Wednesday, October 30, 2013



Michael J Cluff
 
THE HAUNTED ELEVATOR--SOMBURG COLLEGE
 
I.
 
Professor Henshaw
noticed  Uriah Heep
entering the conveyance
at 10:32 on a Thursday night
the obsequious one
just kept bowing
until his head detached
and ended up on the teacher's
dead black wingtip shoes.
 
II.
 
Kristie Payne
was shocked to see
a wisp of a specter
hiding in the corner
late Monday,
the spittin' image
of Emily Dickinson
both were not shocked
by the dead fly
right at the edge
of their granny clodhopper feet.
 
III.
 
Nancy noticed
right after entering
from the first floor Chem lab
that the salt of tears
could not easily disfigure
formica and bad brass fixtures
as it had the beaker
a few minutes ago
just under her upset eyes.
 
And the sound of her long lost
love, Lorenzo,
crying himself,
lingered
in the space
about three times as big
as his permanent house
now in Lycott Cemetery.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013



Michelle Angelini (AKA Rina Rose)
 
PUPPETMASTER
 
There was no difference
between our lives, at least not then.
As the years passed, I could see changes
– small ones at first, then they grew larger –  
 
We never parted physically, yet grew
apart so much I didn’t know you.
What happened? Maybe it was the gained
abilities. I don’t know. We were no longer
complementary beings.
 
The first time I read your mind
I knew that you were farther away
from me than I was from you.
Still, you controlled me,
and I was under your spell.
 
There were new ones, others
that came. You brought them
to make me angry. I could
do nothing against you, since
you pulled the strings.
 
Now I hang in the storeroom.
My eyes full of dust.
My heart empty
of what you took from it. 
You still control my motions
and passion. Yet I am powerless
against you moving me the way
you always did.


Maria A. Arana
 
KILLER LETTER
 
P.O. Box full of junk mail
like secure e-mail
Who else lurks
in these envelopes?
 
What’s this?
A letter?
It can’t be
From Poochie!
 
Here
within my grasp
addressed to me
from my favorite toy
 
Toys came and went
in childhood
but Poochie understood
I had to let her go
 
The letter thanked me
for moving on
A long list of things
we did together followed
 
But wait
there’s more
Poochie’s been up to extra
What a shock it is to hear
 
Poochie escaped
Unscathed
No garbage landfill
could detain her
 
Traveling light
Only one ear missing
All these years
visiting children
 
Children who resembled me
Creeping into their homes
Suffocating them
… a rare form of death
 
Poochie is sorry
and the contact is
for a reason
much greater than this
 
Poochie has found me
Traveled with handicap
And will come in the night
when I least expect
 
Oh, Poochie!
How could you?
You don’t understand
I don’t have the ear!

Robert Wilson
 
FUNERAL LOVE
 
I still recall
every blemish
every perfect curve
of her body
because I hold
it tight
in an open grave
The moon
accentuates
the lines
engraved on her throat
and wrist
I drink from them
as I used to
from her beauty
(permanent intoxication)
Do not worry
my lifeless queen
of every thought
The world will die
a thousand times
but I will never
let go
of your
rotting
body
It's gorgeous
to me
as the butterflies
that fly around us
before their wings rot off
under the ghost of the moon

Petrouchka Alexieva
 
THE HALLOWEEN NIGHT
 
The moon is hanging
Exactly out there,
Up in the sky,
Exactly where
In this creepy night
Witches are taking
Their glorious flights.
 
Kids are hiding
Under the blankets
Scared to death
Of glowing pumpkins
With huge broken teeth
And spooky noses!
 
Skeletons’ singing 
Twisting in poses!
Bats and owls
Are flashing their eyes!
Shadows are running
On their broken toes!
 
Screaming and yelling
Demons and Ghouls
Are shaking the beds!
Goblins with claws
Are quaking their heads!
 
Zombies are talking!
Gargoyles are knocking!
Griffins are flapping
Gigantic wings
"Where have you been?
 It is Halloween!"

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Karen Schwartz
 
BROKEN DREAMS
 
My life is like a coffin where the darkness steals the sun,
I cannot move, I’m trapped inside, my body’s going numb.
It’s hot in here, the air’s so stale, I’m anger’s helpless prey,
It strikes me with a vengeance without mercy or delay.
The smell of flesh engulfs me and the pain’s so hard to bear,
Aching, I lay buried; I’m not going anywhere.
As I lie here I am thinking why has no one given thought?
To invent a double coffin so there’s company while we rot.
Loneliness wants to see me she is knocking on the door,
Is she looking for a friend or just to use me as her whore?
Insidious is her form of pain and her spell is so serene,     
She’s been inside my casket I forgot where she has been.
People try to tell me my despair will pass away,
My life is like a coffin, I die more and more each day.
Uncertainty is a part of life, but there’s one thing that I know,
When you walk a tightrope every day, you can’t go with the flow.  
Safe inside this chamber I’m consumed with nothingness,
A life of broken dreams and one of tragic hopelessness.
Will someone please deadbolt me, in I’m past the point of sad,
My fate is sealed, I’ll live with it; my coffin’s not that bad.
When your life is like a coffin, you no longer have to juggle,
I’m giving up, I’ve lost the game; it’s just not worth the struggle.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Andres Bermejo

#1 from 1/23/88

“The house! It is surrounded!”
camouflaged Cabbage Patch Kids
armed, outside my front door
one hundred fill each window
 
“These are not your eyes tonight!”
the response for my 97th defense
me, a wooden-barreled shotgun,
and two rubber, Pirate’s knives.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Joe DeCenzo

THE SEARCH
 
Crisp silence shepherds long shadows of dusk
Heavy arid night ushers movement in the brush
 
Twigs snap, leaves crinkle beneath stalking paws
Frenzied howls surround fearful eyes
The craving of the pack yields no escape
 
Yelping, barking
Educating pups
On the art of conquest
Thoughts of my companion
Missing from sight
Spur my flight inside
 
My knotted stomach
Hinders movement to each room
Overturning each chair along the way.
Every closet opened; each hamper emptied.
 
The screeching of the wild
Ringing harder in my ears.
Terror dominates the peace.
Each menacing howl becomes
A fang incising my intestines
Leaving wet anxiety
Pooling on my neck.

You’re deaf to my voice.
Your name bounces unanswered
Off walls of vacant rooms.
 
My parched mouth searches for drops of water on a sand dune.
Unable to breathe, I swallow air like mouthfuls of paste
When glinting eyes on a cluttered desk of paper
Bring my relief.

The chorus of howls fade.
The quiet creeps back
But for your purring
On my lap.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Joanne M. Uppendahl
 
WHAT KIND OF GHOUL AM I?
 
What kind of ghoul am I,
can’t you decide my love?
It seems that I'm the only one
who knows what I’m made of!
 
What kind of role is this?
Am I a spook, or just a lonely vagabond?
A sheetless fool? The merest bone
of what I once was.
 
What kind of fangs are mine
That bite with every phrase?
They whisper empty words of love
and leave me dead these days.
 
Why can't I howl my name,
like any other ghost?
And maybe then I'll know what kind
of ghoul I am. 

Cynthia Bryant
 
BEAST—
WITHIN A MASK
 
It is All Hallows Eve
With restless spirits stirring
As a family man departs
With the intention to acquire smoking tobacco
 
Left behind—
His pregnant wife and small fairy-princess
Greet trick-or-treaters
Who come to their door for sweets
 
The hour grows late
As the assorted barrage
Of ghosts, monsters and clowns
Thin considerably with time
 
Suddenly the doorbell rings a warning
The tired wife answers unaware
Expects small hungry goblins
Finds instead a full grown beast
Who wears the mask of a wolf
 
The beast rushes forward
growls machete in hand
Hacks flesh from the terrified woman's body
Her screams abruptly end
The bloodbath continues
 
The unborn child,
Ripped from the dying mother’s body
A small-horrified fairy-princess watches
Hidden behind the old comfortable couch
It gives comfort no more
 
As the beast,
Tears off the sweaty wolf mask
Reveals nothing in his blankly serene face
The hideousness within his eyes
Contain it all

Jessica Wilson
 
OH MYYYYYYYYYY…
 
Ring in this song
So my soul can feel again.
      Vacant eyes
They see light
Know the moon and sun,
But never does it fill,
My soul.
      Just eyes of pain,
Transparent to the water
In my eyes –
       A flash of soul,
Love, your hands once showed the story
Our love ---
Your smile once told our story,
But now,
Now I’m lookin’ to use my soul again
Let the laughter keep,
Like the ashes that bless my skin.
      Soul gone dry
Dry as sunlight over crackled pavement.
Dry like the tongue tasting wine –
Until the breeze flows through my window
And tickles at my nose – like your fingertips once did –
      Mama, there is no more soul,
It flew out the window
In the draft of your goodbye.

Lee Collins
 
BAT VOODOO
 
Fluttering in their gray cloaks,
a fast voodoo magic act
for slow folks.
Twilight bats don't wait
to bait the bugs they just ate.
With spooky slight of flight
in tight intoxicating figure eights,
bewitching bats locate,
snack on even itty-bitty gnats,
sawing in half every tidbit fly
with silent, sonic second sight.
Their many flickering wings
shuffle hauntingly in midair
like an eerie deck of cards.
A shadow dance by slick wizards
of a nipping vampire bite.
Then, as quickly as my life,
it all disappears in a flash.
Real voodoo magic never lasts,
it slips into the past
before my mystified eyes
by the time Big Dipper drips
infinite, undying stars
into the night sky.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Beverly M. Collins
 
BROOM REPAIR

A toothless, gaunt and warty witch stopped in for
some repairs. "Hello." she called into the auto shop
door, and at first saw no one there.
 
From under a car, a mechanic rolled out and asked,
"Can I help you?"
 
"Sonny, I hope you can." she croaked as the man looked
up and stared. "I'm a needing help with my old ride. Do
you give broom repair?"
 
"Broom Repair? That is silly." he snapped, "Is this some
kind of joke?" Sadly, that was the very last words he
ever spoke.
 
She turned the mechanic into a frog with one swish
of her stubby wand. Then calmly jumped on her back
firing broom and she was gone.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Tim Tipton 

It’s a high crime night tonight
   The moon is frozen still
Boredom was on, it had killed everything around me
   While sleepers had beautiful dreams
Boredom weaved through me
   It didn’t speak
It demanded nothing from me
   Wherever I went it was there 
I threatened it and all it did was grin
I took it for long walks in the park
   It dragged its ass
It stood absolutely still with its ears cocked
   Its feet planted firm 
Its eyes blinked
   And every thought in my head disappeared.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Karen Greenbaum-Maya
 
TANNED
 
First her skin had gone powdery gray,
then she turned desiccate, a pile of fine powder
that became a fist-sized egg.
And when she emerged from the shell,
her egg-tooth crunching through, so satisfying,
her skin was fine as a newborn lizard’s,
a supple leather, caramel-soft.
 
She dressed in gray silk and silver lace
after the change, because
the guys liked the lingerie,
and now it didn’t matter.
They could stroke all they liked
and she did not feel.

Toti O'Brien
 
DREAM

This could be my last encounter with monster, I feel. For he never came closer: and yet I’ve no fear.

He’s arrived, as usual, during afternoon nap…  a small pause, when I left my doors open, both literally and metaphorically. Was I daring or was I just oblivious? Well, I was distracted, that’s all.

I felt him lie behind me, then holding and hugging me as if I was his toy. Yes, he acts like a master… but so weak indeed: alive only by grace of my imagination. My unconscious is his funnel, his bridge.

I say “him” for he’s male, of age undefined. The same always… I can’t see him but I recognize him. I can’t see him: he grabs my wrists from the back, as if he could tie me down that way. That, apparently, gives him a childish joy… go for it, I don’t care.

I can feel him and that sends chills through my spine. Today, though, I’m not scared.

Now, the radio is playing a compilation of songs. Quite nostalgic, and they don’t give us a break. So we listen, together, as if they were telling our story, those songs. Yes, the story of the two of us, monster and I… as if we were long lovers. Oh dear...

I want to turn my head and to face him. That, alas, I could never: it’s not easy. Today I know I will,  I’ll identify him, this time. This time he won’t escape, no.

I free myself with a jerk… and it’s me, now, who grabs his wrists. But I’m left with two stubs in my hands: two small puppet arms… the rest of him vanished. A metamorphosis, all right: that is all he can do! Such a coward…

Look! Two small spheres are rolling down the bed. Like two pearls or maybe two cells, moved by an inner energy. He’s dissolving, I guess. Just against the wall, where the blankets bunch up and folds, there’s a creepy whirlpool of bugs: something is going on. Where is he? He’s gone.

Still he came so darn close, more than ever… I know that he loves me in his way. Yes he does: I’m his Styx and his Charon, I’m his human shore.

But how did this all happen? Since when do we spend together my solitudes, since when does his immaterial weight bend my spine?

Why do I call him my soul, or my angel, if he’s just a rough Frankenstein, badly wrought?

He’s a gush of summer, a drip of my sweat. He’s a joke of my memory. Just a dream.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Amy Lewis

MY GHOST 

I never knew my house was haunted
Until I saw you last night
And you gave me the worst
Fright I’ve ever had.
 
I’ve been tip-toeing around
Ignoring your existence,
Following the path
Of least resistance.
 
Doing nothing
About you
Who lives within me everyday,
About this relationship we have
That I didn’t know existed
Until I saw you yesterday.
 
Pretending that what I see
Is not what I see.
 
Pretending what I feel
Is not what I feel.
 
Pretending what I’m doing
Is not what I’m doing.
 
Pretending that what I’m saying
Is not what I’m saying.
 
Ignorance is bliss
In my haunted house
That I only just
Learned exists
Right here.

Pretending I am someone
That I am not.
 
You visit me.
Always were with me.
To say I know.
I see you.
And you don’t fool me.
 
Ignorance used to be bliss
In my haunted house
That I only just
Learned exists
Right here inside me.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Gloriana Casey
 
NIGHTMARE IN THE GARDEN
 
The garden has politicized;
a shocking truth---but fact!
For hummingbirds are fascists now;
democracy's been hacked.
 
"Attack! Attack," bird's warring cry,
in Nectar Feeder War.
"We want it all! We want it all--
until there is no more!."
 
With danger streaking through the air
the garden ceased to be.
Battle Charge of the Flight Brigade!
A tragedy to see.
 
The scrub jays on the lookout there,
find danger in their sight.
They scream and shout, "Beware, beware,"
from morning through the night.
 
The squirrels push doves from feeder ledge
and chatter endlessly.
"It's mine, it's mine, all seed is mine!
All seeds eternally!"
 
My  friend just sighs and gives reply;
his answer can't be true.
"Nature is cruel --- like human kind.
you know that. Yes, you do."
 
A sleeping bee is dragged by ants
and buzzes helplessly.
"Oh, I've been gassed by pesticide;
this woe for you and me."
 
Insanity! This can't be true
for Nature has  such grace;
a give and take in balance there,
not like the human race."
 
And as I raged a hummingbird
flew right up to my eyes.
"Assembly has been banned," he hummed
"you're speaking thoughts! You're spies!"
 
Then to the right we saw a swarm
of wasps assembled there.
"We're ISA," said wasp leader,
"Insect Surveillance Air."
 
"Good God," exclaimed my screaming friend,
"this garden is a trap!
Just like that Venus Flytrap there
this garden will go---SNAP!"
 
We raced into the house---wasps swarmed,
the windows soon turned black!
We dialed for help to 911
but shock took us aback!
 
For answered there a buzzy voice,
"You have no rights, " said he.
I'm General Buzz, you're judged guilty.
and prisoners you must be."
 
In horror did my friend and I
search in each other's face.
These talking insects, bombing birds---
end of the human race?
 
"Good grief," yelled out my swooning friend,
"I see it clearly now.
The gifts of Earth once given us
will war on us---and how!"
 
Then overhead, a dirge was sung
in low crow voices slow.
"For what you sow, you'll reap; it's true.
All food is GMO!"
 
This  garden old---as in Earth time,
a gift to humans all;
polluted, warred upon and maimed,
the Garden's final fall.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Marvin Louis Dorsey
 
A MUD MONSTER
 
Do you want to hear a scary story  
 
I'm out there in the desert where I live right
and one particular night there's no moon
just some stars shining some dim light
 
Now for whatever reason I couldnt sleep
its like 2:30 in the morning and for whatever reason
I decided to go for a walk 
me and my big mean dog
so I we thought
 
20 minutes into this unexpected journey 
it's dark as well it's real dark
and my big mean dog
stops his happy little trot
starts sniffing at nothing but cold air
so I thought
 
The darkness as always remained still
me I quickly realized
this was a bad idea
 
Because oh i'd say maybe 50 75 feet
in front of us was a single noise
 
Now the darkness has this chill clinging to it like dead skin right
mans best friend has the fur all along his back standing up right
and me I quickly realized
this was a real bad idea
 
Because now that single noise has be come three
and had started breathing thin layers of fog
from behind petrified fingers could almost see them staring at me
 
Now most of the time my mind and body are one
but on this particular night
 
Before my mind had the thought to run
my body was already running
 
Now here's the funny part
my dog was like
 
Naw bro
I dont know
what's out there breathing
and making that noise
but it's gonna get you
before it get me
 
And he was in the wind
all I saw was his tail
dust getting kicked up
like a hundred yard down the road
moving out of sight
fast
 
After who knows how long
I get back home
dog damn near bit me
my girl turned to run
 
Because the desert and sweat
had me looking like
a the mud monster


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Joe Gardner
 
KALI
 
All eyes are on her
She knows this
When she walks in the room
Sound track of held breath
Following her every step
Shark tooth smile
Hidden behind red lipstick
So inviting
Desperate
Hungry
Predator
Waiting to consume
Like some ancient goddess
On a stripper pole
Swirling limbs of doom
A hand to caress
You troubled brow and face
A hand to soothe
Your wild heart
A hand at your wallet
And another to hold the blade
While her foot upon your breast
Grinds you into
The white dust of the cremation field
Oh sweet Kali
Ride into my dreams
Mounted upon a rotted corpse
Bring about waves of blackened change
Empowerment through
The constant decay of Time

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Lynne Bronstein

ANGEL OF DEATH
 
I don’t know why
The Moloch Hamoves
The Angel of Death
Tries to be
My special friend.
 
He hovered over me
The morning I walked down
A Venice street
And a hooded figure
Knocked me to the ground
And stole my purse.
 
And he was there
When I felt pain
Rippling down my back
And shaking spasms made me think
My end was near
Until the doctor’s x-rays proved
It was just muscle strain.
 
He hangs inches over me
During so many important
Maneuvers in my life.
 
Wakes me in the
Middle of the night.
Sits on my shoulders
As I enter a nightclub
And grabs the center
Of my being
On a water slide
At an amusement park.
 
Wherever joy is
He wags a finger
Makes me repent
Tricks me and makes me
Run for cover.
I hate him but
I’ve been prone to hide
From the world as soon
As I see him coming.
 
So lately
I’ve been welcoming
An angelic army
That stands behind me
To help me against him.
 
An angel who puts
His arm around me
And makes me laugh
And another, dressed
As Wonder Woman,
Who reminds me how to 
Make a fist
And one who know
From good authority
That Moloch Hamoves
Is much too ahead of schedule
And I can resist him---
It’s not time yet.
 
When next I see him
These practical angels
Will flank me
And I will say:
Go back and wait
Another forty years at least!
 
You fool me with false signs
And interfere with love.
I know you visit others
And they, wanting to live more,
Defy you and ignore you
Until you leave them.
You think I’m not that hard
But I’ll surprise you.
I may be a Capricorn
Steeped in the saturnine
And a superstitious Jew
And of course, a woman
With a woman’s heritage of fear
 
But you don’t have the warrant.
My name’s not on your list now.
Take your clammy hand
Off my heart
And get
The hell
Out of here!

Wanda VanHoy Smith
 
VIRUS NIGHTMARE
 
I had a nightmare about my computer companion
His initials are EEE and my machine is as alive to me
as Hal, the robot was to travelers in the 1968 film,
SPACE ODYSSEY.
I have named EEE Edward Ernest Energy
Eddy knows the importance of being Ernest
A dream full of Energy and explains everything
This brilliant brain on my desk contains my files,
documents, address book, a free public library,
technology, antiques, catalogs, History, philosophy,
psychology, poetry.
Google knows everything.
EEE is my healer, postman. entertainer, advisor. Priest
My social life depends on Facebook.
No wonder I panic when a dire nightmare heart pops up
on his pale screen when I surf the web.
WARNING. VIRUS INFECTION BEWARE OF A TROJAN.
This could mean a wooden horse or poor protection.
One box of orders after another piles on top each other.
I always have trouble following computer instructions,
When it finishes counting the worms I shut down and
call for help to find the bug who infects windows..
 
Now that I have known the wisdom of a computer It's hard
to go back to Webster and Roget.
A wise woman who never had children
told me you can't miss what you never had,
This is not true because I miss him almost as bad
as I miss Google and Facebook.

 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Don Kingfisher Campbell

ETERNAL EPITAPH

You are a ghoul
in the graveyard
of my past life
 
The siren who took my soul
with magic potion lips
and black cat sounds
 
Am I being an ogre
to remind you of the spell
that once spooked both our spirits
 
We were like bats
fluttering above the zombies
soaring on a warlock’s broomstick
 
Now I'm no better than a ghost
rattling my chains to bemoan
what sank in the quicksand
 
I'd rather be an imp
putting you in an iron maiden
to revive our skeletons
 
Instead I limp along like a mutant
wishing he had his banshee back
to spin illusion again
 
But come to think of it
you actually were a witch
wearing a black widow
 
Who sank her fangs into my heart
to bleed to death my dream
we would have an afterlife
 
There is no chance of a phoenix here
because you are the phantasmal wraith
and I poisoned spider in a dungeon
 
So I guess I'll bury our chimera
which turned out to be a squonk without
a demon's chance at reincarnation
 
And carry a torch into my skull
wherein lies the specter of a relationship
like cobwebs in a catacomb