Halloween

“Howl!” said Allen Ginsberg
“Ah-ooo, werewolves of London,” said Warren Zevon
Walt Whitman said, “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”

I see them, two of them
Staggering down the sidewalk
Bumping like drunks along the storefronts
And there are plenty more
Crawling and scraping in the alleys
Or climbing through a window
In the back of the house
Foul breath entering
Frantic wet eyes
And clawed paws waving
Shredding curtains
All seeking blood, meat & blood

Store-bought costumes put away
No treats this year
Just tricks, sick tricks
All the blather about swine flu, pig flu, hog flu
Hell, wolfman flu oozes along Market Street like blood
wolfman flu
Loup-garou

Yeah, it oozes like blood
At the conjunction of Market & Elm Street
This is worse than any nightmare
This is real

So watch every dark doorway
Better yet stay home
Extinguish the lights
And huddle in a locked room, windowless
With a kitchen knife or a shotgun

But maybe even that won’t help
Right now I feel something
In my veins
On my skin
In my brain
Some insidious change
Hey, my beard’s growing longer
Here, let me give you a hug.

John Berbrich was born and raised on Long Island, New York. He has worked in factories, a car wash, food service, and as a construction grunt—has played in several experimental rock bands, and is currently employed as an obscure paperwork drudge in a dreary government office building. He and his wife Nancy are co-rulers of BoneWorld Publishing, under the aegis of which are published the literary quarterly Barbaric Yawp and the many chapbooks of MuscleHead Press. He also writes monthly music & literary review columns for Fourth Coast Entertainment Magazine and is a founding member of SLAP (St. Lawrence Area Poets). John and Nancy and a varying amount of their six kids live among the northwestern foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Russell, New York.

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