Write Me a Poem and Win an ARC of What Makes You Die

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in Apex Publications Blog: Matters of SF, Fantasy, and Horror | 15 comments

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What Makes You DieRoses are red…

No, that isn’t right.

There once was a man from…

No. No. Not that either.


I’m not any good a writing poetry. I love to read it, but writing it is not a skill I possess. I bet some of you do, though.

What if I told you those poetry skills could give you a chance to win an ARC of What Makes You Die by Tom Piccirilli?

What Makes You Die is a new short novel by Bram Stoker award winning author Tom Piccirilli chronicling Tommy Pic’s struggle with mental illness, a Komodo dragon, and a childhood love lost. Everyone will have the opportunity to read it come March 19th, when the novel is released, but we’re giving you a chance to read it first.

All you have to do is write a short poem with the title “What Makes You Die”. It could be a haiku, limerick, free verse, whatever. I don’t care. Just make me laugh, make me cringe, make me cry. Make your poem better than any of the others.

Entering is easy. Leave your poem as a comment to this post sometime between now and February 19th. I’ll read all the entrants and pick my favorite. The winner will be announced on February 21st, winning the ARC of What Makes You Die by Tom Piccirilli and having their poem posted right here on the Apex blog.

*To win the ARC you must live within the US. International readers can still enter and have their poem posted on the Apex blog if they win, but would receive an eBook copy of What Makes You Die, rather than the ARC.

So what are you waiting for?

Write me a poem.

Go on. Get to it.

Are you like me and just not any good at writing poetry? Never fear. There’s still a chance for you to snag an ARC of What Makes You Die. We’re currently running a Goodreads giveaway until February 14th. Just click the ‘Enter to Win’ button for your chance to win.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

What Makes You Die by Tom Piccirilli

What Makes You Die

by Tom Piccirilli

Giveaway ends February 14, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


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  1. what makes you die
    There was a man in denial
    Whose life was increasingly banal
    He thought to himself: “What the hell.”
    And decided to end it all.


    It was a bad death
    The sort that makes you think twice
    Living lovelessness

  3. What Makes You Die
    a poem by John Vukelic, 2013

    What makes you die?

    For me, it is a lie.

    Oh, that’s such a lovely tie

    Of course I will go. I love to fly.

    Every time I answer not for myself but for someone else. I die a little more inside.

    Enough! No more!

    That was all a lie.

    It’s all so I can win What Make You Die.

    Ah! Much better.


  4. “What Makes You Die”
    (for Pic)

    Back in the day, death was binary
    Alive or dead, on or off, one or zero
    Now, there is no zero state
    Hit by a car?
    Pick a new body. We’ll restore “you” from backup
    Brain cancer?
    No worries! We’ll grow another one
    It’s not about whether you live any more,
    It’s about what you create while you live

    Art is the new yardstick
    Content is the new blood
    The more you bleed, the less you die, so
    Open a vein and try to keep up

    Whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself;
    That is what makes you die.

  5. WHAT MAKES YOU DIE a poem

    The thousand cuts
    the missed chance
    the words never said—
    There, there…
    your death is here.
    Your funeral is prepared.
    They are lining up.
    There is a problem w/ parking.
    The priest is in a bad mood.
    No one liked you anyway.


  6. Things That Make You Die

    The splashed walls
    inside a reddened
    psyche where coffin
    enamel chips seep
    into an ever polluted
    pineal gland glowing
    hotter towards final
    bra-less undies on
    rad green surfboards
    atop wet evisceration

  7. It wasn’t the broken arm you gave me
    After I lost your favorite watch

    Or when you called me a queer
    And stubbed out cigarettes on my thighs

    It wasn’t when you told me the cat got hit by a car
    Even though I knew what you really did

    It wasn’t the verbal and physical beatings
    From the kids they called my peers

    Or the failing grades
    Or mother’s failing health

    It wasn’t her funeral
    Or losing my job
    Or taking those pills

    It wasn’t the first time she cheated
    Or the second through the fifth

    It wasn’t even the time she told me that it wasn’t mine
    And she had never really loved me anyway

    The thing that finally killed me
    Was the way you didn’t struggle or plead
    Or beg for your life
    When I brought the knife to your throat
    And finally rid the world of you

  8. (What makes you die):
    The dream slip
    from the cliff’s lip,
    and you cannot fly.

  9. What Makes You Die

    A little bit
    On the inside
    Every day

    Pieces fall
    Drifting away
    Like tumbleweeds

    Rootless, aimless

    Until I am a patchwork
    Of broken dreams
    Hits and misses

    Loves lost
    And never found
    A token gesture

    A smile, a nod

    While inside I am screaming…

    Please don’t let me die, please don’t let me die

  10. What Makes You Die (haiku)

    Unseen speeding word
    careens out of control, hits
    you walk on, zombie

  11. Whistling through the blackness
    Heaven’s messenger comes
    Alighting upon my lawn
    Tearing tracks in the grass

    Moonlit silhouette
    A silvery figure stands
    Keening a greeting
    Echoes of a farewell to come
    Signalling with universal palm

    Yearning for release
    Optimism drained from me

    Daring to dream
    I follow the figure
    Enter the craft and escape

  12. What makes you die?

    A glass of red, red poisoned wine,
    Stuck deep, so deep that rusty tyne,

    A festered, pussie zombie bite,
    The hangman’s noose nice and tight,

    Buried slowly in the cold, white snow,
    Slamming, slamming a hammer’s blow,

    The bubonic bite from Sewer Rat’s best friend, Mr. Flea,
    Slowly, circling sharks, one – two – three,

    The push of the short, fat dictator’s little, red button,
    The tiny bacteria consumed in that rare slice of mutton,

    That crazy, chainsaw toting son of a bitch in the mask made from a human face,
    Little Miss Heroin in the pipe, a lusty, smoky free base,

    That closet door left open for the boogyman,
    The slamming door of the windowless van,

    Forgetting to change the battery in your life Alert,
    Maybe even the cancer fertilize they use to dry clean your shirts….

    Why does it matter? Because in the end, noone will be spared.

  13. What makes you die
    I hear you cry
    The answer is simple
    Time makes you crumple
    Causing the final goodbye

  14. What Makes You Die

    Death of love,
    breath of life,
    passing through my fingers.

    Scattergories of emotions
    too intense,
    too bold,
    too personal.

    You die when you forget.

  15. I once saw a man sitting against
    the wall and staring into his drink. Not
    much to the image, really. Mundane
    and all of that. But something twisted
    in the pulsing lights and press
    of sweaty flesh around, in the smiles
    and shouts that filled the spaces between
    beats that made me remember
    and notice that I spend too much time
    thinking on things.


  1. What Makes You Die « First Church of Metaphor - [...] to Stace Johnson for winning the poetry contest over at Apex Publications with this [...]

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