The Horror Zine
Walking Through
Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale is the March Special Guest Poet

You can visit Joe at:

Joe R. Lansdale


What's that?
The apocalypse
and everyone is dead
why do I hear them calling
out beyond the woods,
walking this way,
without humanity to cast them,
flowing like oil
over water and blood,
and finally
slipping quietly,
to rise slowly
underneath the crack in
my locked door.


Outside on the street, I saw a strange poem
wearing nice shoes,
and pleated slacks.
Socks with dots,
baggy pants,
no hat.

We waved at each other.
I had arms.
It had words.
One of its words fell
into the storm drain
and splashed.

I laughed.
The poem chased me,
all the way home.
Its outside my window,
trying to get in.

I locked the doors.
I pulled the shades.
I went to the word processor
and wrote this down.
I looked outside my window.
The poem is gone.

Next morning,
I found its bloody tracks,
in the new


struggling over words
that know more holds
and have more tricks
that i do

they will not talk to me
even though i beg
quite nicely
instead they hide

i seek
they move
always just out of

i wish i had
a butterfly net
within which
i could catch one

way i feel now
the word if caught
would take a bad bad

please words
do not make me talk that way
deep down
you love me

kiss kiss
pet pet
i love you words
no need for a net

still they flee
and easy over the paper
unwilling to stick

i go to bed
without my little


the man who feels
loves to tell how animals die

their furry heads on walls
like friends
peeking through holes

guns like erections
line the wall
or sleep in cases

a frozen bird
on a stick
hangs in flight

pet the dogs
feed the cats
shoot a bear

the death of something
makes him

his child
must have
a gun

all of nature is his
to shoot down
to smear their blood on his face


Where are the crickets
that once chirped
and the leaping frogs

Now is the dead air
without flowers or bees
or birds

The lions are gone
the tigers
the bears

Butterflies no longer fly
but the cockroach



a dog
in winter
barks white clouds

from pine tree shadows
a night bird

on the pond
the face of the moon

the window fogs
and wet

lips against glass
a cold sweet

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels, twenty short story collections, screenplays, comic scripts, essays and non-fiction. His most recent novel is Vanilla Ride from Knopf, part of his Hap and Leonard series. Others in the series are currently being reprinted by Vintage Books.

Joe R. Lansdale's novella, Bubba Ho-Tep, was the inspiration for Don Coscarelli's cult classic film, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis.

The Horror Zine's editor, Jeani Rector, has been a fan of Joe R. Lansdale's book titled The Bottoms for many years. It is one of Jeani's favorite books of all time.

The Bottoms is about a boy growing up in the deep South during the Depression, and if that weren't stressful enough, something is watching him from the deep woods (known as the bottoms).

Joe R. Lansdale's book The Bottoms is highly recommended by The Horror Zine. The Bottoms is the winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Of Lansdale's book The Bottoms, critics have raved:

"Page-turning...a coming-of-age-story told with the energy and pace of a thriller ... Lansdale is far too big to be confined to any one genre." Dallas Morning News

"As memorable as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird ... No one is better than Lansdale at revealing the best and worst of human nature, and this may be his best effort." Denver Rocky Mountain News

"An emotionally charged tale very reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird ... Effectively combining mystery and family history, The Bottoms offers a vivid, multifaceted glimpse back to a simpler, but not necessarily better, time." Booklist (starred review)

The Bottoms






























































The Bottoms