Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Tag Archive for ‘Halloween’


A blindfold; glass apothecary jars full of pumpkin guts, stringy and viscous, slippery seeds and shavings like bits of flesh; oiled spaghetti slick as worms deep in crepuscular earth and long as nightmares; peeled grapes, mucilaginous sclerae, vitreous humors collected by some mutant monster skilled with a blade. Children hover their hands over the openings, hesitant, their smiles tight and battling cringe.   Whisper ghost stories under sheet-draped tables, faces […]

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  My daughter snips a femur from adhesive-backed felt, pelvis already attached to her short skirt. Zombie-cheerleaders lurch past. But, Bob will take first prize again; green branches enfold him, sprout from ears and top of head.   The school crossing guard is Cat-in-the-Hat, and a man in half black/ half white walks two large dogs— white one on his black side, black on his white side. I pinch myself; ouch, I’m […]

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It’s always in the basement

It’s always in the basement:       the crazy aunt who cackles head in a hatbox smiling as a snake does before it bites you deformed child that moans for attention squatting by boxes sorry about what happens later hulking machinery and appliances that whirl thump and squish cobweb-shaggy corners dark concealed spaces tiny chittering glee made by things that will eat you       maybe before you’re dead gargoyles, goblins and gremlins, oh my Skelebunnies, […]

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The Game of Whisper Down the Lane

Listen with your grownup ears. The night may speak to you with silence. The silence of leaves turning. Of a spider’s patience. Silence abiding. The moon shrugs off its silver stole, bright paradigm to let it go— loss, dependence, fear—to take the stars as your guide, the cataclysmic births and deaths, the shy-of-everlasting light, the fatal strength to face the end. We’ve changed since we were children. How many faces […]

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All Hallows

All Hallows   The air smells black, like burnt matches, like candlewicks. The moon a polished silver doorknob. It’s bitter, a chocolate night. We dance along the street like fallen leaves. Whispers spark and snap from hollow trees. We hear a sound like seeds snickering in the dry heart of a gourd, too late sense that some monstrous thing has taken form and comes clattering behind. From dreams I know […]

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Old Cemetery, Owensville, Ohio I said good morning to her every day on my way to school. The rain-flattened engraving kept a century’s secret, on a headstone leaning after too many Midwestern winters. I pretended to know her: “wife of ______”, though she’d long since sifted down to dust and bones beneath the roots of our village. I invented her tragic death, looked for signs, willed her to haunt me. […]

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