By Ace Boggess
Did you poison the soup?
I did not poison the soup.
Did you drug the wine?
I placed no drugs in the wine.
Did you conspire with your lover
to prick my belly as I’m resting in our bed?
I have no lover, &
the assassin was busy
selling his goat to keep
his wife in lavender & beads.
Revenge of the Creature
Universal International Pictures, 1955
Gill Man, glorious green seen through the gray of black & white;
Gill Dude; Gill Devil; web-clawed Casanova, wanton, desperate,
pissed off like most lovers lusting after someone else’s girl—
why did they have to take you to Florida? Inter you in the vault
of a theme-park aquarium (salt water, no less)?
Chained to the bottom, jolted, gawked at by your new desire
who wears white bathing suits & flirts in the name of science
(how she brings you take-out, how she tells you Stop, Stop, Stop)
it’s no wonder you’d murder them all: the cocky adventurer,
college guys, the dog, though never her, not even now.
If you’re a monster out on a lark, it’s the girl that gets you.
Your downfall again, you wide-eyed playboy, you’ve been
King-Kong’d, KO’d, cut like a sinister weed, left
doing the dead-man’s-float, or fish-killed, belly up.
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
Hammer Film Productions, 1968
Less than a week since the death of actor Christopher Lee &
here in my living room, I lean back in a chair,
enjoying a marathon of his films
running all day on Turner Classic Movies.
It begins with this second-most-famous rendition of the Count.
Stern, tight-necked & middle-aged,
Lee speaks few lines & wears a costume
pilfered from Lugosi’s coffin,
carries each frame with his presence.
Take the story: Master (monster) resurrected by a priest’s blood,
then butchered in the end by an atheist—
it rolls Stoker’s narrative as if some wino
passed out on a train, empties its pockets, sneaks away.
At least, the movie says goodbye in style,
sounds right notes on a church’s organ
prior to pallbearers raising the casket,
carrying it to the vault where originals are stored,
awaiting green-lighting of their many sequels.
Ace Boggess is an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter, and completely exhausted by all the things he isn’t anymore. He is author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). Forthcoming are his novel, A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing), and a third poetry collection, Ultra-Deep Field (Brick Road). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.