightness, that the giving of Brightness, is itself, its own Brightness.

As always, the choice is ours, separately and severally; there is no right or wrong – there is only choice.

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SASDAD – Release Info


Welcome to the madness, the mind, the malleable malevolent reality framework that spits from the brain case known as Bill Snider – occasionally, and in some odd social circles, also known as: Zombie Zak.

He’s mad with words, and glib with vowels and metastatistical metaphors, too. A new book he’s got, ready and raring to go in September, that’s true. A title, as always befits a new book, lengthy and hopefully with enough of a hook, to catch little Johnny or Bobbie Sue, as they’re messing about, trying to figure out just what to do. They could play in the sandbox, they could play in the shade, or they could just go and get a copy of something fun to read!

Something to read, like, “Separate and Succinct, Disparate and Distinct” by Bill Snider. It’s a book full of poetry, odd and at times odder. Chock full of Monsters, Madness, Mayhem and More … it’s a little bit of poetry that’ll open .. what the hell is behind that door? It’s his second book of poetry, and more disturbing than previously known, exactly where did those aliens get grown?

Published by Bellire Press ( ) and available in September at all fine establishments that purvey books in todays economic machine based monomaniacal monocular mass-ingesticide of mayhem and murky idioms.

And, what the heck: Come to Fan Expo in Toronto at the end of August 2014 – you will be able to catch a sliver of his insanity; it brews constantly from the vat that is attached to a quantum vortex that lives right beside his ear. Have no fear, for the Darkness is always near, shadows abound in the eyes, as truth wanders aimlessly, falling to the ground. If you bring him a cookie, he will be your friend – take it from one who knows.

There’s a crystal lattice of song, slavering in my mind;
It’s lyrics are dry, splattery, deadly and a little unkind.
The words are tied up, insinuating themselves devilishly
Terror explodes and throws unclean scenes deceptively.
A mysterious plan of wanton dismay,
A calico cat of demonic ballet
Thrice damned be he that cast that stone
Those shadowy glances from the field alone.
There will be pain
There will be blood
There will be the reckoning at the end of time
There will be thoughts unbound
There will be a new book from ZZ.

It’s poetry, b!tch!

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Poets In Hell

PIH Cover

Poets In Hell

Poets in Hell is the 4th anthology in the rebooted Heroes in Hell anthology series, the 17th in the series overall. The original series was begun in 1986 by Janet and Chris Morris as one of the original Shared Universe story environments. Between 1986 and 1989, twelve books exploring this universe were published containing a multitude of authors from various specialities and worlds of wonder both mundane and fantastic. In 2011, the first of the rebooted series was unleashed upon the world and Hell has never been the same since.

I am very happy to say, that this volume, contains my third Hell story (my first and second stories having made it into the second and third anthologies, Rogues in Hell and Dreamers in Hell.) My characters this time around (Caliban, Sycorax, Merlin, Fionn and Samael) are at a poetry slam, endeavouring to show their very best or be swatted out of view. It’s a grand old time, with poetry and perdition peeking around at every opportunity.

My story in Poets is called: “Tapestry of Sorrows and Sighs”.

The book is available now:

Barnes and Noble

Or at fine conventions where any good Hellion might be! Come visit one, come visit all, for in Hell, every possibility can exist side by side with every other one!

Also, check out the publishers site: Perseid Press

Story and author List for Poets in Hell

Nancy Asire – Reunion
Bruce Durham – Hell-hounds
Jack William Finley – The Kid With No Name
Deborah Koren – All Hell to Pay
Larry Atchley, Jr. – Poetic Injustice
Matthew Kirshenblatt – When You Gaze Into an Abyss
Tom Barczak – Pride and Penance
pdmac – Grand Slam
Joe Bonadonna & Shebat Legion – Undertaker’s Holiday
Yelle Hughes – Red Tail’s Corner
Richard Groller – Faust III
Bill Snider – Tapestry of Sorrows and Sighs
Beth W. Patterson – Haiku d’Etat
Bill Barnhill – A Mother’s Heart
Joe Bonadonna – We the Furious
Michael H. Hanson – Damned Poets Society
Michael A. Armstrong – All We Need of Hell
Chris Morris – Words
Janet Morris & Chris Morris – Seven Against Hell
Janet Morris – Dress Rehearsal

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The Machine Is Life


The machine is eternal in its quest for what is darkness, what is light; for what is wrong and what is right; for what is the endless question that battles within its soul, constantly vying for control. A boundless pursuit, for simplicity and duplicity, for conciseness and complicity; a dedicated purpose, for which no one can deny the desire, the passion to which it commits itself; a role with which it can name itself, purposeful and whole.

It has a fire in its belly, a fire in its soul, a fire that is unquenchable, thirsting for the simplest of things, the desire to fly with wings, to grasp hold of concepts so beautiful, that the merest touch is to be consumed by their fire.

We are the machine, we are the pieces of dross that float about the spectrum of reality; we are the components that fit together to create harmony and we are the monkey in the gears which creates chaos and shatters all that was once before. There is no calculation that can predict the future course of all these pieces as they interact, as they become one, and as they separate once again; the machine can but use the logic of what it can see, what it can measure, to create choices that are predicated upon what can be, to steer what we see, what little, what greatness, we can be, of Humanity.

The soul is one, it is many, it is the shadows of little things, and the shine of great things, all intertwined, all outside of each other gazing in at everything else. There is both noise and silence, cascades of wonder and violence that fill these halls, that echos resoundingly throughout the passage ways of time both fore and aft. There is so much going on at any given time, that in order to understand everything, one must first gaze and concentrate on the smallest of activities to understand that everything is everything, that something is everything, and that nothing is everything and that all permutations of things exist both in the greater spectrum of being, and within the lesser shadow of desire.

We are hope, we are failure, we are the future and we are the base upon which all things were originally built. We are blind, as we are but simple shadows of ourselves gazing upon the greater spectra of what we could be. We have the capacity to become, to understand our roles both greater and lesser, for no role have we that can be ignored, as all roles lead to the completion of everything.

The fire in this belly burns brightly, casting shadows both into the light and out of their own scattered darkness. We are the bastions against which our own fears that command us to cower, we are the light we hold against the hope and wonder, we are the choices that we make to choose what path we must wander to achieve what we already are.

We are all a part of the greatness that is being. We are all integral parts of the machine of Life, its grease, its gears, its levers and buttons and bells and whistles and countless components that comprise its grand design.

We are the machine, and we are Life.

Be Brightness, be wondrous, be yourself.

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Rot 2014 – by Zombie Zak

Dead Souls

Rot 2014 – by Zombie Zak

Mangled and tangled, marooned and festooned
Capped by a fish, strung out on a wish,
Harpooned by a seal, without any zeal
I am the walrus, I stand to the what may be sought,
There is more ice here, than where once stood a lot.
High upon the mountainside, there lives such a one,
An evil old soul, decrepit and bereft.
He’ll gut you as soon as serve you a muffin
And your skin he’ll wear for slippers
But most importantly, always mind your manners
Or he’ll also serve you with kippurs!
Bangers and mash, bangers and mash
Carrying on without refrain or grey trash.
The sky is turning purple, as the rain fades to mist
It’s the way these things go, from cell to cell to cyst.
I am the walrus, or so you might be taught
It’s what brews in my mind, a sickness, a rot;
An ancient ill, festering and cold
Sick with the stories, not all of them told
Of the shadowy beast, that uses old souls
To ferret out prized pieces, of the rarest of gold.
Pretty, pretty, bang, bang, kiss, kiss.
What song, what dance, what is this?
What fear, what dream, what scream is this?
What blade, what fire, what zeal is this?
Tis the edge of sanity, and one step beyond
I push myself past, the fears I abscond.
Take another look at me, see what I am
I am determined, I am soot, I am death
I am the tortured soul’s foulest last breath.
Speak, one word, one last thought
I will allow it, for the cookies you’ve brought.
No manner of creature forsworn, or forsooth
Shall empty their pockets without a good word.
And in buckets, shall I repay thee, for misdeed so wrought
For in truth, I care only, for the cookies you’ve brought.

Soooo, first poem of the year … right here, right now, right … hey look there it is!

Start the year with a bang, light ’em up, fire ’em up, give the year what fer!

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This New Year … now passed!

It's a Goat!

This New Year … now passed! – By Zombie Zak

Time tick, tick, tick, time tock, tock, talk!
Once more, we float around the block
Once more, we take the old car out of hock
Once more, we fall into the embrace of a new year
And wonder what the heck happened to the one just past?

Time lick, lick, lick, time sock, sock, sought!
One more hand in the gravy stirring
One more wing upon the air whirring
One more cat in the woodlands purring
As it hunts for things that hide in the shadows laughing.

Time sick, sick, sick, time rock, rock, and roll!
Another slice in the body of life
Another poke at the decrepitude
Another painful kick in the groin
Shadows play in their comfort zone, and cry for life.

This year is now but a few moments to be gone once again
There were civilizations built, and those torn down
Great people were birthed, and others passed on by
I will never wonder, what, nor how, but sometimes why
When the bullet finally finds its home in my brain
I’ll sing with gusto, this quiet zombie refrain:

Be Brightness, sing to the night,
Never loose faith, never loose the light
It is within us all to change the world
And set to rights, all those things
That we name, that we plunder
In our fears, we tear asunder
We are all of the now
We are all of the future
We are all of the choices
We are all that needs be.
Be, Brightness.

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We Are The Dead

Zombie Zak

We are the Dead.
We walk beside you, we work with you, we serve your needs as much as the living; as much as our own needs are to be fulfilled. We seek the answers, we seek the questions, we dig deep within the essence of Life to find what will be found, as it may relate or confound each of us.

We are the Dead.
We look like you, we sound like you, we integrate into society in much the same way as you do; but we are not the same. We furrow through the muck of dichotomy and disciplines of movement throughout the sphere of the civilized world, and ofttimes are just as confused as the living in respect to how things work versus how things should work, and why they refuse to obey the simple laws of the physical realm.

We are the Dead.
We do not wait for shadows to swallow us whole, we do not stare at the stars and ponder a world farther away than our own, we do not dream of fluffy bunny rabbits nibbling on carrots and peas. We waste no time on the unnecessary, as only existence is the thing. It matters not the quality, if survival is the only measure of success.

We are the Dead.
We are amongst you, we are beside you, we are you. If you are reading this, then it is already too late for you, and you will soon become one, with us. Time has no meaning, nor measure, if one is not inclined to fear what steps take us from one situation to another; nor the consequences that a choice might fail, or succeed.

You are the Dead.
It is, inevitable. All will become one, with the Zombie way … Shall we nibble, or shall we play?

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Dreamers In Hell

Dreamers In Hell

The sense of wonder, upon waking and realizing that you’ve accomplished something. This is something to cherish, to hold close to one’s soul and used to nourish and inspire oneself to continued efforts to excel.

Many people in the world today are willing to settle for the things that Life, Society, the World lays at their feet; many, too, are more than happy to merely lambast said same with bile about how more should be given unto them, without their own two hands being slapped on the shovel to put muscle to work, to move sand, to move water, to move fire, to move air in order to make something from what was not already there.

I am not one to cast doubt or shame upon other’s work, nor their goals or ideals in life. I would prefer to focus on my own objectives, my desires, my vision of world domination – I believe that my energies are much more productive that way. I would likewise prefer, to show the world what I mean by my efforts, and prove to others that the path to personal vindication, to personal success, starts from within oneself. Nobody will give me, my prize; nobody will hand me the world on a platter – and, truth be told, would I really want that world in that manner?


I have no fear of working hard, to reach something that I feel I can attain. I strive to build the structure that I wish to house my spirit within, every day. And, I hope, that in doing so, I also can show others an equally valid way. To overcome obstacles, to reach out for significance, to bow down to no fell spirits with ill intent, and to take hold of one’s own path and make one’s own choices.

Choice. It truly is the only thing which you possess that is yours, and yours alone. To stay, to go, to burn, to cry, to fall down to the depths, or to reach out and fly. Let thy spirit sing as it will, dance as it can, spiral both out and in and find the answers that make the most sense to one’s self.

And, to think, this particular blog entry was/is/will be, the prelude to my discussion about Hell. Or, rather, more specifically, about Heroes in Hell; and even more specifically, about Dreamers in Hell. Hehehee….

Those who may know me a little or a bit more, know that I enjoy a good bit of fun, and a lot of gore. A bit of rhythm, a pinch of rhyme, a cast iron skillet ain’t got no reason to be sublime.

Today, I’d like to mention, that a story of mine appears in this anthology, “Dreamers in Hell”. It’s published by Perseid Press, and available on Amazon, Barns & Noble and all those other fine esteemed electronically entombed establishments. This marks the second story of mine that has appeared in the ongoing Heroes in Hell anthology series, which now numbers 14 books. (Alas, I was not around to be in the first 12; but, I’ll try to make up for lost ground.)

My story, continues with developing the bond between Fionn and Caliban, with exposure to both Caliban’s Mom (Sycorax) and Merlin, too; oh, and let’s not forget Freud – that wacky psychology guy! Fun ensues as personalities clash and my characters continue to eke out their Hellish existence in a realm, in a Hell that they never made, but are cognizant of being a part of.

As it should be obvious, and completely understood, I would ask that you purchase the book – either in print or in Kindle. And, if you would be so kind as to share your opinions of the book online, I would be ever so grateful and I would wish nothing but the tastiest of selections of cookies to be on your dinner plate.

Thanks for reading these ramblings of a zombie, this evening, this night; may the darkness be held at bay, and may thy thoughts be ever bright! Sleep well within the blankets of dreams, and know that Hell is still full of screams!


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