Joseph A. Pinto

barflypoet & author of dark fiction

Sex, as we all know, is the mechanism that puts us all on the planet, it’s proof positive that God wants us to feel something pleasant while we’re here. Having said that…it CAN be a ‘slippery slope’ leading some individuals to a Pandora’s Box of perversions that can destroy any hope for a healthy relationship.

There were two shocking, cult-classic horror tales in a genre all their own: one is “Love Doll” by Joe R. Lansdale, another is “Somebody to Love” by Robert Bloch.

And now, courtesy of Mr. Joseph Pinto, there are three…

That’s how editor Ken Kupstis introduces my short story “Plastic” in the May release of Triskadeika Books’ ‘Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t’ anthology.  My initial reaction was to momentarily sink into my chair, humbled.  My name mentioned in the same breath as horror greats Joe R. Lansdale & Robert Bloch?  It didn’t seem real.  But euphoria fled me ten seconds later.

I realized I couldn’t eat the cheese.

Sean Payton, head coach of the 2009 Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints ( and my favorite team), told his team all throughout their magical run that season, “Don’t eat the cheese.”

Don’t get complacent.  Don’t ever take your eyes off the prize.

Writing horror… it’s what I love. Still, there are goals to be accomplished, visions to be fulfilled.  Recognition & praise is nice, but if you allow that to be your fuel, then baby, you’re going to go nowhere fast.  Blood and guts, that’s what I’m all about.  Put me in the trenches.  I’m not afraid of the hard work.  I’m not afraid of the pain.

I have two goals when it comes to my writing career. 

One: remember my name.  It’s not about the glory or the praise.  I want my name to linger on the  lips and in the minds of all after they’ve read my work.  Once that happens, things will fall into place.

Two: set my personal bar as high as I can so that one day my daughter will surpass it, regardless of the career she should pursue.  I need to leave a positive legacy for her, something she can point to and say,”Wow, my Dad worked his butt off and achieved that?  Well then, I’ll work even harder and achieve this!”

Two goals.  Seems absurdly simple. 

A poem I wrote years ago suddenly comes to mind:


I want to be a burning star in the sky,
Want to be more than a memory
A legacy
That brilliant twinkle found in your eye.
But I’m still stuck beneath the big top
Still caught in the sideshow
Got a big set of wings
With nowhere to go.
I want to be a flaming star in the sky,
Want more than is meant for me
My destiny
Can’t be spent wondering why.
But I’m still stuck beneath the big top
Still caught in the sideshow
Got to take a chance man
I just got to go.
I want to be a shooting star in your sky,
And when you see me fall
Just let me crash and burn.

So thank you, Ken, for the delicious looking dish you’ve served.  While truly appreciated, I still must politely decline.

 I’ll get fat if I eat the cheese.

(Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Ken!)

(A future post will be provided detailing the soon-to-be-released talent laden anthology “Damned If You Don’t” )   

4 thoughts on “Don’t eat the cheese

  1. Blaze McRob says:

    So true, Joe. We need to strive for excellence, never allowing ourselves to become complacent with our craft. After that, everything else falls into place as you say. Great post. Someday we’ll eat cheese together.

  2. I remember how my older son cried when we tried to take the crib away. We had to leave it in the room beside the big bed for a couple of weeks. He slept in the big bed; for some reason, he did not want to let the crib go, though.

  3. My father always used to say: “You See that Mountain, Focus and See Only the Top”….i wish for you that top JOE……S

    1. Thank you, Staury! You are too kind to me!

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