Thursday, October 27, 2005

Halloween Viewing Essentials: Part V & VI (The Final Nail in the Coffin)

And the final Installment of Essential Halloween Joy! First we have the denizens of madness - - The Slasher Flicks! Don’t forget to lock the doors and windows before you go to bed, kids. You never know who may be out there!

Slasher Flicks
1) Halloween – The ultimate, the epitome, and the best slasher flick ever made. For years, this perfect movie was the biggest grossing independent film ever made. John Carpenter’s staccatto music, wierd camera angles, and sense of imminent doom in the guise of a William Shatner masked Michael Meyers was the slasher flick that jump-started the slasher genre. Many tried to match the sheer brilliance of this film, and they all failed miserably.
2) Halloween II – A slightly flawed sequel, it did a great job of picking up moments after the end of the first movie. All subsequent Halloween sequels could be lost to time immortal, and I’d be fine with it.
3) Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece based on the twisted, necrophilic life of Ed Gein. TCM is truly one of the most disturbing and harrowing films of all time.
4) House of 1000 Corpses – Rob Zombie’s ode to TCM, and all of the other 70’s exploitation slasher flicks. His freshman effort was brilliant, although I still wish he’d release an unrated director’s cut. Rob, being related in undead fashion to Doctor Zombie, is my favorite singer and performer. Hands down.
5) The Devil’s Rejects – Not a slasher flick, but worthy of inclusion because of the serial killing Firefly clan. This movie is gory, loud, violent, and balls out from beginning to end. Although the movie took a much different, albeit disturbing, tack from HOTK, Zombie showed how much he had matured as a director and a writer. I found myself in the not entirely uncomfortable position of rooting for the serial killers. This emotional juxtaposition alone makes this one of the best movies of all time.
6) Nightmare on Elm Street – The first one and the first one only. Wes Craven does shit right. I remember seeing this in high school (with yet another girl I was trying to seduce with my irresistible undead charm, as it were) and seeing this movie. With the exception of the cheesy dummy getting pulled through the 6”x6” window at the end, this movie is wicked scary. And gory. Gods, Wes Craven rocks.
7) Psycho – Still one of the best movies ever. I remember being a tween, renting this movie, and playing the shower murder scene over and over again; awed by the sheer fucking genius of Hitchcock. Of course, that sort of behavior goes a long way towards explaining why Dr. Zombie is not considered a ‘normal’ member of polite society.
8) The Silence of the Lambs – Anthony Hopkins in the only role I’ve ever liked him in. The whole scene with Lector’s escape still gives me the chills. The best part about this movie, and Hopkin’s portrayal of Hannibal the Cannibal, is how REAL he made the character. Michael Meyers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or any of the other movie madmen are just that. MOVIE madmen. They are caricatures of evil. Lector was a real world kind of evil. And Sir Anthony captured that verisimilitude.

You’ll notice there’s no Friday the 13th movies on the list. That’s because I hate them. They’re dumb, sophomoric, and a joke. They were lame to begin with and they went downhill from there. Now that Jason has been around for like 37 sequels, he’s just a parody of a caricature of a parody. It’s like a skit from MadTV. Lame, lame, lame….

Honorable mentions…
Scream – Wes Craven again, reinvigorating the genre.
Hammer’s House That Dripped Blood – specifically the first milieu with Denholm Elliot as the writer stalked by his own killer creation. I remember watching it on my local late night creature feature show in the late 70’s and being freaked out and turning it off. Just sooo creepy…

And, to wrap up…

Miscellaneous Monsters and Mayhem
1) Godzilla – You’ve gotta love the big green galoot! Would you believe I used to have nightmares about Godzilla when I was a child?
2) Patterson’s Bigfoot film – This creeps me out more than anything else out there. This film (you know it. Everyone’s seen it. It’s like the Zapruder film for unexplained phenomena) caused more nightmares than any movie I’ve ever seen. Especially where the Bigfoot turns and looks at the camera with that calculating, INTELLIGENT look. I’ve got goose bumps just writing about it! Interesting note… Outside of the Pacific Northwest, the state that has the next highest Bigfoot encounters is MY home state – Ohio. I know, it seems weird, but it’s true. And I think of that every damn time I walk through the woods of SE Ohio on my way to my tree stand at 5:15 in the morning.
3) In Search Of…This 70’s staple introduced many of my generation to Bigfoot, UFO’s, and other assorted unexplained phenomenon. To this day, the idea of alien abduction freaks the hell out of me. And, I’ve already mentioned my Bigfoot hang-up…
4) The Exorcist – I remember, being the little gore hound that I am, staying up expectantly to watch the television premier of this sometime in the 80’s. I got 20 – 25 minutes into it and turned it off because it gave me the shivering heebeejeebies. It was the scene with the subliminal demonic face. What a great, great movie.
5) From Beyond – More HP Lovecraft/Stewart Gordon/ Jeffery Combs goodness. Not 100% faithful, but still a bloody good time!
6) Dagon – A low budget, Italian film that aired on the Sci-Fi channel, this is probably the best HP Lovecraft adaptation I’ve ever, ever seen. It captured the feel of Lovecraft’s work, and the evil coastal town of Imboca (where it takes place) captures the claustrophobia of Lovecraft’s Massachusetts. Note… Imboca, in Italian, means ‘in mouth’, an allusion to Innsmouth – one of the stories by Lovecraft that this movie uses as a source. Too cool…
7) John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness – More Lovecraftian madness. That, mixed with the Prince of Darkness himself - John Carpenter, are a recipe for all kinds of twisted, terrifying shit. Truly excellent in all regards.

Anyway, I’m going to be incommunicado for the next few days. I’ll be doing various, nefarious Halloween related things. So - - no updates until Tuesday of next week.

And remember, dear reader, the Doctor will be out and about this Halloween. Lock your doors, turn on all the lights, and hide in the safety and comfort of your warm bed - - and pray that I don't call on you!

Unpleasant dreams…

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Halloween Viewing Essentials: Part III & IV (Who's Afraid Of The Dark?)

As I'll be taking a few days off for my favorite holiday, Halloween, I'll be condensing the Essential Horror Lists over the next two days.

Now, on to the werewolves! Remember: Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright!

1) American Werewolf in London – Quite simply the best werewolf movie of all time. This movie, and Rick Baker’s (at the time) awesome special effects did what no other werewolf flick had done before - - it made the idea of a man changing into a werewolf real and visceral. Add on top of that a great script (including the creepy opening on the moors and the kick ass idea that the werewolf is ‘haunted’ by his victims) and you have the perfect lycanthrope film.
2) The Wolfman (1941) – I’m a sucker for the old Universal monsters and this was my favorite. Lon Chaney is at his sad sack best as a returning lord to his father’s estate after years of estrangement. When he runs afoul of a werwolf on the moors (Bela Lugosi in all of his creepy glory!) he becomes a beast himself. I remember being 7 or 8 years old and watching this movie for the first time on our local late night horror shows, (Houlihan and Big Chuck, and Ghoulardi) and being terrified by the dog like face of the Wolfman. You always go back to the childhood trauma!
3) Dog Soldiers – A small budget British film about a group of soldiers who are on maneuvers and run afoul of a pack of werewolves. A surprising and fresh look at the genre that had great effects and a great story. It’s movies like this(and Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, etc…) that reaffirm my faith in the coolness of the independent British horror industry…
4) Ginger Snaps – A Canadian independent horror film that turns the genre on it’s ear, this is an incredible horror film. In it we meet two odd goth girl sisters. The older, more beautiful one, Ginger, is attacked by a werewolf just as she gets her period. The marrying of the concepts of science in the 21st century, old world folklore, and werewolves drawn by the ripe smell of a girl in heat are perfect, as is the tasty Katherine Isabelle, who plays the now wolfy Ginger.
5) Underworld – Underworld made it to the Werewolf list because, although I’d give my right arm to drool over the delectable Kate Beckinsale, I’m tired of the current concepts of vampires. Yeah, we get it; they all dress in leather and long trench coats. Yeah, we get it: they all live and brood in grand mansions. Yeah - WE GET IT! - they’re all beautiful and shoot cool guns. Blah blah blah. Underworld is on THIS list because, frankly, the Lycanthropes were far more interesting than the Vamps. Hands down, no need to argue. The vamps, except for Victor and an ability to jump off of buildings and land like cats, were really just like normal people. The Werewolves though, they were damn kick ass.
6) American Werewolf in Paris – I know this is a pale comparison to its predecessor, but I still liked it. For all of its cheesy jokes and even cheesier computer animated werewolves, this was a fun – and more importantly, gory - movie.

Bark at the moon, dear reader!

Now, for something a little different - - Sci-Fi Horror.
1) Alien – By far the best horror movie set in the vacuum of space. What a perfect concept and execution! Imagine being hunted by an HR Giger designed and inspired alien on a claustrophobic space ship. Add on top of that Sigourney Weaver in panties, and you’ve got a piece of fried gold!
2) Event Horizon – One need only watch the half hinted at carnage on the Event Horizon’s logs to get a feel for how awesomely creepy this sci-fi film was. And to design a ship after the Cathedral of Notre Dame - -brilliant!
3) The Thing (1941) – This movie was the first sci-fi movie to scare the piss out of me. The lumbering, menacing bulk of James Arness as the alien, and the claustrophobic confines of the research center in the arctic meld to make a perfect warning about why it’s bad to contact extraterrestrial life.
4) John Carpenter’s The Thing – This takes all that was good about the first, and adds some of the goriest scenes ever put to celluloid. I get shivers thinking about it!
5) Invasion of the Body Snatchers – The perfect metaphor for the Cold War, this movie hits all the right notes. Who could forget the panicked screams of Kevin McCarthy as he tries to warn somebody, anybody that the aliens are there.
6) Predator – Although primarily an action film, I’d be remiss to not mention it. It had it’s horror moments. My only dissapointment here was the subsequent sequels. Especially the abortion that Paul W.S. Anderson created…AVP. I couldn't imagine how one could take the two greatest sci-fi creatures and icons of the last 30 years, put them together in a movie, and have it suck. Anderson managed to do just that with AVP. I shake my head in appalled wonder…
7) Signs – At first I wasn’t sure I’d like this film. Truthfully, M. Night Shymalan is a one note pony with his now almost trite twist endings. And, this movie doesn’t dissapoint in that regard. However, there are some truly jump out of your seat and gasp scenes in this movie that merit inclusion on this all time best list. For instance, the first glimpse of the alien in the birthday home video footage actually made me startle and jump in my seat. It has been many a long years since ANY movie has done that to me. The little girl waking the dad up, “There’s a monster outside my room, can I have a glass of water?” This movie is filled with beautiful little creep-outs like this that make it worth the rental…

Remember dear reader… Watch the skies everywhere! Keep looking. Keep watching the skies!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Halloween Viewing Essentials: Part II (I never drink…wine.)

Continuing the movie list in honor of the ghoulish season! Dr. Zombie’s Favorite Vampire Flicks...

1) Near Dark – A surprisingly good film, Near Dark was a small budget 80’s film that was near perfect in its execution. I remember watching this on video tape in the late 80’s with my then girlfriend and several other friends and thinking, ‘This movie changes the whole vampire world!’. Too bad only true horror fans know of it or have watched it. If anything, get it for Bill Paxton’s crazy, bloody, over the top rampage in the bar. Genius!
2) Lost Boys – I know, I know! Cheesy Joel Donner film with the Coreys and rock music. I know I should be embarrassed to have it on the list, but I just love this movie. Again, it’s tied up with high school for me. God how I wanted to be like Jason Patric in this movie! Too bad my cop dad wouldn’t let me grow my hair long, get an earring, leather coat, and a dirt bike. By far one of the most quotable movies of all time.
3) Nosferatu – Murnau’s silent classic. Max Schreck brings a creepiness to his role that has yet to be rivaled. By way of this, I must add the 2000 movie, Shadow of the Vampire. It’s take that Schreck was REALLY a vampire makes it even more resonant.
4) Dracula 1931 – The classic. Bela Lugosi’s suave eastern European accent and the lack of any music cinch this up as one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
5) Hammer’s Dracula – Christopher Lee, like Samuel L. Jackson and John Malkovich, is quite simply one of the baddest mother fuckers on the planet. ‘Nuff said.
6) Coppola’s Dracula – More faithful than the score of movies that came before it, it added a layer of sensuality that poor, Victorian Bram Stoker only hinted at. Like Max Schreck, Gary Oldman brought pathos to the character and, after watching it, you could not imagine any other actor in the role. Includes one of my favorite lines, “I have traveled across oceans of time for you.” Finally, it had that inexplicably sexy scene where Dracula, as a Wolf creature has sex with Lucy in the thunderstorm. There’s something about that scene… Also, it had absinth. Mmmm…absinth…
7) From Dusk til Dawn – It should be obvious why this movie was so great. Robert Rodriquez, Quentin Tarantino, Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, Harvey Kietel, and Salma Hayek...Dear, sweet Salma.
8) The 1979 Salem’s Lot miniseries – Scared the piss out of me as a kid. This was also the first Stephen King book I'd ever read. The book scared me worse, but the movie was almost as good. The double slam of the movie and the book ensured that I NEVER slept without drawing the curtains. To this day, I still can’t sleep with a window open for fear of hearing a screeching on the pane and a whispered, “Let me in...”
9) The Hunger – The first time I realized that vampires could be sexy. God how I loved Catherine Deneuve.
10) Blade – What can I say, I’m a sucker for vampire flicks. If there’s ass-kicking mixed in with that, I’m yours. I know I’m easy, let’s just move on!

That’s all for now, dear reader. You may want to hang garlic around the windows tonight…

Monday, October 24, 2005

Halloween Viewing Essentials: Part I (BRAINS!!!!)

In honor of the season - and my favorite holiday - I’ve put together some thoughts on my favorite horror movies. I’ve decided to group my favorites differently than most other favorite movie lists you may have seen. Quite frankly, it would be entirely too hard for me to list a top ten list. In fact, I suspect it’d be nigh impossible. So, to make life easy on myself, I’ve grouped them by horror genre…

Today's Genre - - Zombie Movies!
1) Night of the Living Dead – The classic. It was 1968 and this movie was groundbreaking. It showed the dead coming back to life and EATING the living. It showed a black man as the hero and a white man as the bad guy - - only a few years after the civil rights movement. This is the benchmark. My friend BJ’s parents saw this in a drive in in the late sixties. So did a lot of people for that matter, but how many can say it was in Evansville, less than a couple miles from the cemetary and farm where Romero’s masterpiece was originally filmed? How cool is that?
2) Dawn of the Dead (1979) – Romero’s follow up, besides the reeeeallly bad makeup effects (can we say blue corpse makeup and dayglo pink blood?) This movie is a wry social commentary wrapped in cold, dead, lipsmacking tastiness.
3) Day of the Dead – Captain Rhodes’ immortal line “I’m running this monkey farm now, Frankenstein…and I want to know what the FUCK you’re doing with my time!” Need I say more?
4) Shaun of the Dead – A slice of fried gold! A big budget homage to Romero’s films - - a movie by fans for the fans. British comedy, romance, heroism, and shambling undead. It does’t get any better than this.
5) Reanimator – Stuart Gordon’s classic reworking of one of HP Lovecraft’s better works, this is on the list because it has reanimated corpses, but not in the RomZom sense. Contains quite possibly one of the most disturbing scenes of all time. Only a movie with Jeffery Combs could combine rape, necrophilia, and incest into one squirm-inducing scene. Brilliant.
6) 28 Days Later – I know, I know! Not a true zombie flick. Yes, I know it was an infection and the infected weren’t, in fact, dead. But I’ve included this film because it was marketed by Danny Boyle as a zombie flick, and it was the first movie - - in years! – to actually get that Romero zombie feel. I remember watching it and getting that same feeling I used to get years earlier when I first watched the Romero classics. It was also responsible for the resurgence in recent years of other zombie flicks. So, credit is due!
7) Return of the Living Dead – Punk zombies that throw Romero’s rules out the window (a head shot DOESN’T kill the Zombies. Chop ‘em into pieces and the pieces come after you!) make this classic. Who can forget the swoosh, thwock, and subsequent screams when Freddy, Frank, and Burt drive the pickaxe into the reanimated corpse’s head? I still get shivers thinking about it.

As is obvious, this is the good Doctor’s favorite genre. I consider myself a zombie purist, but not in the strictest sense. Obviously, the RomZom movies are the highwater mark that all subsequent zombie flicks must be judged by, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bear any change to Romero’s Holy Trinity (you’ll notice I assidously left out Land of the Dead there. I’m not saying it was terrible, but I’d really rather see the uncut version before passing judgement. It had too much of a big budget feel and smacked too much of Hollywood suit involvement. It lacked the visceral punch of Romero’s earlier works. Blasphemous as that may be.) More thoughts on the purity of the genre. I dig what Dawn Of the Dead 2004 did. I like the idea of running zombies. And this crap about it not being realistic is just that. Crap. If you can suspend disbelief enough to believe that the dead are rising from their graves to consume human flesh, you can fucking buy that they run. Running zombies is a whole hell of a lot scarier than shambling zombies. It adds to the scare and doesn’t detract, so I say it’s a cool idea. Look at it this way -- when the zombie apocalypse does come, which would YOU prefer having to deal with? Running or shambling? Think about it that way.

I didn’t include Argento’s flicks, because they were really just reworkings of Romero’s works and, frankly, not that good.

Also missing from the list are the Return of the Living Dead sequels. That’s for good reason. ROTLD II, quite plainly, sucked. ROTLD III was awesome (Mmmm… hot zombie chick…), but not worth inclusion on the list. And I just Tivo’d and watched the subsequent abortions that were recently aired on Sci-fi channels (ROTLD: Necropolis and ROTLD: Rave to the Grave). Gods, how these movies sucked. Let me say that again – and in no uncertain terms – Gods how these movies sucked! One minute, the vapid teen main characters can only kill zombies with a head shot, but then, later, they mow them down with very badly done chest shots. Look, ignore the rules or follow the rules. Don’t change them to suit the plot or your budget. I’ve seen independent high school fan films with better dialogue and acting. And yes, I get that it’s cheaper to film your movies in former Eastern Block European countries. But for god’s sake, ship American actors over. I’m so damn tired of everybody but the one or two principles having thick accents. It all just makes me want to scream inarticulately.

Anyway, I‘m off to rob some graves.

Stay tuned for more Halloween goodness!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Random Crap...

I'm off to an old friends 40th birthday party, so I just wanted to throw up a few of my favorite media file links. Besides it's Friday and I just finished training a four hour class on a new quoting system (In my real life, I'm a corporate trainer, slave, and sellout...). It's time for a few frothy adult beverages, dammit!

At the house this weekend I'll be (hopefully) moving my PC downstairs to the dining room. All of the phone cords upstairs were fried a month or so ago in a huge lightning storm, so I've been unable to check my email or do anything since then. And I know, the whole dial up thing is sooo Wargames and "Would you like to play a game?", but I'll be damned if I'm going to spend $100 bucks a month on DSL. (Although it would give me a tingly feeling in my soft, meaty bits if my home pc was as quick as my work pc.. ). What's worse is that I had a short story posted on Home Page of the Dead a few months back and I'm sure I've gotten tons of feedback on it, I've just been unable to respond or see it. Grrr..

I guess itll also be a good thing to actually do this blog thing from home and not at work. I'm sure that'll come back to bite me in my undead ass...

Anyway, on to some media links...

This is a link to a clip from Family Guy. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe and almost pee'd my pants

Put headphones on when you listen to this audiofile. This website has Nickelback's two big hits playing. The right side is 'Someday'. The Left side is 'How You Remind Me'. THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME SONG! Nickelback has now overturned Creed and become the crappiest, most unoriginal band in the world!

...and I thought one only had to worry about wearing clean underwear. Now I've got to think about my t-shirts, too....

Great site with some great paranormal clips...

That's all for now.

Unpleasant dreams, dear reader...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Heretical Pondering

Been thinking about Religion a lot the last day or two. That's not generally a common thing for me. I'm very firmly an Atheist (with Pagan leanings, as befits my Irish heritage). I was raised Catholic and, as my friend Sean is always fond of saying, "I'm a recovering Cathoholic...".

I became an Atheist in high school, but I went about it the right way, I think. How many Atheists do you know who've read the bible from cover to cover? Mrs. Zombie is a devout Episcopalian (I call her church 'Catholic Lite - all the ceremony, none of the guilt!") and she can't say the same. She finds that exasperating at times because I get these piques of curiosity about Christianity and ask her questions that she can't answer. She just sighs in an exasperated, put upon manner, and calls me a moron. Now that I think of it though, she reacts in much the same way whenever I mention Jeeps, Harley-Davidsons, guns, or just about anything else. But I digress...

Anyway, a couple of things had me thinking about religion lately. The first is the growing dread I have about that sub-intelligent, grotesque buffoon who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The whole hawkish, war-mongering Republican agenda I get. I may not agree with the whole Iraq invasion and his laughably implausible justifications, and I'm smart enough to see that it was about oil and flipping a big fuck you to the UN for stopping King George I from marching all the way from Kuwait City into Baghdad. What scares the hell out of me is that King George II is such a far right, conservative Christian. It exasperates me to no end that Fundies (and I know they hate when you call them that. One would think that if you had the answers to eternal life, you'd have a better sense of humor) are as racially, ethnically, and culturally xenophobic as those nutjobs who flew into the World Trade Center. And to base your whole life, ethos, and purpose on the mandates of religion is absolutely chilling to those of us who see through the facade of faith. Bone chilling.

And George II is as rabidly fundie as Pat Roberts.

The thought that keeps me up at night is that there is an entire group of individuals out there -right now - trying to figure out a way to turn the US into a theocracy. They are the right wing conservative Christian Republicans who hold the Bill of Rights as sacred, but only if it means that the First Amendment should be rewritten making Christianity the national religion and English the national language (the better to read your King James version bibles, I guess). They see nothing wrong with prayer in school (so long as it's Christian), the Ten Commandments in courthouses, or the absolutely retarded 'theory' of Intelligent Design. On that subject, do you really believe that Americans are so stupid as to believe that it's NOT Creationism wrapped up in a different dust cover? Please.

And all of this Fundie hope for a shining, white, homophobic, Christian utopia is being shaped by George II. He being the stooge who legalized 'faith based governement initiatives'. He being the stooge who is right now trying to stack the Supreme Court with his nepotistic cronies in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. He being the stooge who, when asked by ABC news about the US military allowing their personnel to practice Wicca said, "I don't think that Wicca is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision.". In the same interview, though, he said that he "...had no problem with the Ten Commandments being placed in every public building". (ABCNews, June 1999) How's that not a double standard? Anyone?

Sigh. I feel an aneurism coming.

Anyway - - other thoughts on religion. I had a thought yesterday. I asked Mrs. Zombie about it and she sighed and rolled her eyes at me, but i think it's a valid question. In the bible, John 3:16 says, "And He so loved the world He gave His only begotten son so that he whosever shall believe in Him shall have eternal life." So, if I get this right, anybody who accepts Christ into their heart and repents all of their sins shall know eternal bliss in Heaven. This got me thinking... is this a loophole? I mean, it really doesn't say there are any qualifiers so, technically, if Satan repented and accepted Christ into his heart - - could he have access to heaven? I might need to look into this a little more. But it seems to me that it's a deliciously blasphemous thought that will undoubtedly get me burned at a stake when George II announces the new, improved Auto De Fe.

Another question I have: In Exodus, one of the ten commandments is "Thou shalt not worship any god above me." Has this ever been analytically thought about. God said, 'Look I'm the #1 F'ing deity around here. Forget about those other guys, or else!' My question is, based on the structure of the scripture, and reading into it - - is God admitting that there are other gods? And, if so, doesn't this kind of blow the whole theory of one god?

These thoughts, and all the doom and gloom end of the world prophesizing with the Hurricanes has me perplexed at the whole Christian gig, man. I just don't get it.

One final thing before I wrap this up. I've a message to all of the Christian Republicans out there. God's not responsible for the hurricanes. Global warming is. And Global warming is a result of all the Republican fat cats' whose companies are belching carbon monoxide and other poisons into the sky and devastating the environment. You might know that if you understood science, but I guess you're too busy trying to push fake science like Intelligent Design down our throats. Gods forbid we should rely on scientifically measurable and observable phenomenon like global warming and evolution! That'd be outside the purview of our Christian agenda!

Enough fundie-baiting for now...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

October Vignette

A short poem for the season... I wrote it in 1996.

October Vignette

Masked children, running like ungainly scarecrows
up and down the sidewalks.
Beneath fireworks leaves falling from trees
to carpet the ground with crunchy corpses of summer's green.
And the air - that smells like pumpkins burned by candles too
close to their carved tops - carries the vague kiss
of coming winter, hintingly noticeable on the cool
breeze that lifts the dried husks and rustles the garbage bags
on treelawns. The orange sky (so like the leaves, on the trees)
fades and the shadows begin to stretch.


The shadows lengthen and grow and the darkness
settles like a great black sheet on the bed of the autumn world.
And the chill deepens in the breeze as the moon peaks from behind clouds.
The innocuous rustle of leaves becomes different in the blackness that now
has crept into every corner and crevice and has dulled the pallet of
colors that was here in the light.
And Death walks the streets and caresses, with smooth hands, the trunks
of trees and blades of grass; murmuring a lullaby to send them off to their
winter sleep.
The wind pushes through the driveways and walkways between the houses.


The houses tower in turn of the century gothic repose
while, inside, people cower like prey; paranoid, afraid, alone;
flinching at the creak of hardwood floors and settling
foundations and other, more disturbing sounds.
While the beast that is autumn night snuffles and
scratches at the scarred front doors and the blackness
of the hallways and unlit rooms hide nightmares better left undreamed.
Meanwhile, the rictus grins of flickering jack- o'- lanterns
watch soundlessly from porch windows as the blowing
leaves march through the dark streets like a tiny,
decaying parade.