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”.
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.
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.