I had to buy some inspiration

the well had run dry

the go-to stash was Poe in macabre navy blue

an old print, just a fancy cover to make it new

the pages crisp as fresh twenty dollar bills

the little red ribbon bookmark starched

like my father’s old button-on collars.

There goes the ramparts of the House of Usher!

How about Walt Disney building a replacement

for Sleeping Beauty’s castle?

All creaking floorboards

and weeping wallpaper, with animatronic

Ethelred slaying giant dragons of plastic

and copper tick-tock gears!

But maybe uncle Walt wouldn’t do that

there in stuffy old Anaheim

maybe it could be done somewhere on…MARS.

Not just for fun, but because Poe was banned

down here.

We burned his books, burned out his memory

all that’s left are craggy daguerreotypes

left in the 19th century.

Too many PTA ladies pissing themselves over


afraid of mustachioed madmen courting their

consumption ravaged cousins.

No, it’s Mars for the house that Usher built

stinking in a marsh, as unholy horrors decimate

the book burners, taking pages from the fiction

they’ve condemned.