Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Doors of Perception

The Doors of Perception

 

 

(for Denise Beshaw)

 

 

Wine indeed may be good for your ticker.
If you’re sick, you may cease to get sicker
when you down your Chablis.
But, to understand me,
readers need to resort to hard liquor.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead

 

 

They are coming, the skeletal crew.
When they reach your flesh, what will they do?
They can’t eat you: that’s clear.
They have no stomachs here!
See: the dead know futility, too.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Magister Definitus

Magister Definitus

 

The Master is defined by the effects
That he eschews. His limits free his soul
To march ahead, Imperator et Rex,
And aspire to an unimagined goal
In his imagination. Does the whole
Denounce him as an unimportant part?
Well, let it! He does not accept his role.
He crushes definitions with his art.
The Master doesn’t think that he is smart.
He swallows smartness as a python does
A rat. The workhorse stands behind the cart
Puzzled. Is this the barnyard, folks, that was?
And all who dared to be at liberty
Are bound in chains that never had to be.

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(First appeared in Blue Unicorn, v. 38, n.1, October 2014)

Bat-Eating Boa

Bat-Eating Boa

 

 

“Let my outer form now be a bat’s!”
said the vampire. “Let pecs, delts, and lats
drive adroit, speedy wings!”
But some snakes snatch such things
from the air. Cried the poor vampire: “Rats!”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Creepy Midnight

Creepy Midnight

 

 

He listened to the talking skull–
then said: “I wish you had a brain!”
His creepy midnight wasn’t dull:
he listened to the talking skull–
and thought the voice was wonderful.
The content only caused him pain.
He listened to the talking skull–
then said: “I wish you had a brain!”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Voyage of the Magellan

The Voyage of the Magellan

 

(for Thornco Productions)

 

“Mrs. Clinton, I now have my view—
And acknowledge all warnings as true:
Ah, confession belated!
Still, I’m strangely elated
As my eyes circumnavigate you….”

 

 

–Tom Riley

Eye Damage

Eye Damage

 

(for Thornco Productions)

 

Sean, it just isn’t safe! Hear my plea!
Avert eyes from exposed Hillary
Before damage is done!
Such a view won’t be fun—
As I’m sure husband Bill would agree….!

 

 

–Tom Riley

There Are Some Things Man Was Not Meant to See

There Are Some Things Man Was Not Meant to See

 

(for Thornco Productions)

 

Sean, you want to see Hillary’s body?
Hell, her looks clothed are deep in the potty.
It’s not good for your eyes
To behold such vast thighs.
Lad, your sense of aesthetics is shoddy!

 

 

–Tom Riley

Star Quality

Star Quality

 

 

Mrs. Clinton: I hope it’s not rude
to express a reserved attitude.
You’re a star, goodness knows–
but you’re not among those
whom we wish we could see in the nude.

 

 

–Tom Riley

El Patrón

El Patrón

 

 

The Vampire King and Lord of Opium
Is dead. The staked heart will not be replaced.
Though life to him was never wearisome,
The fact of death must now at last be faced.
He takes his household with him. What a waste!
And yet how fitting that his realm below
Will feature such retainers, torn in haste
From short lives that they wished were honey slow.
The Vampire King was always in the know.
The Vampire King was always swift to act.
Now servants lie beside him, row on row—
And, motionless, he makes his sweet dreams fact.
There’s just one possibility to dread:
Does he grow in his young successor’s head?

 

 

–Tom Riley

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