Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: horror fiction

Cat’s Cry

Cat’s Cry

Black cats come back to life and cry out–
which is worse than a mere mortal shout.
But what actually made
your psychotic hopes fade?
Your reaction — which left little doubt.

–Tom Riley

Lovecraft and Stevie and Vastness and Horror

Lovecraft and Stevie and Vastness and Horror

Mr. King understood you in his brain
but in his heart remained a little boy.
So such as he are fated to remain.
Mr. King understood: you, in his brain,
inspired more thrills than most books can contain.
But every monster was to him a toy.
Mr. King understood you in his brain–
but in his heart remained a little boy.

–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

Stevie King Ukrainian Potpourri

Stevie King Ukrainian Potpourri

Putin has screwed the pooch, says Stephen King.
Jerk failed to realize that Hero Joe
Would make him pay the price for everything.
Hey, Stevie’s confident – and he should know.
Although this isn’t quite his horror show,
He understands the genre thoroughly:
He understands how things are bound to go
With incarnations of monstrosity.
Biden is sure to force Count Vlad to flee
As once Count Dracula fled London Town—
Or else, like Ben Mears, Biden’s sure to be
Pounding a stake through Moscow’s macho clown.
Before that happens, though – let this be said!—
Joe’s brain must first be summoned from the dead.

–Tom Riley

Revival?

Revival?

It ended in a séance, more or less.
Ah, what a disappointment, Mr. King!
I thought your minister was saying yes
To something more expansive. Would he bring
Back to the light the whole vast gathering
Of woe-begotten, lost humanity?
Would he pry out Death’s Donne-discarded sting
And set the dead, though long-forgotten, free?
Such an apocalypse I hoped to see—
And what a horror, sir, it would have seemed!
Instead we got a little colloquy
Describing some lame afterlife you’d dreamed.
It was a weary joke – none wearier.
Stick to your gifts. You ain’t no Lovecraft, sir.

–Tom Riley

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Change Horror Forever

Change Horror Forever

“I’ll change horror forever!” he said.
His original books I have read—
And I guess they’re okay.
But I do need to say
That we still dread the night – and the dead.

–Tom Riley

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On the Limitations of Argument

On the Limitations of Argument

He argued with the vampire lord
But lacked a stake to make his point.
He didn’t even have a sword!
He argued with the vampire lord.
By rhetoric, some beasts are bored.
“No space for speeches in this joint!”
He argued with the vampire lord—
But lacked a stake to make his point.

–Tom Riley

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Humble Request

Humble Request

 

“The bitter sting of remorse will not cease to rankle in my wounds until death shall close them forever.”

 

Like Adam, I requested just one mate.
Frankenstein found that one request excessive.
His attitude was heartless and aggressive
At last. He started, labored to dilate,
Then cut the project off, inspired by hate.
Only of one small dream was I possessive.
My vengeance, I then swore, would be impressive.
Oh, he had opted for a dismal fate!
Creators have to answer, I maintain,
For what they have created. Mortified
By life infused in body and in brain
Fresh from his hands, he waited – then he cried.
I gave him boundless spiritual pain.
Did I regret my deeds? Ha! Walton lied!

 

–Tom Riley

 

Luke Goss in 2019 | Frankenstein, Frankenstein's monster ...

Dracula (by Basho)

Dracula (by Basho)

 

How disappointing!
So many vampire hunters
managed to survive!

 

–Tom Riley

 

Dracula (1931 Spanish-language film poster).jpg

Lovecraftian Horror

Lovecraftian Horror

 

The oppression, alas, is intense!
After numerous shocking events,
The results just aren’t fair.
There is no Devil there—
But the void left behind is immense.

 

–Tom Riley