Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Halloween Costume

Halloween Costume

You were yourself for Halloween that year.
Door after doorway, normals shrank away.
“Trick or treat!” you had no chance then to say—
And, anyhow, your silence was sincere.
There’s a repulsion that transcends mere fear—
And all around you then was on display
That writhing animosity. Dismay
Hung in the air as people fled, my dear—
And we were proud of you beyond the pride
Of parents. Now, alas, you’re fitting in!
The common man and woman, sleepy-eyed,
Perceives in your face nothing alien.
We’re telling you there is no cause to hide.
Being yourself can never be a sin.

–Tom Riley

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Half and Half

Half and Half

Few know that
the wolfman never got along
with the manwolf.

–Tom Riley

Werewolf Fight

Fearless Vampire Hunters

Fearless Vampire Hunters

The vampire set his message in our brains:
“Each of you will betray the others soon.”
For my own part, I took unearthly pains
To hum a steady and a loyal tune.
But in my heart I found a subtle rune
Whose meaning I had trouble prying out.
Was mortal life a fleeting afternoon?
Was fervid faith the guise of gnawing doubt?
They all betrayed me. So I wish to shout.
And, one by one, the vampire claimed them all.
After all, what is loyalty about?
When we can run and fly, why should we crawl?
I feel now that my loyalty’s restored.
For that indeed I thank you, vampire lord.

–Tom Riley

Deshrouded

Deshrouded

The ghost threw off her sheet. Was she hot!
Your restraint, naughty boy, you forgot.
You rejoiced in your luck
And foresaw a great fuck.
Did you live through the night? You did not.

–Tom Riley

They Thirst

They Thirst

We’re thirsty on returning from the grave—
And who amongst the living pours us wine?
A damn is what you cheapskates never gave!
We’re thirsty on returning from the grave.
Blood’s what we settle for, not what we crave.
Open a barrel and we’ll stand in line.
We’re thirsty on returning from the grave—
And who amongst the living pours us wine?

–Tom Riley

Heatsucker

Heatsucker

It isn’t for your blood that our guy yearns.
Oh, come into the grave – and keep him warm!
Envy is what your toasty body earns.
It isn’t for your blood that our guy yearns.
In every living heart, a bonfire burns—
And temporary shelter from death’s storm.
It isn’t for your blood that our guy yearns.
Oh, come into the grave – and keep him warm!

–Tom Riley

Payback Is a Fat Bitch

Payback Is a Fat Bitch

Fat-assed gamma boy strolls past to sneer
At the dogs he pretends not to fear
And intends to have gassed.
Judgment also strolls past.
He’ll be long gassed in punishment’s sphere.

–Tom Riley

(Dog-hater and notorious glutton Mark Shea takes another brave walk.)

Button Up

Button Up

What a creep like you does in the dark
I attend to but little. But hark!
Though this may not sound nice,
It is friendly advice:
Keep your hands off your Man Buttons, Mark.

–Tom Riley

(Dog-hater and notorious glutton Mark Shea celebrates his “Man Buttons.”)

Thing from Planet X

The Thing from Planet X

It came, the intro said, from Planet X.
We tried but couldn’t solve its grand equation.
It escaped, being expert at evasion.
We knew that it could change both size and sex.
You see where this is going, right? The checks
It forged were perfect checks for the occasion.
It could do math as well as any Asian.
It prayed the Book of Common Prayer collects.
And, pretty soon, the Thing was fitting in.
It proved that Planet X was not the hell
We had imagined. Can a loser win?
Can disbelief in magic cast a spell?
Can understanding ever be a sin?
Finally, all of us were Things as well.

–Tom Riley

Cosmetic Failure

Cosmetic Failure

Poor girl tried
to render the evil doll
harmless through makeup.

–Tom Riley

Evil Doll