Tag Archives: horror

VICTOR

pt. II of “Victor Frankenstein in the Underworld”

Despite my prior bout of disbelief,
My strong desire to hear what Vic would say
And meet the heir of legend’s noblest thief
(Prometheus) inspired me to stay.
His face displayed a world of grief
That passing eras never would allay.
He started speaking at a frantic pace
And never looked directly at my face:

“What we’ve discovered is the slightest bur
That’s found inside the smallest garden plot.
I sought to gather elements and stir
Ingredients in Mother Nature’s pot.
I mixed these parts to see what might occur
And used ‘what is’ to bring about ‘what’s not’.
The epitaph I wanted on my slab
Was: ‘Victor made the planet Earth his lab’.

The words of Victor prompted me to think:
“The monster’s often saner than the master
Whose works might bring us to destruction’s brink.
The age of technological disaster,
In which a world might die inside a blink,
Is plagued by folk of Victor’s mold and plaster.
If born today, when atoms roughly smash,
His monster might’ve burned our world to ash.”

Although I saw he truly was contrite,
I thought, “His type is apt to mope and mourn
Once it’s extinguished life and vital light
(which is more easily destroyed than born).”
…But human pity for his woeful plight
Began to soften and replace my scorn.
Recalling what a gentle sage had taught,
I kept inside the harmful words I’d thought.

 

Before Meeting Frankenstein…

[…in the Underworld”]

”and standing there is Victor Frankenstein:
The scientist who’s mad imagination
And sober skill combined to dream, design,
Then bring to life a wild abomination.
Akin to things conflated with their signs,
The maker’s oft confused with his creation.
[Perhaps the error’s one we should excuse
Since Victor gave the beast no name to use.]

Alas! The work of some is like a tune
To which the future ages love to dance
[As graduates are apt to do in June
(Or May) to Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance”],
While their composers’ are forgotten soon
Like most on which the sun has cast its glance.
For most of time, they’re as anonymous
As any water-treading platypus.”

Although I knew it might result in friction,
I interrupted his unending spiel
To carp about a seeming contradiction:
“Your story’s rotten from its mast to keel.
A character, from a work of science fiction
Or other sort of novel, isn’t real.
What never walked the realms of Time and Space
Must surely not reside inside this place.”

“Existing hasn’t made you very wise,”
He stated and then, “After mourners’ moans
Have ceased to lacerate the weary skies,
One starts the process of becoming bones.
The hard reality of one who dies
Is that of buried dust and hidden stones.
Their kind of real’s the cold and lifeless real
Of any beast that’s been another’s meal.

What’s left—that heap of hard organic matter
Decaying under mounds of dumped-on earth—
Inspires but little bits of social chatter
In talks about a famous figure’s worth.
What lives of Carroll is that crazy Hatter
Who by the author’s mind was given birth.
What robs the name of “true” reality
From fictions that exude vitality?

Let’s take the case of Shelley’s horror tale.
Consider well these questions that I ask:
A costume vendor often makes a sale
When children buy a suit complete with mask
To ape her monster’s face in each detail.
If words from long ago inspire a task…”
Before he asked, I gave his eyes a stare
That let him know I didn’t really care.

“The Storm” [An Abecedarian]

I just realized that I had accidentally omitted some lines the first time I posted this poem. This piece, which I wrote in 2006, is not one of my favorites, but–since I have posted it–I might as well share the correct version.

Miscellaneous Inanities

“The Storm”
An Abecedarian
A malevolent wind
Blows leaves into a swirl.
Car engines cease to purr.
Deadly silence replaces traffic sounds.
Eagle drop from the sky and leave winged craters in the sand.
Fish float upside down, lifeless eyes gazing sunward.
Giraffes hang their heads and sob
Hyenas find no cause to chuckle as they solemnly scavenge.
Inmates bloody their fists on bars.
Jailhouse guards have long gone home.
Kraken clouds swim the smoky sky
Locking ethereal tentacles around suffocating tree tops.
Mountains crumble like crackers under heavy feet.
Now their peaks rest scarcely higher than their bases.
Off key are the songs of what few birds remain.
Perfect pitch is a thing of the past.
Quavering a moment, an island slowly
Retreats into the ocean from which it once rose.
S

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“Portrait of a Mass Murderer”

A narrative exploration of a Western epidemic. [A rhyming sestina in iambic pentameter–by Paul Burgess]

I.
Of boredom Janie feared she soon would die.
She needed something dangerous to try.
She’d taken all the pills a girl could take
While making all the love a girl could make
And now desired another high to give
Her faith that it was best for her to live.

II.
Internal voices said, “Who wants to live
When life’s no more than efforts not to die?”
Beliefs and doctrines never seemed to give
The high she sought, no matter what she’d try.
Relationships and friends she tried to make,
It seemed, would rarely give but often take.

III.
“Perhaps the time has come for me to take.
“Might ‘taking’ best define the phrase ‘to live’?”
Preparing for the move she planned to make,
She grabbed then shook and rolled a plastic die.
“Though six is high for my beginning try,
I said I’d take the choice the die would give.”

IV.
“Is there a charity you’d like to give…”
She cut the cashier off and said she’d take
A sack of fifties and then, “Don’t you try
To play the hero, Gramps. In films they live,
But, off the screen, they often tend to die.”
Then Janie thought about the news she’d make.

V.
Responding to the gruesome threats she’d make,
A shopper cried, “There’s nothing I won’t give,
But please, this isn’t how I want to die.
I have a yacht and car I’ll let you take
If only you’ll allow me now to live.”
Her only words were, “It’s no use to try.”

VI.
A theft was not what she was there to try.
It mattered little how much cash she’d make.
While six would die, the others she’d let live.
She said she’d take the choice the die would give.
With ev’ry person’s precious life she’d take,
A part of her humanity would die.

VII.
She’d murdered people just to watch them die
Because she’d wanted something new to try.
She’d thought it might be easier to take,
More fun destroying what she couldn’t make,
Than it had ever been for her to give.
She’d thought by killing others that she’d live.

“Stalker”

A traditional ballad by Paul Burgess [Traditional ballad form=stanzas of 4 lines; lines 1 and 3-unrhymed iambic tetrameter; lines 2 and 4, rhymed iambic trimeter; ballad writers are encouraged to use strategically placed anapests.]

“Stalker”
While resting in her lover’s arms,
She whispered quietly,
“Wherever you decide to go,
You’ll never escape from me.”

Then gently he replied, “My love,
I’d rather not be free.”
Again she said, more quietly than before,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

In time he’d had enough and thought,
“She surely will agree
To end our love,” but she only said,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

One day he rose before the sun,
To leave at five ‘til three
And found this message scratched on his car:
“You’ll never escape from me.”

Some months he passed in soothing peace,
Enjoying liberty,
‘til seeing carved on his door these words:
“You’ll never escape from me.”

Another time he came upon
His kitten nailed to a tree,
And its collar held a note that read,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

The kitten’s killer called to say,
“You have no empathy,”
Then these familiar words of hers,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

He sensed a person in his house,
Though no one had a key.
With ev’ry bullet fired, she screamed,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

She put the gun inside her mouth
And counted, “One, two, three,”
Then whispered quietly sev’ral times,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

The trigger only clicked in vain,
For no ammo left had she.
While loading one more slug she hummed,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

Before she could destroy herself,
A threat’ning man she’d see
Who aimed his weapon while he said,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

Then Sergeant Jones prepared her to live
In police custody
Where prison walls to her would say,
“You’ll never escape from me.”

5 Limericks a Day [to Keep the Dr. Away] By Paul O’Burgess (Entry12)

“Serious Content ‘Masked’ by Inane Form”

I visited an eerie old place
Where men all had masks on their face.
They appeared to smile,
But the masks did beguile
By concealing their owners’ disgrace.

“Of Men and Chicken” [An Innocent Limerick about a ‘Cocky’ Man;)]
A man who resides by the docks
Has become so enamored of cocks
That he’s tossed into fens
All his chicks and his hens
To ensure he’ll be alone with the cocks.

“Headhunter-new genre:Horror Limerick!”

I met once a man from the Alps
Who kept a collection of scalps.
Afraid as I fled,
I shielded my head
And escaped from that man of the Alps.

“A Large and Furry Cat”

The was once a girl with a cat
That was so incredibly fat
That, when it would purr,
Its jiggling fur
Would take up the whole of her flat

“Karl Marx Writes a Limerick”
There’s a man whose estate so immense
Is protected by guards and a fence,
Which ensure that the poor
Will not come to his door
To request that he spare a few cents.

 

A “Poe–etic” Version of “The Tell-Tale Heart” [by Paul Burgess]

“ Poe’s ‘Tell-Tale Heart’ Summarized [for no good reason] in a Quatrain of Iambic Tetrameter”
Why did my neighbor have to die?
I could not stand his cloudy eye.
Why would I tear this floor apart?
Below, I hear his beating heart.

“The Storm” [An Abecedarian]

“The Storm”
An Abecedarian
A malevolent wind
Blows leaves into a swirl.
Car engines cease to purr.
Deadly silence replaces traffic sounds.
Eagle drop from the sky and leave winged craters in the sand.
Fish float upside down, lifeless eyes gazing sunward.
Giraffes hang their heads and sob
Hyenas find no cause to chuckle as they solemnly scavenge.
Inmates bloody their fists on bars.
Jailhouse guards have long gone home.
Kraken clouds swim the smoky sky
Locking ethereal tentacles around suffocating tree tops.
Mountains crumble like crackers under heavy feet.
Now their peaks rest scarcely higher than their bases.
Off key are the songs of what few birds remain.
Perfect pitch is a thing of the past.
Quavering a moment, an island slowly
Retreats into the ocean from which it once rose.
Snow bubbles and boils, scalding
Those treading through it.
Unbridled rains of melting stone
Violently brand the ground.
Wantonly destructive, a
Xiphoid shard of glass impales a child.
Yielding not to the pleas of man, the storm prepares to reach its
Zenith.