Friday Update — Beginning Research into Contemporary Theatre

Farmington, NM 2015

I have been contemplating my play “Centaurs” and trying to work out what I need to change.  It just isn’t exciting enough.  It doesn’t involve the audience enough. I know there’s something missing, but I can’t pinpoint it. Therefore, tonight I have been surfing YouTube for performances of great plays and surfing the Internet for what are considered the great play of American theatre.  Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a generally accepted canon of the greatest American plays:  “The Iceman Cometh”, “Long Day’s Journey into Night”, “Death of a Salesman”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, etc., with “Angels in America” probably being the most contemporary on most lists.  Although all are terrific works, none seem to have something innovative enough to interest me.  Therefore, I have started looking into contemporary theatre.  This is turning out to be quite interesting.  Contemporary theatre, based on the few videos I have seen tonight (and on past experience too, of course), seems to have the minimalist, dreamy, postmodernist, almost mystical qualities that intrigue me.  I will continue my research for probably a few days to come, but I am already coming up with ideas about interaction with the audience and monologues.   Combining those with my own past experience in public speaking and acting (I was once in two short Tennessee Williams plays), I feel I may be on to something.

Four of My Works are Free Today, Friday, February 23

Phil Slattery, 2015

On each Friday over the next few months, I will be giving away one or more of my works.

Today, I am giving away A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, Click, and my latest work, Nocturne.

A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

In The Scent and Other Stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.

In Click, Frank Martinez, a policeman with the Corpus Christi Police Department, has unintentionally shot and killed an unarmed man when called to intercede in a domestic violence case. To recover from the guilt while the incident is under investigation by the CCPD, Frank’s fiancée arranges for him to stay on a secluded island owned by her father’s former law partner. While dozing one night on a lounge chair in the yard, he awakes to find two hitmen slipping onto the island and breaking into the cabin. Are they after him? Are they after the cabin’s owner? Most importantly, how is he going to reach his pistol in his luggage in the bedroom?

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover is a collection of my poetry written from the mid-80’s to mid-90s, a turbulent, fluid time in my life in many ways, but especially romantically. I have taken many of the poems he wrote during those years and compiled them into a dark narrative capturing the emotional turmoil of that time as a narrator, who descends from romantic love for a woman into a lonely world of alcohol and night clubs, where his only love is the night that envelopes him psychologically, emotionally, and physically. Kindle was published on February 15, 2018.  This is the first time it is being offered for free as a promotion.

All of these are available on Kindle at

My Interview with KSJE Will Air on March 7 at 10:30 A.M.

Photo from about 2007.

In February, I recorded an interview on my works and writing with “Write On Four Corners“, a program with KSJE 90.9 FM, the Farmington (NM) National Public Radio station.  The interview will air on March 7, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.  The interview covered a wide range of topics concerning my writing and my writing plans for the future including upcoming work.  Be sure to tune in.  The program was hosted by Traci HalesVass, retired assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at San Juan College in Farmington.  The interview will be available on podcast after the broadcast.

To celebrate this, on the day of the broadcast, I am giving away e-copies of all my works available on Amazon Kindle.  These include A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, Alien Embrace, The Scent and Other Stories, Click, Diabolical:  Three Tales of Jack Thurston and Revenge, and Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.  Follow this link to my Amazon Author’s page to find out more about each work.

Poem: “Come with Me, My Love”

Phil Slattery, 2015

This is a poem I wrote in the late 80’s to early 90’s, most likely some time between 1988 and 1991, when I was living in Alexandria, Virginia, dating around and frequenting the bars in Old Town Alexandria.  I don’t recall the circumstances under which I wrote this, just the feeling of these being the emotions of walking home around 2:00 a.m. after closing time.

This is the opening poem of my first volume of verse, Nocturne:  Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.   Nocturne will be free on Amazon Kindle on February 23.  I published it on Valentine’s Day of this year.

Going through my computer files tonight, I believe I have discovered some poems unintentionally left out.  Stand by for a second edition.  I hope you enjoy this poem.


Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle rattling down a cobblestone
street blown by a chill

Come with me, my love
and I will show you
nights of love
full of lust and passion
as lonely as a lonely
man pacing off a deserted street
under the brisk October moon
its cold light muted
in the mists

As the fog embraces you
like a one-night stand in a town
of dying dreams where
hopes lie scattered on the barroom floor
with cigarette butts and the dust
of endless roads

Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
as only
lovers can.