Musician and poet Davey Bales of LA-based The Wraith (previously of Richmond, VA based bands Shadow Age and Lost Tribe) recently released issue three of his Dead Flowers poetry series! Accompanied by macabre black and white art, the 24-page zine showcases a solid collection of Davey’s best poems. This issue is truly something to behold – tortured and bleak in nature, you can tell he’s been writing poetry since age 12. His words have a sophisticated, dark imagery paired with the creative ability to rhyme often without sounding the least bit cheesy. The unsettling art compliments Davey’s writings beautifully – flipping through this is like experiencing a deathrock version of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.
I’m sharing my personal favorites from issue #3, but be aware this is hardly a fraction of what the zine has to offer. The stand-alone poems range in length and subject matter, all of which are impressive and worthy of becoming songs. Davey believes in the power and importance of lyrics in music and it shows – he has the ability of putting difficult-to-describe feelings into words. As someone suffering from mental illnesses I find his lyrics extremely relatable.
Don’t expect anything remotely feel-good here – these are windows into a tortured soul filled with despair. This is contemporary gothic poetry as it should be. I recommend reading the zine in small batches so you can take it in gradually, otherwise you may feel overwhelmed.
Dead Flowers issue #3 can be purchased via The Wraith’s Bandcamp page and of course at any Wraith shows! For more background on Davey and his poetry, I highly recommend checking out Oliver Sheppard’s insightful interview with him from 2016 here on Cvlt Nation. You can also follow Davey on Facebook.