Halloween Poetry

Twilight in Washington

The Twilight of the Vampire Mopeds

Approaching Baba Yaga

El Cucuy into the Dark

The Curse of Old Raw Head

The Roentgen Effect

The Specter of the Nue

Death and the Black Dog

Pesta Princess of the Plague

The Bargain With Death

The Dark Imagery

Of Murders and Memorabilia

 

 

 

Twilight in Washington

 

When she feels the churning green glow of the

Hardening voices. She escapes into

The hard binding of her books. She had read

All of the books about vampires who

Fall in love with girls. Now, she has begun

To read about werewolves who fall in love

With girls. Next she will read about mummies

Who fall in love with girls. Then, ghosts who fall

In love with girls. Then, Frankensteins who fall

In love with girls. She was fifteen when she

Broke his corrupt hands and began to slip

From one man to another. Pulled to these

Books to see children rioting in beauty

To see things she had always never had.

 

 

 

The Twilight of the Vampire Mopeds

 

You won’t have to change the tires or fill

Up the gasoline. Just a few drops of

Blood and you will be racing down the street

Impressing your friends and getting chores done

Lickety-split. Just like Bella climb on

Edward’s back and race down the streets in a

Blur just above two hundred miles per

Hour. With a jab to the ribs, he will

Leap to a nearby stand of trees and flit across

The tops. Slice open a vein and pay for

The wide open American culture

Of vehicular freedom. All very

Reminiscent of The Little Shop of

Horrors that is the Texaco station.

 

 

 

Approaching Baba Yaga

 

The bright lights of the stadium lit the

Field leaching everything into shades of

Grey stretching long shadows from the cars

In the gravel lot like the pulling out

And across of the utility knife

To serpentine over the guide line. The

Family walked the paved path along the

Thicket of brush toward the shadow of night.

What could they want out there in the darkness

Beyond the bushes in the mist over

The creek where the mosquitoes bite twice as

Thick and the shadows hold whispers? Is it

The woman in the woods and the house on

Stilts? And do they know her terrible price?

 

 

 

El Cucuy into the Dark

 

Did you see the light outside the window?

Was there a man in the street wearing a

Black hood with an evil light behind his

Eyes, little one? Did you see him? He had

A flaming censor hanging from a pole

Hooked like Death’s scythe. Don’t look out the window.

He has already faded into night.

But if you must, do you see the neighbor’s

Roof? Do you see that small shape in the dark?

You can almost make out the eyes of the

Owl, blank like two holes in a skull. El

Coco, Cucuy. The disembodied

Head. He is watching, my son. Licking his

Bony chops. Have you been good? Yes, I hope.

 

 

 

The Curse of Old Raw Head

 

Black and white headed goose sliding slowly

Across the pond, is there mourning in your

Call? Why do you linger so long in the

Stagnant waters near the abandoned farm?

Where is your flock? Did they venture too close

To the marshy end where the old dock stands

Mostly sunken and half hidden in the

Muck and swamp grass? Did you fix your stare through

The gaps of the warped slats to the shadows

Under the dock at the dripping pile

Of bones? You were the one, weren’t you? The

One to hear the slosh and suck of his steps.

Did you see the fates in his dead black eyes,

Or just the dripping maw of old Raw Head?

 

 

 

The Roentgen Effect

 

In the red light of the basement dark room,

I have seen Death dancing. A dim specter

In the dark. A shadow skeleton that

Might not be there. Arms outstretched motioning

Me forward. He has shown me photographs

Floating in the chemical vats. Floating

An accident of exposure. Floating

An artifact of suffering. Of black

Limbs solidified in among the white

Trees of an early snow and short sleeves. Drifts

Piled upon the autumn leaves. Weakened.

Unprepared. My son and I chasing that last

Bit of beautiful weather with a small

Burned out fire and Death dancing us on.

 

 

 

The Specter of the Nue

 

Thin wisps of black smoke lay low in the fields.

They disperse almost as quickly as they

Formed. Their haze in the tall grass that has gone

To seed. The smoke gathers thickest in the

Brown grasses that eventually die back

To black spots of earth bare like life in the

Old house with the odd shingles hanging loose

From long years of wind. She couldn’t help him

Or leave him now. But she can watch from her

Perch in the branches of the unkempt wood

Abutting the old property. She could

Float through the weeds and up out of the ground.

She could watch and choke him with her fumes. Cursed

To make him suffer for the love she holds.

 

 

 

Death and the Black Dog

 

That last night, as I walked miles from my

Broken car with a blister stinging on

My left foot, a dog mourned a lonesome howl

Into the darkness of the shard of moon.

He sniffed along the gravel shoulder of

The old country highway. His dark fur could

Hardly be seen in the distance except

From the corner of my eye. But the faint

Green light of his stare so much like the light

That often woke me puddled in sweat. His

Presence brought a chill. Or was it the cold

Wetness of the wind through the roadside pine?

And the vision of a man watching from

The woods, and my blood warming his wet hands?

 

 

 

Enjambment of Pesta the Princess of the Plague

 

Nature is a woman standing outside

An open window blowing the breeze through.

Do you think her life does not extend through

The screen? Do you think she is just broken

Off to begin again on the next line

Sterilized by your four walls? But you know

She will come through and when she does, will she

Come upon her cart with rake to gather

The dead like so many leaves of fall to

Leave the few to escape the tines or with

A broom to sweep them all like dust gathered

On the floor of an empty tomb. You know

Life brings plague on the wind and none escape

Life alive. But you want to be the first.

 

 

 

The Bargain With Death

 

The queer light of sunset lit the old man’s

Face lighting his eyes with blood and fire.

The neighborhood dogs were howling in the

Distance with the old man at the front door.

He let in his neighbor and closed the door.

Breathing heavy, he nearly fell against

The wall one hand on his stomach and the

Other still grasped on the knob. The neighbor

Put an arm around him to help him to

A chair, and the hound in the corner moaned

Out a soft howl in his fitful sleep.

The old man lifted his hand from his shirt

To show a small spot of red spreading on

His button down shirt. The old man said, I

 

Told you about this scar the night I sat

With your wife all those years ago. I know

That you always questioned how I could know

The exact night to comfort her passing.

Tonight, I have seen the visions again.

The Barguest is coming to finish what

He started in the old grave yard in my

Youth. Will you return the favor I gave

Your wife? Sit and lend comfort, and don’t stare

Into the beast’s eyes when he breaks through the

Door. The neighborhood dogs continued to

Howl, and the old man’s dog fidgeted

And growled in his sleep. And the darkness was

Choking out all the light through window.

 

 

 

The Dark Imagery

 

And they walked through the rising vapor of

The creek below the bridge where mosquitoes

Work the keyboards to generate the text

Of my future masterpiece of modern

Poetry. They will find the ether, for

The thick air of meaning brings its own hook

And line to catch the words and breathe the lines

Of verse into being like the blood from the

Bare arms with bulging veins that draw out the

Mosquitoes like little vampires sworn

To the devil. Sworn to bring grief and pain

In long swaths of meandering voice. Sworn

To confuse those willing to subjugate

Their minds to the dark imagery of verse.

 

Of Murders and Memorabilia

 

I remember when I first heard about

The carved wooden legs like a tiger’s paw

Holding an apple. They glinted in low

Gloss and hunched near to the ground. You could have

Sworn that you had seen them move or tense or

Twitch ready to pounce. The handmade table

With swirls carved like eyes and a point in the

Middle like one long retractable fang.

A deadly venomous sting dripping in

Anticipation of the moment you

Dropped your guard. But there on the auction house

Floor. It was just another old piece of

Furniture. It’s probably not even

Valuable except the story of it.

 

The story of how they say it got the

Brown stain that could look like dried blood. If you

Thought about it really hard, you would be

Able to see menace in its designs,

But not really. They say, this was the one

That they recovered from the site of that

Grisly murder from two years ago. The

One that had been held in evidence. The

One that had been found with the bloodied head

Sitting on top. It was too clean. Not a

Drop of dried blood. And the finish had not

Been dulled by any harsh cleaners. But it

Would do for my collection. And hell, I

May even get it for a damn good price on it.

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