iZombie: Why the Living Dead matter

iZombie Poster

(photo source: imdb.com)

iZombie is a series based on the DC comic of the same name originally released in 2010. The TV show began in 2015 and is still running. There are currently four seasons out but I will be covering just the first three. The main premise of the show is about an underground existence of zombies in Seattle, Washington. Their existence was the result of a energy drink (similar to toxic sludge) at a 4th of July boat party turned massacre.

The main character is Olivia, a med student who is newly engaged to Major (Major what? No, his name is Major) after being scratched by a zombie on the boat. Olivia’s (also called ‘Liv’, lol pun on Live) life dramatically changes as her skin and hair loses color and her craving for brains (dowsed in hot sauce) becomes more voracious. Liv becomes a medical examiner, coroner, for the police department allowing her access to fresh brains which she consumes in secret. Her partner, Ravi, also works as a coroner and quickly discovers her eating brains. Ravi’s reaction is the first of many markers in the show that makes it unique for the zombie genre. Ravi is intrigued by Liv’s condition and begins researching the cause for her zombification as well as a cure which is the overall goal for the entire series.

The next character that plays a major role in the series is Clive Babineaux, a detective at the police department. This is where it gets interesting. In this story, after a zombie eats a humans brains they have spontaneous visions belonging to that person. So, after Liv eats the fresh brains she finds in the morgue, suddenly she begins to have visions that relate to the victims death. She is compelled to help solve mysteries relating to homicides and soon teams up with Babineaux who is led to believe she is a psychic with incredible accuracy. The duo begins to solve mysteries, some of which are related to the mysterious energy drink that caused this secret zombie outbreak. Along with Ravi’s help, these three find themselves getting closer to the truth.

Other Key Characters:

Peyton, Liv’s best friend who works for the legal system, learns that Liv is a Zombie.

Major, Liv’s ex-fiance that struggles with a changed Liv and later learning of her Zombification.

Blaine, a ‘Spike-like’ character reminiscent of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show, who is refreshing, evil (at times), and highly manipulative. An admirable adversary for Liv.

These characters are interwoven throughout the story and play out their own particular story lines that contribute to the overall story as a whole.

Key aspects that bring something new to the Zombie genre:

Eating brains gives you visions.

There are zombies already among us, living in secret.

There are zombie-led organizations that influence the lives of humans and zombies.

Zombies are presented as individuals, or together as a minority group under attack by humans. For the most part the zombies try to blend into society in fear that their discovery will lead to their death (‘death-death’ for the living dead: beheading etc).

Although some of these aspects may already be in other comics/movies/tv shows, I believe it is the approach that gives iZombie its uniqueness.

Key aspects about the show that stand out:

There are comic-book qualities to the show, for instance, the memorable intro that is presented as comic book panels, chapter breaks that are marked by a still of the last shot which morphs into comic-like art, and the precise structure of each episode that is form fitting to a comic in a series.

iZombie possesses qualities that can mark it as a meta-show, the show’s ability to be self-reflexive. For example when characters discuss zombie movies/shows within itself while hinting at a critique of iZombie (I noticed this more often in Season 3).

A killer soundtrack, often songs are sung and performed by the character Blaine throughout the series. They are mostly classic rock hits among others but the songs add a little more ‘art’ to the show. Often the songs are sung/played at the end of each episode to gain an emotional effect from the audience while also reflecting what just happened.


iZombie ranks #3 on imdb’s list of “Most Popular ‘Based on Graphic Novel’ Titles”.

This show has high ratings and a lot of admirers for its style and subject matter. I among them find this show to be very well put together and genuinely intriguing to watch. I look forward to watching Season 4, especially after the the end of Season 3 which left me aghast.

(Note: Contrary to professional movie/tv show reviews, I did not include the actors/actresses names after introducing the main characters. I have included the link to imdb.com that possesses all this information. This is just me writing informally.)


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Free Hand #40

Melting under the sun. Blood hot, red hot that burns and boils.

How the skin peels back like a snakes after drying for so long.

Keep the mouth shut or it will fill with sand. Keep your

shadow covered or the darkness will blaze. The body runs

along the skyline, the mountains press upon us.


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Thoughts on Collecting Words and Memorizing Poems

Alina Happy Hansen’s Word Notebook 2017


Thoughts on Collecting Words and Memorizing Poems


Alina Happy Hansen


Words are the blood and bone for all poets. It is crucial for poets to understand that one’s poetry can only evolve and mature by a constant habit of studying words, styles, forms and the memorization of poetry. I admit, I need to work on these habits myself but I do try to keep up with one particular exercise and that is collecting and studying words.

I have a small notebook (pictured above) that I keep close to my desk or latest pile of books at all times. Inside are pages of words that I want to learn, memorize, and use in my poetry. Usually I start a new entry by writing down the date then writing down the words I want to add. Occasionally I will write a specific definition that makes it easier for me to learn the word. I have not memorized or utilized all the words in my ‘Word Notebook’ yet since there are too many but this habit keeps me on the look out for new words, strange or unknown, that fascinate me.

An expansive knowledge of words and their meanings benefits a poet in their writing since every single words counts. Poems are created through a concise and condensed build up of words. Each word is crucial in the construction of a poem because it only takes a few words to create a memorable outstanding poem, or a few words to ruin an entire piece (but honestly you can have 2/3rd s of an amazing poem and then a 3rd of so-so and still love the poem to death).

The habit of memorizing poems (often great classics) benefits the poet by teaching them the importance of rhythm and punctuation. After a poet learns to read poetry, much like reading music, it is then a whole new challenge for a poet (or anybody!) to perform a poem. I say ‘perform’ because poetry is not like other forms of writing. Poetry originates in ballads and songs sung in the ancient past usually about heroes, conquests, wars, and love. Poetry is an art form created with words and like art it must be presented in an appropriate manner to audiences.

The form of poetry depends entirely on the placement of words and punctuation (or lack thereof) knowing how to read a poem is a step away from knowing how to read aloud a poem (to perform the piece). Acknowledgement of these aspects of learning and studying poetry helps the poet grow as a reader and writer. It is the same concept that a musician has to music. Study it, learn it, perform it THEN creating it yourself suddenly becomes an exciting venture.


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Free Hand #38 (Cave of Expressions)

Cave of Expressions


The words pull me under,

tide sweeps overhead. Trying

to dive into nowhere into

nothing and burning, my

mind, my head. My only

sickness that plagues

me is a cave of


that molds

in the


of my



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Notebook Excerpts #4 (May/June)

Here are some excerpts from my May and June Notebooks. I use regular composition notebooks to write in, take notes, and attempt poetry and fiction. I have filled one entire Notebook every month for the last few years. I find it to be a good habit that keeps my writing and my mind fresh.

+ signifies breaks in sections of writing/poems


(MAY 2017)

How I bleed.

Let it fall down, marble, the cold sky. And the clouds are fat in the neat of the sky.

What are the words that break each other?

Up and out, down and inside it all.

How death becomes reality eventually for all of us.


How glass sounds, smashing glass,

smashing it all. The sting in the eardrums.

The sting of pain that bellows and coldly crumbles.


and situated coldly across the old sky wandering

her eyes reflected a pain that was not found.

In it all, was not found among the wreckage of her personality.


Why do we care about the theory of a god? the existence of one, at all?

What does that mean? All the power that corrupts the hearts of man.


Writing between us. Writing it all, climb into nowhere and pulverize, pulverize the summer sun. My heart beats, beats clean, crisp and cold all my eyes return into the holy error of death. Calm and sweet my body blossoms into nothing. I am nothing.


(JUNE 2017)

My mind  burns, could you find me, any colder? The eyes of my heart return to a death that I can no longer find. Why my body bends and breaks, closes completely.


Words written on these pages-what does everyone know? My blood burns like no one else, my mind poisonous to everyone. Burning them into a burning light but I am so cold.


My skin turns blue until there is nothing left of me until there is…nothing.


Sweet flowers that destroy you, into the forgotten night. My eyes drift silently into nothing.


What do the words mean? Do they mean anything? I’m not quite sure anymore.


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Flash Fiction #7 (Hospital Stay)

Hospital Stay


Alina Happy Hansen

He sits propped up on some pillows. The sick smell of bleach and antiseptic is inescapable. His neighbor groans in pain behind the curtain partition. The TV flickers every other minute, the signal weak. A voice calls to him from outside the opened window. His heart beats furiously. The voice of his dead mother reaches him, getting louder as he reaches for the call button. “Why did you say you wanted me to burn in hell?”


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Free Hand #38 (Buried)



The body rolls under

the poison, a hell, a heart

that devours and an endless

mind. Inhale the toxin,

thoughts plague

the distorted imagery

of reality. How does

the ocean sound

to a dead man

buried on the beach?


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Free Hand #37 (Hitchcock’s Frenzy)

Frenzy Poster

photo source: imdb.com


Last night I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s FRENZY with my boyfriend Dallas. Really good movie but it’s about a rapist/murderer that kills a bunch of women…had some pretty graphic scenes and social commentary on/about women hmmmmmmm. Here’s a small poem I did today in reflection of it.


Hitchcock’s Frenzy


The empty body floats

across the water. Devoid of soul

just decaying matter. What space

does the eye occupy? As it fixes

on the body, the bystander helpless

and in shock. The magnetism of

the loss and the pain. The image

seared within the brain.


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Free Hand #36 (Black Hole Sun)

Thinking about Global Warming and Black Hole Sun today. It’s supposed to be 103 (F) today in SLC and I hate the heat. UGH!


Sunk down deep into the endless night

the hell in my mind burns on. I wait

for the heat to cease, for the flames to stop.

There is only pain and thirst. Pulling,

twisting the body; in, out and up through

the sky. Will there be a release in the abyss?


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