Sorrow’s Coin

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

—Mary Oliver, The Uses of Sorrow

Photo (2021) by Sanguine Woods
JFK: gift from Joe Quinn 09-10-21 Friday
Reverse image: from the cover of The Ballad of Black Tom a 2016 novella by Victor LaValle (Tor)

The Ballad of Black Tom Takes Lovecraft for a Ride—All the way back to Red Hook

Inspired by an H. P. Lovecraft story called “The Horror at Red Hook” (Weird Tales 1925), which is considered to have racist undertones that support racist ideas attested to by Lovecraft’s ex-wife, Sonia Greene, and his own letters to Clarke Ashton Smith and others. Shirley Jackson Award-winning writer Victor LaValle has set his novella in the same Red Hook area of New York used by Lovecraft in his 1925 story. LaValle turns the tables on things in the Lovecraft story that make this a fun and important read. Cover art by Robert Hunt (Tor Books 2016).

Greatest Hits

All alone at the end of the evening
And the bright lights have faded to blue
I was thinking ’bout a woman who might have
Loved me and I never knew

You know I’ve always been a dreamer
(Spent my life running ’round)
And it’s so hard to change
(Can’t seem to settle down)
But the dreams I’ve seen lately
Keep on turning out and burning out
And turning out the same

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time

You can spend all your time making money
You can spend all your love making time
If it all fell to pieces tomorrow
Would you still be mine?

And when you’re looking for your freedom
(Nobody seems to care)
And you can’t find the door
(Can’t find it anywhere)
When there’s nothing to believe in
Still you’re coming back, you’re running back,
You’re coming back for more

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time

(Henley, Frey, Meisner)