Dark Poetry
                     Old Cornwall
                                             By John Grey

Mostly the days were dark
as any night and the nights
were darker even than that
and there was much grunting
and shaking from the bedrooms,
as if the houses themselves were
rutting the earth they stood on.

There were always new babies
and always a mother anxious
to shove her bawling issue
underneath my nose, so she
could suckle on my reaction.

Sometimes, they were cute,
if pale, and I'd ooh and aah on cue.
Occasionally though,
they'd be ugly as demons
and I'd have to quickly
slip away somewhere,
silent and alone,
knees on cold ground,
head bent solemn,
palms together,
praying for this world.
                     Contents of My Wallet
                                                     By John Grey

Some photographs of course.
A glossy of my loved one,
fangs dripping crimson.
A shot of my children
playing in a graveyard.
See how their eyes glow red.

And here's my AAA card
in case I break down
on a country road at night.
And a note to myself:
wait until he gets the engine started
before biting the mechanic's throat.

A copy of my birth certificate.
1654 was a boom year for babies.
The usual credit cards.
Diner's Club, a favorite.
Letter from the finance company
about some payment overdue.
What do they want? Blood?

And speaking of blood...
a card with my blood type.
"Insatiable. "
                     Ventriloquist
                                             By John Grey

He knows it's not really
the dummy who tells him
to do these things.
It's his dead mother.
But she does not fit
onto his lap all that easily
and, when he tries
to move her mouth,
hunks of decayed flesh
topple from her jaw
                     All of Me
                                     By A.J. Huffman

I dress in fractured gold.
In the dark.
Searching the cracks
for a glimpse
of gilded light.
And confronted
only by the reflected black,
I take comfort
in my chosen cell.
As the chasmal wind
ruffles
the silver night
of your coat.
             Shadows in the Candle Light
                                                     By A.J. Huffman

The candle burned
just beyond her reach.
Dripping
to scar her bare feet
as she followed it
down
through the darker vaults
of a chapel
built in her favor.
Here she rules.
Queen of a forgotten night.
Colder
than the ghostly saints
she summons
with a wink and a kiss.
But in the thirteenth hour
she is confined
by the fickle light of death.
Ever immune
to the soft whisper of her lips.
And the sharp bite of her hands.
Poetry by John Grey and A.J. Huffman
To read other short stories,
click one of the titles below.
           A Suite of Polished Steel
                                             By A.J. Huffman

Corrugated lights
cast a blue mood,
filling the cave
with its warm mist.
As she fights
the cords of darkness
tying her hands
to the glass.
She feels the dome beneath her
as it shifts.
Silent and electric.
And dying
to be the altar
that will burn her lips
from the inside out
For poetry by John
Weinkauf and Nathan
Rowark,
click here

For poetry by Mike
Berger, Clara Knepper
and Juan Manuel Perez,
click here

For poetry by John Grey
and A.J. Huffman,
click
here