The Sadist 


Neighbor's tight smile when he mentions his wife 

or marriage is right out of a horror film. 

One can imagine he has a basement of terrors 

with traps, chains, axes and deadly saws. 

The neighbor too has this habit of grimacing 

and straightening his tie as if a hanging 

has been mentioned when I compliment 

his kid's braces, clothes or brand new bicycle. 

I really should keep our chats to sports or weather. 

But he broke my lawnmower and refuses to pay. 

So, I ask about college for his two not terribly 

bright girls, walking away as he starts to twitch. 

“you are a sadist,” my girlfriend says, 

“no, I'm a man without a lawnmower”. 




For Jesse 


A delight she is, though to be true, 

she is far more than my words can invent 

Her smile a joyous thing always seems new 

A dazzling miracle with sweet intent. 

Her eyes clear blue, summon imaginings 

azure charmed skies so crystal clear and bright 

with summers of sparkle and sweet dreaming 

which place no fear or dread of coming night. 

Such praise you say is misplaced flattery 

a rogue's tongue tied slipped into illusion 

but to see her laugh, dance, magically 

dispels any such misplaced confusion. 

under the stars in spring's cool lilac breath 

I see her walk to where my dreams are kept. 




Gothic Nights 


Nightmares besiege unfortunates like me 

who find no logic in their tortured facts 

where truth is neither lie nor prophesy 

just sordid scenes twisted from the past. 

When sleep comes for me it calls with a price 

Its jumbled landscape surreal yet concave 

for gothic visions and nightmares alike 

of demons, burning witches, disturbed graves. 

Of late, I see a scarred face who calls my name 

with witchcraft songs I am compelled to hear 

I follow her through floors of ice and flames 

until she takes my lover and then disappears. 

What I wonder most of this damned curse 

will death's sleep be like this or be far worse? 


© Rp Verlaine


Bio:  Rp Verlaine lives and writes in New York City. He has an MFA in creative writing from City College and taught in New York public schools for many years. No longer teaching, he continues to write and do photography in New York. He had a volume of poetry, Damaged by Dames & Drinking published in 2017, and another, Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers in 2018. A set of three e-books began with the publication of Lies From The Autobiography vol. 1, which was published in November of 2018. Lies From The Autobiography vol. 2 was published in early 2019 and a third volume will be published in June. His poetry has appeared in The Linnet's Wings, Haikuniverse, Scryptic Magazine, Proletaria, HUMAN/KIND Journal, Failed Haiku,  Under The Basho, Plum Tree Tavern, Fresh Out Magazine, Blazevox, The Piker Press, and Poems 'bout Love & Hate anthology.