Note from the Editors Diabolical Guest Editor

And so did a little impsy one lie spine-curled and forlorn on his cold stone slab inside his lightless grotto when a lid slid away from its perch far above, and let in a little pinprick of shuddering starshine, and twin voices so sweet and knowing sang down through mouth of the well: "O, Dark, Dark One, will you rule our kingdom for a day?"

Those cruel Goblin Queens and their sadistiphisticated games! For I knew just as well as they that this task would be no more than a tease, a succulent taste of the lands of Fae and Living with nothing to take for keeps, before their wicked whims forced me back into the blind crawling damp, my misery shrieked up tenfold and score by seeing and feeling and smelling what I never had and then losing forever -- so of course, little listening ones, I immediately agreed, for the Queens are great sport with their tortures, and no decadence delights me more than the bitter musk of utter despair!

And so I pull on this mask of humanity to say: I'm both honored and humbled to be the first Guest Editor here at Goblin Fruit, generously entrusted by miladies El-Mohtar and Wick (perhaps dangerously so) with the temporary stewardship of the most dynamic speculative poetry market to arise in the past five years. It is my hope that you will find my iteration of this magazine to be the same as what you've found here before, yet just a hair different.

Amal asked me to discuss my editing process. I put this issue together almost identically to how I handle the Clockwork Phoenix books: a quick and ruthless culling; a setting-aside of possible candidates; a flagging of those I most definitely coveted; then a sifting of the remainder for suitable matches. And as she does with Clockwork Phoenix (and Mythic Delirium as well) my wife Anita divined an ideal order in which these poems should be presented. Although we have segmented the wyrm for your reading convenience, we've arranged the works of these fine poets so that their words will flow one into the other, a continuous underground river. I hope you enjoy the experience.

The process I've described applies also to how I put together an issue of Mythic Delirium, though generally the pace is a bit more leisurely. As it happens, Mythic Delirium is also temporarily under new management. Just as I ascended into their kingdom, Jess and Amal have descended into mine, and their guest issue, Mythic Delirium 22, is locking together even as I speak, and soon, hopefully soon, you too will see what they've wrought. (Ah me, trashed the place, no doubt!)

I'm also diabolically tickled at the tribute that Goblin Fruit captive artist Oliver Hunter has paid to Mythic Delirium captive artist Tim Mullins. You see before you an exquisite example of the sincerest form of flattery. From my perspective, it's great to see a hard worker get his due, because for all my editing and showmanship, it's Tim's collage creations that give Mythic Delirium that certain stand-out X-Factor. Ollie serves much the same role in Goblin Fruit, and Tim will be doing him the same turn when the Queens' issue comes to light.

But before you dive in, why don't you come back with me to my cozy little home? Oh, it's not as terrible as I made it sound. I merely exaggerate! There are toadstools and eyeless fish galore to quell your hunger, and the flocks of lost souls are so beautiful in their migrations --

Oh, blast, and there are those lovely voices on cue, scooping me up with their sinuous syllables and bearing me off to the dark! I'd best withdraw this beckoning hand before that lid grinds closed again!

In the meantime, do enjoy the feast I've left for you.

And the rest is silence.

. . .

Amal says: Except it isn't, quite.

Well, hello. Haven't run away yet? Good. He isn't really that scary. Not once you stick a purple hat on him, provided you know the rituals to accompany it. But we won't speak of the kittens here, will we, Mike? No, of course not. That's our little secret.

I wish to interject here only in the fashion of sweeping the floor once the guest has left, tidying the chairs, scrubbing out the odd drop of this or that. To that end, I would like first and foremost to thank our Mr. Allen for the loan of his dark and twisty eyes. Mike has done a truly amazing job, and we are honoured to have had him gather the work of poets both known and new to us in this issue. He's set the bar quite high for our take-over of Mythic Delirium 22, and we aim to clear it.

We also feel that, mischievous as our dear Mike is, he might find himself somewhat at home in the Mischief, as it were. And so we are quite happy to note that there is New Material therein, and that you ought certainly to go peruse it.

A further item: it is also Jess and my great pleasure to congratulate Anna Marie Catoir on the nomination of "Godmother," a poem which appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Goblin Fruit, for a Dwarf Stars Award. We wish her all the best of the goblins' luck!

We would also like to thank, as ever, the tireless efforts of our amazing webmaster, the distinguished and gentlemanly Dmitri Zagidulin, without whom we would be as damsels distressed by the loss of our most cherished books. He is the spine to which these pages are bound, and we are ever grateful for his kind labours on our behalf.

Now go forth, sweet reader, and twist ye into the Allensome dark.