Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: aliens

Little Tom’s Claim to Genuine Humanity

Little Tom’s Claim to Genuine Humanity

From an alien
viewpoint, even I must seem
all too human.

–Tom Riley



Putin fell down the stairs and shit his pants!
Our confidential sources say it’s true!
Do propaganda narratives advance
Beyond the reach of rational review?
You ain’t heard nothin’ yet! This story too
Is spreading: Putin’s actually possessed
By 15,000 devils, who on cue
Direct him to give humankind no rest.
What’s more, his captured agents have confessed
That he’s an alien from outer space.
When ships abduct the girls who look the best,
They serve these up to Vlad. Such is the case.
Objections to these proven facts are few.
Our confidential sources say they’re true!

–Tom Riley

Same Old Creepy Stuff

Same Old Creepy Stuff

Some held out for a different kind of horror.
Not her: she liked the same old creepy stuff.
Of Dracula she proved a true adorer.
Of ravens she could never get enough.
An alien with skin supremely tough,
a horde of zombies right outside the door:
facing such threats, things could, she knew, get rough.
Delighted nonetheless, she begged for more.
Did pessimists have cosmic crap in store
and existential anguish to convey?
For such dire custom she was not a whore.
World rendered meaningless? She said, “No way.
I’m not a sucker for such vain deception!”
(Lovecraft was here, of course, a clear exception.)

–Tom Riley

Gamma Boy Seeks Equals; Object: Venery

Gamma Boy Seeks Equals; Object: Venery


At night he dreams of endless sex
With big-brained girls from Planet X.


–Tom Riley



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

News Flash

News Flash


Trump colluded — and Mueller pursues.
He is ferreting out all the clues.
All is going as planned.
Little green Martians land.
Would you like to hear more of the news?


—Tom Riley

Asylum (Short Version)

Asylum (Short Version)



Sister Jude and her whole Catholic crew
deal with murderers. (Aliens, too.)
Nuns possessed. God denied.
Zombies waiting outside.
Horrors? Plenty. My lines? Too damn few.



–Tom Riley







Nobody wants to mess with Superbrat—

And only Clark can really manage it.

She wants her little way in nothing flat.

Clark counsels patience: Kara throws a fit.

And Terran kids?  They make her want to spit.

She’s wary of their sheer fragility.

Into their little cliques she doesn’t fit.

Nobody, she complains, is friends with me!

Someday she’ll learn that no one’s flying free,

That cousin Clark, who’s always smiling wide,

Is laden with responsibility

From which not even Superspeed can hide.

With many fans, I’m waiting for the day.

Until then, I’ll stay out of Kara’s way.





–Tom Riley




Superman versus Batman

Superman v. Batman




(for Grace Cortright)




It’s clear that Batman is the better man—

For Superman is not a man at all.

I labor to explain this when I can—

But, when it comes to Grace, truth hits a wall

It can’t knock down.  Like Spiderman, I crawl

Upward.  I shall surmount this falsehood yet!

But, as I climb, the wall that started tall

Grows stratospheric, infinite.  I’ve set

My purpose firm.  I’m certain I have met

The burden of convincing argument.

Yet finally I find I’ve lost my bet—

For Grace rejects my works, withholds assent.

Down from that wall I fall right on my face.

(I only take this kind of crap from Grace.)





–Tom Riley

Hypercora Sola

Hypercora Sola



(for Regina Phelps)



The fans are sad when Supergirl’s alone.

How can she feel so low while soaring high?

Her heights and depths cannot be truly known


By those who only hear a mortal groan—

Who, when they claim transcendence, mostly lie.

The fans are sad when Supergirl’s alone.


There’s no one, though, to summon on the phone,

No mortal who can quell her supercry.

Her heights and depths cannot be truly known.


Freer than eagles, harder far than stone,

She finds that mortal rules do not apply.

The fans are sad when Supergirl’s alone—


And says so with a dire and dismal tone.

If they knew how to comfort her, they’d try.

Her heights and depths cannot be truly known


If she is in a peril-laden zone,

Only she knows how fast she needs to fly.

The fans are sad when Supergirl’s alone.

Her heights and depths cannot be truly known.



–Tom Riley