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Bela Lugosi

This is more an exercise in characterization than a poem. If writ in prose, it would sound campy, and I hope it still does. For thousands of years, probably longer, rhetoric, prose, and poetry lived together in the same fine house. Delivery was what mattered, and flow—and perhaps, one’s table manners. Somewhere, I believe, they still cohabit.

I lurk
in shadowed
in fear
my outcry splendid
in its firework
might reach
some ear, and
frozen by its
that no sound
from my
anguish will be
heard—but if
it is…aah, if it is,
and if the Earth
brought to her
knees in dazzlement
by my fine argument
agreed to crack the
bones of those whose
tyranny I am so certain
of—what if they all,
of sudden, turned,
those men of might,
those women of
sagacity, and in
their final groveling
moments that they so
deserve they saw that
it was me who singled
out their villainy?

I would
be doomed.
I am already
doomed for having
wished the ones I
fear a ghastly end.
I bring ten-fold dark
curses on my head
and so I lurk…
and let you think
that I’m a jerk.


© Elaine Stirling, 2013