John Kay on the late Al Masarik

My old pal, poet and photographer John Kay, made this comment when I posted on Facebook about the recent death of poet Al Masarik:

“I took many of his poems for my magazine, MAG, at the time, and always loved his work, and then he seemed to vanish. I wondered about him for years. He was definitely a “small press” firework.”


In an email to me, John added:

“At a time when the rest of use were satisfied being in Bukowski’s shadow trying to mimic his voice and natural narrative style, unable to seriously take him on,  I got a batch of poems in the mail from Al. He was coming from the dark side of the moon, unknown, but I knew immediately that he had the right stuff. I published everything he sent in an early edition of MAG out of Long Beach. After MAG Press folded and I moved to Germany, I never made any effort to keep up with him, and he was never mentioned by other poets I knew in Germany, like Carl Weisner, who seemed to know everyone. Al was a natural talent. Hearing of his death is the first thing I’ve head about him since 1970. ”



About David Barker

David Barker is the author of two works of weird horror fiction written in collaboration with W. H. Pugmire: The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal and In the Gulfs of Dream & Other Lovecraftian Tales (both books were published by the now defunct Dark Renaissance Books, but copies are still available from Dark Regions Press.) Barker and Pugmire also collaborated on a Lovecraftian horror novel, Witches In Dreamland, which will be published by Hippocampus Press, possibly in late 2017. Recently, his stories and poems have appeared in Fungi, Cyaegha, Spectral Realms, The Art Mephitic, The Audient Void, The Indiscriminate Mixture and on He has a short story in the weird fiction anthology, Nightmare's Realm, edited by S. T. Joshi and published in 2017 by Dark Regions Press. He also has published several works of horror and bizarro fiction as Kindle ebooks, including the bizarro zombie novel Dead Guys in Packards. Together with Jordan Hofer, David Barker has written two nonfiction books about UFOs and alien abduction: Little Gray Bastards (published in 2016 by Schiffer Publishing) and Unidentifiable Flying Objects (due in Fall 2017 from Schiffer.)
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