Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


Before the public learned of the crime he ended up infamous for, he was known to form any animal from origami paper.

A mostly-kind brother. A long distance runner, a wizard of electrical repair. Owner of a pickup truck who actually showed up when tree-hugging small-car friends moved house on short notice. The name’s now a synonym for monstrously unsavory behavior. It used to be simply another name.

Years before a victim got away alive and called the FBI, it’s fair to note that he was skilled with a potter’s wheel. He’s irredeemable, but he made his mother rock with laughter when she was sick from chemotherapy. He built her kitchen cabinets out of bird’s-eye maple the same summer he began digging out the underground chambers.

He roughed in a wall between the normal mind and the malevolence. At first perhaps he didn’t breach that wall. Later, of course, restraint failed completely. Before he was a bogeyman, even while he was one, he was always nimble with his hands.


TODD MERCER’s digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, was published by Right Hand Pointing (2015). Winner of two Dyer-Ives Prizes and the first Woodstock Writers Festival Flash Fiction contest, Mercer’s poetry and fiction appear in journals such as The Camel Saloon, The Legendary and Midwestern Gothic.


Categories: Confession, Poetry, Themed

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. I’m always fascinated with human duality. None of us are all of what we seem. Bifurcation embodies this immutable fact in clean beautiful prose.

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