Charon, coins, ferryman, Halloween, Styx and Stones, Zapata

13 Days of Horror: Angel Zapata – Styx and Stones


The 13 Days of Horror would not be complete without the ‘horrible stanzas’ of Zapata. I’ve followed this phenomenal writer around cyber-streets until my brain blistered – you need take out and a six pack just to get through his list of successes. Whether he is writing insightful works, such as Unscrambling Love,(Issue 53) – First Place Dorsal Winner at Doorknobs & Bodypaint and top 40 in the 2009 Editor Unleashed Flash Fiction 40 Contest, or his reflection, The Twins: September 2001, he is crafting the darker delights we love so much, like one of my favorites, The Bridge, published at ShadeWorks. Plus, he’s a detective too, exposing and disposing a rat from our abode!

It is a great honor to welcome my next guest in the 13 Days of Horror, one of my horror gurus, Angel Zapata and his badass poem, Styx and Stones.

Styx and Stones

by Angel Zapata

He collects pennies in glass jars.
They won’t be spent on pleasing flesh.
Old copper coins like tarnished stars
absorb the voltage of his wish.

On moonless nights, he excavates
with shovel, pickaxe, trowel and spade.
Cold earth forecloses real estate,
provides the salary he’s paid.

With rock removed, the dirt inside
like snowflakes melting on the tongue;
his eager fingers brush aside
the frayed bell cord no grave has rung.

The Ferryman’s clandestine prize
at last exposed on dead man’s eyes.

Angel Zapata blogs here: A Rage of Angel

20 thoughts on “13 Days of Horror: Angel Zapata – Styx and Stones”

  1. "Styx and Stones" may river our bones but names like Angel Zapata will traverse us . . . . . . to worlds to see in new eyes. Though you had me at "old copper coins like tarnished stars", I absolutely swooned (I did) at the "voltage of his wish". You're the stanza-man Angel, and I'm glad as a "clandestine prize" to have come to know ye. ~ Absolutely*KateErin/Ed Sullivan ~ you put the Hall'o'fame in Halloween!


  2. Nice one, Angel! This is just screaming out to be read aloud. Wonderfully assured writing, and one of the best titles ever. Respect for The Ferryman…


  3. Ooooohhh, I love the idea of paying Charon in coins to cross the river Styx — you've done an amazing job portraying Charon in a wonderful poem of horror. Yet really, he's just doing his job, isn't he?


  4. You people are too kind. This was a lot of fun to write and I spent a ton of pennies following Mr. Ferryman around for weeks. *sigh* The things we do for art…Erin,You've done a great thing featuring so many writers that rock my world. I'm glad I'm a part of this thrill-ride. Thanks!


  5. Such fluent descriptions in this piece, a brilliant and vivid glimpse of the voyage into the underworld. You have a real gift for unearthing such fascinating themes and are even better at writing about them. Fantastic piece Angel.


  6. The visions you write and the mere sounds of the words is a like a clean smooth cut with a razor blade. Also has a nostalgic feel- good old fashioned haunting.Excellent, Angel.


  7. This was dark and brilliant and beautiful – all things I have some to associate with your writing. Dark mythology given new life. I look forward to the day when my bookshelf holds a volume of these poems by Angel Zapata.


  8. Congratulations to you Angel, you have managed to intoxicate all of us with your literary magic yet again . Well done & bravo , Take Care , Mal,…


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