Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

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

Common Sense Solution

Common Sense Solution

 

 

Common sense? Ha! Obama has tons.
With sound thinking his brain has the runs.
He solves problems with ease.
He’ll control this disease
with a crackdown on white guys with guns.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Decisive Action

Decisive Action

 

 

You are certainly way above par
in controlling Ebola. You are,
O Barack! Have a look:
you did just what it took!
You appointed a (Democrat) czar!

 

 

–Tom Riley

Horror

Horror

 

 

Why do we like these werewolves and these ghouls;
these zombies and these witches with their spells;
these babes in skimpy outfits, pretty fools
who wander down dark hallways into hells
where crazy predators use power tools;
these night-garbed cats that wear no warning bells?
Why do we love these games we’re sure to lose?
We’re fleeing into fictions — from the news.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Burning

The Burning

 

 

“What? Can the devil speak true?”

 

 

We burnt the witch — but, oh, on fire she laughed!
She cursed the prelate and the magistrate.
She cursed the bowman’s steady arm, the shaft,
and the dark mark with which force meant to mate.
She cursed both offered love and steady hate.
She cursed the words we read her from the Book.
She failed, we all thought, to appreciate
the wise concern with which we watched her cook.
She cursed us with her voice and with her look.
She sucked in smoke and never stopped to choke.
In her ordeal, she sure had what it took.
Before her bones collapsed, she cracked a joke.
Now that she’s ashes, we stand and reflect
that every curse is bound to take effect.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

 

 

Every story he wrote was a whole
fricking genre, produced from a soul
at which soulless types sneered.
It was genius they feared.
Once they’d killed him, they cheerfully stole.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Ligeia (Short Version)

Ligeia (Short Version)

 

 

Guy remarries. His poor second mate
is oppressed by a horrible fate.
The truth must be confessed:
the girl ends up — possessed!
Now Ligeia is back! Ain’t that great?

 

 

–Tom Riley

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead

 

 

When the dead rise, they don’t simply stroll
through a garden: predation’s their goal–
and you, girl, are the prey!
But don’t worry: come day,
we will have them all under control….

 

 

 

–Tom Riley

Haunted Houses

Haunted Houses

 

 

They’re all haunted. As memories find
rooms to squat in, old spirits unwind
into terrible space:
they get right in your face.
Doesn’t help that it’s all in your mind.

 

 

–Tom Riley

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