CSS Test 1

Re- Possessed


By dawn any vampire still prowling around
is as good as doomed.
It’s his turn to run scared,
faster than the speed of daylight,
toward an abandoned graveyard…

The name on the gate belongs to a family that lived
high and mighty  in yonder castle.

He’s their last of kin. Has been since the serfs went
on a rampage, breaking in,
looting, armed with knives
and scythes.

Hiding in the cemetery saved him.  An angel or devil had them
combing the forest, until rain
and darkness finally fell,
ending the threat.

Then came the Count’s revenge. On moonless nights he rises
to the occasion: blazing red eyes,
hand grown claws, fanged like a bat,
shrouded in a hooded cloak.

Some die of fright, others bled to death. Either way appeases him.
What the serfs sowed, so
shall they reap. All of them.

His down time’s spent in a coffin. It lies low, but not buried,
under a bush by the gate…
as a whole, beyond suspicion.

Once inside, he can rest on his laurels, sleep off the craving
that drove him to drink, wake up
feeling like a new man.


                                    This Pawnbroker Is Worth Your While



A sign on the door reads
welcome in several languages;
another says OPEN, most of the time.

Ready to enter?
Lots of watches in the window:
silver, gold, old new…
all ticking it’s now
or never.

Neon arrows point out
where appraisals are done:
up front, by the owner,
free of charge, no questions asked.
They pulse off and on,
turning white as a halo
around their target.

First published in sandhill review



       A Cabaret Called Janus


Downstairs, posters flatter the lobby
with a wall of fame.
Highlighted by a chandelier,
one star shines after another,
starting from left to right.

The man in the dressing room
looks like the magician
among them.
He’s wearing a white tux, matching
cape and sash, fake mustache,
same pearl turban.
The poster also shows him
waving a wand of lightning
over a fiery hoop.

On weekends he appears
after midnight, prime time
for a full house.
His fans watch closely,
never miss a trick.

Soon a blinking buzzer
will upstage the mirror.
By then he should be
all made up, or not.