It’s time to kick one of the Classics; Poe’s heavy-on-the-dread ‘The Raven’ is overdue a take-off. Or a piss-take.

(Written for Chel Owen's Terrible poetry contest- easy rules; basically use the first line of a well known poem and then put your twisted spin on it.)

The Rottenest Ever Hangover. 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
After many a gin sunken I'm found slumpen 'pon the floor,
Dryly heaving, stomach clenching, regretting my night out wenching,
'Twas all quite gut-wrenching but I've known of its ilk before,
Muttered I, 'I'll go out and get pissed- pie-eyed no more,'
Murmuringly, for my skull be ever sore.

Ah, painfully in a head most tender I remember 'twas quite the bender;
E'en as each clang of pain in my brain rings down to its sodden core,
Uneasily recalling that I and that barfly signora put away a plethora
Of gin, oodles of Boodles* resulted in a night of sin worthy of Gomorrah,
Now that fair maid lies sleepily sated, a beauty without flaw,
Yet I shudder at her ev'ry snore.

Oh, the pain, teeth gritting, hard hitting, never quitting, head splitting,
In the mirror, pale and pallid I see the sorriest wretch you ever saw,
Aye, red rimmed eyes a' gleaming, the mind silently screaming-
I, a drunk with liver past redeeming, 'twill take a miracle to restore,
Oooh, but I'll drag myself to that familiar door-
One I've slammed behind me a time or two afore-
And retake the AA pledge once more.

*Boodles, a fine old English gin, one I'm still quick to recommend - but best take it slooowly, in moderation.  







©Obbverse.

A quick re-view of the absolute mother of slasher flicks. Oh, the Hitchcockian horror!

Mother And Sonny Boy.

Here's a classic story of a road trip gone sadly wrong,
Set back in those innocent ol' days for which we long,
Let's start with pretty Marion Crane, our bird in flight,
Running from the ugly truth, she's a thief in the night.

She's put behind her an honest life and the Phoenix sun,
Grabbed a golden opportunity to take the money 'n' run.

But for Marion this guilt trip becomes a mental ordeal,
Though she travels alone, second thoughts start to steal,
First, black clouds gather above, deeply darkening her day
Till a shower impels here towards a motel, an overnight stay.

(What rotten luck for a poor sodden waif in dire straits-
Well, she'll get a nice warm reception from Master Bates.)

Marion kindly accepts the door key Norman proffers her,
Dutifully signs an assumed name on the dusty motel register,
Norm's eyes dance when she gazes wide-eyed round the lobby,
Dead birds transfixed everywhere; taxidermy's Norm's hobby.

Norman sees the comely Miss Crane as a most attractive guest,
He dreams of bedding her, she dreams of bed too- only bed rest.

He wonders if the Fates had drawn them to one another,
But is she really the girl he should introduce to Mother?
After some words and a sandwich she retires for a shower,
Norm trudges home, wondering if Ma's still up at this hour?

Are Ma's tight apron strings less a comfort than tether?
Sighs, knows they're stuck together, two birds of a feather.

Marion steps into the shower, for to wash her sins away,
Come morning she'll return, to whatever debt she must pay,
Ready for ten hard years if so harshly judged by the Court,
But not considering capital punishment- perish the thought!

But Norm's Mom won't cut Marion no slack, that's for certain;
Quickly, cut away, wrap up the evidence in the shower curtain.

Norman suspects his dear sweet Mom has gone berserk
Norm loves his Mom, but boy, she makes for hard work,
Now Normie does what any mother loving son would do,
Flipping from motel manager to frenzied clean-up crew.

Norman scrubbed at them bloody tiles with Vim and vigour,
Whatever had possessed Mom he confessed he couldn't figure.

Into Miss Cranes '57 Ford goes Marion's body of evidence,
So, Norm, where to hide a hot Ford and its cooling contents?
A swamp on the property ends Norman's hidden troubles,
The '57 slowly settles in the silt, gently blowing bubbles.

But Marion's Sis, lover, and private eye Arbogast are on her trail-
Norman feels protective of his Mom, so old and mentally fu frail.

Norman feels obliged to tell them he's not seen hide nor hair
Of the missing Miss Crane- truthfully, so far as he's aware,
He'd not seen her face, swears she's not set foot in the place,
'Perhaps only a free spirit could fly off and not leave a trace?'

Eagle-eye private eye Arbogast spies the register's latest name;
Strange, if 'Mary' ain't 'Marion,' why's the handwriting the same?

Now Arbogast sees guilt in Normie's twitchy nervous manner;
Like when he asks if he might speak with the lady of the Manor?
Arbogast sneakily returns, hoping Mother will sing like a bird-
Had Arby never heard, with Norman's Mom, never a bad word?

Arbogast is one hard-boiled PI, sad he's not sharp as a knife,
(I'd not get Norm's mother mad at me, not on my sweet life.)

Boy, has sweet gentle grey haired ol' Mother Bates changed!
She's gone from quietly truculent to completely deranged!
Alas, poor Arbogast, he feels in his heart, deep in his chest
The killer in this crime is one only Freud could've guessed.

Another poor body down for the count, wrapped for despatch;
Ma's either ridin' the lightnin' or bouncin' in the booby hatch.

With Arbogast gone Sis Lila and lover boy question Norm,
With every shifty Bates evasion Lila's suspicion further form,
Lila slips off to talk to Mother while the two men converse-
Both conversations are bound to go from bad to worse.

Normie ends all the chat by whackin' lover upside the head,*
Wow, if Norm catches Lila with Mom, this conversation's dead.

(Nowadays, in these times of 'Elm Street' 'Scream' and 'Creep'
We know the heroine's gonna end up in shi excrement deep
If she runs upstairs to the attic or down here to the fruit cellar-
But back in 1960, who in their right mind was left to tell her?)

Could a little old lady do a strong young woman much harm?
Ask lil' sister, in an underwater Ford, deep down on the farm.

Lila stepped into the fruit cellar, and into her living nightmare-
Who was that, sat deep in the shadows in a bentback chair?
Seeing Mom off her rotten face left Lila gasping and petrified,
A boys love for Mom ain't enduring when Ma's half mummified.

Yet Momma lives on, or at least lives on as Norman in drag,
In skirt, slip and wig Norm transforms into a wiggy ol' bag.

Norm/Mom's caught by hard headed Sam, lover of Marion;
In 1960 a cross-dresser/killer** was not the normal carry on,
Herr Doktor may well work wonders in fixing Norm's brain
But no-one can ever put Marion Crane back together again.

Now Norm's put away, wouldn't hurt a fly, a gnat he'd not annoy,
But who resides still, stuck in the mind of that crazy mama's boy?

*End of heavy discussion; wake with light concussion.
**Yes, let's say 'cross-dressing slash killer'. Why not?
‘Guess who turns out to be Mothers little helper? Or, like me and Marion, did you not see it coming either?’

©Obbverse.

A witch without a black cat is left with an unfamiliar empty feeling.

That Crazy Cat Lady.

When your trusty black cat passes away
What's a sad lonely old witch to do, pray?
Buy a replacement for the one that's gone
Or flick the Zippo and put the cauldron on?

Granny Mae, stoke up that unholy fire
Whilst picturing your hearts desire,
Get all steamed up and stir it well
Then toss this lot in, after a spell:

'Take the eye of newt, skin of horned toad,
Add deadly nightshade by the bucketload,
Some tongue of dog, wing of vampire bat,
A titbit of this, a bit damned more of that.'

Drop a whisker into the bubbling crucible-
You've a recipe for doing the unreproducible;
Then mutter an incantation under your breath
And the damn cat's back from its brush with death.

Voila! That old faithful cat will jump back, up to scratch,
Soon to be hissing and pissing protecting his old patch,
Though your moggy is years past his allocated nine
You'll find there's new life in the ol' familiar feline.


(Yeah, black humour about a black cat. Sorry. Hey, be grateful, I coulda said 'A Dark Tail.')
'Reanimation is not all it's cracked up to be.'

©Obbverse

The night is darkest before the dawn, according to some horrifically bad Zombie movies anyway.

A Survivors Guide To Night Life.

If you should wake from sleep to the sound of screams
And through the windowpane full moonlight streams,
And the streets below look like a bloody crime scene-
Prowling Zombies, growling werewolves, bloody keen-
And it's nowhere near Halloween?

These horrors are no mere fiction Stephen King wrote?
Then it's time to stifle that shriek that rises in your throat;
A man's home is his castle but to fight would be suicide,
So lock the door, zip your lip, swallow that warriors pride,
The dystopian future is here; so hide.

So it's true the rabid 'Hemlock Grove' mob ain't bit the dust?
Them Walking Dead half-wits not yet done with wanderlust?
Some choice- Death's kiss by a Zombie's cold blood rep lips
Or a barking mad dog's life whenever the blood lust grips?
Every full moon, another bloody apocalypse.

Who's a'tapping at the door, who's a'rattling my chain?
I hope they go away, and I pray they don't call again,
Leave me high up in my dark attic, hid in the pitchest black
Softly bitching 'bout this neighbourhood gone to the pack
Quietly waiting for the dawn to crack.

Sat in the shadows ain't how the hero should behave?
Better perched in the loft than turning in your grave,
My advice is to wait, still, till, in the cold light of day-
We'll deal to Zombie and beast in a most unhuman way
And the Hell with the RSPCA.

(Another in the interminable Shlock mock horror series. One day I’ll kill ’em off.)

©Obbverse.

The studio is setting up ‘Scream 5’ for release soon, so I thought I’d review the first ‘Scream.’ Oh, dear Drew, the horror.

Lessons From Watching 'Scream' Again.

For the fans of the gory horror flick
Sick of the perennial hoary old tropes
'Scream' played out a slick new trick
To raise any Millennial's bloody hopes.

'Scream' kicks off with a sick new twist-
But first I ought to offer a 'Spoiler Alert!' 
If you loved Drew in 'Never Been Kissed'
Her getting the kiss-off here is gonna hurt.

See, the pretty blonde nubile teen-
Her part's played by Drew Barrymore,
She's scarcely finished the first scene
When- so suddenly! Drew is no more.

What, the Star gets cut in the first act?
Drew winds up axed before Act Two?
Spoke a few lines, then gets whacked?
So, what advice might've saved Drew?

Don't mention you'll be at home alone
With no one close to share the popcorn,
Drew, definitely do not answer the phone 
Drew, if you want to live to see the dawn.

Don't let anyone outside in if they ask,
Or scream when a ghastly face appears,
Who knows who is behind that mask?
Face it Drew, this will all end in tears.

Sad to report, you ain't safe with old friends,
Two once-best buds now ain't right in the head,
Sad, by the time this twisted tale grislily ends
Our cut-in-the-first-act heroine is long dead.




‘Soon, Blondie, just hangin’ on the telephone.’

(Ok, slightly sick humour in the captions but what the hell…)

Digging up a few facts on those sweet sentimental romantic poets and writers; And you and I thought romance was dead!?!

Love In Vain- Or, Vein.

Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein
Watched her hubby from the shoreline,
Alas, for the wild and stormy poet of note
'Twas not the time to be paddling a leaky boat.

It devastated his distraught young wife
When Percy Shelley sunk and lost his life,
So before Mary cremated her sweetheart
She took hold, held close that cold cold part.

A little large for a silver locket,
A bit too big for a wee dress pocket,
And far too gross to hold in her hand-
Best placed underneath the nightstand?

She kept his heart in her bedside drawer,
Not for her brief grief, no, it remained raw,
She kept it locked inside a heart-shaped box
Amongst her dainty hankies, smalls and socks.

At first this act of sweet spousal devotion
Seemed an endearingly darkly Romantic notion,
Till for even the hanky-dabbing Widow Mary Shelley
Percy became less lingering memory, more simply smelly.

(I commented on a blog, and that comment twisted its way into this... odd offering.)

©Obbverse

Learning to live with your eccentricities without getting weirded out.

( Inspired by Chel Owens A Mused poetry competition on 'Eccentrics' and the movie 'Shock Corridor.')

An Eccentrics Guide To Lightening Up.

A rare precious few view me as being one of a kind,
Far more as possessed of a most peculiar singular mind,
One gloomy psychiatrist classified me as slightly neurotic,
A better one called me, far more politely, simply quixotic.

Some call me eccentric, but that ain't fair,
I prefer to think I think outside the square,
Others say my view on reality is a tad murky,
They say I'm 'way out there,' I'd say 'quirky.'

The true eccentric is hard to define,
The clued-up eccentric rides a fine line,
You best keep your eccentricities on the down low,
So I tone it down- Bellvue's nowhere I wanna go.

Some admit they think outside the box,
I don't... wish to submit to electric shocks,
So, Doctor, if eccentricity is in the eye of the beholder
Call me quietly eccentric- I don't want to smoulder.


©Obbverse

Are things booking up for the Transylvanian Tourist Board at last?

Dark Days, Black Nights.

It's no fun trying to shake off my family's dark legacy,
My bad name and face ain't one good folk wanna see,
It's a grand old artistocratic name, yet one most detest,
Hereabouts my Vlad name's more cursed than blessed.

Beneath the shadow of Castle Dracula change comes slow,
The villagers and I warily co-exist in an uneasy ebb and flow,
The wild accounts they tell of Count Dracula never get old-
Yet there's a drop o' truth to the hoary horror story Stoker told.

My bad reputation remains preserved deserved I do admit,
The peasants don't welcome my presence one little bit,
Slowly, over time, any mutual good will has been lost,
But once my blood's up I'm a bad Count to be crossed.

I've quite the cad's reputation here in our quiet backwater,
I've been the ruination of many a fine farmers daughter,
Stoker said I've a cool dark and damned handsome look,
But you'll find no photographic evidence in Bram's book.

For a soul who's seen so much in his lifetime
I believe I look like a man still well in his prime,
Of course, I could be accused of gross vanity-
I can truly say that doesn't reflect the real me.

Tales of my gross misdeeds have hung around for ages,
Fathers and nuns still twist and turn over my back pages,
'Tis true, I'm out and about, prowling these moonlit streets
As good God fearin' folk hide, shiverin' 'neath their sheets.

Legend says I'm most likely to be seen at night,
True again- dawn demands I be tucked up tight,
I'll happily snore the day away till late afternoon,
Sleep the damned day away, rise with the moon.

There's not many locals left who call me friend,
Most who did tended to come to a sticky end,
The Hotelier won't let me step over his threshold-
To be denied a warm pint makes my blood run cold.

He knows full well some nights I'd murder for a sip,
His problem is the bar empties out should I request a nip,
The toast my name elicits here is 'Cheers, to Drac's death!'
And I can't face that toxic wave of Bitter and garlic breath.

My  problem is, here on my old vamping ground
Fresh blood is a commodity too rarely found,
So when I heard rumours of tourists in town
You could Count on me to chase 'em down.

Far too few city folk come approach the Castle door
Though the breathtaking view sure is one to die for-
A new-wed couple booking in here's something rare,
And an appreciative nose twitched up in my dank lair.

The happy couple arrived, wreathed in smiles,
Brought in by horse and cart for the last five miles;
Around these parts that means riding in First Class,
Third Class is by two feet, Second is on one's ass.

All about the cheery locals called out 'Willkommen,'
The jolly Innkeeper took their cash and booked 'em Inn,
Said, 'my good son Slobodan will be your guiding light,
He's as honest as the day is long, just... not that bright.'

All day long, accompanied by their watchful guide
The honeymooners delighted in the countryside,
But once the sun touched the tip o' the mountain top
Slobodan's guided tour screeched to an abrupt stop.

The guide looked at his unwound watch in dismay,
Slobodan feared he might wind up rueing this day,
He turned for home, shadows darkening his face,
Setting off through the trees at a reckless pace.

As long shadows turned the forest ominously black
The three staggered out of the claustrophobic track,
Slobodan turned and squinted up at the setting sun,
Gulped, and set off for the village at a shambling run.

The unhappy couple watched his broad rear disappear;
For a provincial yokel Slobodan could get his ass in gear,
They caught the sweaty Slob panting on the village gate
Whereon Slob explained why we don't wander out late.

He told a tale of a bloodthirsty Carpathian Count,
A ghoul who haunts the Castle up on yon Mount,
A beast no one here wants to cross paths with,
What a modern couple dismiss as a foolish myth.

They laughed at Slobodan and his warning
And his advice to stay indoors till morning,
Dismissing every word the misguided fool said,
Still, being on honeymoon, why not early to bed?

So, upstairs they made haste;
Now, in the bounds of good taste
Since this is not a saucy R18 rated tale
Now it's time to discretely draw the veil... 

So later, but after not quite as long as she had hoped
The wide eyed bride lifted the duvet and blindly groped,
A quick tug of a curtain cord and in the moonlight spilled,
She stepped o'er to the window, feeling oddly unfulfilled. 

Outside the latched window, clad in a coal black cloak
The very image of he of whom their guide had spoke-
Slowly, devilishly, he looked up and their eyes locked,
His lip twisted up, and an enquiring eyebrow cocked...

Helpless as his darkly mesmerising eyes bore into hers,
Marriage vows evaporate as something within her stirs,
Window opened wide, she dreamily invites him inside,
And by dawn the groom is set to leave his bloody bride.

As if emerging from a nightmare she swayed, pale, woozy, 
A livid bruise on her neck the mark of Drac's two bit floozy!
The groom strode up to my Castle, he knocked down my door,
Such a crazy cross-eyed look his wild and red eyes wore!

He pushed loyal Ygor aside, he could not be contained!
Now, after a long night of necking I felt tired and drained,
In the light of day my denials wouldn't do me much good,
So I lay silent in my chamber, fearing his knock on wood.

How dare some vengeful mortal man ruin my rest?
How dare some retributive husband bare my breast?
He looked Hellbent on blaming me for his divorce,
And he had a point to hammer home, of course.

                  - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + -  

The bride and groom departed in the horse and cart,
Who knew they'd reconcile over my broken heart? 
As o'er the dark Castle the ashen clouds blow away 
It grieves my soul knowing I've years of Hell to pay.

Those two still talk up their trip to our quaint paradise,
(Though he ain't apt to mention his bloody sacrifice,)
Thanks to word of mouth we're now a destination of note 
(Though at times her endorsement catches in her throat.)

Now in the busy tavern the sad old narrative's shifted,
Tourists keep local tale tellers elbows and spirits lifted,
From this village's life I have gone, and none too soon;
But one dead Count has turned their bane into a boon.




©Obbverse

The Santa Clarita Diet. Try it, one bite and you might find it’s good. Crazy good.

Poor Poor Pitiful Me.

Not too long ago I used to think I lived half a life;
The car, two kids, two mortgages, the dog, the wife,
Stuck on the endless treadmill of work work work,
I thought one day I'd lose my mind and go berserk.

I see now I was 'a glass half-empty' kind of a guy,
A sad sack who saw the world through a gimlet eye,
My father-in-law berated me as a self-pitying soul,
His wife told me straight- 'what a miserable asshole.' 

Abed one night, worried and awake at one o'clock
I rose and took a ruminative stroll around the block,
The streets and my thoughts were miserable and dark,
My feet grew weary but my brain continued to spark.

I was passing through the shadows of the church tower,
Deep in the dark depths I saw an eye's malevolent glower,
I was encircled and set on, just outside the church grounds! 
Do these roaming gangs of mindless thugs know no bounds?

In the darkness I could see naught but a flash of white,
The gleam of bared teeth, evil creatures of the night,
I fought bravely under their outrageous bestial attack
Till someone tapped my head and everything went black.

When I awoke my bloody head was pounding,
An alarm somewhere in my brain was sounding,
I arose from the pavement and shook my head
But in my mind a creeping realisation spread...

I discovered I could no longer focus my brain,
My fragmentary thoughts seemed half insane,
My attack proved a bit more than a minor scuffle-
Both brain and feet seemed to be stuck on shuffle.

In the pit of my miserable guts sat a hunger, gnawing,
A deeply primitive part I knew I was beyond ignoring,
On my approach I saw three pre-dawn joggers scatter-
This new Zombie shows a hankerin' for fresh grey matter.

As I shamble along I glance at a storefront window
And see a sight, in reflection, I have no wish to know,
And that last human part of me clenches in resistance,
And I know I want no part in this miserable existence.

So I'm stumbling back home where I'm hoping I'll find
An up-in-arms wife to offer me a bit of peace of mind,
I guess our shotgun marriage was doomed from the start,
Let's hope she aims for my stupid brains and not my heart.



(Obviously watching Shaun Of The Dead on top of a few tasty episodes of The Santa Clarita Diet inspired another addition to the Shlock Mock Horror genre. I thought 'why not try to see it from the zombies point of view?' At least it's a fresh one.)

‘Hey, I know I’ve changed. No, It’s not you, it’s definitely me.’

©Obbverse

In Las Vegas it’s odds-on your luck will run out. Sadly.

Showstopper.

We struck it lucky on our last Las Vegas trip,
There we saw an historic bit of showmanship,
From our front row seat at Siegfried and Roy's
We saw a Grand finale from those two old boys.

They've entertained us all for untold years...
So, now a touch less boyish than first appears;
Note the lush leonine manes of layered dyed hair
And those fixed faces, half botox, half Tupperware.

As the big cats prowled their cages
Roy rattled on, much as he's done for ages,
The tigers bared their teeth, growling loudly
'Pussy cats in my hands' Roy thought proudly.

I wonder, did Roy take his routine too lightly, pray?
Perhaps the tiger wasn't feeling too bright that day?
Call it overfamiliarity, call it a catastrophic oversight
Whatever, Roy got a deep insight into a tigers underbite.

After thousands of shows without an accident
Into retirement, with wounded pride they went,
The Mirage's management terminated their run
Just because Roy entertained a bit of armless fun.

This tasteless offering was going to be for a short poetry prompt but it kinda sorta took on a larger life of its own. Perhaps, as Siegfried and Roy found, sometimes you can’t rein things in, it all starts to get away on us and before you know it everything’s running uncontrollably amok. 

©Obbverse