The Bard from Outer Space!

“I wrote thirteen poems and what did I get? Another day older and deeper in debt.”—Ed Wood

“I wrote thirteen poems and what did I get? Another day older and deeper in debt.”—Ed Wood

The thirteen poems penned by screenwriter/director Ed Wood during his lifetime will not be found in the Ed Wood, Jr. Collection at Cornell University. Cornell is home to the original draft of Wood’s screenplay  “Grave Robbers from Outer Space” (released in 1959 as Plan 9 from Outer Space), as well as his rare novels Killer in Drag (1965), Death of a Transvestite (1967), and others.

There is not, however, a single shred of Wood’s poetry. The only evidence that “the world’s worst filmmaker” was also a poet of equivalent talent are several dozen rejection letters, including one from The New Yorker for a poem entitled “shreik” [sic].

According to Kathy O’Hara (Wood’s second wife), the poet renounced his efforts as “pure crap” in 1968, and buried his thirteen unpublished works at the La Brea Tar Pits. A few days later, O’Hara attempted to retrieve the poems, but they had vanished from the unmarked grave. Wood subsequently coined the term “poesy-snatchers” to explain what had happened to his missing body of work.

Nearly 30 years later the poems were discovered inside an abandoned flying saucer that landed in New Jersey.


The lost poems of Ed Wood were found inside this flying saucer discovered by Mel Watkins in his backyard in Lodi, New Jersey (4/1/97).

A small independent publisher in Coronado, California (HOB Press) purchased the poems and published a “private edition” under the title The Selected Poems of Edward D. Wood, Jr.—a misnomer since the chapbook contained all thirteen, constituting Wood’s collected poems.


Facsimile typescript page included in the Black Scat Books edition.
Note how the poet misspelled the title “shreik” and changed it to “howl.”

Black Scat Books is proud to present these lost odes in a glowing, unexpurgated limited edition. We have erred on the side of caution and retained the original title for—who knows?—perhaps the bard will revisit our planet and pick up his pen.

Indeed, we can imagine him climbing out of his spaceship and barking: “Take me to your reader!”



Brain Raves



“Nobody can add to the absurdity… nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.” Mark Twain

“Not since Nabokov’s Pale Fire has there been…well, this.” —R. Queneau

“Gives bad poetry a bad name.”
—Derek Pell


Cold in the Brain
Poems by Pedro Carolino
With annotations by Paul Forristal
Absurdist Texts & Documents No. 10

5¼” x 8¼”, Perfect-Bound. Illustrated. 32 pp.
Limited to 69 copies.
Poetry / Unintentional Humor


Brain Drain


This lovely 18th century woodcut is but one of several illustrations included in Pedro Carolino‘s collection of poems, Cold in the Brain—just published in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

At first glance one might suspect that the image has been tampered with—(the subject appears to be wearing a headset)—but this is not the case. The illustration is simply that of a young, drooling poet in the throes of inspiration—wearing earmuffs to undoubtedly muffle distracting sounds while he  listens to the voice of his muse.

Had the artist intended to create a headset, then we’d be admiring the work of a visionary artist far ahead of his time. Parenthetically, had Carolino been a poet “ahead of his time” (as opposed to a head of his time, which he probably was) we’d have chosen illustrations from the 20th century.


Pedro Carolino was a 19th century Portuguese poet and translator, best remembered (if at all) for his Portuguese-English phrase book, English as She Is Spoke (often falsely attributed to José da Fonseca). The book is a classic of unintentional humour since its author could not speak English. According to Wikipedia Carolino used a French-English dictionary “to translate an earlier Portuguese-French phrase book, O Novo guia da conversação em francês e português, written by José da Fonseca.” Without permission, Carolino added Fonseca’s name to the book in an attempt to cash in on that author’s successful work. As for Carolino’s poetry, it would never have seen publication but for an earthquake in Lisbon, during which a casket containing the manuscript was unearthed.

Paul Forristal is the former Jean Poquelin Distinguished Visiting Professor
of Carolino Studies at San Diego State University. He is the author of Ronan, the definitive biography of the Brazilian-born Equatoguinean football defender Ronan Carolino Falcão, which has been translated into four languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, and Equatoguinean Spanish. Paul is currently at work on a guidebook for Carolino Canyon, a 40-acre day-use facility nestled in the juniper-pinion forests near Albuquerque. He lives in the Illinois Valley of southern Oregon.

Black Scat’s deluxe, annotated edition of COLD IN THE BRAIN is limited
to 69 copies.