Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stabbed In Stanzas: The Poetry of Darkness and Horror

--compiled by Anthony Servante

In the poetry of Horror, subjects can range from the visceral to the metaphorical, depending on the theme. Some tell a story, some set a scene or mood, others prefer to repulse. I’ve gathered an assortment of Dark Poetry from Indie authors from today’s Horror scene. The mundane, the strange, and the macabre in the commonplace are drawn on here for access to the shadowy recesses of waking conscience. So, step away from the light for a few minutes and follow the trail of crumbs left by Mr. Kurtz as he travelled into the heart of darkness to find the horror.

the bleeding heart
by Lori R. Lopez
A blackish knight by lantern light
Strode 'cross the murky moordred peat
With soggen gait did he frustrate
The trackers after his brusque feet

Alone he trekked and did reflect
On how he came to be so cruel
The lives he claimed who were unnamed
Would deem him nothing less a ghoul

He'd swiped the heads of all his deads
But for the sake of victory
An empty taunt, a heart to vaunt
Their lives were squandered for his glee

The kingdom next to leave bevexed
Would host a tournament renowned
Without his steed he was in need
So snatched a farm horse that he found

This blackest soul would play the role
Of suitor to Princess Portend
Whose honor knights would joust for rights
To woo and troth at tourney's end

Sir Anvil in rode drenched with sin
But to the court's immense surprise
Removing helm, did overwhelm
By teardrops rolling from his eyes

"I weep for love's elusive dove
For never knowing such a treat
My heart lies bare for you to share
Dear Lady, with the face so sweet!"

Spoke he these words, gone still the birds
And every ear was raptly tuned
For there was more that did outpour
A song of love his lips they crooned

"My Lady fair, if you could care
For such a wretched blasphemy
I'd give my heart, we'd never part
The beast subdued inside of me!"

The princess learned if he was spurned
That all would suffer his defeat
"I'll sack and waste in utmost haste
Till not a single breast should beat!"

Sir Anvil waited; she hesitated
The crown announced as his decree
"You shall contend for my Portend —
But fair is how the match shall be!"

The rules were set that must be met
Each man a valentine should bring
The strongest heart would stand apart
And give the lady thus his ring

That day a dark knight rode away
To contemplate what he could offer
Then back he came with his best game
The largest ruby from his coffer

"A jewel is cold and cannot hold
The endless love you promised, sir!
This will not do, be off with you!"
The princess ordered to the cur

Bleak Anvil drew a blade with rue
Yet he did not the lady stab
His own chest cleaved, the core was heaved
"There is your valentine!" his jab

"I give my heart pierced by your dart —
I've nothing more than that to give!
It's black and bloody, a little muddy
Accept it and I'll let you live."

His bleeding gist the princess kissed
That heartless knight she promptly wed
The realm would thrive with all alive
Except her spouse, who was quite dead.


The Gracken
by Lori R. Lopez

Six grackles on a limb once sat
To have a raucous bird-brained chat
Like magpie gossips they did sport
Then snoozed a bit with a sneerful snort
When just below them from the soil
A wickedness began to roil
And writhing upwards out of smirch
A peckish dauntling climbt the birch
This heathen gathered mass and crept
Up bark and branch to where they slept
The smudge begrudged them their sweet nap
And plucked most up in quite a flap
Drooling for these fickle bites
He gulped them down and set his sights
Upon the last who woke to glean
Himself alone, his pals unseen
And a monster they had conjured forth
Through gabbiness from malish pour’th
Of vicious rumors, slandrous spewl
These spouters summoned a pentaghoul
Five scowls he wore; five eyeballs glared
Five arms, five legs; five faces stared
Five birds he ate with fervent glee
The sixth, dessert would surely be
Licking lips, he reached a paw
To plunge the fowl down a single maw
This gracken had a case of greed
And six was more than he did need
The final bird held up a wing
To make him pause for one small thing:
“We made you mad, we made you mean
We made you brown and orange and green
We didn’t make you such a glutton
And we forgot a shut-off button
So if you won’t mind, I think I’ll leave!”
The blackbird flew, to the gracken’s peeve
And the monster slunk back in the dirt
His belly full but his feelings hurt.


american gothic
by Lori R. Lopez

The day they posed for the painter
Is engraved in a nation’s history
Yet what transpired when he packed his tools
And trundled off is a mystery
Though the artist later told the world
They were only models, not a pair
The house was true and so were they
On the farmer’s grave I swear

If you ever wondered why she frowned
Or at what she stared with pensive scorn
Though no grain of proof survived the years
I believe it wasn’t corn
What went on up to that point in time
Inside one Iowa farmer’s house
We can only guess and speculate
There’s no witness, not even a mouse!

In her enigmatic visage hides
The words she was afraid to utter
In those days such knowledge was best unknown
It would churn up folks like butter
So the daughter held her pose, her tongue
And never spoke but glared a storm
You could see the feelings trapped within
The bitter pain of her rigid form

As the artist’s carriage grew quite small
In the hazy distance of a straight flat road
A father to the daughter scowled
To get back in their plain abode
Upstairs she hiked, her blue eyes glazed
Upon her bed she placed an apron
That matched the curtains of her room
The attic tower of her desecration

Another scenario springs to mind
A second possibility
The hard man killed her mother
Whose broach she wears, you see
Cold and cruel, a stern provider
He smacked his spouse when he was drunk
And must have broke some thing inside her
For she didn’t have the daughter’s spunk

Or did that precious cameo
Symbolize a boyfriend’s gift?
Perhaps her domineering dad
Was selfish in his thrift
The man she loved was chased away
With that pitchfork or he disappeared
As she waited for her suitor’s call
Maybe this is what she feared

Now she changed her Sunday dress as well
Into a frock of beige, once white
Then stood before the Gothic window
And contemplated her sorry plight
The old man summoned her to the kitchen
Which planted the seed of his demise
A cameo brooch clutched in her fist
She descended to halt his lies

The pitchfork stood upon the porch
She pushed the screen-door, dropped the pin
Hand leaking, grasped the threefold spear
Content to do him in
How upright sat this proper man
Whose neighbors saw him as a friend
Without a word she screamed and gored
Her only thought to rend

The farmer stumbled from his chair
Gaunt features shocked and torso grisly
Scarlet rain dripped from the tines
As she faced his staggering misery
Her father tried to steal the trident
A gurgle rising in his throat
She met him with a second thrust
No longer would he dote

A moon shone high as she spaded earth
And buried him in an empty field
By the time they noticed he was gone
The scarred patch would be healed
He went to visit kin, she claimed
And left the fields overgrown and wild
As if a widow, she stayed alone
No husband and no child

Her temper never disappeared
She howled some nights as if it hurt
To reside alone, her life in tatters
For the secret in the dirt
There could be no happy ever after
In a crumbling home once neat and clean
In a town where none could understand
Why she sat in her room unseen.

(This is a fictional interpretation based on the American masterpiece by Grant Wood.)

by Aline S. Iniestra
Crooked She

Towards the door she was creeping;
Ragged dress and a stained face;
Hurt knees and twisted wrists.
Tried to smile but she showed just a smirk.

Head inclined and eyes far gone;
Dark the room, dark her soul.
A creature so unknown,
Lonely and disturbed.

She got to the door,
All tired and worn.
Laid on the floor and though:
“This is too much!”

She grabbed a paper
And there she wrote:

“My mind is twisted,
My body is crooked,
Darkness surrounds me,
No one will find me.

Here they have left me.
Pain’s all I feel.
How long will I this live?
I cannot die!
I cannot live!
Fear is around!
Crawl’s all I do!

Creature of darkness
With no name attached.
Someday I’ll smile
Be happy at last...

I hope...


by Aline S. Iniestra
Living doll

She is a doll and lives all alone,
Dumped in the woods, covered by worms,
Eyes nonexistent, owner grown up.

Dirt and time have made her creepy
When she used to be so pretty;
What a sad scene … I see her melancholy.

I took her with me, but never tried to fix her;
I feel something when I touch her worn out hands
And look into her empty eyes.

Never cleaned her up: dirt and cracks are part of her whole;
She sits by the window and yet she glows
With the sun, with the moon, but more with her own inner gloom.

She reminds me of my dead daughter
Who was just as pretty and small,
With a similar doll, with a charm of her own.

She died in my arms three years ago.
Perhaps that is why I love this little doll.
I’ve missed her since; I’ve felt lonely and lost.

I am a man with an ancient sad doll,
Who wanders around in his lonesome house,
Feeling just as the doll looks on the outside.

It’s not only that she reminds me of my little Hania.
It’s just that my eyes lack a soul,
It’s just that my hands are dry for missing her touch,
It’s just that my heart feels wounded and old,
It’s just that this doll is my portrait: she depicts my inner look.

I’m like a doll that lives all alone,
Dumped in the woods, covered by worms,
Soul nonexistent, grown up, a fool.


by Aline S. Iniestra
I’ll be there

The mud is so cold and is feeding my veins;
I’m laying here, eyes wide open, the moon witnessing my pain.

“Where have you left me?
Why am I bleeding?
Can someone please help me?
I think no one can hear me”

Leaves are falling and covering my body,
Mixing with my heart’s blood, infecting my agony.

“Is there a hand I could hold if I die?
Is it death that ray in the sky?
I feel like burning, like ashes inside;
Am I really going to die?”

I see black, I bleed red,
I feel blue, everything’s grey.

“Now I remember your face,
You smashing my life,
Looking at me sadly,
Saying it was my time”

The wind blows harder freezing my eyes;
My soul’s getting restless, it wants to fly.

“I fight for my life, but how much is there left?
These are only my thoughts, I don’t know my name.
You called me a demon, and stabbed me in the heart,
You said it was evil and I had to die.

Well this is the end, I’ve lost all hope.
The wind is taking my soul. But somehow I know…

I’ll go back to you. If I am a demon, I’ll be there for you.
Mud is my blood now, wind is my transport…

Revenge is my aim, and you are in my game.”


by Lori R. Lopez and Aline S. Iniestra

A bilious darkness came, out of a billowous cloud obscuring the sky
A cold breeze was felt on his face, it was freezing his soul inside
Touched by the inky depth, gripped by the night that should be day
Terror that built worlds in his head, worlds of distress.

How could he feel so alone, walking what seemed an endless road?
What was now to come? He couldn't do but spill his blood
For in his path lay sacrifice, and blood-filled footsteps in his wake
There, he had no choice but to breathe death and swallow souls

It was the black-veined consequence of what he in his torment had become
Forever he'd be the shadow of what he's hated for so long
But aren't we all on the outside less visible to ourselves than within?
Dark monsters were slashing his soul, they were coming for him.

Out of the raven cumulous, pouring from the blinded eyes of wrath
He screamed as he was losing his mind . . . he was dying. No escape this time.
Far back into the folds of eternity, his thoughts traveled to make sense of madness
But madness was creeping inside, and he had no more control over his senses.

Once upon a lifetime there was love, carefree laughter, his heart illuminated
Heartbeats with the rhythm of joy. Now it's a dry heart turning into stone
A silent heart devoid of words and feelings. Cold, unmoving as a block of marble
But don't marvel at this darkened creature. It is evil, charming, and he'll kill you.

Her life transformed him to a fragile giving man. Her death created a monstrous void
Nothing could fill his tattered soul, but the blood of innocents that believed in love
An abominable thirst which would not be sated. Like a desert, his arid emotionless core
And indeed he parted to accomplish his chore, and drink his first victim . . . Charlotte.

For her he raged as he glutted and gorged, yet even this blood could not satisfy
But she was to blame for his hate towards love. It was his mother he was eager to find.
The woman who raised him to be special: half human, the other half depraved
It was her who had this thought of "oh, he'll live happy from the dead".

He had only wanted to be himself, no more, no less, and spurned that creature's lessons
It was time to feed again. Gabriel, his companion, was a lady already dead
He came across her body, discarded by the road, the victim of another fiend
Her corpse he cut into pieces. This crooked cold woman would feed him till the end.

How he fought to restrain the impulses rising within, towards she who killed his love
He couldn't take it anymore, insane urges started to unleash
Instinct, the bond of blood, led him to a mother who had never been sweet
Screaming and howling her name through the night, he would find that mad woman at last.

The creature stood with her back turned, yet all of her senses aware of his approach
Step by step and breathing like a beast, he started to run frenzied, ready to kill
"I asked for one thing!" he screeched. "To love Charlotte! And you took her away!"
"You'll suffer for the scars I have!" All of a sudden, her throat was pierced by a knife.

The crimson blade clattered. With bare hands he tore her apart, succumbing at last
But he didn't feel relieved. His rage still had so much to be revealed
A storm of emotions released, a dire burden he had borne from childhood
A growing pain made of him a haunting shadow. Rotten souls had to be swallowed

Now there was no sanity or reality, only a trace of a man who must do one thing right
If killing was right, he had more bodies to leave dry. So on his gory journey, he stopped at a dreamy park
Innocent specters watched, lining the fringes, while he chose victims — the worst of humanity
A trembling boy, a crying girl, the twins screaming, the two-year-old fainting . . . it all was ready.

They had been shorn of life, fed to sustain his dreadful existence. This was for their sake!
One by one he smelled the dark ones, who left the children to die again, bite by bite
Responsible for their deaths by indifference or intent, and their second demises at his teeth
Bones cracking, blood scattered, screams echoing. The killing was for justice, but was his soul at peace?

November 19, 2010
by Tina Marlene Goodman

In that haggard, horrid house
at the corner there
survives the long-suffering spouse.
But where has her
worse-than-worst-half gone?
Has she finally thrown him out?
Does she have it in her?
Has he run off again for a
bit of fun with one
of his floozy drugging girlies
or his boozy drinking buddies?
No, his rust bucket truck is parked askew
on the front lawn
and he would never just up and abandon
his only and best true love,
his loyal mixed-mutt dog.

Last night, that poor forsaken dog
was digging through her telling trash,
so she lit the can on fire.
She must have had a restless night
'cause this morning I see,
'though her arm is still in a sling,
she planted a long row of New Hope roses.
Now that dog keeps digging, digging
deep down into hope's mound.
In vain, she tries to shoo him away;
but she would never strike that hound.
On the dirty, evidential bed he stays,
howling like a siren and
digging up the filthy roots,
embedded, entwined with his master's remains.


November 9, 2010
by Tina Marlene Goodman


If you chance upon a body in a field,
first, stop.
Calm down!
Think, think, think!
Were you seen?
If so, shout, “Somebody call 911!”
If not, keep calm, sniff the air.
Do you smell any sickly-sweet decomp? No.
What do you hear?
A moan, a groan? Yes!
Don't use your knife, it's too messy.
Casually approach the body.
Look out at the distance.
Place your boot on its throat.
Don't let it scream!
Keep calm, remain calm.
Again, don't let it scream!
Don't look down!
Did you hear the bones crack?
Good, it's done.
Now walk away.
Leave the same way you came.
Remember, no matter how strong the urge,
never return to the scene

But what about your boot mark?
The diamond shaped treads?
The trace evidence that fell from the crack in your boot.
The bloody bits that same boot picked up.
Your shoe size,
your height, your weight?
Your gender. Your age.
The insects crawling in and out of
the body.
The time of day. The temperature.
Your fibers and hair and dander and skin cells
and any vegetation that dropped from your clothes?
The shrub that scratched your arm?
The DNA that dripped in the sweat from your brow?
Your stomach ache. Your vomit.
That neon GUILTY sign flashing across your face?

November 13, 2010
by Tina Marlene Goodman


Thank you for your late night visit!
I admit, at first I was a bit upset
to see Tiffy placed like that,
crumbled up on my doorstep.

But now I realize
it was probably for the best.
I should never have grown attached
to his purrs and softness.

I barely even noticed your
shoe prints and cigarette butts
ground into the dirt
outside my bedroom window.


by Kendra Saunders
They Know A Secret

I see my coworkers
Upright, cruel birds
They know a secret

Their faces are skeletal
wide open, souls on display
They point, bony fingers
They chirp and hobble
together, best of friends

Lunch partners

They long to rip my skin
drain away my blood
until I’m black charcoaled
remains like them

Until my nose is a triangle bone
my eyes are missing
Until I paste the feathers
of the dead
across myself as adornment
and hobble with them

Down By the River
by Rob M. Miller

My long lost Sherry, my heart of hearts, how do I miss?
Our long hours of love, walking hand in hand,
Your loving, funny stories, our humorous moments, being your man.
I sorrow for your now gone beauty, your laughter, your bliss.
Your smile so sweet, your skin so soft, your voice … a sparrow’s sweet song.
I’ve looked since your passing, no other t’ever compare,
With your elegance, your spirit—no one but you my soul to bare.
My heart breaks for you with longing; my shame t’will never be gone.
How did I fail you? Where did I miss the mark?
You left me; you shamed me; or so I felt at the time.
I couldn’t bear it … the sorrow, the loss, a love lost, a love’s crime.
Can’t make up for the wrongs; the guilt, ne’er to be undone, a stain forever stark.
I weep, for your passing, for all you could’ve been, your world-brightening grin.
Now I cower in love-spurned dark corners, in black wells of impassioned hate.
First for you; then I did evil; now for myself, and my own condemned fate.
To’ve stabbed-sliced-buried a life so glad, I now so cry—marked by so dire a sin.
I long to atone, pay, to account; but my fear remains—a throbbing, hobbling sliver.
Will I be found out, will you be uncovered, will I ever be brought before all?
How long will I suffer, before my tortured soul is punished in justice’s maw?
Should I take that pitiful step, for some slight form of redemption, to confess to where I did lay you, all alone in pieces … in plastic bags
… down by the river.


Failing Lament
by Rob M. Miller

In the night, instead of happy dreams,
Eyes open in Hell, and I hear the screams.
Questions arise as to why I’m there,
My soul is flayed, my fears laid bare.
Deep within I recognize the sin,
But instead of sorrow, my face does grin.
In the night, instead of happy dreams,
Eyes open in Hell, and I hear the screams.
The sum of a life, bloated with deeds,
hungers and passions, unhallowed greeds.
With due recompense, this state’s been won,
mocking right living, justice now done.
In the night, instead of happy dreams,
Eyes open in Hell, and I hear the screams.
Whose voices do wail with such shrill and plea?
Realization slams hard:
It’s me,
and me,
and me….


Halloween Trip to Daddy
by Rob M. Miller

Little girl Annabelle looked out her rain-washed window,
Longing for her daddy, she decided to go solo.
“I’m off, dear mother, to see my father beyond the wood.”
“Wait, fair daughter, remember the tale of Lil’ Red Riding Hood?”

“There’s things that do bump, that do boo, and do scare,
And I’m a’feared for your safety; scaries do desire one so fair.”
“Oh, mother, do not be wary, for I’m not a’feared of anything ferocious…
Nor of anything bumping, or boo-ing, or flapping, or atrocious.”

So off went the lass, into the wood, and down the path,
Travelling by fir, and shrubs, and thick, dark wild grass.
And things did abound, she could hear them quite clear…
Boo-ing and flapping and scraping, she did hear from her ears.

Brownies and dark fairies, wolves, sprites, and gnomes,
Beasties and wild things, through the dark wood did roam.
Quite hungry, on the prowl, a’hunting and scheming they did go,
Howling, hooping and hollering, perhaps led by a dread forest troll.

But long through the dark, and under somber, path-covering limbs,
Young Annabelle did laugh, felt no fear, no worry, or thoughts that were grim.
“I’m going to see my daddy, and no matter what I face along the way,
Nothing will stop, or a’fear me … not a tad or a bit, on this, my daddy-visiting day.”

Then on to the path came cougars and bears and three-legged snapping things,
Scary and ready to gobble, hair standing and spikey, the stuff of bad dreams.
But Annabelle kept skipping, as if on a stroll down a lane, singing away,
Knowing nothing could touch her … going to her daddy, evil would be held at bay.

So the monsters tipped their hats, waved hello, and gave up trying to fright,
Having realized their yippings, growlings, and yappings would not stop the little girl,

Not on this particular Halloween night.

by Michael H. Hanson

I've seen you, in town, supplejack in hand,
tolerated by walker, bike, and bus
a tragic vessel of hopeless yearnings,
oblivious to tears of rain and snow.
Assaulted by the screams of auto horns,
resisting rivers of humanity;
trapped in the cinema of cecity --
crippled shadow puppet encased by light.
The eerie magnetism of your soul
clutches my heart with brutal tenderness.
(Two dark jewels in lovely pale aspect.
I can't look away...I can't turn from you...)

No, not even the stars have such sad eyes.

I Am Climbing
by Michael H. Hanson

I am climbing out of a deep, dark void,
a yawning, vertical, depthless chasm.
Shadowy tendrils of doubt flail at me,
pitilessly dislodging my handholds
and footholds, hampering my departure
as my limbs weaken and my soul withers.

Looking upwards I am blinded by the
wild, incandescent possibilities
of a surface life, among denizens
of purity and pretty perfections,
successful sneers, and harmonized hair styles –
a land, never promised, yet within reach.

Dark songs of shaming recriminations
blare upward from beneath, rising, rising,
growing in volume and pitch, billowing,
feral, rushing, oily, miasmic waves,
boiling, soon on the verge of engulfing
me, lapping at my back, draining my hope...


The Forgotten
by Michael H. Hanson

Does anyone at all see us,
we apparitions of failure,
pale ghosts of broken marriages
and shadows of love’s harsh defeat?
Does anyone at all hear us
wounded, passionless refugees,
walking laments to life’s backlash;
echoes of once jubilant glee?
Does anyone at all feel us,
feather light with timid touches;
fearful to express our own will,
wispy, tenuous, hollow things


AUTHORS RETAIN ALL COPYRIGHTS TO THEIR WORK. All poems will take “one time publication rights here.” --compiled by Anthony Servante (The Black Glove wishes to thank all of the participating poets for this Cinco De Mayo special feature)