The Dark Poetry of William Cook: Aspects of Infinity

The Dark Poetry of William Cook: Aspects of Infinity: I remember how it all began, as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was a fine morning, crisp and cold, but full of sun. I woke up...

Angelic Knight Press: Blood Related

"Blood Related, William Cook's great thriller/horror tale scheduled for release by Angelic knight Press in November, has its own Facebook page now. We will be adding new information and cover art as it becomes available. Go over, visit, and like the page!"

New 'official' author's blog for 'Blood Related' here


Back Story. Behind the Scenes, 'Blood Related' out-takes.

More sneak peaks at the origins of 'Blood Related'

Throughout the book you will find these adages referenced to some degree. Inescapable truths about the evil of humanity. The degree to which some of us can go, parasitic hominid but essentially as those who have come before, right back to the ocean, the shallow end of the gene-pool. After all, in some ways we are all Blood Related.

Food for thought.

'Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.'
- Jean Rostand

For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ. 
- William Shakespeare
Source: Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Hamlet at II, ii)

The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.
- Sigmund Freud

It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.
- Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) British author.

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
- Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) British author and intellectual.

When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder. 
- Simone Weil (1910-1943) French Philosopher

Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, the midnight murderer bursts the faithless bar; invades the sacred hour of silent rest and leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast. 
- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) British author.

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest. 
- W. H. Auden (1907-1973) English-born poet and man of letters.

Murder in the murderer is no such ruinous thought as poets and romancers will have it; it does not unsettle him, or fright him from his ordinary notice of trifles; it is an act quite easy to be contemplated.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous.

- Graham Greene (1904-1991) English writer.

People begin to see that something more goes to the composition of a fine murder than two blockheads to kill and be killed – a knife – a purse - and a dark lane. Design, gentlemen, grouping, light and shade, poetry, sentiment, are now deemed indispensable to attempts of this nature.

 - On Murder, Considered As One Of The Fine Arts. Thomas de Quincey (1827)

Once that you’ve decided on a killing
First you make a stone of your heart
And if you can find that your hands are still willing
Then you can turn a murder into art.

The Police, ‘Murder by Numbers’

Acts must be carried through to their completion. Whatever their point of departure, the end will be beautiful. It is because an action has not been completed that it is vile.

 - Genet, Journal du Voleur

A work of art is a dream of murder, which is realized by an act.

 - Sartre, Saint Genet

In that every action today leads to murder, direct or indirect, we cannot act until we know whether or why we have the right to kill.

 - Camus, L’Homme revolte

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create . . .

- T.S. Eliot, ‘the Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’

We have to become murderers in order to experience ourselves as real . . . isn’t that horrible?
 - Gregor von Rezzori, The Death of my Brother Abel

The murderer is the last man who still seeks human contact; the remaining members of the species merely continue to ride past each other on escalators. In such a world, murder and conflict govern humanity.
 - Heiner Muller

The Second Coming
W.B Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

And who made terror, madness, crime, remorse,
      Which from the links of the great chain of things               20
      To every thought within the mind of man
      Sway and drag heavily, and each one reels
      Under the load towards the pit of death;
      Abandoned hope, and love that turns to hate;
      And self-contempt, bitterer to drink than blood;
      Pain, whose unheeded and familiar speech
      Is howling, and keen shrieks, day after day;
      And Hell, or the sharp fear of Hell?

From Prometheus Unbound by Percy Bryce Shelley

First-Person Serial Killer Fiction

In researching my new novel, 'Blood Related,' I started out with a mission to read the majority of first person accounts of serial homicide, stream of consciousness-style fiction. Not for material, more for inspiration and admiration - just like those crazy books, quite glad my tastes are slowly shifting to a more classical appreciation of the dark arts! Not a soft option by any means! Here is my list.

1. Killer on The Road by James Ellroy
2. A Special Place: the heart of a dark matter by Peter Straub
3. The Killer by Colin Wilson
4. Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite
5. Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
6. The Girls he Adored by Jonathan Nasaw
7. Head Hunter by Michael Slade
8. Stray Bullets (series) by David Lapham
9. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
10. I AM Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver) by Dan Wells
11. Frenzy by Rex Miller
12. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
13. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
14. Slob by Rex Miller
15. Psycho by Robert Bloch
16. The Sandman by Miles Gibson
17. Blackburn by Bradley Denton

Hopefully my new novel, Blood Related (Nov/Dec release), might perch on the end of this list one day (audible sigh). Check out the list, will update as more come to mind. I will be posting a Non-fiction bibliographical list that will raise eyebrows no doubt! Hey, better on the page, than on the pavement eh?

A teaser pic: 

and here's the bonus, go to the goodreads list and see the covers. Have fun.

What's not to love about John Paul Allen's 'Monkey Love'? - review

'Monkey Love' by John Paul Allen, Cover Art by Keith Minnion
This is the first work of John Paul Allen's that I have had the pleasure to read but certainly won't be the last. i liked it so much that i read it twice. My first reading of 'Monkey Love' revealed a dark, ironic sense of humor that had me in stitches, building the pathos in this unique work until i thought i knew what 'kind' of novel it was, only to flip my notions upside down with surprise after surprise. 

This great little book is laced with cultural references and metaphor that take on a new life afforded by the foresight of a well-deserved second reading. This is a well-crafted story centered on a tragic situation and the pursuit of a love that knows no bounds. 

As the title suggests and the exceptional cover art, the quest for love through tragedy is fraught with the horror of new and bizarre discoveries of the self and the surrounding world. Other reviewers have mentioned the basic precepts of the novel and Biting Dog Press provide the introductory blurb: "When Professor Sandra Rixx lost her husband in a terrorist bombing, she turned toward her work for salvation. When Richard kept his vow and returned three years later, she learned to mix business with pleasure. Sometimes we can't help who we love. Sometimes we can't help what we love." 

But there is so much more to this story and the way JPA writes the snappy dialogue and creates evocative imagery with succinct words, 'Monkey Love' is destined to entice and enthrall the reader which it so effortlessly does. 

Do yourself a favor and get some 'Monkey Love,' you will not regret it.

John Paul Allen
Where to get it?

Angelic Knight Press: William Cook - BLOOD RELATED, debut Novel to be released December

Angelic Knight Press: William Cook:

Angelic Knight Press is excited to announce that William Cook, a very talented author, poet, and artist/ illustrator from New Zealand will be gracing us with his presence in the form of his fantastic novel "Blood Related" which we are slating for release in December. We have to take advantage of the holiday season sales mania! 

Yvonne, Stacey, and I are in love with this chilling horror, mystery tale. William sent us a very polished Ms. Below is a portion of the synopsis sent to us by him.

Meet Caleb Samael Cunningham, a diabolical serial-killer with an inherited psychopathology, passed down via a blood-soaked genealogy. Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his Father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality, as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose, when the brothers combine their deviant talents.Blood Related is a serial-killer/crime novel told in a first-person narrative style from the killer’s (Caleb’s) point-of-view. 

Need I say any more? Later, I will, but for now this should give you a vivid idea of what to expect with this great novel. As for the cover art, William asked if he could do his own. He is quite an accomplished artist so I naturally said yes. We can hardly wait to see what he will present to us.

We feel very fortunate to have William joining us. Angelic Knight Press is not the only publisher interested in publishing this novel. We won!

Keep tuned for more information, dates, etc. Exciting times for all of us!

Dead Memories - a short story


I had a dream on the anniversary of her death. In the dream, I heard her unmistakable voice calling me, then I saw her and she was so real, I could almost touch her again. Everything about her hit me deep in the chest, I sat bolt upright in our big empty bed. My breath gasped, sweat beaded itself on my cold skin. I could still hear her voice in the dark. I rationalized there were only two possible reasons why I could hear such a thing. I was either hallucinating, or what I heard was her ghost whispering in my ear. Then she was gone again.

I lay down and listened, my breath held in my chest, afraid to break the silence. The dawn light bled through the cracks in the blind as I strained my ears, listening. Listening for her sweet voice, playing her words over repeatedly in my weary mind –

‘There’s no turning back.
There’s no turning back now.’

I longed for her touch, the feel of her soft cold skin, her beautiful words carried on her sweet breath. The memories came flooding back – projections of my need. As I began to drift back into sleep, I thought of the way she played me with her brown eyes, teasing me, imparting so much desire . . .

The radio-alarm went off, waking me violently. I checked the time and acknowledged the precious two hours of sleep I just had, turned the screeching alarm off and got out of bed. I passed her photo in the hall on the way to the bathroom. It was the only photo I had of her on display: an enlarged black and white shot of her sitting on a beach in a lotus position, gazing mystically into the sun, long black hair out behind her in the breeze, framed by a silver expanse of ocean in the background. All the other photographs had been secreted in an old suitcase in the attic; some memories were just too painful to look at in such quantity.

I went to work, exhausted. Throughout the day, I thought about the morning’s events. Waking up with her pristine voice whispering in my ear from behind, thinking she was beside me in bed – it was so real. Must be stress, I reasoned with myself. Loneliness does strange things to a man’s mind.

Ghosts don’t exist. Do they?

The day finished quickly and I gladly closed the office door and loosened my tie with a yawn. Outside, the day had turned to night. On the way home I heard a song she used to love on the car radio. I passed the streetlight down the side road where we kissed beneath for the first time, then the church where we married. I stopped at the bottle store before turning into my street and our empty house.


The voice came again. The same words, her voice seemed closer than before, I could almost feel the skin of her soft lips against my ear. I woke with expectation – she wasn’t there, just the dim light cast across the sheets and a hangover from hell, twisting its evil blade between my tired eyes. As the days fell into each other, her disembodied voice seemed to talk louder. The same words – 

‘There’s no turning back now.’ ‘There’s no turning back . . .’ adding emphasis that began to take on an ominous air – 

‘There’s no turning back . . . now. There’s no turning back, for YOU’ and so on.

My nerves were stretched to capacity. My mind was tumbling over itself, trying to bridge the gap between reason and a slow-turning madness.

The voice was
unmistakably hers, the intonation painfully real. Her name was, is, Alicia. We had been together for seven years before she left. We had a passionate relationship to say the least. A veritable love and hate fest, with more making up and breaking up than we both needed. We had met at the office and soon fell for each other. A drunken bout of knee-trembling sex against a photocopier in the stationary room after a work party, heralded the official beginning of our tumultuous relationship.

I didn’t want to think about the inevitable disintegration of our passionate affair, but it eventually happened and that was that. As Alicia said, there was no turning back now. We were young and had aged well together, into our fifth year, we even started talking about marriage and children and then she got a new office manager. I heard the talk among my colleagues. At first, I thought it was mere gossip, as office talk usually is. Then I saw his eyes undress her as he sauntered past her desk across the way. A coy look as she pretended to shuffle papers, her eyes caught in his swagger.

She started working late. I asked around discreetly and no one else knew of any overtime available. Then she ‘transferred’ to another floor, promoted as she put it. The evenings became a waiting game. I tried to impress with the usual chattels of love – the flowers, gourmet meals, expensive perfume. In short, I tried to purchase her affection as I had exhausted all other means of reconciliation. When she did arrive home, she was always freshly showered and well mannered, courteous almost. A peck on the cheek that made Grandmother’s kisses seem like incestuous advances. Her back turned toward me perpetually. A ‘not tonight’ was the standard response to my romantic overtures, every night.

Good old Mr Forgiving tried to get on with things, forget her indiscretion and lies and pretend that she still loved me. I knew she didn’t love me at all – not even a fraction of desire was left in her cold heart. I started to think things – what could I do, how could I get her back? The migraines kicked in and I started to drink heavily. It seemed to block reality out, for a while, and then she didn’t come home one night. But that was over a year ago; that was then, this is now.


Things started slipping. I called in sick three times in one week. When she spoke in my ear, no longer whispered now, in those frenetic waking hours – I started ‘feeling’ the words. After two goddamn weeks of visual and auditory apparitions I started feeling her. I felt her tucked against me at night, relishing each second, stuck between the ecstasy of the moment and agony of the inevitable realization that she wasn’t actually there. Her full tanned breasts against my back, soft lips brushing my shoulder, hands soft so soft like silk caressing. Supplicating my disbelief. and her photo – I can’t explain it, but she seemed to move within, animated, changing pose each morning – one day staring at the sun, black and white – next, a different tilt of the head, her hand rested on her leg just so, next . . . and then she was there. Not quite, but I could see her. Some copper coils of her hair on the pillow next to me, a fleeting glimpse of a smooth-brown shoulder. Then she’d fade away again.

The anticipation drove me delirious – I lost my mind, my heart pumped desire and love to every cell. Whatever she was, ghost or hallucination, I hungered for each second – a panacea for the sad soul. If her memory was just an indentation in the bed where she slept, I could’ve lived with her this way if it weren’t for the words – ‘There is no turning back for her NOW’ screaming in my brain, like a loudspeaker next to my ear, almost painful.

I tried to shut it out to no avail. The migraines increased, nausea, bursts of white spots before my black ringed eyes. I couldn’t shave, the sound of the razor sent blasts of pain ripping through my spine to brain. I took a month’s leave from the office – they gladly gave it to me – “You need a break Harry. You’ve been working too hard lately. Rest up. Take a break. Come back when you’re better, ok?”

Sometimes I’d like to kill those patronizing bastards, just walk in one day in Gucci suit and tie, axe in hand. Walk into the office – “Good morning Miss Secretary, Mr Boss . . . I’ve come to kill you!” Chop chop chop chop chop . . .

Then she was there one morning – “My love, my love. There’s no turning back for us now” she said, completely naked. Her burning eyes glowing hypnotically. Her hair coiling like twisting black snakes, framing her beautiful deathly countenance. I tried to touch her. She reached into me, cupping my pulsing heart in her taloned hand. I could feel it. She withdrew and walked into the bedroom. I followed. She wasn’t there . . .

I couldn’t eat. I looked in the mirror, my gaunt pale unshaven face stared back at me forlornly – eyes blackened, pupils dilated, trembling . . . my heart quivered delicately under my rib-cage, then missed . . . a beat. It felt like it, my heart, was encased in ice. I felt sick to my stomach. Where was she? I decided that it was the sleeping that did it – maybe I was reciting a spell I had lodged deep in my subconscious mind – dreams or something that kept conjuring her up every morning. Invoking the muse at every breath, so to speak.


It had taken exactly one year and twenty-one days after our break-up, or should I say her ‘disappearance,’ before I realized I could not go on without her any longer. I mean she was with me all the time, all day and night now – naked, following me around the house, hovering above me on the ceiling – whispering to me indescribable things, obscenities of the vilest nature. She had started to taunt me, yet my love grew stronger as if with a will of its own – then she started to slap me – ferocious backhanders that rattled my teeth and left droplets of nose blood on the white walls.

Half of me wanted to leave, just run as far away as I could. Pack the car and put a match to the godforsaken house as I escaped, but the other half – the stronger half, wanted to stay – couldn’t leave. Besides I knew if I tried to escape, I’d look into that rear-view mirror and those black cold eyes would be boring into my soul, her white forearm draped around my neck, her blue lips mouthing the words – “There’s no turning back now . . .”

That day I ordered in a couple of one-liter bottles of gin – I’d discovered booze could block her out for a while. I began to drink sitting with my back against the bedroom wall, watching as she undulated like a snake on the yellow duvet on the bed. Her once tanned now white body arched, her full breasts swelling with her movements, her hand pressed deep between her thighs – pink tongue darting across her full lips. Moaning. I gulped the gin quickly – ten mouthfuls, my jaw clenched and then it was easy. Half a bottle, she began to fade out like bad TV reception. Each drink twitched, erased another part of her lithe form – I couldn’t take any more. I knew I had to be rid of her once and for all. Rid of everything.


I stumbled to my drunken feet, pulling drawers out, cupboards open, photographs letters clothes newspaper clippings onto the floor. I looked over my shoulder, her head and torso moved on the bed. Her arms, legs, pelvis – gone. I stared at what was left of her, tears spilling down my face. She mouthed her silent words again – “There’s no turning back.” Her eyes glazed, hair disintegrating, writhing crumbling like black maggots, her skin peeling into nothing. My head was spinning. I threw everything in the bathtub, all the photographs, letters, clothes, newspaper clippings – fire – I opened the window. Smoke blew out.

I shuffled down the hallway past her photo now completely metamorphosed from the original. She was facing me, arms outstretched like Christ. Her blank eyes pleading. The sun behind her a ball of blazing fire. Wild hair dancing blackly around her gaunt white face. I took the photo and threw it through the bathroom door into the fire with the other memories. I’m sure I heard her scream, but it wasn’t a scream of pain – rather, a triumphantly defiant roar. 

I sat down on the toilet next to the burning bathtub and put my head in my hands. Flames ran up the plastic shower curtain dropping molten lumps of fire like napalm on the linoleum. Flames licked the walls and the black smoke billowed from the bath – I saw her again, I couldn’t hear anything except the roar and burn of the blazing fire – the smoke melded together, transformed into her unmistakable snake-like coils of hair twisting and swirling, reaching for my gasping throat. Long black fingers of smoke in my eyes, in my ears – forcing my mouth open in wrenching breaths, reaching deep into my burning lungs. My heart felt like cracking ice trapped between my rib-bones. The flames burned red and blue but no heat – just intense cold – so cold. I shivered, inhaling my last breath of her love – her fading words hissing in the black smoke, echoing in my dying ears – “There’s no turning back now. There’s no turning back . . .”

2016 (C) William Cook
 This story won 'Runner-Up' in the Parlor of Horror's 2016 short fiction awards and is part of my collection 'Dreams of Thanatos' - now available to all new subscribers for free - click on image below to download your copy.

The moon speaks to me of you (a love poem)

Apologies for the lack of recent posts. I have been writing and have also been quite active on lately. For those of you who are o...