“Dread Voyage” by William F. Nolan
From The Devil’s Coattails edited by Jason Brock and William F. Nolan
Cycatrix Press, 2011
This poem by William F. Nolan, co-editor of The Devil’s Coattails, serves as a nice breather amidst the book’s longer prose pieces. It’s Nolan’s version of mythology, telling the tale of Diocreasas, a young warrior who seeks to vanquish the sorceress Circe, who has used her powerful gaze to turn his homeland’s soldiers into slobbering beasts. Along the way Diocreasas encounters Venus, the angry seas of Neptune’s kingdom, and his former comrades who are now under Circe’s spell.
The piece is compact and evocative, and serves as a good change of pace from what’s come before in Coattails. It’s a nice reminder that the editors took a broad approach in selecting material for the collection, and it’s short enough that even those not predisposed to enjoy poetry will feel comfortable in giving it a read.