Night Shift

A woman awoke with a bite,
Two punctures that happened at night.
   She works with two Ronalds
   At night at McDonald's,
And flees from the dawn's early light.



A Lullaby

Tonight the poltergeists will come
   And rip you out of bed,
And pound your walls, and drum your door,
   And hammer in your head,
And leave you writhing still alive,
   Though rather you'd be dead.

But fear not these; they merely prank;
   Instead the demon fear
That frights away the poltergeists 
   Whene'er it doth appear,
And screams a scream that makes to bleed 
    A stream each mangled ear.

It comes for you, your soul to possess;
   And I do sadly tell,
You have no chance yourself to save;
   So, sleep, and sleep you well—
Enjoy another tender dream
   Before you're dragged to Hell.


Fatal Attraction

They come together in the night,
   Amid the leaves, within the bush,
   Noiseless inside the stilly hush,
Beneath the full moon shining bright.

Healthy and large and leafy green,
   She beckons him of smaller size,——
   A woody, twig-like male, who flies
To meet his mate, his mantis queen.

They come together and seem as one,
   As though one twig with greeny leaves
   Were moving much with little breeze
Where shade rebuffs the noonday sun.

They turn their heads to share a kiss,
   Antennae twining round like vines.
   The male ignores the warning signs,
Oblivious to what's amiss. 

The kiss becomes a vicious bite.
   She chews off quickly half his face.
   He holds, despite this, his embrace,——
Holding it fast and gripping tight.

Headless in bites, he needs no head,
   Continuing the lusty deed.
   His queen discovers her no need
Either of this, nor cares he's dead.

Finished with him, herself she frees.
   He twitches yet,——a moving a corse.
   As though a leaf swept by a force
Of gusty wind, she leaves on a breeze.


The Poet to His Book

As much as is a troll a burly elf,
So you’re—without a place on any shelf,
Without a paper heart, without a spine,
Without an inky blot or dot or line—
A book. Your odd, perversely order’d poems—
A congeries of fays and gremlin-gnomes—
Cohabit strangely in a realm of air
Not here, not there, not no- nor anywhere,
But dis- and reappearing like a sprite
Summon’d upon a dark and stormy night…
Now here, now there, now after, now before,
Now—poof!—vanish’d, till summon’d forth once more…
And if I ever tried to stuff you whole
Between two covers, I’d never fit your soul.


An Occurrence in Tilbury Town*

Poor, broken-hearted Abel Spleen
   Beneath a streetlight casts a shadow.
He'd hoped to find a sunny, green 
      Elysian meadow.

Barely a man, at sweet sixteen
   He's gone where none who love him can follow.
He drank his cup of bitter teen
      In one large swallow.

Where he has gone,—to what demesne,—
   (If we in life are ever rooted),
Is all conjecture very mean, 
      And much disputed.  

He's gone, and yet he still is seen
   Suffering love's disdain and panging:
Poor, broken-hearted Abel Spleen
      Is dead weight hanging.


*Tilbury Town E.A. Robinson’s fictional American town where shit happens.

Lute Song

      My lute doth sound
With music soft and sad this pitchy night,——
      A plodding ground
Largo e sostenuto play'd by a wight
Long dead, and living yet to his despite.

      He gins to sing.
His voice is strange, and ghostly is the tone.
      The song, a thing
Witless and wordless, compos'd is of a groan,
And a long, drawn-out, agonizing moan.

      About his balls,
The plaintive melody painful is to hear.
      The song recalls
A time long-past——a very distant year——
When they were clipt to please a sadist's ear.

      A throbbing pain
Resonates, sounds in every sombre note;
      And like a rain
Of wept droplets from a sad fountain, mote
Forever be the weirdness in his throat.


Ghost Writing

Desiring timeless lines of verse to write,
I place upon my desk a sheet of paper
Empty and blank—a void of ghostly white—
Stare at the flame that leaps upon the taper,
Dangle but loosely in my fingers’ grip
A pencil that I drag in aimless ways
Around the sheet, (so lightly touches the tip,
The sheet, once white, is now the lightest of grays),
And call upon the spirits of the dead,—
The poets old and great who penned sweet lines
Of potent poesy, read and still reread
By him who still for sweetest verses pines,—
That one may pluck a leaf from out their bay,
And drop to me what will be green alway.