• Be Sonnetary!

    Why buy flowers that fade?
    A sonnet lasts forever!
  • Brief Bio

    Lester Smith is a 2-term past president of the WFOP, a 4-time Origins-winning game designer, and a former JavaScript teacher for the HWG. He works days as a Writer/Technologist for the educational publishing house Sebranek Inc, nights and weekends as president of Popcorn Press.

  • Meta

  • Halloween Project

    Submissions wanted for Popcorn Press's 6th annual Halloween celebration.

  • d6xd6 RPG

    Role-play in your favorite authors' worlds! Preorder discount 5%.

  • Fencing Poker Deck

  • Other Card Games…

    Monster Con card game
    Invasion of the Saucer People card game
    Wolf Man's Curse card game
  • Suggested Reading

  • Undying Games

    Dark Conspiracy roleplaying game
    now by 3Hombres
    Dragon Dice game
    now by SFR Inc.
  • Cons I’m Attending

  • Poetry

    George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron ByronIn 1985, a British Romantic Period Literature class changed my life. The poetry of Byron, Shelley, and Keats wakened in me a passion for writing. I determined to somehow make a career of it—and somehow feed my children.

    Since then I’ve worked exclusively in publishing, first for game companies, now in education. I also continue to write, study, and promote poetry. It’s my opinion that poetry used to belong to the people, until academics stole it. It’s high time to steal it back from them.

    Why Sandpoint?

    Lester Smith : September 17, 2014 11:10 am : Announcements, Poetry

    Yesterday, via social media and Kickstarter updates, I mentioned that daughter Kate and I are working up a “Blood Type” short story for this year’s Halloween celebration anthology, Halloween Haiku II and other hauntings.

    Here’s the first line: “The day Sandpoint, Idaho, died, Garrett Cully left work early.”

    One of our D6xD6 RPG backers asked, “Why Sandpoint?” (Turns out his wife’s family lives there.) As that setting chapter will soon show, Sandpoint is a perfect choice for the horror campaign my wife and daughter conceived of.

    As luck would have it, the city also made an appearance in a poem I wrote back in 2006, an attempt at free verse:

    It’s Happy Hour Somewhere

    At 5:25 p.m. in Los Angeles,
    the Trumpster (in town for an evening)
    rises from a trim and invites
    his busty stylist to drinks and lobster
    thermidor.

    Meanwhile, in Wisconsin,
    I hold the phone, and a tequila,
    while my mother’s voice cajoles
    me to write something
    uplifting
    (outside this east window,
    snow dunes
    glowing in moonlight).

    And at a checkpoint east of Baghdad,
    a boy from Sandpoint,
    Idaho, coaxes five blood-spattered children
    from the backseat
    of a family
    car that would not
    STOP.

    While in Calcutta,
    Mother Teresa’s ghost
    rises with the sun, and walks
    a flowerless path to the leprosarium.

    —Lester Smith

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    Kuto~urufu to Bejitarian Sushi

    Lester Smith : August 21, 2014 8:30 am : Announcements, Japanese, Poetry, Popcorn Press, Veganism

    Jamie Chambers meets me for dinner to fulfill an old Cthulhu Haiku II Kickstarter promise. His performance really seals the deal.

    Kuto~urufu to bejitarian sushi

    CREDITS: Lester Smith as Cthulhu, Jamie Chambers as Jamie Chambers, Karalyn Smith as Voice of Server, Filmed by Karalyn Smith, Edited by Ralph Faraday, Music by Kevin MacLeod

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    4 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

    Lester Smith : May 14, 2014 5:41 pm : Announcements, Poetry, Review
    Blackbird standing on one leg

    Blackbird standing on one leg” photo by Bruce Ruston

    If you’re reading this, chances are you know how much I love, and champion, poetry. You may also be aware of my quip that about a century ago, academics stole poetry from regular people, and ever since, some of us have been trying to steal it back.

    Which is to say, as clever as academic poetry may sometimes be, it too often lacks any real heart or conviction. And too often, it seems, it chooses to be obscure for the same reason academics use unnecessarily obfuscatory terms in prose—to avoid appearing “common.”

    For some time, then, I’ve cast disparaging glances at what to me seemed an unnecessarily difficult poem: Wallace Stevens‘ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” Still, something about the poem continued calling to me, as if a blackbird were cawing to draw my attention, and I just couldn’t understand what it wanted.
    more »

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