Liz Swain 3:30 p.m., Dec. 12
No doubt the rent includes electricity
Two sonnets by Larry Johnson
Death of Edward Lucas White
- author of Lukundoo
- Not while the stars shine on Lake Ponchartrain
- Will She forgive — he hears it in all dreams
- While feeling the howling heads root through his brain
- Before growing pustulant from his pores. Their screams
- Force his sleeping hand to cut them away,
- Leaving each a gaping cicatrix. But painful peace
- Vanishes instantly with conscious day
- And his unmarked body shudders through pure release.
- Though he has tried every Latin spell once learned
- To scour the Congo witchcraft from his mind,
- Only one sleep is dreamless: the gas, unburned,
- Sweetish, will smother Her voice and leave him blind
- To phallic grinning, deaf to those shrieks at last,
- His bathroom a tile-walled tomb — its silence vast.
H.P. Lovecraft at Lunch
- You think he muses about Nyarlothotep
- At lunch? Hell no — he prides himself on how
- Much money’s saved by cutting a loaf of bread
- In quarters, mounding each chunk with canned beans.
- That’s four meals to keep him slim but fit
- Enough to write by hand or type with lamp
- On and shades closed — no doubt the rent
- Includes electricity. Those elder gods
- Slubbering from his fear of the masses —
- Negroes, Slavs, Italians, Asian spawn,
- Concern him little — what he sees below
- In the plate’s bubble of beans and yeasty clots
- Is the true madness — his father’s syphilis.