$10 • 5 x 7 • SADDLE STITCHED • 48 PAGES
APEP Publications is proud to present Mela Blust’s debut chapbook, Skeleton Parade. This collection of poetry is accompanied by a spattering of illustrations by Jeremy Gaulke. Blust’s poetry is remarkably honest and authentic. A song of an imperfect self navigating a world defined by hideous men. While there is certainly an expression of triumph and defiance there is also the acknowledgment of the the depth of the damage done and that healing still leaves scars.
Advanced Praise for Skeleton Parade
In her debut chapbook, Skeleton Parade, Mela Blust exhibits a graceful poetic craft that takes the reader on a dark journey through sexual trauma, despair, anger and possible redemption. “oh i fell down stars again / rabbit hole penny thoughts deep / suckle the ink black dusk / and pray before I sleep.” Deceptively minimalist and bare-boned, these poems are filled with startling imagery and unexpected rhyme like incantations to heal the wounded or raise the dead.
— Beth Gordon, Editor of Gone Lawn Journal and author of Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast, and Parallel Universe.
Mela Blust guides you with sledgehammer voice into the dark recesses of pain and abuse. The poem, “Soliloquy” best sums up her collection with the lines, “I often wonder why/ as children, we are terrified of the monsters under our beds, and as adults, we willingly lie beside them.” With shocking revelation of trauma, Mela corners her abusive past with the perfection of brevity and metaphor, forming each line into a punch of vulnerability shared between author and reader. By the time you’re done reading this, you will have shed tears for her, and begin to question the culture we live in, while screaming to change it.
— Adam Levon Brown, Editor-in-Chief at Madness Muse Press, and author of Break, Poems on Mental Illness.
Skeleton Parade by Mela Blust is limbs disconnecting from the body from the whole from the self is bones breaking oozing crimson blood marrow is crushed remains under withered flowers haunting is all the microscopic scars one can never see with the naked eye. But Skeleton Parade is also ossein finding to connect with the cartilage with the whole with the self is bones unbreaking colligating life again is blooming flora and honey dew between the cracks is supple phoenix raised from the ashes only burning feathers instead of scars.
— Nadia Gerassimenko, Founding Editor at Moonchild Magazine
Skeleton Parade is a pile of bones collected gingerly from the floor and then reassembled again and again into a whole being. Mela Blust pins stark images of ache and truth to each page like artifacts of trauma and evidence of existence. These poems are Plath-like, confessional and raw: “now i take the pain / and turn it into something / i can chew / you will learn / the salt of ache.” Something is being summoned here through these masterful incantations. A survivor emerges;let her words get stuck between your teeth.
— Kailey Tedesco, author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton and Lizzie, Speak.
about the poet
Mela Blust is a moonchild, and has always had an affinity for the darkness. She is a poet, a painter, a sculptor, and a jeweler. She has been writing poetry since she was a child. She currently resides on a small farm in rural Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, The Sierra Nevada Review, The Nassau Review, and more. She is a contributing editor of Barren Magazine, and Head Publicist for Animal Heart Magazine.