Tag Archives: gothic horror

Regular Poem: Operator, Please Connect Me to 1982

9 Apr

i’m always revisiting ideas from new angles
or perhaps they’re revisiting me
and perhaps the angles aren’t new
so much as the polygon has simply been rotated about the origin
sometimes the figure rotates a whole 360 before you know it
and there you are
the same in most ways just
translated a few units down and right
across this axis or another

we used to call my dad’s place
Doc’s Fun Cars
(facetiously of course
after a very trashy used car lot in the trashiest part of town
called
Jim’s Fun Cars
red hand-painted letters flaking rusty dandruff onto rusty pontiac hoods)
because he had several non-working vehicles deposited here and there

his house was never clean but hardly ever outright disgusting–
serviceable gruff-old-sentimental-divorced-guy-out-in-the-sticks-where-nobody-bothers-him cluttered

we’d sit around in uncomfortable chairs
bullshitting about politics and religion and conspiracy theories and dr. phil and local news and what have you
and he usually wouldn’t let me leave without giving me money
either just for myself
or to run errands for him with

so here i am
in most ways the same
just translated down and right a few units
across ghostly and/or unpleasant axes

bullshitting with a different old man
who has even more non-working vehicles strewn across his sprawling backwoods acreage
and he never lets me leave without giving me money

dilapidation neglect and abundance
choking robust weeds overtaking manmade structures
ancient furniture that doesn’t match
stories half remembered and twice embellished
fraught familial relationships

it’s so much the same that it makes the differences especially jarring

if i could actively choose a circumstance to revisit
or have revisit me
it would not be an off-brand analog of my dead dad
but that’s the thing about gothicism isn’t it
there really aren’t any choices at all
just fate

Regular Poem: White Trash Gothic

2 Apr

if i were a bronte
or maybe just somebody
who once shared a train compartment with flannery o’connor
i might do it better

have a few better descriptions
more succinct lines of ominous dialogue

instead of just this
jumbled narrative
that feels like
the world’s longest hangover
but like a whiskey hangover
all not unpleasant heat in the chest and infuriating pulsing in the eyeballs
the scratch of too many cigarettes
in the wet chasm of a throat
unused to speaking
to anyone but ghosts

one must wonder
what are the differences between conspiracy
poor planning
bad choices
obscene coincidence
familial curse
and
divine providence?

one must wonder
if there are
indeed
differences
whether
they’re worth noting

i’m a romantic maybe
a shelley romantic
don’t buy me teddy bears
take me to a cemetery and whisper
in my ear about mutability

and that’s where we find our heroine
in a cemetery
whispering words of mutability
into her own ears

this audiobook is almost over
to be replaced by another
forgotten as soon
as the librarian reshelves it
images might remain
but do they belong
to this
or an audiobook from eight years ago?

our heroine exits
enters a new scene
whispers different mutable things to herself

what’s the best meal you ever ate?
what’s the best kiss you ever had?

i’ve had too many
i didn’t catlogue them
enjoyed them in the moment
and the moment isn’t now
anymore

the moment now
is conspiracy
poor planning
bad choices
obscene coincidence
familial curse
and
divine providence

the now moment
is a hangover waiting to happen
an audiobook half finished
little stupid steaks pan fried in butter
a kiss with too much teeth
a cemetery with one visitor
who didn’t even bring flowers

Regular Poem: A Rosebush for Emily 

10 Jul

there’s a moth
that nests in walnut trees
makes a web
in which its numerous young cycle through
their nascence and adolescense
and then sneak out in adulthood
leaving entire branches
silken and draping and drooping
with gauze-covered crispy vacated cocoons
the tree is no worse for it
but it has a look about it

it has a look about it
like the brick wall of a house
overgrown with ivy
the same ivy creeping
all the way around back
up the porch
engulfing like lava
slow and steady and so much

it has a look about it
like dead honeysuckle
which is itself
like a tumbleweed that doesn’t tumble
just a sad carcass on a wooden fence
instead of a ghostly drifter on a forgotten highway

it has a look about it
like a gnarly rose bush
all briar and no beauty
the red seeping out of the flowers
into the vine
or maybe the blood of its victims
pricked on its cacophony of thorns

it has a look about it
like rusty lawn ornaments
and gutters full of accidental compost
and faded furniture
and dust on tile

it has a look about it
of abundance then neglect then decay

it has a look about it

but those moths never hurt anybody

it has a look about it
but don’t we all

Regular Poem: Gory Details of My Most Recent Illness

15 Apr

descriptions fit for gothic horror
all familial curses
obsolete medical terminology
symbols motifs haunting images
flowery prose
depicting both the physical symptoms
and the ensuing madness
winding metaphors
and then curt blunt
grotesquerie
a winding path of feeling and supposition
facts and fantasy
and fever nightmares
phantasmagoric in toto

all of it delivered via text message
with pics so you know it’s real

i wonder if all spinsters
go through the same stages
until they’re all
the same woman
who says condescending things to you
over a coors light at a garage party

like did she go through the
oversharing graphic descriptions of all three bouts of strep throat to anyone who would listen
phase
early in her spinsterhood

will i be the same kind of weird
she is when i’m
fifty five and have had the same
haircut for thirty years

does it even matter
will i even care
about how weird i am
by then

do i even care now
how weird i am

am i being
judgemental
misogynistic
ageist
amatonormative

really i’m just wondering
and just trying
to get rid of this strep

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