Book Review: Fearworms by Robert Payne Cabeen

shapeimage_7Poetry can be beautiful rhythmical combination of words that let you know about how the writer feels. It can also be a rhyming set of words that are meant to scare the pants off of you. Fearworms by  Robert Payne Cabeen is the type of book that will make you laugh and scare you into sleeping with the lights on. Horror poetry is a genre that  can be a lot of fun, who doesn’t want to laugh and be scared at the same time? Fearworms does just that.

Robert Payne Cabeen gives the definition of Fearworms as stanzas of a horror poem that repeat in a person’s mind, leaving a feeling of dread.  This book does that as it inspires you to want to infect others with these disturbingly fun poems. You will find 12 poems in this book that cover such subjects as Krampus the Christmas demon, cannibalistic clowns, mad doctors, zombies, ghosts and a love story that’s out of this world.

My favorite poems in this book was The Promise and Rule 44. Both poems are rather gruesome love poems. While I’m not into love stories, these two really got to me and shows how a great rhyme can bring a story to life. The Promise talks about keeping a promise to a loved one in the zombie apocalypse which is heartbreaking and well told. Rule 44 takes place in space and has a very unusual love story that I have reread several times because it’s hauntingly beautiful. These two poems show that not many words are needed to tell a great story.

While The last two poems I mentioned are more serious, Fearworms also mixes horror and humor quite well. The first poem in the book is called Clowns. Many people are afraid of Clowns and this poem gives you more reason to be afraid. This one is about a man who stumbles into a cannibalistic clown convention and things don’t go to well for him. This isn’t the only story here that deals with cannibals, there is another one called Uptown Ribs that will make you laugh and probably ruin your appetite forever. Another great humorous poem here is Doctor Volmer which tells the tale of a doctor and the creatures that he makes. One thing this poem taught me is that you shouldn’t trust old people in need of help.

Fearworms is a work of art, not only because of the beautiful artwork that’s in it, but also from the poetry. This is a book that really shows the power of words. Robert Payne Cabeen states in his intro that he hopes that people will recite his poems out loud and make them their own. That’s what his poems did for me. They painted a picture in my head and not only did I want to share them with others, I also wanted to try writing poems of my own. Fearworms is the kind of book that you want to read out loud and in front of people so they can feel the same sense of joy and horror that you feel. Storytelling has never been as much fun as it is in this collection.


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